Just one hint to Ann’s parents…
One of the reasons why The Legal Genealogist is such a fan of DNA testing is the sheer number of “who the heck are the parents of…” open questions in the family tree.
It’s bad enough having one-half of my ancestry from overseas and particularly from an area — Germany — where DNA testing is slow to be embraced.
It’s even worse to have the other half from deep in the American south where records loss (or a general disinclination to create records in the first place) is simply a fact of life.
So I keep hoping that DNA testing is going to eventually turn up that one cousin with just those records to help fill in that hole in the family history.
Case in point: Ann Jacobs, second wife of William Battles of Cherokee County, Alabama. Yet another of the “who the heck are the parents of…” open questions in our family tree.
We know that Ann married William on Christmas Day 1829 in St. Clair County, Alabama.1
We also know they’d been… um … living together for some time before that. You see, William’s first wife — Kiziah Wright Battles — kind of outed their relationship when she filed for divorce in Blount County, Alabama, in 1824, saying: “…for the last two years the said William Battles … hath lived and now is living in adultery with one Ann Jacobs with whom he has gone to the State of Tennessee…”2
And then, of course, there’s the minor little matter of the 1830 U.S. census, enumerated as of 1 June 1830. That’s what — five months and six days after William and Ann were married? And you can find them there in St. Clair County with — count ’em — five children.3 Pretty good work for five months of marriage…
And — sigh — one of those kids is the one I descend from. Margaret. Born sometime in the 1820s, if any of the census records can be believed: she was enumerated as 23 in 1850,4 as 38 in 1860,5 as 38 again in 1870,6 and as 48 in 1880.7
So… who are Ann’s parents?
All we really have is the marriage record, which doesn’t name parents, and census records putting her date of birth around 1800 and her place of birth in Tennessee as of 1850,8 or South Carolina as of 18609 and 1870.10
And a bunch of family trees that either don’t list parents at all for Ann, or assign her to Belgian parents who never left Belgium and yet still managed to produce a daughter in the United States around 1800.11
Oh, we do have DNA matches to descendants of William and Ann.
And — sigh — as yet not one single match to one single cousin who has one single clue as to the identities of Ann’s parents.
C’mon… is it too much to ask to get just one clue?
Work with me here…
- St. Clair County, Alabama, Marriage Record 1: 53, Battels-Jacobs, 25 Dec 1829; digital images, “Marriage records (St. Clair County, Alabama), 1819-1939,” FamilySearch.org (https://familysearch.org : accessed 29 Sep 2018). ↩
- Blount County, Alabama, Circuit Court Minutes B: 373-375 (1829); Circuit Court Clerk’s Office, Oneonta, Ala. ↩
- 1830 U.S. census, St. Clair County, Alabama, p. 252 (stamped), line 24, William Battles 2nd household; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 22 Mar 2014); citing National Archive microfilm publication M19, roll 4. ↩
- 1850 U.S. census, Cherokee County, Alabama, 27th District, population schedule, p. 136B (stamped), dwelling/family 1055, Margaret Shew; digital image, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 12 July 2002); citing National Archive microfilm publication M432, roll 3. ↩
- 1860 U.S. census, Cherokee County, Alabama, population schedule, p. 315 (stamped), dwelling/family 829, Margaret Shoe; digital image, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 9 Aug 2002); citing National Archive microfilm publication M653, roll 5. ↩
- 1870 U.S. census, Cherokee County, Alabama, Leesburg, population schedule, p. 268(A) (stamped), dwelling/family 15, M. Shew; digital image, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 11 Oct 2011); citing National Archive microfilm publication M593, roll 7. ↩
- 1880 U.S. census, Cherokee County, Alabama, Twp. 11, Range 8, population schedule, enumeration district (ED) 27, p. 387(A) (stamped), dwelling/family 5, Margaret Shew; digital image, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 13 Oct 2011); citing National Archive microfilm publication T9, roll 6. ↩
- 1850 U.S. census, Cherokee Co., Ala., 27th Dist., pop. sched., p. 136B (stamped), dwelling/family 1052, Ann Battles. ↩
- 1860 U.S. census, Cherokee Co., Ala., pop. sched., p. 315 (stamped), dwelling/family 825, Anna Battles. ↩
- 1870 U.S. census, Cherokee Co., Ala., Leesburg, pop. sched., p. 268(B) (stamped), dwelling/family 26, Ann Battles. ↩
- Citation to these trees is omitted to protect the guilty. ↩