Friday, June 1, 2018

Just Missed Her

Henry Lincoln Kuck
Since figuring out that some of my ancestors changed their surname from Chicken and being able to knock down that brick wall, I have only one set of 4th great grandparents whom I haven't been able to name. That is pretty good knowing 62 out of a possible 64 but it still bugs me. Their daughter, whom I have blogged about before, died very young due to "paralytic convulsions" which further research has led me to believe diphtheria was the real cause and this was after also losing 5 out of her 7 children to the same thing in the prior three months. Because she died so young and in a time before many records that genealogists typically use to figure out parentage were used, I have never been able to determine who her parents were. A brick wall has remained in their place.

Recently, based upon discovering new to me information about another relative using google search, I thought I might do a little research into this brick wall and see if I can't rattle a brick or two loose. I have done exhaustive research on one of her surviving two sons, George Kuck who is my 2nd great grandfather and I have done quite a bit about the other surviving son, Henry Kuck. However, George Kuck was a proprietor of a grocery store and Henry Kuck moved out west becoming a noted saddle maker, mayor, councilman and state senator. I figured if anyone had something written about who his mom's parents were it would be him. So I googled him.

Saddle made by Henry Lincoln Kuck
After searching through many of the links I have already seen in the past, I hit upon a new one and what a find it was. It was a book written about one of Henry Kuck's children named Ernie. Ernie was a penny pinching rancher out in The Dalles, Oregon who everyone thought was just getting buy until he died without children and left behind an estate worth $9 million dollars. Had I known when he died in 1992, as a first cousin three times removed, I might have made a bid for the money. However it went for a good cause and opened up a historical museum in The Dalles. If I ever get out that way, I have been promised that I will be allowed to search through some of the papers and belongings they have filed away in the museum back rooms.

Anyway, the google search led me to this book on Ernie and I quickly had it ordered via Amazon and it should have arrived two days after I wrote this entry. I'm sure I'll write more on the subject after reading the book. I immediately started searching for the author and found out that Ernie was an uncle through marriage to her which is why she wrote the book. Already I'm thinking of all the stories I might learn if I could get in contact with her. I searched for an address, email, phone number but wasn't having any luck until I pulled up one more link, her obituary. She died 363 days earlier. I just missed her by less than a year.

The book has another author listed as a co-author whom I am guessing helped her write and edit portions of the book and I haven't given up the thought of perhaps trying to contact her. But I think I will at least wait and see what information I might glean from the book and see if perhaps there is any information about Ernie's grandmother Mary, my brick wall ancestor and the only 3rd great grandparent whose parents I can't identify by name.

Ernie Kuck, grandson to my 3rd great grandmother Mary Mayer Kuck


Leigh said...

Great find! So often those searches have more dead ends than real leads. Do you belong to any of those genealogy websites that help you search and pull connections together?

Pumpkin Delight (Kimberly) said...

Wow! Just fascinating! It seems like this is a pattern with genealogy - so much effort to unlock any door or window, but one small opening can lead to a virtual treasure trove. Good luck with thi new find!

Susan said...

What an interesting family tree! And you are quite amazing, with your thoroughness and dogged determination. Not to mention a creative mind, which I believe may be the most important part of taking apart brick walls of this nature.

Ed said...

Leigh - I do have a subscription through although really its value isn't much to me these days. I have most of my tree back beyond individually named census records (1840) so to really know before that time, I have to travel to individual counties to look through non-computerized records.

Pumpkin Delight - It is and best part, the treasure can appear at any time years later. It is a gift that keeps on giving!

Susan - I remember one of the best things that ever happened was writing a letter to a genealogy center in Germany (in English no less) just asking whom is the best person to contact about a particular record in which my ancestors were listed. The responded (in English) with four generations of my family tree from that area of Germany.

Kelly said...

Love the photo of the identifying mark on the saddle.

As much as you enjoy all this, I think a family vacation out west would be in order. I'm sure there would be plenty of things to occupy everyone else while you did a little digging.

sage said...

Sounds as if he did pretty well as a rancher. Do you know if he raised cows or sheep?

Ed said...

Kelly - Hopefully one of these days soon.

Sage - He raised cows but from what I understand in the book, the bulk of his money came from selling the old growth timber along the Columbia River gorge that had been skipped over by prior generations as being impossible to cut. Changes in technology allowed them to cut it during Ernie's time.