View Full Version : OH OH - Family mystery - need help!

01-02-2005, 11:57 PM
Here goes - my beloved grandmother died in the 1980's. My uncle (her son) made arrangements with the Long Island National cemetary to have her buried with her husband, Floyd Sykes. He was a WW1 army sgt but died in 1945. Here's where the mystery started. The cemetary had his wife's name as Edna May Graham, of Coshocton, Ohio. That is also where he was born. But - my grandmothers name was not edna may graham. After much back and forth, and my uncle finally convincing them that they probably made a clerical error on the name or something, they gracefully agreed to bury "nana" with her husband.
My uncle never knew too much about his dad's family - his dad was raised in an orphanage.

However, being an incurable sleuth - I did some research on the internet. I typed in Coshocton family trees and a website popped up with a coshocton genealogy site of a James Kerr Graham family. I scrolled down and sure enough - there was a Edna May Graham (born about the same time as Floyd sykes - a few years younger) and married to a Sykes! However, the site mentioned that she was shot in the head and committed to a mental institution. It gives no details on the shooting and I have reached a dead in in trying to find out more.

I have not told my uncle (he is now 80 yrs old and a WW11 marine) and I know he would have a hard time accepting he was "illegitimate" - but I strongly suspect he knows - he's too smart not to. He sometimes mentions this edna may graham - and I know it bugs him he is left with this mystery.

Any thoughts on how I could find out if this is the woman I suspect was his real wife? She also is dead, but I know this really bugs my uncle and I would love to solve this mystery. Thanks all for listening

01-03-2005, 12:05 AM
This is interesting! Have you given any thought to perhaps contacting a member of the Graham family and seeing if you could learn anything?

01-03-2005, 12:26 AM
Hi Jokar,

I have a few questions about this. Do you believe that Floyd Sykes is your uncle's real father? If so, are you sure that your grandmother wasn't your grandfather's second wife? I'm a bit confused about how this all fits in. Do you have a date of death for this Edna Mae Graham?

If you are willing to pm me with your grandfather,grandmother and Edna's birth and death dates (If you have them), I can look them up on some genealogy sites. It would also be helpful to know the approximate areas they lived in at what time.

01-03-2005, 02:20 AM
thanks so much for trying to help me. Yes, my grandmother was my uncle's real mother - I am guessing floyd sykes left ohio, moved to NY (brooklyn) when he met my grandmother. Their son, also named floyd sykes was born to them in brooklyn 1925.

I have contacted the family tree board, but no replies. Its part of roots web but I hit a dead end. Edna may graham was born in coshocton ohio on 5-20-1895 and floyd sykes was born in coshocton 1885. Edna graham died 5-5-1978 and was buried in a cemetary in ohio. Thats about all I know - if I could find out more, my uncle would finally have answers to this mystery that has haunted him. Good or bad, we need to know.

you see, my grandmother was married before she met mr sykes and had a very young child with her first husband. When she met floyd, they lived as man and wife and my mother always told me how kind and loving he was to her. she and my uncle were only 6 yrs apart in age and floyd sykes became her dad in every sense of the word. apparently he was truly a very loving parent

so I feel I owe this to my uncle to solve this mystery - no matter how it turns out - my uncle will always love and respect the man who was so kind to him and my mom.

Again - can't thank you enough for helping me try and uncover the truth. You are so kind trying to help a total stranger - I am so grateful I found you guys

01-03-2005, 01:30 PM
There are quite a number of records that you might look into for possible answers. Marriage, birth, death, and divorce Records for the states of New York and Ohio might yield something.

If you know the cemetery that Edna is buried in, then check with them for any and all records, including who else is buried in the plot with her. They might have a copy of her death certificate on file. Next check funeral home and church records and hospital records. Find out what newspapers are in the area and see if they have an obituary or funeral notice on her - also maybe a story on the incident in which she was shot. Maybe the police files would have something on it - if you can determine a date and place of the incident.

It is possible that the Veteran's Cemetery got Edna's name from an old Army record of some sort - perhaps they have a copy of his discharge papers. You say that he died in 1945. A fire distroyed most Army Individual Service Records in July 1973 at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, MO. So it is very likely that they have an old copy of something from his record. Contact the Cemetery and ask.

At one time there was a link on Rootsweb to an Ohio website which contained a list of all OHIO WWI draft records. See if you might be able to locate your grandfather on that site to find out what unit he served with. Knowing that, you might be able to find more information about him through Army unit records.

The Ohio state Adjutant General's Office might also have some record on him if he was a member of the OHIO national guard.

One other thing to check is the Veteran's Administration. Their phone number is 1-800-827-1000. This will connect you with the VA regional office nearest your home. Ask if they have any kind of record on your grandfather, and if so try to get all the info they have in their computer listing. It won't be a lot, but they can give you something. Try to find out when the last benefit was paid out and to whom and where it was paid. It is possible that your grandmother may have been receiving VA benefits based upon his service. If so, you could request a copy of that origional benefits application.

Best of luck!

01-03-2005, 03:28 PM
thanks richard - I will get on that right away. Really appreciate the help - will let you know if I find something out - thanks again - very kind of you

01-03-2005, 06:13 PM
To find out where to get birth, death and marriage records for a specific county, go to vitalrec.com. They will have addresses and prices for the whole U.S. by county. It's a very helpful site. I would start out contacting Coshocton Countyto see if they have a marriage certificate for Floyd and Edna. The cost is $2 plus a self-addressed stamped envelope to

Coshocton County Probate Court
318 Main Street
Coshocton, Ohio 43812
(740) 622-1837

Death Certificates for the state of Ohio are $15 and can be ordered online at http://www.vitalrec.com/ohcounties2.html#Coshocton

I did some searching in the census, and I found an Edna Sykes who was listed as an inmate at the Columbus State Hospital in 1930. She was 34 and married. The Social Security Death Index also lists an Edna Sykes who died in 1978 in Ohio.

I'm still searching right now. I'll let you know if I find anything more.

01-03-2005, 09:08 PM
Was Floyd's middle name Chalmars?


01-03-2005, 10:38 PM
Oh my God - yes it was! We never could understand that - never heard of a family member with such a name as Chalmars. Please - tell me how you found that - my uncle recalls telling me about many years ago (in the 1930's) how he and his dad went by train trying to find relatives, but they were unsuccessful - as you recall - he grew up in an orphanage.

Wow - you guys certainly have earned the name super sleuths!

01-04-2005, 12:06 AM
This is kind of odd. I know these people aren't yours but I find it ironic that two Floyd Sykes had wives that were shooting victims.

http://boards.ancestry.com/mbexec?htx=message&r=rw&p=localities.northam.usa.states.newyork.counties.j efferson&m=6028

01-04-2005, 12:19 AM
yes that was me asking - but email is different then so guess it doesn't matter now - thanks

01-04-2005, 12:36 AM
Sorry, I was hoping I was onto something. You'd be amazed at what you can come up with just finding different ways of searching.

01-04-2005, 01:55 AM
Lol, Jack. I found that article last night too. I was all excited until I realized that nothing matched up. Weird coincidence though.

01-04-2005, 05:50 PM
Jack - how did you find his middle name? when I clicked the website - it just has edna's death info - i am really not computer saavy - could you tell me how you found his middle name was Charlmars? This is him - but I can't seem to find out you found that out!

01-04-2005, 07:34 PM
Jack - how did you find his middle name? when I clicked the website - it just has edna's death info - i am really not computer saavy - could you tell me how you found his middle name was Charlmars? This is him - but I can't seem to find out you found that out!

The link I left with Edna's death info was just a link I found that had her SSN, you could probably use her social to find many things out about her.

I found Chalmars on a webpage about the Sikes/Sykes family. You indicated that the inquiry made on that page was from you so I deleted it as it had a name on it and you might not want your name on this board. I didn't know his name was Chalmars, I just found the page that had Floyd Chalmars Sykes, WWI, and born in the 1880's and thought I'd ask if you knew his middle name. My hope was that I could put you in touch with someone else looking for info on him and maybe that would lead to more info about his previous life that you did not know. I'm perplexed though, so I'll probably keep my eye out in the future when I'm cruising genealogy pages.

01-04-2005, 08:34 PM
Here is a link to some Online Searchable Military Records & Databases.


04-23-2007, 11:23 AM
Jokar, What did you find and how has your research progressed?

03-29-2015, 04:34 PM

Go to site and type in names