Friday, December 27, 2013

The Mitchell Line - 2013 in Review

Dancing with the Ancestors isn't always the easiest thing, especially with those brick walls appearing out of nowhere and making those intricate dance steps a wee bit more difficult. Still, sometimes, a nice sidestep and maybe a leap or twelve, and you step around or hurtle over the brick wall.

2013 was the year of the Mitchell line! Okay, it started at the end of 2012, but the major finds happened in 2013. So, I'm going to mention 2012, then flash forward to 2013. It happened something like this . . .

  • October 2012 - visited my first cousin Jean in CA and learned that great grandpa Charles A. Mitchell was not an only child as my father repeatedly told me, my siblings, and my mother. Nope, don't have a clue where he got this information, but . . . Great Grandpa Charlie was one of 11 children.
  • May 23, 2013 - received the following comment on this blog: I am a descendant of William C. Mitchell by his daughter Martha Matilda (Mattie) Mitchell Bunch. William C. Mitchell left Tennessee briefly in 1860 to live in Alabama and then returned to Warren County, Tennessee. Sometime between 1880 and 1883, he came to Texas to Blanco County... where Mattie Mitchell Bunch and her sister Amanda Josephine Mitchell Offill were married. William also remarried at that time to a Mrs. O. Hopper. Just two weeks ago I was in Blanco County to look up probate records for William C. Mitchell and Mrs. O Mitchell. Both were deemed in early 1900's to be unable to support themselves. Sadly William C. Mitchell at age of 90 was declared a lunatic and sent to Austin, Texas to the insane asylum. Mattie and her sister are in Grayson County, Texas married with children in 1900 and then on to Navarro County, Texas. William C. Mitchell did have a son named Charles A. Mitchell and somewhere I do have a picture of him upon which is written Mattie's brother, Charles A. Mitchell. I can also confirm his marriage to Martha Tate.
  • May 31, 2013 - found the comment, posted it, replied, and . . .
  • June 2013 - heard from third cousin Debbie, the person who left the comment, and . . .
I was off and running on researching the Mitchell line with this new found information. Soon, thanks to Debbie, I had the 1860 Census for 2 x Great Grandpa William C. Mitchell, as well as additional information.
  • June 2013 - connected with third cousin Jan, descendant of Amanda Josephine Mitchell-Offill, my great grandfather's sister.
  • July 2013 - connected with third cousin-in-law Diana. She's married to third cousin James, descendant of Mary Frances Mitchell-Cunningham, my great grandfather's sister
  • July 2013 - connected with a researcher on the Grove line who helped fill in the blanks on Nancy Caroline Mitchell-Knighton-Caulder-Hillis, and solve the mystery of the parentage of Leo C. Groves and Martha C. Groves.
My Great Grandpa Charles A. Mitchell was the administer of Leo Groves estate. Great! Fine! Dandy! I just didn't have a clue who in the heck Leo Groves was until I came across the 1900 Census for William F. Mitchell (Charles's brother) in Texas and there were Leo and Martha listed as his niece and nephew. His sister Nancy Hillis was living with him at that time as well. Still, didn't have a clue if Nancy was there mother, or one of the other sisters.

So, off to the State Archives in Nashville, TN, searching, and searching and searching through roll after roll of microfilm and come across more information about Leo and Martha, specifically that at one time a W. L. Groves was their guardian. Then, did some quick searches on Ancestry, contacted a member or two and received a response that filled in the blanks on Nancy - gave me various marriage dates, names of husbands, and the fact that . . .

Leo and Martha Groves were the children of Lydia Knighton (Nancy's daughter) and William Groves. So, Great Grandpa Charlie was the administrator of his great-nephew's estate, not his nephew's estate.
  • July - October 2013 - continued to research the siblings of my great-grandfather, and search for more information on 2 x Great Grandpa William C. Mitchell
  • Labor Day Weekend 2013 - discover that sister Barb knew what the A stood for in Charles A. Mitchell . . . Alexander. It seemed, back when her son was in third/fourth grade, he had to do a family tree and my sister talked to my parents to fill in the blanks and dad told her that his grandfather's name was Charles Alexander Mitchell
  • October 2013 - at the State Archives in Nashville, Tennessee on another round of dancing with the ancestors and come across the following notation - Dock Mitchell uncle of Charles A. Mitchell of here is visiting for the first time in 43 years/lives in Eagle Springs, Texas o - in the following book: Warren County, Tennessee: Genealogical Notes from the McMinnville Newspapers, 1880 - 1914.
Goosebumps, dear readers, goosebumps popped up all over my body as I read this notice . . . again and again and again. Finally! I knew, no doubts at all that Dock Mitchell was my 2 x Great Grandfather's brother. No doubts! It took only a bit of searching on Ancestry to discover that Dock Mitchell was the son of Allen Mitchell and Sarah Wilson, and that Allen Mitchell was my 3 x Great Grandmother.

Unfortunately, Sarah was Allen's second or third wife, and step-mother to my 2 x Great Grandfather William C. Mitchell. Still, I know knew that 2 x Great Grandpa had seven half-siblings, and, through further research - Census Records, etc., - know that he had two sisters and four brothers, most likely full, but potentially half . . . whose names remain a mystery right now.

So, all in all, it was a banner year for research on the Mitchell line. My poor nephew is not the only male Mitchell left to carry on the family name. It relieves a bit of pressure, but there's still the pressure for him to produce a few male children to carry on the direct line of our branch of the family tree.

Happy New Year!