Saturday, March 21, 2020

SOL 21/31, #52Stories 10/52: Learning about Elvis

What do we know about Elvis Martin?

From the 1910 Census:
He was living in Oklahoma (state), McIntosh (county), Eufaula (township).
His parents, William and Mary, had ten children in 1910, seven of whom are living. 
His parents were farmers.
His parents and grandparents were born in Arkansas.
He had six living siblings: Leonard (18), Rebecca (15), Madline (13), Eller (9), Melvin (5), and Pallie (3).
All of the siblings were born in Oklahoma, except Leonard. He was born in Arkansas.
A niece, Frannie (4), was also living in the household.
Elvis (9) and Eller (9) were twins.
This 1910 census record was attached to Family Tree by Sarah Anne McKee, my great-niece.

From Find a Grave:
Elvis Martin was born on April 12, 1901.
He died on December 25, 1918.
He was buried in  Fame, McIntosh County, Oklahoma.
The photo and information were attached to Family Search by Cynthia Leigh Cox.

From family stories:
Elvis died in the flu epidemic of 1918 while trying to get home.
I remember my mom telling me that he died in a bus station in Muskogee, Oklahoma.
I prefer the story my cousin Carol and my brother Karl remember. Elvis was trying to return home from Colorado to his family in Oklahoma. When he got the train, he stopped in a cafe to eat. The waitress told him he was too sick to keep traveling. She helped him find lodging for the night. When she returned to check on him the next morning, Christmas Day, she discovered that he had died sometime during the night. 

Elvis was my great-uncle. 
His twin sister, Ella, was my grandmother. 


  1. Searching your family records-fascinating!

  2. I've been working on family history in my new-found free time. I love learning about the people who came before me. Those people are my roots!

  3. Your aunt’s story is a little more comforting. But my favorite part was the reveal of Ella at the end. I loved it for two reasons: she was your grandmother, and that “Eller” and “Ella” reminds of the “country” or “Southern” pronunciations of names in my family. One of my favorite memories of that was going to meet an aunt of my husband’s. I heard her name multiple times... but I couldn’t believe it. Her name couldn’t really be “Country Delle,” could it? No, it could not. Everyone was saying “Cud’n” Trudelle... Southern speak for Cousin Trudelle. Of course, I had never known (and still haven’t) anyone named Trudelle. She was delightful.

  4. I’ve noticed a clinical, detached tone to Family Search, and other genealogical sites, but must admit my experience is limited. Still, story is so much more than details. I prefer Carol’s story, too. Now I want to know more about Elvis’s backstory.

  5. Not only a family story, but one that connects you with our present-day events as well, emphasizing the cyclical nature of pandemics. We recently discovered a new detail about my husband's family, also using Find a Grave as a resource...maybe inspiration for a post of my own, thanks!

  6. And this is why we need to write! I want my kids, grandkids and great-grandkids (if we even get that far!) to know where they came from and the stories behind them.

  7. Such a cool story! But so sad that he died alone while he was trying to get home to his family!

    1. My cousin Carol commented that if he had made it home, we might not be here. Chilling thought and something I'd never thought about.

  8. What a fascinating idea to search family records! I've heard people comparing today's pandemic to that 1918 flu epidemic. The story (ies) you share of his passing are gripping. Thanks for sharing this!

  9. So fascinating and so sad, in many ways ... how hard people had it back in those days. So many lost multiple children when they were little ... I've seen rows of tiny gravestones adorned with lambs belonging to one family. Grandma would sigh when she told the stories. Poor Elvis, dying on Christmas when he was trying to get home to the family ... I can see this playing like a movie in my head, Ramona. I treasure these old stories ... they're a legacy.