Monday, October 09, 2017

Omelia Jones Fuller--U.S. Special Census on Deaf Family Marriages and Hearing Relatives

Octavus Fuller and Omelia Jones
From special census forms on Deaf Families information on the marriage date place for the couple and the name of their parents are given with listing of their children as well as siblings of Octavus and Omelia.  This one in particular left more questions than answers so I had to read over what I know of Omelia's early life and go looking for more information in various records to see if I could piece together the picture.

Omelia Jones was one of the daughters of Thomas Jones and Rebecca Hitchcock.  She and her husband Octavus Fuller are listed in the U.S. Special Census on Deaf Family Marriages and Hearing Relatives, 1888-1895.  Thomas and Rebecca raised their family in White County Tennessee  The information from the forms show that Octavus and Omelia  married in Peeled Chestnut, TN in 1874.  While the day and month are correct, they are off by a year according to White County TN Marriage records which give the year as 1875.  Octavus and Omelia were both deaf and dumb from birth.  She attended the Tennessee School for the Deaf in Knoxville during 1855-1856  and then again after the war in 1866.  It is unclear how she met Octavus.  He grew up in Maine.  Octavus appears to be well traveled as he is in San Francisco in 1870 working as a shoemaker and his deafness is not noted on that census.  In 1870 Omelia is living with her older sister, Catherine(also deaf mute) and Catherine's husband and children in Franklin Co Indiana.  Another sister, Almedia(also deaf) lived there as well. By 1880 Octavus and Omelia are in the area of Maine in which he grew up and are starting a family.  They would have two sons, both of whom could hear.  This is noted in the Special census on Deaf Family and Marriages as well as in the 1880 Supplemental Schedule of Defective, Dependent and Delinquent Classes(see snippet from below.) U.S. Federal Census - 1880 Schedules of Defective, Dependent, and Delinquent Classes [database on-line,, search on Octavus W Fuller in Maine]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010.
Maine State Archives; Augusta, Maine; U.S. Federal Census - 1880 Schedules of Defective, Dependent, and Delinquent Classes; Year: 1880; Roll: 19-161 Paris Oxford County, Maine, USA

Their oldest son Edward dies in 1900 at age 23 from Diabetes.  Omelia is widowed in 1911 when Octavus dies from Cancer of the Liver.  I find her next in Chicago where sister Almedia and her husband live.  Omelia marries Richard Tracy in 1915 and this is where she is living when she dies Christmas Eve of 1924.    I still don't know exactly how she came to met Octavus.  I thought maybe it might have something to do with schooling or function for deaf persons.  Maybe some day.

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