News From Terre Haute, Indiana

August 4, 2013

Genealogy: Some queries from both sides of the river

Tamie Dehler
Special to the Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — This week, we have several queries from both sides of the river:

• I am trying to find the parents of Ethel Mae Ruckman in Edgar County, Ill., and Vigo County, Ind.

Ethel married, first, Peachie Swiger, and second, Sylvester Fidler. She can be found living with Sylvester Fidler in the Terre Haute city directories of 1927, 1929, 1934, 1936 and 1940. She died Feb. 10, 1942, in Vigo County. Most seem to have her parents as John S. Ruckman and Martha Jane Ruckman; however, they seem to be siblings, not married. Their parents were Anthony A. Ruckman (1830-1872) and Charity Crimmons (1843-?).

I have found marriages for both John and Martha Jane: John to Mary Etta Smith and Martha to Charles A. Entrican, both in the Edgar County, Ill., marriage records. The records indicate a first marriage for both John and Martha. Ethel Mae Ruckman doesn’t appear in the records until she marries Peachie Swiger in 1907.

In none of the censuses following their marriages is there an Ethel Mae Ruckman as daughter or step-daughter with either of them, nor is she with either grandparent. Who are her real parents? Can anyone help? The Fidler line is the one I am currently following. Please email Lorraine Hall at manny

• I can’t find the following 1850 census on Ancestry. It is for the household of George W. Gilbert, born between 1819 and 1822 in Kentucky, and living in Coles County, Ill., in 1850.

If anyone can locate this census I would appreciate hearing from you. I would like to have a copy of the original for my records.

1850 Illinois Census Charleston, Coles County, Ill.: Gilbert, George W., head, 28, Ky.; Gilbert, Narcissa, wife, 27, Ill.; Gilbert, James, son, 10, Ill.; Gilbert, Andrew, son, 8, Ill.; Gilbert, Cansada, daughter, 2, Ill.; Gilbert, Elizabeth, daughter, 8 months, Ill. Please email Jenevia Lowery at

• I am researching my husband’s Parker roots.

His 2x great-grandfather was William M. Parker from Coles County, Ill. So far, the information I have is as follows: William M. Parker, born Jan. 26, 1829, in Coles County, the son of William Parker and Rachel Johnson.

He married Sarah Daugherty on March 27, 1851. Children from this marriage were: John L. Parker b. 1852; Susan Emma Parker b. 1855; Amanda Sophia Parker b.1858, d.1927; Orlando Parker b. 1860; Lydia Abigail Parker b. 1861; Mary Elizabeth Parker b. 1862; William D. Parker b.1866; and Levon Orlando Parker b. 1869, d. 1927.

The 1880 census in Derry, Pike County, Ill., shows he is a farmer. Listed under his household are Sarah, his wife, and children Mary E., age 17, William D., 14 and Levon Orlando, 10.

The 1885 Kansas census for Drywood, Bourbon County, Kan., shows him again with Sarah, Mary E., William D. and Levon Orlando.

Find-A-Grave shows he died Feb. 23, 1895, in Godfrey, Bourbon County, Kan. I would like to find proof of William’s existence in Illinois. I have not been able to find any information on Sarah, either.

Anything on this family would be appreciated. Thanks. Email Cynthia Whitson at

• Looking for information on the family of Eliza Ann West, who married William John Dixon in Coles County, Ill., on April 25, 1839.

They had two children: Robert and John West. Both William and Eliza Ann died young. Eliza died in 1847.

I am looking for her parents and siblings. Thank you for any information. Please email Vincent Barker at

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If you have a query, send it to Genealogy, Tribune-Star Publishing Co., P.O. Box 149, Terre Haute, IN 47808, or email it to tamszion@