Monday, January 13, 2014

52 Ancestors- Mary Burton Shick(s) Frank Primavera #1

I am starting late since I just discovered the challenge the other day. Then it took me several days to decide who to start with. Mary's father would have been an awesome choice but I already wrote a blog post about him. So I've decided to start with his daughter. It will include quite a bit of rambling but the post is a research problem I am facing. How to prove Samuel is her father.....

I remember handing my great-grandmother (Mary) a record with her father's name on it in 1993 give or take a year. Sadly, she didn't know his name until that moment. The record was a marriage license for her parents. But how do I prove that her parents are her parents? Well, you would think since she was born in 1905 that there is a good chance a birth certificate exists. You would be wrong. The state of Delaware, where she was supposedly born, did not require birth records until Mary was 6 years old. What did she use as proof of birth? A letter from her aunt saying she was who she was. Baptism record? None found so far but it is my only hope and I am still searching.

What she said after she saw his name led me on a wild goose chase that lasted several years. She told me she remembered meeting a man by the name of Sam Shick once. Her mother, Edna Deputy, had taken her to Trenton, Mercer, NJ on the train. She remembered the sign on the bridge ("Trenton Makes the World Takes"), a bus ride, and a man she couldn't physically describe. She couldn't tell me how old she was but thought she may have been 12 at the time so it would have been about 1917. That was the last time she saw her father. He would die 8 years later. Only a month before his daughter's marriage.

So, I have no papers specifically naming Samuel as Mary's father. The only record of the family together was the 1910 census. But since there are no records saying my great-grandmother was even a Shick I'm at a dead end. I do have the marriage license though and Samuel's death record saying he was married to Edna Deputy (a story all on it's own and maybe a future post.) I have records saying Edna Deputy is Mary's mother. However, the same records say her father was Gus Frank, her step-father.