Marian Tucker’s Foster Family

While I mull over how to proceed with my Kuck’s in Germany, I decided to revisit Marian Tucker DeJean (note: I have made some updates to her original article).  She is one of my brick walls and was apparently Myrle Gage Grimes’ as well.

When I wrote about Marian originally, I had not noticed a note in Myrle’s Some Genealogy Records of Stephen Louis De Jean family from Paris France and his American Descendents (sic).  As it turns out, her notes explain why my little census analysis effort in Wisconsin didn’t work as well for Marian as it has for other brick walls I have worked on.  

Myrle was in possession of Marian’s saved letters.  She summarized all she could glean about her grandmother from those letters as follows:

“[Marian Barbara Tucker] was born 6/15/1844, Penna.: [d.] 3/8/1889, Dunlap, Iowa.  Burial there.  She was one of 2 or 3 sisters, Maria and Marie.  Were orphaned when young and put in foster homes.  Her foster parents were the Daniel R. Bellingers of Little Falls, Herkimer Co.  Never could find any records, only letters she had kept.  She was Holland Dutch.”

Myrle Gage Grimes

Myrle’s summary creates more questions than answers: 
1. Did the Bellingers foster her in Little Falls, or did they move there after she grew up and moved away?  
2. Did her parents die in Pennsylvania or New York?  
3. How old was she when her parents died?  
4. How did a young Pennsylvania orphan and her sibling(s) end up in a Foster home in New York? 
5. How did a young orphan woman fostered in New York end up marrying in Wisconsin?
6. The biggest one for me is, how could she have two sisters named Mary and her name was Marian (Mary Ann)?  Would there really be two to three variations of Mary siblings in the same family? Hmmm.

I started with her foster father, Daniel R. Bellinger, and Little Falls, Herkimer County, New York.  Because Marian was born in the 1840s, I jumped to the 1850 Federal and 1855 New York Census.  There was a handful of Bellinger’s in Little Falls, Herkimer County.  None of them have young girls in their household named Tucker, and none of these families have a boy or man named Daniel.

Modern day route from Little Falls to Danube. Google Maps.

I widened my net to Herkimer’s entire county and found the family of Daniel Bellinger/Bellenger in Danube, Herkimer County, New York, a mere 7 to 9 miles south of Little Falls.  No children named Tucker in his household show up until 1860, when an 11-year old girl named Martha Tucker appears (b. 1849).  Ok, so now I have several girls’ names; Marian (Mary Ann?), Martha, Maria, and Marie (Mary).  But…no other young Tucker children are out of place in 1860 Herkimer County households.

Since the Bellinger 1850 and 1855 household did not have any Tucker’s (or any children born in the 1840s), it would seem that Marian’s parents died after 1855 (maybe even earlier if the children were in another household).  

Yeah, I know…I show 1860 first then 1850. Sometimes we work backwards in Genealogy. Ok, most times. Images accessed on

With a lead on Martha and birth year for her of 1849 (not Marian’s 1844), I searched for Martha in Herkimer County in 1850 and 1855.  No Martha, and again no out-of-place Tucker children.   So, she either is not from Herkimer County originally, or her birth year is incorrect, and she was born after the 1850 census was complete.  She would be of marriageable age in 1870, so unless I learn more about Martha, that direction is a dead end.   

Answer to question 1:  The Bellinger’s fostered Marian or her sibling in Danube, New York, near Little Falls.

Answer to question 2: I am inferring that Marian’s parents died between 1855 and 1860.

Answer to question 3:  Given a range of 1844 to 1849 as her birth year, Marian was 11 to 16 years old when her parents died. 

What about other Tuckers in Herkimer County between 1850 and 1860?  Martha is the only Tucker in Danube.  What about young women born around 1844 in other households?

There are two Tucker families in Little Falls.There are still two Tucker families in Little Falls.   The same two Tucker families are in Little Falls but now count as three.  Three new Tucker families appear in the town and are all reporting New York as their birthplace. 
Two more Tucker households are scattered around the county; an English immigrant with his mother and probable brother and an elderly Tucker man with a tenant.There are now seven other Tucker households scattered around the county.  The five new Tuckers are fresh immigrants from Germany, Ireland, and England.The other scattered families are still around or moved on.  The ones that moved on (dropped off the census) were not old enough to have Marian. 
There are a couple of single Tuckers around the county as well.
– 7-year-old (born 1843) Sabina E. (later Sephina).
– 24-year-old (born 1826) Laura boarding in another household.
– 19-year-old (born 1831) Newton living in a household of unrelated people (like a hotel), and most are employed in making fabric. 
The single adult man and woman from 1850 have moved on or died.  
– Sabina is missing as well, but she seems to have just been missed.   
– A new single Olave, aged 27 (born 1828) working as a laborer
– A widowed mother-in-law in her married daughter’s household.
The stragglers have changed.  
– 27-year-old (b. 1833) Catherine B. working as a servant.
– 20-year-old (b. 1840) Elizabeth working as a servant.
– Sabina.  There was a Miller woman in Sabina’s 1850 household, and she again lived with a Miller family in 1860.

If Marian’s siblings were in Herkimer County between 1850 and 1860, they could be among the single Tuckers identified above:

Laura A Tucker b. 1826 (18 in 1844)
Olave Tucker b. 1828 (16 in 1844)
Newton Tucker b. 1831 (14 in 1844)
Catherine B Tucker b. 1833 (11 in 1844)
Elizabeth Tucker b. 1840 (4 in 1844)
Sabina Tucker b. 1843 (1 in 1844)
Marian B Tucker b. 1844 could be Martha Tucker b. 1849 in the Bellinger household.

Partial answer to question 6: Instead of Maria or Marie, one of the sisters could have been Martha, and another could be Sephina/Sabina.  Additional possible names have been identified to follow-up on.

Why the Bellinger family when there were so many Tucker’s nearby?  Were none of them related?  The modern Family Services were not around in 1860, so it is more likely that family or close family associates would have taken her in if they could, really wanted to, or existed.

Next week, I will tackle a new question, “Who was Daniel Bellinger?” Perhaps the answers to questions 4 and 5 are hidden in his story.  And then there’s the claim that she was Holland-Dutch…