Zion Chatt’s Mid-Summer Mystery, Part 1

Carrie W. Friedell is buried in row 1 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Ohio, but her burial is not recorded in Zion Chatt’s records and there is no mention of her or of any Friedell in the church records. [1]

Who was Carrie W. Friedell, born in 1873 and died in 1965, and what is her connection to Zion Chatt? I had to know.

I first did my usual on-line searches for Carrie W. Friedell and hoped to learn the exact day and month of her death. Nothing.

I found a nice photo of her tombstone on Find a Grave.com, but I already had a photo of her tombstone, one I took a couple years ago.

Carrie W. Friedell, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. (2011 photo by Karen)

Carrie W. Friedell, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. (2011 photo by Karen)

I thought of looking through The Daily Standard obituaries on microfilm at the Mercer County Public Library, but it is a daily paper and I might have to look through a whole year of obituaries since I did not know the exact day she died. I did check the obituary file at the library but there were no Friedells in the file. Searching through issues of The Photo Star was not an option either because unfortunately, the Brumback Library in Van Wert does not have The Photo Star on microfilm between the years 1953 and 1977.

Actually, I suspect that her obituary was not even printed in an Ohio newspaper because she very likely died in another state, probably Indiana.

So I went to the most recent record I could think of, 1940 census. There I learned that a Carrie W. Friedell was living on South Hartford Street in Eaton, Delaware County, Indiana, in 1940. Carrie was 67 years old, which means that she was born about 1873. [2] That fit. So far so good.

Carrie W. Friedell, 1940 Census, Eaton, Delaware County, Indiana. [2]

Carrie W. Friedell, 1940 Census, Eaton, Delaware County, Indiana. [2]

She gave Indiana as her state of birth. She had completed 2 years of college and her occupation was “sale work.” She was married and was the head of the household. In fact, she was the only one in the household. A “7” was written by an “M” for married in the marriage column, [2] indicating that her husband was elsewhere, in another household. She was “self-reporting as married, but no spouse was present.” [3]

Carrie had lived in Warren, Huntington County, Indiana, five years before. Her name was also written at the top of the census page because Carrie was a census enumerator in Eaton in 1940. [2]

Carrie W. Friedell, 1940 Census Enumerator, Eaton, Delaware County, Indiana. [2]

Carrie W. Friedell, 1940 Census Enumerator, Eaton, Delaware County, Indiana. [2]

The 1873 birth year matched Carrie’s tombstone and this was likely the woman I was looking for, but maybe not. I wanted to be sure. After all, Eaton is not all that close to Chatt.

Where was Mr. Friedell in 1940? At that point I did not even know Mr. Friedell’s first name.

Next I looked at the Social Security Death Index, aka the SSDI. From her Social Security information I learned that in 1943 she was known as Carrie Wren Friedell. She was born Carrie Wren Edginton, born 31 March 1873 in Eaton, Delaware County, Indiana, to Benjamin F. and Harriett E. (BoBo) Edginton. [4] Unfortunately there was no exact death date on this Social Security Death record.

Although her name was spelled “Edginton” in the Social Security record, it is spelled “Edgington” in most of the other records I have run across. So I will use the Edgington spelling hereafter.

During my research I noticed there was another Carrie Friedell. Caroline Francis “Carrie” Fritscher was born in Toledo, Ohio, 14 May 1894. She was married to William John Friedell and she died 30 April 1974. She is buried in Calvary Cemetery, Toledo. Definitely not the Carrie Friedell I am looking for. [5]

I also noticed that some people have submitted family trees on some websites and have the two Carries all mixed up and intertwined.

This would be a good time to mention that some simple analysis, reasoning, and common sense can go a long way when doing genealogy research. All I can say is please, please, please look at the data you are entering and posting on-line and just reason things out. Think, people, think! If you indicate that a child was born 20 years after the mother had died or that a mother and her child were born in the same year, you probably have some details wrong or you are looking at the wrong person and family.

Nevertheless, there were some very good “clues” on-line and I now know to be on the lookout for information about other Carrie, who lived and died in Toledo.

By this time I was feeling pretty sure that the woman I was looking for was Carrie Wren Edgington, born 31 March 1873 to Benjamin F. and Harriett E. (Bobo) Edgington.

I was finally getting somewhere, but I still wasn’t 100% sure. I still had a long way to go to make the Edgington-Friedell connection.

At the same time I was getting some very unusual newspaper hits to my on-line searches– Seeks Divorce Because Wife Wants Education. One of Friedell’s “Wives” Sued for Oriental Rugs. Indiana Oil Man Sent to Prison.

All connected to Carrie W. Friedell.

Could this be our Carrie?

Just what is her connection to Zion Chatt?

It gets even more interesting.

Part 2 of Zion’s Mid-Summer Mystery series continues next Friday.


[1]  Tombstone Tuesday—Carrie W. Friedell, 25 August 2015 blog post, Karen’s Chatt, www.karenmillerbennett.com.

[2] 1940 U.S. Census, Eaton, Delaware, Indiana, ED 18-52, p.15A, line 4,family 292, Carrie W. Friedell; FamilySearch (www.familysearch.org : accessed 14 Aug 2015); from NARA microfilm T627, roll 1038.

[3]It Was a 7: One 1940 Census Code Revealed” blog post, 5 Aug 2012, Ancestor Roundup (, www.ancestorroundup.com : accessed 25 Aug 2015).

[4] U.S. Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007, database on-line, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 14 Aug 2015); Carrie Wren Friedell.

[5] Caroline Francis “Carrie” Fritscher, memorial no. 95549866, Find a Grave (www.findagrave.com : accessed 25 Aug 2015).


Skip to comment form

    • Carol Schumm Piper on August 28, 2015 at 3:33 pm
    • Reply

    Karen, It’s hard enough having to wait from Tuesday to Tuesday for your posts. Now I have to wait until next Friday for more info here? This is very interesting, and I can’t wait – Thank you!

    1. Thanks! Glad you are enjoying it.

    • Martha Fisher Lawler on August 28, 2015 at 6:15 pm
    • Reply

    This is so fascinating. I have no connection to this person but I enjoy a mystery and you are doing a good job of looking for all the clues. Have you ever thought about writing a book? Keep up the good work.

    1. Thanks, Martha. Facts can be more interesting than fiction and I don’t have the imagination to make this stuff up. So glad you are enjoying the mystery. Thanks for reading.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.