Edna Muriel (Pierce) Wright (1897-1968) was my maternal great-grandmother. What follows is an exploratory analysis of the biographical facts I have discovered about her.
1. Vital records
1.1. Birth certificate
Edna was born February 16, 1897 in Alexandria, Madison County, Indiana1. The State of Indiana didn't require state-wide registrations of births until after 1907. Prior to this date, they were only recorded in the counties where the event occurred. The WPA index of birth records for Madison County, Indiana show that her birth occurred on this date, and the record is located in Book H-1, page 382. I've known this information for years, yet for some reason have never requested a copy of her original birth certificate. Will add that to my "to-do list".
1.1.1. Birth notice in newspaper
If Edna's birth had been mentioned in a local newspaper, I have not yet discovered it. The Alexandria-Monroe Public Library has editions of the locale newspaper, the Tribune, only as far back as 1905.
1.1.2. Bible record
I'm not aware of any surviving Bible record of the Pierce family.
1.1.3. Baptismal record
The Pierce's were associated with the Methodist Episcopal Church in Alexandria, now known as the First United Methodist Church. Have not yet contacted the church to see if there were any baptismal or other membership records for her.
1.1.4. Adoption record
There is no indication that Edna was adopted.
1.2. Marriage License
Edna was married on June 19, 1915 in Alexandria, Madison County, Indiana to Virgil Lee Wright3. As I noted in doing the report for Virgil, I discovered that I do not have a copy of this marriage license. This has been added to my "to-do" list.
1.2.1. Marriage notice in newspaper
Searches of the local newspaper, the Alexandria Times-Tribune, have failed to locate a mention of the nuptials of Edna and Virgil.
1.2.2. Anniversary notice
Edna and Virgil's Golden Anniversary (50th) was mentioned in the Anderson, Indiana Daily Bulletin on June 16, 19654 as well as the Anderson Herald5. There may be other newspapers that mention this anniversary as well.
1.2.3. Divorce decree
There is no indication that a divorce ever occurred, though a search of court records has not been completed.
1.3. Death certificate
Edna died March 3, 1968 in Anderson, Madison County, Indiana6. She died at Community Hospital in Anderson7. The cause of death was listed as pulmonary edema and congestive heart failure6.
1.3.1. Obituary in newspaper
Edna's obituary appeared in the March 5, 1968 edition of the Anderson Herald7. I still need to obtain a copy of her obituary from other newspapers, including the Alexandria Times-Tribune.
1.3.2. Funeral home record
Edna's funeral was conducted by the Karl M. Kyle Funeral Home. I need to try to find out if there exists a record of the funeral, which may contain information about cost, who paid for what, etc.
1.3.3. Tombstone photograph
Edna's tombstone in the Park View cemetery in Alexandria has been photographed. It lists her as Muriel 1897-1968 and her husband, Virgil L. 1894-1972 is also listed; included is their date of marriage "June 19, 1915".8.
2. Census Records
2.1. Federal Census Records
2.1.1. 1930 Federal Census
On April 19, 1930, Edna was enumerated in Monroe Township, Madison County, Indiana9 in the Virgil Wright household, as Edna M. Wright, married, age 33 born in Indiana. She was aged 18 at her 1st marriage. Both parents were listed as being born in Indiana. She was listed as able to read and write and speak English.
2.1.2. 1920 Federal Census
On January 15, 1920, Edna was enumerated in Monroe Township, Madison County, Indiana10 in the Virgil Wright household, as Murril Wright, married, age 22, born in Indiana. Both parents were listed as being born in Indiana. She was able to read and write and speak English. No occupation was listed.
2.1.3. 1910 Federal Census
On April 22, 1910, Edna was enumerated in Lafayette Township, Madison County, Indiana11 in the W.F. Pierce household, as Merle Pierce, age 12, born in Indiana. Both parents were listed as being born in Indiana. She was able to read and write and speak English. She had attended school within the year.
2.1.4. 1900 Federal Census
On June 15, 1900, Edna was enumerated in Monroe Township, Madison County, Indiana12 in the William F. Pierce household, as Muriel Pierce, age 3, born in Indiana. Both parents were listed as being born in Indiana.
2.2. State Census Records
The State of Indiana conducted state census in 1853, 1857, 1871, 1877, 1883, 1889, 1901, 1913, 1919 and 1931. These however, were merely for purposes of determining legislative apportionment.
2.3. Agriculture Census Records
I have not yet investigated these types of census records to see what information may be shed on the Pierce or Wright farms.
3. Military Records
3.1. Draft Registration
Being female, these types of records do not apply.
3.2. Pension Records
Not applicable, as I have found no record that her husband or father ever served in the military.
3.3. Service Records
4. Land Records
4.1. Deed Records
Deed records need to be thoroughly researched in Madison County, Indiana. All evidence indicates that Edna's entire adult life was spent in Madison County, Indiana.
4.2. Plat map / county map
Madison County published a plat map in 1880, 1891, 1893, 1901, 1910, 1915, 1921, 1923, 1931 and 1940 that may be relevant to my search on Edna and the Pierce and Wright families.
5. Supplemental Records
Supplemental records available to research for Edna include county/city directories, court records and will and probate records. Searching these will be on my next "to-do" list in Madison County at the courthouse.
1. Funeral Services Set Wednesday For Muriel Wright article, The Anderson Herald, Anderson, Indiana, USA, March 5, 1968, page 7.
2. Ancestry.com. Indiana Births, 1880-1920 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2000. Original data: Works Progress Administration. Index to Birth Records. Indiana: Indiana Works Progress Administration, 1938-1940.
3. Freeman, Sandra, "John William Wright - Ellen King family group sheet." Compiled [n.d.]. Alexandria, Indiana, USA.
4. Golden anniversary article, Anderson Daily Bulletin, Anderson, Indiana, USA, June 16, 1965, page 2.
5. Mr. and Mrs. Virgil Wright article, Anderson Herald, Anderson, Indiana, USA, June 16, 1965, page 5.
6. Edna Muriel Wright, death certificate no. 1968-0165 (1968), Madison County Health Department, Anderson, Indiana, USA.
7. Funeral Services Set Wednesday For Muriel Wright article, Anderson Herald, Anderson, Indiana, USA, March 5, 1968, page 7.
8. Park View Cemetery (Alexandria, Indiana), Virgil L. and Muriel Wright marker, photographed by Travis LeMaster.
9. Virgil Wright household, 1930 U.S. census population schedule, Monroe Township, Madison County, Indiana, USA, ED 48-46, SD 5, sheet 6A, dwelling 112, family 121, National Archives micropublication T626, roll 605.
10. Virgil Wright household, 1920 U.S. census population schedule, Monroe Township, Madison County, Indiana, USA, ED 122, SD 8, sheet 4A, dwelling 81, family 81, National Archives micropublication T625, roll 449, page 43.
11. W.F. Pierce household, 1910 U.S. census population schedule, Lafayette Township, Madison County, Indiana, USA, ED 106, SD 8, sheet 5A, dwelling 86, family 86, National Archives mircopublication T624, roll 364.
12. William F. Pierce household, 1900 U.S. census population schedule, Monroe Township, Madison County, Indiana, USA ED 90, SD 67, sheet 11B, dwelling 220, family 235, National Archives micropublication T623, roll 386.
This post was developed as part of the series relating to Building My 2011 Research Template, an attempt to systematically document and source the details of my ancestors' lives. Comments regarding this template and the conclusions drawn in this article are welcomed.