I started my morning with my first cup of coffee and what I intended to be a quick look at Facebook, just while I waited for my brain to wake up. When I came across the entry from one of my favorite archivists (Scott Sanders, you have a lot to answer for!) who had posted the last picture and brief biography in celebration of Women’s History Month, I stopped and read it.
He had a picture and bio for Electra Collins Doren, a librarian from the sourthwestern Ohio area as his entry for today. Her name caught my eye, as did his statement that she was originally from the Cincinnati area. I have Collins individuals in my family tree and thought I recognized the name Electra Collins. So I opened my RootsMagic tree and looked. Yes, I have Collins, no, I do not have Electra. I know I’ve seen that name though, even if not entered in my family tree. What I do have is John Collins, a minister from New Jersey who married Sarah Blackman and moved to Clermont County in the very early 1800s. I haven’t put any of their children in the tree because it is not a direct line.
So I didn’t have anyone already in my tree, but I wanted to know if Electra C. Doren was related to my Collins line. I started looking on familysearch.org which has a lot of Ohio records since I knew she had been born and lived in Ohio. I thought she had been born to a Collins family and based on her date of birth that she must be a generation down from John Collins. However, as I looked and looked for her I couldn’t find any Collins that matched her.
After trying all the Collins birth and marriage records, and census records, I finally looked at family trees on familysearch and lo and behold! there were two family trees listing her as the child of John Gates Doren and Elizabeth Bragdon Doren. So she hadn’t been a Collins who married a Doren as I assumed, but Collins was her middle name. Her mother’s maiden name was not Collins it was Bragdon (assuming the tree to be correct), so I tried looking for Elizabeth Bragdon. That was my “ahha!” moment: Elizabeth Bragdon was the daughter of George Bragdon and Electra Collins! Plus, Electra Collins was listed as a daughter of John Collins and Sarah Blackman. Sarah Blackman is my 4th great grandaunt and her parents are my 5th great grandparents. Electra Collins Doren is my 3d cousin 3 times removed.
With this new information I was able to find death certificates for both Electra C. Doren and her father John Gates Doren (which she signed as the informant). I also just found her mother’s death certificate, which Electra also signed as informant and which reports Elizabeth’s parents as George Bragdon and Electra Collins. I lost most of the day to this distraction but had great fun finding out about this peripheral branch of my family. I wonder if Scott would be interested in what I found?