Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Putting Together the Family Unit of William Turner and Mary Jane Williams

Recently I have been on a mission to locate, verify and place on a timeline the children of a paternal set of grandparents, William Turner Williams and Mary Jane Brown of Georgia. These are the parents and siblings of my father's father's (his first name William or Willie or Willis, middle name Frances) .

The 1900 U.S. census is first one I have for the family (darn that 1890 census!).  They are living in Ethridge, Jones, Georgia. Turner and Jane were married in 1882 and have five children listed as their sons and daughters:
Year: 1900; Census Place: Ethridge, Jones, Georgia; Roll: T623_207;
Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 61.

Hester, 10
John Tom, 9
William, 4
Fannie, 2
Maggie, newborn

This census also lists that Mary Jane gave birth to eight children of which seven were living.  Where were the other three children?  Since their parents were married for 18 years, could the other children be older and on their own.

The 1910 U.S. census again has Turner and Jane with five children but one from the previous census is gone (Hester) and one is added (Edna).   It is also recorded on the census that Mary Jane gave birth to 10 children and seven were living.
Year: 1910; Census Place: Ethridge, Jones, Georgia; Roll: T624_200;
Page: 12B; Enumeration District: 0080; FHL microfilm: 1374213

John T., 18
*Fanny, 16
*Maggie, 14
*Willie, 12 Transcribed as daughter but this is William (male) from previous census
Edna,  (?) The transcription has Ed but I think this should be Edna who was born in 1908 and chronologically would have been the last child listed.

*Ages not consistent with previous census.  The birth order and ages on some the the children are different, but understandable since initial birth years were listed as "about".

The 1920 U.S. census has W.T. and Mary Jane and the family living in Lesters, Jones, Georgia.  I have found no information on Lesters, other than it being Militia District 305. There are ten children in the household, some additions and others from previous census records are gone --  probably on their own.

Year: 1920; Census Place: Lesters, Jones, Georgia; Roll: T625_265;
Page: 5B; Enumeration District: 127

W.F., 23
G.W., 16 (George,b 1902; where was he in 1910?)
Daisy, 14
Edna, 11
Carl, 10
Mary, 11
Herman, 5
Harris, 3
Louise, 4
Maggie, 20
Not only were there initials for the names of the father and two sons, but the transcription of this census was terrible; Herman was Hem*, Harris was Homer, and Maggie was Maygi --  so I really had to analyze this census. And then there was the Lesters factor.

The 1930 U.S. census has W.T. and Mary J. back in Ethridge, Jones, Georgia with three children.  Did they ever leave Ethridge or was it renamed for this census?
Year: 1930; Census Place: Ethridge, Jones, Georgia; Roll: 372;
Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 0013; Image: 146.0; FHL microfilm: 2340107

Herman, 15
Louise Vinson, 15
Harris 13

It's been fun --  okay challenging -- searching for this family in the census with the slight variations in the parents names and the additions, subtractions and name variations of their children.  By the same token, I feel a bit out of place trying to put together my family who lived in a different time and space.

Copyright © 2019 by Sandra Williams Bush, Ancestor Callings: Georgia and Mississippi Roots. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

No "Brick Walls" For Me

Although I've been doing genealogy for a number of years, it's basically only been online research --  getting records and documents via the Internet.  I know this is why I haven't hit any brick walls yet.

In additional to using Ancestry and Family Search, I have been able to get information by calling, writing, or sending an email to places.  Below is a sample of some of the information I have received:

  • The Social Security application of my maternal grandmother, Lucy Washington Brown and a paternal great aunt, Elizabeth Brown Mason through the Social Security Administration website.  Fortunately this was before the heavy redaction process that is now in place for those records.  In both instances I was able to verify where they were born and the names of their parents.

  • Military service records from the National Archives (Military Personnel Records, SF-180) for my father, Willis B. Williams and two uncles, Arthur Brown and Alexander Burkette.  In each case I received letters that original records were destroyed in a fire so I had to submit another form requesting reconstructed files. 

  • Books on the county histories provide me with insight on how my ancestors may have lived. I have also found information on specific family members. (I love Interlibrary Loan!)

  • Death information and documents by contacting cemeteries and funeral homes.

  • Obituaries in newspapers by contacting public libraries and historical societies.

  • Death certificates from various county offices in different states.

As more and more is added to online sites, I've been able to access more genealogy information.  However, I know that I haven't even hit the tip of the iceberg in researching my family history.

I subtitled my blog Georgia and Mississippi Roots because both sets of my grandparents and their families came from those states.  So I know that before I can claim to have hit any brick wall, I must visit those states.  I have to do that reasonable exhaustive search --  which means going to state libraries, state archives, court houses, and the places where my ancestors lived.

Road trips . . .

Copyright © 2019 by Sandra Williams Bush, Ancestor Callings: Georgia and Mississippi Roots. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, March 22, 2019

My #12 -- Samuel BROWN

Number 12 on my ancestor chart is Samuel Brown, a great-grandfather, the father of my mother's father.  For awhile now, I have been on a mission of sorts to find his death information. Unfortunately, he's from Mississippi which did not begin recording death records until 1912.

So what do I know about him?  I know his son, Noah Brown, of Simpson County Mississippi is the father of my mother, Evelyn O. Brown.  The only record I have  found of Noah with his father is from the 1900 U.S. census. Although Noah is listed as "Infant" I know that is him because of everyone else in the household.
Year: 1900; Census Place: Beat 3, Simpson, Mississippi; Roll: T623_827; Page: 16B; Enumeration District: 97.

Also according to this census Samuel Brown was born April 1864 in Mississippi, had been married 15 years to Mary, they had eight children, and he owned his farm. I was able to find information on his and Mary's marriage on the FamilySearch site.

"Mississippi Marriages, 1800-1911," database, FamilySearch ( : 10 February 2018), Sam Brown and Mary Stamps, 10 Apr 1885; citing Simpson,Mississippi; FHL microfilm 886,975.

In the 1910 census Mary Brown is listed as a widow, the mother of nine children, and owner of the farm. The additional child (born after the 1900 census), is five year old Elizabeth. I knew Auntie Lizzie well and her birth date was March 5, 1905.
Year: 1910; Census Place: Beat 3, Simpson, Mississippi; Roll: ; Page: ; Enumeration District: ; Image: .

One document that had me "over the moon" was the Homestead Certificate, issued 7 Jun 1897 to Samuel Brown.

U.S. General Land Office Records, 1796-1907

So in summary, what I know about Samuel Brown:

  • 1864 - Born, Mississippi (U.S. 1900 census)
  • 1885 - Married Mary Stamps, in Simpson County, Mississippi (Mississippi Marriage Index 1800-1900)
  • 1897 (June 7) - Homestead Certificate for Simpson County (US Land Office Record)
  • 1905 (March 5) - Birth of last child, Elizabeth

  • 1910 – Wife, Mary, widow (U.S. census), Simpson County, Mississippi

Conclusion: Samuel BROWN died after June 1904 (nine months before last child was born) and before 13 May 1910 (census date).  While I keep looking to close that span, I also hope to find more on him before that 1900 census and 1885 marriage information.

Copyright © 2019 by Sandra Williams Bush, Ancestor Callings: Georgia and Mississippi Roots. All Rights Reserved.