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Tombstone Tuesday: John Elam Whitehead, a case study for finding elusive ancestors (On a Wing and a Hunch)It’s been awhile since I posted an article. I’ve been busy with other projects — writing and research. From my latest ancestry research project I’d like to share a case study for finding elusive ancestors. If you’re searching for some of those, perhaps it will encourage you to keep digging. When I begin a research project I never know what I’ll find (don’t we all know that!) My client had begun her search awhile back and recently received her Ancestry DNA results, yet still didn’t know a whole lot about her family history. In her possession are two books representing significant research published several years ago on two lines: Belshe and Minear. Those types of books can certainly be helpful, but if you don’t understand how to interpret the research what good are they. Still, once I found the names of the ancestors I knew were part of her line, it rolled out quickly. That was great to get a line or two started and begin exploring more in-depth research (and verification), but there were still many mysteries to be solved. One in particular was my client’s great grandfather John Elam Whitehead, a Methodist Episcopal minister. John Elam Whitehead: Who Were His Parents? I like to start out with census records, particularly for anyone born in 1835 and after because they usually begin to show up with their parents in the 1850 census. I had an approximate date for John’s birth (around 1852) and soon found his grave stone at Find-A-Grave. The inscription only contained birth year and death year (1852-1937). Of course, I first began searching, not only... read more
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- My client’s mother related a story about Ida Virginia (her Papa’s mother) which occurred when she and John lived in Siloam Springs, Arkansas: One night Jennie stated, “I’m going out after dinner and no one is to ask me where I’m going or in the morning ask where I was.” The next day it was reported several women had arrived at a bar the night before and broken all the bottles of alcohol. Of course, that sounds like something America’s most famous temperance warrior, Carrie Nation, would have done. Carrie had a home in Siloam Springs and in 1903 changed her name (along with trademark protection) to one she felt more apropos to her crusade: Carry A. Nation.)
- The Columbus Weekly Advocate, 24 Feb 1887, p. 4.
- Burlington Republican, 12 Jun 1896, p. 5.
- The Girard Press, 10 May 1894, p. 3.
- The Pittsburg Daily Headlight, 10 Apr 1895, p. 3.
- US Patent No. 567,057