#52Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Chosen (#Genealogy)

This has been a tough prompt to crack. I don’t know of many adoptions in my family tree, at least not off the bat.

I’ve already written about my great-granduncle George Herman Hahn and his wife Elsie Mae, who formed a family with Lillian Del Castillo Michaels after the deaths of Lillian’s parents and her husband.

Since I don’t have anything else definitive to write for this prompt, I’ll explore some speculation.

Followers of this blog may remember Laura Price, who got a land grant under her own name in Missouri. Well, I’ve made a bit of a breakthrough in the past few days, thanks to a family tree on Ancestry. This month, my local library arranged for patrons to have home access to the Ancestry Library Edition. I looked up Laura and found the “Kevin Black family tree.” I have no way of emailing or messaging the owner of this tree; I’m mentioning it here in hopes of making contact.

You see, all I knew about Laura, my husband’s great-great grandmother was:

  1. In 1870, Laura Price was living in the home of William Carter; labeled as house keeper; born 1832 in New York; four children named Price living in the home. (U.S. Census)
  2. In 1880, she and her youngest daughter were living in the home of James P. Creager; labeled as servants; born 1832 in New York. (U.S. Census)
  3. In 1889, she received a land grant. (Bureau of Land Management)
  4. In 1900, she is living with her son, C.L. DeForest Price, on or near the granted land. Birth date given as February 1830, New York. (U.S. Census)

The story my husband heard growing up was that Price wasn’t their real name; they had to change it because someone was a jockey and threw a race or wouldn’t throw a race, and they had to run hide. There was also a story about how they were possibly related to June Carter Cash’s family, but I couldn’t find a connection to any Carters (I kind of didn’t even notice the part about living with William Carter; she was just the housekeeper, after all).

Then I found this Kevin Black family tree — and with actual sources attached! He (from here out, I’ll assume it’s Kevin’s tree) found an 1843 marriage record from Huron County, Ohio, for Joseph Woodford and Laura Price, and an 1860 U.S. Census listing for Laura Woodford and sons Merrick and William, who are the right ages for our Laura’s oldest children, living in Wyandot County, Ohio.

Marriage Record for Joseph Woodford and Laura Price

Marriage Record for Joseph Woodford and Laura Price

The marriage license had a note saying Nathaniel Price had given written consent for Laura’s marriage. More on that later.

I found an 1850 Census for Joseph Wolford, born Ohio, and his wife Laura, born New York, living in Crawford County, Ohio, which is right between Huron and Wyandot. Joseph’s occupation is listed as shoemaker.

Then I noticed that several family trees on Ancestry listed Laura’s death as 1905, instead of 1900, as was listed on FamilySearch. She was in the 1900 Census, and that was the last record any of us had found up until this week.

Using the later death date, I searched newspapers.com and found an obituary in the Shannon County Democrat. It listed a surviving sister, Alice Hunt of Willow Springs. Well, I didn’t find Alice Hunt, but I found Miranda C. Price married to Lewis Hunt. They’re living in Willow Springs, Missouri, and Miranda’s father is Nathaniel Price, born in New York.

Laura Price's obituary published in the Shannon County Democrat.

Laura Price’s obituary published in the Shannon County Democrat.

I went back and forth a couple of generations with the Hunts, and I don’t see anyone else married to a Price. Laura has a daughter named Alice; I suspect the newspaper made a mistake, or maybe there’s another sister who married a different Hunt and it’s just not in the family tree at FamilySearch yet. I do believe this is the same family.

There’s a lot more work to do on this line and the family connections, but this is a huge breakthrough.

So, what does this have to do with the prompt “Chosen”?

Laura chose to use her maiden name for herself and her children after a certain point. The Kevin Black family tree includes speculation that Alice Ola, Laura’s youngest daughter, was the child of William Carter, the man she’s living with in 1870. Since Joseph was not living in the household in 1860, I rather suspect C.L. DeForest Price, born circa 1865, may have been Carter’s child as well. My husband descends from C.L., so it fits in with the family stories about the Carter connection.

Laura also chose to go her own way. I don’t know if Joseph abandoned the family or if she left him because he failed to provide or was abusive. She was able to raise four children and eventually get property of her own in Missouri. That took strength, determination, and hard work.

You can learn more about the 52 Ancestors Challenge at the website for genealogist Amy Johnson Crow.

About Taminar

When I grow up, I want to make movies and write books. Now in my 50s, I wonder if I'll ever really accomplish the dreams of my youth. I have made two short films, one for a college film-making class, the other for an MTV-sponsored contest. I have written short plays that have been produced, and a few short stories and reviews that have been published. I also perform and direct for community theatre. My working life has included stints in local TV news, public relations, retail management and cashier, and for a couple of years, I made the rides go at Walt Disney World. I have two cats and a husband.
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