Monthly Archives: October 2010

Researching… William T Graham

Oftentimes a genealogist must weave together strong connections based upon tenuous evidence from varying sources.

William T Graham was one of the children of John Henry Graham.  The only definite information I had on him came from the 1900 census: His name, his estimated date of birth (January 1893), and his residence in Red River Township, Searcy County, Arkansas.  And nothing else.  I didn’t even know for certain what the T stood for, but some un-sourced family trees on Ancestry.com offered that it was Thomas.

I ran a search on Ancestry and came up with a possible hit on the 1920 census.  There was a William T Graham, age 26, making a living as a farmer in Mount Vernon Township, Searcy County.  The name was right, the age was about right, and the place was about right.  His father’s birthplace was listed as Texas, which was where John Henry Graham was born.  This seemed like a solid connection.

Accepting the 1920 census gave me some additional information:  a wife named Pergie V, age 25 (and therefore estimated birth year of 1895), mother and father’s birthplace listed as Arkansas;  a son named Erman Z, age one and four twelfths.  Since the census was enumerated in February 1920, that very specific age allowed me to calculate Erman’s estimated birth month as October 1918.

I eventually came to an entry in the Arkansas Death Index for a William Tho Graham, died on 12 September 1920 in Searcy County.  “Tho” could be short for Thomas which in turn might be the T in William T Graham.  On a hunch I visited Find A Grave to search for Graham burials in Searcy County and discovered that on some previous visit I had bookmarked the grave of a William Graham buried at Shady Grove Cemetery, birth date unknown, death date 12 September 1920, a match to the Arkansas Death Index record.  Added with the fact that John Henry and his wife Mary Matilda were also buried at Shady Grove, and the possibility that this was all the same William T Graham became very strong.

I ran a search on the wife, but with nothing more to go on than Pergie V Graham, age 25, I wasn’t hopeful that I’d find anything.  I suspected Pergie was likely a nickname of some sort, or perhaps a name mis-recorded by the enumerator, and if William had died shortly after the 1920 census, she probably remarried by the time of the 1930 census.  Even if all of her records popped up with one hundred percent accuracy, not knowing what I was looking for meant that I wouldn’t see what I had found.

I ran a search on Erman Z Graham and found several possible hits and a trail that sent me from the Ozark Mountains to California.

Read the results of this research in the full post on William Thomas Graham.


Updates and Connections

Already this blog is paying dividends on my ancestry research.

No, I haven’t yet had some long lost cousin offer me a treasure-trove of already researched and sourced data.  What is happening is that as I gather the information to write entries on my ancestors, I’m making connections that I hadn’t made before, noticing little details that had previously gotten by me.  For instance, I have revised my entry on John Henry Graham with details about his children.  I hadn’t even listed his children in the original version.  What prompted the revision was that I noticed the 1910 census recorded the number of his children as ten, with eight living.  I wanted to ensure that I had accounted for all ten children, so I took a second look at my records.

I paid a visit to FamilySearch’s beta web site, which has free access to many historical records.  I was able to find a digital image of John Henry’s original marriage documents and thus confirm his exact marriage date to Matilda Bohannon. I also learned that another person in my family tree, James Newton Siler Watts, had signed as security for John’s marriage bond. A new fact I hadn’t known before!

I also received in the mail yesterday Family Tree Maker 2011, the latest version of Ancestry.com’s software. I had used the 2010 version before, and found it excellent for finding and linking to source documents, including documents that I’d download from other sites (like FamilySearch), so I collected all this new data in “Graham 4.0”, the latest version of my family tree.


Eliza Ann Graham

Revised 29 September 2013.

Eliza Ann Graham was the older sister of John Henry Graham.  She was born on Saturday, 5 September 1868 somewhere in Alabama to parents Jesse and Sarah Graham.  Jesse and Sarah were apparently quite the vagabonds since by 1870 they had moved to Texas where John Henry was born, and then by 1880 they had all settled in Searcy County, Arkansas.

1880

Jesse Graham 1880 Census

1880 Census, Bear Creek Township, Searcy County, Arkansas

The 1880 census recorded the Graham family living in Bear Creek Township.  Eliza was 13 years old, living with her parents Jesse and Sarah, 15 years old brother William, 8 years old brother John Henry, and one year old sister Mary.  Everyone’s birth place was recorded as Alabama, except for John’s as Texas, and Mary’s as Arkansas.  It was indicated that Sarah and the children could neither read nor write, and that William and Eliza had not attended school during the census year.

Recorded on the census next to the Grahams was the family of William Alexander Watts, Junior.

SilerElizaWattsMarriageDetail

Marriage record for Siler Watts and Eliza Graham, 5 August 1886

On Thursday, 5 August 1886, Mister James Newton Siler Watts of Red River Township, with his father William A. Watts, Jr. as security, paid a $100 bond to the county for a license to marry Miss “Louisa A. Graham”, as her name was erroneously recorded by the county clerk, M. Dampf.  James and Eliza were married on the same day, the ceremony having been conducted by Calvin T. Cotton.

Thursday, 17 November 1887, their daughter Ola Elizabeth Watts was born.

On Wednesday, 2 October 1889, James signed as security for Eliza’s brother John Henry Graham when he purchased a license to marry Mary Matilda Bohannon.

1890

Data on James and Eliza is not available from the 1890 census, as it was destroyed in a fire in 1921.

James and Eliza’s second child, James Madison Watts was born 0n Monday, 2 February 1891.

Emma Sarah Watts, their third child, was born on Saturday, 1 October 1892.

Mary Ausidine Watts was born to the couple on Friday, 1 September 1893.

Siler Homestead

Detail from Siler’s homestead certificate

Tuesday, 28 May 1895, the land office in Harrison, Arkansas issued a land patent to Siler Watts for a parcel located at “the North West quarter of Section fourteen in Township thirteen North of range sixteen West of the Fifth Principal Meridian in Arkansas, containing one hundred and sixty acres…” Since homesteaders had to occupy their land for five years before being issued a patent, Siler and Eliza had settled this parcel sometime around 1890, perhaps even as soon as following their marriage in 1886, allowing for the inevitable governmental delays in processing paperwork.

Their last child, William Jesse Bell Watts, was born on Thursday, 7 January 1897.

On Friday, 4 March 1898, James Newton Siler Watts died at the age of 30 from a ruptured appendix.  He was buried at Rambo Cemetery, Red River Township, Searcy County, Arkansas.

1900

Eliza 1900 Census

1900 Census, Red River Township, Searcy County, Arkansas

The 1900 census recorded the widow Eliza living on the farm in Red River Township, mother of five children with five living.

Note that Sarah’s birth date was recorded as October 1891, barely eight months following James’ birth in February 1891. Other sources give her birth year as 1892, which is probably correct.

Eliza and Elizabeth could neither read nor write; it is unrecorded if the other children could do so.

Renting the farm beside Eliza’s was Robert Savage and his wife Armelta Bellzora Watts, Siler’s sister.

Around 1904, Eliza apparently settled a new homestead, also in Red River Township.

Thursday, 26 September 1907, eldest daughter Elizabeth Watts married Pearl Forest Wilkey. Signed as security was “D. P. Watts” – probably Doctor Perry Watts. He was not actually a doctor. That apparently was his full name, as documented on his draft card in 1918.

In Washington, D.C., the Ozark National Forest was established on Friday, 6 March 1908 by a proclamation from United States President Theodore Roosevelt. The forest covered parts of 18 counties in Arkansas, including Searcy County, from the land north of the Arkansas River. Eliza and her children were living on land inside the new boundaries of the forest, but pursuant to the presidential proclamation, those lands “upon which any valid settlement has been made” were excepted.

Wednesday, 4 August 1909, sixteen years old Emma Sarah Watts married thirty-one years old George Washington Thompson, Junior.

On 9 December 1909, Eliza was granted a land patent for “the northwest quarter of the northwest quarter of Section five and the northeast quarter of the northeast quarter of Section six in Township fifteen north and the southwest quarter of the southwest quarter of Section thirty-two in Township sixteen north all in Range seventeen west of the Fifth Principle Meridian, Arkansas, containing one hundred twenty-seven and seventy-six-hundredths acres…”

1910

Eliza 1910 Census

1910 Census, Red River Township, Ozark National Forest Reserve, Searcy County, Arkansas

On the 1910 census, Eliza was still on the farm in Red River Township, Ozark National Forest Reserve, with three of her children: James, Ausidine, Jessie.  Her name was recorded here as “Lizan,” a conflation of Eliza Ann. It was recorded that Eliza could read but not write. Her three children could both read and write. The occupation for all four of them was “farmer.”

Residing on the farm beside Eliza’s was “Doc” Watts and his wife Callie, which supports the above suggestion regarding the identity of “D. P. Watts.”

Sunday, 24 December 1911, daughter Mary Ausidine Watts and Jasper Newton Luttrell were bound in holy matrimony on Christmas Eve by Justice of the Peace J. H. Phillips.

Sunday, 22 September 1912, James Madison Watts married Sylvannia R. Bohannon, the daughter of Patrick Bohannon and his first wife Rixey Watson, in a ceremony also conducted by Justice of the Peace Phillips.

Sunday, 9 January 1916, youngest child William Jesse Bell Watts married Zetta Mae McCutcheon of Booster, Arkansas. “W. M. Watts,” possibly William McKinley Watts (Doc’s brother, who was one year older than Jesse), signed as security on the bond. The ceremony was conducted by Justice of the Peace H. D. Barnes.

With all of her children now married, Eliza found herself with an empty nest. At some point, Eliza and her mother Sarah Graham began living together.

1920

Eliza Watts 1920 Census Detail

1920 Census, Shady Grove Township, Searcy County, Arkansas

In 1920, Eliza’s residence was recorded as Shady Grove Township, Searcy County, Arkansas. (It’s not yet clear to me if Eliza actually moved from Red River to Shady Grove, or if a realignment of the township boundaries took place.) Eliza’s age was recorded as 45 – she would’ve actually been 52 in 1920. Her mother Sarah Graham, 76 and widowed, was living with her.  Eliza could read, but not write, and mother Sarah could do neither.

Wednesday, 14 November 1928, Eliza’s mother Sarah Graham passed away.

1930

Eliza 1930 Census

1930 Census, Red River Township, Searcy County, Arkansas

By 1930, Eliza had moved in with daughter Mary Ausidine and her husband Jasper Newton Luttrell, who were renting a farm in Red River Township. Here she was recorded as “Watts, Lizza A.” Her age was given as 56, but her real age was 62. Whether she was able to read and write was “no,” which contradicts the previous two census.

Jasper and Mary had five daughters if you believe this census. The first two children listed were actually twin boys Allen C. and Ellis G. Luttrell. The other children were daughters Christina, Geneva, and Jewel.

By 1935, Eliza was living with her eldest daughter Ola Elizabeth and husband Pearl Forest Wilkey, who were renting a farm in Big Lake Township, Mississippi County, Arkansas.

1940

Eliza 1940 Census 1

1940 Census, Big Lake Township, Mississippi County, Arkansas. Bottom of sheet 17B

Eliza 1940 Census 2

1940 Census, Big Lake Township, Mississippi County, Arkansas. Top of sheet 18A

Friday, 26 April 1940, the 1940 census was enumerated in Big Lake Township, Mississippi County, Arkansas and recorded Pearl and Lizzie Wilkey living on a rented farm. With them was their son Millard Wilkey; a nephew, O. W. Hobbs; Pearl’s mother-in-law Eliza Ann Watts, here recorded as “Lisa Ann”; son Ruben Wilkey; and daughter-in-law Thelma Wilkey. Eliza’s age was given as 74, which was closer to the truth than the two previous census – she was actually 71 on this date. Her highest grade of school completed was “0.”

Wednesday, 24 April 1946, Eliza’s brother John Henry Graham passed away at his home in Red River Township. His obituary referred to her as “Elisan Watts… address unknown.” Perhaps she was still in Mississippi County.

Sunday, 3 August 1947, Eliza Ann (Graham) Watts died at the age of 78. She isn’t listed in the Arkansas Death Index, so it’s not clear where she died. She was buried beside her husband at Rambo Cemetery, Red River Township, Searcy County, Arkansas.

James S. and Elizan N. Watts

Headstone of James and Eliza Ann Watts, Rambo Cemetery, Searcy County, Arkansas, April 2010.

Variations

I’ve encountered several variations of Eliza’s name.  The 1880 census recorded her as “Graham, Eliza”; the 1900 census as “Watts, Eliza A”; her land patent as “Eliza A. Watts”; the 1910 census as “Watts, Lizan”; the 1920 census as “Watts, Eliza A”; the 1930 census as “Watts, Lizza A”; and the 1940 census as “Watts, Lisa Ann.” Her brother John Henry’s obituary called her “Elisan Watts.” Her grave marker rendered her name “Elizan N.” Eliza’s grand daughter, Corene Daniel, whom I met at the Graham Reunion in Arkansas in 2011, explicitly stated, “Grandma’s name is Eliza Ann. They called her Lizan.” So, there.

However, on Eliza’s marriage record her name was recorded by the county clerk as “Louisa A. Graham”, likely mishearing her name spoken to him. As a result of this, I have seen her in many, many other family trees as “Louisa ‘Eliza’ Ann Graham” or “Eliza ‘Louisa’ Ann Graham,” so be forewarned. To be clear, Louisa is not nor was it ever part of her name, nor was she ever called Louisa, except perhaps by a hard-of-hearing county clerk.

Variations for James include:  “Wotts, James S.” with what looks like a small N inserted above the end of James, on the 1870 census; “James S. Watts” on his own marriage documents;  “J.N.S. Watts” on the marriage documents of John Henry Graham;  “Siler Watts” on his land patent;  “Watts, James S.” on his grave marker.  Many family trees also tend to put Siler in quotation marks, possibly to indicate that he preferred to be called by that name.

Sources

A complete list of sources appears on Page 2.


Historical Geography

I had a minor revelation today while looking at online maps of Searcy County, Arkansas.

Many of the "towns" listed on old United States Federal Census documents for the county are probably just roads.  I’ve driven through the mountains of Searcy County (most recently in April 2010) and I didn’t see much evidence for a host of lost towns, but the place names listed on those old census documents match up to several roads in the area.

For example, in my recent post on John Henry Graham, I stated that the census gave his residences as Red River and Mount Vernon.  There are several candidates for the "town" of Red River in the area, the most obvious being the river named Red.  The river would be a natural reference point to any census-taker of the late 19th Century.  There are also two roads in the area that mention the river as part of their name:  Little Red River Road and the nearby Red River Circle.  So it’s probable that John Henry resided on one of those roads and/or near the Red River.

Mount Vernon seems to be a little trickier to place in Searcy County at first look.  There is actually a town named Mount Vernon in Arkansas, down near Little Rock, but that is Faulkner County.  How come the 1920 census said it was in Searcy County?  A little more digging around the Internet revealed that there was once a Mount Vernon Township in Searcy County, lo and behold, it was located in the same geographical area as the Red River.


Cemetery Names

When doing family research names are very important. Not only the names of people, but of places.

I mentioned a Shady Grove Cemetery in my post on John Henry Graham.

Searching around the Internet, it seems that Arkansas has at least 20 cemeteries going by the name Shady Grove in 18 different counties.  The one John Henry is buried at is located in Searcy County, Arkansas near the town of Dennard.  If you have one of them there new-fangled GPS de-vices, it is located at 35.75788, -92.64796.

Sometimes cemeteries are referred to by other names or they actually change names.

Online map services like Google Maps will display the name Thompson Cemetery if you enter the coordinates for Rambo Cemetery (35.81630, -92.65520) in  Searcy County.  Find A Grave has memorials for this same cemetery listed under the names Thompson, Rambo and Mainord Rambo.

If you’re doing genealogical research it’s important to have the right name in so many ways!


John Henry Graham

We’ll begin this little trip with John Henry Graham.

John Henry Graham was born somewhere in Texas on Sunday, 8 May 1870 to Jesse and Sarah Graham, just five years after Texas was re-admitted to the Union following the American Civil War.  By the 1880 census, the Graham family had settled in Bear Creek Township in Searcy County, Arkansas.

Wednesday, 2 October 1889, with his brother-in-law James Newton Siler Watts as security, John paid $100 to Searcy County to secure a bond of marriage to Mary Matilda Bohannon (born Thursday, 29 July 1869), daughter of William Cornelius Bohannan and Mary Ann Sikes of Sulphur Springs, Searcy, Arkansas.  John and “Tildy” were married on Thursday, 3 October 1889 by Justice of the Peace Jesse Thompson.

JHGmarriage2

Bond for marriage of J.H. Graham and Matilda Bohannan, with J.N.S. Watts signed as security.

1890

The 1890 census was lost in a fire in 1921, and therefore no census data is available on this family for that year. Since John and Matilda were married just a few months before the census was enumerated, it likely wouldn’t offer us much data anyway.

Wednesday, 17 September 1890, John and Matilda welcomed their first child into the world, a daughter they named Evisa Jane Graham.

Friday, 22 July 1892, their first son was born. They named him Jessie Cornelius Graham. He was likely named for both of his grandfathers, paternal Jesse Graham and maternal William Cornelius Bohannan.

Wednesday, 22 November 1893, John signed as surety on a marriage bond for Otha Allen King and his bride-to-be Mary Elizabeth Leming, who was Matilda’s first cousin once removed on the Sikes side of the family.

John and Matilda’s second son, William Thomas Graham, was born on Tuesday, 20 February 1894.

John Jasper Graham, the couple’s fourth child and third son, was born on Saturday, 18 January 1896. He may have been named for Matilda’s youngest brother, John Jasper Bohannon.

Friday, 4 September 1896, John Henry signed his mark as security on the marriage bond for John Jasper Bohannon and his bride-to-be Florence Woods.

Bohannon-Woods Marriage Detail

Signature detail from the marriage bond of John Jasper Bohannan and Florence Woods, showing where J.H. Graham placed his mark of “X”.

John and Matilda’s second daughter, Mary Adaline Graham, was born on Tuesday, 21 December 1897. The name Mary was likely taken from her mother’s first name.

1900

The 1900 census was enumerated in Red River Township by Eugene Arnold in June of 1900. It recorded that both John and Matilda could neither read nor write, but could speak English, they had been married for ten years, and had six children, however, only five were listed: Evisa, Jessie, William, John Jasper, and Mary.

Mary Adaline Graham 1900 Census

1900 Census, Red River Township, Searcy County, Arkansas.

John and Matilda’s next child, daughter Sarah Rosabelle Graham, was born on Saturday, 16 June 1900. The 1900 census included instructions to the enumerators to omit children born after 1 June 1900. That is why Sarah was counted, but not recorded by name. Tragically, the infant Sarah died on Sunday, 8 September 1901. Her life spanned an all-too-brief fourteen months. She was interred at Shady Grove Cemetery in Searcy County, Arkansas.

Matilda was approximately three months pregnant when Sarah died. Five months later, on 16 February 1902, a Sunday, the Grahams would welcome the newest addition to their family, daughter Emma Dorothy Graham.

Two years later, another daughter was added to the family. Stella Viona Graham was born on Thursday, 16 June 1904.

Tragedy would strike again in 1905. On Monday, 16 October of that year, Mary Adaline died at the age of seven years and 10 months. She was interred at Shady Grove Cemetery near her sister Sarah.

A few years earlier, John had applied for a tract of land under the Homestead Act, located at the “…southwest quarter of the southwest quarter of Section four and the east half of the southeast quarter and the southeast quarter of the northeast quarter of Section five in Township thirteen north of Range sixteen west of the Fifth Principal Meridian, Arkansas, containing one hundred sixty and fifty-four hundredths acres…” The General Land Office granted John’s land patent on Saturday, 17 August 1907, and John officially became a landowner.

Later that year, their ninth child and last daughter was born. Her name was Nona Elizabeth Graham, and she was born on Saturday, 7 December 1907.

Their tenth and final child, Daniel Page Graham, was born on Thursday, 12 August 1909.

1910

1910 United States Federal Census Detail - John Henry Graham

1910 Census, Red River Township, Searcy County, Arkansas.

The 1910 census was enumerated in Red River on Monday, 2 May 1910. It recorded John and Matilda as the parents of ten children with eight living. This time it was recorded that both John and Matilda could read and write, so they must have learned sometime during the preceding decade if this is accurate. John’s occupation was listed as “farmer”, as was that of his three oldest boys, Jessie, William and John Jasper. Matilda and the rest of the children had no occupation recorded.

1920

1920 United States Federal Census Detail - John Henry Graham

1920 Census, Red River Township, Searcy County, Arkansas.

The 1920 census was enumerated in Red River on 27-28 January 1920 by Fredrick Houghton. It showed John and Matilda on the farm with four of their children: Emma, Stella, Nona and Daniel. John’s occupation was again “farmer,” while Matilda and the children had none. This time it was recorded that John, Matilda and all the children could read and write.

Sunday, 30 August 1925, Thelma Drucilla Melton, daughter of John Henry’s sister Minnie, married Sylas Fredrick Rains. The name “M. M. Graham” was recorded on their certificate of marriage as a witness. It likely referred to Mary Matilda Graham, since the Graham farm was beside the Melton farm per the 1920 census.

Rains Melton Marriage Detail

Rains-Melton marriage certificate detail showing Justice of the Peace H. D. Barnes and witnesses A. L. Barnes and M. M. Graham.

1930

1930 United States Federal Census Detail - John Henry Graham

1930 Census, Red River Township, Searcy County, Arkansas.

Saturday, 12 April 1930, William Cotton came to the Graham farm to enumerate the Fifteenth Census. He recorded John and Matilda with nearly an empty nest, with all the children except Nona and Daniel having left to start their own farms and families. The farm was valued at $500. John, then 59, was still listed as a farmer, with his son Daniel listed as “laborer.” This census also recorded whether citizens were veterans of the U.S. military, with John’s status noted as “no.”

1940

1940 United States Federal Census Detail 1 - John Henry Graham

1940 Census, Red River Township, Searcy County, Arkansas. This is the bottom of sheet 1A.

1940 United States Federal Census Detail 2 - John Henry Graham

1940 Census, Red River Township, Searcy County, Arkansas. This is the top of sheet 1B.

The 1940 census showed John and Matilda still on the family farm in Red River. Also recorded was their youngest son Daniel, his wife Blanche (Watts, daughter of William Marley Watts and Cordelia Mae Kimbrell), and their three children, Leroy, Janice and William.  Daniel was apparently employed by his father, for his occupation was listed as farmer with total wages recorded for three weeks of work in 1939 at $30, a pay rate of ten dollars per week. John’s occupation was also farmer, and he and Daniel both worked 48 hours per week – that’s eight hours per day for six days followed by one day of rest.  The farm was valued at $600.

DSCN2335

Grave marker of Mary M. Graham, Shady Grove Cemetery, Searcy County, Arkansas.

On Thursday, 21 September 1944, Mary Matilda Graham, née Bohannon died at the age of 75 at the home of her daughter, Nona.  She was interred at Shady Grove Cemetery, Searcy County, Arkansas. Her obituary was published in the Marshall Republican.

On Wednesday, 24 April 1946, John Henry Graham died in his home in Red River at the age of 75.  The funeral was conducted in his home the following day by Reverend W. L. Leach, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Marshall.  John was interred at Shady Grove Cemetery, Searcy County, Arkansas.  His obituary was published in the Marshall Republican on 3 May 1946.

DSCN2334

Grave marker of John H. Graham, Shady Grove Cemetery, Searcy County, Arkansas.

Matilda’s obituary curiously referred to her by her maiden name, “Mrs. Mary Bohannon,” and also stated that she died at the home of her daughter. Furthermore, it stated that Matilda was a member of the Free Will Baptist Church, while John’s obituary reported a pastor from a different church, the First Baptist Church of Marshall, officiated his funeral.

Variations

The date of John and Matilda’s marriage was given as 4 October 1888 in Matilda’s obituary. In John’s obituary, it was given as 8 August 1889. They’re both wrong. The obituaries are secondary sources recorded long after the actual event. For their true marriage date, we must look to a primary source document recorded on the actual day of the event: the certificate of marriage. It recorded that their marriage took place on 3 October 1889.

JHG Marriage License

Marriage certificate for J.H. Graham and Matilda Bohannan. Note the date of marriage was 3 October 1889. Click image for a larger view.

John had the following name variations in source documents: “Graham, John” on the 1880, 1910, and 1940 census; “Graham, John H.” on the 1900, 1920, and 1930 census; “John Hen Graham” in the Arkansas Death Index; “John Henry Graham” in his obituary; and “John H. Graham” on his land patent and his grave marker. His marriage document reads “J.H. Graham” but it’s indexed at Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org as “J. F. Graham” because of the county clerk’s peculiar style of rendering an H.

Matilda had the following name variations in source documents: “Bohanan, Mary” on the 1880 census; “Matilda Bohannan” on her marriage document (See Signature Move for a detailed look at Matilda’s marriage document); “Graham, Mary M” on the 1900, 1920, and 1930 census; “Graham, Mary” on the 1910 census; “Graham, Tilda” on the 1940 census; “Mary Mat Graham” in the Arkansas Death Index; and “Mary M. Graham” on her grave marker. Her obituary headline called her “Mrs. Mary Bohannon” while the text of the obituary called her “Mary Matilda Bohannon Graham.”

Sources

A complete list of sources appears on Page 2.


Starting Anew Again

Off and on I’ve been researching my family history for several years.  Every few years I tend to start over again for some reason: lost interest, hard drive crash, and so on. And this time is no different!  The latest hard drive crash occurred a couple of months ago and took with it my largest attempt yet at a family tree, rife with source citations, pictures, and document scans. It was a pretty devastating loss.  But, it gives me this new opportunity to begin again.

Every time I start over, I learn something new about this process.  Some new step I should have taken, some new bit of information I overlooked before, some new web site to aid in my research.  And as I learn these things, I sometimes think about sharing them.  So, that’s what this blog will be about — the re-beginning of my research and how I connect the dots.

Who am I researching, and where and I researching them?

Primarily, I am researching the Graham family of Searcy County, Arkansas.  That’s where I’m re-starting, at least.

My Graham line in Arkansas seems to be somewhat of a dead-end, too.  Which leads to another reason why I’ve decided to write this blog about my research. I intend to trick other people into contributing by giving them information!  So, by writing about how much trouble I’m having with my Graham line, I hope someone out there will present a piece of information that will break the log jam.

Before I go further, I want to thank Larry D. Watts and Gail Feese* for the contributions they’ve made to my research. Thank you, cousins!

* Gail has asked that I not publish online any information that she has shared with me, and I have promised to honor her request.  Therefore, any information that appears on this blog will be only from publicly available sources.


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