Sunday, July 14, 2013

Leo C. and Martha C. Grove(s) - Siblings

The mysteries never seem to end when dancing with the ancestors. You solve one mystery and BAM - Emeril style - another mystery pops up and smacks you in the forehead. Okay, not literally, but sometimes it feels that way.
A mystery solved over a period of time was that my great grandfather Charles A. Mitchell was not, I repeat NOT, an only child. I don't have a clue where my father heard this little false tidbit of information, but he did, and he passed it down to his children . . . which made this little dance with the ancestors quite a bit difficult.
Suffice it to say, Great Grandpa Charlie Mitchell was not an only child, but was one of eight children. I've tracked five of his siblings and their descendants. In doing this, the next mystery came along and smacked me upside the head: Leo C. and Martha C. Grove.
In 1900, in Grayson County, Texas, they were listed on the 1900 Census as niece and nephew of William F. Mitchell, my great-grandfather's brother. Now, I wasn't positive if they were his by blood or marriage niece and nephew, until . . .
. . . in probate records for Warren County, Tennessee, I found the following notation:
January 1902 - settlement made with Charles A. Mitchell, administrator of Leo Groves, dec'd. Receipt of George B. Bryan, guardian of Martha Grove, only heir of deceased.
This notation, written down probably a year before I knew for sure my Great Grandfather actually had siblings, proved - to me at least - that Leo and Martha Grove were the blood nephew/niece of William F. Mitchell, and, by default, Great Grandpappy Charlie Mitchell. Woo-hoo!
Then, came digging through eye-straining microfilm records at the State Archives in Nashville, Tennessee. I was searching for the various guardian records and . . .
. . . I found them, and oh, so much more. It appears that W. L. Grove was the second guardian, first was a court appointed guardian, of Leo and Martha. In January 1900, he resigned as guardian and George B. Bryan became the guardian of Leo and Martha. I also found quite a few records of court cases between W. L. Grove vs. Louisa (Grove) Crain versus the settlement of Clab (Clayborn) Grove's estate, in which mention of the guardianship of Leo and Martha was mentioned.
So, now I knew - pretty much - the Grove family from which Leo and Martha were descended.
My error: I kept assuming that W. L. Grove was William Grove. It wasn't until I started researching his siblings that I discovered W. L. Grove was actually the youngest child of Clayborn (Claiborne) and Martha (Douglas) Grove: Wyatt Lane Grove.
I was trying to figure out the father of Leo and Martha. I knew it couldn't be Wyatt because he was far too young to have been married and father children in 1884 and 1886.
Once I had my little a-ha moment, I realized, most likely, that William Grove was the father of Leo and Martha, and that he, and most likely his wife, had predeceased his father Clayborn.
My best guess, right now, is that William married Elizabeth Mitchell, since I've tracked the majority of my great grandfather's other sisters and know who they married. Elizabeth . . . not so much.
Oh, and in looking at Census Records, Wyatt probably resigned guardianship since in 1900 he had three young children. He probably did not want to raise older children as well.
Leo C. (most likely Clayborn) Grove: April 4, 1882 - May 12, 1901 - buried Shellsford Cemetery, McMinnville, Warren County, Tennessee.
Martha C. (possible Caroline) Grove: September 20, 1886 - August 6, 1904 - buried Shellsford Cemetery, McMinnville, Warren County, Tennessee.
Now, my hope with this blog post is that someone researching the Grove family knows a bit more than I do and can provide that information. If so, please leave a comment with an email address so I can get back in touch with you.
Good luck to all as you dance with the ancestors.

UPDATE: Through contact with a fellow researcher, I know now that Leo C. Groves and Martha C. Groves are the children of William E. Grove(s) and Lydia Knighton-Grove(s). Lydia is the daughter of Nancy Caroline Mitchell and her first husbad L. R. F. Knighton. So, Leo and Martha are actually William F. Mitchell's great-nephew/niece and the grandchildren of Nancy (Mitchell-Knighton-Cawlder)-Hillis, who is also on the 1900 Census Record. Woo-Hoo!

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