Tuesday, October 16, 2018
More of Annie's Story
In trying to determine just who Annie Goodman's sister Dollie might have been—the young woman sitting next to Annie in a photograph taken in Ontario, Oregon—I can find no clues from census records. That might be due to the gap we family historians all bemoan, the missing 1890 census—but there still should be another way to figure out this puzzle.
Annie, born in Tennessee in 1863 to Sara Jane Baldwin and her husband, Henry Goodman, showed up in her parents' household in the 1870 and 1880 census, but I can't find her parents at any point after that. And to try and figure out who Annie's younger-looking "sister" Dollie might have been, I suspect we would need to look at records subsequent to that 1880 enumeration.
Annie, by then, was in her own household, as the wife of Samuel James Tucker, whom she married in Illinois in 1884, so there was no sign of any Dollie in records from that date onward. But where was Annie's mother? Or father? And how did Annie, a resident of Nashville, Tennessee, end up marrying a man in Alton, Illinois?
Hoping that I would somehow find Dollie in that mess, I pushed back a generation to Henry Goodman and his wife, the former Sara Jane Baldwin. I'm not sure this detour will ultimately lead me down a path to find Dollie, but I am finding other details, nonetheless.
The first detail that stood out to me was in the 1870 census. There, back in Nashville, were the couple, Henry and Sara Jane. But before we can locate the record for their oldest daughter Annie in that same 1880 household, we see the entry for three young males. Under the surname Breden (or possibly Baeden), we find thirteen year old George, eleven year old Carrol, and nine year old James.
Of course, the 1870 census doesn't provide us any guidance as to how—or even if—those three boys were related to Annie's parents, but one possible guess, considering that time period, might be that Annie's mother was previously married and then widowed.
I checked to see if there were any marriage records in Davidson County, Tennessee, for a Sara Jane Baldwin and any man by the surname Breden, but I didn't find any. Annie's mother, however, gave her birthplace, in that 1870 census, as Georgia. Wondering whether she might have been married in Georgia, I searched there for her maiden name. (I wasn't confident in the spelling of that Breden surname, so I opted to go the route of the bride's name.)
I did locate an 1855 Chatooga County, Georgia, marriage record indexed online with a groom's name listed as James E. Bruden—a possibility, since looking at the actual handwriting allowed me to imagine that it might just as easily have been translated as Breeden, phonetically close to the Breden surname we had already encountered. To double check, since I had already found the names of the two potential sons ten years of age or more from the 1870 census, I searched for a census record in 1860 with that grouping of names.
Thankfully, there was one possibility: an 1860 census record from nearby Walker County, Georgia, which included James, Sarah, three year old George and one year old Carroll. An encouraging addition was the entry in the household of two teenaged "boarders" with the surname Baldwin, the same as Sara Jane's maiden name.
The reason I took the trouble to ferret this out was for my research hypothesis: could it have been possible that Sara Jane, widowed a second time at Henry Goodman's untimely death—which I have yet to verify—followed any of her (potential) sons to move from her home in Tennessee to Illinois, and possibly from there even further to Oregon? My next goal is to find Sara Jane by seeking whatever became of those three boys from the Goodman household in the 1870 census.