A few days ago, I began a page-by-page search of the 1860 Federal Census for Sumter Country, Alabama, looking for my 3rd great-grandmother, Susan William Lee Martin, and her family. I had reason to believe that Sumter County was their home immediately prior to the beginning of the Civil War. Well…apparently not! Tonight I finished the search, and Susan & Co are nowhere to be seen! A disappointment, but there are always options. Susan’s husband-to-be, Dr. Nathan Blunt Kennedy, was living in Sumter County in 1860, and then spent the early years of the war in or near Lauderdale County, Mississippi, which is just across the Alabama/Mississippi state line from Sumter County. So, next stop: Lauderdale Country, Mississippi!
Susan William Lee Martin Kennedy, that is. I have spent the afternoon browsing the 1860 Federal Census for Sumter County, Alabama, which I believe is where the James H Martin family was living at the time Susan and Dr Nathan B Kennedy met, and later where they married in 1862. Before a couple of months ago, this task was virtually impossible. Then came DSL…aaah, modern technology!
Anyway, I have gone through all of Gainesville (7 images), all of the Northern Division (40 images), all of Township 22 Range 2 West (only 4 images) and 60 of 103 images of the Southern Dvision.
And now, before my eyes pop out of my head, I’m going to get away from this computer for a bit and… clean my desk. I bought a new, very-much-needed bookcase today, so it’s time to dig out my desk!
I did a bit more research on my 3rd great-grandmother Susan William Lee (Martin) Kennedy. Now that’s a mouthful! I was rechecking GenealogyBank, to check the dates on a couple of mentions, and I found a new interest of Mrs. Kennedy’s: she was the president of the Old Ladies Home Society of Texas, based in Houston. This organization was established in the early 1900′s to help elderly women who were low-income or indigent.
This from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, dated 25 May 1904:
I may have figured out why I can’t find her in the 1900 or 1910 censuses. She was traveling all over Texas raising money for the Old Ladies Home! I found articles about Mrs. Kennedy and the Old Ladies Home in the Dallas Morning News, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and the San Antonio Daily Messenger. Places mentioned (besides the homes of the various newspapers) include Corsicana, Mineral Wells, Austin, Denton and Houston. In fact, the more that I research into her life, I see it may be time for a timeline!
Did I mention what a wonderful resource GenealogyBank is?
I have also added a To-do page to this site, to remind me of documents or images I need, plans for research trips, etc.