Spencer Cromeans / Cummings (c1812-1861) was Eileen's paternal 2nd-great grandfather. What follows is an exploratory analysis of the biographical data I have discovered about him.
1. Vital Records
1.1. Birth Certificate
Spencer was born circa 1812 in North Carolina1, according to the 1850 census. The family surname was listed as Cromeans in 1850 records, then became Cummings in later generations.
1.1.1. Birth Notice in Newspaper
Until I have an exact date and location, will not be able to search contemporary newspaper accounts for mention of Spencer's birth. With a birth date this early, I'm skeptical that any such mention exists.
1.1.2. Bible Record
I am not currently aware of any family Bible records of the Cromeans/Cummings family. Will continue to reach out to extended family members in hopes that one does exist.
1.1.3. Baptismal Record
I am not aware of any baptismal record for Spencer, nor do I know what denomination, if any, he was a member of at this time.
1.1.4. Adoption Record
There is no indication that Spencer was adopted.
1.2. Marriage License
Spencer married Gincy _________ before 1832, probably in Walker County, Alabama. I have not yet been able to locate a copy of their marriage license. Their first child was born in September 1832 in Walker County. Will add this to my "to-do" list for my next research trip.
1.2.1 Marriage Notice in Newspaper
Once I have an exact date of their nuptials, will be able to search contemporary newspaper accounts for mention of Spencer and Gincy's wedding.
1.2.2. Anniversary Notice
Once I have an exact date of their anniversary, will be able to search contemporary newspaper accounts for mention of wedding anniversary celebrations.
1.2.3. Divorce Decree
While there is no indication that Spencer and Gincy were ever divorced, a thorough search of the court records in Walker and Winston Counties, Alabama needs to be completed. Will add this to my list of "to-do" items for a future research trip.
1.3. Death Certificate
I have not been able to find an exact date of death for Spencer. Land records in Winston County, Alabama have him alive in 1860, but have not located him in the census. There is a strong possibility that he died early in the 1860s.
1.3.1. Obituary in Newspaper
Without an exact date of death, I am unable to search any contemporary newspaper accounts for mention of Spencer's death.
1.3.2. Funeral Home Records
Once I'm able to determine Spencer's exact date of death, I will attempt to locate funeral home records for any additional information they might be able to provide.
1.3.3. Tombstone Photograph
Once I'm able to determine where Spencer is buried, will obtain a photograph of his tombstone. Have been unable to locate him in any listing of local cemetery records.
2. Census Records
2.1. Federal Census Records
2.1.1. 1860 Federal Census
I have not been able to locate Spencer in the 1860 U.S. census. There are still several other Cummings families in Winston County, Alabama, but I have yet to locate the family. After the Civil War, members of the family are in Tennessee, particularly Wayne and Dyer Counties.
2.1.2. 1850 Federal Census
Spencer was enumerated as head of household on October 25, 1850 in Northern District 38 of Hancock County, Alabama1, as Spencer Cromeans, age 38, born in North Carolina, Farmer. Hancock county later became Winston County, Alabama. Living in the household were Gincy, age 34, born South Carolina; Patrick, age 18, born Alabama; Elena, age 14, born Alabama; Wyatt, age 12, born Alabama; Willis, age 10, born Alabama; Jasper, age 8, born Alabama; Houston, age 6, born Alabama; Absolem, age 4, born Alabama; and Mary, age 2, born Alabama.
2.1.3. 1840 Federal Census
Spencer was enumerated as head of household on June 1, 1840 in Walker County, Alabama2. Living in the household were two white males under 5 years old; 1 white male between 5 and 10 years old; 1 white male between 10 and 15 years old; and one white male between 30 and 40 years old. Females in the household were 1 female under 5 years; and 1 female between 20 and 30 years old.
2.1.4. 1830 Federal Census
Spencer was enumerated as head of household on June 1, 1830 in Walker County, Alabama3. Living in the household were one white male under 5 years old; 1 white male between 20 and 30 years old; and 1 white female between 20 and 30 years old.
2.2. State Census Records
Alabama conducted state census in 1850, 1855 and 1866 that might be relevant in my search for Spencer.
2.3. Agricultural Census Records
I have not yet investigated these types of census records to see what light they might shed on the Cummings family.
3. Military Records
3.1. Draft Registration
I have not located any records of military draft that included Spencer.
3.2. Pension Records
I am not aware of any military service that would have allowed Spencer pension benefits.
3.3. Service Records
I am not aware of any military service records for Spencer.
4. Land Records
4.1. Deed Records
Deed records need to be thoroughly searched in Winston and Walker Counties, Alabama to see what records might mention Spencer. Federal land records need to be searched as well. Will add this to my list of "to-do" items for my next research trip.
4.2. Plat map / county map
Plat maps in Winston County, Alabama will have to be researched to see what information might be relevant in my search for Spencer.
5. Supplemental Records
Supplemental records available to research for Spencer include city/county directories, court records and will and probate records. Will add these to my list of "to-do" items for my next research trip.
1. Spencer Cromeans household, 1850 U.S. census, population schedule, Northern District 38, Hancock County, Alabama, dwelling 5, family 5; National Archives micropublication M432, roll 6, page 357.
2. 1840 U.S. census, Walker County, Alabama, population schedule, page 299, Spencer Cromeans; digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 16 January 2014); National Archives, Washington, D.C.
3. 1830 U.S. census, Walker County, Alabama, population schedule, page 258, Spencer Cromeans; digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 19 January 2014): National Archives, Washington, D.C.
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.