Monday, August 31, 2009

Madness Monday - The Hunt Continues for a Great Grandmother: Part I, Mary Elizabeth Jones Williams

Thanks to GeneJ, administrator and leader for Most Wanted! Ancestors Lost and Found group on Genealogywise, and thanks to the remembrances of my mother, I recently unearthed a few more clues in the search for great grandmother Martha Jones.

First let me review the limited clues that I had

My grandfather, Harry Claudius Jones (1892 - 1955) was reared by Mary Elizabeth Williams and General Williams.

My grandparents married on Dec. 27, 1914. On the marriage license, my grandfather indicated that his mother was Martha Jones and that she was still living.

1900 census analysis from an earlier post.

All these years, I've always tried to follow Ms. Mary back in time, without any success, figuring that she would lead me back to my great grandmother. Don't know why but rarely ever did I try to follow her or General Williams forward.

I now realize, thanks to GeneJ, that I have to think completely outside the box when it comes to this particular line of my family. The straight lines of conventional methods are useless. With GeneJ's help, I've been following both Mary and General Williams pre- and post 1900.

Let's start with Mary

1900 Federal Census - living in Hamilton township, Martin County, NC as the wife of General "WILLIAMS." Mary E "WILLIAMS," Black, Female, born Jan. 1872, age 28, married 9 years, born in North Carolina, Father born in North Carolina, Mother born in North Carolina.

Other information for this household was listed in my previous post.

1910 Federal Census - living in Hamilton township, Martin Count, NC as the wife of JL "WILLIAMS." M2 Mary E "WILLIAMS," Black, Female, age 37, M2, married 19 years, 0 children born, 0 children living, born in US, Father born in US, Mother born in US.

The following person is also listed with JL and Mary E:

Claudius Jones, Lodger, male, black, age 17, single, born in US, Father born in US, Mother born in US.

1920 Federal Census - living in Cross Roads township, Martin County, NC as the wife of General "WILLIAMS." Marie "WILLIAMS," black, female, age 47, married, born in NC, Father born in NC, Mother born in NC.

The following person is also listed with JL and Mary E:

Mary Furman, Boarder, female, black, age 46, widowed, born in NC, Father born in NC, Mother born in NC.

Death Certificate - Locating Ms. Mary's death certificate was a bit tricky until I remembered a casual statement my mother had made a few months ago. My mother remembered that after Ms. Mary had gotten up in years, her caregiver contacted my grandmother saying that she could no longer take care of Ms. Mary and asked my grandmother to take care of her. Well, this past week, I quizzed mom more on her remembrances of Ms. Mary, and mom told me that she was living in Winston-Salem, NC with grandmom Jones at the time of her death and that she had been taken back to the eastern part of the state for burial. Mom's remembrance even gave me a time frame because this occurred after my parents had married in 1959.

Unfortunately, Ms. Mary's death certificate didn't reveal a lot. My grandmother was the informant and appears to not have known who Ms. Mary's parents were. Ms. Mary died on Sept. 2, 1963. I was 2 at the time and obviously remember none of this. My grandmother buried Ms. Mary in Pitt County, North Carolina. Now I do wonder why grandmother had Ms. Mary buried in Pitt County given that General Williams, who had died much earlier, was buried in Martin. Perhaps there is no meaning to be attached and that was where my grandmother was able to find a burial location for her. Maybe she didn't even know where General Williams was buried. Just one more thing to consider.

Now on to Part 2, General Williams


  1. That's good stuff. I love it that NC has their death certificates online. I wish more states would follow suit! I wouldn't put too much stock in the Pitt v/s Martin County burials, as the two counties are side by side. Take a look at them on this map.

    Also, is there any chance that Claudius could have been Martha's son?

  2. Nadasue,

    I've always assumed that the Martha listed on the 1900 census was my great grandmother Martha. This line has always been hard for me to get any information on past my granddad. My only indications to his biological mother are the grandparents marriage license and the fact that my aunt told us she was named after both of her grandmothers. My aunt's name was Martha Edith.


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