Unable to find any trace of Frank Curran Douglas 1836-1906

0 votes
Frank Curran Douglas appeared in Henderson  MN one day in the year 1872.   He was about 35 years old. He was hired as the Express Office manager and maintained that job for 30 years.  He married and had two daughters, the younger (Lucy) was my grandmother.

Only one document gives clues (a bio of Frank written by his older daugher 50 years after his death) It said he was born in Annan Scotland.  He wasn't (yes I am working with Borders Family History... a wonderful organization).  Indeed we have scoured Scotland without results.  I am  turning my attention now to Ireland. The potato famine in Ireland drove  out hundreds of thousands of Irish from their homeland.  Many went to Scotland, And Irish immigrants often "adopted" Scottish names (?and invented a Scottish place  of birth).  It is likely the Frank Curran Douglas of Scotland, was the Frank Curran (an infant? born in) Ireland.

But where?   I subscribe to ancestry.com and just converted to World Ancestry.  So far not a shred of information.

I don't know a  think about accessing Irish family history.  No clue about where to start.  And frankly might "miss" a hit because I have no idea about Frank's parents' names.  I do think, however, he might have had a brother Tom.

Any leads, advice, information of any sort would be a  treasure!  Thanks.
in Genealogy Help by Barbara Lewis G2G Rookie (240 points)
On various census, state and federal, his birth year ranges from 1836 to 1842. ! !

4 Answers

+1 vote
Who did he marry, where? What is MN short for please?
by Marion Poole G2G Astronaut (1.2m points)
MN is Minnesota.
Thank you for your interest!  MN is for the state of Minnesota.  Frank married 26 May 1876 at the old Bennett house" in Henderson, MN (about 60 miles west of Minneapolis and on the Minnesota River (tributary of the Mississippi I believe).
oops.......forgot to answer the other question:  Frank married Amanda Zeidler a young German immigrant who was a live in maid for Frank's employer, Mr Haney.
+2 votes
by Eddie King G2G6 Pilot (599k points)
+2 votes

Frank Douglas

 in the Minnesota, Territorial and State Censuses, 1849-1905

      Name: Frank Douglas
      Age: 68
      Census Date: 7 Jun 1905
      County: Sibley
      Locality: Henderson
      Birth Location: Scotland
      Gender: Male
      Estimated birth year: abt 1837
      Race: White
      Father's Birth Location: Scotland
      Mother's Birth Location: Scotland
      Line: 28
      Roll: MNSC_153

      Source Information

      Ancestry.com. Minnesota, Territorial and State Censuses, 1849-1905 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007.



      by Eddie King G2G6 Pilot (599k points)
      Also a 1885 state census for him
      Thank you for your interest.  I have detailed information on Frank once he arrived in Henderson in 1872.  And I know he signed intent to become a citizen in 1870; at that time he was in Omaha NE.  

      Our extensive scouring of Scotland did not turn up Frank nor his family.  I had excellent help from Borders Family History Society of Scotland.  I worked with an amazing genealogist for over two months........we followed every lead.  We communicated almost every day.  Our conclusion was that like many other Irish immigrants fleeing starvation  in Ireland (The Great  Potato Famine) the Curran family came to Scotland.  And like many of their fellow immigrants, added a new last name to "integrate" more quickly and to make it easier to get jobs.

      We have a bio of Frank written 50 years after his death by his aging  and adoring daughter.  I have  read and reread the document numerous times and sadly much of it simply is patently not true.  Why?  is another question:  did Frank fib or did the daughter not remember?

      There are "shreds" of truth I believe.  She writes that Frank's father died when he was you and that his mother took him and his brother to her parents in England, then went off and got married.  If  any of this is true we might guess that Frank's identity was lost... that he truly did not know where or when he was born (he claimed he was born in Annan Scotland--  not that my intrepid family historian could find and SHE LOOKED LONG AND HARD.  Perhaps the place of birth was made up in tandem with adding the revered name of Douglas to the struggling Curran family name.  That we never will know.

      But why did Frank never appear in Scotland, England and during his earliest years in the US?

      So there you have my brick wall.  I have one recourse and that is to try to research Irish records.  I must start all over back to square one. I expanded my ancestry.com to World ancestry.........did searches on Ireland to no avail.  The Potato Famine must have been a horror.............over a million dying of starvation.  If a baby is born then, is there time to find the priest to baptize?  If the baby is born in Scotland could  a priest be found to baptize......or was that even a priority while fighting to survive?  

      So there you are...........the long story..........

      Thanks again for your interest.

      Barbara Lewis in Littleton, CO
      0 votes

      Wife Amanda is on tombstone

      Amanda Douglass

       in the 1880 United States Federal Census

        Name: Amanda Douglass
        Age: 21
        Birth Date: Abt 1859
        Birthplace: Beadenburg
        Home in 1880: Henderson, Sibley, Minnesota, USA
        Dwelling Number: 38
        Race: White
        Gender: Female
        Relation to Head of House: Wife
        Marital status: Married
        Spouse's name: Frank Douglass
        Father's Birthplace: Beadenburg
        Mother's Birthplace: Beadenburg
        Occupation: Keeping House
        Neighbors: View others on page
        Household Members:
        Name Age
        Frank Douglass 38
        Amanda Douglass 21
        Jenny Douglass 3
        Lucy Douglass 1

        Source Citation

        Year: 1880; Census Place: Henderson, Sibley, Minnesota; Roll: 634; Page: 324A; Enumeration District: 107



        by Eddie King G2G6 Pilot (599k points)
        Thanks for the  additional information.  I would guess that perhaps you found my website.  I have lots and lots of information on Amanda's family and on Frank's years in Henderson.  

        But I know literally nothing about Frank's first 35 years of life!  There's my brick wall.

        Thanks again for your interest.

        Barbara Lewis
        No , did not find website. Spent 2 hours searching ancestry and family search. Didn't know you already had these records.

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