Wednesday, October 10, 2018
About Those Tuckers
When we viewed the photograph of Earl Purkey yesterday, I mentioned that he was married, briefly, to a woman whose maiden name was Eva Tucker. That is not the only Tucker we'll see in the Purkey family constellation, however. Eva's sister Maude Alice also happened to marry a Purkey brother—Earl's older brother Burt.
It was likely through Eva's sister's line that the photographs I found in Sonora, California, eventually ended up in my hands. You see, Maude Alice Purkey's daughter was the one who married the Brockman brother whose mis-identified photograph of Adolph and Vernie Brockman got this whole chase started in the first place.
Let's take a closer look at the parents of Maude and Eva Tucker, since—as I'm sure you've already guessed—I also have become the proud owner of another abandoned family photograph, that of "Grandpa and Grandma Tucker."
While this photograph did not provide any further information about this couple's names, it did mention one more bit of evidence: the explanation, "my mother's folks." If we assume the "voice" of the person labeling all these family photographs was a daughter of Burt and Maude Tucker Purkey, it's a simple matter to determine just who Maude's parents were.
We have ample opportunity to find Maude and her sister Eva in the household of their parents. Born in 1888, Maude was a nearly a teenager when we find her in the 1900 census record for the household of Samuel and Anna Tucker. Maude, Eva, and their five brothers were living in Malheur County, Oregon, at that time.
One record to assure us of Maude's parents' names, though, is hardly sufficient. What if, for instance, there were two Maudes and Evas with the surname Tucker. After all, the surname Tucker has multiple national origins, is widely distributed throughout the United States—and the world, for that matter. Back at the time Maude's dad was courting her mother in Alton, Illinois, Samuel was one of over 1,800 people bearing that Tucker surname throughout the state. By the time the family had moved to Oregon, things could only have multiplied.
An additional reassurance, however, was finding the death certificate for Maude Tucker Purkey, herself. According to that 1944 record, Maude's father was listed as Samuel J. Tucker of Alton, Illinois. Her mother's name was given as Annie J. Goodman of Nashville, Tennessee.
If we have the records right on this "Grandpa and Grandma Tucker, my mother's folks," then when we look at the photograph below, we are catching a glimpse of Samuel J. and Annie Goodman Tucker in their later years.
Above: Photograph of Samuel J. and Annie Goodman Tucker, found in an antique store in Sonora, California; currently in possession of author until claimed by a direct descendant of the Tucker family.