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My great-grandmother, Mary Ann (Engle) Rhodes is a bit of a mystery. Maybe someone who is reading this will be able to help me.

Here’s what I know:

  • Mary was born in Cincinnati, Ohio on April 10, 1876.
  • I have an 1880 U.S. Census record for her, where she is living in Cincinnati, Ohio with her parents, Edward and Anna (Seiler) Engle.
  • According to family records, Mary’s father died in 1886, when she was 10 years old, and her mother died in 1890, when she was 13 years old.
  • Mary married James Omer Rhodes on June 25, 1902 in Brookville, Indiana.
  • I have all of the census records for the rest of her life. She lived in Indianapolis, Indiana until she died in 1958.

Gravestone for Mary Ann (Engle) Rhodes at Spring Valley Cemetery in Lawrence, Indiana.

The mystery is this: Where did Mary go when her mother died? She was only 13 years old. I have not been able to find any record of her in the 1890 Census (some of the Hamilton County, Ohio records survived the fire) or the 1900 Census. I also do not know how she ended up in Indiana after growing up in Cincinnati. I’m guessing it has something to do with the story of how she met her husband.

So, do you know anything or have any advice? Help me out!

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1940 Challenges

I was able to find my great-grandparents (Joseph and Marie Hromada) and my grandmother and great-grandparents (Fern, Ora and Tressa Ray) in the 1940 Census by flipping through the census images online. My other three grandparents have turned out to be a bit more of a challenge.

My mother’s father, Harold Rork, should be easy to find. He would have been 17 years old and living with his parents in the same house they lived in for years in Osgood, Indiana. I’ve searched through all the pages of the Osgood enumeration districts (it’s a small town – there aren’t that many), but I couldn’t find them. Where could they be hiding?

My father’s parents have also been difficult to find. They were both living in Indianapolis when they met and were married in 1941. My grandmother, Mary Janet Rhodes, grew up in Indianapolis, so she should be there in 1940, probably living with her parents. I have their address, but they aren’t showing up on the page where they should be in the census.

My grandfather, Joseph Charles Hromada, was born in Chicago, but had moved to Indianapolis by 1940. He would be living on his own, but I don’t know the address or even the part of town where he lived. I don’t think I have the patience to look through every page of the Indianapolis census. I may have to wait for the indexing to be complete so I can search by name.

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