There were 3 brothers who came to America. That is almost as common as one of my ancestors was an Indian Princess. But I really do have a story of 3 brothers. The family tradition is that they were orphaned as teenagers. They were suppose to have some sisters, but no one knows their names or what happened to them. All of the children were spread out among the family to be raised.
The three boys were John William, James Thomas, and J. M. (Jeptha or Jeremiah) Evans. I've done extensive research on all three boys but hadn't come up with any information before 1880. John William was living with Jasper Flynn on the 1880 census in Tallahatchie County, MS. He was only a few houses down from Mary Josephine Isabella Sumner who he married a few years later. One of the other boys married Janie Flynn.
The third reference to the Flynn family came when I found three boys named, John, James, and Jerry who were the right ages living with Eliza Flynn on the 1860 census in Adams County, MS. Even though their last name is listed as Flynn instead of Evans, it is obvious that it is a blended family because there are two children named John and two named Mary. If this is the correct family, then it must mean that one of the Marys is their sister.
I've ordered microfilm from Adams County but didn't find anything conclusive. There was no probate record or orphan records which named the boys. Recently I found a notice from the St. Mary's Cathedral Church which mentions a Robert Evans who died just months before the census record. My next goal is to search the christening records at the church to see if I can identify the three boys and their parents.
Friday, December 2, 2011
Saturday, November 26, 2011
Last Tuesday, I was one of three members of a panel discussing "Finding Who You Are". It was suppose to be a little like the show "Who do you think you are?" in that we were to highlight an interesting ancestor and how we found them or something about their life. I chose Cassie McCarley, John William Evans, and John Golightley. I worked diligently on a Prezi presentation which had copies of documents, how I found the information, and in one case what I am going to do to finish solving the puzzle.
The first, Cassie McCarley, was a daughter of my Great Grandparents who died when she was 3 years old. I became interested in her when my Grandmother told me that they didn't know why she died but that she had been playing in the yard. She ran into the house to tell her Mother that there were Angels playing in the trees. Cassie became ill that evening and died. I wanted to prove that Cassie did exist and find out as much about her as I could. I found her on the 1900 Census as a 1 year old, but for years afterwards I found nothing else. Eventually I found an affidavit of birth for her in the McCarley / McDuffie Chickasaw Indian file. It said at that time that they were living in Ryan, Indian Territory which matched the census record. I searched for a death record, newspaper obit, and cemetery record, but found nothing. I was resigned to not finding anything else about Cassie.
Tuesday morning before my program that evening, I received an email from the digitalization and archives mailing list of the Library of Congress. The email was announcing an update of a newspaper project. In learning how to use the database, I searched for the surname McCarley in Oklahoma. A newspaper article popped up, which I quickly added to my program for that evening.