Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Walloping the Brickey Brick Wall

Last month I wrote about one of my genealogical brick walls. What happened to my 2nd great-grandmother's parents? If you haven't already, take a moment to catch up on the Brickey Brick Wall.

After that blog post, I decided to investigate my theory that Pauline Lee - who died in 1899 and was mother to Elmer Lee - was born Pauline Brickey, went on to marry James Winkler, and was mother to my 2nd great-grandmother Annie Winkler.

Since Annie first appears in the 1900 US Federal Census living in Fayetteville, Arkansas (and that was also where "Mrs. Pauline Winkler" married J.R. Lee), I wrote to the Fayetteville Public Library's Grace Keith Genealogical Collection for help.

Unfortunately, we struck out on all fronts. They were unable to locate an obituary for Pauline Lee, and there was no record of a divorce between James and Pauline Winkler.

I next turned to Elmer Lee. I ordered his death certificate in the hope that it would reveal his mother's maiden name as Brickey. The record came quickly. Unfortunately, his mother's maiden name was given as "Pauline Winkler".

Perhaps, though, the informant was confused and gave Pauline's first married name?

I decided to pursue a document that Elmer would have created during his lifetime with the hope for greater accuracy (and, let's face it, the answer I wanted). I ordered his application for a Social Security Number.

Today's mail finally brought the long-awaited record and answer. I was excited to see that Elmer listed his mother's full maiden name as "Pauline Brickie". That's the link! That's the connection that I was after. Pauline Lee, who died in 1899, was in fact Pauline Brickey.

Not only have I uncovered that my 3rd great-grandmother went on to remarry, I've also discovered that Annie had a half-brother Elmer. Furthermore, Pauline's death in 1899 explains why Annie was living with an aunt in the 1900 census.

But I still have many questions. Did Pauline and James Winkler officially divorce? If yes, where's that record? And what happened to Annie's father James Winkler? The detective work continues.

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