Marion is still one of my brick walls, so unless you are interested reading an exercise in breaking through a brick wall, you may want to skip this week. I have looked and looked in online records and indexes and Marion Barbara Tucker is a mystery. No one has been able to confirm who her parents were, though one researcher has made a stab at her father, but named a man with a different surname and did not cite any sources or explain her assertion/guess. UPDATE: the man named was her foster father Daniel R. Bellinger, see Marian Tucker’s Foster Family.
The very first record Marion’s maiden name is found in is her marriage certificate with George DeJean. And that was in a private collection that has been graciously shared on Ancestry.com. This marriage certificate records her as Marion Tucker of Milton, Wisconsin (Rock County). The maiden name recorded on this marriage certificate is corroborated in two of her children’s record.
In digitized public records, Marion is first recorded in the 1870 U.S. Census, the year after her marriage and name change to Marion DeJean. Later sources record her as either Marion or Marion B., but none have identified the B as Barbara. This middle name comes to us through Myrle and might have been verbally passed down from Luella.
The short story is, we just don’t know where Marion came from or who her people were. The long answer is…Since she married George DeJean in Milton, Rock County, Wisconsin in 1869, I looked for Tucker families in Rock and Dane County in the 1860 and 1870 census and I found several Tuckers in Rock County:
- 1860 Rock County (Turtle): Amos and Almira Tucker who are old enough to be her parents. He is from New York and she is from Vermont. No other researchers have identified a daughter for them who match Marion.
- 1860 Rock County (Janesville): A single man named Barllette/Baulette/Baudette Tucker from Ireland of age to be Marion’s brother or a cousin. His name is so hard to read that there is no later or earlier trace of him and he was living in a hotel for this census, so who knows who the informant was or what they really knew about this person.
- 1860 Dane County (towns of Oregon, Vermont, and Albion): Three couples who have New York connections none of which are old enough to be Marion’s parents but are significantly older than she is. No further research has been conducted.
- 1870 Rock County (Janesville): Two Tucker orphans from New York who are too young to be Marion’s siblings living with a Voorhees family. They are young enough to be Marion’s children, but why would she abandon them? Will discuss possibilities later. UPDATE: These children were the offspring of Mrs. Voorhees who was the widow of William H. Tucker of New York. He died in battle during the Civil War. None of his known siblings match Marion.
- 1870 Rock County (Beloit): Joseph and Clarissa Tucker who are old enough to be her parents. He is from New York and she is from Ohio.
- 1870 Rock County (Beloit): A college student rooming in a boarding house named Hibberd born in Ohio. This young man is of age to be Marion’s brother. No further research has been conducted. UPDATE: Hibberd’s parents were from New England. He was going to school in Wisconsin to become a minister. Research is still ongoing but so far no sibling who matches Marion.
Expansion any further into other Wisconsin counties and New York results with numerous Tucker families, any of whom could be relations, but no way to prove it.
Census records her birthplace as either Wisconsin or New York and her birth year between 1845 and 1848 (age at death suggests 1845). The couple identified in #1 above was born in the 1820’s and married around 1846 so their ages and marriage year make them plausible parental candidates. Their son’s middle name was Edwin (he died before Marion’s marriage) and Marion named her son Edwin Theron. This couple also had a daughter named Eda and Marion a daughter named Edna, close but not exact. Finally, this couple move to Hardin County, Iowa by 1870 and Marion arrived in Harrison County, Iowa by 1874 (these counties are 200 miles apart). None of these facts are evidence and Amos’ obituary states they had 7 children all of whom have been identified by contributors to his Find-a-grave profile. They may be ruled out as parents, but they may also still be relatives.
For the couple in #5, no other researchers have identified a daughter for them who match Marion, but tracing them back a little further we find them in Ohio in 1850 with a girl in their household identified as M.M. who was born abt. 1843. This is around the right time for Marion, however, one glaring problem is, their 1860 census in Illinois omits a 17-year-old M.M and she never appears again under the name Tucker. A big tantalizing second “however” is, our Marion appears in Rock County, Wisconsin around the same time as this Tucker family. Milton is about 20 miles north of Beloit. After 1870, this Tucker family remained in Beloit and every household member found in census between 1850 and 1870 are buried in the same cemetery except a woman or girl fitting the age for M.M.
What about those two orphans in the 1870 Janesville census? They are young enough to be children of hers if she had the first one at around the age of 15 (remember M.M. disappeared from couple #5’s household before she was 17). So…why abandon them? All kinds of scenarios come to mind, especially if they were born out of wedlock and she never told George about them. I don’t necessarily buy into it, it’s just something I have to keep an open mind about. These children may be her cousins, or a niece and nephew…or they may not be related at all. There just isn’t enough information on Marion or the two orphans to suggest any scenario as plausible, but I’ll keep an eye on them. UPDATE: These children were the offspring of Mrs. Voorhees who was the widow of William H. Tucker of New York. He died in battle during the Civil War. None of his known siblings match Marion.
Overtaken by updates: The final possibility is that Tucker is not her maiden name (supporting the other researcher’s identification of a man with a different surname for her father). She may have been the widow of a Mr. Tucker. She was in her 20’s when she married George; old enough to have been married once before. If those orphans were hers, a previous marriage may also fit this scenario. The laws of those times, and sometimes just the family members involved, were a little funny about orphans and young mother’s – especially young mother’s getting remarried (protecting family inheritance and ensuring it remained with the children instead of going to the step-father and his heirs). If this is the correct scenario, there may be an interesting story attached.
Give me the facts, and only the facts:
Marion Tucker married George W. DeJean on 13 June 1869 (aged 21 to 25) in Milton, Rock County, Wisconsin. The marriage was witnessed by two DeJean women, but no Tuckers.
Marion and George stayed in Milton, Rock County, Wisconsin for just a few more years before relocating their young family to Harrison County, Iowa where they both lived the remainder of their lives.
Marion died 8 March 1889 in Iowa. She and George had four known children, but only 2 survived to adulthood. Gaps between the children’s birth years may indicate other children, but no other birth records or evidence has been found.
Children of George and Barbara are as follows:
- Carrie Irene DeJean b. 2 April 1870 in Milton, Rock County, Wisconsin, and d. 24 November 1879 in Dunlap, Harrison County, Iowa.
- Luella DeJean b. 23 November 1873 or 1874 in Dunlap, Harrison County, Iowa, and d. 7 June 1949 in Woodbine, Harrison County, Iowa. She married Edward Gage.
- Edna DeJean b. 24 July 1879 in Dunlap, Harrison County, Iowa, and d. 25 October 1880 in Dunlap, Harrison County, Iowa.
- Edwin Theron b. 23 October 1880 in Dunlap, Harrison County, Iowa, and d. about 1956 in Dunlap, Harrison County, Iowa. He married Edith Malinda Smith on 22 December 1908 in Dunlap, Harrison County, Iowa.