Michael Sullivan and Jim Andris: Second Sullivan Cousins Once Removed
Right around the first of 2014, I received an email from a Michael Sullivan. He had found my Sullivan material on the internet, and it seemed very likely that his great grandfather, William Sullivan, and my grandfather, Franklin Marion Sullivan were brothers. He wanted to know if I had any stories or pictures about his great grandfather, or of any of Williams descendants. A correspondence ensued, and I was able to offer a story or two, and a few pictures of relatives.
Of concern to both Michael Sullivan and I was finding a more complete picture of Frank David Sullivan, the father of William and Franklin Marion. Through my own research and my mother's stories, I had reconstructed these general outlines: Frank D. was a riverman, one day, after siring five children by Carolina Buertel, he disappeared into the river mist, with Carolina dying of cancer shortly there after, and Franklin Marion being raised by Carolina's half-sister, Elisabetha. My mother often speculated about the circumstances of Frank D.'s death, but there were no obvious conclusions. I had even gone so far as to request the Catholic Diocese of Cincinnati to search for Frank D.'s birth records, but they were unable to comply with my request.
Michael Sullivan, however, shared with me two other documents that he had uncovered that suggest quite a clear continuation of the story of my Irish great grandfather.
If we assume for a minute that both these records are, in fact, records about my great grandfather, Frank D. Sullivan and are, in fact, entirely accurate, then the following story, augmented by imagination becomes pehaps a strong possibility. Frank D. Sullivan married Carolina Buertel on October 9, 1875. His daughter, Margaret, was born in 1878. The year 1880 was eventful, since his son, William was born then, and apparently, he married Rose around 1880 in Cincinnati. Then my grandfather was born on March, 23, 1881. For reasons about which we can only speculate, he left his family on Pleasant Ridge for wife or partner, Rose, in Cincinnati, and Carolina got sick from cancer and died in 1885. Also Frank D. married women both times about eight years older than him.
I do hold out hope that some day Michael or I or someone will be able to trace the Irish line back farther that we have. At least now I have a possible name for my grandfather's grandfather: John Sullivan. I wonder how many of those there are?