03 May Family Mystery Solved
This talented lady is Dr. Lucinda Ann Marsh Alfieri—- my recently discovered Great, Great, Great Aunt Dr. Lucy.
I first found out about Lucinda about 5 years ago. I was here at the La Porte County Public Library in the Indiana Room, using the microfilm readers to find the obituary of my GG-Grandpa, William Arthur Marsh. William was a farmer who lived in New York, Illinois, and La Crosse in La Porte County, Indiana. When reading his obituary in the La Porte Herald-Argus from 24 January 1948, I was surprised to see that he had a half-sister, Dr. Lucinda Alfieri, who lived in Syracuse, Italy. At first, I thought there might be a typo or miscommunication. Could I have a female relative who was a doctor in the early 1900’s and ended up living in Italy? It seemed like a stretch. I researched it a bit in the Library’s free online databases, but after finding nothing at the time on Ancestry Library Edition or Heritage Quest, I moved on to other research.
About a year ago, I checked Ancestry Library Edition again to see if the new content had been added about Lucinda, and I hit the jackpot!
- In a census record from 1880, Lucinda, William, and their parents and siblings are listed as living in Pontiac, Livingston County, Illinois.
- In a census record from 1910, Lucinda was living in Mission, San Bernardino, California in a boarding house. Her occupation is listed as “physician” and the other female boarders are listed as “nurse.”
- Her marriage record told me she married Dr. Luigi Alfieri on 13 April 1911 in Battle Creek, Michigan when she was 30 years old. Both of their occupations were listed as “physician” and her father’s name was listed as John W. Marsh.
- I couldn’t find official documents regarding her death, but several Ancestry Family Member Trees document her death to have been 30 Mar 1954 in Siracusa, Siracusa, Sicilia, Italy. I think this is likely since it matches her location my GG-Grandfather’s obituary. I received the photo above from one of her descendants through Ancestry Family Member Trees.
Here’s a photo of my GG-Grandparents, William Arthur Marsh and Minnie Rebecca Coup and their children taken around 1910. You may recognize some La Porte County names. Back Row: Eva Marsh Earle, George Marsh, Pearl Marsh, Asa Marsh, Verda Marsh Denniston; Front Row: Alonzo Marsh, William Marsh, Dorothy Marsh Speiss (seated), Delbert Marsh, Minnie Coup Marsh, and Susie Marsh Applegate.
Interested in finding out more about your family history? Check out the genealogy page at laportelibrary.org to learn more about the free research tools we have for you at the Library. Or, stop by any of our 7 locations and let one of our librarians show you in person.