Monday, September 21, 2009

Mrs. F. B. Kennard Identified

Finding the maiden name of woman can be challenging. Once the final resting place of Alice Kennard was found, so was her parents identities revealed. Of course, it was not that simple nor easy.

Mrs. F. B. Kennard died on 31 July 1886 in Detroit, Wayne, Michigan. Her death record can be found by using Pilot Search of Not much info so I wrote to the state of Michigan and ordered her actual Certificate of Death. Both records state that she was born in Vermont. Neither give her first name. Both state that she was 36 years old. The Certificate of Death says that she was a housewife and her parents were unknown and were living in Detroit. Her cause of death was "Confinement". To me it sounded like she was sick, either physicially or mentally and was in an hospital or institution. But, her parents were living in Detroit. This getting closer. The Certificate of Death was filed about 10 months after Alice died. This may explain the lack of details.

Heritage Quest has digitized the Detroit City Directories. I checked for the last names of Goss, Lord and Stanley. Nothing jumped out at me. So then I looked at the churches and cemeteries. I googled a couple of the cemeteries and found that Woodmere Cemetery has some of their internments listed. There she was listed under "Alice Kinnard"! And much more information about her was given. The cemetery records indicate that she died from peritonitis. Her last address was 479 Congress St. And the records indicate that she was buried with her child. Alice must have been pregnant and was in Detroit to have her baby or because she was sick. We probably never know the answer to that question. Billings, Montana, where Frank and Alice had been living, was still a relatively young town that was formed in 1882. Most likely, there was a lack of physicians and hospitals.

After contacting the cemetery, I found that two other people were buried in the same plot, Laura Warner and a child of O. C. Clark. A quick check of the R. L. Polk's 1886 Detroit City Directory indicates that both Ogden Clark and Laura Warner, widow of Benjamin Y., were living at 479 Congress St.

The 1880 Federal Census in Newton, Middlesex, Massachusetts, ties all of these relationships together. Laura Warner, widow, is listed as head of household. Her daughters are listed as Charlotte Atherton, widow, Alice Kennard (not how it was transcribed but looks like how it was written), married, and Jennie Warner, single. Ogden Clark is living next door as a boarder. Where is Frank in 1880? Good question. He still has been found in the 1880 census.

Dr. Benjamin Y. Warner is listed on the 1870 Mortality Schedule as dying in October 1869 in Chittenden, Vermont.

There are still loose ends but Frank and Alice's story is getting fleshed out.

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