Grandma’s middle name

What makes genealogists smile?  Many things. Finding an elusive record online or in a dusty archive is one.  Discovering who has the old family Bible is another. Determining first and middle names often yields surprises.  Jack’s given name is James John and Jack is a nickname.  Betsy’s birth name of Elizabeth is found in an unexpected place.  We constantly search for records to prove or disprove facts.  In this post, I describe the search and discovery of my paternal grandmother’s middle name.

Jennie_copy2_with caption

MIDDLE INITIAL “A”. AMELIA? ASH? SOMETHING ELSE?

Jennie A. Richards is Dad’s mother. According to Dad, her middle name was Amelia. I vaguely recall him saying once that her middle name was Ash. Jennie was the youngest child of Ostrander Richards and Amelia Magdelenne LaCoe.  Jennie’s maternal grandmother was Sybil Rone Ash.  Either name makes sense. I don’t remember why I gravitated towards Amelia. Did Dad recite that name most often?

My husband and I attended the annual LaCoe family reunion in August 2017 at Clark’s Summit, Pennsylvania.  While there, a cousin asked about Jennie’s middle name. I related what Dad told me.  Older relatives thought that Jennie’s middle name was “Ash”.  Aunt Mary confirmed that her mother’s middle name could be “Ash.” I was sure that I had a record with Jennie’s middle name!

Back home, I went through my files and notes.  Nothing specific. Only “Jennie A. Richards” and “Jennie A. Posten.”  I emailed my cousin with those results. I added this item to my BSO (bright shiny object) list to be explored another day.

Two years go by and I complete multiple projects for other relatives.  I periodically check websites for information about the Posten family. I do not always search for anything specific. I prioritized another revision of the Posten family history (2012) [1] as a genealogy goal for 2020.  Five relatives have a copy of either the original or one of the three revisions.  I acquire more documents during the intervening years.  Through the Genealogy Do-Over process, my analytic skills improve.

I check hints, a.k.a. ‘shaky leaves’, on Ancestry. I start again with the most recent generation–Dad and his siblings.  A copy of  Uncle Lester’s birth certificate pops up. [2] Lester Joseph Posten was John and Jennie’s first child.  Not a transcript but a photocopy of the original document!  Imagine my surprise and delight when I see the following information on that document:

  • Full name of Child: Lester Joseph Posten
  • Date of birth: June 1, 1911
  • Father, full name: John Ray Posten
  • Mother, full name: Jennie Ash Richards
middlename2

Lester’s full name and date of birth are not in dispute. I now have primary, first-hand evidence of middle names for both John and Jennie. John and Jennie provided the information for their son’s birth certificate.  Mission accomplished! Remove item from BSO list.  Add birth certificate information and scan copy to RootsMagic program. Send information to cousin who is revising LaCoe family history.

Charlotte Tucker- my maternal grandmother. I briefly reported discovery of my maternal grandmother’s middle name in a 2017 post.  I remembered hearing that Charlotte’s (a.k.a Lottie, ak.a. Gram) middle name was either Anna or Amelia.  Gram’s mother was Anna Klee.  When I received a copy of Gram’s birth certificate, I discovered that her birth name was Amalie Charlotte Maurer.[3]  Gram’s grandparents immigrated to the U.S. from Germany in the late 1850s. German children were often called by their middle name, not their first name. My database entry now shows Amalie Charlotte [Maurer] Tucker instead of Charlotte A. [Maurer] Tucker.  Census and other records show her as Charlotte or Lottie.

reflection-swirl-green-color-hi

REFLECTION:

For some reason, I never doubted Grandpa Posten’s middle name. Dad told me that his father’s middle name was “Ray”.  I accepted Dad’s account without question. No one else asked about it. My cousin’s question at the reunion prompted a careful review of information.  Since then, I have been on the lookout for a document to confirm Jennie’s middle name. Searches have been sporadic. Similarly, I accepted mom’s explanation of her mother’s name.  I wonder if I just didn’t listen close enough!

What I learned: Keep looking! Return to online databases regularly for documents and information added since your last search. Don’t assume that a person’s name on census records is actually their first name. Collect BMD records for siblings of your direct ancestors.

What helped: Availability of documents online. Updating of databases by online sources. Family tree already posted to Ancestry by me.

What didn’t help:  Copying Jennie’s obituary again—I already have a copy in both digital and paper files.

To-do:  Consult files before copying documents. Enter new information and scanned documents to Roots Magic – DONE.  Send information to Posten cousin – DONE.

SOURCES: 

[1] Susan M. Posten Ellerbee, The Posten Family of Northeastern Pennsylvania, 1st edition, (Yukon, Oklahoma: Published by author, 2012). Tentative title of future editions:  Descendants of Thomas Postens, New Jersey to Pennsylvania.

[2] “Pennsylvania, Birth Certificates, 1906-1911,” digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com     : accessed & printed 24 January 2020), entry for Lester Joseph Posten; citing Pennsylvania (State). Birth certificates, 1906-1911. Series 11.89. Records of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Record Group 11. Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

[3] New York, New York City Department of Records and Information Services, birth certificate 5947 (28 May 1892), Amalie Charlotte Maurer; Municipal Archives, 31 Chambers Street, New York, N.Y. 10007. Photocopy of original certificate obtained in 2017 by Susan Mercedes Posten Ellerbee, Charlotte’s granddaughter.

A tangled web of 4 blended families

Blended families are like a tangled spider’s web. The web consists of marriages, children, spousal deaths or divorce, remarriages, more children, another spousal death (or divorce) and marriage to a spouse with children from a former marriage. Suddenly, you are tracking four or more families.  Names and dates blur. My web includes two families that eventually became two (2) blended families (total of four families) and 17 children. This post outlines the families and their relationships.

As every genealogist knows, you do not always find records in chronological order. Bits and pieces emerge at various times during your search. You put these bits and pieces together into a timeline of events. The families in this web are:

  • Family #1:  James Thomas Lafayette Powell and his 1st wife, Deborah A. C. Daniel.  3 children.
  • Family #2/ Blended family #1:  James Thomas Lafayette Powell and his 2nd wife, Katherine Deborah Brown. My husband’s paternal great-great grandparents.  5 children.
  • Family #3:  Elias Barker and his 1st wife, Launa Barber.  6 children.
  • Family #4 / Blended family #2:  Elias Barker, 2nd husband of Katherine Deborah Brown Powell. 3 children.

I found documents at various times. Retrieval dates indicate the sporadic nature of my research on these families. I offer this chronology to show the back and forth nature of genealogical research.   

2011. Document #1:  Death certificate for Katherine Deborah Ellerbee [1](wife of James Walter Ellerbee), my husband’s paternal great-grandmother. Parents listed as James Thomas Lafayette Powell and Katherine Deborah Barker.   

2012. Document #2: (I didn’t realize its significance until later). Widow’s Application for Confederate Pension, filed in 1932.[2]  “Mrs. Catherine Barker. . . widow of J. T. L. Powell. . . . James Thomas Lafayette Powell. . . . remarried to E. Barker, Sept. 1st, 1892, who died Aug. 20th, 1900.”  Conclusion:  Barker was surname of Catherine’s 2nd husband.  What was her maiden name?

Dec 2015. Document #3:  1880 census for J.T. L. Powel, age 45, and wife, Catherine, age 20.[3] Children:  Alvey Powel, son, age 14;  J.M. Powel, son, age 12; Peter Powel, son, age 9; D.C. Powel, daughter, age 9 months.  Analysis:  Alvey, J.M. and Peter could not be Catherine’s children.  D.C. Powel Is probably Katherine Deborah Powell Ellerbee, born 1879 per her death certificate.

2016. Document #4:   Death certificate for “Mrs. Catherine Barker”.[4] Parents listed as “R.L. Brown” and “Marguerite Puckett”.   Conclusion:  Catherine’s maiden name was Brown, not Barker.

2016. Back to Document #2:  “I was married to him [J.T.L. Powell] on the 22nd day of April, A.D. 1877, in the county of Cherokee, in the state of Texas.” Confirms marriage date for Catherine and JTL Powell.

2016. Document #5:  (recorded as “tentative”): 1900 U.S. Census for Elide Booker, age 46, and wife, Catherine Booker, age 41, with 8 children [5]—Isaac, age 15;  Milton, age 13; Cora, age 11, Katie L, age 8; Bertie R., age 6; Ernest E., age 4; Alpha M. age 1; and stepdaughter, Jessie, age 11.  Analysis: Catherine & Elide married September 1892. Isaac, Milton, Cora are certainly not hers; Katie could be hers but could also be daughter of Elias and his 1st wife.  Bertie R., Ernest and Alpha are certainly children of ‘Elide’ and Catherine. Catherine listed as mother of 8 children, 7 living.  Who are Jessie’s parents? 2019:  Elide Booker identified as Elias Barker.

March 2017. Document #6: [6] 1870 census for J.T. L. Powell, age 35, and Dan A.C. Powell, female, age 32.  Presumed children:  Alonzo Powell, age 4; Jas M, age 2.  Analysis:  “Dan A.C. Powell, age 32” is probably James Powell’s 1st wife.  What is her first name and maiden name?

March 2017. Document #7.   Marriage certificate for James T.L. Powell and Deborah A.C. Daniel, married 1857. [7] Analysis: Name of James T.L. Powell’s 1st wife was Deborah A.C. Daniel.  Consistent with 1870 census. Confirms Deborah as James’ 1st wife.

October 2019.  Documents # 8 and 9.  Marriage record for Elias Barker and Launa Barber, 1874. [8] Find A Grave memorial number 79870105 for Euna Barker, “mother”, death date 1892. [9] Analysis: Confirms Elias’ first marriage and his first wife’s death in 1892.

October 2019.  Document #9.  1880 census for Elias & Launa Barker with one child, Tempe, age 3 months. [10] Analysis: Elias and Launa were married with one child in June 1880.


FAMILY SYNOPSIS:

Family #1:  James T.L. Powell married Deborah A.C. Daniel in 1857 at Sumter county, Georgia. James and Deborah had 3 children- Alonzo, James M. and Peter (born 1872).  Deborah presumably died in Texas between 1872 and 1877.

Family #2/ Blended family #1:  James T. L. Powell married Catherine Deborah Brown in April, 1877 at Cherokee county, Texas. They had at least 5 children – Katherine, William, Jessie and two undiscovered.  James T. L. Powell died in 1890 leaving his wife, Catherine, a widow with 4 or 5 children.  The older children from James’ 1st marriage apparently married before their father’s death.  

Family #3:  Elias Barker married Launa Barber in 1874 at Milam county, Texas. Records show 6 children.  Launa died in 1892, possibly after birth of youngest child, Katie, in February 1892. 

Family #4/ Blended family #2:  Elias Barker remarried in September 1892 at Cherokee county, Texas, to Mrs. Catherine Powell, widow of James T.L. Powell.  Elias died in August 1900, leaving Catherine again a widow. Elias and Catherine had three children – Reba ‘Bertie’, Ernest and Alpha.  Four of Elias’ children from his first marriage – Isaac, Milton, Cora and Katie- were still at home.

SUMMARY:

I found these records over an 8-year period.  Some records were duplicated in my files.  Current analysis of the combined documents revealed previously overlooked information. I didn’t fully identify gaps until this review.

Next steps for me:   Review all documents again. Search for additional documents and information about each family. Report findings as blog posts focusing on one family per post.

REFLECTION:

Another task for Genealogy Do-Over.  Filling out the research logs for James Thomas Lafayette Powell and his 2nd wife, Catherine Brown (my husband’s great-great grandparents) showed me that more than one family was involved.  I completed research logs for James and both of his wives.  I started Research logs for Elias Barker and his 1st wife.  Research logs for the 17 children?  One done for my husband’s great-grandmother, Katherine Deborah Powell Ellerbee.  Others are on my to-do list with priorities to be assigned.  I am on a different path than when I started.

What I learned/ recalled:   Blended families are not a unique phenomenon to the late 20th century.  1900 and 1910 censuses list number of children born and number living for women.

What helped: Access to online databases. Created ‘Blended family pedigree chart’.  Printed records in files.

What didn’t help: Incomplete paper files and research logs.

To-Do: Search census records for Catherine Brown Powell Barker- 1910 through 1940; add to her research log — DONE. Create & complete research logs for Deborah A.C. Daniel, Elias Barker.  Defer research on other children of these families. Confirm birth, marriage, death dates for Catherine’s known 6 children.  Search for information about her other children (2 or 3 as indicated by 1900 & 1910 census).  

© Susan Posten Ellerbee and Posting Family Roots blog, 2019


SOURCES:

[1] Cherokee county, Texas, , certificate no. 36955, Katherine Deborah Ellerbee, 9 July 1959; digital images, Fold 3 (http://www.fold3.com    : viewed, printed, downloaded 4 October 2019); citing Texas Department of Health, Austin, Texas.

[2] “Widow’s Application for Confederate Pension”, 8 February, 1932, Catherine Barker, widow’s pension application no. 50567,service of James Thomas Lafayette Powell (lieutenant, Co. C, 25th Regiment Georgia Infantry, Civil War); “U.S. Confederate Pensions, 1884-1958,”   Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com  : accessed,downloaded, printed 29 Nov 2012)  citing Texas, Confederate Pension Applications,1899-1975, Vol. 1-646 & 1-283, Texas State Library and Archives Commission, Austin, Texas.

[3] 1880 U.S. Census, Cherokee county, Texas, population schedule, Precinct no. 8, enumeration district (ED) 19, p. 1 (ink pen); p. 447A (stamp), dwelling 6, family 6, D.C. Powel age 9/12; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com    : viewed, downloaded, printed 26 December 2015); citing National Archives & Records Administration, Washington, D.C., microfilm publication T9, roll 1295..

[4] Jefferson county, Texas, death certificates, death certificate #14269 (1944), Mrs. Catherine Barker, 8 March 1944; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com      : accessed & downloaded 9 November 2017); citing Texas Department of State Health Services, “Texas Death Certificates, 1903-1982”, Austin, Texas.

[5] 1900 U.S. Census, Cherokee county, Texas, population schedule, Justice Precinct 8, enumeration district (ED) 0030, p. 1B (ink pen) & p. 2A, dwelling 16, family 16, Catherine Booker [Barker]; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com  : accessed, downloaded 9 October 2019); citing National Archives & Records Administration, Washington, D.C. , microfilm publication T 623, Roll 1619.

[6] 1870 U.S. Census, Calhoun County, Georgia, population schedule, Militia District 626, p. 55 (ink pen, p. 585 (stamp), dwelling 510, family 486, Jas T L Powell; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com  : accessed, downloaded. printed 9 November 2017); citing National Archives & Records Administration, Washington, D.C. microfilm publication M593_138.

[7] “Sumter County, Georgia, Marriage Books, Sumter County Ordinary Court, 1850-1857,”p.218, no. 24, James T.L. Powell, Deborah A.C. Daniel, 28 June 1857; digital images, University System of Georgia, Georgia Archives (http://vault.georgiaarchives.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/countyfilm/id/289112/rec/3   : accessed,downloaded, printed 24 March 2017); Georgia Archives, Morrow, Georgia.

[8] “Texas, County Marriage Records, 1817-1965,” database, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com   : accessed 10 October 2019), entry for Elias Barker and Launa Barker; citing “Marriage Records, Texas Marriages,” Texas State Library and Archives Commission, Austin, Texas.

[9] Find A Grave, database and images (http://www.findagrave.com   : viewed & printed 10 October 2019), memorial page for Euna Barker, Find A Grave Memorial # 79870105, citing Mount Hope Cemetery (Wells, Cherokee, Texas), memorial created by seemore, photograph by Deb.

[10] 1880 U.S. Census, Lee county, Texas, population schedule, , enumeration district (ED) 094, p. 79A (stamp); p. 49 (ink pen), dwelling 316, family 319, Elias Barker age 26; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com   : accessed, printed, downloaded 10 October 2019); citing National Archives & Records Administration, Washington, D.C. microfilm publication T9, roll 1316.

John E. Ellerbee’s wealth

How is wealth measured? Today, we say a person is wealthy because of their high salary and/or the value of their business and other investments.  Home and land ownership reflects a person’s financial status. Our ancestors measured wealth by the amount of land owned and the value of crops and livestock. Sadly, in the antebellum south, wealth was also measured by the number of slaves owned.  How wealthy was John E. Ellerbee, my husband’s ancestor? This post, fourth in my series about John E. Ellerbee, addresses that question.

SOURCE: Blake Harris, powerpoint “The Pre-Civil War South”. Slide Share ( https://www.slideshare.net/BlakeHarris2/the-pre-civil-war-south-ppt : accessed 21 September 2019).

John E. Ellerbee, born about 1808 in Burke county, Georgia, married at least two times and fathered at least 16  children.  The family consistently moved southwest through Georgia to Florida from 1830 through 1880.  I described their migration pattern in my last two posts. 

A typewritten manuscript[1]  was privately published before the printed Ellerbe family history. [2]  In that manuscript, Morris “Buck” Ellerbee commented on John’s south-westerly moves:

South-western Georgia was the West of the day and that is where
new and cheap land was to be found. . . and it appears that John 
Ellerbee kept moving Westward as new lands became available. . . .
 [and] (1) the family is larger, and (2) the family fortune is larger. 
The 1860 census lists John Ellerbee’s property as follows: 
real estate valued at $3000; and personal property valued
at $4500. Three thousand dollars of “cheap land” could have 
been considerable acres. And since his personal property 
was surely made up largely of mules and slaves. . . there must 
have been quite a number of them. . . . John Ellerbee
was considered a wealthy man before the Civil War. [3]

In 1850, the “larger family” consisted of nine people (John, Martha, six children[4] and one slave[5]).  His real estate was valued at $2500. Older children left home between 1850 and 1860 and new children were born. The 1860 population schedule[6] shows John and Martha with 10 children plus two slaves. [7]  John’s real estate value increased to $4500 and personal property increased to  $3000.  John’s wealth certainly included more than “mules and slaves”.  

How many acres of land did John own?  Turn now to the Agricultural Schedules of the U.S. Census Bureau.

Agricultural schedules of 1850, 1860, and 1870 provide the following information for each farm: name of owner or manager, number of improved and unimproved acres, and the cash value of the farm, farming machinery, livestock, animals slaughtered during the past year, and “homemade manufactures.” The schedules also indicate the number of horses, mules, “milch cows,” working oxen, other cattle, sheep, and swine owned by the farmer. The amount of oats, rice, tobacco, cotton, wool, peas and beans, Irish potatoes, sweet potatoes, barley, buckwheat, orchard products, wine, butter, cheese, hay, clover seed, other grass seeds, hops, hemp, flax, flaxseed, silk cocoons, maple sugar, cane sugar, molasses, and beeswax and honey produced during the preceding year is also noted. The 1880 schedules provide additional details, such as the amount of acreage used for each kind of crop, the number of poultry, and the number of eggs produced.

Exclusions–Not every farm was included in these schedules. In 1850, for example, small farms that produced less than $100 worth of products annually were not included. By 1870, farms of less than three acres or which produced less than $500 worth of products were not included.

SOURCE: https://www.archives.gov/research/census/nonpopulation/#ag

Following the Civil War and the family’s move to Florida, John’s wealth diminished.   Real estate value fell to $240 and personal estate value fell to $300 in 1870. The family size remained at 12 (John, Martha and 10 children).  [10]  His small holdings would not be included in the 1870 Agricultural schedule.

Family tradition says that John owned a small orange grove in Hillsborough county, Florida, where the family lived in 1880. In 1883, John Ellerbee bought 150 acres “east of Tallahassee Meridian in Florida.” [11] John’s personal property, sold after his death, included 1 yoke of oxen (sold to J. A. D. Branch for $30.00 and one stock of hogs (sold to J.B. McPherson for $2.50). [12]  Total for all items sold at auction was $51.80. John’s son, W. M. Ellerbee, bought John’s 160 acres for $445 in 1887. Total value of John’s estate= $496.80.

Summary:

How wealthy was John E. Ellerbee? In pre-Civil War Georgia, John doubled his land ownership within one decade. Overall monetary value of the land and livestock remained static ($4150 in 1850 and $3995 in 1860). Crop production almost doubled during the same period (665 bushels in 1850 to 1150 bushels in 1860).  His 500 acres may seem paltry compared to thousands of acres on some plantations but the land provided enough to take care of his family with produce left to sell. The abrupt decline in their financial status must have been devastating.  I haven’t found proof of the orange grove purchase. I believe that John kept trying to improve his lot.

For more information:

REFLECTION:

This post concludes the 4-part series about John E. Ellerbee. When I started the first post, I didn’t realize that there was so much to his story. I confirmed sources cited by others and added details. I responded emotionally to several items, specifically the lumping together of “mules and slaves” as a measure of wealth and John’s acquisition of Indian cession land in Georgia. Although I can’t absolutely prove that John bought Indian land, he lived in the right place at the right time for that to occur.

What I learned:   Details found in agricultural schedules.

What helped:  Internet access to multiple records, books, manuscripts and articles. Books found in local library about Creek and Cherokee Indians in Georgia before their removal to Oklahoma. Creating research log for John E. Ellerbee.

What didn’t help:  Having bronchitis for 2 weeks and not feeling like working on genealogy.  Getting sidetracked as I search for John’s parents.  

To-do:  Compile the 4 blog posts into one article. Share with relatives. Consider submitting for publication to Historical or Genealogical society journal in Georgia.  Resume work on scrapbook for another relative.


SOURCES:

[1] LRB typewritten manuscript; digitized by Internet Archive 2018. Ronald W. Ellerbe & Morris B. Ellerbee, LRB, Ellerby, Ellerbe, Ellerbee. (privately printed, 1963). Digital copy, The  Internet Archive (https://archive.org/details/lrbellerbyellerb00elle  : accessed and printed, 27 August 2019). Sections ‘The Ellerbee’s of early Georgia’ and ‘John Ellerbee (1808-1885)’ probably written by Morris B. (Buck) Ellerbee, a descendant of John.  Source citations minimal but records can be found. 

[2] Ronald William Ellerbe, The Ellerbe Family History (Baltimore, MD: Gateway Press, Inc., 1986), p. 14-41.

[3] Ellerbe & Ellerbee, LRB, Ellerby, Ellerbe, Ellerbee, 31-32.

[4] 1850 U.S. Federal Census, Baker County, Georgia, population schedule, District 3, p. 49B (ink pen), dwelling 1111, family 141, John E. Ellerbee.

[5] 1850 U.S. Census, Baker county, Georgia, slave schedule, District 3, no page number, John Ellerbee, owner; digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com   : printed & downloaded 3 May 2019); citing National Archives & Records Administration, microfilm publication M432.

[6] 1860 population census. 1860 U.S. Census, Calhoun county, Georgia, slave schedule, 3rd District, p. 265 (stamp), John Elerbee, owner; digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com  : printed & downloaded 3 May 2019); citing National Archives & Records Administration, microfilm publication M653

[7] 1860 U.S. Federal Census, Calhoun county, Georgia, slave schedule, 3rd district, p. 265 (stamp); p. 27 (ink pen), John E. Ellerbee; NARA microfilm publication M653.

[8] 1850 U.S. Census, Baker county, Georgia, agriculture schedule, 3rd District, p. 39, John Ellerbee; Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com    : accessed & printed, 7 September 2019); National Archives & Records Administration, Washington, D.C. microfilm publication T1137, roll 1.

[9] 1860 U.S. Census, Calhoun county, Georgia, agriculture schedule, 3rd District, no page number, John Elerba [Ellerbee]; Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com   : accessed & printed, 7 September 2019); National Archives & Records Administration, Washington, D.C. microfilm publication T1137, roll 4.

[10] 1870 U.S. Census, Jackson county, Florida, population schedule, Marianna, p. 54 (ink pen), dwelling 586, family 587, John Ellerbee age 63; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : viewed, downloaded, printed 3 May 2019); citing National Archives & Records Administration, Washington, D.C. microfilm publication M593_130.

[11] Certificate of the Register of Land to John Ellerbee; United States Bureau of Land Management “U.S. General Land Office Records, 1716 – 2015,” digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed, printed, downloaded 6 September 2019); citing Automated Records Project; Federal Land Patents, State Volumes, Springfield, Virginia: Bureau of Land Management, Eastern States, 2007.

[12] “Florida, County Judge’s Court (Hillsborough County),” digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed & printed 5 May 2019), entry for John Ellerbee; citing “Florida, Willas and Probate Records, 1810-1914” [database online], Florida County, District and Probate Courts; administrator: W.M. Ellerbee.

© Susan Posten Ellerbee and Posting Family Roots blog, 2019

Moving south: Historical and financial clues to John Ellerbee’s migration

My husband’s ancestor, John E. Ellerbee, married twice. The identity of his first wife remains elusive. Wife #1 gave birth to 4 children between 1830 and 1840.  John’s marriage to Martha Love in September 1842 suggests that Wife #1 died about 1841 or 1842.  John sired 12 children with Martha Love. 

First, I reported on John E. Ellerbee and his two wives. Then, I described the family’s southwards migration pattern from eastern Georgia to western Florida.  I posed a question: “Why did John move south?”  Now, I continue the saga with clues found in historical and financial records.

 John E. Ellerbee was born about 1808 in Burke county, Georgia. [1] Burke county resides on Georgia’s eastern border with South Carolina. From there, John moved west and south to Houston county, then south to Randolph, Baker and Calhoun counties.  His southern migration continued to Florida, first to Jackson county in the Panhandle then to Hillsborough county on Florida’s west coast.

Why did John move south?  After my last post, I found a privately published, typewritten manuscript[2] that appears to be the precursor to the printed Ellerbe family history. [3]  Morris “Buck” Ellerbee commented on John’s south-westerly moves:

South-western Georgia was the West of the day
and that is where new and cheap land was to be found. . . 
and it appears that John Ellerbee kept moving Westward 
as new lands became available. . . . [and] 
(1) the family is larger, and (2) the family fortune is larger. 
The 1860 census lists John Ellerbee’s property as follows: 
real estate valued at $3000; and personal property valued 
at $4500. Three thousand dollars of “cheap land” could have 
been considerable acres. And since his personal property was
surely made up largely of mules and slaves. . . 
there must have been quite a number of them.  [4]

The “cheap land” in southwestern Georgia originally belonged to the Creek Indians. [5]  Review the formation of relevant Georgia counties:

  • Houston county (John’s location in 1830 and 1840), formed 1821 from Indian land cession.
  • Randolph county (location of John and Martha’s marriage in 1842), created 1828 from Lee county. Lee county formed 1827 from Indian land cession. 
  • Baker county (John’s location in 1850 and 1860) formed 1824 from Early county. Early county created 1818 from Creek Indian land cession.
  • Calhoun county (John’s location in 1860) formed 1854 from Early county.  

This discovery adds a sad historical perspective to John’s story.  Our ancestor benefitted from the removal of the Creek Indians from Georgia to Alabama (about 1826) and their eventual removal to Oklahoma Territory in 1836.[6]  The Cherokee Indians, who lived in northwestern Georgia, experienced similar forced removals, known as the “Trail of Tears”.  Our ancestor gained while others were forcibly moved from ancestral homelands.

The map illustrates Indian Land Cessions in Georgia and the dates of those cessions. The original map is titled ‘Indian Land Cessions in the United States.” Georgia Map 15, United States Digital Map Library.  http://usgwarchives.net/maps/cessions/ilcmap15.htm . Map with dates downloaded from Don & Diane Wells, “The loss of the remaining Creek Indian Territory,”  Smoke Signals: News and views from Big Canoe and around North Georgia, digital edition (https://www.bigcanoenews.com/news/news-col1/columns/6447-the-loss-of-the-remaining-creek-indian-territory

I do not dispute that both the family and the family fortunes increased.[7]  Census records are clear on those issues. The number of children in the household increased from 4 in 1840[8] to 8 in 1850[9] and 12 in 1860[10].  John’s real estate was valued at $2500 in 1850[11] . Mr. Ellerbee reversed the numbers for the 1860 census:  $4500 in real estate and $3000 in personal property.[12]  Family tradition says that “John Ellerbee was considered a wealthy man before the Civil War.” [13]

One of John’s sons kept “a trunkful of worthless Confederate money” inherited from his father.[14]  In my last post, I asserted that the family moved circa 1863-1866 from Calhoun county, Georgia in 1860 to Jackson county, Florida by 1870, based on reported birth and marriage dates for children.  Buck Ellerbee suggested that “he [John] made the move during the Civil War when it was still possible for him to convert his holdings to cash- even though it was Confederate cash.”[15]  This makes sense and likely answers when and why they moved to Florida.

John was a slave owner.  Pre-Civil war census records show that he owned 1 or 2 slaves at any given time:  1840[16] – 2 slaves; 1850[17]:  1 slave; 1860[18]:  2 slaves.  These numbers dispute Buck Ellerbee’s claim that “there must have been quite a number of them [mules and slaves].” What effect did emancipation of the slaves have on John and his family? Unknown but possibly minimal. 

Personal note:  The concept of equating mules with slaves is repulsive to me. We accept the fact that my husband’s ancestors owned slaves. However, that doesn’t negate my gut reaction.  

How many acres of land did John own?  In 1883, John Ellerbee bought 159 acres “east of Tallahassee Meridian in Florida.” [19] How much land did he buy and sell in Georgia? How much livestock did John own? How productive was the land?  That, my friends, will be subject for next post after I locate and review the agriculture census records.

SUMMARY. Why did John choose to move south rather than west? I believe the question has been answered. During the decades before the Civil War, the lure of cheap land was likely a definite factor. The cost to the Indian tribes may not even have concerned John.  The reason for moving to Florida is less clear. Did John foresee the defeat of the Confederacy?  Did he attempt to minimize his losses by moving to Florida before the end of the Civil War?  Buck Ellerbee’s belief—that John used Confederate money for his initial purchase of land in Florida- suggests that the answer to both questions is “Yes.”   

For more information about Creek and Cherokee Indians in Georgia:

Brian Hicks. Toward the setting sun:  John Ross, the Cherokees, and the Trail of Tears. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2011.

Claudi Saunt. “Creek Indians.” New Georgia Encyclopedia, (https://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/articles/history-archaeology/creek-indians  :  accessed 30 August 2019);  original 20 July 2018.

Don & Diane Wells, “The loss of the remaining Creek Indian Territory,”  Smoke Signals: News and views from Big Canoe and around North Georgia, digital edition (https://www.bigcanoenews.com/news/news-col1/columns/6447-the-loss-of-the-remaining-creek-indian-territory;  accessed 30 August 2019); originally published 30 November 2001; created online 14 October 2014.

REFLECTION:

I am constantly amazed about what is available on the internet. The typewritten LRB manuscript, dated 1963, is new to me. Digitized in 2018, it popped up on a Google search.  Some information clearly made its way to Ronald William Ellerbe’s 1986 print book. The 1963 manuscript contains more details about John Ellerbee and his family.  The “Ellerbee’s of early Georgia” section expanded my knowledge and led me to new insights.  The Ellerbee family apparently owned land near the Pee Dee River in South Carolina.   😔– another lead to follow!

Each post starts short and focused but seems to expand as if it has a life of its own. My goal of about 1500 words is often tested (1462 words in this post). I foresee a journal article about John E. Ellerbee??

What I learned:  Buck Ellerbee talked with elderly descendants of John Ellerbee, some of whom were  John’s grandchildren. These persons are now deceased. Buck’s insights paralleled some of my own and provided some new ones.

What helped:  Finding LRB manuscript.  Thank you, Internet Archive!!

What didn’t help:  Feeling overwhelmed.  Clean-up of records for Ellerbee family tree has stalled.  I have been sick with bronchitis for a week and didn’t get to state history center library.

TO-DO:   Locate and read books/ articles about removal of Creek and Cherokee Indians from Georgia. Found one book at local library—still reading.  Review source citations in LRB manuscript. Library at Oklahoma History Center has some potentially useful books and other sources. Explore BLM land records. Locate agriculture census schedules for John Ellerbee. Locate and read information about Pee Dee River settlers.


SOURCES:

[1] 1850 census. 1850 U.S. Federal Census, Baker County, Georgia, population schedule, District 3, p. 49 B (penned), dwelling 1111, family 141, John E. Ellerbee; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed, printed, downloaded 3 January 2018); citing National Archives & Records Administration, Washington, D.C. Roll M432_61.

[2] LRB typewritten manuscript; digitized by Internet Archive 2018. Ronald W. Ellerbe & Morris B. Ellerbee, LRB, Ellerby, Ellerbe, Ellerbee. (privately printed, 1963). Digital copy, The  Internet Archive (https://archive.org/details/lrbellerbyellerb00elle  : accessed and printed, 27 August 2019). Sections ‘The Ellerbee’s of early Georgia’ and ‘John Ellerbee (1808-1885) probably written by Morris B. (Buck) Ellerbee, a descendant of John.  Source citations minimal but records can be found. 

[3] Ronald William Ellerbe, The Ellerbe Family History (Baltimore, MD: Gateway Press, Inc., 1986), p. 14-41.

[4] LRB bio p. 31. Ellerbe & Ellerbee, LRB, Ellerby, Ellerbe, Ellerbee, 31.

[5] “Georgia county creation and parent counties,” Family Search Wiki (https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/Georgia_County_Creation_Dates_and_Parent_Counties :  accessed 25 August 2019).

[6]. Don and Diane Wells. “The loss of the remaining Creek Indian territory,” Smoke Signals: News and views from Big Canoe and around North Georgia, front page; digital edition (https://www.bigcanoenews.com/news/news-col1/columns/6447-the-loss-of-the-remaining-creek-indian-territory;  accessed 30 August 2019). Originally published 30 November 2001; created online 14 October 2014.  

[7] According to Buck Ellerbee, “Tradition also says that John Ellerbee was married three times, and fathered 24 children. . 17 living to maturity” (Ellerbe & Ellerbee, LRB, Ellerby, Ellerbe, Ellerbee, 31). “The spread in years between Edward [born 1831] and Elizabeth (born 1836] [per 1850 census]” is given as evidence. I may need to re-write earlier post!

[8] Abstracted by Lorraine H. Robinson, “1840 Federal Census Houston County, Georgia (file 2 of 5),” database, US Gen Web (http://files.usgwarchives.net/ga/houston/census/1840/pg373.txt : downloaded & printed 29 August 2011), page 10 sheet no. 376, line 21, John Ellerbee; citing National Archives & Records Administration, Washington, D.C. microflim publication M704, reel 43.

[9] 1850 U.S. Federal Census, Baker County, Georgia, population schedule, District 3, p. 49B (ink pen), dwelling 1111, family 141, John E. Ellerbee.

[10] 1860 U.S. Census, Calhoun county, Georgia, population schedule, District 3, p. 42 (ink pen), dwelling 289, family 289, John E Ellerbee; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : viewed & downloaded 3 May 2019); citing National Archives & Records Administration, Washington, D.C. microfilm publication M654_113.

[11] 1850 U.S. Federal Census, Baker County, Georgia, population schedule, District 3, p. 49B (ink pen), dwelling 1111, family 141, John E. Ellerbee.

[12] 1860 U.S. Census, Calhoun county, Georgia, population schedule, District 3, p. 42 (ink pen), dwelling 289, family 289, John E Ellerbee.

[13] Ellerbe & Ellerbee, LRB, Ellerby, Ellerbe, Ellerbee, 31-32.

[14] Ellerbe & Ellerbee, LRB, Ellerby, Ellerbe, Ellerbee, 30. 32. Ellerbe, The Ellerbe Family History, 14-41.

[15] Ellerbe & Ellerbee, LRB, Ellerby, Ellerbe, Ellerbee, 32.

[16] Abstracted by Lorraine H. Robinson, “1840 Federal Census Houston County, Georgia (file 2 of 5),” database page 10 sheet no. 376, line 21, John Ellerbee.

[17] 1850 U.S. Census, Baker county, Georgia, slave schedule, District 3, no page number, John Ellerbee, owner; digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com   : printed & downloaded 3 May 2019); citing National Archives & Records Administration, microfilm publication M432.

[18] 1860 U.S. Census, Calhoun county, Georgia, slave schedule, 3rd District, p. 265 (stamp), John Elerbee, owner; digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com  : printed & downloaded 3 May 2019); citing National Archives & Records Administration, microfilm publication M653.

[19] Certificate of the Register of Land to John Ellerbee; United States Bureau of Land Management “U.S. General Land Office Records, 1716 – 2015,” digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed, printed, downloaded 6 September 2019); citing Automated Records Project; Federal Land Patents, State Volumes, Springfield, Virginia: Bureau of Land Management, Eastern States, 2007.

© Susan Posten Ellerbee and Posting Family Roots blog, 2019

Moving south: Migration of John E. Ellerbee (1808-1884)

Moving south. Those two words summarize the migration pattern of my husband’s ancestor, John E. Ellerbee. John’s story begins at his birth near Georgia’s eastern border with South Carolina.  His story ends on Florida’s western coast.  My last post told about John’s two marriages. This post describes the facts of John’s migration pattern based on census and marriage records.

SOURCE:  “Research our records- Military records-Civil War-Pictures of the Civil War,” digital images, The National Archives ( https://www.archives.gov/files/research/military/civil-war/photos/images/civil-war-013.jpgaccessed 25  August 2019), photo no. 200-CC-306, “A refugee family leaving a war area with belongings loaded on a cart, ”  NARA identifier  559267; citing Library of Congress Collection, ca 1905-ca 1909, Series: Stereographs of the Civil War, 1861-1865.


To refresh your memory, I found John, Martha, and 8 children, ages ranging from 2 to 19 years,  in Baker county, Georgia in 1850.[1]  Baker county is in the southwestern corner of Georgia.  Earlier censuses, specifically 1830 [2] and 1840[3],  show John Ellerbee in Houston County, Georgia.  

The 1850 census taker recorded both county and state of birth. Many census takers recorded only the state as birthplace. These unexpected details provided a way to easily trace the family’s migration. Here are the census data with my comments in italics:

  • John Ellerbee, age 42, farmer born Burke county, Georgia about 1808. Presumed head of household.  
  • Martha Ellerbee, age 25. Born North Carolina about 1825. Confirmed as wife by 1842 marriage record for John Elibee and Martha Love in Randolph county, Georgia [4].
  • Edward Ellerbee, age 19, farmer.  Born about 1831, Houston county, Georgia. Presumed son of John Ellerbee and his 1st wife.
  • Elizabeth Ellerbee, age 14. Born about 1836, Houston county, Georgia, Presumed daughter of John Ellerbee and his 1st wife. Same birthplace as Edward suggests that she is Edward’s sister.
  • James Ellerbee, age 12. Born about 1838,  Houston county, Georgia. Presumed son of John Ellerbee and his 1st wife. Same birthplace as Edward and Elizabeth suggests a sibling relationship.
  • Presumed children of John Ellerbee and Martha:
    • Sanderlin Ellerbee, age 6. Born about 1844 in Randolph county, Georgia.
    • Smith Ellerbee, age 5.  Born about 1845 in Randolph county, Georgia.
    • Jasper Ellerbee, age 4.  Born about 1846 in Baker county, Georgia
    • child not named, age 3. Born about 1847 in Baker county, Georgia.
    • Martha Ellerbee, age 2. Born about 1848) in Baker county, Georgia.
    • Ages of the youngest five children suggest birth intervals of 12 months to 2 years which is consistent with spacing during this time period.
  • James Parker, age 15. Born about 1835 in Washington county, Georgia. Possibly not related.

The 1860 census taker found the family in Calhoun county, Georgia.  [5]  Calhoun county was formed in 1854 from northern sections of Early and Baker counties. [6]  The family possibly  lived in the same place from 1850 to 1860.  By 1860, the family expanded to 11 children:   Sandlin, 16; Smith R, 15; Jasper, 13; Damarius, 11; Martha, 10; Candis, 7; Eliza, 6;  Marion, 4; O.Suphena and I.Suphena (twins), 2; “babe”, age 2 months.

By 1870, John had again moved south. John, his wife and 10 children lived in Jackson county, Florida. [7]  Their youngest child, SmithiAnn, was born about 1863 in Georgia. Sandlin married in Jackson county in 1866. [8]  These dates suggest a move between 1863 and 1866. James John Ellerbee, youngest son of John and his first wife, remained in Georgia, where James later died. [9]  During 1872, two daughters, Candis and Martha, married in Jackson county. [10], [11]

Northern Florida still seemed too far north for John. So, he moved his family to Hillsborough county, Florida. [12] His son, Jasper, married in Hillsborough county in 1874[13] so the move probably occurred about 1873.  Hillsborough county is near the middle of Florida on the western coast. You may recognize Tampa, Jackson county seat. John died in Hillsborough county, Florida, in 1884. [14]

After John’s death, Martha Love Ellerbee moved in with her daughter, Eliza Ann Carter, and family. The 1885 census [15] in Hillsborough county, Florida, is the last record found for Martha.

MAP SOURCE: Bonner, W. G. (1851) Bonner’s pocket map of the state of Georgia. [Milledgeville, Ga.: Wm. G. Bonner] [Map] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/99462703/.      Retrieved 31 July 2019. County names and dates for John Ellerbee’s migration added by Susan Posten Ellerbee.

Combining information from census and marriage records yields this migration timeline: 

  • 1808:  John Ellerbee born Burke county, Georgia
  • 1st marriage, about 1830, possibly Houston county, Georgia; distance about 150 miles.
  • Circa 1831 – 1840:  Houston county, Georgia
    • Edward, Elizabeth and James born in Houston county; estimated birth years 1831, 1836, 1838, respectively
  • Circa 1840 – 1842: Death of 1st wife. Location: unknown; either Houston or Randolph counties
  • 1842:  Randolph county, Georgia (marriage to Martha Love). Distance: about 100 miles.
  • Circa 1844: Randolph county, Georgia
  • Circa 1846-1850: Baker county, Georgia. Distance: about 20 miles
  • 1860: Calhoun county, Georgia (possibly same place as 1850 since Calhoun county was formed in 1854 from parts of Early and Baker counties)
  • Circa 1865:  Jackson county, Florida. Distance: about 75 miles
  • About 1873:  Hillsborough county, Florida. Distance: about 340 miles
  • 1884:  John Ellerbee dies in Hillsborough county, Florida
  • After 1885:  Martha Love Ellerbee dies, probably in Hillsborough county, Florida.

Taking only hours today, these moves would have taken days or even weeks. The last move of over 300 miles must have been especially grueling for John, in his late 60s, and Martha, in her mid to late 40s. John and Martha moved at least 4 times during their 40+ years of marriages. At least 9 of their 12 of their children remained in Florida.   

Why did John move south?  Much of southwestern Georgia originally belonged to the Creek Indians. [16]  The opening of Indian land for settlement is a likely reason for John’s moves. This discovery adds an historical perspective to John’s story.  I need to explore this further.  

Why did John choose to move south rather than west? Some of my husband’s ancestors trekked to Texas after the Civil War. Other white Southern families moved to Mexico and South America after the Civil War. Many black families moved to Northern cities and towns. (See “For more information” at end of post).   Although John did not serve in the Confederacy, at least three of his sons (Edward, James John and Sandlin) did. The Ellerbee book presents one clue: “According to family tradition, he converted his life savings into Confederate money during the Civil War. One of his younger sons kept the trunkful of worthless money for many years.”[17]  Were there too many memories and hardships in Georgia?  What was offered in Florida that enticed him to move? Did he just want to start over in a new place? And, again, why south?

For more information:

Shari Eli, Laura Salisbury, Allison Shertzer. “Migration responses to Conflict: Evidence from the Border of the American Civil War,” Working paper 22591, National Bureau of Economic Research, (http://eh.net/eha/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/EliSalisburyShertzer.pdf  : accessed 25 August 2019).

Kendra Taira Field, Growing up with the country: Family, race and nation after the Civil War. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, 2018.

Katie Vernon, “The Mass Exodus of  Confederates to Brazil after the Civil War,”  The Vintage News,  13 August 2018 (https://www.thevintagenews.com/2018/08/13/confederates-brazil/ :    accessed 25 August  2019).

Todd W. Wahlstrom, The Southern Exodus to Mexico: Migration across the Borderlands after the American Civil War. Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press, 2015.

Isabel Wilkerson, The Warmth of Other Suns: The epic story of America’s Great Migration. New York, NY: Random House, 2010.

Reflection:

This post began as part of last week’s post about John’s wives. I realized that the post was just getting too long and had 2 different topics. Separating the topics helped me focus.

What I learned:  My husband’s family migrated to Texas after the Civil War. I accepted their movement West as a well-known fact. I did not realize that other Confederate families went to Mexico and South America until I searched for additional sources for this post. I remember hearing briefly in history class about the Great Migration of Black families to the North. The impact of those decisions did not directly affect me or my family but I want to learn more. John Ellerbee occupied land that originally belonged to the Creek Indians.

What helped:  Digital and paper file clean-up almost complete for John & Martha. Scrapbook done last year for father-in-law. Online interactive county formation maps.

What didn’t help:  Finding, then losing, digital 1850 Georgia map. Laptop death at end of July.  

To-do:  Continue research on John & Martha’s children. Prepare research logs for each child. Locate death date and location for Martha Love Ellerbee focusing on Hillsborough county, Florida.  Locate and read Isabel Wilkerson’s book. Locate information about Indians in southwestern Georgia and the loss of their lands.

SOURCES:

[1] 1850 U.S. Federal Census, Baker County, Georgia, population schedule, District 3, p. 49 B (penned), dwelling 1111, family 141, John E. Ellerbee; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com  : accessed, printed, downloaded 3 January 2018); citing National Archives & Records Administration, Washington, D.C. Roll M432_61.

[2] 1830 U.S. Census, Houston County, Georgia, population schedule, page 291, John  Ellerbee; digital images, US Gen Web (http://files.usgwarchives.net/ga/houston/census/1830/pg1.txt   : viewed, downloaded, printed 6 February 2016); page 291, line 14, John Ellerbee; citing National Archives & Records Administration, Washington, D.C. microfilm publication M19, roll 18.

[3] Abstracted by Lorraine H. Robinson, “1840 Federal Census Houston County, Georgia (file 2 of 5),” database, US Gen Web (http://files.usgwarchives.net/ga/houston/census/1840/pg373.txt    : downloaded & printed 29 August 2016), page 10 sheet no. 376, line 20, John Ellerbee; citing National Archives & Records Administration, Washington, D.C. microfilm publication M704, reel 43.

[4]  “Georgia, Marriage Records from Select Counties, 1828-1978,” marriage record, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com   : downloaded & printed 5 January 2018), entry for John Ellibee & Martha Love; citing County Marriage Records, 1828–1978; The Georgia Archives, Morrow, Georgia.

[5] 1860 U.S. Census, Calhoun county, Georgia, population schedule, District 3, p. 42 (ink pen), dwelling 289, family 289, John E Ellerbee; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : viewed & downloaded 3 May 2019); citing National Archives & Records Administration, Washington, D.C. microfilm publication M654_113.

[6]  “Maps of Georgia,” Map of US (https://www.mapofus.org/georgia/  : accessed 15 August 2019).

[7] 1870 U.S. Census, Jackson county, Florida, population schedule, Marianna, p. 54 (ink pen), dwelling 586, family 587, John Ellerbee age 63; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com  : viewed, downloaded, printed 3 May 2019); citing National Archives & Records Administration, Washington, D.C. microfilm publication M593_130.

[8] “Groom Index to Jackson County, Florida,” database, US Gen Web Archives (http://files.usgwarchives.net/fl/jackson/vitals/marriages/184800g3.txt  : accessed, printed 25 August 2019), entry for Ellaby, Sanderlin and Jane Grantham, 3 Dec 1866; citing “Florida Marriages, 1848-1900, DU-HA”; Book B, Page 208.

[9] 1870 U.S. Census, Miller County, Georgia, population schedule, , p. 15 (penned), family #120, John J. Eleby, age 31; digital images, Ancestry  (http://www.ancestry.com accessed, viewed, downloaded 8 March 2017); National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C.

[10] “Florida, County Marriage Records, 1823-1982,” database, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com  : accessed 6 January 2018), entry for George Dudley & Candis Ellerbee, 14 January 1872; citing Marriage Records. Florida Marriages. Various Florida County Courthouses and State Archive, Tallahassee, Florida.

[11] “Florida Marriages, 1837-1974,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:1JY  : 10 February 2018), Richard F. Edenfield and Mattie Ellerbee, 27 Jun 1872; citing Jackson, Florida; FHL microfilm 0931955 V. D-E.

[12] 1880 U.S. Census, Hillsborough county, Florida, population schedule, Precinct 5, enumeration district (ED) 061, p. 33 (ink pen); p. 407C (stamp), dwelling 402, John Ellerbee age 72; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : viewed, printed, downloaded 1 May 2019); citing National Archives & Records Administration, Washington, D.C. microfilm publication T9, roll 128.

[13] “Florida, County Marriages, 1823-1982,” digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com  : viewed & downloaded 3 January 2018), entry for Jasper Ellerbee and Jane Hanna, 17 December 1874; citing various Florida County Courthouses and State Archive, Tallahassee, Florida.

[14] Probate record for John Ellerbee. “Florida, County Judge’s Court (Hillsborough County),” digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed & printed 5 May 2019), entry for John Ellerbee; citing “Florida, Willas and Probate Records, 1810-1914” [database online], Florida County, District and Probate Courts; administrator: W.M. Ellerbee.

[15] 1885 Florida State Census, Hillsborough county, population schedule, , page 4 D (ink pen); page 105D, family 35, J L Carter age 37 head; M. Ellerbee, 68, boarder; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : viewed, printed, downloaded 1 May 2019); citing Schedules of the Florida State Census of 1885, National Archives microfilm publication M845, roll 4.

[16] ).  “Georgia county creation and parent counties,” Family Search Wiki (https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/Georgia_County_Creation_Dates_and_Parent_Counties :  accessed 25 August 2019).

[17] Ronald William Ellerbe, The Ellerbe Family History (Baltimore, MD: Gateway Press, Inc., 1986), p. 14-41.

© Susan Posten Ellerbee and Posting Family Roots, 2019.


John E. Ellerbee, his wives and the 1850 census

The 1850 census listed each person in the household. However, relationships between persons were not specified.  In general, we believe that older persons were parents or grandparents of younger persons with the same surname. Persons with a different surname might be relatives, boarders or hired help. In this post, I walk through analysis of an 1850 census record from my husband’s family history- the record for John and Martha Ellerbee.  

To confirm information often requires using multiple sources. The Ellerbe family history book presented an outline of our branch. Ronald Ellerbe listed census records from 1830 through 1880 for John Ellerbee[1]. He listed two wives, no last names, for John E. Ellerbee:  1st Martha ___________ and 2nd Elizabeth ________. I located the census records and copied details.   

The 1850 census shows John Ellerbee and family living in Baker county Georgia.[2] The transcription reads:

John Ellerbee, age 42, M W, farmer, value of real estate $2500, place of birth: Burk Co, Ga.
Martha Ellerbee, age 25, F W, birthplace: NC. Person over 20 who cannot read or write.
Edward Ellerbee, age 19, M W, farmer, birthplace: Houston Co, Ga.
Elizabeth Ellerbee, age 14, F W, birthplace: Houston co, Ga. Attended school.
James Ellerbee, age 12, M W, birthplace: Houston co, Ga. 
Sanderlin Ellerbee, age 6, M W, birthplace: Randolph co, Ga. 
Smith Ellerbee, age 5, M W, birthplace: Randolph co, Ga. 
Jasper Ellerbee, age 4, M W, birthplace: Baker co, Ga.
Not named, age 3, F W, birthplace: Baker co, Ga.
Martha Ellerbee, age 2, F W, birthplace: Baker co, Ga.
James Parker, age 15, M W, born Washington co, Ga.

Analysis and initial review:  

  • John Ellerbee, age 42, presumed head of household, farmer born in Burke county, Georgia.  During the early 1800s, people often remained near their birthplace.  
  • Martha Ellerbee, age 25. Born in North Carolina. Martha could be John’s daughter, born when he was 17 years old. John was born in Georgia and still lives in Georgia. Did he leave home, move to North Carolina as a teenager, marry, then return to his home state of Georgia? Seems unlikely. Following this line of reasoning, Martha is probably John’s wife.
  • Edward Ellerbee, age 19, farmer.  Born in Houston county, Georgia. If Martha is John’s daughter, then Edward could be her brother although their birthplaces suggest that this is probably not true.  If Martha is John’s wife, then Edward is not her son. Edward could be John’s nephew or cousin. Birthplace of Houston county, Georgia does not answer question of Edward’s relationship to John.
  • Elizabeth Ellerbee, age 14. Born in Houston county, Georgia, same birthplace as Edward which increases chance that she is Edward’s sister. If Martha is John’s wife, then Elizabeth is not her daughter.  
  • James Ellerbee, age 12. Born in Houston county, Georgia, same birthplace as Edward and Elizabeth. These three were probably siblings. If Martha is John’s wife, then James could be her son.
  • Presumed children of John E. Ellerbee and Martha:
    • Sanderlin Ellerbee, age 6 (born about 1844)
    • Smith Ellerbee, age 5 (born about 1845)
    • Jasper Ellerbee, age 4 (born about 1846)
    • Child not named, age 3 (born about 1847)
    • Martha Ellerbee, age 2 (born about 1848)
    • Ages of these five younger children suggest birth intervals of 12 months to 2 years which is consistent with child spacing during this time period.
  • James Parker, age 15. Born about 1835 in Washington county, Georgia. Possibly not related.

ASSERTION: Martha is John’s wife.  Confirmed by discovery of 1842 marriage record for John Elibee and Martha Love in Randolph county, Georgia [3]. The five younger children in 1850 census, born 1844 to 1848, are certainly John and Martha’s children.  

ASSERTION:  Edward, Elizabeth and James are children of John and his first wife. Edward died in 1863[4]. James died in 1877[5].  I have found no other records for Elizabeth.  Although listing only the head of household, earlier census records still hold clues.  

  • 1840 census for John Ellerbee in Houston county, Georgia. Search criteria were 1 male, age 30-40, 1 male age 5-10, 1 male age under 5, and 1 female under 5.  [6] 
    • Transcription:  Free white males. age 0-5: 1; age 5-10: 1; age 10-15: 1; male, age 30-40: 1.  Free white females: age 0-5: 1; age 20-30: 1.  Free colored persons: 0. Slaves: Males, age 0-10: 1. Females, age 24-35: 1 
    • Analysis: Suggests another son born between 1825 and 1830. Suggests wife born between 1810 and 1820. Probably born closer to 1810 if oldest son born as early as 1825. Supports assertion that Edward, Elizabeth and James are siblings and children of John Ellerbee’s presumed 1st wife. John owned 2 slaves. 
  • 1830 census for John Ellerbee in Houston county, Georgia. [7]  Name: John Ellerbee, Home in 1830: Houston, Georgia. 
    • Transcription: 
      Free white persons, Males- 20-29: 1 [born 1801-1810; John as head of household]
      Free white persons, females- 15 thru 19: 1 [born 1811-1815; presumed wife]
      Total- All persons (free white, slaves, free colored): 2.  
    • Analysis: Suggests no children born yet to the young couple. From 1840 census, son aged 10-15 years was probably born in late 1830. John owned 2 slaves.  

Based on evidence, I conclude that Martha is John’s 2nd wife. The 1842 marriage record confirmed their relationship.[8]  John’s 1st wife was probably born between 1811 and 1815 and died between 1840 and 1842. She and John had four children, three of whom lived with their father and stepmother in 1850.  For me, the name of John Ellerbee’s first wife remains unknown although the author of the Ellerbe history called her ‘Elizabeth’. Did he guess based on her presumed daughter, Elizabeth? Did he have a specific source for the information? My discovery of the 1842 marriage record for John and Martha expands information in the Ellerbe history.  

REFLECTION

I again compared information from a published source with census and other records found online. My research supports Ronald Ellerbe’s work. Writing puts my thoughts into a semi-coherent format. I try to follow Genealogy Standards as I write but I still need lots of practice!

What I learned:  I still miss information found in census records.

What helped:  Previous review and transcription of records. Asking specific question before searching records.

What didn’t help: Files still in disarray. Laptop death about 2 weeks ago. Fortunately, I have a notebook computer and I back up everything (well, almost everything!) on a regular basis. Last backup was about 2 weeks before laptop demise. Maybe I should write a post about that experience?!?

To-do:  Complete research logs for each of John’s children. Follow presumed children through census and other records. If possible, locate death certificates.  Search 1810 census for Ellerbee families in Burke county, Georgia. Search 1820 census beginning in Burke county then expand to nearby Georgia counties as needed. Use county formation data to locate family.

© Susan Posten Ellerbee and Posting Family Roots blog, 2019

SOURCES:

[1] Ronald William Ellerbe, The Ellerbe Family History (Baltimore, MD: Gateway Press, Inc., 1986)

[2] 1850 U.S. Federal Census, Baker County, Georgia, population schedule, District 3, p. 49 B (ink pen), dwelling 1111, family 141, John E. Ellerbee; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com  : accessed, printed, downloaded 3 January 2018); citing National Archives & Records Administration, Washington, D.C. Roll M432_61.

[3] “Georgia, Marriage Records from Select Counties, 1828-1978,” marriage record, Ancestry ( http://www.ancestry.com   :  downloaded & printed 5 January 2018), entry for John Ellibee & Martha Love; citing  County Marriage Records, 1828–1978; The Georgia Archives, Morrow, Georgia.

[4] Find A Grave, database and images (http://www.findagrave.com   : viewed 22 May 2019), memorial page for Edward Alexander Ellerbee, Find A Grave Memorial # 44681078, citing Ellerbee Family Cemetery (Five Points, Randolph county, Georgia), memorial created by Gerry Hill.

[5] Family data, Demarious Albina Ellerbee Family Bible, Holy Bible, (New York: American Bible Society, 1876); original owned in October 2016 by Darby Blanton, [address for private use], Darby is descendent of Demarious Ellerbee & Thomas Blanton. “J.J. Ellerbee departed this life December the 17th 1877 age 38 years 11 months and 17 days.”

[6] 1840 Census for John Ellerbee, Houston county, Georgia. Abstracted by Lorraine H. Robinson, “1840 Federal Census Houston County, Georgia (file 2 of 5),” database, US Gen Web (http://files.usgwarchives.net/ga/houston/census/1840/pg373.txt   : downloaded & printed 29 August 2011), page 10, sheet no. 376, line 21, John Ellerbee; citing National Archives & Records Administration, Washington, D.C. microflim publication M704, reel 43.

[7] 1830 census for John Ellerbee, Houston county, Georgia.  1830 U.S. Census, Houston County, Georgia, population schedule, , page 291, John E Ellerbee; digital images, US Gen Web  (http://files.usgwarchives.net/ga/houston/census/1830/pg1.txt   : viewed, downloaded, printed 6 February 2016); citing National Archives & Records Administration, Washington, D.C. microfilm publication M19, roll 18.

[8] 1842 marriage record for John Ellibee and Martha Love (2nd note). “Georgia, Marriage Records from Select Counties, 1828-1978,” marriage record, Ancestry,  entry for John Ellibee & Martha Love.

What’s in a name – Sally or Ciety or Suzetta or Sarah Bailey?

The name of a person on a record is not always what it appears to be.  A person’s first name (a.k.a. given name) at birth and the name by which they are known are often different.  One name may be used on legal documents and a different name, often a middle name, on other records.  Then, there are nicknames and variations of given names. The given name-middle name-surname order is common in America but not in other countries.  To address the dilemma, genealogists ask:  “Is Person A on Document A really the same as Person B on Document B?”  Clues from various records lead to a best guess.  This post describes such an event in the Ellerbee family tree.

James John Ellerbee is my husband’s paternal great-great-grandfather. The maiden name of James’ first wife was Bailey. Her first name could be Sally, Ciety, Szetta, Sitie or Sarah. 

Source #1: Ronald William Ellerbe, The Ellerbe Family History (Baltimore, MD: Gateway Press, Inc., 1986).

Page 14-43: “Jim Ellerbee served in Company L, 25th Regiment of Georgia Infantry Volunteers (Calhoun Repeaters); he enlisted as a private September 2, 1861, and served for the duration of the war. His regiment surrendered at Quincy, Florida, May 11, 1865. His first wife was a daughter of Judge William Bailey. Before going off to war Jim Ellerbee moved his wife Sally and their two children to the home of Judge Bailey. The Judge’s new wife did not like her step-daughter and step-children, so she had them move out of the house and into the slave quarters where they lived with a female slave. Later Sally became sick and died. The slave woman continued to care for the two small children until Jim returned home from the Civil War. He returned in the spring of 1865, dirty, in rags, his hair down to his shoulders, his health poor, with a muzzle loading rifle as his sole possession. He found his family in that grievous situation, and a general distress prevailed everywhere. He remarried later that year and rented a farm near Damascus, Georgia.  Just 12 years later he died.

His oldest son, then 17, moved to Wells County, Georgia, in Angelina County, to work for his grandfather Judge Bailey (who had moved there after the Civil War). William Green Ellerbee moved his stepmother and the rest of the family to Texas about two years later. “  NOTE: Specific source not cited. Book contains list of sources at the end.

Source #2:  John N. Cravens, William Edward Bailey: Georgia Planter and East Texas Farmer (Wichita Falls, Texas: Tosh Press, 1962). Copy given to Susan Posten Ellerbee by her father-in-law, Jerry Donald Ellerbee, ca 2012.

Page 3: “[W.E.] Bailey was married three times. In 1839, he married Miss Sarah Sutton of Calhoun County, Georgia, where he then lived. His wife died shortly after their child was born. In 1849, he was married a Miss Elizabeth Hutto near his home and one child was born to them. After his second wife died, Bailey married Mrs. Indiana Cherry Moore at Bainbridge. Delta, now Decatur County, Georgia in 1853. [Footnote] (5).”

Footnote 5:  “Obituary” previously cited and another clipping of an obituary of W.E. Bailey owned by Anna Bailey Cochran, a granddaughter.

“Obituary” in the East Texas Reformer, IV, No. 31, Jacksonville, Cherokee County, Texas, Thursday, February 23, 1899.

No further mention made about  children born to William Edward Bailey and his first two wives.

Source #3: 1850 U.S. Census, Baker County, Georgia, population schedule, Third District, p. 46B, family 97, William E. Bailey 36, head of household; digital images,  Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com    : accessed, downloaded, printed 2012); National Archives & Records Administration, Washington, D.C. Microfilm publication roll M432_61.

  • Family no. 97:
  • William E. Bailey, 36, born Wilkinson Co, GA [Georgia]
  • Louiza, 16, born Baker Co, GA [Georgia]
  • Ciety, 10, born Baker Co, GA [Georgia]
  • John King, 17, born  SC [South Carolina]
  • NOTE:  1850 census does not list relationships of persons in household.

Source #4:  1860 U.S. Census, Jackson County, Florida, population schedule, Marianna, p. 111, Family 785, John J Ellerby; digital images, Ancestry  (http://www.ancestry.com     : accessed, viewed, downloaded on 3 February 2017); National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C., microfilm publication M653.

  • Family no. 785 (transcribed as written)
  • John J. Ellerby, 21 male, race:  marked with X,  farmer, born Georgia.
  • Szetta Ellerby, 18, female, race: marked with checkmark , born Georgia
  • Sarah A Ellerby, 1, female, race: marked with checkmark , born Georgia
  • John Stanley, 26, male, race: marked with X, farm laborer, born N. Carolina
  • Thomas Houston, 33, male, race: marked with X, farm laborer, born  S. Carolina
  • William Johnson, 13,  male, race: marked with X, farm laborer, born Georgia
  • NOTE: 1860 census does not list relationships of persons in household.

Sources # 5 & 6:  Death certificates for William Green Ellerbee and Sarah A. Ellerbee Martin Sutleff, presumed children of John J Ellerbee and his first wife.  Death certificates accessed online from Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com )

  • Texas Department of Health, death certificate state file no. 56, Sarah Alice Sutleff.  Birth:  July 6, 1859 in Macon, Georgia. Death: January 23, 1954 in Angelina county, Texas. Parents: James Ellerbee, ‘Sitie’ Bailey.  Note:  ‘Sitie’ has quotation marks on the certificate.
  • Texas Department of Health, death certificate no. 9457, W. G. Ellerbee. Birth: Jan. 12, 1861 in Georgia. Death: March 18, 1932 in Lufkin, Angelina county, Texas. Parents: W.G. Ellerbee, Miss Bailey.  Note:  W.G. Ellerbee’s parentage  is a topic for another post. 

SUMMARY & ANALYSIS:

  • From Ellerbe history, John J. Ellerbee’s 1st wife was Sally Bailey. Specific source not cited for information.
  • Sally is a derivative of the name Sarah. Source:  Behind the name: Sally
  • Biography of William Edward Bailey does not name the child of Bailey’s first wife, Sarah Sutton. Source is obituary for William E. Bailey. I have not been able to locate or obtain a copy of the obituary.
  • 1850 census: 10 year old Ciety Bailey living with William E. Bailey, age 36 and 16-year-old Louiza Bailey. Ciety’s estimated birth year of 1840 is consistent with 1st marriage of Judge Bailey in 1839.  From unconfirmed sources, Judge Bailey’s mother was Ciety Allen.
  • 1850 census: “Louiza” is likely Elizabeth Hutto, Judge Bailey’s 2nd wife whom he reportedly married in 1849 per Bailey biography.
  • 1860 census: Szetta Ellerby [Ellerbee], age 18, presumed to be wife of John J. Ellerby [Ellerbee]. Estimated birth year 1841 or 1842.  Sarah A. Ellerby, age 1, presumed to be their daughter, Sarah Alice.
  • Death certificates for children of James J Ellerbee and his 1st wife list mother as ‘Sitie’ Bailey and ‘Miss’ Bailey. Digital copies of the original certificates.
  • Two of five sources (1850 census and death certificate for Sarah Alice Sutleff) show similar given names of Ciety and Sitie for her mother. Two of five sources (Ellerbe history, 1860 census) list different names of Sally and Szetta. One source (death certificate for W.G. Ellerbee) lists his mother’s name as ‘Miss Bailey’ .
  • Three of five sources (Ellerbe history, children’s death certificates) suggest a maiden name of Bailey.

CONCLUSION:  

  • Sally Bailey, daughter of Judge William Bailey (Ellerbe history), Ciety Bailey (1850 census), Sitie Bailey (daughter’s death certificate) and Szetta Ellerby (1860 census) are probably the same person.
  • ‘Miss Bailey’ named on son’s death certificate is likely the same person also known as Sally, Ciety, Sitie, and Szetta.
  • Sally Bailey, 1st wife of John J. Ellerbee, is likely the child of Sarah Sutton and William Edward Bailey.
  • Sally’s given name was perhaps Sarah, after her mother. Her daughter, Sarah, was possibly named after her grandmother, Sarah Sutton.

 

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Reflection:

I have multiple handwritten notes on various documents about Sally Bailey Ellerbee’s name.  I compiled the information in one document when updating my father-in-law’s Ellerbee scrapbook.  I used the Genealogy Proof Standard as a guide. Both original and derivative sources were used; source citations are mostly complete. The sources contained secondary information and reflect indirect evidence. Multiple data and sources were correlated.  I addressed conflicts and wrote a conclusion.

What I learned:  Look at each document critically. Second or third or fourth review may yield insights that you missed previously. 

What helped:  Copies of all documents and sources readily available. Notes written earlier on various documents. Compiling all information in one document.

What didn’t help:  Initially, not recognizing possible derivations of the same name.

To-do: Continue search for documents and evidence about Sarah Sutton and her presumed daughter. Keep research logs.

Pearls in a Probate Record

Census records are not the only documents that tell about a person’s children. Following sons through the years via census records is usually not too hard, especially if the son remained in or near his birthplace. Daughters are more challenging.  If the daughter married, what was her husband’s surname?  A marriage record is the record of choice to discover that information. What if you can’t find a marriage record?  Answer:  Look for  probate records of one or both parents. This post discusses what I found, and did not find, in the probate record for John E. Ellerbee who died in 1884.

probate def

What does a probate record include?  “Probate records are court records generated after someone’s death.”[1] Wills and estate papers are usually part of these files.  Property assessments show the value of real estate and personal property owned by the deceased.  In a will, the person describes how his or her property is divided—who gets what.  Discern the strength of relationships from the will.  “To my son, Elias, I give $5.00 and a mule” suggests a different relationship between Elias and his father than “To my son, Elias, I give 50 acres of bottom land near Nancy Creek, 1 bull, 2 milk cows, a wagon, and 2 mules.”  Proceeds of a property auction offers glimpses of item values at the time.

A probate record often includes the names of family members and relatives as well as their current residence.  Of particular interest are the married surnames of daughters and, sometimes, the names of their husbands. A daughter may be listed as “Mrs. Mary Townsend”   or “Mrs. Joe Townsend”.  The 2nd example requires further analysis to determine which of the three daughters married Joe Townsend. A list of daughters, their married surnames and/or names of husbands helps to confirm information found earlier but listed as ‘tentative’.

The probate record for John E. Ellerbee[2] provided answers to some questions, confirmed some previously discovered information and generated more questions.  John’s son, Worth Marion Ellerbee, filed as administrator for his father’s estate in July, 1886.

Question 1:  When did John E. Ellerbee die?

Answer: John was alive in 1880[3]. The marital status of his wife, Martha, was recorded as ‘widow’ in 1885.[4]  John died between 1880 and 1885. The probate record gave a specific date:  “John Ellerbee, late of the County aforesaid [Hillsborough County, Florida] died on the 6th day of April A.D. 1884. . . . “[5]

Question 2:  Where were John’s children at the time of his death?

Page 21 of the probate file provides a list of 11 children: [6]

“The following persons are heirs of said Estate to wit:
S.L. Ellerbee, residence unknown
J.N. Ellerbee, residence Hillsborough Co, Fla
Emiline D. Simpson, wife of Samuel Simpson, residence unknown
Heirs of Martha Edenfield, deceased, residence Jackson Co. Fla
Candis R. Dudley, wife of Geo Dudley, residence Jackson Co. Fla
Eliza Carter, residence Hillsborough Co. Fla and
W.M. Ellerbee, petioner [sic]
P.A. Stewart, wife of John Stewart, residence Hillsborough Co. Fla
Ocea P.A. Ellerbee
Lewis Sparkman, husband of Smithiann, his deceased wife,
residence Hillsborough Co. Fla
and John Francis Ellerbee."

One son, Smith R. Ellerbee, 2nd oldest child, is missing from this list. Smith was recorded with his parents in 1850[7] and 1860[8].  I wonder if Smith R. Ellerbee died between 1860 and 1884?

What about children listed in the probate record?

  1. “S.L. Ellerbee, residence unknown”. The 1885 census records Sandlin Love Ellerbee and his wife, Mary Jane (Grantham), living in Washington County, Florida.[9]
  2. “J.N. Ellerbee, residence Hillsborough Co, Fla.” Identified as Jasper N. Ellerbee. Married and living with wife, Jane (Hanna), and their two children in Hillsborough County, Florida according to 1885 census.[10]
  3. “Emiline D. Simpson, wife of Samuel Simpson, residence unknown.” A.K.A. Damarus E. Elerbee on 1860 census.[11] Given name spelled Demarius Emeline. They lived in Jackson County, Florida in 1880[12].
  4. “Heirs of Martha Edenfield, deceased, residence Jackson Co. Fla.” Implies that Martha died before her father. Richard F. Edenfield and Mattie Ellerbee. Married in 1872. [13] Last recorded census for Mattie was 1880. [14]
  5. “ Candis R. Dudley, wife of Geo Dudley, residence Jackson Co., Fla.” George Dudley and Candis Ellerbee married in 1872. [15] 1885 census confirms this family’s residence. [16]
  6. “Eliza Carter, residence Hillsborough Co. Fla.” Married Jesse Carter.  1885 census confirms this family’s residence. [17]  Also listed with them is “M. Ellerbee, female, white, age 68,  boarder” who is presumed to be Eliza’s mother, Martha Love Ellerbee.
  7. “W.M. Ellerbee”. Worth Marion Ellerbee. Living in Hillsborough County per 1880 census.[18]
  8. “P.A. Stewart, wife of John Stewart, residence Hillsborough Co, Fla”. K.A. Icey P.A. Ellerbee, twin sister of Ocea P.A. Ellerbee.  Her marriage information was new to me.  Married between 1880 & 1885.
  9. “Ocea P.A. Ellerbee”. Twin sister of Icey P.A. Stewart. Icephenia and Osephenia, aged 21, were still with their parents in 1880.[19]
  10. “Lewis Sparkman husband of Smithiann, his deceased wife, residence Hillsborough Co. Fla.” I didn’t know about Smithiann earlier.  Smithiann, her husband, and 2 children lived close to her brother, Jasper, in 1885.[20]  I estimate Smithiann’s death date as between 30 June 1885 (census date) and October 1886 (date on probate record, page 9).
  11. “John Francis Ellerbee.” No records found after reference in probate record.

In summary,  I found 1885 residence for one child (Sandlin), confirmed residences for 6 children (Jasper,  Emeline, Candis, Eliza, Icey, Smithiann).  Two children (Martha and Smithiann) died before their father.  The circa 1885 residences of four children  (Demarius, Worth Marion, Osephenia, John Francis) need to be discovered as well as the residence of Richard Edenfield.

Missing from the probate record:

  1. John’s widow, Martha. Did she die between June 1885 (date of census) and October 1886 (date on probate record, page 9)?  Place item on To-do list.
  2. John E. Ellerbee’s 4 children (presumed) with his first wife.  None of their heirs were mentioned.  Were the families notified about John’s death? At least 3 of the 4 children died before their father. Perhaps distance and the step-sibling relationships proved too much?   William Green Ellerbee’s widow and her family lived in Louisiana. Edward Alexander Ellerbee’s widow lived in Randolph County, Georgia with her children. James John Ellerbee’s widow moved to Cherokee county, Texas, about 1881 with her children. I haven’t found any records for Elizabeth Ellerbee after 1850.

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Reflection

I initially found John’s probate record on Ancestry in 2016 but didn’t take time to read all pages.  I had copied a few pages for my paper files.  Genealogy Do-over efforts for this year are the Ellerbee and Johnson families, my husband’s ancestors. I was pleasantly surprised at the list of children even though I have seen such lists on other probate records.  Using the probate list, I learned about two daughters (marriage of Icea P.A.; existence and marriage of Smithiann) and confirmed information about others.  I am very tempted to follow descendant lines.

What I learned:  Look at all pages in a record!  Continue to use published family history as a base only. Acknowledge contribution of book’s author and recognize that it may have errors.

What helped: Previous work done between 2010 and 2016. Familiarity with RootsMagic database and revised research log format.

What didn’t help:  Lack of documentation for specific items. Little or no record of previous analysis.

To-do: Continue search for death location and date for Martha Love Ellerbee. Focus on Hillsborough County, Florida records between 1885 and 1900. Confirm death of Mattie Ellerbee Edenfield between 1880 and 1886.  Confirm death of Smithiann Ellerbee Sparkman between June 1885 and October 1886. Create research logs for children of John & Martha Ellerbee.   Set searches for information about Smith R. Ellerbee as BSO for now.

SOURCES: 

[1] Kenyatta Berry, The Family Tree Toolkit (New York City, Skyhorse Publishing, 2018), p. 81.

[2] Probate record for John E. Ellerbee. “Florida, County Judge’s Court (Hillsborough County),” digital images, Ancestry  (http://www.ancestry.com  ::  accessed & printed 5 May 2019), entry for John Ellerbee; citing “Florida, Willas and Probate Records, 1810-1914” [database online], Florida County, District and Probate Courts; administrator: W.M. Ellerbee.

[3] 1880 U.S. Census, Hillsborough county, Florida, population schedule, Precinct 5, enumeration district (ED) 061, p. 33 (ink pen); p. 407C (stamp), dwelling 402, John Ellerbee age 72; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com  : viewed, printed, downloaded 1 May 2019); citing National Archives & Records Administration, Washington, D.C. microfilm publication T9, roll 128.

[4] 1885 Florida State Census, Hillsborough county, population schedule, , page 4 D (ink pen); page 105D, family 35, J L Carter age 37 head; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com  : viewed, printed, downloaded 1 May 2019); citing Schedules of the Florida State Census of 1885, National Archives microfilm publication M845, roll 4.

[5] “Florida, County Judge’s Court (Hillsborough County),” digital images, Ancestry, entry for John Ellerbee, page 4.

[6] “Florida, County Judge’s Court (Hillsborough County),” digital images, Ancestry, entry for John Ellerbee, page 21.

[7]  1850 U.S. Federal Census, Baker County, Georgia, population schedule, District 3, p. 49 B (penned), dwelling 1111, family 141, Smith Ellerbee, age 5; digital images, Ancestry  (http://www.ancestry.com       :  printed, downloaded 3 January 2018); citing National Archives & Records Administration, Washington, D.C. Roll M432_61.

[8] 1860 census.   1860 U.S. Census, Calhoun county, Georgia, population schedule, District 3, p. 42 (ink pen), dwelling 289, family 289, Smith R. Elerbee, age 15; digital images, Ancestry ((http://www.ancestry.com     : viewed & downloaded 3 May 2019); citing National Archives & Records Administration, Washington, D.C. microfilm publication M654_113.

[9] Sandlin Ellerbee, 1885 State Census, Washington County, Florida, population schedule, , [no page number] D, dwelling 139; microfilm publication M845_13, National Archives & Records Administration, Washington, D.C.

[10]  1885 Florida State Census, Hillsborough county, population schedule, , page 4 D (ink pen); page 105D, family 33, J.N. Ellerbee 39, head; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com  : viewed, printed, downloaded 1 May 2019); citing Schedules of the Florida State Census of 1885, National Archives microfilm publication M845, roll 4.

[11]  1860 U.S. Census, Calhoun county, Georgia, population schedule, District 3, p. 42 (ink pen), dwelling 289, family 289,  Damarus E Elerbee, 11.

[12]  1880 U.S. Census, Jackson county, Florida, population schedule, Precinct 7, enumeration district (ED) 69, p. 8 (ink pen), dwelling 68, family 68, Samuel Simpson; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com  : accessed, downloaded 29 May 2019); citing National Archives & Records Administration, Washington, D.C .microfilm publication T9, roll 559.

[13]  “Florida Marriages, 1837-1974,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org  :   February 2018), Richard F. Edenfield and Mattie Ellerbee, 27 Jun 1872; citing Jackson, Florida; FHL microfilm 0931955 V. D-E.

[14] 1880 U.S. Census, Jackson county, Florida, population schedule, , Martha Edenfield age 31; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com  : accessed, downloaded 29 May 2019); citing National Archives & Records Administration, Washington, D.C..

[15]“ Florida, County Marriage Records, 1823-1982,” database, Ancestry  (http://www.ancestry.com:  accessed 6 January 2018), entry for George Dudley & Candis Ellerbee; citing Marriage Records. Florida Marriages. Various Florida County Courthouses and State Archive, Tallahassee, Florida..

[16]  1885 State Census, Jackson county, Florida, population schedule, , p. 9A (ink pen), dwelling 71; microfilm publication M845, National Archives & Records Administration, Washington, D. C.

[17] Florida State Census, Hillsborough county, population schedule, , page 4 D (ink pen); page 105D, family 35, J L Carter age 37 head; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com  : viewed, printed, downloaded 1 May 2019); citing Schedules of the Florida State Census of 1885, National Archives microfilm publication M845, roll 4.

[18]  1880 U.S. Census, Hillsborough county, Florida, population schedule, Precinct 5, enumeration district (ED) 061, p. 406A (stamp), p. 33 (ink pen), dwelling 383, family 387, Worth M. Ellerbee; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com  : accessed, downloaded 4 June 2019); citing National Archives & Records Administration, Washington, D.C. microfilm publication T9, roll 128.

[19] 1880 U.S. Census, Hillsborough county, Florida, population schedule, Precinct 5, ED 061, p. 33 (ink pen); p. 407C (stamp), dwelling 402, Osephenia Ellerbee, age 21; Isephenia Ellerbee, age 21.

[20] 1885 Florida State Census, Hillsborough county, population schedule, , page 4 D (ink pen); page 105D, family 33, L C Sparkman 30.

A case of mistaken identity

The name on the state death index is the same. The woman died in the same county where my ancestor lived.  If the death date is correct, then she was over 100 years old. Possible?  Yes.  Post the information to online family tree and mark it as tentative. Others copy the information but leave out ‘tentative’.  Add ‘order death certificate’ to my to-do list. Three years later, I finally retrieve her file.  It’s time to follow-up.

Is Martha Catherine Ellerbee, who died in 1929, actually Martha Love Ellerbee?

In 2016, I found this listing on the Florida Death Index[1]:

                Name                                    Place       Sex      Col.         Vol.        Number         Year

Ellerbee, Martha Catharine         Tampa         F           W           459         16971            1929

Tampa is in Hillsborough county, Florida.  Before ordering her death certificate, I reviewed the records and information already in my file about Martha Love Ellerbee.  I remembered that Martha certainly lived in Hillsborough county, Florida.

Martha Love married John Ellerbee in 1842 in Randolph County, Georgia. [2] By 1850, John, age 42, and Martha, age 26, lived in Baker county, Georgia.  [3]  The census record lists 8 presumed children- Edward, age 19; Elizabeth, age 14; James, age 12; Sanderlin, age 6; Smith, age 5; Jasper, age 4; not named female, age 3; and Martha, age 2. Birthplaces ranged from Houston county, Georgia for the first three to Randolph county for Sanderlin and Smith to Baker county for the others.  Given estimated birth years and Martha’s marriage to John in 1842, she would not be the mother of Edward, Elizabeth, and James.  Martha’s estimated birth year of 1824 suggests that she was about 18 years old when she married John.

Note1_May2019_post2 The year 1860 finds John E. Ellerbee, age 52, and Martha, age 36, in Calhoun county, Georgia. [4] Six more children were added to the family.  Ten years later, John Ellerbee, age 63, and 47-year-old Martha lived in Jackson county, Florida with nine children. [5]  The family moved again by 1880, now living in Hillsborough county, Florida. [6]  John’s recorded age was 72 and Martha’s recorded age was 56. Four separate censuses, conducted 10 years apart, reveal  consistent birth information about John and Martha.  John was born circa 1807-1808 in Georgia . Martha was born circa 1823-1824 in North Carolina.

John Ellerbee died in Hillsborough county, Florida, on 6 April 1884.[7] Martha was now a widow.  Individual states, including Florida, conducted a census in 1885. The census taker recorded M. Ellerbee, age 68, boarder, widow, living with the J.L. Carter family in Hillsborough county, Florida in June 1885. [8]  J. L. Carter is Jesse L. Carter, husband of Eliza A. Ellerbee.  Eliza, born about 1855 in Georgia,  is listed on the 1860 and 1870 censuses with her parents, John and Martha. On the 1885 census record,  Martha’s birthplace is reported as North Carolina, consistent with previous records.  The only inconsistency is her recorded age of 68 which suggests birth year about 1817. Although her first name is not recorded, I believe that ‘M. Ellerbee, 68, boarder, widow, born N.C.’ is Martha Love Ellerbee, mother of Eliza A. Ellerbee and 11 other children.

Note2_May2019_post2Worth Marion Ellerbee (1856- 1932) filed as administrator of his father’s estate in Hillsborough county, Florida on 24 July 1886.[9] Why did he delay two years to file?  Did he wait until his mother died?  The probate records do not mention Martha Ellerbee,  John’s widow.  Did Martha die between June 1885 and July 1886?

I have not found any records for  70+ year old Martha Ellerbee after the June 1885 census. Online searches included multiple databases of census and death records as well as newspapers.  I now come  full circle to the 1929 Florida Death Index entry for Martha Catherine Ellerbee.[10]   The answer is obvious – obtain a copy of the death certificate.

Fortunately, a copy of Florida Death Certificate number 16971 for Martha Catherine Ellerbee was available online. [11]  Pertinent information includes:

Martha Catherine Ellerbee. Single.
Date of birth: Feb’y 25, 1911.
Age: 18 years, 8 months, 27 days. 
Birthplace: Pasco county,Fla.
Father: Marion Ellerbee, Birthplace Ga.
Mother: Ruby Kersey, Birthplace: Fla.

Her father was Worth Marion Ellerbee, son of John E. Ellerbee and Martha Love.  Big sigh!  This Martha Catherine Ellerbee was NOT Martha Love Ellerbee.

I removed the reference to 1929 death of Martha Love Ellerbee from online family tree.  I added the information to Martha Catherine Ellerbee, daughter of Worth Marion Ellerbee.  Martha Love Ellerbee died after June 1885, probably in Hillsborough county, Florida. The search continues to confirm exact date and place.

To summarize, an entry on the Florida Death Index led to review of previous information found for Martha Love Ellerbee.  A copy of the death certificate, found online, confirmed that Martha Catherine Ellerbee, who died in 1929, was NOT Martha Love Ellerbee.

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REFLECTION

I was disappointed that I did not death information for Martha Love Ellerbee.  If she died in 1929, she would have been about 105 years old, which is possible.  Not finding information for her after 1885 means only that she died after June 1885. No mention of her  in husband’s probate suggests that she died before July 1886. Since her husband died in Hillsborough county, Florida, and many of her children continued to live there, I believe that she died in Hillsborough county.

What I learned:  Post information as ‘tentative’ (preferably in BIG RED LETTERS) if not confirmed. Keep copious notes when and where information is found as well as analysis. A Research Log is a good place for this.  New information requires careful review of previous information.

What helped: Previous work on this family from 2010-2011 and again in 2016. Paper copies of documents.

What didn’t help:  Research logs just now being done for this family. Inconsistent notes/ analysis of previous findings.

TO-DO: Keep looking for Martha Love Ellerbee’s death information.  Review previously searched databases again. Look for unusual sources such as newspapers and county history books.

NEXT BLOG:  John Ellerbee’s Probate record

SOURCES

[1]  “Florida Death Index, 1877-1998,” digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com   : accessed, printed 23 October 2016), entry for Martha Catherine Ellerbee, 1929; citing Florida Department of Health, Office of Vital Records.

[2]  “Georgia, Marriage Records from Select Counties, 1828-1978,” marriage record, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com  : downloaded & printed 5 January 2018), entry for John Ellibee & Martha Love; citing  County Marriage Records, 1828–1978; The Georgia Archives, Morrow, Georgia.

[3] 1850 U.S. Federal Census, Baker County, Georgia, population schedule, District 3, p. 49 B (penned), dwelling 1111, family 141, John E. Ellerbee; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com  : accessed, printed, downloaded 3 January 2018); citing National Archives & Records Administration, Washington, D.C. Roll M432_61.

[4] 1860 U.S. Census, Calhoun county, Georgia, population schedule, District 3, p. 42 (ink pen), dwelling 289, family 289, John E Ellerbee; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com  : viewed & downloaded 3 May 2019); citing National Archives & Records Administration, Washington, D.C. microfilm publication M654_113.

[5] 1870 U.S. Census, Jackson county, Florida, population schedule, Marianna, p. 54 (ink pen), dwelling 586, family 587, John Ellerbee age 63; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com  : viewed, downloaded, printed 3 May 2019); citing National Archives & Records Administration, Washington, D.C. microfilm publication M593_130.

[6] 1880 U.S. Census, Hillsborough county, Florida, population schedule, Precinct 5, enumeration district (ED) 061, p. 33 (ink pen); p. 407C (stamp), dwelling 402, John Ellerbee age 72; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com  : viewed, printed, downloaded 1 May 2019); citing National Archives & Records Administration, Washington, D.C. microfilm publication T9, roll 128.

[7]  “Florida, County Judge’s Court (Hillsborough County),” digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com   : accessed & printed 5 May 2019), entry for John Ellerbee; citing “Florida, Wills and Probate Records, 1810-1914” [database online], Florida County, District and Probate Courts; administrator: W.M. Ellerbee

[8] 1885 Florida State Census, Hillsborough county, population schedule, , page 4 D (ink pen); page 105D, family 35, J L Carter age 37 head; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : viewed, printed, downloaded 1 May 2019); citing “Schedules of the Florida State Census of 1885”, National Archives & Records Administration, Washington, D.C., microfilm publication M845, roll 4.

[9]  “Florida, County Judge’s Court (Hillsborough County),” digital images, Ancestry, entry for John Ellerbee.

[10]  “Florida Death Index, 1877-1998,” digital images, Ancestry, entry for Martha Catherine Ellerbee, 1929.

[11] Hillsborough county, Florida, Florida Deaths, 1877-1939, , entry for Martha Catherine Ellerbee, 21 November 1929; digital images, Family Search (http://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:FP3Z-FN4  :   viewed & printed 5 May 2019); citing Tampa, Hillsboro Co., Florida, reference volume 435, no. 16971.

©Susan Posten Ellerbee and  Posting Family Roots, 2019

A Genealogist is . . .

How would you complete the statement “A genealogist is . . . . “ ? Start with the word itself.  Genealogy  comes from two Greek words – “genea,” or descent and “logos,” or discourse.[1]

Books

Follow with a standard dictionary definition, from Webster’s Third New International Dictionary of the English Language[2]:

Page 944:  “1: an account or history of the descent of a person, family or group from an ancestor or ancestors or from older forms; an enumeration of ancestors and their descendants in the national order of succession.  2: regular descent of a person, family, or group of organisms from a progenitor or older form. 3: a study of family pedigrees and the methods of investigation of them.”

Page 1315: “Lineage. 1.a. descent in a line from a common progenitor.”

Morgan (2012) [3] defines genealogy as the “study of a family’s line of descent from its ancestors.” (p. 3).  He differentiates this from a family history, defined as “the study of a family’s history and traditions over an extended period of time and may involve documenting some or all of the facts.” (Morgan, p. 3).  A genealogist “place[s] family members and ancestors into geographical, historical, and social context.” (p. 4).

Genealogical research includes concepts and strategies from multiple disciplines such as anthropology, geography, history, psychology and sociology.  Williams (1960) included  biography, law, medicine and linguistics.  [4] What do each of these disciplines contribute to genealogy?  Here’s a summary with my personal definitions:

  • Anthropology is the study of groups of people within their natural environment. Focus is the group’s culture, physical environment, and interpersonal / family/ group dynamics.  To better understand the person and family from a genealogy perspective, explore their physical address (urban vs. rural, neighborhood),  geographical  location (country,  county or parish, town), family traditions, and personal accounts of events in the lives of individuals.  Consider people’s behavior within the context of the place and time in which they lived. Anthropology also seeks to understand the perspective of the people being studied.  In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a hospital was viewed as a place to die; today, a hospital is generally viewed as a place to regain health.
  • Biography is a person’s life history. Genealogy “adds background” [5] to the person’s story. A biographical profile for an ancestor records a chronological history of that person.  For some of my female ancestors, the frequency of births and deaths of their children seemed overwhelming when I placed all of those birth and death dates on the woman’s biographical profile.  I did not realize that James D. Posten’s mother died when he was only 12 years old until I filled in James’ biographical profile.
  • Geography is the study of the physical environment in which we live. The effects of drought, such as the 1930s Dust Bowl, is one example.  Dramatic changes in the land itself resulted in many families leaving the Midwest during that time.  Boundary changes reflect the study of geography.  How many of your ancestors lived in the same town for decades but are recorded as living in three (or more) different counties?  A major flood changes the course of a river and subsequently results in an entire town being destroyed.  A town with the same name develops 5-10 miles away from the original site.  Trace family migrations with geographical maps.
  • Historical events profoundly affected the lives of our ancestors. Consider the decision of men and women to fight (or not) in a particular war.  The experience of Black families in the South during the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s was different than the experience of White families who lived in the same place. Was an ancestor part of the Women’s Suffrage movement?  When did the women in your family tree first register to vote?
  • Law may be used to establish relationships. Legal documents and processes are often primary sources of information.  Probate records may include an actual death date and the names of heirs.  Birth, marriage and death records can hold treasures or  no new information.  A court case involving a land dispute gives insight into family relationships.
  • Linguistics is the study of language. Terms used by our ancestors provide clues to national origin. Surnames were often derived from a particular location, occupation or relationship.   Johnson originally referred to the  “son of John”.
  • Medicine studies disease and how to cure, prevent, and treat them. Today, we focus more on genetics, a specific branch of medicine.  Look at the causes of death for your ancestors. Relate the cause of death to specific outbreaks of disease or natural causes in the locality.  Compare photographs of your ancestors with your family today. What physical characteristics do they have in common?
  • Psychology is the study of the human mind including mental processes and behavior. In general, the individual is the focus of study although ‘group think’ also falls under the purview of psychology. We often ask, “What was my ancestor thinking when that decision was made?”  or “What did my ancestor think about . . . ?”  Personal diaries, journals and letters provide insight into their perceptions of events and people.  Other documents such as newspaper articles and legal proceedings give clues about the person’s state of mind.  Membership in a particular group shows a glimpse of our ancestor’s values and beliefs.  This aspect of genealogy is most evident when we begin to write our ancestor’s story.
  • Sociology is the study of the structure, interactions, and behaviors of groups of people or, broadly, the study of human society. Families are the often the focus. Sociology and anthropology overlap in that each studies groups of people.  Anthropology focuses on culture while sociology focuses on society.  Placing families within their social context is one tool used by genealogists.  A family’s religion or ethnic background or nationality often influenced where they lived in a particular community.  Values and belief systems change as society changes.

Now,  you are probably asking,  “What does all of this have to do with my genealogical research?”  questionAll of these disciplines follow similar research methods.  Research in each discipline involves the careful, systematic review of documents and information.  Information may be obtained first hand or through other sources.  Research occurs in the field, in buildings and online.  Specific methodologies and analyses involved in each discipline are beyond the scope of this blog.  Genealogy also requires the careful, systematic review and evaluation of documents and information.

To summarize, a genealogist is anthropologist, biographer, geographer, historian, legal analyst,  linguist, medical scientist,  psychologist and sociologist as well as detective.  These perspectives broaden your view as you copy facts and develop a more comprehensive analysis of those facts and the sources from which the facts are drawn.  So, dust off your school text books and add more perspective to your genealogical research!

Other sources consulted for this post:

Desmond Walls Allen, “Family history detective,”  Family Tree Magazine, 28 October 2011 (https://www.familytreemagazine.com/premium/family-history-detective/   :  accessed 11 March 2019.)

Michael Erben, “Genealogy and sociology:  A preliminary set of statements and speculations,” Sociology,  25(2), 275-292, 1991. Abstract . Sage Publications (https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0038038591025002008   :  accessed 11 March 2019).

Emily Garber. “Genealogy is anthropology.” (going) The Extra Yad, 26 April 2013 (http://extrayad.blogspot.com/2013/04/genealogy-is-anthropology.html  :     accessed 11 March 2019).

Jeanne Kay Guelke and Dallen J. Timothy (editor), Geography and Genealogy: Locating Personal Pasts, E-book edition (Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing Company, 2008.  Chapter 1:  Locating personal pasts:  An introduction by Jeanne Kay Guelke and Dallen J. Timothy.  (https://zodml.org/sites/default/files/%5BDallen_J._Timothy_and_Jeanne_Kay_Guelke%5D_Geograph.pdf   :   accessed 11 March 2019)

Arnon Herskovitz, “A suggested taxonomy of genealogy as a multidisciplinary academic research field,” Journal of Multidisciplinary Research, volume 4, no. 3 (Fall 2012): 5-21; image copy, JMR  (http://www.jmrpublication.org/portals/jmr/issues/JMR4-3.pdf  :   accessed 11 March 2019).

Sheila O’Hare. “Genealogy and history.”  Common-Place, Vol. 2, No. 3 (April 2002), (http://www.common-place-archives.org/vol-02/no-03/ohare    :     accessed 11 March 2019.). 4 parts.

Need lighter views?  Read these two blog posts:

Alona.  “Are you a genealogist or a family historian?”  Lonetester, 21 March 2017 (https://www.lonetester.com/2017/03/are-you-a-genealogist-or-a-family-historian/   :   accessed 11 March 2019.

Lorine  McGinnis Schulze, “What kind of genealogist are you?”  Legacy Family Tree News, 30 October 2015 (https://news.legacyfamilytree.com/legacy_news/2015/10/what-kind-of-genealogist-are-you.html  :  accessed 11 March 2019).

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REFLECTION:

I am still in kind of a fog after the death of my husband’s father last month.  Even genealogy doesn’t interest me much. I can’t seem to stay focused.  So, here is an article that I started last year.  Yes, I rechecked all of my sources.  For my next post, I plan to tell a story about a female ancestor in honor of Women’s History Month.

What I learned:  Start articles when I think about a topic.  Keep adding to these articles.

What helped:   Having an almost complete draft of this article on my computer.  Re-discovering an old genealogy ‘how-to’ book on my bookshelf.  I bought this book about 2 years at an estate auction.

What didn’t help:  Anxiety about what to write. Wanting to stay on track with posts every 2 weeks.

To-do:  Pick a female ancestor from husband’s family tree for next post.

©Susan Posten Ellerbee and Posting Family Roots blog, 2019

SOURCES

[1] Ethel W. Williams, Know your ancestors: A guide to genealogical research. Rutland, Vermont: Charles E. Tuttle Company, 1960.

[2] Philip Babcock Gove, editor-in-chief. Webster’s Third New International Dictionary of the English Language. Springfield, Massachusetts: Merriam-Webster, Inc, Publishers, 1993.

[3] George G. Morgan, How to do everything genealogy (3rd ed.) New York: McGraw Hill, 2012.

[4] Williams, Know your ancestors pages 11-13.

[5] Williams, Know your ancestors, page 12