Thursday, September 24, 2015

Chapter 22.1: Breaking News: Cyrus was Thrice-Married!

Breaking News: Cyrus W. Fawkner married three times after all.

I have more than once told genealogists that writing is a good way to clarify what you don't know. Sometimes, that paragraph needs just one more piece of information to tell the real story. Well, something similar can be said about cleaning off your desk. Sometimes, you rediscover that forgotten file that reminds you that you should have known more than you remembered when you were writing that paragraph.

Last week's post (Chapter 22) is a case in point. First, you probably haven't noticed, but I sneaked been back into my Blogspot account to the next day to "update" the article about Cyrus W. Fawkner. While playing around in an online historical newspaper index, I found a one-paragraph article documenting the death of Cyrus' second wife, Ann Ogden, and added that piece of information to last week's post. A convenient thing about digital publication is that it is easy to quietly edit what you published the day before.

Then, a couple of days later, while sorting through piles on my desk, I discovered two documents that proved something I had written wrong. I had written about Cyrus' two marriages -- to Laurie Came and Ann Ogden -- and remarked that Cyrus hadn't matched his brother, James, in the marriage derby. I also told of Cyrus' son, Charles W. Fawkner, marrying Ellen Robinson 27 February 1890. While writing last week's blog post, I had glanced at an index entry for the 1890 marriage (Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, 1763-1900, At first I thought, oh my, Cyrus had married a third time. But on second thought, knowing that in his Civil War pension documents Cyrus had specifically said he had been married only twice, to Laurie and Ann, that "C. W. must have been Cyrus' son, Charles W. Fawkner. Born about 1869, he was a just the right age for an 1890 marriage.

Yes, he was, but guess what I found in my files? I found copies of both the application for license and the marriage return. The groom was 51 years old and the bride, 37. The marriage registration clearly states that the groom's parents were Jno. C. Falkner and Ann Faulkner -- the John C. and Ann Fawkner who lived in Hendricks County, Indiana, in the 1830s, and had a son named Cyrus.

So, now I know that Cyrus, like his brother James C., married three times.  I'm still not sure what happened to his son, Charles W. That research question is not high on my list of research priorities, but I would like to know if he produced any more Fawkner descendants.

Yes, I will now go back to last week's blog and add a correction note.

LESSON: Nothing you write is perfect. Don't let the fear that you might have made a mistake keep you from writing. But, also look back through your files from time to time to see if something new catches your eye.

Image source: Livingston County, Illinois, Marriage Applications, Book 5, p. 442, Family History Library microfilm no. 1,401,629.

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