Saturday, February 24, 2018

June Kirk (Gilliland) Lambertson (1898-1951), Adoptive Surname, 52 Ancestors # 8

June Gilliland
The eighth ancestor in my 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks project is my maternal great-grandmother, June Kirk (Gilliland) Lambertson (1898-1951). Previously, I'd written about the details of her life in an Exploratory Data post.

June's origin story has been the subject of the first major mystery in my genealogy research.  Her daughter, my grandmother, told me that June was an orphan, but there was more to that story.  June's father's name remains unknown at this point, and this post will tell how she came to have the Gilliland surname. 

June's birth certificate
June was born in Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana on June 11, 1898.   Her birth announcement lists the fact that she was born at the "Door of Hope", which was associated with the Wheeler Mission in Indianapolis.  Her birth certificate lists her as "Infant (female) Davis" and her parents are listed as Atkinson and Ida Davis.  The search for just exactly who June's father was continues, with previous posts on the subject here and here

Ida (Davis) Hancock Morris (1874-1900), June's mother, has an entire section devoted to the mysteries of her life on this blog.  She died when June was just two years old, leaving her an orphan.  June also had older sister, Pansy.

Both June and Pansy were taken in and raised by Ida's mother, Mary Ellen (Swafford) Davis Gilliland (1854-1932).  Mary raised her two granddaughters, Pansy and June alongside the two children she had with her second husband, Robert Farrell Gilliland (1850-1916).

June Gilliland
I've not yet located any formal documentation that states that June was formally adopted by her grandmother and step-grandfather, or when exactly she started going by the Gilliland surname.  These records may either be located in Monroe or Owen Counties, Indiana.

June has not yet been located in the 1900 census, but her sister Pansy was found living with the Gilliland's and listed with the surname Davis in Clay Township, Owen County, Indiana.

At the time of the 1910 census in Richland Township, Monroe County, Indiana, June was listed as the step-granddaughter in the Robert Gilliland household as "June Gilliland".  According to newspaper accounts of her baptism at the Ellettsville Baptist Church in 1911, June was using the Gilliland surname.  When she married my great-grandfather in Monroe County, Indiana on June 28, 1917, she listed her surname as Gilliland.  Pansy was also using the Gilliland surname when she married Peter Decker in 1912.

Clemon and June Lambertson
It's pretty evident that June clearly went by the Gilliland surname from a young age, whether or not she was formally adopted by her grandmother and step-grandfather.  Whether she ever knew who her father was or his surname will never be known.

This explains why we have the Gilliland surname in our family tree though we do not have Gilliland ancestry.

The 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge was created by Amy Johnson Crow of No Story Too Small blog.  The premise is to write once a week about a specific ancestor - whether it be a story, a biography, a photograph or a research problem.

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