Thursday, July 04, 2013

I Had It Wrong

For years I had something in my genealogical database that was completely wrong. It was something I'd put in there in the early years of my research and something I had not gone back and revisited as I gained genealogical expertise. In fact, it's a line I haven't touched in many years. All of that changed earlier this week. I've spent time this week correcting incorrect linkages in my main genealogical database. I still have to update the database with the correct database, but it's written down so that I can do so. I'm glad that I'm forcing myself to manually update my database because by doing so, a couple of new discoveries and my more experienced eye to review the old data have led me to discover that my old research was flawed.

My maternal grandmother was the daughter of Dock Hans Hester and his wife Mary Ann Harris. She had a sister, Georgia A. Hester. According to my mom's memory, she was married multiple times. She thought two of the marriages were to persons with the surname Shumpert (or Schumpert) and that once it was to another Hester. Mom told me that when she died that she had left two small children and that the paternal grandmother had come from Texas to take the children to visit for a couple of months and had never returned the children. I knew from old letters my grandmother had from Georgia's daughter that her name was Willie Maude. Those letters were something that we got rid of when we emptied Nanny's house for her to move into town when I was a child. Those letters are something I wish we still had in the family because I'm sure I'd learn lots with my genealogical eye. They are not something we still have though. I'm certain that her handwriting was quite readable because I was able to read and enjoy those letters at a pretty young age. They were kept in a box in the "attic," which was really more of a full-sized room under the roof with some additional spaces for storage on either side of the stairs. As a child, I loved playing in that attic, which had a bed and other furniture in it.

Now, let me get back Georgia and her marriages. I must first confess that I don't have the marriage record volumes and page numbers from those records I was able to locate, but I did copy them from the Monroe County marriage record books in the county circuit clerk's office. I'll have to upgrade my documentation the next time I visit there now that I see I've got some holes in my citations. I do, however, have copies of two of the marriages. I located the marriage to J. O. Hester. The marriage license was issued on 24 July 1906, and the marriage took place the next day on 25 July 1906. It was performed by J. C. Blanton, Minister of the Gospel. It was filed with the circuit clerk on 8 Aug 1906. The second marriage was to J. A. Shumpert. The marriage license was obtained 1 September 1913. The marriage took place the next day, 2 September 1913 and was performed by Rev. Oscar Petty. It was recorded 5 September 1913.

Where I have been incorrect lies in who the J. O. Hester was. For years, I thought he was the son of Jesse W. Hester and Susan Elizabeth Gray who lived nearby. The problem was that he wasn't J. O. He was J. D., and I really don't know what I was thinking, because I even had a note that an alternate name was J. D. when I had him incorrectly attached as Georgia's husband. My error was discovered when I found Willie Maude in the 1920 census in South Groveton, Trinity, Texas, residing with an uncle and aunt.(1) As hard as I tried, I could not make this Nat J. fit into either Dock's family or into Jesse and Susan's family. I knew it was time to give that guy back the name J. D. instead of J. O. and unlink him from his marriage to Georgia. I looked back and could not immediately locate any other options for J. O. in all of my Hester data so I knew it was time to keep looking. I began to turn my attention to Georgia's brother Eddie. Here again, I'd found an Eddie Hester who appeared to have been born about the right time and added him as the Eddie with only a note that I may have the wrong Eddie. As I began to look at the data on that particular Eddie, it wasn't matching quite fitting. When I looked at my notes on the individual more closely, I saw a note that his name may have been Jim Ed. That's when I got on the track of a James Edward "Jimmie" that did fit my information. Why Mom knew him as Eddie, I'm not certain, but James Edward does fit my person perfectly.

I first found him in the 1920 census living with an uncle and aunt, Marvin F. and Minnie Remmington.(2) As I moved forward, I found him residing with again in 1930.(3) I realized that I had never found Maude and Eddie in the 1910 census so I went back and found them in an area not too distant from my Hester family but probably just enough north that I never searched for them in that country.(4) This is the first time I'd actually located Georgia with one of her husbands. As I began to search my database for a Minnie Hester, I found nothing, but when I searched Mississippi's 1880 census, I came up with a match for a William A. Hester family.(5) This William A. Hester is the son of James Hester and Jane Hunt.(6) There are several Hester families within a couple of pages of one another there. John Hester is family 455; this William Hester is family 458; J. H. (John H.) Hester is family 459. John H. is the father of Dock Hans Hester and grandfather of Georgia. John Hester is the father of the Jesse Hester that had been previously mentioned. It seems likely that all three families are related since they lived in close proximity to one another and since they seem to have followed the same migration pattern.

Let's get back to William. William appears to have first married Emily White.(7) Then he married what is presumably her sister, Elizabeth A.(8) The 1880 census listed four children of William A. and Elizabeth: Sarah (age 12), Jefferson (age 10), James (age 7), and Minie (age 1). Willie Maude was living with Nat J. who is presumably Jefferson. The age is correct. Jimmie (aka Eddie) is living with Minnie. James is Georgia's husband J. O. However, I've got one other piece of evidence to complete the picture of this being the correct family. In 1910, Elizabeth (E. A.) is living with Sallie (or Sarah).(9) She continues to reside with them in 1920.(10) Sallie is widowed by 1930, but her 87-year-old mother is still living with her.(11)

There is still much work to be done to correct all the wrong information and to continue working with the new information I have. For one thing, I need to locate the marriage records of William and Elizabeth's children. There are pieces of citations from long ago that are missing because as an inexperienced researcher years ago, I failed to note marriage record books and pages on my photocopies. There are new records to be discovered. There is a lot of information to be recorded in my database and to be written up in a narrative form.


(1) 1920 U.S. Federal Census, Trinity County, Texas, population schedule, South Groveton, SD 7, ED 141, p. 17 (stamped, sheet 17A-B (written), Nat J. Hester household, dwelling 96, family 96, lines 48-53; digital image, ( : 2 July 2013); citing NARA microfilm publication T625, roll 1853.

(2) 1920 U.S. Federal Census, Tarrant County, Texas, population schedule, Polytechnic, SD 12, ED 91, p. 290 (stamped), sheet 3A (written), Marvin F. Remmington household, dwelling 43, family 54, lines 16-22; digital image, ( : 3 July 2013); citing NARA microfilm publication T625, roll 1848.

(3) 1930 U.S. Federal Census, Tarrant County, Texas, population schedule, Fort Worth, SD 9, ED 78, p. 275 (stamped), sheet 28A (written), Marvin F. Remmington household, dwelling 183, family 254, lines 13-16; digital image, ( : 3 July 2013); citing NARA microfilm publication T626, roll 2396.

(4) 1910 U.S. Federal Census, Prentiss County, Mississippi, population schedule, Baldwyn, SD 1, ED 110, p. 3 (stamped), sheet 3B (written), Jim Hester household, dwelling 61, family 61, lines 82-85; digital image, ( : 3 July 2013); citing NARA microfilm publication T624, roll 757.

(5) 1880 U.S. Federal Census, Itawamba County, Mississippi, population schedule, SD 3, ED 71, p. 456B (stamped), sheet 10B (written), William A. Hester household, dwelling 32, family 32, lines 29-34; digital image, ( : 3 July 2013); citing NARA microfilm publication T9, roll 650.

(6) 1850 U.S. Federal Census, Itawamba County, Mississippi, population schedule, District 6, p. 335B (stamped), sheet 670 (written), James Hester household, dwelling 458, family 465, lines 29-41; NARA microfilm publication M432, roll 373.

(7) Cruber, Betty Ann Burton, The Marriage Records of Itawamba County, Mississippi, 1837-1866 with Heads of Families, 1840 Federal Census. (Memphis, Tenn.: Milestone Press, 1973.), p. 38; citing marriage book 5, p. 109.

(8) Mississippi Marriages, 1776-1935, online database, ( : 3 July 2013), entry for W. A. Hester and E. A. White, 21 Dec 1865.

(9) 1910 U.S. Federal Census, Anderson County, Texas, population schedule, Palestine Ward 4, SD 7, ED 10, p. 139 (stamped), sheet 9A (written), James Knight household, dwelling 179, family 181, lines 28-42; digital image, ( : 3 July 2013); citing NARA microfilm publication T624, roll 1527.

(10) 1920 U.S. Federal Census, Anderson County, Texas, population schedule, Palestine Ward 2, SD 7, ED 7, p. 86 (stamped), sheet 6A (written), Jim H. Knight household, dwelling 406, family 120, lines 6-12; digital image, ( : 3 July 2013); citing NARA microfilm publciation T625, roll 1772.

(11) 1930 U.S. Federal Census, Anderson County, Texas, population schedule, Palestine Ward 4, SD 18, ED 7, p. 93 (stamped), sheet 1B (written), Sallie B. Knight household, dwelling 13, family 20, lines 66-69; digital image, ( : 3 July 2013); citing NARA microfilm publication T626, roll 2287.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

A Murder in Passing

De Castrique, Mark. A Murder in Passing. Scottsdale, Ariz.: Poisoned Pen Press, 2013.

Sam and Nakayla are mushroom hunting on the site of the former Kingdom of the Happy Land along the North Carolina/South Carolina border when Sam comes across a body in a log. While the body is across the South Carolina line, the decision to jointly investigate is made by authorities because the easiest access is from the North Carolina side and because it was possible that the victim, murderer, or both could be from North Carolina. When an elderly black woman with a secret to hide is jailed for the murder, Sam and Nakayla are convinced of her innocence. Who could the murderer be? Is s/he still alive? A great read in what is quickly becoming one of my favorite series. The "Kingdom" is a fascinating setting that isn't that far from me about which I was unaware. It's private property as is explained both in the fictional setting and acknowledgements of the book. According to a web site, it is currently for sale. I truly hope that someone with an eye to its role in history will purchase it with an eye to making its significance more widely known. This review is based on an uncorrected e-galley proof received by the publisher through NetGalley.

Monday, July 01, 2013

The Amish Canning Cookbook

Varozza, Georgia. The Amish Canning Cookbook: Plain and Simple Living at Its Homemade Best. Eugene, Ore.: Harvest House Publishers, 2013.

In simple language, the author tells newcomers to canning how to get started canning fruits, vegetables, and meats and provides recipes for users to follow. There are introductory chapters giving an overview and providing lists of tools needed to begin canning as well as chapters dealing with the canning of specific product types. She includes waterbath canning as well as pressure canning. The author includes information on adjusting times and pressures based on altitude. She also provides useful information to those who may not keep up with FDA recommendations. Apparently it is not always safe to do what your mother or grandmother did because certain techniques used in the past are no longer FDA approved. For example, an additional acid such as lemon juice or vinegar may need to be added when canning tomatoes. The word "Amish" in this title appears to be more of a marketing ploy than authenticity since many of the recipes have been altered to conform to FDA recommendations. While the author makes a statement late in the book about having a simple background, there are no statements that lead me to believe any of these recipes came from an Amish person's home. I received an advance "for review purposes only" e-galley from the publisher through NetGalley. I am unable to comment on photographs because they were unavailable to me.