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.