Saturday, December 28, 2013

New Cousin

On of the best things about is that others are looking for answers which leads them to you. I have a new 2nd or 3rd cousin who just found a note I wrote about my grandmother. We have the same great grandmother although we know little about her family. It is exciting to think that maybe she will be able to tell us a little more. My great grandmother left her family and moved away leaving three small children. She eventually remarried and had four more. My grandmother had nothing kind to saw about her mother and didn't let her kids know she was still living. Still, I have to wonder what the other side of the story was. Our newest cousin may not know either but there might be some interesting tidbits to lead us to a more balanced view than we currently have. We all have stories but most of them are biased. It would be fun to have another view point and I am pretty excited.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Oh my goodness!

I have searched the census records for months looking for Martha Jane McCollum Rhea. She is the focus of my family search and the person whose story I want to tell. I couldn't find her in the 1890 or 1900 census. While I still haven't found her in 1890, I finally found her in 1900 and was shocked.

She remarried. That in itself isn't such a big deal as she had been a widow for a long time and still had children at home. Lillie was 15 when she married Amos Hammons. Since Lillie was born 2 months after John was murdered, she was alone for a long time.

What's shocking is she never used the Hammons name so the only place we find it is on the census. Amos had a son who was not listed on the census so I have more research to do. It appears Amos also moved back to Virginia where he was born. I only found this information last night so I can't draw any real conclusions but my guess is the marriage didn't last long.

Just when I thought I had pretty clear understanding more was revealed. Life is sometimes more complicated and what I thought I knew changed again.

Back to researching.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Census reports

I started out with a new book called Writing the Family Narrative. I got as far as page 34 when I read a sentence about census reports. It stopped me dead in my tracks because I hadn't really looked at them before as a complete record. I got the names, ages, sex, and marital status but hadn't really looked at the checked boxes.

I have been having a problem with my 2nd great grandmother and discovered that Susannah was a 2nd wife and not another name for Sally. The boxes checked were "married within the year". I hadn't seen that before but it goes a long way to explain the name issues. More work certainly needs to be done but it now appears Sally was the first wife and the mother of the children while Susannah  and my 2nd great grandfather married when they were both in their 50's.

Given that information, I have copied the blank census forms and am filling them in page by page. I wondered why my great aunt never married but the census says she was handicapped. Wow, what a lot of information I missed.