24 January 2012

My Head Hurts: Part 1

Sometimes it's difficult to know where to start!
Details after the jump. 


 1847 Oct 20   Birth in Hawkins, TN
 1869 May 3    Marriage to Sampson Williams  (no source)

 US Censuses
 1870              Henderson, TN  Brewer: Wm, Lucy, Nancy, Jas, Martha, Mary, John, Tinsley, Luke
 1880 Jun 1     Hancock, TN  Williams: Sampson, Nancy & Children: Martelia, Martha, Sydna, Mary
 1900 Jun 12   Hancock, TN  Williams: Sampson, Arlena & Children: Hugh, Joseph
 1900 Jun 20   Wise, TX  Williams: Orlena & Children: Bennie, Ludia
 1910 Apr 18   Hancock, TN  Arlena Williams, living alone
 1910 Apr 30   Montague, TX  Arlena Williams, living alone
 1910 May 4    McMinn, TN  Nancy Brewer, living with other Brewers
 1920              Wilbarger, TX  Sid and Ludia Crim, Ludia's mother Orlena Williams

 1926 Jan 23    Death in Mansfield, Wright, MO   (no source)

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This one made my head hurt. I don't even know where to begin!

It seems this person has mixed up at least four separate people/families. One way to sort out people with the same name is to make a chart and compare, similar to what I did last week. Another is to just sort out the facts. Let's see if we can sort out the three, THREE!, 1910 Censuses. We can immediately put aside the last one. It is rare for a widow to go back to her maiden name and her son would definitely not have her maiden surname. Looking at the remaining two, they are not far apart in age and were born in Tennessee, as were their parents. Glancing over the 1910 page from Montague, TX only one other Williams jumps out. A boarder in another house with an illegible first name. On the 1910 page from Hancock, TN Arlena is living next to the family of Hugh Williams. So IF the 1900 Census in Hancock, TN is correct then in 1910 she is most likely living next to her son. 
The other Arlena is possibly the one living in Wise, TX in 1900 but more research would need to be done to be sure. The 1920 Census would almost definitely match the one living in Wise, TX in 1900 since the daughter's name is the same. 
The 1870 Census shows the fourth family dragged into this mess. Since the 1870 Census doesn't show marital status it would be difficult to tell if this was the correct Nancy. She could be staying with her parents while her husband looked for work, not unusual, BUT (you knew it was coming) Sampson and Nancy were living in Hancock, TN in 1870. It wasn't among the first search results but since they were living in Hancock County, TN in 1880, 1900 and 1910 I took a chance and limited the search results to that county. The record was at the top of the results list. 
The death date/place is mostly correct, Gasconade not Mansfield. Her death certificate is at Missouri Digital Heritage under the name Orlena Williams. It shows that she was the wife of Sampson Williams and her father's name was Russell Brewer. Of course it's only correct if that is the Orlena Williams being researched. If the correct Orlena is the mother of Bennie and Ludia, living in Texas then it's completely wrong.

UPDATE: My Head Hurts - Part 2

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