14 April 2014

#15-52 Ancestors. Ancestor with No Name


Ancestor with No Name

Back in the early 1970s, there was a popular song about a “Horse with no name” I thought about that recently as I was searching for one of my “lost ladies” — the term I use for unidentified wives on my pedigree chart.

In most instances I have at least their given name or nickname, but for a couple of them I have nothing. Don’t know when or where they were born or when or where they married or when and where they died — just guesses. Both of them are 3-great-grandmothers. One of them thoughtlessly (in my opinion) married a Johnson ca 1795 probably in Virginia (a William Johnson) and I shudder every time I think of tackling that challenge. It is like some dreaded homework assignment, so I keep procrastinating.

The other lady intrigues me as well as frustrates. She was born by estimate ca 1800 and died or disappears before 1850. She married my James Kimbro and they had four, five or six children. Who knows?

You’d think that someone would have mentioned her name in some record. Four of her children inherited from their maternal grandfather who died about 1860 because James, their father (the husband of the lady with no name predeceased him) but the reconstructed 1865 will did not mention her name.

I realize I am lucky to have what I do of that since a fire during the Civil War and later a tornado have wreaked havoc on the courthouse.
The only things in common my two ladies with no names have is that they both spent some time in Tennessee — and in times and places critical time for my genealogical research, of course.

With a burst of springtime energy, I decided to re-examine all my research notes and see if there were any extant records I might have overlooked for  my nameless lady who probably died in Bedford County, Tennessee or “somewhere” in Texas. Four of her children were mentioned in their paternal grandfather’s will and I have traced two of them — both sons. The daughter probably married before 1850 and without the name of her husband, looking for a Rachel somewhere in Texas or Tennessee would be a daunting task. The courthouse disasters destroyed most of the marriage records that would be of help to me in tracing this family. But, what about the other brother? He was the right age to have served in the Civil War. However, this was a divided family in its sympathies — so I know I will have to check both Union and Confederate records.

I have a new lead — thanks to military records, but it is a faint trail. However, hope springs eternally. I hope that some of these children or grandchildren left information about my lady with no name. This has been a long lonely search.

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