I sat back in my chair wondering what my next step should be. Where does one go with a myriad of names and dates after a breakthrough? John had moved on to continue his personal search for his branch of the family and especially for our elusive first Caraccioli immigrant. He had gotten me started with the best possible find that would open many doors to further research. Finding Lulu’s death certificate would show me the location of her final resting place and finding her birth certificate would bring her life-cycle to completion.
I recalled my mother telling me that she died on New Year’s Eve and knowing that stories passed down are subject to the age old game of Telephone, I knew it was best to look in a range surrounding her recollected day of Lulu’s death. Back and forth through various dates I finally came upon her death certificate, but it was not New Year’s Eve, it was January 2, 1916. This was far from the presumed 1914 at 25 years old as the year of her death. Initially the year seemed to be irrelevant. I was looking for drama in the search for mystery surrounding a true love relationship. Dying on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day would have been romantically dramatic, but January 2nd? Not so much. So the day of her death did not appear at first glance to be part of this mystery. Despite my dashed fantasy, this now gave me a range of dates to search out my grandmother’s brother, Edwin A. Coyle. My grandmother had been born on March 11, 1911 and Lulu died on January 2, 1916 giving us a small window between 1912 and 1915 to find Edwin A. I discounted searching the 1916 birth reel since the chance that he was born the day of or the day before Lulu’s death was miniscule. It was near closing time at the archives and the pressure was on. I quickly grabbed the reels of film and raced through them. Nothing after nothing appeared. I was careful to check for both Coley and Caraccioli…and even misspellings of Caraccioli. Nothing. Had I missed it in my haste? I was ready to review them again…or perhaps consider that his birth was never recorded. This would have made sense since there was this odd secrecy about it all. I was feeling defeated, but decided to check the last dates possible, the first and second of January 1916.