Genealogy Wise

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Hi all-

I am helping a fellow researcher locate a marriage record for Eli Shepherd Day(1857-1920)(could be Elisha, Elihu, Elijah, and is Elie on his death record) and Barbara Ellen Boyer(1864-1940).

There is an IGI record for a Eli Shep Day marrying a Barbara Ellen Boyer in Mill Spring, Wayne County, Missouri, in 1880, giving Barbara's age as 15, Eli as 23. But to me it looks like an estimate of where Barbara was at the time and their known ages at the time?

Their first son(that we know of) was Clarence born in August 1882, in Missouri.

It appears that Barbara's father Alexander Boyer owned land in both Wayne and Carter County., according to land records found on Ancestry. I'm wondering these acres were given in return for military service perhaps in the Mexican War?

We have located Barbara's sisters marriages, one was married in 1877, the other in 1882 in Carter County. We find Barbara and her mother(Susan/ Susannah) and siblings living in Wayne County in 1880 and also find them in Carter County in 1880.

We cannot find Eli and his family in 1870 or 1880, so we don't know where he was. We believe we find him as the son of James H and Denica Day in Missouri in 1860, and on the 1860 and all the other census records, Eli is listed as born in Illinois. On his death record his birth place is listed as what appears to be Saintralia(perhaps Centralia?)

We find Barbara and Eli together on the 1900, 1910 and 1920 census.In 1900 they are in Mill Spring, Wayne, MO they had been married 19 years acording to the census. In 1910 and 1920 they are in Crystal, Jefferson County, MO. We have their death records, and we have a photo of their tombstone.

So what I'm trying to figure out is where would Eli and Barbara marry? Would they have married in Carter or Wayne counties in MO, or would there be a reason they would go to Illinois and marry instead. Its possible that the marriage record was too faint to transcribe?

I have checked and rechecked the Missouri marriage records on Ancestry, I have tried many spellings, used just Eli and Barbara, Day and Boyer.

Any ideas?
If anyone would like to see the documents we have I will post them, the lady I am helping is trying to complete her research for her mother, and for a Family reunion in September, so any assistance is deeply appreciated.

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Replies to This Discussion


I am not familiar with the names you have for the Day/Boyer marriage. But, I find when I can't find something online that the genealogy library near me normally has the records. My suggestion is go to the library and look there. I often go to heritagequest through my local library and look for what books are available in a certain area. Then, when I go to the genealogy library, I know what books to look for.

Sorry I couldn't be of more help. But, it sounds as though you have covered most of the online databases. The only other online I can think of would be to check the genforum and message boards to see if someone else has found something, and to check the U. S. Genweb for Missouri and Illinois as well as the AHGP county and state sites.

Hope you find what you are looking for.

Hi Cheryl-
Thank you-
I'm having her write to the Carter and Wayne Libraries, and suggested the possibility of an Illinois marriage, it may be simply that the record was too faded to come up on a search on Ancestry, I saw quite a few that I couldn't read. I think because two of her sisters married close to the same time as Barbara made us think that her marriage was probably in Carter County. :)

thank you for the response and advice-
As I get further in the research I have found that the Wayne County Court House burned twice, once in 1853/54 and another in 1892, thus probably destroying a marriage record for Eli and Barbara of they married in Mill Spring, Wayne County, MO. I believe their children were born in Leeper which is not far from Mill Spring.

Has anyone found another source for Wayne County marriage records for the 1880-1882 time period?

thank you!
Hi Kate,

With marriage records before 1892 for Wayne County apparently burned, I would start with obituaries for both Eli and Barbara. Have you obtained those? Either or both may list when and where they married. Since he died in 1920 in Jefferson County, you could quickly check to see if there is an obituary in the Jefferson Democrat for him. If one is not listed there, there are other Jefferson County newspapers that could be searched.

If obituaries do not give a date, then you could start with the 1900 census of how long they stated they were married, locate newspapers in the area of Wayne County in which they lived, and search those over a period on each side of their approximate marriage.

Another possibility is to contact funeral homes in the area where they died (one is listed on his death certificate) and see if they have marriage information. Different funeral homes collected different information at various times.
Thank you, Rick-
We do have Eli's obituary, it doesn't indicate a date of marriage. On the 1900 census, they had been married for 19 years. So the assumption is 1880-81, and before Clarence was born in 1882, but on the 1900 census Barbara had 8 children and only 5 were living, we don't know if there were children before Clarence.

I have found marriage records for Eli's siblings and they all married in Carter County, but for some reason it seems probable that Eli and Barbara married in Wayne.

I will definitely have her check into the funeral home and see if there are records-

Thank you for the suggestions!



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