03 October 2013

Connecting the Dots - My "AHA" Moment

Ever run across an obituary that lists a known relative but you can't figure out the connection? I've had the following obituary for a few years:

John Maple

John Maple, 60, was found dead in his home, Kent street Keeseville, Wednesday afternoon at 1:15 o’clock, after neighbors had reported to State Police that they had not seen him that morning as usual.  Dr. J.H. Evans was called and he stated that Mr. Maple died of a heart attack, and had been dead about 10 hours.

Only known survivors are several cousins, Mrs. Daniel Coughlin, of Palmer Hill, Mrs. George Frasier of Darby, Pa., Mrs. Frank Pattno of Plattsburgh, Pvt. Charles Williams of Camp Stonesman, Calif., and Mrs. Marie Finnessey of Schenectady.

The remains were removed to R. Prescott Company’s Undertaking Parlors.  Funeral arrangements have not been completed.

I am not actively researching this line but as both sides of the family are from the same area if I see something that mentions the line I am not working that day then I save it for future viewing.  I have looked at this obit from time to time but didn't see the connection.  The only person I knew was Mrs. Daniel Coughlin of Palmer Hill, my paternal great grandmother, Bridget Agnes Williams Coughlin (1883-1973).  

Then when I was researching something else (as is always the case) I found the connection to Mrs. Frank Pattno.  She was the former Orilla Frazier (1885-?), the daughter of my paternal 2nd great aunt, Margaret Dewan Frazier (1857-1927) sister of Agnes' mother Mary Dewan Williams (1854-1916). 

So when I accidentally clicked on John Maple's obituary last weekend, I decided to work on it.  Found a few more collateral relatives. Also solved my puzzle.  John Maple was the son of Mary and Margaret Dewan's sister Elizabeth Dewan Maple (1859-1939). EUREKA! 

I looked at the other names mentioned.  George Frazier (1893-1980) and Marie Frazier Henessey (1895-1972) were Orilla Frazier Pattno's siblings. George was still alive so not sure why "Mrs. George Frazier" was listed.  Finessey was actually Henessey but sometimes in genealogy those things happen!

Charles Williams is still my mystery.  I haven't worked much on the Williams line yet but so far no Charles has surfaced.  Just another item on the To Do List!!

The moral of the story...it pays off to look at items again after you have found other connections because the dots will be there (hopefully) and the puzzle will be solved!!


  1. Denise,

    I want to let you know that your blog post is listed in today's Fab Finds post at http://janasgenealogyandfamilyhistory.blogspot.com/2013/10/follow-friday-fab-finds-for-october-4.html

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  2. Denise,

    Been there, Done that, in fact I just blogged about the same thing



  3. Denise, I am a descendent of the Dwans and am researching the extended family tree. What year was the obituary of John Maple from? Ray

    1. Ray,

      I am SO sorry for not responding early. I thought I had put in the post. Guess I got so excited about sharing my find I forgot!! It's from the Essex County Republican, December 1, 1944. Would love to hear more about your research!!

      Again so sorry for not responded earlier.