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Article Published April 16, 2001

Sandra Devlin EAST COAST KIN (Canada)
By: Sandra Devlin, Biography & Archived Articles

Do you have a missing clue to the Mulligan stew?

Genealogy research starts to get really intriguing when you get past the initial stages and stumble across a mystery

Such is the case for David Soule, a school teacher in Maine with a masters degree in New England studies who has been tracing his roots for 13 years.

David is hoping one or more East Coast Kin readers will have clues to share to help solve his mystery.

Although his mysterious ancestors lived in south-eastern New Brunswick, enough of his family are unaccounted for, that it is feasible that descendants could be found anywhere in the Atlantic provinces, indeed anywhere in North America.

The United States government, after all, seems to have discovered information about David’s great-grandmother that he is having difficulty proving.

An older cousin of David’s used to work on Airforce One, the famed U.S. president's aircraft.

In order to get security clearence the government looked into his family’s background. Government investigators found stuff about Addie Mulligan (said to have been born about 1900 in Moncton, N.B.) and her family.

“There is a lot of mystery about this family,” says David.

Addie Mulligan’s mother Cora Anderson or McDonald was "found " as a child, according to U.S. security records and family lore.

Addie was one of nine children and a sister to David’s grandmother Vera Mulligan, born in New Horton, Albert County, N.B. Vera's father Arthur was one of eight children of Robert and Anne Nixon Mulligan.

Most of these folks have simply vanished. Their descendants could have individual pieces of the puzzle, which when compiled together would solve the mystery.

Arthur married Cora Anderson, the adopted daughter of Major and Elysia Wilber Anderson of New Horton, N.B.

Growing up I was told that Grammy Mulligan was adopted when her mother, the Anderson's housekeeper, died in childbirth,” says David.

“The childless Anderson couple raised the orphan as their own

. “It always seemed confusing, however, as it appeared well known to Cora's older children that their mother’s real maiden name was McDonald. Folks knew more than they were willing to tell 80 years ago,” says David. “The plot thickened when many years later Cora's youngest daughter Ellen sent me a photograph of Cora's ‘mother.”

He says, “ I was curious about the Anderson-McDonald thing.

In Harvey Parish, New Brunswick there was only one female of child-bearing age with the name McDonald. Her name was Rebecca, daughter of James and Rebecca Nixon McDonald. She had a brother Thomas with whom she lived in 1881. Thomas had a child named Code. Cora's nickname was Code. Could this mean that a brother named his child after the child his sister forfeited?”

David knows in his heart of hearts that the information to solve this mystery is “out there somewhere. The U.S. government found it. It has to exist. The only question is where?

If you have any information about Anderson, MacDonald or Mulligan families, perhaps the Nixon or Code connection, contact: David Soule, 10 Churchill Rd., South Portland, Maine, 04106; e-mail:

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