Rabbit Trail Tales

Following the Trail of Frank Blunt and His Unexpected Journey

Frank Blunt
Frank Blunt

Sometimes, a character emerges from the most unexpected places and grabs ahold of my mind, immediately planting a seed of ‘is there more?’

I was recently doing the Blunt family history research as part of my husband’s tree.  Since it was not a direct ancestral line for my husband, I was satisfied to stop with his Aunt Norrie, who was of the Blunt family.  But I found myself looking a bit further this morning and uncovered ‘one of those stories’ that makes you stop and realize that what we do is so much more than data collection.  A story was laying before me.

Aunt Norrie’s grandfather had a bit more to share than the data that I had collected.  It surfaced in his obituary.  In this situation, it was not the manner of his death in his early beginnings of life that caught my attention.  Franklin ‘John” Blunt was orphaned. The obit gives a timetable, a location, and possibly the homes he may have lived in.  So I turned to the census to see if I could find him and his ‘trail’.

Born in 1863 in Davenport IL, we would find him in the 1870 census living with his parents but now in Missouri with his sister Ida and his grandfather William Blunt.  When searching a bit further, it is his maternal grandparents that lived in Rock Island, IL.  William was listed as retired farmer, but I could not find more information on Ida.  So I moved on to the next census, 1880 which found Frank at age of 16 living in Wisconsin with Amanda Shivly, age 32, living at the same address.  Amanda’s obit reveals that she never married, died at the age of 92. I’m going to assume the best, she was a giving woman who took in those needing a home.

As we continue to read, Franklin went from state to state until settling back om Iowa. So although Franklin had a hard life, it seems that at the end of it, he was highly esteemed by his family and community.  A goal worth reaching for.

Blunt, Frank news; obituary
Blunt, Frank's obituary notification.