Friday, February 5, 2016

Mary and Martha Furnace
Friday Furnace Findings

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

Following sisters Mary and Martha Furnace, who were in the 1870 household of Alexander Furnace, has proved to be difficult. The sisters may be sisters to my great grandmother Jane Furnace.

Between the 1870 and 1880 census Martha had five children: Mariah b. 1868; Alexander (Ellic) b. 1870; Henry b. 1873: Amy b. 1876; and Hart T W b. 1879. They all used the Furnace surname in both census. The father of the children was not in the household and his birthplace was reported as Virginia for all the children in 1880.

A death record for R T Kennard named his parents as Edmond Kennard and Martha Furnace. He was born 1888, in Copiah County, died in Kentwood, Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana in 1938.

Edmund Kennard was born about 1814. He lived in the same community with the Furnace family. He was a married man with children. He was followed through the 1900 census.

The 1870 census was the only one found for Mary. I searched for her children hoping to find them under a different surname in the household with Mary. The children were Wallace b. 1866, and George b. 1868.

The sisters and their children disappear from the records. They are likely using a different surname, missed or avoided the enumerators.


  1. I'm looking back at my maternal grandfather. His parents also do a disappearing act. So frustrating.

  2. You know they should be there, if not there, then somewhere. They just disappear.

  3. It is so frustrating when people "get lost" over time. Sometimes I'm amazed when pieces of the genealogical puzzle pull together in unexpected ways; other times I can't be believe that something that seems like it should be easy to find is tantalizingly difficult.