Tag Archives: Rixey Ann Watson

1917 Draft Card of John Alexander Bohannon

Today, I added to my collection the draft registration card of John Alexander Bohannon, the only son of Patrick Bohannon and Rixey Watson. I’d previously written about Alex’s parents in The Many Wives of Patrick, Part One.

Card Front

Alex Bohannon Draft Front

Draft card front. Click on the image for a larger view.

Block 1 gave his name as Alex Bohannon. This is consistent with previous records: the 1900 census recorded his name as “Bohanon, John A.”; the 1910 census recorded “Bohannon, Alek.” He apparently preferred to go by his middle name as he got older.

Block 2 gave his home address as Watts, Arkansas. This is consistent with the 1910 census which recorded Alex living in Red River Township, where Watts is located.

Block 3 recorded 10 March 1895 as Alex’s birthdate, matching the 1900 census.

Block 5 gave Alex’s place of birth as Marshall, Arkansas. I’m not certain if this is accurate. The Bohannons were rural farmers and according to the census did not reside in the city of Marshall. The 1900 census noted their farm in Sulphur Springs, a former township that is now part of the modern Mount Pleasant Township, southwest of Marshall. Marshall itself is located in the modern Spring Township, but historically was in Bear Creek Township. Births were typically handled by midwives in Searcy County in the late 19th Century, so Alex was likely born on the Bohannon farm in Sulphur Springs Township. I suspect Marshall was given as Alex’s place of birth due to it being the county seat.

Blocks 7 and 8 recorded that Alex was employed as a farmer by “Jno Harrel.” That was probably John Harrell, the son of Elisha Harrell and Nancy Minerva Bohannan. Nancy was an older sister of Patrick Bohannon, thus Alex’s aunt, making John Harrell a first cousin to Alex.

The signature appears as “Alex Bohanan,” a different spelling than what was entered in Block 1. The “X” and the phrase “his mark” written around the signature block suggests that the registration card was filled out by the draft registrar, the Reverend Lewis Caddie Tilley, and not by Alex himself. It was a common practice for officials to complete forms for the illiterate and have them sign with an “X.” The 1910 census recorded that Alex, then 15, could not read or write and had not attended school.

Alex Bohannon Draft RearCard Back

The back of the card recorded a brief physical description of Alex: short, stout, blue eyes, black hair and balding (at age 22). It also included the registrar’s signature and the date 5 June 1917.

Graham Connection

Alex was the stepson of Mary Frances “Mollie” Graham, Patrick Bohannon’s third wife.


Ancestry.com. World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. Name: Alex Bohannon; Registration State: Arkansas; Registration County: Searcy; Roll: 1530578. Retrieved 13 July 2013.

Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census. Census Place: Sulphur Springs, Searcy, Arkansas; Roll: 76; Page: 13A; Enumeration District: 0123; FHL microfilm: 1240076. Retrieved 13 July 2013.

Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census. Census Place: Red River, Searcy, Arkansas; Roll: T624_64; Page: 14A; Enumeration District: 0111; FHL microfilm: 1374077. Retrieved 13 July 2013.

Find A Grave. Nancy Minerva Ann Bohannan Harrell; Memorial No. 37316818. Retrieved 13 July 2013.

Find A Grave. John Alexander Harrell; Memorial No. 41489940. Retrieved 13 July 2013.

Find A Grave. Rev Lewis Caddie Tilley; Memorial No. 70789852. Retrieved 13 July 2013.


The Many Wives of Patrick, Part 3: Mary Frances Graham

It was late January 1903, and Patrick Bohannon had just buried his second wife Mary Frances Wilbanks, whom he called “Fannie” with affection.  Patrick soon found solace with Mrs Mary Frances King, née Graham, a young widow who had lost her husband and two sons in the Indian Territory a couple of years earlier.  The fact that Mary King shared the same first and middle names as Patrick’s second wife may have helped blossom this relationship.  She even had a similar nickname, “Mollie”.

Patrick Mollie Marriage DetailOn 2 September 1903, seven months after Fannie’s death, Patrick paid a $100 bond for a marriage license, with A. Bohannon signed as surety.  On the marriage license, Patrick was listed as “P. L. Bohanon” of Bear Creek, age 35, and Mollie was “Mrs Mary F King” of Watts, age 23.  Justice of the Peace F. M. Hardin conducted the marriage ceremony on 3 September 1903, and the documents were filed by county clerk J. W. Smith.


The census of 1910 was the first to show the family of Patrick and Mollie.  There is a wealth of information contained on the census form that confirms the data in this article, but there are also some things that aren’t there. I will explain both, with pictures!

Patrick and Mollie were apparently living on the farm of Mollie’s parents Jesse and Sarah Graham in Red River Township. By 1910, Jesse had passed away and all of Mollie’s siblings had moved on to start families of their own or had themselves died. Only Mollie and her mother Sarah remained on the farm, and then Patrick and his family moved in when he married Mollie, I speculate.

1910 Patrick Bohannon Census Detail

Patrick M3Look at the far right of the line for Patrick.  The M3 indicated that this was his third marriage – his previous marriages had been to Rixey Watson and Fannie Wilbanks.  The 7 indicated that this marriage to Mollie had lasted for seven years by this point, which is consistent with their 1903 marriage license.

Mollie M2Similarly, the M2 on Mollie’s line indicated that this was her second marriage, her first having been to Otha Allen King.  The 7 refers to the span of her current marriage to Patrick.  The next block is “Mother of how many children.”  The 5 was the total number of children born to Mollie, and the 3 was the number still living in 1910.  The two children that died were her sons with Otha, Jessie King and Edgar King.  The other three children were the result of her marriage to Patrick.

Patrick had three children with his first wife, Rixey.  One of those, Sarah M Bohannon, is not listed with this family on this census. She would’ve been 23 in 1910, so she may have married. But I have yet to learn where she was this year.

Patrick and Rixey’s other two children were present: Sylvannia and John Alexander (here listed as Alek).

Rixey's Children

Patrick and his second wife Fannie had two children together, Loye and Pearl, and both were present.

Fannie's Children

The other three children listed are the offspring of Patrick and Mollie. We know this because the number of children still living recorded on Mollie’s line was three, but also, because all of their ages were less than the span of this marriage, seven years.  Patrick and Mollie’s children all had names that rhymed – Hester, Chester and Lester – a touch of whimsy in lives that had seen so much tragedy.

Mollie's Children

Finally, Mollie’s widowed mother Sarah Graham was living with the family. (Or was she staying with Mollie’s sister Minnie? See The Tale of Two Sarahs.)

Mollie's Mama

Patrick and the boys, Alek and Loy, had their occupation listed as farmers. The two ladies and the rest of the children had “none” for their occupations.

About nine months after the 1910 census, Mollie gave birth to another son, Virgil Cornelius Bohannon, on 5 February 1911.  They didn’t rhyme his name to the others.

On 22 September 1912, Sylvannia Bohannon married James Madison Watts, the son of Siler and Eliza Ann Watts. Eliza was Mollie’s sister, which made James her nephew. Since Sylvannia was Patrick’s daughter from his first wife, there was no direct blood tie between Sylvannia and James. (He was her “first-cousin-in-law.”)


The 1920 census showed only Patrick, Mollie and their four children living on the farm in Red River.  All of Patrick’s children from his previous two marriages had moved on, and Mollie’s mother Sarah Graham was by then living with Eliza Ann Watts.

Patrick Mollie 1920


The 1930 census also showed Patrick, Mollie and the four children, all single, still on the farm in Red River.  Mollie’s sister Minnie, the widow of Ezekiel Henry Melton, was also living with them.

Patrick Mollie 1930

Patrick Bohannon died on 11 July 1936 at the age of 69.  He was interred at Bear Creek Cemetery in Searcy County, Arkansas, where his first two wives were buried.


The 1940 census for Red River Township recorded the widow Mollie Bohannon as the head of the household, with her son “Neal” Bohannon and daughter Hester. Mollie’s age was given as 61, which is consistent with her recorded birth year of 1879. Neal’s age was given as 30, which is off by a year from his birth in 1911. Hester’s age was given as 26. Note her age on the 1930 image above was 25 – apparently she aged only one year between 1930 and 1940!

1940 Mollie Bohannon

The value of the farm was recorded at $600. The highest grade of school completed for both Mollie and Hester was fourth, while Neal had completed up to grade six. Mollie and Hester had no occupation listed, while Neal’s was given as “farmer.” Both children were single.

DSCN2324Mary “Mollie” Frances Bohannon, née Graham died on 27 July 1944 at the age of 65.  She was interred at Shady Grove Cemetery in Searcy County, Arkansas. Note that she was not interred at Bear Creek Cemetery with Patrick, but at Shady Grove where most of her Graham relations were buried.


Patrick was “P. L. Bohanon” on the marriage documents; “Bohannon, Patrick” on the 1910 census; “Bohannon, Patrick L.” on the 1920; “Bohanon, Patrick L.” on the 1930; and “Patrick L. Bohannon” on his grave marker. Since “Bohannon” appears to be the most common spelling of his surname, that is how I have spelled it in my family tree.

Mollie was “Mrs Mary F King” on the marriage documents; “Bohannon, Mollie” on the 1910 census; “Bohannon, Mary F.” on the 1920; “Bohanon, Mary F.” on the 1930; “Bohannon, Mollie” on the 1940; and “Mollie (Graham) Bohannon” on her grave marker.


Who was the A. Bohannon who signed as surety on Patrick and Mollie’s marriage bond?

Where was Sarah M Bohannon in 1910?


Ancestry.comUnited States Federal Census for 1900, 1910, 1920 and 1930;  John Oliver Sr and Descendants by dbwilliamson; Haynes Family by GaryHaynes777;  Rea Mays Family Tree by Kim Mays;  OneWorldTree;  Arkansas Death Index, 1914 – 1950.

FamilySearch.orgArkansas County Marriages, 1837 – 1957.

Find A GraveMemorial for Mollie Graham Bohannon; Memorial for Patrick L Bohannon.

National Archives: Sixteenth Census of the United States: 1940, for Red River Township, Searcy County, Arkansas, Enumeration District 65-13, Sheet 1 B,  enumerated on 13-14 May 1940 by Ella Parks. Retrieved from 1940census.archives.gov on 3 April 2012.

RootsWebLeming by WMunroe Munroe;  James G. and Jesse King of NC & TN and Allied Families by Susan E. Young.

Grave marker of Mollie (Graham) Bohannon photographed by Ashli B. Graham on Saturday, 4 June 2011 at Shady Grove Cemetery, Searcy County, Arkansas. Photograph © Ashli B. Graham.

The Many Wives of Patrick, Part 2: Mary Frances Wilbanks

Two years and three-quarters after the death of his first wife Rixey Ann, Patrick L. Bohannon would marry again.  His bride-to-be was Mary Frances “Fannie” Wilbanks, born circa April 1880 in Tennessee to parents Edgar D. Wilbanks and Nancy Jane White.


Patrick Bohannan Second Marriage DetailOn 29 July 1898, Patrick paid a $100 bond for a marriage license, with J. A. Wilbanks (probably Fannie’s younger brother James) signing as security.  Patrick’s residence was listed as Bear Creek, his age 31. Fannie’s residence was also Bear Creek, her age 18. On 30 July 1898, Justice of the Peace F. H. Baskin did solemnize the rite and publish the Banns of Matrimony.

On 6 April 1899, Patrick and Fannie rejoiced in the birth of their son Loye H. Bohannon.


The 1900 census is a critical document for this marriage.  For those that read the data on the original document, it will clarify birth dates and the parentage of all of the children listed.  Alas, I have seen so many family trees on the Internet that have wrongly recorded this family that I am going to take this step by step.  With pictures.

Patrick and Fannie were living on a farm in Sulphur Springs Township, Searcy County, Arkansas with Patrick’s three children from his previous marriage and his one year old son Loye from Fannie.

Patrick 1900 Census Detail

Patrick 1900 Marriage CountThe census recorded that Patrick and Fannie had been married for two years. This is consistent with the marriage record above. But it looks like the enumerator was confused over how long Patrick had been married.  On Patrick’s line, 1, 3 and 4 were all entered in the field for “Number of Years Married” before being stricken out and the correct 2 written. (It had been about four years since the death of his first wife, which may have attributed to the 4 being entered.)

Sarah, Sylvannia, and John were all the children of Patrick’s first wife, Rixey Ann. How do we know this with certainty? Look at the children’s ages – they were all older than the span of time that Patrick and Fannie had been married.

Fannie 1900 Number of BirthsNow look at the far right of Fannie’s line. Those last two boxes containing the numbers one indicate “Mother of how many children” and “Number of these children living.”  Fannie’s one child in 1900 was Loye.  The other three are her step-children.

Bohannon Children 1900 Parent's BirthplaceAdditionally, the birth place for Sarah, Sylvannia and John’s mother was listed as Georgia.  Though the 1870 census indicated that Rixey was born in Tennessee, her family was from Georgia.  Loye’s mother’s birthplace is listed as Alabama, where Fannie’s family was from.  The left column containing “Ark” is Patrick’s birthplace.

The census further indicated that Sarah and Sylvannia had attended school for three months, could neither read nor write, but could speak English. Curiously, Sarah’s occupation was recorded as “servant”.

Sarah Bohannon 1900 Servant

Pearl Bohannon, a daughter and the second child of Patrick and Fannie, was born on 25 January 1901.

Mary Frances “Fannie” Bohannon, née Wilbanks, died on 20 January 1903 at the age of 24.  She was interred at Bear Creek Cemetery in Searcy County, Arkansas.  Her grave marker says “Mother of Pearl & Loye”, her only biological children.

Patrick would eventually remarry… again.


The family name was spelled “Bohanon” on the 1900 census.  Patrick was “P. L. Bohanan” on the marriage document, and Fannie was “M. F. Wilbanks”.

There is a discrepancy with Fannie’s birthdate. The 1880 census for Wayne County, Tennessee, enumerated on 1 June 1880, recorded her age at two months old, which would put her birth around March/April 1880. The 1900 census gave her birthdate as November 1878. Her marriage record indicated that Fannie was 18 at the time of her marriage on 30 July 1898, which is consistent with the 1880 birthdate. Also, her two grave markers pictured at Find A Grave reflect an 1880 birth year.

Loye H. Bohannon’s birth date was given as April 1899 on the 1900 census.  His grave marker fixed it as 6 April 1900.  The grave marker must be wrong, because the census, enumerated on 18 June 1900, gives Loye’s age as one.  If he were born in April 1900, he would’ve been only two months old at the time of the census.  Thus, he must have been born in April 1899.  Furthermore, the Social Security Death Index listed 6 April 1899 as his birth date.

Loye 1900 Enumeration Date


To get to Patrick’s connection to the Grahams, we must first make a detour to discuss a King and his ladies.


Ancestry.com, 1880 United States Federal Census, Database online. Year: 1880; Census Place: District 9, Wayne, Tennessee; Roll: 1284; Family History Film: 1255284; Page: 82A; Enumeration District: 169.

Ancestry.com, 1900 United States Federal Census, Database online. Year: 1900; Census Place: Sulphur Springs, Searcy, Arkansas; Roll: T623_76; Page: 13A; Enumeration District: 123.

Ancestry.com, Social Security Death Index, Database online. Name: Loye H. Bohannon; Issue State: Arkansas; Issue Date: Before 1951.

"Arkansas, County Marriages, 1837-1957," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/N99B-FN5 : accessed 10 June 2012), P L Bohanon, 1898.

Find A Grave, "Mary Francis ‘Fannie’ Wilbanks Bohannon". Memorial: 14316732; Created by: OkieBran.

Find A Grave, "Loye H Bohannon". Memorial: 44999553; Created By: Kim Mays.

Find A Grave, "Leona Pearl Bohannon Jones". Memorial: 25941138; Created By: Nancy Weaver.

The Many Wives of Patrick, Part 1: Rixey Ann Watson

On 8 June 1861, voters in Tennessee approved a referendum to secede from the United States of America to join the Confederacy, the last state to do so.

Upon the end of the Civil War, Tennessee was the first of the seceding states to have its elected members re-admitted to the United States Congress, on 24 July 1866.

In the Reconstruction Era that followed, John and Sarah Watson moved their family from Georgia to Polk County, Tennessee.

The 1870 census recorded that John and Sarah lived on a farm in the Fifth Civil District of Polk County.  They had seven children on the farm with them, as follows:

  • Arbizensy Watson, female, born circa 1854 in Georgia
  • Lucious Watson, male, born circa 1857 in Georgia
  • William H Watson, male, born circa 1859 in Georgia
  • Laura J Watson, female, born circa 1861 in Georgia
  • Elizabeth Watson, female, born circa 1863 in Georgia
  • Minerva (“Manurvy” on the census) Watson, female, born circa 1866 in Georgia
  • Rixey Ann Watson, female, born 7 March 1869 in Tennessee.

Lucious and William worked the farm with their father. Arbizensy had her occupation listed as “at home”, while the rest of the girls had none recorded. Arbizensy, Lucious and William had all attended school within the previous year, but none of the children could read or write.

By 1872, the family had moved to Arkansas, where son John Watson was born that year.

Another daughter, Florance Watson, was born circa 1877 in Arkansas.

The 1880 census recorded the family living on a farm in Archey Valley Township, Van Buren County, Arkansas.  Arbizensy had moved out, but John and Sarah still had the rest of the children with them.  It was recorded that Sarah and the children could neither read nor write, but that Laura and Rixey had attended school within the census year.

Patrick Bohannan First Marriage DetailBy 1886, sixteen years old Rixey Watson was involved with a nineteen years old man named Patrick Lyons Bohannon of Bear Creek Township in Searcy County, which bordered Van Buren to the north.  On 12 “Febry” 1886, Patrick paid a one hundred dollar bond for a marriage license, with C. B. Cotton signing as security.  Since C. B. Cotton was also a Justice of the Peace, he performed the marriage ceremony for Patrick and Rixey on 18 February 1886.  The marriage record was filed by M. Dampf, county clerk.

Circa 1887, Patrick and Rixey had their first child, a daughter named Sarah M Bohannon.

Unfortunately, there is no data from the 1890 census as it was destroyed in a fire in 1921.

On 31 December 1893, their daughter Sylvannia Bohannon was born.

Circa 1895, their son John Alexander Bohannon was born.

Rixey Ann Bohannon, née Watson, died on 17 October 1895 at the age of 26.  She was interred at Bear Creek Cemetery in Searcy County, Arkansas.

Patrick would eventually remarry.

Name Variations

Rixey’s name variations include:  “Rixey Watson” on the 1870 census;  “Rixy A Watson” on the 1880 census; “Rixey A Watson” on the marriage documents;  “Roxann Rixey Watson Bohannon” at Find A Grave.  Member trees on Ancestry have her listed variously as “Rixey Ann Watson”, “Roxanne Watson”, and “Roxy Watson”.  Since her middle initial was given as “A” on at least two sources, I suspect that the “Roxann” on her grave marker may be a conflation of “Rixey Ann”, so I have recorded her as Rixey Ann Watson in my own family tree.

Patrick was listed as “P.L. Bohannan” on the marriage documents. I took the middle name “Lyons” from various member trees on Ancestry, but I admit that I do not have a hard source for it.


I thought this was Graham Ancestry! What has this got to do with the Grahams?

Well, there is an indirect connection here.  Patrick and Rixey’s daughter Sylvannia Bohannon would marry James Madison Watts in 1912.  James was the son of James Newton Siler Watts and Eliza Ann Graham.

But there is a direct connection you’ll have to wait to see.


Ancestry.com:  United States Federal Census of 1870, 1880, and 1910;  California Death Index, 1940 – 1997 (for Sylvannia);  Social Security Death Index (for Sylvannia).

FamilySearch.org:  Arkansas County Marriages, 1837 – 1957.

Find A Grave:  Memorial for Roxann Rixey (Watson) Bohannon.

Wikipedia: Tennessee.

%d bloggers like this: