Sunday, December 1, 2013

Briggs/McRae Marraige - What will these clues reveal?

As I am reviewing the information I have so far I come across a note I've written that says "Rufus Briggs--uncle down the street". My grandfather told me his half brothers uncle's name was Rufus Briggs and he married a school teacher named Miss McKoy. I searched for and found their marriage record however the only information filled in was their witnesses. As I was browsing I found a marriage record for Joseph Briggs and Anna McRae. My heart skipped a beat when I saw one of the witnesses was J.E. Womack who is my great-grand father.
Sallie Briggs was my great grandfather's first wife. Martha McRae was my great grandfather's second wife. Since Sallie and James (sometimes Ed)last child together was born in 1907 I don't think Martha and James were married yet. Was James their in support of Joseph Briggs (possibly Sallie's brother) or Anna McRae (possibly Martha's sister)? I don't know what happened to Sallie Briggs and I've always presumed she died between 1907 (the year her last child was born) and 1910 (the first year Ed and Martha are listed as husband and wife on the census). Went back and took another look at the 1910 census and discovered Ed and Martha had been married for one year according to the information on the census. While I am curious about Sallie Briggs my focus is on Martha McRae. According to the information I have Martha was born in South Carolina. I don't know who her parents were or if she had any siblings. What will the information on the marriage certificate reveal? Is it possible Anna, Martha and Peter (another witness at the wedding)are siblings? I'm on a mission to find out!!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Alternate Spellings of Womack

Well what the heck is going on here?? I have been looking for death certificates for the Womack family for years. Always entering the search term "Womack" and clicking exact spelling. After talking with others I decided to use wild cards in my search terms and I'm glad I did. Hmmm ...this record matches what I'm looking for but this death certificate is for a Warmock. This record here matches what grandpa told me about his brother David but the name on the certificate is Daniel Warnack. My great aunt Bella was married to CC Miller when she died. I can't find Bella Miller anywhere....wait here is a certificate for a Bella Warmach AND the information matches what I'e been told! At this point I stopped focusing on ONE word and opened my mind to different possibilities and the information finally began to flow!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Well Why You Looking for Dead Folks?

When I first told my grandfather I was interested in doing my family tree he asked me why. I told him I want to know where our ancestors come from and what experiences they may have had in life. I want to reach out to long lost family members. He went on to say the only family members he had left were his baby sister and his three nieces. I knew that couldn't be true. Out of a family with nine children I knew there had to be someone else other than them and I intednded to find out who they were. When I showed him the first census image I found, he was impressed but then asked "Why you looking for dead folks?" This reaction was not uncommon to me. When I would talk about researching my family tree I was asked what is it you're looking for? Why you want to bring up the past? Even if you find your ancestors what will it do for you? One person even said to me "you might dig up something you don't want to know". Why is it so strange to people that I want to do my family tree? Why is it more people aren't interested in doing their family tree? I want to know all there is to know about my family whether it be good or bad and I will not let anyone dissuade me! Those dead folks were resilient, those dead folks have stories to be told, those dead folks helped shape who we became. Those dead folks are family!

Monday, September 30, 2013

The Womack Family According to Census Records

When I first started researching my Womack ancestors I had no idea what I was in for. My grandfather was a small child when his father passed away and he barely remembered him. Where would I start? How would I find out where my great-grandfather and his family came from? My first breakthrough came when I went to the Libray of Congress in Richmond. There I found my grandfather's family on the 1910 census and from that point I never stopped searching. Sometimes the search would become so overwhelming I would take a break but still I was determined to keep moving forward. And that determination has yielded results!

My great-grandparents, Ed and Martha Womack lived in Maxton, NC. Ed had six children from a previous marriage. There names and ages were Sarah(11), Esther (9), Bella (8), Robert (7), Joe (5) and James (3). Valley (4 mths) was their first child together. Their other children Bula, James and Conway were born after 1910 census. My great-grandfather passed away in 1921. On the 1930 census my great-grandmother is listed as head of house with Bula, Conway, Lena and Katie. Lena was born after my great-grandfather's death and Katie is Valley's daughter. On the 1940 census Martha is again listed as head of house with Conway and Lena.

With this information my family tree was beginning to come together. I now had the names and approximate ages of my ancestors and began to search other records to give me a clearer picture of my ancestors.