So we thought maybe that was the connection. All the family of Merriam knew was that she had a baby boy born on March 4, 1890 and she said the father was named Brooks. A year later she married William George Champness and he adopted the baby and they named him, Edward.
We were not able to find any marriage certificate of a Brooks and Seale, but we did find a birth certificate of a Frank Brooks born on the same date, March 4, 1890. Since the mother is listed as Mary Sieli, we wonder if this is her.
Birth Date:4 Mar 1890
Birth Place:Oakland, Alameda, California
Father: Frank Brooks
Mother: Mary Sieli
FHL Film Number:1571595
Since my family is not related to any Brooks family, or the Seale's, except through marriage, we were at an im·passe until the Champness family did a Y DNA test of two of the male siblings. Y DNA tests father, to father to father, etc. connection. To our surprise the tests showed that O'Neill was the result. Through Family Tree DNA a link to O'Neill Clan website shows this O'Neill line is 1B ONeill Variety, R-DF27 Haplogroup RM269. https://www.familytreedna.com/public/oneill?iframe=yresults
One of my great uncles or great grandfather must be the father of Edward. Merriam was 21 at the time of the birth. The only eligible male O'Neill's, were my great grandfather, Patrick who was 45 years old or his oldest son, James who was 17.
The Curran's had a big ranch in Berkeley in the hills and we have pictures of people frolicking and having fun at their property. I imagine that there were many festivities at that ranch and lots of family intermingling during those days.
The O'Neill line that they are related to is the O'Neill of the Fews. The search for more is continuing.