A trip to South Dakota

In the last post I mentioned that I had looked up a bunch of my relatives in Vermont Newspapers. While researching Jason “Elroy” Fuller, I came across something interesting.

One of the first things I found while researching him for the first time was this bio in the book Genealogy of Some Descendants of Thomas Fuller of Woburn. By: William Hyslop Fuller.


As you can see it says that Elroy lived in South Dakota for 8 years. Being a decent genealogist I know that sometimes you have to take these family histories with a grain of salt. For nearly a year I couldn’t find anything that lead me to believe that Elroy really went to South Dakota. Why would he leave his wife and eight young children alone for such a long period of time?

While searching the newspapers I found something interesting.

The Vermont watchman, November 24, 1904, Elroy Fuller

So it turns out that the family history of Thomas Fuller was correct. Elroy did in fact go to South Dakota. Apparently he didn’t tell anyone that he was leaving. Which made me wonder why there of all places he could travel in the US. As far as I knew my ancestors had no connections to that part of the country. I didn’t find anything on when Elroy came back to Vermont, but I knew that by 1915 he had passed away in Roxbury, VT.

I had given up any hope of finding out more. Until I was searching for Elroy’s father-in-law Luther Blanchard. A few months before the above article saying that Elroy left, I found this one:

Luther Blanchard The Vermont watchman, June 23, 1904 pt2

The Vermont Watchman (23 Jun 1904)

Luther’s second wife was Lydia Hackett, William’s sister. This was the SD connection I was looking for. While William was visiting his sister he must have been introduced to Elroy. What I still don’t understand and probably never will, was why he left for such a long time without taking his family with him. And what was he doing up there?

This information that Elroy traveled to South Dakota is huge for me. My mother and myself are somewhat of the black sheep in our families. We like to travel, not just travel, we moved.. a lot. Knowing that one of our ancestors moved so far away from his family makes us happy to know that we aren’t the only ones. And it’s possible we got it from him.

My question to you guys is this: Is there a place I can look for records about his time in SD? I’ve tried Ancestry and Family Search. I don’t have any ideas from there. Any help would be wonderful.


4 responses

  1. I think there might have been a later type of “gold rush” in the Dakotas. Not necessarily for gold, but some kind of mining, if I am recalling correctly.

    1. Hmm. That would make sense.

  2. I know it isn’t much but you could check out the state’s digital archives:

    1. Thank you so much!

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