Saturday, January 2, 2016

Manning Cemetery - Lawrence County Arkansas

While in Arkansas for Christmas, I took a trip to my family's cemetery "Manning #1 Cemetery" in Lawrence County between Hoxie and Sedgwick. This post is less abut dead ends although I do lose good documentation after these folks.

Meet my great-great-grandfather Francis M Manning. He was a confederate soldier out of Alabama. Notice is birthdate of 18 May 1817. I have documentation that does NOT agree with his birth date:
  1. 1850 Franklin Co GA states he is 22 years old (abt 1828) born GA
  2. 1860 Shelby Co AL states he is 28 years old (abt 1832) born TN
  3. 1880 Muhlenberg Co KY states he is 55 years old ( abt 1825) born GA

Above is his wife, Emily E Kitchens, her birthdate is marked as 18 Jan 1818 but, like her husbands headstone, I do not believe this date is correct. It is more like she was born about 1829.

In a previous post I spoke about the difference in primary versus secondary information. The birthdate on a headstone is a great example! The event that spurred her headstone is death and if the headstone was issued at that time, the date should be correct because it is primary information. However, the birth date is secondary information because it happened many years prior. In fact, the folks responsible for the information on this headstone more than likely were not around to witness her birth.

Similarly, when there is a delay in making/setting a headstone, the possibility of misinformation grows with the length of the time delay (in the absence of an original document such as a death certificate).

James John Manning (above) is the son of the Francis & Emily Manning (the two headstones previously pictured). His first wife's, Sarah MaryAnn Whittaker, headstone is picture below. She has one of those Woodsman of the World monuments that you can find around the south. Her son (not pictured in this post) does as well. After Sarah died JJ (as he was known) remarried but I have not located her grave.


JJ & Sarah had 6 documented children. One of there children was my grandfather, Andrew Jackson Manning. He married Rose Cleo Truxler in Lawrence County Arkansas in 1910. My dad, Carl Richard Manning, was born to them on 14 Oct 1928 and departed this life on 8 Jan 2010. He is interned with his third wife Bessie Burrows. I am an only child but my dad loved a big family and enjoyed his 6 stepchildren and all their children and grandchildren.

My dad, wanting to ensure that I was buried next to him, bought and placed a headstone for my husband and me for my birthday present one year. He didn't think that was weird at all! (I did not post a photo because I didn't want to display our dates of birth on the internet.)

Sunday, December 13, 2015

As Luck Would Have It!

Seems like every time I whine about something, an answer shows up. Guess I should whine a whole lot more!

Last post was about misinformation and the most frustrating of that misinformation was the incorrect father's name on my great grandmother Icie Brewer's death certificate. My grandmother (the informant) gave his name as John Brewer when, in fact, it was Argyle Homer Brewer. Luckily she had the mother's name correct.

I was recently on Ancestry and I got a leaf by Icie's name. The leaf turned out to be the social security application and claims index. By the way, her surname used was Meester. (See last post for explanation of that mess.) It was only an index but it included her parents. And, it's something she filled out. She listed her father as A H Brewer and her mother as Parthenia C Massey. YEA!!!

So, of course I ordered it. Can't wait to get it in the mail so I have documentation to disprove other documentation. I may not be able to "fix" everything these two women documented incorrectly but this one is a big one for me in terms of documentation for lineage society membership.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Icie Caroline Brewer-Gillihan-Meester

My grandmother. What can I say? I loved her but she is a genealogical nightmare. She gave  out misinformation on vital records and, as the eldest daughter, was often the person asked for vital information. She reported information based on saving face and avoiding any "talk". She also gave out information she thought was true, or wanted to be true, without any proof.

Her parents were Icie Caroline Brewer and Henry Newton Gillihan. Icie's parents were Parthena Catherine Massey and Argyle Homer Brewer. Everyone in the family that knows anything about the family, or does any research, knows this. There is a marriage record for both couples and the couples appear on censuses together.

Three documents with misinformation immediately come to mind:

First - my grandmother's own delayed birth certificate. She was born in 1900, at home, and there was no certification required. In 1947 she had the need for a birth certificate and filed for a delayed certificate. Her mother signed it as well. They filled out, and signed, the birth certificate with her mother's current name (2nd husband - Meester) and not the name she had at the time my grandmother was born (first husband - Gillihan).

Second - my grandmother also supplied the information for her mother's death certificate in 1956. She states her other's name as Icie Meester Gillihan. Her parents were divorced and her mother remarried a man with the surname Meester. Her middle name was Caroline, not Meester. Because Henry & Icie found their way back to each other sometime before she died, my grandmother used Gillihan as Icie's surname when it was actually Meester. Modern family holds steady that Henry & Icie never remarried and I haven't been able to find a record either.

Third - on the same Icie Brewer death certificate my grandmother lists her father's name as John Brewer. Who the heck is John Brewer? My grandmother was only two years old when her grandfather died so she couldn't have remembered him by name. His name was Argyle Homer Brewer. Luckily she got her grandmother's given and maiden names correctly on the document.

Fourth - Icie C Brewer-Gillihan and Henry N Gillihan were divorced. My understanding is that Henry was a ladies man and got another woman pregnant outside of his marriage. Since I don't have divorce information for Icie and Henry I cannot prove that. Both remarried. When Icie remarried in 1923 she listed her name as Icie Brewer, it should have been Gillihan, and as a widow. She was divorced, not widowed.
  • Apparently Icie and John Meester were not together very long (per family lore) but I've never been able to find a record of their divorce.
  • Icie used the Meester surname despite not being with, or possibly divorcing, Mr. Meester.
  • Family lore is that Henry Gillihan returned to Icie and nursed her through her illness, and ultimately, her death.
  • The couple is buried together as Henry & Icie Gillihan although there is nothing to indicate they remarried.

Marriage Certificate for Henry Newton Gillihan & Icie Caroline Brewer

Headstone for Henry & Icie

Icie Brewer from Brewer family photo

 Marriage record for Icie Brewer-Gillihan & John Meester
Death certificate for Icie Meester

Delayed birth certificate for my grandmother

Genealogy Roadshow Update

I heard back! A couple of days ago I received an e-mail saying that I had not been chosen.

I was feeling badly about not posting more often but then it dawned on me that I created this as a genealogy blog but mostly to chronicle dead ends. How much activity does one expect on brick walls anyway? So now I feel better knowing that I will only be posting when there is something to say regarding my dead ends/brick walls.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Genealogy Roadshow

I've been watching a show on PBS called "Genealogy Roadshow" for two seasons now. At first it wasn't exactly "my cup of tea" because the stories are brief compared to other genealogy shows that I have watched; however, I'm won over because these are regular folks they are helping with family history research. What a gift to have professional genealogist work on your line.

While "Who Do You think You Are" and "Finding Your Roots" spend more time and travel to different locations in their searches, they only research the family history of celebrities. The shows are interesting and it's obvious that no expense is spared.

I'm impressed that the Genealogy Roadshow took a risk and created a show featuring regular folks like me. I hope that it pays off for them and that the shows continue.

This leads me to......guess who applied to the show? Me! Yup, I decided to give it a try with George Barnes. The only thing I've ever won is jury duty but I am keeping my fingers crossed. Afterall, what a gift it would be to have professional genealogist work on my line.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Back to George Barnes

So, I found something new that is promising enough that I included the information on my page. The person who submitted it online is unreachable. Boo!

I've always known that my George Barnes died before the 1880 census because Rebecca is listed as a widow. But, they had a child in 1875 so the window narrows. This unknown researcher led me to the 1880 mortality schedule which listed a George W Barnes in Franklin Co Arkansas who died in November 1879 of typhoid fever. Since Rebecca was also on the Franklin Co Arkansas census in 1880, as a widow, I felt pretty good about it. UPDATE: Actually, she is in the town of Franklin but county of Izard when the 1880 census was taken. Franklin County is next to Sebastian County where "the other" George Barnes lived with his wife Anna and is often confused with our George.

The part of this record that leads me to even more questions is the year of birth - 1826. I always had his birth year as 1840 but that could be from when I believed his father was likely Dennis (there are still people who believe that but I'm thinking that George is the one in Sebastian Co who married an Ann).  Since his birthdate is not a primary record on his death certificate, it could be off.

So, if he was born in 1826 (in TN) and he and Rebecca started having children in 1864 (meaning they were likely married in 1863) then he would have been in his mid thirties when they married. Possible but unusual. More likely she would be a second wife.

Now I am wondering if there was a first wife. If so, where there children and what happened to them? I have spoken to two other researchers who are offspring from George and Rebecca's daughter Florence and they have never mentioned half siblings or another marriage of George. However, the man is such a mystery that I don't rule it out.

There seems to be a zillion George Barnes and including a middle initial of W only slightly helps to narrow things down.  I guess what I am saying is that I haven't gotten any closer to him but perhaps I am eliminating more folks who are not him.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

You Maried The Same Woman Twice? Nope, Her Cousin.

Meet Thomas William Whittaker and Melissa Ann Whittington. Though not a brick wall (anymore) regarding this ancestral couple, at one time they caused much confusion and I don't have much beyond their generation that is reliable.

These are thought to be photos of them but the owners cannot guarantee:
writing on back says wife #2

OK, so I am clipping along doing research on Thomas. He is the son of Talamacus and an unknown/unsure mother. According to his head stone, Thomas was born 15 April 1843. Lawrence County Arkansas censuses 1850 though 1900 consistently list birthplace as Missouri and verify that his father has a difficult name to spell ;)

I find a marriage certificate in Randolph County Arkansas of Thomas Whittaker and Melissa A Whittington. You can see below that Randolph County is the county north of Lawrence County and Randolph is on the border with Missouri.
lol, it's a map of counties where you can, or cannot, sell alcohol

The certificate states they were married 8th day of June 1863, that Thomas Whitker is from Lawrence County Arkansas and is 21 years old, and that Mealisia Ann Whittington is from the Butler County Missouri and is 18 years old. The certificate lists her father, not by name, as doing something regarding her age (can't read it).
perhaps you can tell me what her father did (certify?)
They have children in 1866, 1867, 1869, 1871, 1873, 1875, 1876, and 1879.

On the 1870 census "Malissa" is listed as 24 born Tennessee. (there is a Thomas Whittington next door and Talamacus Whittaker two doors down). 1870 - 24 = born 1846.
On the 1880 census "Malessa" is 27 born Missouri. The oldest child is 14 meaning if this Melissa is her mother she was only 13 when she delivered her. We know from the marriage certificate that "Mealisia" was 18 when they were married. 1880 - 27 = born 1853
On the 1900 census "Mallissa A" is 48 and born in Missouri. They also state they have been married 20 years meaning they were married in 1880). 1900 - 48 = born1852
Thomas and his wife have more documented children in 1882, 1883, 1884, 1888, 1889, 1891, 1896.
Long story short - according to other researchers, there's a second marriage for Thomas to Malissa Ann Whittington in Butler County Missouri on 25 Jun 1879. I'm told the first Malissa died and he married her first cousin also named Malissa Ann Whittington.
I found this listing from Butler county Missouri Marriage Records Book C at but I don't have a copy.
        Whitacre, Thomas       Whittington, Malissa A.       6/25/1879   page 33.3