Friday, January 18, 2013

Nancy, who are you?

 Do you read “The Legal Genealogist” blog? Informative, well-written, and entertaining -- though how the author ever finds time to do her own research is beyond me, since she posts every day. On January 12 she wrote about a mysterious Nancy, who died in 1886 and is buried in a Texas cemetery. It is one of those tantalizing problems that keeps the family historian digging.

And the article reminded me of my own puzzle -- another Nancy, whose children had the surname Howard and, after she  died,  were farmed out to various Montgomery County, Indiana, families.  Try as I might, I have not been able to find out anything more about their mother.

She came to my attention because two of her youngsters were placed in the home of Alpheus Gregg, where they are counted in the 1850 census.  Alpheus had been married to my relative, Amanda Howard, until her death in 1848 (same year as Nancy), and the Howard children’s presence there makes some researchers believe they are Amanda’s from a previous marriage. But I knew Amanda, my great- grandfather’s sister, was the daughter of Frederick Howard, and had been born in 1822.  Furthermore, she was too young to have been the mother of the eldest of these Howard children.

So the question is: who IS Nancy Howard? Her name came from a court record collection,  the Guardians’ Docket of Montgomery County, Indiana (1825-1874), which has been digitized and is online at the website for the Crawfordsville Public Library (bless ‘em). 

I have searched marriage records for a possible husband/father, not just in Montgomery County, but neighboring counties and nearby states as well. I have looked for men with the same given names (Augustus , Tilghman, Robert and George) in case a son was named for his father. To confuse matters further, there was a Tilghman Howard who  was prominent in Indiana politics at the time, but his biographies tend to disprove any connection he might have had with my Nancy. 

Still tantalized, still trying to find the answer.

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