Monday, August 19, 2013

Mystery Monday - Who was Manda Bolls?

Last week I posted about some of the mysteries surrounding Dennis Creeden. Dennis used the name Daniel or Dan in some records which seemed very curious since he had an older brother named Daniel. Dennis and Daniel were sons of my 2x great-grandfather Timothy Creeden and I thought that finding out more about them might shed some light on Timothy. Instead, when I looked into Daniel's past, I found another mystery.

Daniel Creeden in Celina, Ohio, 1934
Most of the records on Daniel are pretty straightforward. He married Lena Gleadall (or Gleagall) in 1902 and they had two children, Ned and Ida Bell. Sadly, both children died young and Daniel and Lena eventually divorced. Daniel lived out his life in Mercer County, Ohio and died in 1962 at the age of 84.

Daniel and Lena's Marriage Certificate in Highland County, Ohio, 1902
Daniel's parents' names are misspelled as T. Creed and Mary Madison (should be Matson), but otherwise the facts for Daniel on the Marriage Certificate seem correct. I've seen Lena's last name spelled as Gleagall, but in this record, it is Gleadall. The marriage license was filled out on April 29 which was Daniel's birthday and Daniel's age of 26 places his year of birth at 1876.

Daniel's birth is where the mystery comes in. The only records I can find for a Creeden born in Clinton County, Ohio are for a David Creeden, born April 29, 1876 to Timothy Creeden and Manda Bolls. Timothy was married to Mary Matson, so who was Manda Bolls? I haven't found any other records for a David Creeden or Manda Bolls in this time period.

The birth took place in Wayne Township, Clinton County, Ohio, but the residence of the parents was given as Clark Township. I knew from the 1870 and 1880 census records that Timothy lived in Richland Township, so maybe that was the residence of Manda Bolls.

I couldn't find a trace of Manda Bolls in the census, but in the 1870 census Clements and Nancy Bolls are on the same census page as Timothy and Mary Creeden. So it would seem likely that Timothy knew the Bolls family.

1870 Clinton County Census Records for Bolls and Creeden Families
In the 1880 census, Daniel is listed with Timothy and Mary and is 4 years old, placing his year of birth at 1876. I couldn't find the Bolls family in this census.

1880 Clinton County Census for Timothy Creeden and Family
The Creeden family moved to Mercer County in the mid 1880s and Timothy died in 1899. In the 1900 census, Mary is living in Mercer County with several of her children, including Daniel. Daniel's birth month and year are given as April 1876.

So, who was Manda Bolls? Was this just a mistake in the Clinton County Birth Index? If she was the mother of Daniel, would it be likely that the child was raised by Timothy and Mary? Another possibility is that there was another Timothy Creeden in town, but I haven't found any evidence to support that. Is it possible that Timothy's neighbor reported the birth for them and wound up being recorded in the index?

Daniel used the birth date of April 29 on his WWI and WWII draft registrations, so it seems likely to me that the birth index is indeed for my Daniel. His year of birth on the 1870 and 1880 census records was 1876, but it varied in later census records from 1874 to 1877. His draft registrations and obituary had 1877. I think it's possible that the name on the birth index entry is Daniel instead of David, but that still doesn't explain Manda Bolls being listed as the mother.

Name on birth index
Name on 1880 census
My initial searches for Manda or Amanda Bolls turned up a couple of possibilities, but nothing definite. An Amanda Boles lived in neighboring Fayette County, Ohio and was married to Henry Brown. She died in 1925 in Fayette County.

Amanda Boles Brown Death Certificate, 1925
This Amanda was born in Virginia in 1859 or 1860, so she would have only been 16 or 17 in 1876. From census records, she married Henry Brown in 1875 or 1876. According to the 1910 census, Amanda had 14 children and 7 were still living! I've tracked down a few of her children, but 14 will be a challenge.

I haven't come to any conclusions on this yet. Daniel was treated the same as the other children in his father's will and the 1910 census showed that Mary Creeden gave birth to 10 children and 8 were still living. Mary's sons James and Patrick had died before 1910, so Daniel would have been included in the 8 living children. The only record showing anything different is the birth index, so that is certainly a mystery.


  1. What a mess! Could it be that Manda helped with the birth as an assistant midwife or something and her name was mis-recorded? Although that does seem a little far-fetched for a small town/county. Maybe a fling with a young girl that didn't get fully covered up? Or maybe they took on her child when she couldn't care for it? Did you happen to find another reference to her in the birth register? So many questions...

    1. I keep coming up with theories, but they probably are far-fetched! One of them is that Manda's name was mis-recorded somehow. I didn't find any other references for her in the birth register or census.

      My great-grandfather told my father of a rumor of Timothy having a child with a Cherokee woman, so could that woman be Manda? So far, my Dad's stories have been pretty accurate, but the rumor didn't include anything about Timothy raising the child! I found a marriage record for Clements and Nancy Bolls in Wisconsin, so maybe there are some more clues there. They were the couple near Timothy in the 1870 census, so Timothy must have known the Bolls family. I know, so many questions!