Loss of Faith

The depth and breadth of the ties to Mormonism in my mother’s family have remained a constant intrigue.  I’ve posted before on the connections to Joseph Smith in Ohio and the family’s migration patterns following splinter sects to different states after his death but always have wondered where and when the faith ended in my direct descendancy.  My mother certainly doesn’t remember her grandparents practicing and I can’t even find a LDS or similar church in their rural Minnesota community.   So it would have to be prior to their move from Iowa to Minnesota in 1913.

To me, the easiest thing to start with is looking at marriage records.  Was the couple married by a JP or someone of a particular faith.  Let’s start with the children of LaMay and Marian Syphers Fuller, residing in Otho, Webster County Iowa:

Fuller kids
Carrie, Irene, David, Alta and Fern Fuller ca. 1903?; author’s collection

Alta Alma Fuller (my ggrandma) was married 19 Feb 1904 to Oscar Lindstrom by Francis Fawkes, pastor of the Otho-Kalo Congregational church, with witnesses Helen Nor[d]strom (groom’s niece) and Guy Fuller (bride’s uncle).

Florence Fern Fuller was married 2 Nov 1909 to Clarence Kingsley by SM Magowan, JP in Ft Dodge.

David Harry Fuller was married 21 May 1907 to Elizabeth Heatherington by SM Magowan, JP in Ft Dodge.

Carrie Leona Fuller was married 6 Jan 1906 to Arthur Nims by James Martin, JP in Ft Dodge.

Irene Estelle Fuller married Alfred Kallstrom in 1914, in Hubbard County Minnesota – no marriage license found yet.

Alright, let’s go back to the previous Fuller generation – siblings of LaMay – to look for marriages made by a minister:.  They were the family that I suspect followed the Mormon/LDS schisms and moved quite a bit from New York to Ohio to Wisconsin to Illinois to Iowa.

Almira Fuller was married on 1 Jan 1857 to Adam Palm in Shabonna Illinois – no marriage license found yet.

Homer Fuller was married on 23 Jun 1874 to Luella Williams in Webster County Iowa – no marriage license found yet.

Frank Forcet Fuller was married on 15 Sep 1875 to Laura Wright in Webster County Iowa – no marriage license found yet.

Frances Fuller was married on 16 Jul 1874 to Frank Jacques in Webster County Iowa – no marriage license found yet.

La May Freemont Fuller was married on 23 Dec 1883 to Marian Syphers in Scranton Iowa – no marriage license found yet.

Lew Guy Fuller was married on 13 Mar 1913 to Adella May Parsons in Chickasaw County Iowa by Burton Marsh, New Hampton Congregational Church minister.

So far there are many marriages by JPs and 2 by Congregational ministers.  Nothing related to Mormon or LDS.  And a whole lot of no records. Sigh. Guess I will have to wait until I can find those Fuller marriage licenses to know for sure but I suspect that my Iowa sect of Fullers stopped practicing after they left Shabonna Illinois (there was a Mormon sect there that I’ve written about),  Perhaps I should search the LDS site for marriage records – that will have to be my challenge for next time!

This post is part of Amy Johnson Crow’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge, a year-long blogging project focusing on family history stories. This week’s prompt is “challenge.”

Cara Jensen is owner of Sherlock Homes historical consulting & genealogy, where she provides expert services on cultural preservation and ancestral discovery. 

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Wandering Wednesday: photo detective

I recently was sent a batch of photos from my Great Uncle Waldo’s collection – a great assortment of tintypes and 1880s-era photos – ONLY ONE WAS LABELED.  Sigh.  But I love puzzles so I’ve been saving this task as kind of an icing on the cake/reward for myself.  I’d like your help though – let me know if you think I’m on the right track.

On the left is a known photo of Martha Ford Fuller and her husband David Fuller.  I believe the person in the right photo is Martha Ford Fuller.  The earrings are the same in both photos and the hair part and other facial features are similar.  Yes?

 

The next one isn’t quite as much of a slam dunk:  again, the known photo of David and Martha Ford Fuller next to what I suspect is a younger David Fuller.  The beard/mustache growth looks the same, the hands are similar, the torso bearing is similar, the part of the hair is opposite, but similar (perhaps the photo was reversed?), and if you look closely, the watch fob is similar.  Thoughts?

 

They get progressively harder, as all puzzles do…   The portrait on the left is known to be Ansel Elifelet Syphers, his second wife Augusta, and their children Ralph, Marion, and George. I believe that Uncle Waldo’s photo on the right are those boys Ralph and George.  Look at the ears and the hair parts and the mouths.  Especially the unusual hair part of the little boy on the right.  What do you think?

 

Ok, I think this is getting easier as my eyes are getting attuned.  I’m pretty confident about this one.  Don’t know if you can zoom into this one, but the facial expression is the clue.  The family on the left is Addie Mae Syphers Magers and her children, ca 1906 taken in Devises, Kansas.  The right photo is Addie I believe.

 

I think I’ll take a break and get your comments, then take out the ones that are verified and try again!  Thanks for your help!

 

Tuesday Twigs: Family Reunion!

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Lindstrom cousins, Fort Dodge Iowa; image via personal collection

We had a Lindstrom family reunion over the weekend in Fort Dodge, Iowa.  Although none of us currently reside there, it was the place where the Oscar Lindstrom and Alta Fuller met and married.  I, being the family genealogist, had charge of all the historical bits and bobs.  I’ll have to tell you the story of the above picture, of which I am especially proud.

I had created a ‘tour map’ of the Otho township area in Webster County, marking pertinent places such as the cemetery (where we placed flowers on family graves), the church where the said marriage took place, and farm locations from 1909.  We decided to do a scouting mission on Friday night after we got to Fort Dodge, to make certain that the roads were still open and accessible .  I knew the land where the first farm had been was vacant, just land now, but the second farm had buildings (thanks to google maps!).  We drove on the dusty gravel roads and located the farm – did I see old buildings back there?  We pulled in to check it out – although my kids did not share my enthusiasm, I got out to see if the owners were about.

The current owners were there and I had a great conversation with Debbie Krug.  She was absolutely enthusiastic when I asked if we could all visit the following day and even showed me the original barn and corncrib on the property!  What a find!

The next day, when our convoy of seven cars arrived, she graciously allowed us all the time we needed to tromp around and look at the barn boards, etc.  We have several cousins in the construction industry and also many who grew up on farms, so there were plenty of examinations and discussions!  She even took our picture (above) in front of the old corncrib!  And gave me copies of the original chain of deeds to the property!

This was really a lesson to me in the power of asking and approaching people.  This amazing opportunity, which some cousins said just made the whole reunion for them, would never have happened had I not the social courage gained from years of navigating and publicizing my own historical research business.  When you love what you do, the enthusiasm is contagious. Yay!

Tuesday Twigs: Cold branches

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tree” (CC BY-ND 2.0) by  .christoph.G. 

I’m helping to organize a family reunion this summer and am trying to fill out those branches that the family has lost touch with over the years.  It is really challenging detective work to suss out living people and connections and places but the internet and social media are a godssend for research like this!

So the question is, once I’ve found long lost relatives on places like facebook, how do I approach them without sounding creepy or stalkerish?  I really do want to reconnect with them and let them know about our mutual family tree and the upcoming reunion.

Have you had success with the ‘cold call’ approach for long lost relatives?  What suggestions do you have for making the best approach?  Thanks for all your help and I’ll surely let you know how it goes!