So much is available online now that I did not realize that Deutsche Zeitung is digitized and available at GenealogyBank. Years 1880-1898 are digitized and searchable. These years cover a lot of my lines in Newark, New Jersey. The problem is that the newspaper is written in German (naturally) and the elaborate typeface is hard to read, especially when smeared. German was one of my minors as an undergrad [useful after all], so I jumped right in.
Searching for "Lutter" in English newspapers produces hits for "butter" and "letter." Searching this German paper produces results for "Mutter." [German for "mother."] By limiting the date, I managed to find the announcement of the nuptials of my great great grandparents, Herman Lutter and Clara Uhl.
|Married 24 January 1888 in Newark by Reverend William Rieb.|
The names of the witnesses can be compared against the actual marriage return filed with the state of New Jersey.
It looks like the witnesses were Henriette Ebbede [or Ebbecke?] and Pauline Freemann for the bride, Clara Uhl. Note that Pauline's signature has only one N in Freemann. The N has a line over it, a short-hand way of noting a double consonant. The witnesses for the groom were Alex Lutter and Henry Uhl. Henry Uhl was the brother of Clara Uhl. I am happy to see this other version of the witnesses because I was not sure if the name was Alex Lutter on the marriage return. I do not know who this person is. I find no trace of Alex Lutter in Newark. He possibly shows up in Chicago, gets married, and has a few children.
The moral of the story is to collect as much information as you can about an event. Don't just look for the birth, death, and marriage certificates. Dig up the local newspaper and look for an announcement. Look for the church record.