Sunday, January 27, 2019

2019 Prompt - Like to Meet - Mary Ellen Putman

Mary Ellen PUTMAN - great-great Grandmother 1857-1922
Nancy Simmons to Paul Simmons to June Putman to Ernest Putman to Mary Ellen PUTMAN

The past six months I have spent a lot of time studying my great-great-grandmother, Mary Ellen Putman.  On October 5, 1875 Mary Ellen gave birth to my great grandfather, Ernest Putman.  Yes! Ernest has his mother's maiden name since we have no idea who is his father. I would love to meet Mary Ellen and ask her who is Ernest’s father and, why was it in the best interest to leave Ernest with his grandparents when she and her husband and three children left for Nebraska in the mid 1880's.
For years Ernest has been a dilemma.  I met Ernest when he was in his eighties.  The Putman reunions were held in the mid-1950s in Illinois and our family would spend the night at great-grandma and grandpa Cora and Ernie Putman's home before heading to the reunion the next day.  As a small child I don't remember ever talking to Ernest but recall all his grandsons sitting or standing around him after the reunion dinner as he smoked a cigar.

I recall talking briefly with my grandmother about the possible surnames of his father and she hinted at Swisher. Other than that small hint no one in the family has mentioned a possible name for his father.  The only reference to Mary Ellen was "And she left him and went out west!"

What I do know is that Mary Ellen is the daughter of Joseph and Elizabeth Slusser Putman born in Warren County, Indiana December 27, 1857. When she is three and thirteen years of age she is living with her family in Ross Township, Vermilion Co., Illinois.  She married Charles Pricket January 25, 1878 when Ernie was two years old.  Two months later she gives birth to a son Avy Franklin Prickett. In the 1880 census

Mary is listed with Charles Prickett in Henning, Illinois with 2 year old Franklin and 5 month old Joseph Oratio. She births another son, George, in 1882 and a daughter, Bessie, in June 1883 in Henning. Sometime after Bessie is born Mary and husband Charles move to Missouri and then on to Nebraska.

Mary lived out the rest of her life in Wheeler County, Nebraska surrounded by her nine children and many grandchildren. She died October 8, 1922 and is buried in Pibel Cemetery in Erickson,

The amazing think that happened this past year is a DNA match to a cousin that has led me to a possible candidate for Ernie’s father. A grandson of Ernie has volunteered to take a Y-DNA test that could prove or disprove my candidate. This test might help me answer the question “Who is Ernie’s father” without meeting Mary Ellen Putman and asking her!!

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