Thursday, July 19, 2012

King Confusion

I thought I was on to something.

You might remember that we left the KING family in Arkansas. I had determined that the two Reeves girls were Laura's daughters. So, I set out to try to find a marriage record for Laura before she tied the knot with Albert KING.

I did.

I found a marriage record for Laura LINN and a C.B. REEVES. The marriage took place on March 26, 1889, in Jackson County. Esther REEVES was born in 1890. Ella followed in February 1892.

Now, here's where the discrepancies start piling up. In the 1900 census:
*The marriage year given for the KINGs is 1890. However, the Illinois Statewide Marriage Index lists it as 4 DEC 1898. Add to that, that in 1890, Laura was conceivably married to C. B. REEVES and still would bear one more child with him – in 1892. Not likely that she married Albert KING in the interim.
*Laura KING is listed as the mother of three children. One of those is Richard KING, born 4 APR 1894, and the other is Nathaniel KING, born 25 JAN 1900.

My theory, based on the two prior facts provided, is that Richard was Albert's son, but not Laura's. (In the 1910 census, Richard's mother is listed as Laura KING. Hmmm. Maybe that was an assumption or maybe that's just what they told the census-taker as she might well have been the only mother the boy knew. Or, maybe she actually WAS his mother.)

Helping to add to the confusion is that the REEVES girls managed to get counted twice in the 1900 census, once with their mother's family and once with their grandparents. (They appear as Elislie and Ella RUVIS in the KING count but by their correct names in the LYNN count.)

So … something is off somewhere. Either Richard was born in 1894 – and he is just Albert's natural son, or else the couple wasn't yet married when this son was born. OR … the marriage date is wrong in both the 1900 census AND in the Illinois Statewide index.

Yet another mystery to work through! But at least I finallyl know WHO the REEVES girls were.

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Fate of Another Martha

So we last found Martha J. GREGORY in the 1930 census …

This Martha appears to have been the youngest child of Ezra David (or David Ezra) GREGORY, son of Martha Catherine LYNN and Isaac GREGORY. Martha married George BUTCHER and it appears that this couple was quite busy: they had eight children!

On Dec. 17, 1957, a horrendous tornado blew through southern Illinois and several other states. About a dozen people were killed in Murphysboro. Martha (GREGORY) BUTCHER was among them. Because of the tragic circumstances, her death was part of national headlines. I found this information in the Tri City Herald:
"Four of the Murphysboro fatalities occurred in one family.  Mrs. Martha Butcher and three of her children were hurled from their home and tossed into a nearby field. All were killed."

Martha was only 30. In a different article, I found the children listed: Donald, 5, Mary Jane, 12, and Janet, 3. Wow. How incredibly sad.

George BUTCHER died in 2010. In addition to finding his obituary, I also found one for he and Martha's daughter, Glenna. Glenna, who was born in 1955, died in 2007. She was a few months shy of 3 when her mother and siblings were killed. (From what I have pieced together from obituaries, a brother and three sisters are still living from this line.)

Martha (GREGORY) BUTCHER was the first of her three siblings to die. Today, all three grandchildren of Martha (LYNN) GREGORY's listed in the 1930 census are gone. Billie (GREGORY) BRIMM died in 2009 at age 84 and Lorin GREGORY, the eldest, died earlier this year (in March); he was almost 90!