Several people are starting their family trees and beginning the journey into researching their ancestry! I’m so excited for you! Know that if there’s any way I can help you, just email me or let me know.
Genealogy can be such a joy- proving family legends true (or false, depending on who you are) is a great reward.
But what do you do when you hit a road block? When you’ve spent hours and hours on a lead and it crashes and burns?
Ellen Currens is one of my current roadblocks. She was born about 1839 in Ireland, and she married my grandfather’s great-grandfather. So she’s not that far removed.
Easy-peasy, right? No.
I know she died in 1907, in Pontiac, Michigan, of Pneumonia.
And maybe her name was spelled Elen Curran*. (All the following names I have found on records pertaining to the wife of Jesse Bradburn, my ancestor)
Or maybe Ellen Curren.
Or Ellen Caim.
Or Ellen Cairn.
And was her first name actually Ellen, as some records claim, or was that short for Elinor? Or Eleanor?
Was it that there was an Elinor Curran, born 1837 in Ireland as well as an Ellen Curran, born 1837 in Ireland? Are they the same woman?
And what about the Helen Cairns that supposedly married Jesse Bradburn? Was she a second wife? It doesn’t look like it.
Helen? Ellen? Elinor? Are they all the same woman? Some records say that a Mary Ellen Curran married Jesse Bradburn. Was Ellen not her first name after all?
Find a grave doesn’t show a headstone, but miraculously has her death certificate. Her father is listed as ‘unknown’, but her mother’s name is recorded: Marry Kerlin (or perhaps ‘Many’, but ‘Marry’ seems more likely. So can we trust it? More than likely, her name was correctly spelled ‘Mary’. And is Kerlin her married name or her maiden name? It says it’s her maiden name, but Kerlin and Curran sound really similar to me.
A Google search for ‘Marry Kerlin’ and ‘Mary Kerlin’ and ‘Mary Kerlin Ireland 1800s’ doesn’t turn up anything reliable, so this is a roadblock I’ll just have to keep chipping away for a while.
What about you? Have you found any of your ancestors that had many variations of their names? Did you solve that puzzle or are you still working at it, like I am?