Connecting the Pieces: Following Edward Walter Lyman…

“52 Ancestors: #3 Edward Walter Lyman”

Connecting the Pieces:  Following Edward Walter Lyman…

Edward Walter Lyman, son of Walter and Emma Smith Lyman whom I introduced to you previously, was born on 1 October 1899 at Ocean Springs, Mississippi.   He was given the name Walter Edward Lyman, the same as his father thus making him a junior but he preferred to go by Edward W. Lyman, the name we see most often from the first time he is enumerated with his parents in the 1900 census.  In the 1910 census, he is eleven years-old and living with his mother who is a widowed.  Also in the household are his three sisters: Francis (1902-1917), Zipporiah ‘Polk’ (1904-1959), Valarie (1906-1929) and his adopted sister, Annie M Bush (1904-19??).

For a long time, I often wondered what happened to Edward. I found him in the 1930 census after Cousin Yvonne LeFlore told me to look in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  Once I found him, I put his file on the back burner because the 1940 census was not out yet, nor were Fort Wayne’s City Directories online and travel to Fort Wayne was not in the plans. So... I moved on to the next ancestor. Oh one more point: as hard as I tried, I could not find Edward in the 1920 census.

Just recently did I pick the Lyman file up again, but that is a story in its self-that’s better told at a later date…

So, for now let’s concentrate on Edward’s story.

1900 Census

Source Information: 1900 United States Federal Census (database on-line). Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2006. 

1910 Census

Source Information: 1910 United States Federal Census (database on-line). Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2006


The next time I found documentation for Edward is in his World War I Draft Registration Card which he signed on 12 September 1918 in Clarksville, Montgomery County, Tennessee. The card indicated his description as tall, medium build with brown eyes and black hair.  One significant detail on the card is that it lists him as a convict in the County Jail.

 Source Information: U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918

[database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2005.


As I previously mention I couldn’t find Edward in the 1920 census; his newspaper obituary states he arrived in Fort Wayne, Indiana in 1920 from New Orleans; did he? We will never know for sure unless we find documentation of his release date from the county jail. I would even settle for the date and location of his marriage to his first wife Leona, who was a native of Tennessee.  It is my belief he probably was missed by the census taker during his transition from New Orleans to Fort Wayne in 1920 or even from Tennessee to Fort Wayne. Nevertheless we know he was in Fort Wayne in 1924 the first year we find him and Leona in Fort Wayne’s City Directory.


Edward received some devastating news on 13 January 1928. His mother had passed… Aunt Emma was young just 46 years-old when she closed her eyes for the last time.  It is not known if Edward went home for his mother’s funeral but from the 1930 census, we see the names of his sister Zipporiah (Polk), her two young sons-- 8 year-old Rudolph ‘Rudy’ Glover and 6 year-old Lloyd Burkhardt.  Two nieces, the daughters of his sister Valarie, were also in the household. Their mother had passed the previous June (1929) and are now in the care of their Aunt Polk, 8 year-old Mary (Mariam) Brooks and  6 year-old Yvonne LeFlore.  With two eight year-olds and two six year-olds, Cousin Polk had her hands full. I’m guessing Edward invited them to come to Fort Wayne. Cousin Yvonne told me they only stayed with Edward and Leona for a short time before going to Aunt Mandy’s in New Orleans. I'll have more info about Aunt Mandy (Amanda Alma Smith Satcher) at a later date.

1930 Census Fort Wayne

Source Information: 1930 United States Federal Census (database on-line). Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2006

It’s now three years later 1933 and the Fort Wayne City Directory have Edward and Leona living in separate residences.

1933 Fort Wayne City DirectorySource Information: U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011.


Although I do not have divorce documents for them, they continue to live apart which is reflected in future directories and the 1940 census-- which also lists Edwards’s occupation as Laborer working for the Railroad like in previous censuses.

1940 Census Fort Wayne

Source Information: 1940 United States Federal Census (database on-line). Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2006

Edward would remarry to Rose Mary as indicated in the Fort Wayne’s 1943 City Directory.  Nothing more is known about Rose (maiden name unknown) at this time exception she passed 14 July 1983 in Fort Wayne and is buried at Lindenwood Cemetery as is Leona Byrd Lyman Edwards’s first wife who passed 12 March 1954.

1943 Fort Wayne City Directory

Source Information: U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011.


Edward never had children with either of his wives; regardless he lived a blessed life as is attested by the newspaper obituary upon his death at Fort Wayne, Allen, Indiana on 7 December 1961 at age 62.


Obituary Transcription:

Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette Friday, Dec 8, 1961 pg 9


Edward Walter Lyman, 62, was dead on arrival at 4:45 pm. Yesterday at Parkview Memorial Hospital, where he had been a patient previously for the past two weeks.  Mr. Lyman had been taken home from the hospital Tuesday.

He lived at 1421 Wabash Ave. He came to Fort Wayne in 1920 from New Orleans; He was an employee of the Pennsylvania Railroad 38 years –

Mr. Lyman was a member of the Turner Chapel AME Church and its Men’s Club, St. Mary’s Lodge 14, F&AM, the Fort Wayne Consistory No. 66, and Saudi Temple No. 50.  He was the Imperial Deputy Marshall Ancient Egyptian Order Noble Mystic Shrine of North America.

Survivors include the wife, Rose; two aunts, Mrs. Josephine Brown, Linden, N. J., and Mrs. Anetta Mercer, Ocean Springs, Miss.

Funeral services will be at 1 p.m. Monday at the Turner Chapel AME Church with Rev. S.D Hardrick officiating.  Burial will be in Lindenwood Cemetery.

Friends may call at the Micheaux Funeral Home after 12 noon Sunday. Web: Indiana, Find A Grave Index, 1800-2012 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2012

Photo: Mary Penrose Wayne Chapter, NSDAR


Challenge: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks

“52 Ancestors: #3, Edward Walter Lyman, By: Patricia M. Armstrong Watkins” (01.20.14)

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