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The Document Collection Continues

My ancestors Laura Riddle (1853-1933), her mother Olive Dunbar (1823-1902), and her grandmother Rhoda Hall (1784-1850) occupied my attention this week. I worked to document their births, marriages, and deaths to complete an application to the Mayflower Society through my ancestor Stephen Hopkins. Of course, all the women present some stumbling blocks:

  1. Laura was an unwed mother. She had three sons with a man in Michigan named George Edmonds before she struck out with the boys in 1885 to homestead in Nebraska. There my grandmother was born many years later in 1896 to Laura and an unknown father. The Society may require me to get a letter from the authorities in Michigan saying they have no marriage record on file for George and Laura even though George is not my ancestor.
  2. Olive left behind a confusing marriage record. She married my second great-grandfather, John Davis Riddle (1821-1896), in Ohio in 1843. So why does the Ohio record omit the groom’s surname and refer to him as John Davis? What else will the Society require for me to prove this is my ancestral couple?
  3. I have no death date for Rhoda. She last appeared on the census in 1850. Her cemetery marker does not include a death date. I may need to contact the Stow, Ohio cemetery to see if they have burial records.

On the brighter side, the Mayflower Society did send me a copy of an application submitted by another person who claims descent through the same couple I do, Thomas Snow (1730-1790) and Hannah Lincoln (1730-1817).

I believe I descend from their eldest child, Lucy (mother of Rhoda), while the other applicant descends from the eldest son, Edward. The application copy from the Society lists the proof documents used for each generation. They list Mayflower Descendants, Vol. 12, and Massachusetts Town Records. The reference to Volume 12 puzzles me because it documents the line of Francis Cooke, not Stephen Hopkins. I will need to look at this book.

I have not yet found Lucy’s birth or death recorded in the town records. I have only her marriage record, her children’s birth registrations, and the transcription of her baptism record. I have a photo of her cemetery marker. I am hoping the Society can help me locate enough additional information to adequately prove this generation.

Will I be able to collect everything I need? One marriage record that I ordered last week has come in. I await other records from across the plains states where my family has lived.

The Historian for the Colorado Mayflower Society sent me a message yesterday asking me to begin sending in what I already have. I will begin doing that right after the Independence Day holiday.


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