Tuesday, April 1, 2014

52 Ancestors - Mary Elizabeth Fiddler (Belknap)

Amy Johnson Crow of No Story Too Small issued the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge.  Each week focus on one ancestor and post something about him or her.

My 2nd great grandmother, Mary Elizabeth Fiddler, was truly an American. She was born, raised, married, gave birth, and died in United States. She was the daughter of pioneer stock, born December 2, 1856 in Hardin County, Iowa. Mary's parents, (Henry Fiddler and Frances George), and grandparents, (Jacob George and Martha Cantwell), were one of the earliest settlers in the area. 

When Mary was 19 she married the youngest son of Martin Belknap and Betsey Bristol, Thomas, in Iowas Falls. Thomas's and Mary's children, Martin Henry in 1877 and Birdie Eldora Leona in 1880, were born in Eldora, Iowa. I guess that is where the Eldora in Birdie's name comes from. Later, one of Mary's great granddaughters would be named Eldora. My great grandfather, Donald Francis, was born in Marshalltown, Iowa in 1882. 

By the 1885 Minnesota Census, Mary and her family has moved to Ransom, Nobles County,  Minnesota, along with some of her in-laws: Thomas' father, (Martin and his family), his brother, (Richard and his family), and his sister, (Sarah Scott and her family). 

The Belknaps seemed to be a family on the move. In the U.S. City Directories Thomas can be found living in Minneapolis, Minnesota from 1892 to 1898. This is were Mary dies at the age of only 41 on July 26, 1898. She buried at the Crystal Lake Cemetery in Minneapolis. She left behind her three children, Martin 20, Birdie 17, and Donald 16. I've not found any evidence that her husband, Thomas, ever remarries. He leave Minneapolis shortly after her death.
More posts on Mary's family:

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