Tag Archives: smyth county

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.

Weaving in the Current Events of the Time into Your Ancestor’s Story: Tuesday’s Tip

We look at census records and changes in families as their story. But they lived in a time and place.  Their lives weave through history.   As I work on my Kinship Determination Project for my CG and the family  I’m trying to learn more about the county they lived in, Smyth County, Virginia to understand their lives in the 1800′s.

Yesterday I delved into History of Smyth County, Virginia, Volume Two, 1832-1870: Ante-bellum Years through The Civil War by Joan Tracy Armstrong.  As you can see Smyth County was in the southwest corner of the state and transportation was the biggest issue when it came to developing the county.  The politics of convincing a state legislature to fund the cost of building roads and railroads in remote areas of the state took quite some time.  But it did happen.

Marion, Va Train Station

Marion, Va Train Station by SeeMidTN.com (aka Brent), on Flickr

“By the end of 1855, tracks for the railroad were within two miles of Marion.  Four months later the train was making runs to Marion and track was being laid toward Abingdon.” 1

So the 10 years from 1850 to 1860, did not just show a change in the personal life of my ancestor Adam Boyd Snavely.  He was married,2 became a father,3 and a widower4 over those ten years. There was also a change in the ways in which the people of the county, and Marion, where he lived, conducted their lives.5

And I think that is the challenge of telling the story.  Our lives are against the backdrop of the world around us.  What happens in my city, my county, my state, my country has an effect on my life as I interact with the people in my communities, and the events of the world.

To be really good at what we do, telling the story, we need to bring in those details, not just the personal details we find in historical records.

Footnotes

1. Joan Tracy Armstrong, History of Smyth County, Virginia, Volume Two 1832-1870: Ante-bellum Years through The Civil War
(Marion, Virginia: Smyth County Historical and Museum Society, Inc., 1986), 56.
2. Smyth County, Virginia, “Marriage Registers,” registrations ordered chronologically by date, p. 158 (stamped), line 2, entry for Adam B Snavely and Mary J Aker; citing Marriage Records 1852-1935 [microform], Reel 47, Allen County Public Library, Fort Wayne, Indiana.
3.Find A Grave, database and images (http://findagrave.com : accessed 2 Sep 2012), memorial page for Emma Snavely Find A Grave Memorial no. 47227744, citing Bear Cemetery, Atkins, Smyth County, Virginia.
4. Virginia, Deaths and Burials Index, 1853-1917, database online, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 8 Sep 2012), entry for Mary J Snavely, death date 17 May 1859; citing Virginia Deaths and Burials Index, 1853-1912, index, FamilySearch.
5. 1860 U.S. census, Smyth County, Virginia, population schedule, p. 145 (penned), dwelling 948, family 951, Nicholas Snavely household; database and digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 2 Jun 2010); digital images, citing NARA microfilm publication, M653, roll 1377.

Not all deeds are for land: Can I have a pony?

How many small children have wished for a pony? My nieces believe that they have husband wrapped around their little fingers and that he would buy them one if they just asked.  (Fortunately for sister and brother-in-law, my nieces have never asked. :-) )

Nicholas Snavely is my 4th great grandfather born abt 1811 and died abt 1893.  (I’ve been researching my Snavely line for my KDP project for my BCG certification.) As I was searching for deeds for Nicholas, I found this gem:

Know all men by these presents that I Nicholas Snavely of the County of smyth State ov Virginia have given and do here
by give to my grand son & grand daughter Adam Jones and Mary J Jones one black colt two years old colt of my sorrel mare many to have and to have the said colt &its increase to the said Adam Jones & Mary Jones & all heirs for ever free from the claims of the said Nicholas Snavely and well other persons whom ?? ?? witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and of fixed my seal this 1st February 1858.

Nicholas Snavely <seal> 1

Adam and Mary were the children of Elizabeth Snavely and John T Jones, and were 4 and 2 respectively when Nicholas made this gift. He had three other grandchildren at time; I have no evidence that he made a similar gift to them.

Elizabeth (Snavely) Jones died a few years later, sometime between 1863 and 1867, and while Adam was living with his father and stepmother,2 Mary was living with her grandparents Nicholas and Mary.3 We find various of the Jones’ children living with him over the years.

I have yet to discover why he made this gift, but it is evident by his relationship with his grandchildren after his daughter’s death that he and his wife were involved in their lives and upbringing.

And the gift of a pony, adds some light on who the man was and reveals his relationship with his grandchildren.

Footnotes

1. Smyth County, Virginia, “Deeds, 1832-1865; index to deeds, 1832-1929: Deeds, Vol. 7-8 1856-1865,” vol. 7, page 227-228, Nicholas Snavely deed gift to Adam Jones, record date; FHL microfilm 33983.
2. 1870 U.S. census, Smyth County, Virginia, population schedule, Marion Township, p. 28 (penned), dwelling 171, family 178, John Jones household; database and digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 15 Oct 2012; digital images, citing NARA microfilm publication, M593, roll 1679.
3. 1870 U.S. census, Smyth County, Virginia, population schedule, Marion Township, pp. 27, 28 (penned), dwelling 170, family 177, Nicholas and Mollie Snavely; database and digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 2 Jun 2010); digital images, citing NARA microfilm publication, M653, roll 1679.

Tick Tock, Tick Tock

I knew this was going to happen.  Between work and trying to organize my CG stuff, my blogging has fallen behind.  But the clock has started.

It sounds like a lot of days, doesn’t it.  HA!
I’ve chosen my three couples for my Narrative Lineage and organized the outline of that paper.  They are my grandmother’s family and I did them early on.  Oh my goodness.  What sloppy, sloppy research.  But I think I’ve cleaned it up and identified the families and am in the process of creating my initial Research list.

I’ve ordered more books.  Turns out my library doesn’t have as much on Smyth County, Virginia as it should.  And my husband is giving me those “how many genealogy books does one human being really need?” looks.  Do you know those looks?

I’ve got my conflicting evidence problem picked out.  And the research is done, it just needs to be written.

My transcript arrived and it doesn’t look too bad.  The handwriting was fairly readable.  I believe we aren’t suppose to give any details on those, so no more on that!

I’ve picked out a delightful Chancery Case that deals with gambling debts because I would like to delight the reviewers with something different than the same old wills and deeds I’m sure they see.  It’s either that or a bible page I have, but I can’t figure out what half of it says at the moment.

A few of you sent me some good case studies, as did a friend, and once I get the rest of this in order, I will respond, I promise!

It all seems doable.

I’m also going to Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana next week to meet with librarians.  It’s a work trip, but I should be able to squeeze some research in, so I’m pretty excited about that.  I’ll try and post from the road.  I’m doing a presentation for patrons while I am there, and once I give it I’ll post the PDF of the presentation on my How To  page.

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