Greetings Afrigeneas family,
Here is my problem that I've had for a while, and I need some more experienced help here:
America Clark married Benjamin Winbush in Jones County, GA in 1875. The couple is listed in Jones County, GA in 1880. Benjamin is stated as father to all five children, three of who are born before their marriage. The oldest son is Henry, who is listed as old enough to be listed in 1870.
In 1870, Benjamin is listed as single in the same county, but America is not found, and that's where I have the problem.
By looking at ages, race and local marriage records, I can determine that none of the America's in 1870 in Jones County, GA (on ancestry.com) is America Winbush in 1880.
That leaves me the following options:
A: She is living in Jones County in 1870 but not listed in the census
B: She is in another County and another last name in 1870
C: She is listed alone, but with a different name in Jones County in 1870
D: She is listed with a different husband in 1870, and her marriage to Benjamin is her second.
Just beside Benjamin Winbush in 1870, there is the family of Henry and Mary Clark. I have other documentation to 'prove' that either Henry or Mary are related to the Wimbushes in 1880. I'm assuming that Either Henry or Mary could be a sibling to America. This makes me believe that option B is not applicable above. That gives options A, C and D left. For option A, there is off course always a possibility that she was missed by the census taker. For option D, there are no marriages showing that America was married before she married Ben in 1875. I do have a copy of one of their children's social security application, and America's maiden name is Clark, which to me indicates that her marriage to Benjamin was her first.
For option C though, I have a strong candidate:
In Jones County in 1870, there is the household of Jesse Clark:
Jesse Clark, M(ulatto), 73
Mithy Clark, M, 73
Manda Clark, M, 19
Lenea Clark, M, 15
Roberta Clark, M, 14
Charlotte Clark, M, 9
Henry Clark, M, 9
I believe this is America because:
1) Her age closely matches America Winbush in 1880
2) Her last name is Clark
3) There is a young Henry in the household, closely matching the age of Henry Winbush in 1880. This 1870 Henry is listed as female, but I'm assuming that this is a mistake by the census taker. Based on the ages of the members of the household, Manda is the most likely mother of this Henry.
4) I have talked to two of America's gr granddaughters that are still alive, and they have both independantly told me that America was white (they never met her though). In the census between 1880 and 1930, she is listed as Black or Mulatto. So I do not believe that she was white, but I believe that she was of 'light' color. This matches good with Manda Clark in 1870.
5) The household of Jesse Clark is listed just two pages away from the household of Adam Wimbush, who I believe is the family of Benjamin Winbush (there is only this family and Benjamin with the surname Winbush in 1870). That relationship is not confirmed yet though.
6) There is no marriage of Manda Clark in Jones County between before 1880, and neither in Jasper County, where there were some Clark slave owners in 1860. There is also no Manda Clark in the 1880 census. Actually, I can't find any member of the Jesse Clark's 1870 household in 1880 or in any other records at all so far.
America passed away in Butts County in the early 1930's according to elderly relatives, but I have not found a death certificate. America did have a nick name, not 'Manda' but 'Meckie'.
Can I assume that Manda Clark in 1870 is America Winbush in 1880?
Please let me know your thoughts.