October 4, 2015 in Allied Families, Brick Walls, Dear Diary, Meredith

I’ve been following the Durkee family of Canada.  They are related to me through Myron Gould Durkee’s wife, Elizabeth Meredith, who was the youngest sister of my 3rd great-grandfather, Jesse Meredith.

Elizabeth and Myron had a son, Erastus, who moved down into Michigan, landing near her brother, Jesse.  Erastus had married in Canada and had some of his children there.  I’ve been following his children, some of them moving west to Washington and Oregon where they had families of their own.  I started with Erastus’s youngest son, James Edward.  I got him all tidied up and moved up to William.  After I completed him, I moved on to Erastus’s daughter, Clara, who had an interesting life.  She married a man named Judson Bruce Pixley.  They did not have an easy marriage, filing for divorce in 1898 after 2 years of marriage.  The divorce was listed as “Pending” in the record I found and they must have reconciled because they had a baby boy in Feb of 1900.  They named him in after both their fathers: Byron for Judson’s father, and Erastus for Clara’s.  Byron Erastus died at the age of 7 months and is buried in the same cemetery as his grandfather, Byron B. Pixley, in Harrison, Clare County, Michigan. The divorce of Clara and Judson was officially declared withdrawn in 1901, which was the same year they had another son, Edward Judson.  Another son was born in Michigan in 1903, another Byron, but this one with the middle name of Bruce.  Then the family moved to Idaho where they had 2 more sons before moving on to Washington state where they had their final child, Paul James.  The second Byron died in Idaho in 1922, never marrying.  Byron was an unlucky name for this couple.

Having finished documenting Clara Almira Durkee Pixley, I went to the oldest son of Erastus and Louisa; Franklin Charles Durkee.  He was their first child, born a year after they married.  Franklin moved to Wisconsin and died there in 1923.  He’d married a woman named Anna Augusta Pauline Geher.  While I felt in my gut this was the son of Erastus and Louisa, I couldn’t find any proof until just now when I searched on Family Search and found a record of their marriage which gave their parent’s names.  There they were, Erastus Durkee and Louise Ballard, proof that I was right.  Unfortunately, I can’t access Frank’s death record, Wisconsin being a closed state.  But I have to tell you, that geni-dance felt awesome.  There are many public trees on Ancestry with this Franklin Durkee, but if they have his wife and children, they don’t have his parents.  And if they have his parents, they don’t have his wife and children.  I found the record that ties them all together.

I love genealogy!