Cousin Bait is defined by genealogists as putting your research online as bait for unknown cousins to find you and compare information. It works.
Late last fall I found another way for cousin bait to work. This time I was contacted by a man through Ancestry.com regarding my husband’s family. I replied to him with confirmation that my husband is a descendant of John Buchanan Fuller who passed away in 1938 in Custer, Nebraska.
Our next round of emails revealed the twist. This man was not a cousin. He had purchased items from an estate sale. Using the information on the back of a photograph, he had done a search on Ancestry.com to find someone who was researching the family. He had for sale a photograph of the John B. Fuller family together at his funeral.
After a couple of quick checks to ensure this was a legit deal, I purchased the photograph. The original photograph from 1938 arrived approximately a week later. I was thrilled to find that not only were names listed on the back of the photograph but someone had written names on the front to indicate who belonged to each name.
It was time to take a look at the research I had already completed for the family. I was hoping to match up the names on the photograph to the names in my family tree. I was happy to see I had already identified the family unit mostly using census records.
John Buchanan Fuller and his wife Emma Jane Shipman had ten children. The first three did not survive childhood. My husband’s great-grandfather, Percy, was the first child to life to be an adult. He was followed by Gladys, Clara, Clarence, Roy, Irene, and Alma.
The family was based mostly around the towns of Ord and Custer, Nebraska. I also found an obituary for John B. Fuller that painted a fuller picture of the family and their life in Nebraska. You can read the obituary here.
After realizing the names on the photo matched up with the children of John, it was easy to identify the people marked as me and mom. Genevieve, Emma Opal, and Liata are all grandchildren of John B Fuller. Unfortunately, not everyone in the photo is identified. I suspect a couple of the younger people are also grandchildren of John B. Fuller.
My mother-in-law was very excited to see this photo. She did not know her grandfather, Percy. Percy and his daughter did not have a good relationship due to Percy and Lauretta Palmatier divorcing when Grandma June was young. This was the first time my husband’s family knew what their family looked like.
I have added to photo to FamilySearch so it is available for everyone. I want to make sure it will not be lost to history a second time. If you would like a digital copy of this photo without the names added in I am happy to share my tiff file!