If you’ve been paying attention, then you’ve noticed that I’ve been working my way through the children of John and Mary Graham, my great grandparents.
By my reckoning, Evisa Jane Graham was the first child of John and Mary. She was born on 17 September 1890 in Searcy County, Arkansas, probably in Red River Township. Since she was born late in the year, odds are that she was not recorded on the 1890 census, since it was enumerated in June of that year. And at any rate, the 1890 census was destroyed in a fire in 1921.
She first showed up on the 1900 census at age nine, recorded as “Eliza J”, living with her parents on the farm in Red River Township, along with her three younger brothers, Jessie, William and John, and a young sister, Mary.
On the 1910 census she was recorded as “Visa”, age nineteen and single, still living on the same farm in Red River Township with her family, now consisting of her two parents and seven siblings.
The Arkansas County Marriages collection at FamilySearch has an entry for Posy Collins and his betrothed, one “Evisie Graham”. The entry lists the groom’s first and last name, his birth year of 1884, his age 28, his bride’s name, her birth year of 1890 and a marriage date of 25 September 1912. It also lists both the bride and groom as residents of Watts, Searcy County, Arkansas. The marriage was officiated by Justice of the Peace John C Heard.
On 11 March 1915, their son Coy Dell Collins was born.
On 28 April 1917, their daughter Nellie Viona Collins was born.
On 12 September 1918, Posey registered with the local draft board in Marshall, Arkansas. His draft card recorded the following details:
The back of the card recorded his physical description as medium height, medium build, brown eyes, and black hair.
Since the armistice with Germany was signed two months later, bringing an end to World War I, it is doubtful that Posey was ever actually drafted into military service.
The 1920 census recorded Posey, Evisa and their two children living on a farm in Mount Vernon Township of Searcy County.
Circa 1924, their second daughter Emma N Collins was born.
The 1930 census recorded the family renting a farm in East Fork Township, Faulkner County, Arkansas. Posey’s occupation was listed as farmer, and their son Coy, then 15, was listed as a farm laborer. Evisa and the girls had their occupations recorded as “none”.
On 27 April 1942, Posey once again registered with the local draft board, this time for the Second World War. His draft card recorded the following details:
Evisa’s name was initially written on the card as Posey’s employer, but then it was scratched out and replaced with “Farming for Self”. The back of the card recorded Posey’s physical description as 6 feet in height, 140 pounds, blue eyes, gray hair, and dark complexion.
In 1965, Evisa was issued her Social Security number.
Posey died on 4 February 1966 in the city of Conway, Faulkner County, Arkansas. He was buried at Crestlawn Memorial Park in Faulkner County.
Evisa died on 15 January 1968 in Conway, Faulkner County, Arkansas. She was buried beside her husband at Crestlawn Memorial Park.
There are several name variations for Evisa. She was recorded as “Eliza J Graham” (1900 census), “Visa Graham” (1910 census), “Evisie Graham” (marriage documents), “Evisa J Collins" (1920 census and the Social Security Death Index), “Visa J Collins” (1930 census original document image), “Vasa J Collins” (1930 census transcription at Ancestry), and “Mrs. Enissy Collins” in the obituary of her father, John Henry Graham. No document that I reviewed listed Evisa’s middle name, but I found it recorded as “Jane” in the Grimes Family Tree on Ancestry. In my tree I have recorded her as Evisa Jane Graham.
Posey had not only several name variations, but also a birth date variation. His name was recorded as “Posy Collins” (marriage documents), “Posy Alpain Collins” (WW1 draft card), “Posy A Collins” (1920 census), “Posey A Collins” (1930 census), “Posie Aplelean Collins” (WW2 draft card), and “Posey Appleton Collins” (Grimes Family Tree). His birth date was recorded as 10 November 1883 (WW2 draft card and Grimes Family Tree) and 18 November 1883 (WW1 draft card). In my tree I have recorded him as Posey A Collins with the earlier birth date.
Did Evisa and Posey have any more children? What is the definitive version of Posey’s first and middle names? Which birth date is correct for Posey? Where in Searcy County was Atlas?
Ancestry.com: United States Federal Census of 1900, 1910, 1920, and 1930; Social Security Death Index; World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917 – 1918; US World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942; Grimes Family Tree.
FamilySearch.org: Arkansas County Marriages, 1837 – 1957.
Marshall Republican: Obituary for John Henry Graham.