The 1895 will of Tamme Tammen in Pike County, Illinois, refers to his wife as “Elka B. Franklen Tammen.” Franklen (actually most likely Franken given where the Tammens were from) could have been Elka’s maiden name, middle name, or married name with a previous husband. I should include in my notes on Elka that she is referred to as “Elka B. Franklen Tammen” in her husband’s 1895 will. I should not enter that as her maiden name. Using it for a clue to other relatives when searching is advised. But there’s not really good evidence in this will that it’s her maiden name. There are other possibilities.
After the person of interest apparently died in Illinois in the 1870s, his wife, Susan, was married two more times and ended up surviving all three of her husbands. The last husband was a Union Civil War veteran and Susan qualified for a pension based upon his service. There is a good chance that her widow’s pension application contains at least some brief details about her first marriage and how that marriage ended–including when and where that husband, the actual person of interest, died. Even though the third husband had no connection to the person of interest (other than marrying the same person), his military service could have resulted in a great way for me to location information on the actual person of interest.
Whenever using an index to local record, become familiar with the way in which the index is organized, what all the column headings mean, and who from the records actually appears in the index. Some indexes are alphabetical only by first letter of last name. Some index by first letter of last name and partially by the first letter of the first name. Some group names by the first few letters of the last name. Indexes to local records, since they are created at the local level can vary greatly from one location to another even within the same state. That difference can be even greater when indexes are created within different states.
If your relative lived in an area before the current county in which it is located was formed, do you know the names of the parent counties? Is it possible that early records of your ancestor are in the county seats of those counties, which may be some distance from the county where your ancestor lived and several counties “over” from the current county’s location. Most counties in the United States have a genealogy–they just don’t have two parents and four grandparents–grin!
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