More About Bertha and Florence Delcourt – Part 2

Mon. 06 Dec 2010. 10:55 am

The mystery of what happened to Bertha and Florence still remains.

The last we read about Bertha and Florence Delcourt, Odilon’s first wife and daughter, we saw they were both listed in the transcriptions for the 1920 census records in Chicago.

We know that sometime between 1915 and 1917 Odilon left Chicago and went to Detroit.

By 1920 Bertha (DeBereau or Deburie) had remarried to Gentil Gernaey and Florence still had Delcourt as her surname. According to the family data from Craig Gernaey, Gentil and Bertha were married in Indiana.

Then we learn Gentil marries one Joannam Brugghe on 22 June 1922. So sometime between 1920 and 22 June 1922 Gentil divorces or leaves Bertha.

Now to see what else we can find.

Starting with Delcourt and searching through the Social Security Death Index the closest I can find is for a Marie F Delcourt born 22 May 1912. Her Social Security card was issued in Illinois.

Is this Florence? Maybe….maybe not!

A search for Gernaey turns up nothing close.

Searching for DeBereau and Deburie comes up with only one record and that one is from Michigan. I doubt this person is connected to us.

Name Birth Death Age Last Address
of Record
Last Benefit Issued By SSN
22 May 1912 29 Mar 1995 82 60629
(Chicago, Cook, IL)
Illinois 340-20-6897
14 Mar 1907 19 Apr 2001 94 48150
(Livonia, Wayne, MI)
Michigan 383-28-9984

Not being listed in the SSDI doesn’t mean the person didn’t exist; it just means the person never had a social security card or their death was not recorded by the Social Security Administration. Besides, the Social Security Administration wasn’t created until 14 August 1935 when President Roosevelt signed the act. Anyone who died before then didn’t have a social security card anyways.

Next I found a new (for me) website for the Cook County Vital Records.

Searching the marriage data for Delcourt comes up a bit promising. No Bertha but there is a Florence Delcourt who marries a John J Jomolka on 13 March 1941. If this is our Florence then she would have been around 30 years old when she was married. Hmmm – maybe?

Then nothing close in either the birth or death data. Same with Gernaey, DeBereau or Deburie.

After all this we only get one slim lead – “John J Jomolka”. Now most of us from Michigan probably have a good idea that “Jomolka” is most likely a Polish name. If true then who knows what the real spelling of “Jomolka” might be.

And the mystery of Bertha and Florence continues.


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