Friday, March 18, 2016

Friday Furnace Findings
Elbert Furnace 1855-1936

Researching a paternal great grandmother, Jane Furnace born about 1860, to discover her parentage and additional information about her life.

Elbert Furnace may be a brother to my great grandmother Jane Furnace. Both were in the same 1870 household but because relationships were not presented, I can only speculate on their relationship. Elbert could not read or write and was 15 years old.

Elbert does not appear in the 1880 census. In 1881, he married Emily Jane Wells in Copiah County, Mississippi. The marriage lasted almost twenty years but ended in divorce in 1899. Elbert claimed Jane deserted him in Jan 1899, taking all her furniture and other property she had in the home to move in the home of Charles Demorrow. Children were not named in the bill for a divorce. Elbert stated he was a good and faithful husband and did not understand why she deserted the marriage.

In 1900, Elbert was 45 years old, living in his household was 18 year old Henry Hall. The relationship was not defined. Elbert was a widower who had been married for 20 years. He was a farm laborer and renter who could not read or write.

Living alone in 1910, Elbert said he was divorced. He was 51 years old working as a servant.

Elbert was still alone in 1920, listed as a widower. He ended his widowhood and married Julia Hooker on Christmas eve in 1921. They were still together in 1930. He was listed as 60 years old and she was listed as 48. He should be about 75 years old and she should be about 62 years of age.

Elbert died 19 Apr 1936, of high blood pressure and heart problems, near Georgetown, Copiah County, MS. His death certificate listed his age as 80. His death record named his father Alex Furnace and did not name his mother.

Additional Sources
Elbert's Death Certificate MS1936-6680
Copiah County Chancery Court Case Number: 3179,
Microfilm Number: 8244
Records found at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History

12 comments:

  1. Filling in the story between the records, never knowing if you got it right. I can't help doing it though.

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    1. I would love to have a living relative to fill in the spaces, who knew them well. As time passes you realize that those who knew them well are now all gone. Hoping someone will come along with a diary or a box full of letters filling in the space between the records.

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  2. Another thing, it surprises me how many death certificates name only the father, the mother not remembered. Do you have your great grandmother's death certificate too?

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  3. Elbert is an exception but the men in my family married quickly after the death or desertion of a spouse. I suppose they needed help with the children and chores. More babies came, blending with the others and over time memories faded as to who the mother was. My family has good memories of the men but know very little about the women, and the records reflect that knowledge.

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  4. No, I don't have Jane's death record. She died about 1902, long before Mississippi required reporting of deaths.

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  5. Another mystery waiting for more details. So intriguing, I hope you can find more details. Too bad you can't track him through his employers and how sad that he couldn't read or write.

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    1. The more I learn, the more I want to learn about the ancestors and their lives.

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  6. It's frustrating when working on genealogy, and inconsistent information is given from one census to the next. At the same time it's fascinating to see how his age and marital status was listed in the different census records. It makes me wonder who provided the information in each time period, whether some census takers were more accurate than others, etc.

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    1. Cousins and I have discussed the widow marital status because we have seen it used incorrectly, used when the ex/spouse is alive. Was it better to be a widow than a divorcee in that time period? You never know how accurate the information is and I am sure there were enough errors on both the enumerator and the good folk answering the questions.

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    2. It is so VERY FRUSTRATING to be unable to prove or validate a biological relationship! You know there's a 99.9% probability, but can't be definitively sure.
      I've also noticed the frequency in which the father's information is known, but not the mother's. I've always chalked it up to the fact that it was a patriarchal society, and females didn't matter quite as much, hence, not as much attention was paid to them.

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  7. It is frustrating. I feel in my heart these are my Jane's people. I just want the documents to prove it...I agree with you. It was a man's world and where the emphasis was placed.

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