Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Breakall / Brakeall Surname

I have finally started organizing my Breakall/Brakeall family notebook.

I have a GG Grandfather that I need to get some clarification on the correct date of birth. I can see how this has become an issue after collecting all the documents that I currently have and organizing it into chronological order.

The problem family member is my gg grandfather Frank Brakeall:

Frank F. Brakeall
(someplace I had seen his middle initial as B but have not come across where I've seen it.)
Death - listed as Frank F. Brakeall dd. Sept. 24th 1948 (11:30 am)
states his bd. as June 20, 1882 and age as 66 years 3 mo. and 44 days
cause of death: Suffered gunshot wound to the chest (Suicidal)

Newspaper article - Frank F. Brakeall age 66
I found the news article at NewpaperArchives.com

U.S. WW II Draft Reg. Card - Frank F. Brakeall bd. June 20, 1883

U.S. WW I Draft Reg. Card - Frank F. Brakeall bd. June 20, 1884
1930 Census - Frank F. Breakall age 45 approx. b. 1885
1920 Census - Frank F. Brakeall age 36 approx. b. 1884
1910 Census - still need
1900 Census - Frank Brakeall age 13 listed birth date as June 1886
1890 Census - no 1890 to help compare

Birth Certificate - The copy I found from Clinton Co. Courthouse has two dates listed
beside his name. Breakall, Frank
First date is May 18th (not sure if the year is 1886)
Second date is June 20th 1886
parents are Martin V. and Anna R. Breakall. At the time I made this copy I did not think to copy the header at the top for each entry to know what the corresponding column would mean. So I will try to remember this in the future.

Ok. This is all the information I have at this time. I do not have a copy of his marriage record yet. I will add it to my check list.

The problem comes in when I do searches for Frank Brakeall/Breakall there is an 1870 census record for his parents Martin B and Rebecca A Brakeall

1870 Census Record includes:

Brakeall, Martin B. age 28
Rebecca A. age 25
William age 7
Martha age 5
John age 2
Frank age 1/12 (1 mos.)

1880 Census Record includes:
Brakeall, Martin age 39
Anna R. age 36
William age 17
Martha S. age 15
John A. age 13
Harry age 10 (born in 1870?)
Harvy age 8
Ida M. age 6
Florence age 3
Marla age 8/12

So far from what I can tell is that in 1870 there was a Frank Brakeall born in May of 1870. Which could explain why there are two dates listed on the copy of the birth certificate I have. But what about 1880? No Frank listed but Harry? who was 10 and would have been born in 1870. Did the name change for some reason? The fact the Frank was only 1 mo. old in Jun of 1870 he would have been born in May. So the likelihood that there were two Franks seems impossible and still have borne a child in 1870 named Harry? unless Harry was born in 1871 or 1869 and just happened to be listed as 10 yo in June of 1880 census? I don't believe that is the case, but I guess anything is possible, it is Genealogy. It just seems more likely they changed his name or possibly his name is Harry Frank?

At the time I got the Birth Certificate I did not know about the Census record showing a Frank born in 1870 and 1880 listed a 10 year old Harry, or I would have tried researching a birth certificate for Harry also.

The other problem is when I research my Frank at Ancestry, most people have the birth date of May 18th 1870 listed for my Frank who is married to Rita Robinson. It just makes me wonder if they really did the research on Frank or are they just going by what everyone else has entered based off the Census. All other documents for Frank F. Brakeall who is married to Rita Robinson lists his birth date as Jun 20th 1882/1886. The most convincing for me would be the birth certificate since it is written up pretty close to time of the birth event, so this would be 1886. (I'm wondering now about the other date of May 18th, just wish I had the book from the courthouse in front of me to answer that question.)

So this is a mystery. I think the most obvious answer would be to find a birth certificate for Harry, but I have not been able to go back to Clinton County to do anymore record searching. So this is a trip I need to plan to do again, and I can look at the book again that I originally found Frank's birth in. Needed records for all Frank's sibling would be helpful. That is a project I have been putting off for awhile.

I hope family members can help out too. I have not contacted many Brakeall/Breakall researchers yet, but will have to start searching for them now. I'm ready for another brick wall to come down!

See ya 'round the bend!


Jim Owston said...


I am related to the Brakeall/Breakall families, although from one of the PA branches. My ancestor was the brother of Martin Van Buren Brakeall.

You can check out by genealogy blog at http://linealarboretum.blogspot.com/

Jim Owston said...

I struggled with the two Franks issue, but there is also another problem in the 1880 census - Harry and Harvey are switched. Harvey was the one born in 1870 and Harry in 1873.

Census records are prone to mistakes on the part of the informant and on the part of the census taker.

There is a possibility that the child had not yet been officially named and Frank was the prime candidate, but it was decided against.

The child born in May 1870 was actually named Harvey E. Breakall and was born 30 MAY 1870. Harry A. Breakall was born 23 AUG 1873.

M said...

I wondered the same about the Harry/Harvey and possibly they changed the name from Frank. I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought this.

M said...

I will look the birth records for Harry and Harvey when I go to Clinton County.

Jim Owston said...

That should settle it. I came to my conclusion by looking at later census records and death records.


M said...

Thanks Jim. I am planning to go on Tuesday July 6th to Clinton County. I have a day off work and I will search Harry and Harvey and double check Franks birth record.
In looking at the information I had out last night I read that Harry E. was born in 1869 in Fulton Co. PA. and that John A was born in 1869 in Clinton Co. but I had a note written in that John was actually born in 1865 in Clinton Co. This is information sent to me way back in 2000. I will have to sit down and write down names to look up while there.

Thanks again.

Jim Owston said...

While your there, see if you can get any death record info on Henry H. Breakall/Brakeall and his wife Susan.

I doubt that Harry was born in Fulton County, as I don't think they ever returned for any length of time. I would think they all were born in Clinton - but, I could be wrong.

Here's what I have on Harry from his death certificate:

Name: Harry A. Breakall
Death date: 11 Jul 1953
Death place: Newcomerstown, Tuscarawas, Ohio, United States
Birth date: 23 Aug 1873
Birthplace: Ohio
Age at death: 79 years
Gender: Male
Marital status:
Race or color: Caucasian
Street address: 119 Rivers Street, Newscomerstown
Occupation: Laundryman
Burial date: 14 JUL 1953
Cemetery name: West Lawn Cemetery, Newcomerstown, OH
Father's name: Martin Breakall
Mother's name: Rebecca Mound
GSU film number: 2246551
Digital GS number: 4109471
Image number: 01070
Reference number: 50173
Collection: Ohio Deaths 1908-1953

M said...

I just printed out Harry's death certificate last night from Familysearch.org.
I've also printed out Susan McKinney's death certificate from familysearch.org, it lists Henry Breakall and Susan Sponsler/Spousler as her parents and husband as George. Not 100% sure if this is Sister to Martin Van Buren, but looks promising.

I found a Harvey in the 1930 census in Michigan who married another and had another child. I believe this is the correct Harvey.

I can understand the evidence supporting Harvey being the one born in 1870 from all the census information there after. All the information I have found so far for Frank suggests his birth date as June 20th give or take a few years from 1886.

Look forward to tomorrow and I hope to find good stuff.