Monday, August 27, 2012
Records Hidden; Now They're Not!!
For years, and I do mean years, I’ve been looking for two specific marriage records to no avail. For one thing, I wasn’t completely sure these marriages ever took place but felt my mother knew the facts. The facts she knew but not precise details.
Mom said her Uncle Angus Miller (1883-1950) had been married and his wife, Irene Stevens, had died of cancer. Unfortunately, she never mentions exactly when he was married and until she told me about this, in the around 2000, I thought he had been a confirmed bachelor. From all indications – birth record, census records, real estate, etc. – Angus remained in Rush County, Indiana his entire life but a thorough examination of Rush County records came up dry for any marriage.
Mom also said her mother, Sylvia (Walker) Miller, told her that Granny, Mom’s great-grandmother, Rosa Belle (Kennedy) Walker, had remarried after the death of Daniel Jackson Walker. Apparently, however, the new husband was abusive and the marriage was short lived. Granny’s was a sad story anyway as she lost her first child in 1891 at only one year and two other children and her husband between December of 1895 and March of 1896. Sylvia, the only child left was only four years old. But I digress. Though I’ve looked many times at the marriage indexes at the Rush County, Indiana court house, I’ve never found this second marriage.
Yesterday as I was trying to catch up on some blog reading, I happened onto Harold Henderson's post on his Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog that mentioned the indexing work being done by the Indiana State Genealogical Society for Family Search. One of the projects is indexing marriage records for some of the Indiana counties not previously indexed. I noticed Rush County and some surrounding counties had been added to the index. I thought what the heck, I’ll give it another try.
So first I entered Angus Miller in the search field, hit enter and the long sought record appeared. He wasn’t married in Rush County; he was married in Fayette County. He didn’t marry Irene Stevens; he married Irene Stanton. He was 50 years old when his first and only marriage took place on 04 Feb 1933; that’s just three years before my Mom married my Dad.
Next I tried for Granny’s second marriage. Rosa Belle Walker didn’t bring the desired result but Belle Walker did. Just nine months after the death of first husband, Daniel Jackson Walker, she married John M Larimore on 12 Jan 1897; this being his 3rd marriage and her 2nd.
Wow, I cannot thank Indiana State Genealogical Society and Family Search enough for making these finds available to me. Two mysteries solved in a matter of ten minutes! Now, I know I have more research ahead of me to get a better understanding of the impact of these events on the lives of my family but for now I’ll just bask in the joy of the find!!