I have previously posted here on my difficulty locating information on my Great Grandmother, Martha Jane Walker. I did not know her birthdate, other than 3 December, and had censuses telling me she was born in three different years in three different states! I knew who she married (Andrew Baker Simpson, on 10 October 1874, place still unknown), and where she is buried (Tucumcari, Quay Co NM). And my grandmother's notes said her grandfather was named James Walker. Well, Gramma was wrong, thank goodness!
On Facebook, I saw that Tucumcari Historical Museum has a page, so I immediately Liked it. Then I wrote a nice little note, asking if they do look-ups? Well, one person there certainly does! She has been sending me goodies, and from those, I am learning all kinds of stuff. I also have a couple of new step-cousins to chat with!
And I now have a DC for my great grandmother! No wonder NM could not locate it - she died in CO. And her tombstone is off by a day, as Martha J. SImpson died on the 15th rather than the 14th of July, 1927. And she was born 3 December 1853 in IL. Her parents' names are given as L.B. and Sally Walker.
So, I look for L. B. and Sally Walker, and find them in the 1880 census in Barton Co MO -which is precisely where Martha Jane's husband grew up. And I found the names of three siblings, so started chasing them around. The boys were easy, the girls, not so much.
I found Lawrence Walker's DC in the MO Archives. Says his parents were Elizabeth and Sallie Walker. What? That Elizabeth must be a typo, right?
I found James Henry Walker's DC. Says his father was Elizabeth, his mother Unknown. So, I am wondering, just who lost a bet to whom? I guess if I were a guy named Elizabeth, I would go by L.B., too.
I may have found Elizabeth "L.B." Walker's parents, a Lawrence and Nancy Walker in Assumption, Christian Co IL.
The whole point? Make a friend in Gramma's (or Whomever's) hometown, ask politely, thank profusely, and follow-up on the clues that come flooding in. Pardon me, I am off to chase I great aunt I knew next-to-nothing about until I got her Obituary yesterday!
Please elaborate on the comment "And my grandmother's notes said her grandfather was named James Walker. Well, Gramma was wrong, thank goodness!"
Hi, David! Are you my cousin? I am chasing Williams ancestry, too.
In about 1984, my Cousin Christi was preparing to take a trip to Tucumcari, Quay Co NM. She asked our grandmother what would be of interest to her - what photos she might like, etc. Among Gramma's requests were photos of the gravemarkers of various family members. And she asked for a photo of her grandfather's marker - and gave the name James Walker. It could be that Gramma's memory was faulty by then - it had been about sixty years since she had been to Tucumcari.
There is a James Walker buried in Tucumcari Memorial Park, but he was not Martha Jane's father. In researching that name, it became obvious to me that most any county in the country has records on a thousand guys named James Walker. I am relieved not to need to sort through all those in search of my second great grandfather..
Actually, I have managed to research "a" James Henry Walker, who was my grandmother's uncle. But I did just fine on him, thanks to Missouri Archives. And he is buried in Vernon Co MO, just a few miles from Barton Co MO, where I found him in the 1880 census. It is possible my grandmother had met him a time or two, since I have learned of several trips she made as a girl/teenager to visit relatives in Missouri. I do not know if "Uncle James" ever visited in Tucumcari, but I plan to find out!
I do have other Walker ancestry, on my Pa's side of the tree. I figure I am going to get Ma and Pa related to each other, yet!
I know exactly what you mean...
I have been stuck on my Walker line for some time at my 4g grandfather James Miller Walker of Augusta Co. VA b. ~1801 d. ~1842 m. Rebecca Kemper Whitesel on 23 March 1831. But it still isn't as bad as say searching for a David Williams... Last census there were over 60k in the US.
There are some interesting family stories about why those of us who look may not find what we seek. I have some ideas and theories but no documentation so far.
David Williams, you have my sympathies, on both accounts! Have you done the yDNA-thing to help narrow things down? Of course, Williams being the third most common name in North America, it does not narrow it down much! I did the mtDNA-thing myself, and it sort of looks like I can expect to find Williams in that lineage, too. And my Hubby has his share...
Then, too, I am sorting out Davids Walker, all of whom seemed to have married Mary...
If you would care to discuss Walker and Williams with me, feel free to write firstname.lastname@example.org
Great to hear about your wonderful results. Also, you're so right about "making friends" in hometowns; friends can be soo helpful;)
Oh, that great aunt's obituary led to the clue to find a great uncle's grave. Good case of a clue-within-a-clue!