Thursday, December 29, 2022

Ancestor #4:
Sticking to the Matriline


When it comes to my Twelve Most Wanted for the upcoming year, I plan to spend three months on each branch of my daughter's ancestry. The first three months, which we just reviewed, cover selected ancestors from my own mother's line. For month number four, we shift our focus to the ancestors of my mother-in-law. To kick off the listing of this trio of her ancestors, I've decided to stick with my mother-in-law's matriline.

There's a reason for following that matriline. If we follow the ancestral line from my mother-in-law to her mother, then to her maternal grandmother and so on for each mother in the preceding generation, we eventually end up at Sarah Howard Ijams, her third great-grandmother. I've puzzled over Sarah Ijams before—almost two years ago in May, 2021, in fact—without much success. It's time to revisit that family history roadblock for Ancestor #4 of this upcoming year.

Sarah was a research challenge to me for several reasons. For one, she died young in early February of 1829, following the birth of her fourth child, Robert Jackson. Among other research complications, documentation of her 1816 marriage to John Jay Jackson at a military outpost in what is now Missouri is most likely non-existent. Pushing even farther back to the earliest years of her life—not to mention, to her own mother's early history—will present some problems.

There is family lore that Sarah's mother, Elizabeth Howard, was possibly a Daughter of the American Revolution—literally. By that, I mean Elizabeth's father may have fought as a Patriot. When I say "family lore," though, I mean the kind of story that might better be prefaced by the phrase, "They say...." There have been such mentions on old genealogy forums, but nothing with sufficient documentation that I can find. Still, no sense bypassing the chance to—maybe—discover something interesting. If, that is, I can find appropriate and believable documentation.

Those are the problems I need to tackle this upcoming April when I make John Jackson's wife, Sarah Howard Ijams, and her matriline, beginning with her mother Elizabeth Howard, the focus of my research efforts. 

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