Thursday, May 25, 2023

Uncle Abner's Granddaughter


We help each other grow when we learn to share where we've already grown.

We may have been talking about how the grandsons of Lyman Jackson led me to discover more about this man who was my mother-in-law's fourth great-grandfather, but today, we'll change that up. Today, we'll take a look at how the granddaughter of one of Lyman's sons managed to pass along—and thus preserve—more information on the Jackson family.

Granted, sometimes descriptions of family relationships can seem convoluted, so before we start, let's take some time to review the people we're talking about, and just how they connect with each other. Lyman Jackson, of course, is the focus of my research project for this month. Born in 1756 in Connecticut, Lyman was somewhat hard to trace, although he could be found in his later years in Erie County, Pennsylvania.

Lyman and his wife Deidama (or various other spellings) had several children. And that's the problem. I didn't know the names or particulars on any of them when I began this project, other than that of my mother-in-law's third great-grandfather, John Jay Jackson. But this month, through discoveries ranging from Pennsylvania through Ohio and as far west as Kansas, we've pieced together this man's family tree through the stories shared by Lyman's grandchildren.

While those stories came mostly through grandsons, this one comes thanks to a connection to a woman who would have called Lyman her great-grandfather. I found her primarily through research on the descendants of yet another of Lyman's sons, one whom I had recently discovered, called Abner.

Abner was first introduced to us when he was mentioned in reference to another Lyman grandson, Lysander P. Jackson. From Lysander's point of view, this son of Lyman was known as Uncle Abner.

Once I learned about Abner, I began building his family tree—specifically, the listing of all his descendants. In that process, I again came across one of those little notes shared by other subscribers. For this one, you know I had to take a closer look.

One of Abner's older sons—with whom he spent his last few years, in fact—was named Cornelius Hendryx Jackson. While I was searching for clearer details on Cornelius—he may have had a cousin by the same name, as we will check out later this month—an Ancestry hint popped up, courtesy of this subscriber who wanted to share a discovery.

The hint, labeled "Rebecca Elizabeth Jackson's father," was supposed to provide a biographical sketch on Cornelius, Rebecca's father. However, when the hint popped up on, it was labeled as a "story" and the subheading was a string of code, similar to what you might get when cutting and pasting text from a Word document: messy, and not germane to what I was seeking.

Thankfully, I took a peek, anyway.

In the note, the subscriber had transcribed a portion of a biographical sketch which focused on the family history of Cornelius Hendryx Jackson's father—yes, that same Uncle Abner—and his origins. But here's the kicker: when I searched for the original book from which it was drawn, the heading for the biographical sketch was actually an entry in History of Cambria County, Pennsylvania for someone named Charles H. Suppes.

I don't suppose the point would be lost on you that, had I searched directly for such a sketch for Abner Jackson on my own, I might not have been led to that book, and especially not to that entry for Charles Suppes. Though he was buried in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Abner Jackson spent a good amount of his later years living in Ohio, not Pennsylvania. Why would I have bothered to look in Cambria County?

And Abner's granddaughter? Perhaps you are wondering if she might be the connection to the unknown man with the biographical sketch featured in a book about Cambria County, Pennsylvania. Yes, Charles H. Suppes claimed Abner's granddaughter, Rebecca Elizabeth Jackson, as his wife. Thanks to that one detail—plus his inclusion in a local history book published in 1907—I get to glean a few more details about not only Rebecca's husband Charles Suppes, but his father-in-law, Cornelius H. Jackson, that man's father Abner Jackson, and all the way up to the story of Lyman Jackson.

And I would never otherwise have known to look.


  1. Replies
    1. I'm just thankful that someone thought it was helpful enough to share with others!


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