April 29, 2011

Sudduth Cousins

Hoping all my Sudduth cousins in Tuscaloosa, Alabama are safe.

April 27, 2011

Wake up Call

Start right now. Call them, visit them, write them a letter. You know, those people in your family who are getting older. Hey, none of us are getting any younger, and this life thing, it’s progressive. So stop what you are doing and make that call to arrange that visit, or sit down and write that letter, use your best penmanship, don’t type it. And ask them, “tell me about your life when you were younger”, “how did you meet your spouse”, “tell me about your sisters/brothers”.

When I first started genealogy, when I was very young, about 4, I was given the standard advice: Start with yourself and document, document, document. Interview your older relatives and ask them about your family.
Yes, you must document. The reason is that your records are most likely to exist. This is dull as dishwater to do, but you must get the records before that courthouse burns or springs a leak in the records room, or w-h-a-t-e-v-e-r document destruction forces hit your records. But, I would say put your emphasis on interviews, which are taken from the most perishable resource.

Oh, BT-dub if you are recording, put the volume control on medium, that way you can be assured you have some sound. I have interview tapes which are difficult to hear since I did the exact opposite of what I thought I was doing.

For every birth record you collect, for every marriage license you find, interview two people. Do this until you run out of people. Here is the twist for you, do descendant research periodically in your tree. After pushing back a generation, or so, follow their descendants, even especially those who don’t directly connect to you. Then you will find some new people to interview.

After some time of doing research, I was a little older, I think about 8, I interviewed my Great Aunt Pearl. One question I frequently asked was “what was your grandparents’ names”. This is how I knew her grandmothers name was Emily Lemarr. Then life happened, and time to research, and interview got scarce. I wish now I had pursued an advanced degree in History, not Computer Science.

Here is the painful part, had I interviewed her a few years earlier, then done the follow up work, which I have recently completed, I would have found the family connections that I have now, and I could have interviewed the granddaughter of Olive Case Evans, Mae Dunn Coe. You see, she died in 1975. Admittedly, as stated in the timeline above, I was only 5, and very new to research. She was the informant on all the death certificates for her sisters and their husbands. She knew everything, even where her brothers-in-law were born and the names of their parents. Perhaps she had Joshua and Catharine Case’s family Bible. Perhaps she had all the family Bibles. I am sure you are thinking, contact her descendants and interview them. I may be completely wrong here, but I believe this line died out. You heard it, died out. Mae’s only daughter, Celeste E. Coe Kascke, died in 1981. According to census records, she and her husband had no children. I found a death certificate for a premature infant daughter born to the Mae and August Kascke, in 1925 in Missouri. I suspect there are many more of these in Colorado, where they subsequently moved.

Families are more fragile than we have been lead to believe. Interview them now.

April 14, 2011

And the dirt he popped up from, he bought in 1830

Joshua Case has been my idée fixe for some time now. He appears to have “popped up out of the dirt” in Illinois in 1830. Here’s the recap of the findings, to date.
Thanks to a generous male who descends from Jackson Case, we know that the Case family who lived in Illinois, Iowa, Missouri and Arkansas belong to the same DNA group as descendants of one of the Case brothers who settled in New England in the early 1600’s and are believed to be sons of William Solomon Case of Aylesham, England. Don’t get excited, they did not arrive on the Mayflower. Some accounts have them arriving on the Dorsett. Three are fairly well known and studied, Thomas, John, and William. Thomas had no children, so he is eliminated as an ancestor. There are two other Case names in the area at the time, Richard and Henry, who may also have been brothers to these three. There is no paper or archival source of which I am acquainted which conclusively links Henry and Richard to Thomas, John and William. However, there is a descendant of a Henry Case (1637-1664) on the Case DNA list, whose DNA matches other descendants of William Solomon Case.
So, does this leave me in the same place as when I started? Not exactly. Though it seems with this family I find more about the families associated with them than about them, I am inching ahead, learning a tiny bit about them and more about the history around them. Inchworm, inchworm, you and your arithmetic will probably go far.
The Will and Probate
Joshua Case created a will before he died in September, 1833. In it, he named his wife, Catharine, and his children, Charlotte, Olive, Independence, and Andrew Jackson. From his will, we learned that he owned land and the specific tract was the W½SE¼ of Section 2, T4S, R8W. The will was witnessed by Luther Simmons and John Crozier, who were brothers-in-law of each other and of the Probate Judge, Samuel G. Thompson. Those three were connected through the Crozier family, Samuel married Mary Ann Crozier, brother of John and sister of Nancy, who married Luther Simmons.
Probate for Joshua lasted at least eleven years, the last entry on the film was in 1844. Joseph Orr was appointed guardian for Olive, Independence, and Andrew Jackson. Charlotte Case chose John C. Crozier. None of the records in the Probate book provide direct or stated information for Catharine’s maiden name. Just tantalizing possibilities, was she related to the Crozier, Simmons or Thompson families?
The Land
The land, the W½ of the SE quarter of Section 2 in Township 4S of Range 8W, of Principal Meridian 3, encompassed 80 acres. According to the bureau of land management, government land office site, this land was originally patented to the legal heirs of William Peach, deceased, in 1825. The Deed Record, Book O, page 368 for of Randolph County, Illinois, lists these heirs as William Peach and his wife Priscilla, Levi Simmons and his wife Lois, William Simmons and his wife Mary, and Charles Darrow and his wife Sally. Joshua Case paid $120 for the land.
The Conclusions
Not a lot of “move ahead” information was found for the Cases. Though thin, the information learned here was valuable. Though some say B-O-R-I-N-G, cough- my kids-cough. Joshua’s name was previously thought to be Jonathan; the will and probate proved his name was Joshua. It also proved that his wife’s name was Catharine, not Susannah as some have speculated. Although no maiden name was discovered for Catharine, directions for search are strongly suggested by the recurring associations with the Simmons, Peach, Crozier, Lindsey, Brown and Thompson families. Andrew Jackson’s first name, “Andrew”, was finally and officially confirmed as such. Until this, his name was always stated as only Jackson on every official record I had examined.
So, does this mean mean that I am in exactly the same place as when I started? Not exactly, though, with this family I often find out more about the families around them and history of where they lived than about them. But I am inching ahead. Inch worm, inch worm, you and your arithmetic you’ll probably go far.

March 7, 2011

Genealogy, n. An account of one’s descent from a man who did not particularly care to trace his own.

I have ancestors who popped up out of the dirt.

They came from nowhere, or Ohio, they had no parents, and they died leaving only the land and their best feather bed to their children, whose names were already known. That is, of course, if they left a will. Provided they didn’t burn the place down when they left, well, at least the courthouse. There are no others around them of their surname and they weren’t kind enough to provide the maiden name of their wife in said will. Neither did they provide the relationship they had to their witnesses to said will.

And this is why I love this stuff!

For example, Joshua Case, left a will in Randolph County, Illinois. Bt-dubs, I’m still having a tough time remembering his name’s not Jonathan as he has been Jonathon for almost ten years. He allowed his wife and children the use of his farm as long as his wife Catharine remained his widow. He willed the land to his only son Jackson. Who knew? He had land! The will was witnessed by John C. Crozier and Luther Simmons. These two were brothers-in-law. Nancy Crozier, sister of John C. Crozier, married Luther Simmons. Almost ten years later, Luther Simmons and Samuel G. Thompson witnessed the will of John C. Crozier, again, brothers-in-law as Samuel G. Thompson married Mary Ann Crozier. Joshua’s will did not appoint a guardian for his children, the court appointed Joseph Orr, however, Charlotte, being over fourteen, chose John C. Crozier.

Was Catharine a Crozier? If she were, then she would have most likely have been a sister to John, Mary Ann and Nancy. Were she their sister, then it stands to reason that Samuel Crozier, their father, would have mentioned her in his will. He did not. Still, she could have been a sister left out because he had already covered her in another way. Possible, but not too likely.

The possibility that she was a Simmons or a Thompson or an Orr remains to be investigated.

March 3, 2011

Concision in Style, Precision in Thought, Decision in Life

Thanks to Victor Hugo, we have a philosophy which sums up how to approach creating genealogical citations. We need to use a concise citation style which tells anyone looking at our data where to get the information. Why? If you don’t know where it came from, how are you going to know where to go to get a copy of it? If you don’t examine a copy of it, how are you going to know if it’s right?

There is no record which is intuitively obvious, so that a reader just knows the origin. There is no person whose memory doesn’t fade. There is no fact, which is included in your database, which can have the source ignored. For example, just because it came from the work of Aunt Emmy Lou, who never cited anything, don’t omit a citation crediting Aunt Emmy Lou’s work. Once you confirm her work add an additional citation or citations. Even if you have pages and pages of paper which back up everything you have in your electronic database, you still need to take the time to include the source of every piece of information in the electronic database.

A good citation tells the reader exactly where to find the document. In my database, there is a record for a marriage which illustrates this very well. The marriage occurred and was recorded in Clark county, Missouri in 1867. It is included in the images, on ancestry.com, for Clark County, Missouri in 1865. Looking at the actual record, transcribed below, and the citation which ancestry.com provides, the latter obviously lacks detail. Suppose one was missing the year, and had only the original information provided by ancestry.com to try to find the marriage record. Could the viewer find the record? Possibly, after going through every film reel at the archives or image on ancestry.com.

Here is the record:

This certifies that the rite of Holy Matrimony was celebrated between James S. Walker of the County of Lee and State of Iowa, Aditha A, Miller of the county of Clark & State of Missouri at the residence of Aditha A. Miller on the 4th of August A.D. 1867. By Thomas J. Musgrove Minister of the Gospel, Filed August 16, 1867 H. M. Hiller, recorder.

and the Citation from Ancestry.com:

Ancestry.com. Missouri Marriage Records, 1805-2002 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2007.
Original data: Missouri Marriage Records. Jefferson City, MO, USA: Missouri State Archives. Microfilm.

Finally, my citation:

Ancestry.com. Missouri Marriage Records, 1805-2002 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2007.
Original data: Missouri Marriage Records. Jefferson City, MO, USA: Missouri State Archives. Microfilm.
Clark, Record Images for Clark, 1865, image 69. Apparently from Reel C (County) 1718 or 1719, Clark County Marriages 1856 – 1872, Indexed

Keep your citations concise and clear and they will always serve as a road map to good data.

February 27, 2011

Y’all ready for this?

I know, I know, my titles have next to nothing to tell you about the subject of my blog. Furthermore, they are “lame sauce” attempts at humour. But really, really, this is big news for everyone and a major wooaa reaction when I found that the LDS Family History Center, aka the FHC, near me has a new toy tool. Y’all ready for this? It is a Microfilm / Microfiche reader scanner attached to a computer running Windows! Not only is it awesome, it lets you grab images for free to your own personal flash drive. Which means we can skip the scanning step needed to get paper copies into the computer.

Being a geek, using the equipment was fairly intuitive. I was able to save images on my flash drive without reading the instructions, which apparently were posted above the computer. Umm, can you say small, subtle print? When I arrived home, I was peeved to find that I couldn’t read my files. I tried every image viewing / manipulating software on my computer, trust me I have a lot. Neither Microsoft’s built in, admittedly 2 year old software, nor PhotoShop CS3, nor paint, nor AlternaTif, etc., etc., etc., could read the file. I just couldn’t figure out how each file could have multiple pages of information if it were truly a corrupted file. Photoshop gave me a clue, “unsupported compression method”.

Perhaps I should have read those directions.

At this point I had two options, assume the files were hopelessly corrupted, return to the Family History Center, read the directions, and create new files. A bit too much time, energy and humble pie involved there. Or I could use my googling skills to find out if these files were truly hopelessly corrupted or could they be read by something more sophisticated than what I had on my system. I really didn’t want to a) return to the FHC on the upcoming Saturday as the daughters were arriving from college for the weekend and there is never enough time to spend with them when they are in, b) take some time out from work to return to the FHC during the weekday, as they had no evening hours remaining for the week, or c) wait a week to return on Saturday to the FHC. In short, I wanted to see if I could solve this without returning to the Family History Center! Especially as I wanted to read my images right now!

The quest began to find the nature of the problem and, if it turned out that the files were not corrupted-beyond-repair, locate software which could read the files. The software needed to be affordable, available via download, intuitive to use and able to create pdf or jpeg files from tif. Being the uber-geek that I am, I googled the error message, “unsupported compression method”. The results told me that the problem was definitely with the software, no program I had could read the files. Googling “best tif viewer” found some candidates for download and trial.

The first program I tried was Brava. This installed easily and low and behold it read the files. Yay! It could create Adobe PDF’s from the images very easily. However, I haven’t been able to create jpegs from it. For the price, somewhere between ouch and boing, something else had to be found. Their pricing isn’t really geared to the true single seat user, more the single seat corporate user. It does have a nice side bar, accessed by clicking the arrow at the right side of the page, which displayed thumbnails of each page.

Now I needed to find out if there was software which was more affordable, ahem free, could create jpegs and pdfs and was, ahem free. Did I mention that I would like it to be free?

Next up, Irfanview. Overlooking the awkward pronunciation of the name, the software downloaded and installed easily. Creating JPEG’s was a breeze, PDF’s not so much. However, free and and jpeg creation cover most of my needs, so this is the most likely winner.

For grins, I decided to try Gimp, a gnu based software program with which I have manipulated images and created some beautiful effects. Gimp had a cow. The error message was more meaningful, though: “Depreciated and troublesome old-style JPEG compression mode, please convert to new-style JPEG compression and notify vendor of writing software” and this “wrong data type 4 for “JpegProc”; tag ignored”. Yeah, with the exception that it should read deprecated, not depreciated, that makes my unix geek heart sing! Okay, so it looks like I probably chose something wrong when I selected the compression. Again, the directions,… In fact, the little GNU Fox gave up and stuck out his tongue in desperation. If you aren’t a unix geek, then the talk of tarballs, and other fun arguments, on the Gimp Google group will make your head spin around. Just leave it alone, especially since Gimp doesn’t really “do” windows installers, exactly, though there is one on the site, which installs the version which gives me that unixy error message! Apparently, 2.7 stops complaining about it and opens the image. But the 2.7 version is source code only. I am not going to do a build, so-o-o not happening. Head exploding yet? I have a masters in it, computer science, that is, but I don’t really do it for fun, not since I stopped following edges a long, long time ago.

Why did I get this error? My theory is that there were multiple files in one tif, blowing the mind of the viewers.

Bottom line is this, even though most software had a problem with the files, I found software which could handle them. Now, I have my cool images, I have a fun new tool to use at the FHC and I am happy, happy!

February 13, 2011

No, my first name ain’t Jonathan, it’s Joshua, Mr. Caise if you are hasty

Yes, the films arrived, yes one of them was of H-U-G-E value. Before I spill on the information in the film, let’s lay out the background information, in order to understand the significance of what was found.

In genealogy, there is something known as intergenerational proof. This is proof that a given person was the parent of another. It seems so obvious to us all now, I know who my mother and father are, and I can prove it with my birth certificate. But what if that record was destroyed or never existed in the first place? How would I prove that I was their daughter? Intergenerational proof can be easy to find, such as when a will names all the children; it is especially handy if the parent bequeaths to women who are already married and is specific, e.g., “I, Joseph Tallchief, give my best feather bed to my daughter Agatha Andreyovich Tallchief, now the wife of John Anderson”. Because that happens all the time! Yeah, dream on. It is rare when a will is found and it so specific that it names everyone in the decedent’s family and their relationship to the deceased!

Hence intergenerational proof is often built in pieces. Frequently records are found which strongly suggest, but never quite say things flat out. Enough of them can provide evidence that certain people had a relationship which strongly suggests that they were parent and child.
Sometimes, a genealogist is lucky enough to find a “record” of a fact which is very unofficial. For example, the intergenerational proof of Jane Mangum’s connection to John Mangum, the Patriot, was not found in a will, or any other “official” and “recorded” document but in a hand written statement by her nephew, wherein he says that his Aunt Jenny married George Crawford. No official document states this relationship. Itawamba County Marriage Book One has a listing for the marriage of a Jane Mangum to George Crawford in Itawamba county, Mississippi in 1841. The only Mangum family enumerated in the county in 1840 was that of John Mangum. This John Mangum was known to have a daughter named Jane, but somebody had named her as the wife of Jedediah Brown, which was in error. This error had to be toppled before Jane Mangum Crawford could be asserted as his daughter. It looked as though it wouldn’t happen until a hand written document of the family history written by Samuel Newton Adair was found. It states:

“I, Samuel Newton Adair, will write what I know about my mother’s folks. My grandfather’s name was John Mangum … Jeney Mangrum married George Crawford, Gemima Mangrum married Samuel Jefferson Adair, my father. Rebecca Mangrum married Joseph Adair, my father’s cousin.”

Obviously, this was not recorded anywhere and must not have been known to the author of “Jedediah Brown” information. Of course now it is known and all those Jedediah Brown proponents have to stop asserting that. They really do have to stop.

Now, are you ready for what was in the Probate file? Well, if you are ready and have not quit reading this altogether, here goes. Well almost, a little more background is needed.

Until the Probate record was examined, we had circumstantial evidence that a man enumerated as Jonathan Case in the Federal Census of 1830 in Randolph County, Illinois was the father of Charlotte Case, Olive Case, Independence Case and Jackson Case and the husband of Catharine (unknown maiden name) who subsequently married W. Callaway McGregor. As an aside, since we are a family of golfers, some of whom are PGA Golf Professionals, that name gives us a chuckle. What are the odds? Notice how I hedged on how he, Mr. Case, was enumerated? Technically, we only know that the name of the man on the census was written down as Jonathan or what appears to be Jonathan to most of us who have read it. On this same page the families nearby include John H. Crozier, in addition to the Shelton Evans family, the William Peach family and the William, Levi, Jr. and Levi, Sr. Simmons families. In this county and nearby St. Clair and Monroe counties there are other records. There is a marriage record for a Charlotte Case to Spencer Ellsworth, in St. Clair county, a marriage record for Independence Case to Beverly Lindsey, in Randolph County, a marriage record for Catharine Case to W. Callaway McGregor (fore!) in Monroe county. A Charlotte Elsworth married Allen Brown in Lee County, Iowa in 1844. A few years later, there is a census enumeration in District 19, Clark County, MO in 1850, for a Catherine McGregory [sic] born in Indiana. She is living with Charlott [sic] Brown, also born in Indiana, and Charlott’s presumed daughter, Catharine, born in Iowa in 1846. Jackson Case, born about 1830 in Illinois, is in the same household. A few pages over in the same census is a listing for Olive Evans, and family and Independence Lamare and family. There is a marriage record, 9 May 1851, for Olive Case to Washington Evans recorded in Clark County, Missouri. We have no death date for the “Jonathan”, of the 1830 census, and no intergenerational proof that this Jonathan was connected to the aforementioned Cases, no birth date for Jonathan. If he was married to Catherine, perhaps they divorced and he married someone else. There is another Case in St. Clair county, who had a brother named Jonathan, was it he who was enumerated rather than the father of Charlotte, Olive, Independence and Jackson? Can the Probate record help answer these questions?

For most non-genealogists, the record is pretty boring, on 16 October 1833, John H. Crozier (remember him from the census?) presents the will of Joshua Caise. The will was not entered into the record on the same page as this entry from 16 October 1833 and has not yet been located in the Probate Court proceedings.

One year later, on the 6th day of October 1834, John C. Crozier renders the account of Joshua Caise, and is ordered to pay the widows share of one third of the estate to Catherine Caise.

It is therefore ordered by the court that the said John C. Crozier pay out to Catherine Caise the sum of sixty-one dollars & sixty three cents this being the share and portion belonging to the said Catherine of the estate of her deceased husband being the one third part of the nett [sic] proceeds thereof.
It is also ordered that the said John C. Crozier pay over to Charlotte, Olive and Independence, children of the said Joshua Case deceased, or to their guardians, each, the sum of forty one dollars & eight cents, this being their share & proportion of the estate of their deceased father.

We are still missing a child, Jackson, who was about three years old when his father died. One month later, guardianship of the children is set, at least for most of the children.

Monday November 3, 1834 court met agreeable to adjournment
“On motion of Joseph H Orr it is ordered that the said Joseph be appointed guardian of Olive Casse, Independence Casse & Andrew Jackson Casse minors under the age of fourteen years on his entering into bond with good and sufficient security as the law directs.”

Two years later, as Charlotte is over fourteen, she may chose her guardian. In February of 1835, she did so.

“Charlotte Casse a minor over the age of fourteen year chooses John C. Crozier as her guardian, it is therefore ordered that the said John C. Crozier be appointed the guardian of the said Charlotte Casse on his entering into bond with good & sufficient security, as the law directs.”

Charlotte’s birth year was thought to have been 1823, if she was fourteen in 1835, her birth year was 1821 or earlier. Meaning that Catherine and Joshua were married by 1820 – 1821.

What about this excites a genealogist? The first examination of the Probate record confirms that Charlotte, Olive, Independence and Jackson, were siblings. It is official confirmation of Jackson’s first name as Andrew. It narrows the death date of Joshua significantly to sometime before 16 October 1833. Joshua was the first name of the father of Charlotte, Olive, Independence and Andrew Jackson Case, not Jonathan, although he may have been named Joshua Jonathan Case. Joshua Case was married to Catherine, who’s surname is not yet known. Charlotte was likely born in 1821, not 1823. The Independence Case who married Beverly Lindsey was the daughter of Joshua and Catharine. What else is interesting? John C. Crozier was enumerated on the same page as Jonathan Case in 1830, which, in addition to the matching family age pattern of Charlotte, Olive, Independence and Jackson, is more indication that this Jonathan is the same person as Joshua and may point to a closer relationship with John C. Crozier or his wife, Mary “Polly” Lindsay, than neighbor. There may exist a relationship to the Joseph H. Orr, which is deeper than some nice reputable guy who was appointed guardian of his children. Don’t confuse custody and care with guardianship, the latter indicated some money management aspect and may have been separate from custody. Lastly, the James Case living next door to Olive Case Evans and Independence Case Lindsey Lemarr in the 1850 Clark County, Missouri Census was not a previously undiscovered son of Joshua Case of Randolph County, Illinois. James Case’s age was 25 in 1850, which may have placed him in the under 5 category in the 1830 census, Jackson may have been not yet born, or as sometimes happened, an infant who was not enumerated.

Oh, and my apologies for ripping off a Janet Jackson song title.

January 22, 2011

Don’t overlook the obvious

Perhaps the LDS didn’t have the film the last time I checked, but I doubt it. Perhaps I was focused on another branch last time I placed a film order, slightly more likely. Or perhaps I didn’t read carefully when viewing what was available in Randolph County, Illinois, regarding probate and guardianship in the 1830 – 1834 time period, which is the most likely. Perhaps I ordered the film and then had a very busy period at work, etc., so that the film ended up being sent back before I could look at it, also highly likely. But for whatever reason, I didn’t order or examine the films for this era and, guess what, turns out they exist and might be of H-U-G-E value.
In fact, I had begun to wonder if the father hadn’t died, that perhaps there had been a divorce. But I thought I’d look one last time for any possible probate records for the county and the time period. I went googling, it helps although it is no substitute for the archives, and came upon a page, by a woman named Velda Moore, of some Randolph County records. I can’t really tell you exactly what led me to her page, I am fairly certain I was searching for obituaries in old newspapers thinking that I had searched probate/guardianship records before with no success. I can’t even replicate the search, now.

Under the Probate Record 1832 – 1843 tab, the following names were found.
PROBATE RECORD 1832-1843 Page 3

Casie Joshua 173,176,211,256
Casse Olive 173,187,214
Casse Andrew J. 174
Casse Independence 174
Casse Charlotte 176,187,213

I included Joshua Casie since he appears on the same page as at least one of the group and deserves investigation.

Under the tab marked Book B-2, April 2, 1833 to Nov 6, 1849 the following names were located.

Casse Olive 21
Casse Independence 21
Casse Jackson 21
Casse Charlotte 23

Immediately, I checked the LDS site for Randolph County, Illinois, and there are film records available for order for the time period.
Oh yeah, ordering those!
Next time, when I am certain that Sherman marched sideways on his way to the Sea and did his scorched earth thaing in a county previously unknown to be touched by him, small joke, very small, I’ll look again, and again.

BTDubs- most courthouse fires in the South were a result of something other than Sherman’s march.

October 15, 2010

Jane Mangum

When I began to search for the roots of Nancy Catherine Crawford, my great-grandmother, I found some facts fairly rapidly. Nancy Catherine was born in Mississippi, in 1850, she died in Indian Territory in 1905. First check, Mississippi for a Nancy Crawford, bingo, Itawamba County, Mississippi. Okay, not so bingo, Crardford doesn’t really pop up when searching for Crawford. In any case, there she was, with her mother George W. and her mother Jane.
Next stop, searching available records online for Jane and George, yielded a record on Itawamba Historical Society for Jane Mangum and George Crawford, the officiant was Samuel Adair:
46 George Crawford Jane Mangum 8 Jun 1841 Samuel Adair
So, her name was Mangum. Now, to what specific Mangum family does Jane belong? There is a John Mangum in Itawamba County in 1840 with a daughter of the appropriate age. Checking published genealogies, though, I found that John did, indeed, have a daughter named Jane, but, these genealogies had her married to Jedediah Brown. Were these right? There was no record for a marriage of Jane and Jedediah in Mississippi. There was a Cyrus Mangum in Pickens County, AL, a son of John, who also had a daughter in the correct category in 1840. But this daughter turned out to be Mary Mangum who married John Turman and followed her father’s family to Texas.

I became increasingly convinced that my Jane was John’s daughter, and that ‘accepted’ genealogies have her married to the wrong man [Jedediah Brown] and born in the wrong place, I had to search all the possibilities. That is, I know that my Jane Mangum married in Itawamba County, that the only family of Mangums in Itawamba county are John’s family. But as yet, I had no ‘smoking gun’, so to speak, to directly connect her to him, a will would be handy but did not appear to exist. So, I had been ‘proving’ the connection by disproving other possibilities, e.g., did a grand daughter come with them to MS, etc. and also by making associations, e.g., my Jane Mangum and George Crawford were married by Samuel Adair, husband to Gemima Mangum, also John’s daughter. Curiously, I could find no listing of children for the Mangum – Brown connection, nor could I find a Jedediah, or even a J* Brown in any pertinent census years.
Apparently, the Jedediah Brown information was asserted, without any accompanying proof, by a descendant of a collateral line who was trying to get into the DAR. As it wasn’t important to the claimant’s request for DAR membership, it went unchallenged.
The only thing I can surmise for all these Jane Mangum incongruities is that there were three Jane Mangum’s born about 1824 – 1826 time frame: one in Tennessee, one in South Carolina, and one in Alabama, John’s daughter. The South Carolina Jane Mangum married an M. D. Brown. The Tennessee woman, Sarah Jane Mangum, was born in Hardin County, in 1826 and married Daniel Hitchcock. My Jane Mangum was born in May of 1825, in Alabama, as she reports on most every census. Of course she could have been born in TN while her mother was visiting there and was not aware of it. Curiously, again, Jane Mangum Crawford apparently claimed to one of her children to have been born in Scotland, who knows why, or at what time in her life. Looks like to me that all the Janes were ‘stirred’ together and came out as one person.
Jane Mangum Crawford died in 1904 in Oklahoma. At least her tombstone has that date. If my Jane Mangum is John and Rebecca’s daughter, any and all of her work would have been done as proxies, if that’s the correct word, as she never became Mormon, but was, I think, a Baptist, as were most of the Crawfords. On searches that I have done for ‘Jane Mangum’ on familysearch.org, I have noticed that the only marriage that is listed that is from a primary source is the Crawford one, the Jedediah Brown info is not only not primary but and is very vague, e.g. anywhere from 1840-1854 and Tennessee to Alabama to Mississippi for the same event. That’s piling on the suspicions for me. I don’t have obituaries, but another Crawford cousin is sending photos of Jane’s tombstone. I don’t know quite why, again, but it has her name as Virginia Crawford. In all official records, she used Jane, not only her marriage but also census. I will ask if they know of any obituaries for them and start searching if they don’t. Newspapers were few and far between in Indian Territory for Jane; George has a higher chance as he died in Arkansas.”

Finally, I found someone who had a wonderfully well researched amount of information on worldconnect, Kerry Petersen. When the “official records” aren’t enough to connect all the dots, reaching out is the way to go. Especially, as it was beginning to appear, Jane had not moved with her family to Nauvoo, then migrated to Utah, so the story of the family went with them and not much stayed with Jane. I emailed Kerry. Kerry is an excellent researcher and a generous person to boot. I sent him the paragraphs above. He sent out the word to the “cousins” and soon, a record was found which substantiated my thougts, in one beautiful sentence from a grandson of John Mangum, Samuel Newton Adair and son of Samuel Jefferson Adair and Gemima Mangum Adair: “,…, and Aunt Jenny married George Crawford”.
So, turns out, Delta Hale asserted the Jedediah Brown marriage in her book and on her DAR application. Now, thanks to the primary records found in the official records and the transcription which Kerry sourced and Becky Hamblin Adair obtained from her great-great aunt Thora Adair, the DAR accepted my application and has deemed this information to be the correct history of Jane.
Jane, you deserve a “Real Daughter” marker for your grave.

August 26, 2010

Sometimes, it pays to think

I mean really, sometimes even I can do some wholesale ignoring of the facts. Take, for example, Charlotte Case, the sister of my great-great-great-grandmother Independence Case. While searching the Illinois Archives for information on Independence Case’s first marriage to Beverly Lindsey, I found the marriage of a Charlotte Case to Spencer Ellsworth in St. Clair County, 01 January 1834. Since I subsequently found Spencer Ellsworth alive in the 1850 Census, in Illinois and, in the 1850 census for Clark County, Missouri, Charlotte Case Brown, and since Charlotte’s age in 1850 suggests an 1823 birthdate, making her 11 in 1834, I presumed that this was a different Charlotte Case. I found Independence Case’s marriage record online, duly noted the date in my database, added the source, then failed to order the film to view the actual information. It just kept falling to the bottom of the priority file.
After some time of searching for proof of the parentage of Independence, Charlotte, Olive and Jackson Case and, in so doing, to verify the spouse of Catherine [unknown] Case McGregor, their presumed mother, I realized that attempting to push back without branching out first was not going to get me where I wanted to go. That is, to know if Jonathan Case, was indeed the father of these four, find out who his father was and determine Catherine’s maiden name, I was going to have to flesh out these people just a bit more.
To start, I ordered the film of the marriage record of Independence Case. One reason I had not ordered the record from Illinois, IRAD, was that it was somewhat less than clear how to order the record, mostly due to my impatience with determining whom to write and how much it would cost me. (Just give me a link to an image, I’ll pay for it, duh!) Therefore, I thought I’d better start with the FHL film. When I examined the film record, an unexpected fact was learned, Spencer Ellsworth gave permission for Independence to marry Beverly Lindsey. Now, I had presumed that this family was much like so many of my family, that, if someone remarried, they had been widowed, not divorced. Okay, stop clicking your tongues, turns out families have patterns, sometimes only for a generation, sometimes for a long time. These people apparently had more of a “divorcing” pattern than I had assumed. It was becoming clear that Charlotte had married then divorced Spencer.
So, all those searches I had done for a Charlotte Case marrying unknown Brown were pretty much wasted key boarding. Try searching for Ellsworth. Le Voila!
From: http://iagenweb.org/lee/marriages/marr-bro.htm
There you go, Allen, his name was Allen. Woohoo! In Lee County, where I had recently tracked Sarah Ann Walker Case, not to be confused with her sister Mary Jane Walker, and Sarah Sargent Rich Case Wyatt, two spouses of Jackson Case, did I mention that divorce pattern thing? Now I know just a tiny bit more about at least a couple of folks.
And, yeah, I am going to have to get a copy of that record sooner rather than later!