Ancestry.com’s recent partnership with the Indiana Archives and Records Administration has been a real boon to my research. That 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. Wa-hoo!
Last week I posted Carrie Wren (Edgington) Eichhorn Friedell’s death certificate, which I recently found on Ancestry.com. I had not known the exact date of her death before that. Her tombstone only had her death year of 1965. Her death certificate also confirmed some of the information that I had already learned about her during my research.
But why stop there? Maybe I could learn what happened to Carrie’s second husband, Max W. Friddle, aka Max W. Friedell. After all, Max was an Indiana native, too, although he has been more difficult to track. He definitely stayed under the radar. To my knowledge he was able to avoid all but the 1880 and 1900 censuses. Where was he all those other years? He would have been almost non-existent had he not been mentioned in all those newspaper articles. And there were plenty of them. In later years his first wife even reported several times that she was his widow. But she wasn’t. He was still alive.
I thought I had found Max’s tombstone on Find a Grave.com last year, but I wasn’t 100% sure. If it was his tombstone, he or someone had changed his name back to Friddle for the inscription. Did he change his name back to Friddle again? Apparently yes.
I am happy to report that I was successful in my search for Max’s death certificate on Ancestry.com.Max’s death certificate confirmed the information I had already learned about him. Max Welton Friddle was born in Parker Indiana on 16 February 1874, the son of Robert McClellan and Adalaide (Robinson) Friddle. His father was born in South Carolina and his mother in Indiana. Max died of chronic myocarditis at a residence on 405 North Martin Street in Muncie, Delaware County, Indiana. He passed away at 10:00 p.m. on 5 March 1944, at the age of 70 years and 18 days. His death certificate indicates he was divorced and gives his occupation as a retired oil worker. [That’s him!] He was buried in Fairview Cemetery, Randolph County, Indiana, on the 7th. M.L. Meeks & Sons, Muncie, were in charge of the funeral. The informant for his death information was Mrs. Adne Viola Godwin, of the same North Martin Street address.  Adna Viola (Friddle) Godwin was Max’s sister, whose home was at 405 North Martin Street. 
Max’s death certificate also indicates that he had recently moved to Muncie from Nevada. Max had moved back to Indiana and was living with his sister when he died. Nevada! Was that where he was hiding out all those years? And yes, I searched for him yet again in the 1940 census, this time in Nevada, but found nothing. I even checked to see if he might have been living with one of his siblings in 1930 or 1940. Nothing. Still staying under the radar…
You can see a photo of Max Friddle’s tombstone on Find a Grave.com. He shares a tombstone with Naomi A. Friddle (1896-1899).  I do not know who Naomi was. Perhaps a niece?
Another piece in the puzzle.
Today I am grateful that the Indiana Archives and Ancestry.com has made all of these Indiana records available. I know I will use them a lot.
 Indiana, Death Certificates, 1899-2011, Max Welton Friddle; 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.
 Indiana, Death Certificates, 1899-2011, Adna V. Godwin; 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.
 Find a Grave (www.findagrave.com : accessed 1 Jul 2016); Max W. Friddle memorial #62330387.