My PC's desktop wallpaper cycles through my family photos every few hours and this photo comes up randomly. Last Sunday, I was admiring it for the umpteenth time and decided that I would schedule a blog post for Wordless Wednesday; then decided that since it was a wedding photo I would post it for Wedding Wednesday and write something about the couple.
The photo has been annotated as "James Cecil and Minnie Peake, c 1915." As I looked at my family file for Minnie Peake, I noticed that I never recorded her marriage nor did I have any death info or children or anything for her! So, I set out to discover the family. The first thing I did was to check Ancestry.com–they had a death certificate for "Mrs. James Cecil" in Kentucky. That must be her, I thought, and pulled up the image. But wait. Written above "Mrs. James Cecil" on the death certificate was "Mary Ella"! What??!?? I continued my online searches and found a marriage record on
FamilySearch.org for Lorenzo Cecil and Ella Peak on 25 January 1915 in
Louisville, Jefferson county, Kentucky.
Mary Ella Peake and Minnie Peake were sisters. Mary Ella was born May 1896 and Minnie was born January 1898. How did the wrong names get written on this wonderful wedding photo? It appears that whomever wrote on the back of the wedding photo married James Lorenzo Cecil to the wrong sister.
And is this other photo I have that is marked as Minnie Peake also her sister Mary Ella? She looks just like the bride in the wedding photo above.
I'm fairly certain that this family photo taken around 1905 has Mary Ella and Minnie labeled correctly (I added the names on the front for purposes of this blog post).
Mary Ella, who went by the name Ella, is in every census from 1900 to 1930, first with her parents John O. and Martha L. (Fogle) Peake, then with her husband James Lorenzo Cecil. She and Lorenzo had 10 known children. Lorenzo registered for the draft in 1917 but claimed total disability due to the loss of his thumb and index finger off his left hand. This disability did not seem to keep him from working as a house carpenter in 1920, nor from working his home farm in 1930.
But what became of the sister Minnie? The last record I find for her is in the 1920 census living with her uncle (my great-grandfather) Robert Damascus Peake in Trappist, Nelson county, Kentucky. She was 21 years old, single, and working as a public school teacher. She seems to have dropped off the face of the earth after that. Did she die? get married? whisked away by renegades and taken to their hide-away when the census taker came around? I may never know.
Instead of either Wedding Wednesday or Wordless Wednesday, it's Wondering Wednesday for me!
Thanks for dropping by.
Wedding Wednesday and Wordless Wednesday are daily blogging prompts from GeneaBloggers.