How an Ancestry Shaky Leaf Solved My Marriage Problem: 52 Ancestors #2: Clara Ellen Hash

My great grandmother was Clara Ellen Hash. Her parents were Weldon Alexander Hash and Sarah Hash who were first cousins.[1]    Their fathers were Zebedee Hash and Abram Hash, respectively.

She was born May 12, 1889 in Grayson County, Virginia.[2]  She had 6 children with Adam Franklin Feazell: Sarah, Ann, Carl, Helen, Charles and Harry.[3]  She died in Buena Vista, Virginia on March 8, 1948 at the age of 58.

And all of that is fairly well documented.  The one thing I could never find was where and when did Adam and Clara get married? Did they get married?

Sarah, their oldest, was born April 10, 1915.[4]. Assuming they were married before she was born, you would think they were married around 1913, give or take a few years.

  • In May of 1910, Adam was living with his parents John and Idella Feazell in Groseclose, Smyth County, Virginia.[5]
  • Also in 1910, Clara was living with her parents, Weldon and Sarah in Atkins, Smyth County, Virginia as well.[6]
  • On June 5, 1917, Adam and Clara and two children were living in Marion, Smyth County, Virginia.[7]

I searched the records of Smyth County.  Nothing.  I checked Grayson County where Clara was born. Nothing.  I abandoned my search.

Maybe they weren’t ever married.  Maybe I just wasn’t being clever enough or exhaustive enough in my search. The 1930 census suggested that they were married in 1913.[8]  So I was pretty sure I wasn’t being clever enough.

Yep I wasn’t clever enough. :-)

One day, up pops a shaky leaf  for Clara.  Ancestry.com had indexed West Virginia marriage records.  And guess who was there?  Clara and Adam.  There were married March 6, 1913 in Williamson, Mingo County, West Virginia.[9] West Virginia has lots of vitals online, and lucky for me, the image was there.

Frank Feazell and Clara Hash marriage record
Frank Feazell and Clara Hash marriage record

Now why they went to West Virginia to get married is still a bit of a mystery to me.  Adam’s older brother Elbert was most likely living in Williamson around that time.  He was living there as early as September 12, 1918.[10]

I also see that Frank was working as a railroad worker.  Maybe he was trying to earn money to get them set up.  Maybe they eloped.

Frank and Clara's marriage record: bottom portion
Frank and Clara’s marriage record: bottom portion

But at least now I know when and where they were married.


[1] Virginia, Virginia Department of Health, Certification of Vital Records, Certification of Birth, Clara E Hash, 12 May 1889, Grayson County, Virginia; Department of Health – Division of Vital Records, Richmond, Virginia.
[2] Virginia, Virginia Department of Health, Certification of Vital Records, Certification of Birth, Clara E Hash, 12 May 1889, Grayson County, Virginia; Department of Health – Division of Vital Records, Richmond, Virginia.
[3] 1930 U.S. census, Smyth county, Virginia, population schedule, Marion Magisterial District, [unnumbered], enumeration district (ED) 82-5, sheet 16-B, dwelling 328, family 319, Frank A Feazell; database and digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 4 Nov 2009); citing NARA microfilm publication T626, roll 2461.
[4] Smyth County, Virginia, “Index to births and deaths, 1853-1917″,  registrations ordered alphabetically, entry for Sarah Josephine Feazell; FHL 2025451, item 2. birth date 10 Apr 1915, file no. 1.
[5] 1910 U.S. census, Smyth county, Virginia, population schedule, Groseclose Precinct, p. 99 (stamped), enumeration district (ED) 85, sheet 9-A, dwelling 157, family 159, John D Feazell household; database and digital images, Ancestry.com, (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 4 Nov 2009); citing NARA microfilm publication T624, roll 1649.
[6] 1910 U.S. census, Smyth county, Virginia, population schedule, Atkins Precinct, p. 95 (stamped), enumeration district 85, sheet 5-A, dwelling 81, family 82, Weldon Hash household; database and digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 24 May 2011); citing NARA microfilm publication T624, roll 1649.
[7] “World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918,” database and images, Ancestry.com, (http://www.ancestry.com accessed : 4 Nov 2009), card for Adam Franklin Feazell, serial no.521, Precinct 1, Smyth County, Virginia; citing NARA microfilm publication M1509, 4,582 rolls.
[8] 1930 U.S. census, Smyth county, Virginia, population schedule, Marion Magisterial District, [unnumbered], enumeration district (ED) 82-5, sheet 16-B, dwelling 328, family 319, Frank A Feazell; database and digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 4 Nov 2009); citing NARA microfilm publication T626, roll 2461.
[9] West Virginia Marriage Index, database and images, West Virginia Division of Culture and History, (http://www.wvculture.org/vrr/va_view.aspx?Id=10332698&Type=Marriage : accessed 1 May 2013), entry for Frank Feazell, 25 and Clara hash, 23, 6 Mar 1913, page 85; citing West Virginia State Department of Health, Division of Vital Statistics.
[10] World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918, database and images, Ancestry.com, (http://www.ancestry.com accessed : 11 Sep 2012), card for Elbert A Feazell, serial no.1245, Local Board for the County of Mingo, Williamson, Mingo, Virginia; citing NARA microfilm publication M1509.

5 thoughts on “How an Ancestry Shaky Leaf Solved My Marriage Problem: 52 Ancestors #2: Clara Ellen Hash

  1. Great reminder that it’s always wise to check in adjacent States if obvious places do not prove out. In this case, the vital records indexes on the WV State Archives are pretty good (with wild cards available — and explained! — in the useful search engine).

    Ancestry.com did not index this marriage record. It has copied the existing indexes from the WV State Archives site, where the indexes were mostly (or maybe completely) done by volunteers.

    You show the recorded application for Marriage License and the recorded Marriage License, but not the recorded copy of the officiator’s return of marriage, which states that the marriage was performed on March 6, 1913 by James W. Thompson, Minister of the Christian Church, in (as you say) Williamson. No waiting: application, license and wedding all on the same day!

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