Thursday, May 21, 2020

How Lucy Helped Me Name Her Mother

Lucy Emeline Bentley Larimer and
Brice Larimer are buried in Brown Cemetery,
Elkhart County, Indiana
Who was my hubby's 3d great-grandmother? His 3d great-granddaddy was William Tyler Bentley (1795-1873). William was born in Oswego County, New York, and pioneered in Elkhart County, Indiana during the 1830s.

The earliest two Census records I found for William, in 1830 and 1840, named him as head of household and listed how many others were in the household, categorized by age and gender. As was usual in Census records from those years, there were no names for wife and children.

Clues in Lucy's Obit

One break came when I found an obituary for my husband's second great-grandmother, Lucy Emeline Bentley Larimer (1826-1900). At top is Lucy's tombstone, shared with her husband, Brice Larimer (1819-1906). They are buried in Brown Cemetery, Elkhart County, Indiana.

The obit didn't actually name Lucy's mother. But it did say the mother died in 1838 in Elkhart County, Indiana, where they were pioneer settlers. The obit also said Lucy's father had left for California in 1848. Following that trail, I found the exceedingly brief obit for William Tyler Bentley, who died in 1873 in Tulare County, California. This obit said the deceased was the father of "E.M. Bentley of this place [Tulare]." I filled in the family tree with Elisha Morgan Bentley and his family, which led me to even more siblings and descendants.

Names in Death Certs

The next big break came when I received Lucy's Indiana death cert, packed with information supplied by her husband. He said Lucy was born in Oswego County, New York, the daughter of Wm T Bentley (b. in NY) and Olive Morgan (birthplace unknown).

I also obtained the Indiana death cert of Lucy's sister, Lucinda Helen Bentley Shank (1825-1903). This cert, with information by Lucinda's husband, named the mother as Olivia Morgan (b. in New York) and the father as Wm T Bently (b. in New York). It said Lucinda was also born in New York.

Thanks to great-great-grandma Lucy and her sister, Lucinda, my husband's great-great-great grandmother finally had a name: Olivia Morgan (b. ?- d. 1838).


"Tombstone" is the week 21 prompt for Amy Johnson Crow's #52Ancestors challenge.

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