Wednesday, October 06, 2010

What Happened to Grandma's Babies?

Until I started digging more deeply into the census records, I was sure that I had written down everything about the family group that was my maternal 2nd-great grandparents, John William and Ellen (KING) WRIGHT.  I always knew that my great-grandfather, Virgil, had a younger brother named Chester Arthur, who went by the name "Mike".  End of story, right?

The census records tell a slightly different story, beginning with the 1900 census of Monroe Township, Madison County, Indiana.  Ellen WRIGHT is a wife, aged 31, married for 14 years and the mother of children, 2 of them living.  So that means that one of her children was deceased by 1900.  In the 1910 census of the same township, Ellen is aged 41, married for 24 years and the mother of 4 children, 2 of them living.  So sometime between 1900-1910 there was another child that was born and died.

I'm now seeking two additional children for this family:
Unknown child # 1: born between 1888 (marriage date) and 1900 census; died before 1900 census
 Unknown child # 2: born between 1900 census and died before 1910 census.

Who are these additional children?  Are their names lost to time?  There are no headstones in the local cemetery.  No one has included them in any family group sheets I've ever seen for this family.  There is no known Bible record that shows who these babies might have been.

A search of the birth records indexed by the WPA has been negative for any WRIGHT that would match this family.  Likewise for the death records. Indiana law required the recording of births in 1882.  However, compliance with the law was sketchy up until around 1900.  These births probably took place at home during this time period.

My best bet would be to find a mention in a local newspaper, but alas, the local paper in Alexandria at the public library starts with 1905.

Any clues on where to begin to find these babies?

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