I have been making more progress in terms of documenting my Freeman Family line for the Sons of the Revolution application. From the Florida Department of Health, I have gotten the death records of my great-grandfather, James Wallace Freeman, and my grandfather, Robert Frank Fletcher (husband of Margrette Elizabeth Freeman). Interesting documents, but mostly confirmed everything I knew. I wrote to the Yakima County Auditor, looking for any record of James’s birth and my 3rd great-grandfather’s death, Azro Daniel Freeman, who reportedly died 8 Nov 1895 and is buried at the “North Yakima Cemetery.” [1] I got back from them and there was only a record of James’s birth from the Yakima Valley Genealogical Society.

The record stated a male freeman was born 20 Feb 1896 to Wallace Freeman, 34 years old, born in Wisconsin and Lizzie Williams, 24 years old, born in Illinois. [2]

My second great-grandmother, Lizzie Williams, is proving to be a tough genealogical brick wall. There are many pictures of her family, including her parents, but there always listed and Grandpa and Grandma Williams. She divorced my 2nd great-grandfather, Wallace E Freeman, and reportedly died in Madera, California in 1951. [3] I have found very few records of her and am really looking to connect all of these people. Perhaps another visit to the HistGen will send me in the write path.

With these vital records, curiosity sprung about the military careers of my dad’s side of the family. I wrote to the national maritime center in Martinsburg, WV, looking for my great-grandfather’s service records. He was a merchant marine in WWI, and I even ordered a book called “The US Merchant Marine at War, 1775-1945” by Bruce L. Felknor, to learn about the history and experience of these merchant sailors.

Yesterday, my dad mentioned one of the family myths about my great-grandfather, in that he bought boxers. Repotedly he even had a contract with the boxer Max Baer, the “Cinderella Man.” To investigate, I am writing to the Connecticut Boxing Commission in Middletown to find out if they have any records of these contracts dating back to pre-WWII.

1. Margrette E. Freeman (1990), personal Research Papers: held in author’s possession.

2. Birth Registration of Freeman (20 Feb 1896), State of Washington Digital Archives, Yakima County Auditor, Birth Returns, 1891-1907; Certificate of Death for James Wallace Freeman, died 12 Jul 1964, recorded 13 Jul 1964 (State File No. 64-031370, Registrar No. 5948) issued by State of Florida, Office of Vital Statistics on 4 May 2009.

3. Margrette E. Freeman Research Papers.

Copyright (c) 2009 by Jake Fletcher

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