#52Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Mother’s Day

Usually, I take my mom out for lunch or dinner on Mother’s Day. For the second year running, we skipped that, because of COVID-19, but we talked on the phone and I did some grocery shopping for her.

Since I’ve already written a post specifically about my mom, Zenova Cook Hahn, and because I recently did the mtDNA test with Family Tree DNA, I thought this Mother’s Day week, I’d run through my maternal line.

(L-R) Mary Elizabeth "Mollie" Pittman Stevens, Willie Aline Stevens Cook, Zenova Cook Hahn, Auriette Hahn.

My mom was born and reared in Pensacola, Florida, the oldest of three children born to Dewey Hoyt Cook and Willie Aline Stevens. Naturally, I have a lot of documentation for my mom, including her birth certificate, marriage license, the 1940 Census, newspaper articles, and her parents’ obituaries.

For her mother Willie, I have birth and death certificates, marriage license, and Census records from 1910 to 1940 – except 1930. She was a teacher and was probably living closer to the school where she was working, perhaps with one of the students’ families. Perhaps they didn’t think to list her when the Census taker came by, or one of the neighbors provided the information. I also have several newspaper articles.

Willie’s mother was Mary Elizabeth Pittman, known as Mollie. She was born November 16, 1882, in Bay Minette, Baldwin County, Alabama. I have the date from her Bible and the location that Willie wrote in the guest book for her mother’s funeral. I’ve found her in U.S. Census records from 1900 to 1940, and she’s also in the 1935 and 1945 Florida state censuses. I found her marriage record online, and I ordered her death certificate.

Mollie’s mother was Mosella Elizabeth Thompson. According to Mollie’s Bible, her mother was born March 7th, 1865. The earliest record I have for her is the 1870 Census, where she’s listed as Betty Thompson, living with her parents in Escambia County, Florida. Next is the record of her marriage to Isaac Pittman in April 1880. The 1880 Census shows Isaac and “Elizabeth Pitman” living with her parents in Bay Minette, Alabama. In 1890, the record for her son Medrick’s birth gives her name as Marcela E. Pitman. The 1900 Census records her as Mosella E. Pitman (though it’s been indexed as Patman). The 1910 Census lists her as Elizabeth Pittman, and a 1911 death record for her son, Isaac, names her as Elizabeth Pitman. A 1911 newspaper snippet names her as Mrs. Lizzie Pitman. She is E. Pittman in the 1920 Census, where we find her back in Escambia County, Florida. She is named as Mosella Elizabeth Pitmon on her death certificate, November 29th, 1924. She is named as Mary Elizabeth on her son Grover Cleveland “Cleve” Pittman’s death certificate in Texas.

Mosella Elizabeth’s mother was Elizabeth Lawrence Rikard. The middle name came from a transcription from the Bible of her son Fred Thompson, thanks to my cousin Gail Cook Colvert. The same Bible transcription says she was born in 1829. The earliest record I have for her is the 1850 Census, where she is listed as Elizabeth Rikard, living with her mother and stepfather, Jacob Thompson. Alabama marriage records show Elizabeth Rickard marrying Origen Thompson in Baldwin County, Alabama, on April 2, 1859. The 1860, 1870, and 1880 Censuses list her as Elizabeth Thompson, living with her husband (Origen, Orry, and Ory, respectively). In 1910, she is Elizabeth Thompson, living with her son Fred. Her obituary was published in the Baldwin Times, Bay Minette, and 19 December 1912. The only other records I have for her are the death certificates of her children Julia, William Origen, and Charlie. Her name is not given on Mosella Elizabeth’s death certificate.

Elizabeth Lawrence Rikard’s mother was Theodosia P. Something. I have four records for her. In 1849, Jacob Thompson married Mrs. Dotia Rickard (per the index) and Mrs. Dotia Rika… (per the scan) in Baldwin County, Alabama. In 1850, the U.S. Census lists her as Doshia P. Thompson, living with her husband Jacob, their daughter Adaline Thompson, and her Rikard children: John, Elizabeth, Richard, Samuel, and Mary Ann. In 1860, she’s named as Docia Thompson. The household includes husband Jacob; Richard, Sam, and Mary A. Rickard; and Adeline, Jacob, Eliza, and Berry Thompson. In 1870, Theodosie Thompson is living with three of her children, Jacob and Eliza Thompson and Samuel Raccord.

Theodosia is why I took the mtDNA test. I was hoping that maybe I would see a Lawrence or someone with a “P” name that would have family in the right area to be Theodosia’s kin. Alas, nothing jumped right out. The next step is to search for each of the matches in Family Finder (as well as on Ancestry, 23andMe, and MyHeritage) to see if any of the mtDNA matches are close enough relatives to also match with atDNA.

By the way, my maternal haplogroup is H1a3.

I have found a couple of DNA cousins through the Rikard line, and I need to look more closely at our shared matches for hints about Theodosia’s family line and her husband’s (I still don’t know his first name for sure either).

So, that’s my maternal line, so far, and I am the last of my particular line. I hope to someday crack through that brick wall as my legacy to the other cousins out there.

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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2 Responses to #52Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Mother’s Day

  1. Barb LaFara says:

    I too have a brick wall on my maternal (mtDNA) line, so frustrating… Good luck!

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