Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A Mystery No More?

Samuel Gerke and Elizabeth Farmer, Mother and Son

Just a couple of days ago, I posted that my great grandmother, Elizabeth had been driving me crazy for years in "Madness Monday."  Well, today I took a huge step in solving the mystery of what happened to her.

A couple of weeks ago, I was finally able to get some information on my grandpa's brother, Samuel. Rumor had it that he had taken care of his mother in her last years, and Elizabeth, who had been divorced from my great grandfather and possibly remarried, had been living with him. I had a small sympathy card, although I don't know who it was for, signed Mrs. E. Farmer and Samuel Gerke, mother and son, but that wasn't enough concrete proof. Finally, I was able to get a hold of Samuel's draft registration card from the 1940's, and she was listed as the person that would always know his address and that she was living in the same apartment. I also found his death date and obituary, which states he was buried in Glen Oak Cemetery.

Searching for the cemetery in Chicago, I found two. One was in Hillside, just a few minutes from his home, and one was in west Chicago, at least an hours drive. Since everything regarding his funeral was within blocks of his home, I decided to contact the good people at Hillside to find out if that was where he was buried, and if he was, could they please check for an Elizabeth Farmer around the same area?

Big shout out to Nelly, the genealogy clerk. The first email I opened today brought tears to my eyes. Not only was Samuel buried in the Glen Oak side of Oak Ridge and Glen Oak, but he shared a companion stone with Elizabeth Farmer interred on 5-13-1952. I went back to the Cook County vitals website, and there she was. Elizabeth Farmer died 5-10-1952. Woooooooo Hoooooo!

Now, I know before I get too excited, I need to order a copy of the death certificate to make 100% sure that this is my Elizabeth Farmer, but I am  about 99% sure. Why? I know she died in Chicago and was living with her son Samuel. I know the exact date he died,was buried and where. I know she died shortly before Samuel. And I know that an Elizabeth Farmer was interred right next to him.

I think I'm on my way to breaking down one more wall!