Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Worth Every Drop of Spit--Carl Fricks Pt 2

Carl Fricks, Mary Alice Ellison, Chattanooga, Tennessee, Family History, Genealogy, FaucettAs I shared on a previous blog post, on the back of a picture in my grandma's collection were the words "Carl Fricks and wife." Initially I had no idea who Carl was, but thanks to a DNA test, I was able to find not only Carl, but a new modern day cousin to help with the search.

With both my new found cousin and I knowing very little, we combined what we did know and then launched into a search to find more about Emma (Martha Ann Emmeline Faucett) and her husband Ramsey Fricks.  My cousin indicated that her records showed that Ramsey and Emma had a son named Carl. Knowing that both Ramsey and Emma's families had lived in Walker County Georgia, we started there.

Sure enough, the 1880 US Federal Census showed Ramsey and Emma Fricks in Walker County, Georgia. At the time they were newlyweds and so only Ramsey and Emma were living in Pond Spring, Walker County, Georgia. [1]

Located in the northwest corner of Georgia, Walker County is nestled up against both the Alabama and Tennessee borders. From there it is about 30 miles to Chattanooga and a little over a 100 miles to Atlanta. With densely treed mountains, rivers, lakes and waterfalls, Walker County was and is beautiful.

It was there that Ramsey and Emma settled down and began their family. Soon the kids began to come and by 1900 Ramsey and Emma had six children living with them, the oldest was 14 and the youngest was 4. [2]  I had hoped to find Carl among those children, but sadly he was not listed in the household. But luckily the census did indicate that Emma had had seven children, so maybe Carl was a part of that family after all. 

While no Carl Fricks could be found on the 1900 census anywhere, according to a 1903 Chattanooga City Directory, a Carl Fricks was living just across the border in Alton Park, Tennessee and working for Chattanooga Bottle & Glass Manufacturing Company.[3] 

A year later, back in Walker County, Georgia, Carl Fricks married his bride Mary Alice Ellison on 2 January 1904.[4] Although they tied the knot in Georgia, by 1910, Carl and Mary were living in Marion, Tennessee, just outside of Chattanooga, along with their two little girls Lela and Geneva (Hassel), and a son, Robert. Carl tried his hand at farming and Emma was busy "keeping house." [5]

Whether Carl tired of farming or simply had other aspirations, he turned to carpentry work in the years that followed and continued in that work throughout his life. Apparently Tennessee agreed with Carl and Alice because they remained there all of their married life. 

On January 28th, 1918, just 20 days after their 14th wedding anniversary, Alice died of heart failure, leaving Carl with their 3 small children.[6]  At the time, Lela was twelve, Robert was eight and Hassel was only six. The following month Carl registered for the draft and from that application we learn that he was of medium height, medium build with brown eyes and brown hair. [7] I can't help but wonder about his emotions as he registered. Was registering such a standard procedure for all men of his age that he registered without thinking much of it, or did he feel a tug at his heart at the thoughts of possibly having to leave his kids? 

The following year, on the 20th of April 1919, Carl, a thirty-nine years old widower, married Edith Coffee (formerly Holtzclaw) [8] and together they created a blended family consisting of Lela, Hassel, Robert E. and her two sons Walter and Willie.  

Once again Carl married in Walker County, but settled down in Tennessee. Always renting, Carl and his family had a tendency to move about somewhat, but always remained in the same general area of Chattanooga. In 1920, thirty-nine year old Carl, forty-two year old Edith along with children Lela, Hassle, Ed and Walter were living in St. Elmo.[9]  By 1930 Carl, Edith and Carl's twenty-four year old daughter, Lela, were living in Chattanooga. [10]

On the 6th of June, 1936 Carl passed from this life due to cardio vascular renal disease. [11] Once again, just as he had done for his marriages, Carl returned to Georgia, this time to be buried.

His obituary reads:
FRICKS, CARL C., 56 passed away at his residence, 5704 Dixie Avenue, Saturday afternoon. Besides his widow he is survived by one son, Edward Fricks of San Diego, Cal; two stepsons, Willie and Walter Coffey of Chattanooga; two daughters Hassel Fricks and Leila Fricks, of Chattanooga; three sisters, Mrs. E. F. Morrell, of Philadelphia, Pa; Mrs Gussie Brummit of Chattanooga; Mrs. E. W. Warren, of Chattanooga;  two brothers, Jack and Merl, of Chattanoga.  Funeral services, conducted by Rev. H. Frank Ziegler, of the South Elmo Baptist church Monday afternoon at 1:30 o'clock. Interment in Singletery Cemetery, near Cooper Heights, GA. Arrangements by the National Funeral Home. [12]

Carl's death certificate confirms his father was Ramsey Fricks and indicates his date of birth was 18 July 1880. With the 1880 census taken in Walker County just one month prior to his birth, Carl did not appear on the 1880 census with his parents and by the following census in 1900, he was 20 and by all appearances had ventured out on his own. 

My search began with the picture, with the words "Carl Fricks and wife," on the back. Since I first acquired the picture, I've come a long way in learning about Carl's life. As it turned out, this mystery man was in fact my first cousin, twice removed. But there is one question that remains unanswered;  Just who was "and wife?"  

Although I can't say for sure, by her appearance and considering her age, I suspect it was Carl's first wife, Mary Alice Ellison. Carl and Alice married when she was 24, but Carl married his second wife Edith when she was 42. In addition, looking at the styles of hats women wore in 1904, when Carl married Alice as compared to the styles in 1919, when Carl and Edith married, the woman's hat in the picture seems more consistent with the styles of the early 1900's. In either case, I would love a photo of either of these women to help confirm the identity of "and wife."

Going through the DNA matches on Ancestry.com can sometimes be overwhelming. The vast number of matches without the benefit of attached trees is disheartening, the quality of the some of the attached trees and other issues can make the task of finding common ancestors daunting if not down right depressing.That said, sometimes things fall into place and when they do, the effort to do a DNA test is worth every drop of spit and dollar spent to help us find those cousins, both living and dead.

Copyright © Michelle G. Taggart 2015, All rights reserved


1.  1880 United States Federal Census, Pond Spring, Walker, Georgia; Roll 169; Family History Film: 1254169; Page: 334B, ED 184, Image 0476.  Accessed on Ancestry. com

2.  1880 United States Federal Census, Pond Spring, Walker, Georgia, Roll: 169; Family History Film: 1254169; Page: 334B, ED: 184; Image 0476.  Accessed on Ancestry.com

3.  U.S. City Directories, 1822-1989[database on-line]. Accessed on Ancestry.com

4.  Georgia, Marriage Records From Select Counties, 1828-1978. Accessed on Ancestry.com

5.  1910 United States Federal Census: Civil District 3, Marion, Tennessee; Roll: T624_1512; Page: 11A; ED 0123; FHL microfilm: 1375525. Accessed on Ancestry.com

6.   State of Tennessee, Tennessee Death Records 1914-1955 for Mary Alice Fricks. Accessed on FamilySearch.org

7.  U.S. World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918, Registration State: Tennessee; Registration County; Hamilton; Roll 1852989; Draft Board 2. Accessed on Ancestry.co,

8.  Georgia, Marriage Records From Select Counties, 1828-1978, accessed on Ancestry.com

9.  1920 United States Federal Census,  St Elmo, Hamilton, Tennessee; Roll: T625_1743; Page: 22B; ED 201; Image 778

10.  1930 United States Federal Census; Chattanooga, Hamilton, Tennessee; Roll: 2252; Page: 20B, ED 00061; Image 718.0; FHL microfilm 2341986. Accessed on Ancestry.com

11.  Tennessee Death Records, 1908-1958, Tennessee State Library and Archives; Nashville, Tennessee; Tennessee Death Records, 1908-1959; Roll #5.  Accessed on Ancestry.com

12.  Chattanooga Times, 7 June, 1936 p 7. Obituary obtained from The Chattanooga Public Library. http://chattlibrary.org/

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Web Sleuthing––Chattanooga Public Library

Chattanooga Public Library, Tennessee obituaries, Faucett, Fricks
If you are like me, you are always on the hunt for great genealogy based websites. New websites seem to pop up daily and I love it when others take time to pass on websites that they have found helpful.

I don't profess to be an expert at either finding websites or perfectly navigating them, but periodically I am going to share a website that I like to use.

Recently I found myself researching my ancestry in Tennessee. Of course there are many websites with great information such as Ancestry and FamilySearch, which have many online records, but I also found other helpful resources. One of those sites is the Chattanooga Public Library, which can be found here.

While a lot of their online resources are available only to Tennessee residents or to those  physically in the library, their online obituary index is available to all and provides wonderful clues. I've been thrilled with what I have been able to find there.

The index lists the individual, and sometimes for married women, it also includes their maiden name as well as their husband's name, which of course helped me to know if I had the right person.

Below is an example of a woman listed with both her maiden, married name and her husband's name.

For a fee, the library will copy and mail the obituary to you. I recently sent off for several obituaries and was pleased at how quickly they were mailed back to me. We all know what a treasure trove obituaries can be and I've already found all kinds of goodies in them.

Who have I found so far?   While my direct line of Faucetts migrated to Colorado in the late 1880's, some of my great grandmother's siblings initially remained in Walker County, Georgia and their children and their families moved to Chattanooga. Thanks to the Chattanooga Public Library and their obituaries, I have been able to identify many more relatives in the Faucett and Fricks line. Thank you to the kind staff at the Chattanooga Public Library!

Copyright © Michelle G. Taggart 2015, All rights reserved

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

DNA to the Rescue

Looking into the camera, there was a faint hint of a smile on her face. Dressed in a fashionable suit, her hair was pulled up under a stylish hat with a large plume. Sitting beside her was a man equally well dressed, sporting a double breasted suit, and a hat cocked slightly on his head. This couple appeared to be a little better off than many of my ancestors. Who were they and what was the occasion?
Carl C. Fricks, Faucett, Genealogy, Family History, DNA, Chattanooga, Tennessee
Carl Fricks and Wife
(original in my possession)

Once again, a simple picture from my Grandma's suitcase would take me on an adventure as I sought to learn more about the identity of the people captured in the photo.

On the back of the picture was written, "Carl Fricks and his wife."  In addition, as a standard part of the photo, it read "Pickard's Photos, 820 Market Street, Chattanooga, Tennessee. CLOSED ON SUNDAYS. This style, 4 for 25 cents."  Simple enough? Well the problem was, I had no idea who Carl Fricks was.

I discovered the picture years ago and after a failed effort to learn who Carl was, I set him aside to work on later. This was long before the onslaught of online databases that are now available and so I turned to the Fricks message boards on Rootsweb and GenForum seeking anyone with connections to a Carl Fricks.  I found a few individuals searching the Fricks family, but no one was exactly sure who Carl was.  Over time and with many other projects to work on, I forgot all about "Carl Fricks and his wife."

Enter DNA!  Recently a DNA test at Ancestry led me to a new cousin and with it a renewed interest in Carl Fricks. I initiated the contact with my DNA match and indicated that I had discovered both the familiar names of Faucett and Fricks in her tree and told her that my great grandmother was Sarah E. Faucett and I was curious about her Fricks family.

She was unsure of how we connected, but shared that she had an Emma Faucett who married a Ramsey Fricks but she was unsure who Emma's parents were. My tree didn't have either Emma or Ramsey.  It would take a little digging to figure out who Emma was.

With what she knew about her Emma, she began the quest to find Emma's parents and it didn't take long. With some research it became apparent that the Martha Ann Emmeline Faucett in my tree and the Emma Faucett in her tree were one and the same. Martha Ann Emmeline Faucett. With that line up of names it is no wonder that without really focusing on her, neither of us had made the connection.

Emma was born the 28th of October 1856 in Chapel Hill, Orange County North Carolina. She was the third child and second daughter of James Merritt Faucett and Elmina Bowers. By 1860 the Faucett family was living in Lafayette, Walker County, Georgia.

Emma married Ramsey Fricks about 1879, likely in Walker County, Georgia,  as both of their families were living there and Ramsey and Emma can be found there on the 1880 census.

So just how did Carl Fricks fit in and why did I have a picture of him? It would take a little more digging to find his story.

Copyright © Michelle G. Taggart 2015, All rights reserved