15 January 2015

Dempsey Boyd Trotter Facundus (1899-1960), part 2

I feel fairly confident with my ability to research and find sources to document my ancestors. I admit that my skills at documenting and writing down my conclusions are not as well developed. In April of last year I made a post called Dempsey Boyd Trotter Facundus (1899-1960) in which I posted all of the sources I found for Dempsey.

What I failed to post was the reason I had done the research for Dempsey and why I was confused about my findings. Both of which would help me to better understand when my research got back around to Dempsey and for anyone who would read my blog and could possibly answer some of my questions. As fate seems to work, my first and as of yet only comment on this blog was for this post.

As I wrote in my post My Brick Wall Ancestor, I am at a brick wall in my Trotter line. I have tried many different approaches to finding more information about him. One of many issues with this ancestor is that the dates don't really line up. It may be that the Trotter name was given to my ancestor because it is the same name as his siblings. His biological father may not be the same person as his siblings father. One way I can answer this question is by using DNA, I just need to find a living descendant of one of my ancestors siblings.

As I began my descendancy research from my Brickwall, I started with my known ancestors brother William Jasper Trotter whose biological son is Dempsey Body Facundus. Dempsey's name instantly raised questions for me. Why is his last name Facundus when his father's name is Trotter? To add even more confusion, my ancestor Samuel Thomas Trotter was married to Emma Facundus. The Facundus surname has to be more than a coincidence. As I tried to figure out the family connections I found myself in a haze of confusion. That is when I wrote my post in April.

The comment I received on the post was from Lena Martinez. She stated that her great-grandfather is Dempsey Facundus. She also included her ancestry line to Dempsey. She also mentioned that her grandfather, Dempsey's son, was still living in Arizona. A quick Google check lead me to Lena's grandfather William Facundus Sr. I called and spoke with him yesterday to try and get more information about his father and perhaps his grandfather.

William was receptive to my call but wondered how I got his information. He told me the family story that Dempsey's parents both died and so he went to live with his aunt Kate or Katherine. He also told me that when through bootcamp he passed the security screening and that they came back to him and asked him about his fathers surname change from Trotter to Facundus. William Sr. called his parents and that was the first time he was told that his father had moved to live with his Aunt Kate when his parents died. The Army seemed okay with the story and William was admitted into his unit. William Sr. said he did not know much more about the Trotters.

Click for larger version
I put together the above chart to try and understand the relationships of this family. From the sources I have found I can prove all of the following relationships that are connected. However, as of now I cannot find the Facundus connection between Dempsey and Emma Facundus.

I still have some questions about Dempsey, as did Lena.William Sr. told me that Dempsey was a young boy when his parents died and he went to live with his Aunt Kate. I assumed Kate was a Facundus but she is a Newsom, sister to Dempsey's mother.

  • Dempsey was born in 1899.
  • Dempsey is enumerated in the 1900 census with his sisters in the home of William and Nancy Trotter.
  • Dempsey is enumerated in the 1910 census in the home of Walter and Kate Facunduz.
  • Dempsey's father, William Jasper Trotter, died in 1914.
  • Dempsey's mother, Nancy Newsom, died in 1918.
  1. When and why did Dempsey leave his parents home to live with his Aunt and Uncle?
  2. How is Walter Facundus related to Emma Facundus?
  3. Why did Dempsey's sisters remain in Louisiana and not with Aunt Kate?
  4. Dempsey was 15 when his mother died and 19 when his father died, why change his surname to Facundus?
When I spoke to William Sr. I asked him if I could send him a questionnaire in the mail that asked simple questions that may spur memories of his family. One of the questions I added was if he would be willing to take a DNA test. This may be the best way to see if we are descended from a common ancestor. Lena's comment may lead me to a breakthrough on my brick-wall ancestor.