Sometimes, a quest to discover more on an ancestor’s line
not only finds a researcher coming up empty-handed, but burdened with more
questions after the search than
before beginning it.
Couple that challenge with some temporarily downed Internet resources
for genealogical research, and those persistent questions just have to be set
aside for another day.
I had run into some difficulties, once I had discovered that
Michael Creahan of Lafayette,
Indiana, had been married to a
woman descending from our family’s Kelly line, trying to trace what had become
of all the descendants. So far, I’ve documented my trails as I explored the
family of Michael and Bridget Creahan’s daughter Anna. I’ve also begun a tally
of findings for their older daughter, Ellen.
And then, suddenly, I couldn’t get on the Find A Grave site
to confirm some details I was seeking. Compounding that issue, the next night’s
research session found me wrestling with an uncooperative Ancestry.com—which,
judging from their Twitter stream, had been experiencing technical difficulties
of their own.
That, of course, leaves me unable to show you some other
material I had found—indexed records containing abnormalities that were
frustrating, at the least, and demanding corroboration of documentation at
What I can
mention, while all research action online comes to a screeching halt, is that
is on the right trail, with the information he shared in some comments
yesterday. The 1900 census information he posted from Ancestry—if I can ever get on the site to check it out again—is very likely
the same record
I had located on FamilySearch.org.
The trouble with online access difficulties, when researching
genealogy through sites like Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org, is that Ancestry
would have allowed subscribers to view all
the census details—like years of marriage and the mother’s number of children—while
FamilySearch, depending on year of the census record, may or may not allow this
more detailed view. Of course, right now, I can't tell what Ancestry's record shows because each attempt brings with it a frustrating error message. Perhaps, if I put this one to bed, I can hope the morning will bring better accessibility.
Fortunately, in general, in the case of the 1900 census, we can look—at both
sites—at the details of the digitized record. In addition to the year of
marriage for the former Ella Fulk (or Faulk), which Iggy had mentioned, we can
see via FamilySearch.org that Ella claimed to be mother of only three children—all of whom were
still living—thus confirming that all three of the Timmons children in the 1900
household were not Ella’s.
That presents some other research pursuits, for which the
current online obstacles will keep us at bay. First is the question: why three Fulk children? The news report that Iggy had provided of
Ella’s husband’s passing—Homer Fulk from Bloomington,
Indiana—had indicated that the
couple had had only two children. Which one of the three in the 1900 census
wasn’t theirs? After all, Homer’s brothers had evidently predeceased him;
perhaps one of these “children” actually called him “uncle” rather than “daddy.”
Another problem was the actual name of Ella’s second
husband. Remember my mentioning, a while back, the spelling woes I had encountered
in researching this Creahan line? One entry I had found yielded the spelling as Csehan
—admittedly far afield from the other spelling variants, as well as one coming from the less reliable source of a
In that “Csehan” entry, the woman was listed as “Ella T. Faulk Csehan
.” Why the Faulk before the Csehan? It makes it appear as if Csehan
was her former married
name, and that the correct maiden name was Faulk, not Crehan. If it
weren’t for the corroborating facts of Ella’s parents’ names—Michael “Cseham” and
Bridget Kelly—I might have lost confidence in this resource entirely.
Add to that loss of confidence the added difficulty of this
husband’s name rendered as Scott W. Tumison
—certainly not the Scott Timmuns that was provided less than a year later
in the census record.
What I’d like to do—once everyone gets their websites up and
running again—is search for the burial records for each of Ella’s husbands. I’m
presuming I will find Homer Fulk’s burial information in Lafayette,
Indiana, as he had died in that city, rather
than in his hometown of Bloomington.
But if so, why wasn’t Ella buried along with him? Understandably, if her second
husband had been previously married, at his passing he would be buried with his
first wife—but I’d still like to track that one down, too, if only to resolve
what, exactly, his surname should be. There’s quite a difference between
Timmuns and Tumison.
Then, for additional corroboration, I’d like to find further
records on each of the children, mainly to confirm the parents’ names. After
all, there is always that possibility that this isn’t the right Ella. I’d sure want to know that before pursuing this line any further—wouldn’t