Sometimes, dancing with the ancestors is a wee bit difficult. Okay, it's more than a wee bit difficult. Such is the case with the Mitchell branch of my family tree.
For the longest time, I was only able to trace the Mitchell branch back to my great-grandfather Charles A. Mitchell. Great. Fine. Dandy. It certainly appeared that Great-Grandpa Charlie appeared out of thin air. Then, I came across his death certificate and I'm thinking Finally, I'll know the names of his parents. Have I ever mentioned that thinking usually gets me in trouble? Ha!
Well, all that was listed on his death certificate were his parents last names.
Great. Fine. Dandy.
I was at a dead end, a brick wall, the edge of the cliff with a pack of lions racing toward me at break neck speed. Oy!
But, never fear . . . no Underdog wasn't here, but, I wasn't about to jump, well, at least not without a parachute. I finally decided to go to the State Archives in Nashville, Tennessee, and go through the actual Census books, rather than trying online searches. I looked up both Mitchell and Tate (my great-grandfather married a Tate) in the index, wrote down all the page numbers, and began the slow process of eliminating Mitchells.
I finally - on the 1880 Census Record for Warren County, Tennessee - came across a William C. Mitchell who had the following spouse/children: Martha, Jane, William, C. A. (male), M. M. (female), and A. J. (female). They were located on Page 21, House #22. On the next page was my great-great grandfather James Douglas Tate, his wife Mary Jane, and their daughter (my great-grandmother and future wife of Charles A. Mitchell) Martha Tate. This was Page 22, House #31. Woo-hoo!
Okay, I'm not 100% positive that this C. A. Mitchell is my relative, but . . . chances are pretty dang good! There is also an 1870 census record for this same - at least it appears to be - William C. Mitchell, and C. A. is listed as Charles, M. M. is listed as Martha, and A. J. is listed as A. Josephine.
So, for the time being, since I haven't been able to go any further with my research, I'm going with . . .
William C. Mitchell and Martha Forrest as the parents of my great-grandfather Charles A. Mitchell.
The only thing I don't know is what happened to William - did he die young? - or why contact between my great-grandfather's family and ours broke off. Did they disapprove of his marriage to Martha Tate? Since William C. Mitchell was a clergyman, did his son marry outside of the faith and did that cause the rift? Am I totally wrong in connecting this William C. to my family tree? I seriously don't know. I do feel confident with the connection and, until I can prove otherwise, am staying with that connection.
My plans for future research on this Branch - the main one, btw - is to attempt to find out further information on my great-grandfather's alleged siblings. Perhaps if I can dig up more on them, I can then make the needed connections and then trace the Mitchell line back even further.
Here's hoping that while dancing with the ancestors I get deeper into the past of the Mitchell line!!!