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African-Native American Genealogy Forum

Re: Hamilton , West-hamblin ancestry, hitting a wa

Hello, again,

While looking at the 1920 census, I also see Nellie as the head of the house, and with her was her mother Nellie.

One of the most important things to take note of is who the people are in the head of the house. I would not discount Nellie has being the mother of Katie. Katie was the head of the household at time. Everyone listed is always listed by their relationship to the head of the house---whether child of, or sibling, parent, and even boarder. On that 1920 document---Katie indicates that her mother was born in Mpississippi. On the line where Nellie is enumerated, it is also stated that she was born in Mississippi.

One of the most important things to realize is that one has to avoid invention in genealogy research. You can only go by the evidence. And you have the aunt who id not know Coy, so her lack of knowledge about Nellie should not make you discredit who the head of the house said was her mother.

Have you researched Nellie to see what else can be learned about her? That is a door waiting to be opened right there. The fact that she is now living as an elder with a daughter and grandchildren, suggests that she was probably living in her own household prior to that. Right there is a door that can be opened. The likelihood of Nellie being a family friend is slim, as few people refer to non-relatives as a parent. Especially one's mother.

Now since you have Katie documented in the 1900s do you know when she died?
If she died in Arkansas, then you need to obtain her death certificate---as well as the death certificate of her mother Nellie. TWO more doors that can be opened for you.

Katie's death certificate will reveal the name of her mother, and more than likely one of Katie's children will have been the informant on the death record.

Note-----in 1900 Katie still states that her mother was born in Mississippi. (Keep in mind that later when you see Nellie, she was born in Mississippi.) Nellis IS her mother!!

Now---in 1900, it is also stated that they had been married for 10 years. So---there is a marriage record to try and locate. They will have married in either Lonoke or Pulaski County is my guess, so I would start first with Lonoke to find a marriage record from 1890 for Katie Hamilton, to Tom Wilkinson.

With the 20 year gap in the census record---you next strategy is to then try to locate a young child, Katie with her siblings--Katie Hamilton. She will have been a young child, and if she was the oldest, her siblings might not be on the census.

You might have a challenge in locating Narcissa, Birdie and Seenie, because of that 20 year gap in the records. Quite possibly by the 1900s they were married, and unless they were deceased, you might have to do a line by line first name search of Lonoke/Pulaski areas. If they had married (OR were deceased) you may or may not pinpoint them so easily.

For tribal records----my suggestion is that you stay focused on the available records in the geographic vicinity where your family is clearly documented and known to have been based. Indian records from another state will most likely not include the Williamsons and Hamiltons of Central Arkansas. (Sometimes, references to Indian ancestry are based on features---light skin, hair texture.)

I have visited the Arkansas History Commission and spoken at length with the archivists, and it appears that the ONLY Indian community documented in the state since 1836 (the year of Arkansas statehood) was a small community of Quawpaws, located in another part of the state, and that small community eventually was enumerated in later years as being white as they eventually married into the white population. Even if tied to your family---there will be no "Indian" rolls that will reflect that.

So---the next steps if you have not done so already, are:
1) Locate Katie's death certificate.
2) Locate Nellie's death certificate
3) Locate Katie as a small child in 1880.
4) Locate Katie's siblings---who might have been Morris's.

Now---you might be thinking that if Katie was a Hamilton, and Nellie was a Morris that this might not be her mother. One must remember that people remarried often---especially in the 19th century (1800s) and especially women when they were widowed. They needed a way to live and support themselves and family. If they had young children when a husband died, they needed to remarry as often that would be their means of support--life with a second husband.

I hope this is useful.

Best wishes. Let us know how you make out as the search continues.


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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