22 October 2008

Virginia: Solving a lake mystery

Two brothers, whose hobby is genealogy, believe they have found the the identity of the person whose bones were found in Mountain Lake, Virginia. Read about it here.

There's a two-minute video of the TV news segment providing more information on how Jim and John Dalmas used a Clemson University class ring, census records, a WWI draft registration card, a historic newspaper article and other resources to give a name to the bones in Mountain Lake.

They say that the person items near the remains belong to Samuel Ira Felder of New York.

"It's a giant puzzle, and all the pieces fit together and you have one picture," says Jim Dalmas.

It started with bits of pieces reported by the media, including important information investigators released last week about a class ring.

"The sheriff's department figured out the ring came from Clemson University, and of course the ring was the key to figuring the whole case out," says Dalmas.


According to their research, Samuel Ira Felder was born May 10, 1884, was a native of Orangeburg, South Carolina and graduated from Clemson University. He later moved to New York City where he was a telephone company engineer. Some census reports showed he was married, but had no children.

"The newspaper article clinched the deal," says Jim. "It said he had fallen out of a boat."

A July 27, 1921 South Carolina newspaper reported Felder fell overboard and drowned while boating with a party of friends on Mountain Lake.

Jim said Felder would have been 37 when he died. He also said Felder had siblings and might have living relatives.

Another case solved by dedicated genealogists!

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