This past weekend I spent some time on the updated California County Marriages database at Family Search and quickly found several marriage records I didn’t already have. These were all for descendants of Josie L Weiss, one of my favorite ancestors. I’m not really sure why she is one of my favorite. I’ve never met her and I really don’t know a lot about her, but I’ve always enjoyed getting to know her.
The first reference I have for Josie is an 1880 census record which shows four-year-old Josephine L Weiss living with her parents and older brother in Shipman Township, Macoupin County, Illinois.  This is the only document I have which refers to her as Josephine. All other records refer to her as Josie. I assume once she was old enough to voice a preference she let it be known that she preferred Josie to Josephine — I know I would have!
Josie was the daughter of John Adam Weiss and Catherine F. Yaraum, born in Kansas 17 Jan 1876.  At some point after her birth, but before she was 5, the family moved back to Macoupin County, Illinois, where John and Catherine had married. With no 1890 census, it is difficult to track the family, but John and Catherine are back in Kansas, in Marion County, for the 1900 census with their younger sons. Josie is not with them, but she may be in Kansas. Josie was married to Ralph J. Shirk, possibly 30 May 1900.  I have a source, a tree prepared by another researcher, but I am not certain it is reliable. However, this is just before the 1900 census was taken, and it’s possible Josie and her new husband will be found nearby. I need to look for Josie and Ralph in the 1900 census. They are found near her parents in Marion County, Kansas in the 1910 census. 
By the 1920 census Josie and Ralph and their four children are in Ontario Township, San Bernardino County, California, where Ralph if farming an orange grove.  Ten years later, Ralph is farming his own farm in La Verne, Los Angeles County, California.  When Clay Justin Weiss, Josie’s older brother, died in 1925, his obituary stated that Jossie (sic) was a resident of Labura, California;  this is probably La Verne. Ralph and Josie were still in La Verne at the time of the 1940 census. 
Josie and Ralph had four children.
- Mina M (1903-1964) 
- Olive Frances (1905-1990) 
- Verna Elizabeth (1907-1994) 
- Dwight Weiss (1909-1993) 
Josie died 12 Mar 1958 in Los Angeles County, California.  She is buried alongside Ralph in La Verne Cemetry, La Verne, Los Angeles County, California. 
You can view the family group sheet for the family of Ralph Shirk and Josie Weiss here.
- 86. “1880 U.S. Census,” WEISS, John A. and William H. families, Shipman Township, Macoupin County, Illinois, 25 Jun 1880, FamilySearch, 27 May 2015.
- 170. WEISS, Clay J, “obituary,” received by email, 20 Aug 2003.
- 249. “1920 U.S. Census,” SHIRK, Ralph Household, Ontario, San Bernadino County, California, 19 Jan 1920, Heritage Quest Online, 7 Feb 2005.
- 251. “1930 U.S. Census,” SHIRK, Ralph Household, La Verne, Los Angeles County, California, 5 Apr 1930, Heritage Quest Online, 7 Feb 2005.
- 252. SHIRK, Josie; Ralph; Dwight, “California Death Index, 1940-1997,” Ancestry.com, Feb 2005.
- 253. “SSDI,” SHIRK in CA, Feb 2005, ancestry.com.
- 254. SHIRK, Ralph, “Family Data Collection,” Edmund West, Ancestry.com, 7 Feb 2005.
- 317. “CADI,” Mina FORD, 17 Jul 2006, ancestry.com.
- 1068. SHIRK, Josie Weiss, “Memorial,” # 20468780, Find A Grave, merridancer, accessed 22 Feb 2017.
- 1069. “1910 U.S. Census,” SHIRK, R J household, Colfax, Marion County, Kansas, Ward 20, ED 96-476, 14 May 1910, NARA microfilm, T624, FamilySearch, image 14 of 18, accessed 22 Feb 2017.
- 1070. “1940 U.S. Census,” SHIRK, Ralph J household, La Verne, Los Angeles, California, ED 19-716, 26 Apr 1940, NARA microfilm, T627, FamilySearch, image 14 of 18, accessed 22 Feb 2017.