Archive for June, 2011

June 14, 2011

Hope for Olive’s family

Waterloo, Clark County, Missouri.
This is to certify that I did on the 19th of March 1875 solemnize the
marriage contract between Levi Davis & Amelia Evans.
James Sollock (sp?) Justice of the Peace
Filed for Record 23 day of March 1875 Thos G Palmer (or Thomas Walmer) recorder.
Missouri Marriage Records. Jefferson City, MO, USA: Missouri State Archives. Microfilm. p 61.

In the search index on Ancestry.com, Levi’s name is transcribed as Carris. On closer inspection it is actually Davis. The ‘D’ has a large swoop on it making it appear to be a ‘C’ until compared with other upper case C’s on the page. This was an “aha!” moment for me, after reexamining this record, I realized that I would not likely find an Amelia Carris anywhere and that Amelia may have survived and had children, giving hope that Olive’s line may not have died out.

  • Statement of the Problem
  • The goal is to connect this Amelia to Olive Case Evans and determine her children, if any, and her date of death. So, there are many questions to be answered. First, is this Amelia Evans the daughter of Olive Case and Washington Evans? Second, can I find her in censuses in 1880 and beyond? A third question arose when I changed Levi’s name in my family tree maker database, from Carris to Davis. This brought up other databases with a marriage of Levi Davis to Amelia and also to a Martha K. [Unknown]. Could the Levi Davis who married Amelia Evans in 1875 be the same Levi Davis who married Martha K. [Unknown]? Did Amelia Evans Davis have children who survived to adulthood and, in turn, have children of their own?

  • Is Amelia Evans Davis the daughter of Olive Case and Washington Evans?
  • To be answer this I began with the census. First, to establish the age of “our” Amelia Evans, I looked to the 1860 and 1870 censuses for Olive Case Evans. There we find Amelia listed in the household with an age of 4 in 1860 and 14 in 1870, and born in Missouri. Searching Ancestry.com, there is no other Amelia in any families in either of these censuses in Clark County. Next, I looked at the 1880 census to determine if Amelia Davis’s age and other characteristics are a match to Amelia Evans. Levi and Amelia are enumerated on page 208 D in Lincoln Township, Clark County, Missouri, Supervisor’s District 5, Enumeration District 41. Amelia Davis is listed as 24 years old and born in Missouri, both of which fit “our” Amelia. Her parents birthplaces are listed as Illinois, for her father, and Iowa for her mother, neither of which fit Washington or Olive, but, especially as we don’t know who was the informant, it is not a complete “deal breaker”.

  • Did Amelia Evans Davis have children and what are their names?
  • Levi Davis and Amelia Evans are enumerated in 1880 with their two children, Thornton, 4, born in Missouri and Jonathan, 2, also born in Missouri. As the 1890 census is destroyed, no census information can be found for Levi and Amelia or other children. After 1890, a Levi married to Amelia is not found in searches on Ancestry.com. This brings up a new set of questions. Did Levi or Amelia die or both before 1900? Did they move from Missouri? Did a death or divorce occur before 1900 leading Levi to remarry to Martha K. [Unknown]? Is their name mangled beyond soundex recognition?

  • What is Amelia’s death date?
  • So far, it has not been very easy to answer the question “was Amelia living after 1880” by using only the census and indexed searches for Amelia Davis. One clue may be found in the census of 1900 for Olive Case Evans. On page 178A, Clay Township, Clark County, Missouri, Olive Evens [sic] is enumerated, with Perry, Shelton J., and Independence in the household. Olive is listed as being born Oct. 1820, and as having nine total children, with six living. I have eight of her children named in my database: Catharine (1842-before 1870), Mary Ann (1846- before 1860), Independence(1849-1900+), Roxanne(1850-1934), George(1853-1920+), Amelia(1856-1880+), Joshua Shelton(1860-1945), and Perry(1864-1910+). Did Olive have nine or did she have eight? The total may be important to determine if Amelia is still living in 1900. That is, if Olive’s statement wasn’t due to faulty math, i.e., “lets see, I think I had nine and three died”, when she actually had eight with three dying, leaving a total of five, then, as I can account for everyone else in either 1900 or after that date, Amelia is likely living. How can we be certain that Olive had nine or eight? I believe that the possibility is high that she had nine, as there is a four year gap between Catherine and Mary Ann, which is larger than the gap between remaining children. The statements from the 1900 census also serves to establish Catherine and Mary Ann as Olive’s and Washington’s children, not the children of Washington from a previous marriage. Now that is a convoluted way to get at a conclusion. I believe that Catherine Evans Sortore, born in 1842, and Mary Ann, born 1846, were deceased in 1900. For Catherine, I find a marriage of a Catherine Evans to Jackson Sortore in the records of Clark County, Missouri, in 07 Oct 1858. In the 1870 Census, I find a Jackson Sortore and wife Margaret in Sullivan County, Missouri. This, coupled with Olive’s statements on the 1900 census, leads me to believe that Catharine died prior to 1870. I cannot find information for Mary Ann after the 1850 census. Although it is possible that she married at 14, it is not too likely. In 1900, I can account for Independence, Roxane, George, and Joshua Shelton and Perry among the living, for a total of five. More research is needed to attempt to determine which of these possibilities exist, that Catherine divorced Jackson Sortore and she rather than Amelia is alive in 1900, that Amelia is alive and not found by the census, or Olive misspoke and she had five children living.

  • Is the Levi Davis enumerated with Martha K. the same as married Amelia Evans?
  • Lastly, could the Levi Davis who married Amelia Evans be the same Levi Davis who married Martha K. [Unknown]? In the census of 1900, page 116 A, Supervisor’s District 155, Enumeration District 17, Anaconda Township, Dew Lodge, Montana, there is a Levi Davis is married to Martha K. [surname unknown]. This couple has been married for 35 years. Doing the math places their marriage year as 1865, prior to Amelia Evans’ marriage to Levi Davis. Therefore, this is not the same Levi Davis, but is a case of same name syndrome.

  • Conclusions
  • Amelia Evans married Levi Davis and had two children, at least. She cannot be located using Ancestry.com census searches after 1880. More investigation into her is needed to determine her fate.