Thursday, March 31, 2016

Those Places Thursday - Amanda Belknap dies in a stranger's home?

Let me just say, I have been on a roll this week! After finding Adoniram Shute's obituary earlier this week, tonight I stumbled upon an obituary for another ancestor - Amanda (Belknap) Garlinghouse. I haven't been able to find any death info for her until now, so this was really exciting. It was also slightly confusing. Here's why:

Amanda died on March 31, 1882, exactly 134 years ago today in Princeton township, Mille Lacs county, Minnesota. According to her (all too brief) obituary, it said she passed away in the home of George Prescott. I searched for him in the 1880 census and quickly found George Prescott, age 46, wife Olive, age 22, and three children, Perry (11), George E. (9), and Burt O.(1).

So who was George Prescott to my ancestor, and why was she in his home when she was dying? Finding good information about him has been difficult. There are several online trees, of course, but  trying to find original sources to back them up or disprove them has been frustrating. I've also tried looking for information on his wife Olive. I have been able to confirm that Olive's maiden name was Garlinghouse, the same as Amanda's married name. Olive's parents were David and Catherine Garlinghouse, and could be relatives of Amanda's husband. David and Catherine were enumerated just before the family of Amanda's daughter Susanna (Garlinghouse) Groff in the town of Greenbush in the 1875 Minnesota census. Five years later, Amanda and her husband were in Milo, 18 miles north of Princeton. Were George and Olive such good neighbors to Paul and Susannah that Susannah recommended them to her mother when she was ill? It seems unlikely that Amanda would travel almost 20 miles to die in the home of someone that wasn't family.

I don't have a death record for Josiah, so I'm not sure what happened to him after the 1880 census. Was he not around to care for his wife? If he hadn't passed away yet, why was his dying wife in another man's house? There is the Garlinghouse connection, so maybe trying to find out how Olive was related to Josiah could help answer the question.

I think part of the problem lies in the fact that I've researched back to Susannah Garlinghouse, and linked her to her parents, but I haven't traced any of her siblings forward in time. That leaves a lot of unexplored territory in Amanda's circle. There's also the question of whether the connection could be found among Josiah and Amanda's own siblings and their connections, and I haven't gotten very far yet on exploring their branches in my family tree. If he's not connected there, I'll try digging deeper into newspaper articles, maybe some city directories (if they're extant for this time and place), or try tracing George and his wives further back in time to see if there's another explanation. (I say wives because it's obvious Olive, at age 22, couldn't have been the mother of George's 11- and 9-year-old children, so there had to have been a previous wife).

So buckle up Scooby-Doo, we're off to Princeton, Minnesota and we've got a mystery to solve!

No comments: