One of the best things about the work itself, is that sometimes it leads you places you weren't expecting. Last night, while working on Dexter Duel and his children, I was following his son Albert G. Duel. I was pretty sure that I had him living in Alfalfa Co., Oklahoma most of his life. I found on findagrave.com a memorial for Albert. His census records were a little fishy to me as none of them had a consistent birth year:
1900 - Feb 1881
1910 - 1883
1920 - abt 1890
1930 - abt 1889
1940 - abt 1889
It looks like he makes himself younger and then sticks with it. His actual birth year, far as I can tell, was 18 Feb 1881. He was single most of his life till he married Mamie Garvin, who had a couple children of her own, between 1930 and 1940. Well, so with the dates, I just wanted to make sure that I was really following the right Albert, so I got the numbers for the Alfalfa County Museum and the Carmen Public Library. Carmen is where Albert was buried.
This afternoon I set out to try to track down his obituary and verify that I had my ancestor. I called the two numbers listed for the museum and was told that it had closed. Sad....but I am not one to be dismayed. I tried the library and the nice lady there was kind enough to give me the number to two ladies that are a bit knowledgeable in Carmen history. Betty was very kind and looked to see if she could find Albert in the Carmen City Cemetery book. No luck but she called her friend Rosie (the other lady) and they talked about the Duel name. Rosie remembered the family, so I was off to call her. She is 84 and sharp as a whip. She said "just give me a minute and I will remember" and she meant it. Finally, the light bulb went off and she remember that there was another lady in town that was related to the Duel's. Her name is Beverly. I gave Beverly a call not really thinking about it, just trying to track down someone that could possible verify my Albert. What a wonderful lady she is. Turns out she is a descendant of George Alvin Duel also. She recognized my Great Grandmother's name, Bertie (Duel) Pattee. George and Bertie being siblings. She talked with me for about 45 minutes and she was great! At one point she said to me "I am a talker, I just love to talk!" LOL and yes she did. After getting to talk with Beverly this afternoon, I spent some time on George Alvin's family.
So what started out as a search to find an obit and possibly verify that I was on the right track, led me to meeting another new "cousin". I really do love this work!
Never be afraid to call and ask questions. People will let you know if they don't want to talk or are not interested. I took a chance and called all over the little town of Carmen, Oklahoma and got to meet some great ladies. :D