Sunday, July 12, 2009

SNGF: Time Travel

Randy over at GeneaMusings has challenged us to another Saturday Night Fun (or Sunday Morning Fun, in my case). Here is the challenge:

1) Let's go time travelling: Decide what year and what place you would love to visit as a time traveller. Who would you like to see in their environment? If you could ask them one question, what would it be?

2) Tell us about it. Write a blog post, or make a comment to this post, or on Facebook, or in Genealogy Wise.

Wow, this is a hard one. If I have to pick only one, I think I would pick 1890 in Sanilac County, Michigan. I would like to chat with my great-great-great-grandmother, Cora King, and find out why she didn't marry Douglas Reynolds, my great-great-great-grandfather. Cora had a daughter, Nellie Reynolds, my great-great-grandmother, illegitimately in Oct 1890. Cora was only 15 years old. Douglas Reynolds is named as Nellie's father on the birth certificate, and Nellie seems to have gone by that surname her entire life. From what I can tell, Douglas Reynolds died in Sanilac County from consumption in Aug 1890, just two months before Nellie was born. Douglas was 24 at the time of his death, so he was 9 years older than Cora. My best guess as to why they didn't marry was that maybe he became too sick, or maybe her parents didn't like him for some reason, considering she was only 15. Nellie was living with Cora's first cousin, William King, and his wife, at the time of the 1900 census. They appear to never have had any children of their own, so I'm assuming they may have raised Nellie, though I know she always went by the surname Reynolds, and her parents are listed as Douglas Reynolds and Cora King on her birth, marriage, and death records. Because of this, it makes me think she must have had some relationship with her mother, although she may have been raised by relatives. By 1900, Cora had married Joshua Wedge and moved to Oakland County, Michigan. Overall, I would just like to know the full story to that one situation.

UPDATE: Just noticed that on William King and Nancy Keys' marriage record from Apr 1890, there is a witness named Duglas Reenald of Elk Township. William and Nancy are the couple that Nellie was living with in 1900. Could Duglas Reenald be Douglas Reynolds? According to his death record and Nellie's birth record, Douglas was a resident of Elk Township. Hmmm....


  1. Ah, Jennifer you just learned an important lesson in research. Make note of every name and place on a record. They can lead you in the right direction.
    I had no idea who parents of my husband's grandmother were, I just knew her last name was Boyce. It was only through the witnesses names on her marriage record that I saw John W Boyce was one of them. From there I was able to trace him and connect him to her as her brother. From there the parents fit in too. Score.

  2. Hmmmm indeed ! Don't you just love to find those tidbits!

  3. Fascinating mystery. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Yes, I'm wondering if Douglas Reynolds was a close friend of William King, Cora's first cousin. Maybe this is how Cora came to know Douglas. Through some more research, I have since found that William and Nancy did have at least one child, Lloyd King, in 1901. Nancy died in 1903, and Nellie married in 1904, at the age of only 14. Makes me wonder if Nellie married because the closest person she had to a mother had died and she had no one else to take care of her.

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