Friday, May 17, 2013

The Indelicate Subject of Incest

Yesterday I blogged about the Joseph and Lucinda Cashall Meredith family and their oldest child, Maude Mae.  Today I was researching Amanda Caroline Meredith, the daughter of Sarah Ann Meredith, the sister of Joseph.  I found the three of them, Sarah, Joseph and Amanda, living in Forestville, Sanilac County, Michigan in 1870 along with their mother, Rebecca Smith Meredith.  Sarah is older than Joseph and Amanda is 3.  Sarah married Matthew Hawksworth in 1876.  Joseph married Lucinda in 1875.  Rebecca died in 1874.

So I had Amanda down as the child of Sarah, and it bothers me that I have Amanda's father as Matthew Hawksworth, which I know isn't right, so I start combing through Family Search.  I find Amanda's birth record with her mother recorded as Sarah Ann Meredith, but no father.  I click on a hint in Ancestry and find a tree that has these family members and the notation for Amanda that says her birth record plainly states Amanda is illegitimate, her father unknown.  But something tells me that Joseph is her father.  Maybe I'm wrong.  Amanda's death record on Family Search says her mother was Sarah Meredith and gives her father as Matthew Hawksworth. 

So life goes on and Maude Mae, Joseph's child, and Amanda, Sarah's child grow up and get married; Maude to Jacob Thompson and Amanda to William Putnam.  Maude and Jacob's first child is a daughter, Loverta Thompson.  Amanda and William's first child is a son, Claude Putnam. 

I'm in the process of trying to track down when Amanda Caroline Meredith Putnam and discover she died in Detroit, Michigan in 1931.  Interesting.  I have her and her husband consistently living in Rose, Michigan, located in a county I've never heard of,  Ogemaw.  (I guess in my head if I don't hear it in a weather report, the county doesn't exist?)  So Amanda died in Detroit.  Where did William die?  I do some checking and find he also died in Detroit in 1924.  What's in Detroit that would cause this couple to move and then die there?

Turns out it was their son, Claude.  Claude is in Detroit in the 1930 census living with his wife, Laverta Putnam.  Also living with them are children with the last name of Schultz, one a male named Lorn.  Um, what?  Loverta Thompson, daughter of Maude Meredith who was the daughter of Joseph Meredith, the brother of Sarah (the mother of Amanda, the mother of Claude) has married her 1st cousin (and perhaps her uncle?) Claude Putnam.  Her first husband was Lorn Schultz, who I found on Find A Grave buried by himself, no Loverta with him.  He died in 1923 and is buried in Alpena.  The record I found for his death on Family Search doesn't have his marital status.

Claude and Loverta's first child together was Violet, born in 1928.  Altogether they would have 5 daughters, including a set of twin girls, Jean and Joan. 

I've run across incest in families before, but not in mine.  This gave me pause.  And I think someone didn't want me to keep researching this subject because weird things started happening when I started the research last night.  Family Search refused to work when I first started the hunt for Amanda Caroline Meredith around 1 am this morning, so I just went to bed.  Then today when I found the first hint of incest, Ancestry kept giving me errors while trying to add the census information.  Then my own genealogy and personal websites went down.  I called my hosting company to ask about it and was told, "Gee, it's working fine now."  Sure enough, when I checked again, the sites were back up.  The technician at the hosting company said, "Huh, that's weird," when I told him the error message I was getting;  "Your database is not communicating with your server."  I'm half laughing at myself for even thinking these things, but half of me is wondering...really?  Is it that big of a deal, you guys?

I think it just happens in families.  


Thursday, May 16, 2013

Jacob Lemon Thompson

I was researching Merediths yesterday.  My father's mother, Clara Herr Lemon, was the daughter of Rebecca Jane Meredith and Charles Herr.  Clara's grandpa, Cyrus Meredith, lived to be almost 100 years old and it was his birth family I was looking at.  This was a large family with many sons.  One of Cyrus' brothers was named Joseph Meredith.   The whole Meredith clan moved down from Canada in the mid 1800's to the thumb area of Michigan. 

Joseph Meredith, brother of Cyrus, son of Jesse Meredith and Rebecca Smith, married Lucinda Cashall.  There was some confusion about his wife's last name.  I found it listed as Cassore in another tree and on the marriage record of Maude Mae Meredith, Joseph and Lucinda's oldest child.  But while researching the family further, I found a copy of their son's death certificate online at the Library of Michigan and Joseph was the informant for the details of birth and he listed his wife's name as Cyndia Cashall, and he would know his own wife's maiden name, right?  Or at least that's what I figure, so Cashall it is.

Their oldest child, Maude, married a man named Jacob L Thompson in Forestville, Sanilac, Michigan on the 21st of December 1892.  I found this record on, which I love.  I try to use information which only has an image attached as that seems to me to be the most accurate.  I started there and then started learning everything I could about Jacob L Thompson.  He was born in Canada in 1871 to John and Ann Wearq Thompson.  When I put him in as the spouse of Maude on, I got "hints" that he was on Find A Grave, and that Jacob Lemon Thompson was born to John and Ann in Canada.  Since I only have the American subscription on Ancestry, I can't verify for sure that this is the Jacob Thompson I'm looking for, but my geni-senses are a-tingling. 

What a strange coincidence if Jacob Thompson is somehow related to my Lemon family other than through the marriage to my 1st cousin 3x removed!   Because Maude's cousin, Rebecca Meredith, the daughter of Cyrus who was the brother of Maude's father, was the mother of my grandmother who married Russell Tiffen Lemon!