I sat down to watch TV and two seconds later I had a dog planted in front of me.
Monthly Archives: December 2016
I’m still working on Lucinda Smith‘s family. What a horrible, tragic mess. Her husband, Hugh, was burned to death at the age of 52. Thomas is Hugh’s son from his first marriage. He was just 55 when he died.
If you can’t read it, the primary cause of death is multiple metastaces of melanotic carcinoma (primary on skin of neck). Contributory cause is fracture of eroded cervical vertebra by chiropractic adjustment. I wonder if he knew he had cancer before going to the chiropractor? What an awful way to go. And it wasn’t quick, either. His neck was broken in December, but he didn’t die until February.
Another daughter from Hugh’s first marriage, Isabelle, was married off at 16 years old. She had one son. I can’t find any death information for her, but if the information on her husband’s Findagrave memorial page is correct, she died quite young. And look at husband Albert’s headstone. It’s one of those concrete grave markers that are super common in this area. The family must have been incredibly poor.
If you look closely, you’ll see that Lucinda married Isabelle’s father just a few months before Isabelle herself was married off. I really wish I knew what the story was behind this. I don’t know if you can make out the notation on Isabelle’s marriage license, but it says: “Consent of parents of both girl and boy on file and grandfather of girl in open court.” So neither Hugh nor Lucinda were present at the wedding.
I wondered if it may have been a shotgun wedding, but looking at the birth date of their one and only child, that seems unlikely. Robert Nance was born 22 Oct 1892, more than a year after his parents’ marriage. It’s possible there was and earlier pregnancy that didn’t come to term, but there’s no way to know.
I think I chased my own tail so much last weekend that I was unable to see the obvious path right in front of me. I tried again and had no trouble locating the birth register entry for Jennie Smith, daughter of Cinda Smith (number 67). And look! As I suspected, she was illegitimate. (There was no such notation in the register for Lucinda’s first child, Harry Rockwell, so I wonder if that means that they were married and the marriage was annulled? Or were they unmarried but since the father’s name was supplied, the registrar didn’t mark the child illegitimate?)
This is a giant mess. I’ve been trying to work on the family of Alva Martin and Laura Basquill. Alva was the son of Hugh Martin and Lucinda Smith. But as I was entering census information, I came across this.
What the hell is going on here?
Hugh Martin burned to death on 15 Jan 1897, so in the 1900 census Lucinda is a widow. She’s living with their son, Alva, but then the next two entries are confusing. Are Charles and David her sons or stepsons? It looks like the enumerator started to add “-step,” but then didn’t. Or maybe they intended to just leave it at “son-s” as shorthand for stepson? Thomas is listed as “son-step,” which is clear.
And then what on earth is going on with Harry Smith and Jenny Smith? They’re listed as Lucinda’s children, but why then do they have the last name Smith? If the birth dates are in the right ballpark (and they are dead-on for the children I’ve found birth records for), then the Smith children were born before Lucinda’s marriage to David Bradley. As far as I can tell, that was her first marriage, though. Was there a previous marriage? And was it to someone who was also named Smith? Unlikely, but it’s possible for both spouses to have the same last name, and Smith is incredibly common
Lucinda’s surname is Smith when she marries David Bradley, then Bradley when she marries Hugh Martin. I think her marriage to David Bradley was, indeed, her first marriage.
Based on the marriage dates, the children’s birth dates, and the census and birth records I’ve found, I think Alva and Charles are the children of Hugh and Lucinda. David and Thomas were the sons of Hugh and his first wife, Sarah Catherine Cook. Easy peasy.
But what about those Smith kids?
I did a little more digging, and I found Lucinda living with her parents in 1880. And look at that. There’s a Harry Rockwell. Not only is Harry a small child (so less likely to have a wildly fudged age listed), but he’s so young that his birth month is given: February. And he’s described as William’s grandson. So this is Harry Smith, with what’s likely to be his father’s surname.
From there, I searched the Ohio birth registers at Family Search and found a Harry Rockwell born on 29 Feb 1880 in Union Township, Pike County, Ohio. His parents are listed as J. H. Rockwell and Cindeniese Smith.
I think Harry’s father is John Henry Rockwell. He married a woman named Elizabeth Susan Shonkwiler in 1881. There are dozens of trees with his information on Ancestry and World Connect, but not one of them, as far as I can tell, lists Harry as his first son, with Lucinda Smith.
I still have no idea who Jenny Smith is. Another of Lucinda’s children, born before she was married? Or is she the daughter of one of Lucinda’s siblings, raised by her?
And then there’s husband Hugh Martin’s Civil War pension card. It lists a claim by Lucinda on 19 Sep 1916, but also a claim by a minor named Joseph A. Smith on 5 Feb 1897 (just a few days after Hugh’s death). Does the “Gdn” after his name stand for guardian? If so, Lucinda had a brother named Joseph A. Smith (born 1862, so not exactly a minor in 1897). I haven’t been able to trace where he ended up or where he was in 1897, to try to fit him into the puzzle, so I don’t know why Hugh Martin would be acting as his guardian.
Another puzzle is who is Lucinda’s fifth child? Is this another child born before her marriage to David Bradley? I’ve found no trace of a fifth child. Is the John W. Wallice in the 1880 census hers? It’s possible, but at this point I don’t have any further information on him.
In order to properly source the information on this draft card, I need to determine Alva’s serial number and order number. I spent more than an hour trying to figure out what each of the numbers at the top are, and I think I have it partially sorted. If I’m correct, his serial number is 237 and his order number is 606. I have no idea what “No. 58” maps to, which is funny, since it’s the only number that looks official.
So this is mostly a note to myself, because I’m sure I’ll forget before I work on the next draft card. And, if I recall correctly, subsequent cards were not this confusing.