Earlier this week when I found myself with a free hour I decided to work a question in my genealogy. It couldn’t take more than an hour or so and had to be doable free online.
I chose my paternal grandmother’s family which I have not ignored but have not done much work on. I knew her parents’ names and had information on her mother’s line. I turned to her father’s line, a painfully common name and a puzzle. To complicate matters, in my maternal line and in the same geographic area I have the same common name. I had tracked the line far enough to know the paternal Wood line is not related to the maternal Wood line which I have back nearly 300 years.
Wilma Wood married Robert Rothwell on January 1, 1923. She was the daughter of William Tobias Wood and Eva Nora Bozarth of Illiopolis, Sangamon County, Illinois. I had William Tobias’ death certificate and the marriage record indicating they had married February 17, 1889, in Illiopolis. I knew the state database had a typo on the date. I had tracked back into the Bozarth line a couple generations a few years ago.
Wood was a puzzle. I knew he was born August 23, 1863, in Shelby County, Illinois. I knew that his parents were William Wood Sr. and Emily Rice. I knew that did not mean William Sr. was named Tobias but it might. I knew from the 1860 Shelby County census that Emily’s father was Nathan Rice. I knew William Wood did not appear on the 1870 census although Emily did with William Tobias. Emily appears in the household of Joseph Beason in 1880 with William Tobias listed as his stepson.
I knew a William Wood had served in the Civil War, age 22 in 1863, Pvt., Company F, 5th Illinois US Calvary, who mustered in at Effingham County and mustered out at Springfield in 1865. Emily also had a daughter Hattie Wood who was 13 on the 1880 census - although she does not appear on the 1870 census. This would suggest William Wood returned from the Civil War, fathered a daughter and died between 1866 and 1870. A Civil War pension search is on the to do list.
Using the online Illinois State Archives marriage database I found the marriage of Emily [listed as Rice, not Wood] and Joseph Beason. Using the death database I found Emily’s death on April 27, 1927. Joseph Beason must have died before 1916 when death certificates were required and had to be recorded with the state.
Using the Sangamon County ILGenWeb site I found that Emily was buried at Riverside Cemetery. The Pritchett Funeral Records transcription by Mary Ann Kaylor on the same site indicate Emily's age at death as 83 years, 2 months and 13 days. Using an online birth date calculator I got a birth date of February 14, 1844.
The same records list Emily’s parents as Nathan Rice and [unknown first name] Little. Back to the Illinois State Archives databases where I found Nathan Rice married Emily Little on March 13, 1828, in Shelby County, Illinois. Presumably there were children born between the marriage in 1828 and Emily’s birth in 1844 who are just waiting to be found. While I was there I found a Hattie Wood married a Charles H. McCorkle in Sangamon County on March 28, 1886. On another day I’ll tell why I’m sure that is my great grandaunt.
Lots more to go but in a little over an hour I was able to find plenty of new leads to check out free online.