Monday, August 12, 2013

Mystery Monday - Dennis Creeden

When I started researching my Creeden family, I tried to track down information on my great-grandfather Charles Creeden's siblings in the hopes I'd find out more about their parents. Charles' brother Dennis has turned out to be just as elusive as their father, Timothy Creeden.

Dennis Creeden
The first information I found on Dennis came from the Mercer County Genealogy Society. Someone had contributed a tree for my family, but there was no information on who did the tree or what sources were used. The tree contained this information for Dennis:

Dennis L. Creeden
    Born: 08 Sep 1879, Clinton County, Ohio
    Married Nellie Burton on 21 Jan 1901, Mercer County, Ohio
    Died: 1/17/1930

From a Clinton County Birth Register for 1879, the information on Dennis' birth appears to be correct. The birth register listed his parents as Timothy Creeden and Mary Ann Matson and his location of birth was Richland Township where Timothy's farm was located.


The data in the 1880 census for Clinton County also shows that Dennis was born in September 1879. Note that he has an older brother Daniel born in 1876.



The next record I found for Dennis was his father Timothy's will, written in 1899. Timothy left all of his children an equal share of his personal property except for Dennis, whom he only left $35. What did Dennis do to be singled out? I'll probably never know the answer to that!


After Timothy's death in 1899, Dennis' mother Mary moved the family to a house in the town of Celina, Ohio. Dennis was not living with them in the 1900 census. I found a possible record showing that Dennis was working as a blacksmith for the railroad. If this is him, he's using the name Daniel! His brother Daniel is listed as living with their mother Mary, so this is very curious.


A marriage record from Mercer County appears to verify the marriage information that the genealogy society gave me. I noticed that Dennis was using the initials D.J. which might explain why he was so hard to find. Then I noticed that his name was spelled out in the bottom of the Marriage Certificate and it was Daniel! What's the deal with Dennis using Daniel?



I wondered if it was really Daniel that married Nellie, but Mercer County records had information on Dennis and Nellie regarding his father Timothy's land. On June 15, 1901 Nellie Burton Creeden filed against Dennis Creeden for alimony money which involved Timothy's land.  On December 2, 1901 Nellie Burton (the court gave her the right to restore her maiden name) quit claimed a deed to John Kramer. This was "filed for record" on Dec 6, 1901. Wow! So, Nellie and Dennis divorced after only a few months of marriage.

The next record I found for Dennis was his WWI draft registration in 1918.


Now he's using Dan John! At least that fits with the initials D.J. that he used on his marriage license. Even though the birth date is off by a year and a day, I'm pretty sure this is Dennis. The occupation is blacksmith again and he gives his brother Charles A. Creeden as next of kin. Interesting that he gives Charles' residence as Pueblo, CO. Their sister Julia lived in Pueblo, but I don't know if Charles ever did. The location of Biggs, CA is interesting too and might be a clue as to where Dennis was in the 1920 census. In his mother Mary's obituaries in 1925, Dennis' brother Edward is said to be living in Briggs, CA and the location for Dennis is just given as Cal. I couldn't find a Briggs, although there is a Briggs Terrace. It's possible Edward was in Biggs too.

There are a lot of mysteries here! Why did Dennis use the name Daniel? Why was he singled out in his father's will to only receive $35? Why wasn't he living with the rest of the family in 1900? Why did he and Nellie divorce after being married a few months? Where was Dennis in the 1910 and 1920 census records? Is his date of death correct?

I haven't been able to find census records for Dennis in 1910 or 1920 or a record of his death. I'm going to concentrate on California records next since Dennis was there by 1918 and still there when his mother died in 1925. I probably won't be able to solve all of the mysteries surrounding Dennis, but hopefully can find some more information in the census.

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