Thursday, October 29, 2009

Rachel Ann "Minnie" (Newcomb) Terpening Fenner

A lovely vacation day spent mostly on family history! I traipsed down another sidetrack today and it paid off. I decided to look for a date of death for Rachel Ann "Minnie" (Newcomb) Terpening Fenner. She is a sister to my great-grandmother, Elida (Newcomb) Russell, and the daughter of an Enos and Susan (Westervelt) Newcomb.

Minnie was married twice, first to Lawrence Terpening and second to Theodore Fenner. She had no children. This is a relative it would have been interesting to meet because she didn't seem to like to stay in one place very long. She lived in Pennsylvania, Iowa, South Dakota and Kansas.

I followed her through the census from Pennsylvania, to Delaware County, Iowa, to Fort Pierre, South Dakota, where in 1910 she married Theodore Fenner when she was 60 years old. (No retirement in a rocking chair for this woman!) In 1920 they lived in Middle Creek, Miami County, Kansas. Clues on suggested Coffeyville, but most cemeteries are not transcribed and online for those two counties.

As I thought about where to look next, I said to myself, I wish she would have died in Missouri! I wish all my ancestors who died between 1910 and 1958 died in Missouri! Through the generosity of the State of Missouri, we have free access to PDF images of death certificates through I have found death certificates for relatives on the Jones side, the Mayfield tree and now this one, on dad's side. It's a genealogist's dream and something I wish every state would copy.

So I decided to give it a try. I typed Fenner in the search engine and got a list of 60 Fenners with death certificates. And when I saw her name, I got that little buzz of electricity I get sometimes right before I find what I'm looking for. It was "my" Minnie Fenner!

Info from the death certificate: Minnie Fenner lived at 116 W 36th Street in Kansas City, Jackson, County, Missouri. She had lived in Missouri four years. She was the widow of Theodore Fenner. She was born 25 June 1847 in Montrose, Pennsylvania to Enos Newcomb and Susan. The certificate says Van Dyke but I believe her maiden name was Westervelt. The person giving the information was Mrs. O. B. Whitesell who lived at the same address.

Minnie was seen by the doctor from 7 Nov until 9 Nov 1927 and died 11 Nov 1927 at 4:05 a.m. The cause of death was Senile Arteriosclerosis of 20 years duration. Contributory cause of death has a check mark but no additional information. There was no operation preceding death and no autopsy.

She was buried in Mount Hope Cemetery (no city given) on 12 Nov 1927.

Theodore Fenner is not listed in the Missouri Digital Heritage Death Records Certificates database under this name. Minnie may have been buried in the Mount Hope Cemetery in Kansas City but I couldn't find any online transcriptions of this cemetery.

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