Tuesday, June 30, 2009


The picture above is of John Breckinridge Preston McConnell and Narcissa Frances "Bonnie" Wright on their wedding day in Glasgow, Kentucky - July 3, 1865. The family bible shows he has those two middle names, but he always was shown on documents simply as John B. McConnell. Narcissa, except for listings on censuses and on her marriage license, was called Frances most of the time, and her grandchildren called her "Bonnie."

This much information was available to me when I first starting doing genealogical research in 1984. I've learned lots about her, but poor great-grandpa John is all but an unknown in my records. The McConnells moved to Kosse, Texas by 1880, where they had a small farm. They sold the farm in 1886 and from that point on I can't document him anywhere. Family lore is that they came to Colorado Springs when their son-in-law, an engineer for the Midland Railroad, was killed in a train crash in 1893. Family lore continues that they then went to Palisade, Colorado and for a short while owned an orchard; he missed the south so supposedly they went back to Texas, where he died in 1898. "Bonnie" moved back to Colorado by 1900 and her life is well documented from that point on.

Poor John has dropped off the radar screen after leaving Texas the first time, and I cannot find his burial place anywhere. I cannot find a grave in either Limestone or McLennan Counties, Texas, which are both mentioned in family stories. He is not buried in Palisade or Colorado Springs. Nor is he buried in his old Kentucky stomping grounds. Recently I hired a researcher to see if she could find deeds in Mesa County between 1890 and 1900 that would show him buying and/or selling property; there is no land record for John B. McConnell.

John is my great-great grandfather. I have this awful feeling that he is one of those people who simply are not going to be found. I hate to give up on the hunt, but I don't know where else to look. I keep hoping that one of these days someone is going to post online somewhere a cemetery transcription or burial records in which John B. McConnell b 27 September 1829 Kentucky shows up. If it is going to happen, it had better be sooner than later, as I am getting older every day and would like to have that tiny piece of information before I depart and become an ancestor myself.

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