Nearly a year ago I researched and wrote about Carrie Wren Friedell, a mystery woman buried in Zion Chatt’s cemetery, who was not mentioned in the church records. Last August I turned what I learned about her and her family into a four-part miniseries, Zion Chatt’s Mid-Summer Mystery. From my research, all done on-line, I eventually learned that Carrie was buried next to her mother, Eliza (Bobo) Edgington.
Eliza’s broken tombstone was also a mystery in Zion’s cemetery. Her tombstone was broken in two and most of the engraving was unreadable. I don’t know how many years it had been broken in two, broken on the third letter of her surname, making it illegible. Her name looked like Eliza Edo.
So, by researching Carrie I learned the identity of the woman buried beneath the broken tombstone and quite a bit about her daughter Carrie Wren (Edgington) Eichhorn Friedell.
But questions still remained about Carrie W. Friedell, who lived most of her life in Indiana. Her mother Eliza died in about 1876 and Carrie died in 1965. Eliza’s broken tombstone is unreadable. I wondered, after nearly 90 years, who knew that Eliza was buried in Zion Chatt’s cemetery and who knew to bury Carrie beside her? Why wasn’t the information in Zion’s records? What was the exact date of Carrie’s death?
Even now, after a year has gone by, I still search for and still find information about Carrie. Piece by piece. Bit by bit.
A few weeks ago, through a partnership with the Indiana Archives and Records Administration, Ancestry.com added a lot of Indiana records to its website. The partnership made nearly 17 million Indiana birth, death, and marriage records digitally accessible on Ancestry.com. The available records include Indiana marriage records from 1958-2005, Indiana death records from 1900-2011, and Indiana birth certificates from 1907-1940.
That was some wonderful news to me since we live so close to the state line and I do a fair amount of Indiana research.
Once I learned the Indiana information had been added to Ancestry.com I decided to do another search for Carrie W. Friedell to see what I might find. After all, I still did not know Carrie’s exact date of death. I only knew she died in 1965. And that she very likely died in Indiana.
I entered Carrie’s name and the year she died and ta-da! There it was. Carrie Wren Friedell’s Indiana death certificate, right before my eyes!Carrie Wren Friedell died at the Delaware County Home, Muncie, Indiana, on 12 March 1965, at the age of 92 years. She had lived there for the past five years. Her parents were given as Benjamin F. Edgington and Eliza Bobo. Carrie was born in Delaware County, Indiana, on 31 March 1873. Her death certificate indicates she was a retired school teacher and a widow. She died of congestive heart failure, caused by arteriosclerotic heart disease. E.M. Rust Funeral Home, Albany, Indiana, was in charge of the arrangements. And there it is, right on her death certificate: burial at the Lutheran Cemetery at Chattanooga, Ohio, on 15 March, 1965. The informant was indicated as “records of county home.”  That sounds like a rather sad, lonely end to our Carrie’s life.
I would have been spared hours and hours of research had the Indiana records been available on Ancestry.com a year ago.
But what fun would that have been? There would have been no research challenge if I had found all that information on just that one record. If that had been the case I probably never would have learned Carrie’s interesting life story.
After all, the fun is in the hunt, right?
 Indiana, Death Certificates, 1899-2011, Carrie Wren Friedell; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 1 Jul 2016); from Indiana State Board of Health, Indiana Archives and Records Administration, Indianapolis, Indiana.