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!
John Buchannan Fuller is my husband’s great great grandfather.
I do not know much about John B Fuller. What I do know is that after Percy Fuller and Loretta Palmatier split up in 1920’s, the couple’s daughter went to live with her mother in Chicago. The couple’s two older boys, Raymond and Marshall, moved in with their grandparents, John and Emma Fuller. The household was not an easy place for the grandsons to grow up in.
I recently found an index to obituaries in Custer county, Nebraska. Using the index, I contacted the Nebraska State Historical Society to order a copy of the obituary for John B. Fuller. I am so thankful for the archivist who I contacted. Not only did she locate obituary from the Comstock News, she also let me know that there was an additional obituary in the Sargent Leader. Both obituaries have plenty of drama to share.
J B FULLER LAID TO REST MON., DEC. 12
Passed Away Suddenly Thursday Morning at Age of 82 Years.
With the suddenness of a bolt of lightning came the death of J.B. Fuller, occurring about nine o’clock last Thursday morning, December 8, death being attributed to a heart attack.
Mr. Fuller came to work last Thursday morning, evidently in good health, and during the early hours of the morning he joshed with several of his friends. About nine o’clock he was found, by one of the Reckling boys, in his hardware store, sitting in a chair, the boy thinking he was asleep. Being unable to awake him, the boy went for assistance, and it was then found that he had quietly passed away.
Mr. Fuller was one of the pioneer hardware dealers of this community, was the oldest businessman in Comstock, and one of the oldest, if not the oldest, hardware dealers in the state. He began his hardware business in the old town of Wescott in 1898, later moving to Comstock. In 1906 he disposed of his store here and farmed west of town for several years. He opened another hardware store in Comstock in July 1925, and operated this business enterprise until his death Thursday morning. Of him it can be said, “a man who did his work well.”
John Buchannan Fuller, son of John and Marietta Wilson Fuller, was born in Lapeer, Lapeer county, Michigan, November 5, 1856, and departed this life on December 8, 1938, at the age of 82 years, one month, and three days.
When a small boy he moved with his parents to Illinois. From Illinois he moved to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where he grew to manhood.
In the year 1878 he came to York, Nebraska, where he met and married Miss Emma Jane Shipman on January 8, 1880, and to this union ten children were born, the three elder dying in infancy.
In the year of 1890 he moved with his family to a homestead near Wescott, Nebraska, living there until the spring of 1898 when he moved to Wescott, Nebraska, and engaged in the hardware business. After the railroad came up the valley, he moved his business and family to the new town of Comstock, Nebraska.
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J.B. FULLER LAID TO REST MONDAY, DEC. 12
(Continued from page one.)
Disposing of his business in 1906 he engaged in farming until 1918 at which time he disposed of his farm and moved to Comstock. In July, 1925, he again entered into the hardware business which he owned and operated up to the time of his death.
While living in Wescott he was active in the Congregational church and Sunday school, and after moving to Comstock he transferred his membership to the First Congregational church of Comstock, Nebraska.
He leaves to mourn his loss, his wife, seven children: Percy E. of Divide, Wyoming, Gladys Eggers, Myrtle Point, Oregon, Clara Smelser, Lincoln, Nebraska, Clarence E. of Martin, South Dakota, Roy R., and Irene Day of Comstock, and Alma Mathauser of Omaha, Nebraska. One brother, Irving Fuller of York, Nebraska; 19 grand children; eight great grand children; and many other relatives and a host of friends.
Funeral services were held from the Community church in Comstock Monday afternoon, December 12, conducted by the Rev. E. G. Samuelson of Elmcreek, Nebraska, and internment was made in the Douglas Grove cemetery.
COMSTOCK HARDWARE DEALER DIES FROM HEART ATTACK
Thursday, December 8, John B. Fuller of Comstock passed away while sitting in a chair in his hardware store. Mr. Fuller had arisen that morning and at the usual time went to his hardware store and built the fire and swept out. In the course of time he was arranging some money in its accustomed place for the days use. While doing this he probably felt coming on the heart attack or whatever it was that caused his death, for we are told that he sat down on a nearby chair, placed is arm over the back and then put his hand in his pocket. This kept him from falling to the floor.
Sometime afterwards a small boy went into the store and not being able to get Mr. Fuller to answer his questions, he ran into Orin Mutter’s store and said Mr. Fuller wouldn’t talk to him. Mr. Mutter sensing that something was wrong, sent word to someone else to come and when they entered the store, they found that Mr. Fuller was dead.
Mr. Fuller was 82 years of age. He first entered the hardware business at Wescott in 1898, forty years ago. When the railroad came up the valley in 1899 and the new town of Comstock was started, Mr. Fuller moved his store to Comstock and continued to operate it until 1906 when he sold the business to Tom Arthur and Jason Evans. He then moved to a farm southwest of Comstock and farmed for twelve years and then moved back to Comstock. About the year 1926 he started into the hardware business again in Comstock, being sixty eight or sixty nine years old at the time. He continued to operate this business from then until his death at the age of a little more then 82 years.
Mr. Fuller’s funeral was held Monday, December 12, from the Comstock church and interment was made in the Douglas Grove cemetery.
Fay Spooner was the funeral director. Loy E. Hersh of this city was one of the singers.
Percy Fuller is my husband’s great-grandfather. He was born 4 June 1885 most likely in Comstock County, Nebraska. He was married to Loretta Palmatier. They divorced when their third child, my husband’s grandmother, was little. After that I have found Percy in Sterling, Colorado and Hood River, Oregon. Percy passed away in Oregon on January 6, 1965. He is buried in Pine Grove Cemetery, Hood River, Oregon.
Most people know that the 1940 U.S. Census was released on April 2nd. At the time of its release, there was no index for the census. You had to search by enumeration district to find your family members. I was able to find most of the family on my ‘most wanted’ list. There were a couple of families on my husband’s side that had to wait for an index because they had no known address for 1940.
After the census was released, I helped with transcribing efforts by participating at FamilySearch.org. This was the crowd-sourcing effort to index the census for free. There was also a simultaneous effort taking place at Ancestry.com. The indexing at Ancestry.com was outsourced to several companies located outside of the United States.
This week Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org both announced that the transcribing has been completed. FamilySearch has most states up and ready to search. The remaining states are completed and will finish a quality check before they are posted to the Internet in the next couple of weeks. Ancestry.com has all states ready to search on their website. Both sites offer free access to the 1940 census.
I took a spin yesterday on the Ancestry.com index in an effort to find my husband’s Chicago area relatives. Up first was the Radvany family living in Whiting, Indiana. I searched using the last name and the location. They were the first family listed in the search results. I will post their individual census record on another Sunday.
The second family I wanted to locate includes my husband’s grandmother. I knew this search would be a little tricky. Gwendolyn (June) Fuller and her mother, Loretta, moved to Chicago after Loretta divorced June’s father. Sometime between 1930 and 1940, Loretta was married a second time to Alexander Fraser. I knew that there could be a lot of last name variables when looking for this family. I was unable to locate the family by searching for a mix of first names and last names. I then tried using variations of Fraser but still no luck. My next plan of attack was to search using the first names for mother/daughter or spouse/spouse. Bingo! Using the location and first names only for Loretta and Alex*, I found them transcribed with the last name Troger. I have already added name variations to this family. I cannot fault the transcriber for this entry. The census enumerator did not have very clear handwriting. In fact, if I had transcribed this page I would have gotten it wrong also.
I will be interested to see how Grandma June is indexed in FamilySearch.org. Illinois is one of the states that still needs to be posted on that website so I will have to wait a couple of weeks.