Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Another Great-Grandmother Mystery

Just like my great-grandmother Fannie on my maternal side, one of my great grandmother’s on my paternal side has haunted me for years.

She’s the one that seems to push me the most amongst my North Carolina ancestors and yet she’s the one I know the least about. She’s the one that I always felt like was denied her rightful place amongst the ancestors, and that’s it always been up to me to tell the world about her.

Unlike like my maternal side, very few stories or information about the ancestors were handed down on my paternal side. So it’s been dogged determination with the few snippets I did get that have allowed me to even get a small glimpse of her.

And so here is what I knew when I begin this search

1. My aunt, Martha Edith Jones, was named after both of her grandmothers.

2. My dad always said that Mary Williams, who he and my aunts and uncles called grandmother wasn’t really my granddad’s Mom. Dad always suspected that Mary Williams was my granddad’s aunt.

3. On occasion, dad mentions that he thinks granddad had some siblings.

What I know and have discovered through the years

1. On my grandparents’ marriage license, granddad lists his mother as Martha and she was still living when my grandparents were married (Dec. 27 1914).

2. On the 1900 census, Hamilton, Martin, North Carolina, there are three families listed for dwelling, 110.

  • Family 121, General Williams and his wife, Mary E.

  • Family 122, Je* Williams (female), age 70, is listed as head. With her is Joseph Williams, age 16, listed as her son and Clansy Jones, boarder, and Leter Jones, boarder.

  • Family 123, Martha Jones, head

3. I’m fairly confident in stating that (1) this is the Mary E Williams that reared my granddad (granddad’s death certificate list General Williams as his father and Mary Elizabeth Jones as his mother. My grandmother was the informant on granddad’s death certificate), (2) Clansy is my granddad, Claudius, and (3) the Martha listed is my great-grandmother.

And now, the headaches, frustrations and questions

1. Where were Mary and Martha between 1880 and 1900? Based on the 1900 census, Mary was been born abt. 1872 and Martha was born abt. 1877. To date, I’ve not been able to locate either of them on the 1880 census. I've also never been able to locate them or granddad on the 1910 census.

2. What happened to my great-grandmother after 1914? I’ve not located her on the 1920 or 1930 census. Did she marry?

3. Who is Leter Jones? Is it possible that my grandfather had a twin? On the 1900 census both are listed as being born in 1892 with granddad being born in July and Leter being born in August.

Till Next Time

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