Amelia Kelley: The Two John Kellys, Part 4

Start from the beginning here or go back to Part 3.

After reviewing my research plan, I’m setting my sights on Amelia. In my experience, the people who come up quickly in search engines often have the most documentation of their life events. Plus, I’m curious if my hunch about Tamar and Amelia’s death records being next to each other is correct. So I’m going to see if I can find Amelia’s marriage record.

A quick search on Ancestry pulls up this file:

Homer Beardsley married Amelia Eliza Kelley in Erie County, Ohio, in December 1862. This record fits all of my parameters. But how do I know for sure it’s Tamar’s daughter?

Searching Homer and Amelia Beardsley in the censuses pulls up this record:

Amelia and Homer are living with her sister and her mother, who is listed as “Fanny.” That’s another name I can use to search for Tamar, besides Tamour and Famour. Amelia has a daughter Amelia born in April 1870. (See the column that says “Apr” in baby Amelia’s record? That’s for the birth month of babies born within the year.)

Wait a minute.

Didn’t Amelia’s death record say she died in childbirth in April 1870? And didn’t Tamar die a few days later? How could mother and daughter be listed together with the baby?

*looks back at Part 2 post* Yes. Amelia died on April 29, 1870; Tamar died 4 days later on May 3, 1870.

So when was this 1870 census taken?

July 29, 1870? How is that possible? Was the census taker interviewing ghosts?

*looks back at death records* The dates on the page are going back and forth between 1870 and 1871. Maybe Amelia and Tamar died in 1871 instead? Maybe Sister Amanda was the one being interviewed by the census taker and she mentioned them without explaining that they had passed? Or maybe she mentioned them in the interview and didn’t bother to correct the census taker that they were no longer living.

What happened to baby after Mama Amelia’s death? I have to know.

This is the 1880 census. In Norwalk, Ohio, a town 10 miles south of Milan, Amelia Beardsley is listed as the niece of John and Celia Collins. (Postscript: I also notice she is listed as being 10 years old here, not 9, the age she’d be if the recorder of Mother Amelia and Tamar’s death had made a mistake on their death year.)

Huh? Who are they? And where is Homer?

Okay so new questions to look into:

• Who are John and Celia Collins and why haven’t I encountered them before?

• I have somewhat solid dates on Tamar and Amanda’s deaths. I also know Patrick died before 1850 because he isn’t listed with the family in the census. Try to find their obituaries.

• Find Homer Beardsley after Amelia’s passing.

Sources for this post can be found here. Go to Part 5.

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I am a writer for an e-Learning course vendor near Chicago.

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