Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Compiling Information from Three Sources for Dixon and Rebecca (Smith) Bartley

Below is the information I can put together for Dixon and Rebecca (Smith) Bartley based on the 1840-1880 census reports, the Golden Wedding article, and Dixon's will.

Census records suggest that Dixon's birth year was between 1808 and 1810. Dixon was "nearly 80" in July, 1888, which puts his birth after July 10, 1808. Without more information I don't believe I can come any closer than that.

Since Rebecca was 68 at the time of the anniversary, her birth year would have been before July 10, 1820. Census records suggest that she may have been born after June 2 (in the 1880 census she was 59) and before June 17 (in the 1860 census she was 40). The narrowing of month and day would only be accurate if the information on the census was accurate for the date of the census (as opposed to "census day").

The marriage date of July 10, 1838, comes directly from the anniversary article.

From the Census
Concerning their children, I find the following:
b. ~1839: Eliza H. or A.
b. ~1843: Thomas
b. ~1847: Keziah Jane/Jane Keziah
b. ~1849: George W.
b. ~1851: Gillmore/Edward G.
b. ~1853-55: Elvira
b. ~1855-56: Lavina/Levinah
b. 1858: Joseph
b. 1867: Arra Bell/Arrabell

The anniversary article tells that they had 7 living children on July 10, 1888, and 6 that had died. With that information I know that 4 children are missing from census records. Based on birth years, I can guess that the 4 missing children may have been born in any of these years and died before the next census year: ~1841, ~1845, and between 1860-1865.

From Dixon's will
Dixon's will gives further information for some of the children:

Eliza was named as Eliza Ann Shakely. I now know her married name but not her husband's first name.

Jane's son, "Edward Boyed," was named but not Jane. The will was written on February 10, 1900 and I have a death announcement for Jane saying that she died February 6, 1900.

Thomas was named in the will.

Alvira (Elvira) was named, as was her husband, Fred Gerner. They are not mentioned as husband and wife in the will but they are my 2nd great-grandparents.

Lavina Steel was named.

Sula Bartley was mentioned. In other research I've done, Ursula is the wife of George W. Bartley. Since she was mentioned and he was not, I assume that he was dead at the time of the will.

Gilmore Bartley heirs (Ross, Clara, and Edward Bartley) were named, so I assume that Gilmore was also dead.

Bell Steel (Arra Bell/Arrabell in the census) was mentioned.

Since there are two daughters with the married surname of Steel, Ace Steel (mentioned along with Fred Gerner) could be the husband of either one of them. Other Steels named were Rebecca and Dixson. They could be the son and daughter of either Bell or Lavina.

It has been an interesting exercise to compile information from these three sources. I've learned a lot about Rebecca and Dixon, though I'd like to find other documents to support what I've found. I still don't know who or anything about the 4 children who are not on the census records. I don't know the death dates of any of the children except Jane and my great-grandmother, Elvira. And I don't know the spouses of the other females, nor where Rebecca Steel and Dixson Steel belong.

Doesn't it always happen with genealogy: the source of every answer causes more questions?

If there are any more experienced genealogists who read this who have suggestions for further research, I'd be grateful for them.

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