Notes from the past…


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Genealogical serendipity strikes again!

Maybe serendipity isn’t the best word…

While listening to my stomach growl as it waits for the turkey to be done, I decided to do some research. I have been studying my Bennett Boys (the 10 sons of my third great grandparents James and Margarete Bennett of Williamson County,Texas) and was searching for an obituary for the first wife of Dr Thomas Joshua Bennett when I found this, from the 31 March 1907 edition of the Dallas Morning News (GenealogyBank). Page 30:

Another WOW! moment…


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More Carr unexpecteds!

I’ve been studying my Carr line from my Dad’s side. Wiley Carr died in the Civil War, only 2 months after enlisting, apparently from disease or accident, not from battle.

Younger brother Coleman Carr (these guys are all my second great-granduncles) seems to have changed personalities, or at least his name, reason(s) unknown. One more tantalizing tidbit on Coleman: Abner Carr’s death certificate lists James Carr as his father. James Carr was Coleman Carr’s father and Coleman didn’t have a brother named Abner…

And now youngest brother William Carr has presented a “gasp moment”: I have located him in the 1870, 1880 and 1900 censuses. I couldn’t find him in the 1910 census. However, I have located his 3 youngest children, Clarence, Raymond and William, living in the Catholic Male Orphan Asylum in Mobile, Alabama!

(click to enlarge)

Oh, my! How did that happen? Where are the boys’ parents, William T and Luvenia E Carr? I have found several Williams and a couple of Luvenia/Lovenias in the Alabama Deaths, 1908-1974 database at Family Search. I can’t be sure any are my Carrs. All died after 1910.

So did both parents die? Or was there some type of financial disaster that prevented William from caring for his family. Another of my ancestors, this time surname Bennett, placed his kids in an orphanage in Corsicana, Texas when he could no longer care for them. There also appeared to be some mental illness problems in this Bennett family. At any rate, the children had to suffer…

I’m not finished researching William Carr, so maybe something will turn up to explain this census page. Stay tuned…


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The WOW! Category

My blog is organized on two levels, first by category, which describes what I am currently researching/blogging about, and then by tags, which are the specific surnames I am working with. Things run pretty smoothly this way, and I can usually find what I am looking for pretty quickly through the Search Box.

This morning, I found myself in need of a new category to describe my research activities: the WOW! category.

The WOW! category will be used to document the type of genealogical item that I stumble onto totally by accident, or when I find what I am looking for, but the actual find causes me to gasp, stare, or stop breathing altogether! This morning’s item certainly fits this category…

Isaac T (“Ike”) Turner was the 7th of 14 children of my great-great-grandparents, Isaac Turner and Sarah Sharpe Vance. Eleven of the children were born in Tennessee and the last 3, including my great-grandmother Mary Tennessee, were born in Hill County, Texas. Thanks to what’s left of the Turner family Bible, I have names and BMD dates on all 14. Pretty neat!

But like most Bibles I have seen, there are no details. Birthdates, marriages, dates of death, all faithfully recorded in the Bible.

But why did William Turner die at age 17? An accident, or maybe the Typhoid that killed his father? Or how about little Sallie Turner, who died just 1 month and 1 day after she was born? I can’t imagine losing a month-old child! Why did these people die so young?

Isaac T Turner died on Christmas Day, Dec 25, 1900. Amidst all the joy of the holiday, suddenly unfathomable loss. 32 years old and in what should be the prime of life…

This morning, I was searching for a cause of death for Isaac and decided to check out GenealogyBank. They have a wonderful collection of old newspapers, including the Dallas Morning News going back over 100 years. Hill County, Texas is very close to Dallas.

I put his name into the search box and look what popped up:

I just stopped and stared and read those few lines over and over and over. OMG! What a horrible death!

For years I have wondered what happened to Ike, enumerated in the 1900 Federal Census as a merchant dealing in confections. A man with a sweet tooth! Only a few months after that census was completed, Ike was dead. But how?

Now I know… and WOW!