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Two Wives – Same Name

Have you encountered people of the same name in your genealogy research? If so, have you ever encountered your same name individuals married to the same person?

As I’ve been researching the descendents of John Lewis Ricketts, I found his grandson, Jason G. Ricketts, on the FamilySearch FamilyTree with two wives. The fact that Jason had two wives isn’t unusual. However, these two wives have the same name: Ruth Lindley.

When I encountered these two Ruth Lindley’s, I was just starting to find information on Jason Ricketts. Since I use the FamilySearch Family Tree to help me fill out the families as I start to research them, I was stumped. I didn’t know which Ruth Lindley was the correct one. However, I found some records that identify the parents of Ruth.

One of the first items found was a newspaper article announcing the marriage of Jason Ricketts and Ruth Lindley. This article identifies Ruth’s parents as Mr. and Mrs. John B. Lindley.

Kempton Young People Married
Jason Ricketts and Miss Ruth Lindley, both of Kempton, were united in marriage in Tipton last Tuesday, at the home of Rv. G. D. Foster. The ceremony was witnessed by Mr. and Mrs. Grant Tudor. Mrs. Tudor being and aunt of the bride. The bride is the only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John B. Lindley and the groom is the only son of Mr. and Mrs. Edwin Ricketts, all of Kempton. The newly weds will reside with the groom’s parents for the present. Both the young people are respectably connected and they have a host of friends in the vicinity in which they live.

“Kempton Young People Married,” The Tipton Daily Tribune (Tipton, IN), 18 June 1915, page 8; digital image, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : viewed online 27 November 2021).

Even though the marriage announcement identifies the parents, I don’t feel it provides enough evidence to eliminate one of the Ruths. That’s because the FS tree shows John H. Lindley as the father of one and John B. Lindley as the father of the other.

Thus, the search continued. Thankfully, there are some other records readily available on Ancestry that help identify the parents. The first is a database record for Indiana marriages that lists the parents of Ruth.

Name: Ruth Lindley
Gender: Female
Race: White
Age: 24
Event Type: Marriage Registration (Marriage)
Birth Date: 20 May 1891
Birth Place: Tipton, Indiana
Marriage Date: 15 Jun 1915
Marriage Place: Indiana, United States
Residence Place: Kempton, Indiana
Father: John Braxton Lindley
Mother: Hester Ann Pickerell
Spouse: Jason G Ricketts
Page: 3
FHL Film Number: 002315335

“Indiana, Marriages, 1810-2001,” database, Ancestry, (www.ancestry.com : viewed online 28 November 2021), Jason G Ricketts.

Since Ruth LIndley Ricketts died in Indiana, there is a death certificate for her on Ancestry. And, that death certificate also identifies her parents as John and Hester Lindley.

Name: Roth L Ricketts
[Roth L Lindley]
Gender: Female
Race: White
Age: 75
Marital status: Widowed
Birth Date: 20 May 1891
Birth Place: Indiana
Death Date: 23 Feb 1967
Death Place: Anderson, Madison, Indiana, USA
Father: John Lindley
Mother: Hester Lindley

Indiana, Death Certificates, 1899-2011, Ruth L. Ricketts, 23 February 1967; database with images, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : viewed online 27 November 2021).

For my purposes, I am accepting Ruth G. Lindley, daughter of John and Hester Lindley as the wife of Jason Ricketts. Since I am NOT a descendant of Jason and Ruth Ricketts, I am not comfortable removing the other Ruth Lindley as a wife of Jason Ricketts on FamilySearch.

Even though I’m uncomfortable with removing Ruth, daughter of John and Miranda, I did the following:

  • Added the source for the newspaper marriage announcement to the family of Jason Ricketts and Ruth G. Lindley.
  • Uploaded a screenshot of the marriage announcement to the Memories for both Jason Ricketts and Ruth G. Lindley.
  • Added the source for the Indiana death certificate to Ruth G. Lindley
  • Uploaded the image of the death certificate to Ruth G. Lindley
  • Added a discussion to Jason Ricketts about the parents of his wife.
  • Contacted the individual who added Ruth G. Lindley as a spouse to make them aware of the sources and images I’ve added.

2 thoughts on “Two Wives – Same Name

  1. I think you’ve been extra helpful to those who might care to correct the FS tree. I only go there as a last resort. Even on Ancestry, I have mostly just ignored the incorrect information.

    • Thank you!

      I know that some avoid the FS tree and that others complain because someone changed ‘their ancestor’.

      However, I feel that this tree has tremendous potential IF everyone works to get it correct. Thus, I’m willing to upload sources and images from my research.

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