Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Found at Last: The Marriage Record of my Great-Grandparents

I recently clicked on a hint in my FamilySearch Family Tree. And I'm so glad I did! The hint was for the marriage record of my maternal great-grandparents, Watson (Frederick) Emory Webster and Esther Matus Villatoro.1

I did not have their marriage record before this new discovery. Their first child, Carlota Adelia Webster, was born on 11 January 1910 in Arriaga, Chiapas, Mexico. The rest of their children were born in Brazil, including my maternal grandfather, Debs Warren Webster. Rather than being married in Mexico, it turns out that Frederick and Esther were married in Colombo, Colombo, Paraná, Brazil on 23 February 1918.

Here is their marriage record. I cropped it and highlighted it for better viewing.

Rough translation of this cropped section: Dr. Frederico Emory Webster and Esther Mattos, single, Dentist, fifty-four years of age, native of United States of America and resident of Curitba, legitimate son of Ebenezer P. Webster and Cynthea M. Webster....

The information in this section matches known information. Frederick's calculated birth year from his stated age matches his known birth year of 1864. His known parents were Ebenezer Perry Carlisle Webster and Cynthia Maria Webster. Frederick was known to have been living in Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil in 1917 according to a U.S. Consular Registration Application. Frederick and Esther's place of marriage in Colombo was only about nine or so miles from Curitiba according to Google Maps.

Rough translation (referring to Esther Matus): twenty-four years of age, Dentist, native of Mexico and resident of Curitiba legitimate daughter of Nicanor Mattos and Raymuno Villatoro....

The information in this section also matches known information, although Raymundo should be Raymunda and Mattos should be Matus. I am intrigued that Esther was referred to as a Dentist. This is the first time I have heard or read anything about her being a Dentist so this is interesting.

The marriage record lists the children of Frederick and Esther and gives their birthdates, which is amazing: Carlota, 11 January 1902?, Edna 23 September 1912....

Carlota's year of birth must be wrong. Esther would not be old enough to have a child in 1902. Additionally, according to a US Consular document, Carlota was born in 1910, which would make more sense. This document supplied me with the date Edna was born. I knew she was born in September 1912, but I wasn't sure which day she was born. One of my options was the 23rd, so that is likely her birth date.

In this section, my maternal grandfather, Debs Warren Webster, was listed as Debs, 27 April 1914 (correct date), Eugene, 4 December 1915....

It's so fun to find the signatures of ancestors on documents. Here we have Frederick and Esther's signatures at the bottom of their marriage record. How awesome is that? I don't think I've seen Esther's signature before. I'll need to add it to the "My Ancestors' Signatures" page on my blog.

My mom was from Brazil and could speak Portuguese. Unfortunately, I do not speak Portuguese so I turned to Google translate for some help with Frederick and Esther's marriage record.

This marriage record contains so much valuable information. After the discovery of this marriage record, I was able to find the birth record of Frederick and Esther's youngest child, Alice, who was born about two weeks after their marriage. I was also able to find the birth record of their fourth child, Eugene. I will share these two birth records in future posts.

Thanks for stopping by!


© 2021 Copyright by Jana Iverson Last, All Rights Reserved

1 "Brasil, Paraná, Registro Civil, 1852-1996," database with images, FamilySearch.org (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:9396-Q6SZ-L1 : accessed 20 June 2021), certificate image, Frederico Emory Webster and Esther Mattos, 23 February 1918, no.160; citing Corregedor Geral da Justicia da Paraná (Paraná General Justice Office), Curitiba.


  1. Wow, lots of incredible info in this marriage. Hints can point us to really valuable documents and photos--as long as we analyze carefully. I'm looking forward to seeing the birth records and your analysis in a future post. Take care!

    1. Thank you Marian! I agree, hints can be so valuable, but we should not just accept them as correct. We definitely need to analyze them to make sure they pertain to our ancestor(s). :)




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