Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Postscript: Frank and Bert

Previous posts about this family: Addie and the Traveling Salesman, and Will De Garmo Skips Town.

The two sons of Will De Garmo and Addie Ellis appeared to have lived good lives, far from any shadow cast by their father.

Franklin Ellis (Frank) married an English girl, Mary Agnes, and they raised a large family. While they lived in Massachusetts, their sons Leroy, Earl, Harold, and Franklin were born. They moved to Connecticut and continued their family with the births of Norman, Russell, Doris, Melford, and Donald.

Franklin was first a house painter, like his grandfather Edward Ellis. By 1940, he was a painter for a hotel.

Bertie Ellis married Gertrude, and they had two daughters named Doris and Hazel. When Gertrude died, the girls were young teens. Bertie married Betty in 1927 and they all lived together in Detroit, where he was a foreman in the Lincoln Auto Factory.

Bertie died at age 44 in 1933. It appeared that he had been suffering from poor health for some time. His older brother Frank lived six months past his 100th birthday and died in 1985.

I think that Addie hadn't told them much about their time in Iowa and Nebraska before she died in 1903. They were teenagers when she died--Bert was 14 and Frank was 17. Once the family had moved to Massachusetts, the name De Garmo only appeared on Addie's death certificate and was in no other Ellis-related document that I found. It had apparently faded from the memory of the younger generation, if indeed any of them had known it at all.

When Betty gave the information for Bertie's death certificate, she was under the impression that his father's last name was Ellis, and she didn't know the first name, or that Will had been born in New York. As for Bertie's mother, Betty said simply that her maiden name and birthplace were both unknown.

But we know the real story.

Part of Bertie's death certificate


1. U.S. Federal Census: 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940.

2. U.S. Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014.

3. Ohio County Marriages, 1774-1993.

4. Michigan Death Records, 1867-1950.

5. Massachusetts Death Records, 1841-1915.

1 comment:

  1. Amazing that all this documentation is out there to be found by intrepid genealogists!


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