Friday, February 25, 2011

Mary AND Her Daughter Make Me Contrary

For 2011 my genealogy goal was to find my great grandmother Mary.  I detailed in a post the challenges I was facing in finding information about her.  I had hoped, with all my focus on this one task, that I was going to be making quick progress where I hadn't before.  What is that saying about the best laid plans?? :)

With expectations of finding more details on Mary, I requested her daughter's (Una/Viola) birth certificate from Illinois.  No birth certificate was found.  I reviewed Una/Viola's funeral book again slowly, but there is not any mention of a mother, Mary or any father.

Lucky for me, Una/Viola died in Missouri and our Secretary of State's Office has death certificates from 1910-1960 available online for free.  Una/Viola died in 1960, so I was actually very lucky!  After downloading the certificate I started extracting the information it contained.  The parents are listed as Joseph Evingham and Martha Smith.  This was the first reference I had found of her father's name, that information by itself was exciting.  However, Martha Smith?  Smith?  Really?  Is Mary a common nickname for Martha?  I didn't think so and this now creates more questions.  Is the Mary listed in the census records with Una/Viola really Martha and is it a coincidence that the man listed as a servant has the last name of Smith?

I am now off to see what I can find about Joseph Evingham and Martha Smith in Ohio and Illinois.  I will also continue to research Una/Viola in an attempt to find more references to her parents.  The quest continues!!