Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Crowdsourcing the Kinslows
...And the Huckabys

Still stymied by lack of documentation after the revelation that William Stinebaugh's Kentucky-born wife was once a Kinslow, I've been guessing my way along the path of census records, marriage records, and now burial records. All this, of course, is an exercise based on conjecture: that the only other Kinslow for miles around the Stinebaugh home in Dallas County, Missouri, would actually be a relation of Sarah Kinslow Stinebaugh.

That man in question was named Page Kinslow. He was the right age to be a brother of Sarah. And he just happened to be from Kentucky. Barren County, Kentucky, to be precise.

We've already rejoiced over the fact that Barren County did not happen to be a "burned" county, and that transcriptions of marriage records posted online helped us follow the trail of Agnes Payne, through her first marriage to Page's father, Joseph Kinslow, and then, as a widowed mother of two young children, to her second husband, Joseph Huckaby.

Setting aside the possibility that this might all be a false lead, I thought I'd see what could be found about the family of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Huckaby, once they all moved to Missouri. I have to keep reminding myself that I might be barking up the wrong family tree—but at the same time, I'm very aware that researching this new discovery might lead me to the very resources that can answer my question.

What could possibly go wrong? At the very least, I'd confidently be able to negate my hypothesis. Even that is progress.

So I clicked over to Find A Grave to see if there were any entries for Joseph Huckaby, Page's step-dad.

There was.

Even though there wasn't any cross-reference hyperlinked to Page Kinslow's own memorial on Find A Grave, it was easy enough to find Joseph Huckaby's memorial. As it turns out, Joseph was indeed married more than once, as the 1850 census, back in Kentucky, had suggested. Born in Virginia in 1789, Joseph had served in the War of 1812. This could be a research situation ripe with helpful material.

Better than that—and more pertinent to my own research goal—Joseph's wife Aggy had a Find A Grave memorial of her own, complete with a photograph.

The memorial indicated Aggy was actually born in Barren County, Kentucky. She was buried, predictably, in Polk County, Missouri, where the entire Huckaby family had settled after removing from Kentucky. Some kind soul had, thankfully, hyperlinked her memorial with that of several of her children—as well as with her parents. The memorial was turning out to be quite a treasure trove.

The best part, for me, was the discovery of two newspaper clippings which had been added as photographs to the memorial. The only drawback: each of those newspaper reports was clipped, all right: right inside the column marker, cutting off the first few words at the beginning of each line for one of the articles, and the end of each line for the other article.

All told, wonder woman Agnes Payne Kinslow Huckaby was mother to at least fifteen children—plus step-mother to the several that Joseph had already fathered by his previous wife. Still, I wanted to read the whole of the obituaries that were posted at Find A Grave, not just guess what the missing words might have been.

Fortunately, search engine power was in my favor. Google turned up another resource containing transcriptions of those very same articles: a Rootsweb file which included a huge page of entries for Agnes. Among the details I found interesting was that, having lived to the age of ninety one—coupled with the fact that, being so much younger than her husband, she lived until 1911—Aggy was "one of the three last pensioners" of the War of 1812.

Still, the best I could find out about that question that bugged me—the name of that second Kinslow child—was a dismissive mention that Agnes had had two children by her previous marriage.

Is that all they could say?!

Of course, the possibility—though slim—that Joseph Huckaby's wife's pension application would include any mention of her two Kinslow children drew me beyond the transcribed notes on this Rootsweb file to the actual digitized images of those pension papers at Fold3.com. Though I managed to obtain the dates I was missing—Joseph Kinslow's death in "July 1840" and that of Joseph Huckaby's first wife Mary in August of 1836—any mention of Agnes' first two children eluded me.

Even so, if I supposed that the mysterious "Joseh Ann" entry from the 1850 census was indeed my Sarah A. Stinebaugh of much later years, tracing back her matrilineal line through the details given on the Find A Grave memorial—and then, piggy-backing those names onto other family trees posted at Ancestry and Rootsweb—I couldn't see any familiar surnames to claim as that nexus I was seeking with my mystery cousin, the adoptee with whom I had an exact match resultant from our mitochondrial DNA test.

Mired in so much data—much of it taking on the cast of a genealogical wild goose chase—I was beginning to lose steam. Maybe this quest wasn't such a good idea, after all. Maybe trying to match the genealogical paper trail with the tale told by DNA testing wasn't going to work, after all. That ingenious creation of scientific pursuit—the mtDNA test—was turning out to be too powerful an opponent to take on. I already knew, from autosomal testing, that my mystery cousin and I did not connect within the range of sixth cousin. Who knows how much farther back the nexus might be.

Frankly, sifting through all the possibilities was just wearing me out.


  1. I can see your frustration.

    Perhaps another day will bring an answer? It is a bit of an overload when the families had so many children! I saw one with 17...


    1. Yes, one of the entries for Agnes mentioned she, herself, was one of seventeen siblings.

      There's real faith in that "another day" approach, Iggy. I'm a firm believer in that!

      In pursuit of my mystery cousin's matrilineal line, thankfully, those seventeen siblings are immaterial. It's just the mother in each generation that concerns me. Otherwise, with numbers like that, I'd never get through this project!

  2. Replies
    1. Yes, it was a surprise to see it there at Find A Grave, but very glad it was. It's a wonderful portrait. Seems like it expresses her personality quite well.


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