Thursday, August 16, 2012

Exploratory Data Analysis: Ida (Davis) Morris (1874-1900)

Ida (Davis) Morris (1874-1900) was my maternal 2nd-great grandmother.  What follows is an exploratory analysis of the biographical data I've discovered about her.

1. Vital Records

     1.1. Birth Certificate

          Ida was born July 2, 1874 in Owen County, Indiana.  I do not have a copy of her birth certificate.  

          1.1.1. Birth Notice in Newspaper

               I have not searched contemporary newspapers at the time for a mention of Ida's birth.

          1.1.2. Bible Record

               I am not aware of any surviving Bible records of the Davis family.  Will continue to reach out to extended family hoping that one does exist.

          1.1.3. Baptismal Record

               I am not aware of any baptismal record for Ida, though I do not know the church affiliation of the family.

          1.1.4. Adoption Record

               There is no indication that Ida was adopted.

     1.2. Marriage license

          Ida was married August 28, 1892 in Monroe County, Indiana to Samuel G. Hancock.  I do not yet have a copy of their marriage license.
          Ida was married July 19, 1900 in Owen County, Indiana to Carvie A. Morris1

          1.2.1. Marriage notice in newspaper

               Will need to search out mention of their marriage in local newspapers on my next research trip.

          1.2.2. Anniversary notice

               Neither of Ida's marriages lasted long enough to reach an anniversary milestone that would be mentioned in a local newspaper.

          1.2.3. Divorce decree

               I do not have a copy of Ida's divorce decree from Samuel Hancock. A letter from a correspondent states that she filed for divorce in Monroe County, Indiana during the May term of 1894, that they were married August 27, 1892 and lived together as man and wife until February 3, 1893, when Samuel abandoned her.  This needs to be verified on my next research trip.

     1.3. Death Certificate

          Ida died August 2, 1900 in Clay Township, Owen County, Indiana3.  The cause of death was listed as tuberculosis.

          1.3.1. Obituary in newspaper

               Have been unable to locate a mention of Ida's death in local newspapers.  Will continue to research hoping to find mention.

          1.3.2. Funeral home records

               I will need to research the local funeral homes at the time to see if they might have a record of her funeral. The funeral director listed was C.H. McNeely on her death certificate.

          1.3.3. Tombstone photograph

               Ida's death certificate states that she is buried in the "M.E. cemetery", but I have not located the exact cemetery.  I believe it may be the cemetery located in Elletsville, which would be in Monroe County.

2. Census Records

     2.1. Federal Census Records

          2.1.1. 1900 Federal Census

               On June 13, 1900, Ida was enumerated at the "Door of Hope" mission in Center Township, Marion County, Indiana2, as Ida D. Hancock, inmate, age 26, widowed, born in Indiana.  She was the mother of 2 children, both of whom were living and had been married 7 years.  Both of her parents were born in Indiana.  Her occupation was listed as doing house work.  She could read and write and spoke English.

          2.1.2. 1880 Federal Census

               I have been unable to locate Ida in the 1880 census.  She should be approximately 6 years old.  Her father, James Austin Davis, was enumerated in 1880 as a resident of the Owen County home in Clay Township, Owen County, Indiana.  Her mother, Mary Ellen (Swafford) Davis, was enumerated as Ellen Swafford, single, living in the household of her father, Peter Swafford in Washington Township, Owen County, Indiana.  Neither Ida or her sister, Delia have been located in the 1880 census.

     2.2. State Census Records

          The State of Indiana conducted state census in 1853, 1857, 1871, 1877, 1883, 1889, 1901, 1913, and 1919 and 1931.  These however, were merely for the purposes of determining legislative apportionment.

     2.3. Agricultural Census Records

          I have not yet examined these types of census records to see what information might come to light.

3. Military Records

     3.1. Draft Registration

          Not applicable, as Ida was female.

     3.2. Pension Records

          Not applicable.

     3.3. Service Records

          Not applicable.

4. Land Records

     4.1. Deed Records

          Deed records need to be thoroughly searched in Owen and Monroe Counties, Indiana to see if any mention of Ida or her husband.

     4.2. Plat map / county map

          County plat maps and/or townships maps will help me to understand where the household was living.  The Indiana State Library has plat maps of Owen County, though they are from 1876 and 1905, slightly beyond the years of my search.

5. Supplemental Records

     Supplemental records available to search for Ida include court records, will and probate records and city directories and newspapers.
     A search of city directories in Indianapolis (where daughter June was born) did find a listing for an Ida Davis in 1898 that might be her:
     Davis, Ida r 606 1/2 E. Wabash

     Ida has been the subject of previous post, wherein I spelled out some of the difficulties and lack of information I have obtained about her rather short life.


1. Monroe County Marriage Book 9, page 551, Monroe County Clerk's Office, Bloomington, Indiana, USA.
2. "Door of Hope" household, 1900 U.S. census, Marion County, Indiana, population schedule, Center Township, 7th Ward, ED 104, SD 7, sheet 9, dwelling 167; National Archives micropublication T624, roll 389.
3. Ida D. Morris, death certificate no. Book H-14, page 11 (1900), Owen County Health Department, Spencer, Indiana, USA

This post was developed as part of the series relating to Building My 2011 Research Template, an attempt to systematically document and source the details of my ancestors' lives. Comments regarding this template and the conclusions drawn in this article are welcomed.

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