Monday, February 01, 2016

Searching for the Smoking Gun In Madison County, Indiana

Mom searching Miscellaneous Records books, Madison County, Indiana
Spent today researching family history in Madison County, Indiana with mom today, working on trying to find clues on her Pierce line so we can button up the application for the DAR.  While we did make some interesting finds, there was no smoking gun today linking Edmund G. Pierce to his parents, Francis & Rebecca (Page) Pierce to be found.

In the 1850 census, when Edmund should be living with his parents in Wayne County, Indiana - he was enumerated in another household.  He wasn't the only one, as brothers Henry and Francis N. were not in the household either.  I'm sure that a search in Wayne County, Indiana records will need to be done to solve the whys and wherefores.  In the meantime, I was hopeful that something could be found in Madison County.

I knew that Edmund and his brother Henry were found in Madison County, Indiana circa 1863 based on a Civil War draft record, and that the family farm was purchased circa 1870 from the county history biography.  Edmund and wife Catherine were listed in the 1870 census in Lafayette Township as was Francis and Rebecca in the same township.  Edmund died January 8, 1875 in Madison County. My hope was that sometime between the period of 1863-1875 we would find a deed or record that would tie the families together.

We started out our day at the Recorder's office, searching through the Grantor and Grantee Index books (the big ones) writing down the page and book numbers so that we could later get copies.  We ended up finding several records to have copies made, but none of them contained anything about Francis.  Apparently, his time in Madison County was spent without buying or selling land.  There were, however, many records between Edmund and his brothers, Albert O. and Henry E. to be found in Madison County.

A stop at Central Records for a copy of the marriage license for the second marriage of William F. Pierce to Vida Maddox revealed that his birth date on that record was July 10, 1866, not 1865 as is found on his tombstone.  While we were there, I had asked about another marriage record on James F. Wright who I was trying to verify was a relative, and asked about the divorce records for Chester Wright and his father John Wright.  Since I don't have too many opportunities to have the day off to research, I took my chances, but unfortunately, the Central Records couldn't find the divorce cases.  I will continue to search other sources and come up with an exact date before trying again, as I'm not sure they searched that hard for them.

On our way out of the courthouse, we stopped by the Auditor's office, which had the records of the County Commissioners during the time period when William F. Pierce served as County Commissioners.  We found the original minutes where he signed his name, records show he served from January 1, 1918 through December 31, 1923.

Signature of my maternal 2nd-great grandfather, William F. Pierce

Had to stop and get something to eat before heading out to the West Maplewood Cemetery to find the Pierce plot.  It had been awhile since I had been there, but we were able to find it.  I was hoping to get a picture of Clara Pierce's marker, as I realized that I didn't have it.  When we found the plot we realized that Clara didn't have a marker.  There is the big family marker that has "E.G. Pierce" on one side and "W.F. Pierce" on the other; markers for Edmund and Catherine Pierce; one for James L. Pierce and one for infant Chad Pierce, and then a marker for William F. and Vida Pierce.

We next headed over to the Anderson Public Library to see if by chance there were any contemporary newspapers that they had on file that might have a mention of the death of Edmund on January 8, 1875.  Fortunately, they did have the Anderson Democrat on microfilm, and I was able to find mention of his death.  Unfortunately, it wasn't much of an obituary, and made no mention of who his parents were.

The library was able to give us the contact information for the cemetery and we called and made arrangements with the office to come over and view their records.  Of course, a fire had destroyed many of the older records.  They didn't have a card on file for Clara's burial, but in the record of the family plot, there is mention of "1 adult", which we are pretty sure is Clara.  I know in the past I had seen a map of the family plot, but right now cannot locate in my files.  Rather than make copies of the records, I took pictures with my cell phone, and will be able to examine later and will make another post on them.

There were many records to digest which will provide me with some blog fodder for future posts.

Overall, the day had some positives, but at the end of the day we still have no concrete proof to supply on the DAR application that Edmund G. Pierce was the son of Francis & Rebecca (Page) Pierce.  The hunt continues!

No comments: