Ancestral Clues and Lessons: Fannie (Rampley) Neill

Fannie (Rampley) Neill was born in Walker Township, Hancock County, Illinois, in 1883 and died in Ursa, Adams County, Illinois, in 1963. Some things I learned about research from Fannie:

  • try and find their “real” name. Fannie is referred to as “Fannie” on every document from her marriage until her death. Frances appears on her birth record and one census enumeration when she was still living at home. For that reason I refer to her as Fannie when writing about her.
  • the hired man may become your husband. They were near neighbors also, but Charlie Neill was working as a hired man for the Rampleys for about a year before he and Fannie married.
  • “gone” does not mean “gone.” Fannie is listed as “unavailable” according to her husband when served with a summons in a court case shortly after their marriage. There’s no evidence to suggest she ever left during this time period and it’s reasonable that she was either ill,  simply refused to go to the door, or that her husband said she wasn’t around.

Fannie is my great-grandmother.


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