June 7, 2012
Thomas Edward Ludington, St Paul MN 1900
Thomas was the son of George Washington Ludington and grandson of Col. Henry Ludington, born in NY 1856. He was with his parents and siblings in Kent County in the 1860 and 1870 census.
In the 1880 census Thomas was a single bookkeeper in St Paul, MN and still single in the 1885 state census. However, the 1900 census listed him as a widower. Who had he married, when, and what happened to her?
Searches in this time period are more difficult without benefit of the 1890 census. Looking for a marriage record in family search (assuming MN in the period of 1885-1899) yielded nothing. Searching findagrave for a possible wife who died 1885-1900; no luck there either.
So I decided to try some newspaper options. When I searched genealogy bank for Thomas E Ludington with a date range of 1885-1900 it matched up with a death notice in the BOSTON HERALD !! Good thing I did NOT specify a state as I would have never selected Massachusetts. I also checked Chronicling America where a much less informative notice was found. So check all the sources you can think of and have acess to !! And use a middle initial is someone routinely used it as he did.
What I found is that his wife Adaline (nee Jackson) had died in Melrose, Mass in 1897. One of the notices listed her maiden name and her mother’s name (Hannah) with reference to her husband Thomas and her residence in St Paul, MN.
But when did they marry? I was not having luck finding a record for Thomas and Adaline, trying various name and location options. Finally I searched just on her maiden name when I found a seeming match in 1881 with the groom George D Weston. Might Thomas have been her second husband? I went back to genealogy bank for a possible death notice on George, but no luck. However, I found George and Adaline in the 1885 Minnesota census; he was a druggist born in Massachusetts. Although they were living in MN, Ancestry had a death record for George in Stoneham, Mass 1889.
I returned to family search to see if there might be a marriage record for Thomas and Adaline WESTON ,,, yes, on 17 October 1892 in Massachusetts. She was listed as a widow with father as Robert and mother as Hannah Gerry. Thomas was listed as single, a druggist, from St Paul, MN. They were married in the 1st Unitarian Church in Stoneham, Mass by Rev James Herman Whitmore.
Thomas the widower remained in St Paul and I last found him in the 1920 census. I did not find a death record nor a findagrave reference. So I googled him as “Thomas E Ludington, St Paul druggist” which produced an obit in the Northwestern Druggist magazine, listing his death in March 1922. He was the credit manager for Noyes Brothers & Cutler, a large and successful drug importer and manufacturer. It stated that he was buried in Massachusetts.
Using several sources here's what I was able to find in a couple of hours:
Thomas’s employer and work history
His wife’s maiden name
Her parents’ names
Her first husband and his parents
The date of her first marriage
The date of her husband’s death
The date and place of her marriage to Thomas
The date and place of her death
His date and place of death and where he was buried
That’s quite a bit of information and the newspaper sources plus family search really were key – so check them out, you might also be lucky.