Robyn from Reclaiming Kin had a great post recently called New Finds and Acts of Kindness that reminded me to check out the great databases at Familysearch.org. Specifically, the database of Tennessee Deaths and Burials, 1874-1955 looked intriguing, as my wife has many CUMMINGS ancestors in Tennessee that I need to update more information on.
Right off the bat, I found new information in this database. I entered the name of my wife's paternal great-grandfather, Wyatt CUMMINGS, and received a hit. Dora Ann NEEDHAM, a female who died July 29, 1940 in Dyersburg, Dyer County, Tennessee had listed her parents as Wyatt CUMMINGS and Margaret HINSON (My records had listed her surname as HENSON). Her birth was listed July 29, 1869 in Franklin County, Alabama. This matches up with information that for Wyatt and Margaret's daughter, Dora Ann CUMMINGS, although the last "good" record I had for her was the 1870 census of Colbert County, Alabama. Another researcher had given me information stating that she had died in 1927, and that she was married to Paul TILLEY. Though she may have married Mr. TILLEY, she was apparently still alive until 1940, and was married to a Washa NEEDHAM. Another surname to search.
What sort of name is Washa? An abbreviation for Washington? I believe so, as I searched the same database for him and found two hits for children of Wash NEEDHAM: Beadie L. NEEDHAM, born March 7, 1908 in Tennessee and died November 4, 1917 in Dyer County, Tennessee; and Ophline (NEEDHAM) HARRISON, born March 29, 1910 in Tennessee and died September 28, 1931 in Dyersburg, Dyer County, Tennessee. Ophline death record listed her mother as "Tillie", perhaps this refers to Dora's 1st marriage to a TILLEY.
Digging further, I found Dora TILLIE, living in the household of Margaret CUMMINDS (love this spelling) in the 1900 census of Civil District 7, Dyer County, Tennessee. Margaret, a widow, was listed as the mother of 15 children, 11 of whom were living. Previously, I only knew of 13 children, so that means there must be 2 more out there. Her husband, Wyatt, had died in 1890. Notice the spelling of her son, Wyatt, as "WAIT", which if you sound it out with a Southern accent, I can see.
Margaret, as head of household, was born January 1843 and was 57 years of age, listed as being born in Tennessee, could not read or write. Two children living with her were Prince and Wait (Wyatt), ages 22 and 18, respectively. Also in the household are Dora TILLIE, born January 1875, age 24, and her 2 daughters, Ida and Rosy, ages 6 and 4, respectively. On the next page is another daughter, Annie, aged 2.
I believe that the John TILLEY, with wife Martha, listed a few households down on this second image are the same John TILLEY who married Martha Elleny CUMMINGS, daughter of Wyatt and Margaret (HENSON) CUMMINGS. Will need to do more research on this family as well.
In just a few minutes, I had several new leads and possible relatives to track down. Thanks to Familysearch.org and the plug of a fellow geneablogger.