Friday, October 16, 2009

Featured Family Friday: William Henry Norman and Sarah Jane Sisson

William Henry “Jack” Norman
b. 15 Mar 1858, Alabama
d. 19 Dec 1939, Leonard, Fannin County, Texas
& Sarah Jane Sisson
b. 14 Feb 1855, Alabama
d. 25 Apr 1937, Fannin County, Texas
m. 1879
|--William Norman Jr.
|----b. 1880, Talladega, Alabama
|----d. 1881, Talladega, Alabama
|--Thomas Franklin Norman
|----b. 6 Mar 1882, Alabama
|----d. 16 Aug 1958, Fannin County, Texas
|---& Nolie King Denison
|----b. 6 Apr 1887, Tennessee
|----d. 30 Mar 1967, Leonard, Fannin Co., Texas
|----m. 19 May 1905
|--Annie Norman
|----b. 1883, Talladega, Alabama
|----d. 1886, Talladega, Alabama
|--Jessie Fredrick Norman
|----b. 1884, Talladega, Alabama
|----d. 1895
|--Mary Jane “Mollie” Norman
|----b. 14 Feb 1890, Alabama
|----d. 21 Jan 1984, Leonard, Fannin Co., TX
|---& George Hampton Watson
|----b. 12 Aug 1876, Tennessee
|----d. 13 May 1941, Fannin County, Texas
|----m. 5 Sep 1910
|--Sallie Frances Norman
|----b. 5 Sep 1892, Talladega Co., AL
|----d. 8 Dec 1984, Ivanhoe, Fannin County, Texas
|---& Lawrence Carroll Brinlee
|----b. 29 Jan 1893, String Town, Atoka, OK
|----d. 9 Apr 1953, Bonham, Fannin, TX
|----m. 6 May 1911, Greenville, Hunt Co., TX
|--Obadiah “Oby” Norman*
|----b. 31 Mar 1895, Texas
|----d. Jun 1979
|---& Edith Beulah Watson
|----b. 2 Jul 1899
|----d. 12 Mar 1956, San Bernardino, CA
|----m. 3 May 1919, Dallas, Dallas County, Texas
|--Obadiah “Oby” Norman*
|----b. 31 Mar 1895, Texas
|----d. Jun 1979
|---& Rhuea Mae Brown
|----b. 28 Oct 1889, Licking, Texas Co., Missouri
|----d. 6 Apr 1974, Napa, California
|----m. 23 Aug 1956, Bonham, Fannin Co., TX

This is the family of my great-grandparents William Henry “Jack” Norman (son of James Madison Carroll Norman and Rebecca Monk) and Sarah Jane Sisson (daughter of William T. Sisson and Jerusha Elizabeth Neeley). They were my paternal grandmother’s parents. (Coincidence: Jack and Sarah were both the second children of the first wives of men who each had three wives.)

Originally I had heard nothing about the three children who died young – William Henry, Jr., Annie, and Jessie Frederick. I first saw them listed as children of Jack and Sarah Norman on a Sisson family website (included in the links on the left side of this blog). This information may have come from a Norman family history compiled by Inez E. Cline and passed to me by some generous cousins (thanks, Pat and Chuck!). This family history also attributes a third wife (Mary Roberts) to my great-uncle Oby Norman, but I have yet to check that one out, so I have not included her, yet.

Jack and Sarah Norman were the last set of great-grandparents I found after starting on the genealogical journey. I first saw their names on a listing for the Brown Shed Cemetery in Fannin, Texas. They appeared to be the right ages to have been Grandma Brinlee’s parents, so I put them down as my candidates. Then right after I subscribed to Ancestry I found them with their surviving children, including Grandma Sallie and Great-Uncle Oby, on the 1900 census. I cannot find Jack on either the 1910 or 1920 census, and Sarah appears on the 1920 census with son Thomas Frank and family and is listed as a widow. I suppose this could have been a mistake, but it kind of makes me wonder.

I would love to share information with anyone related to/researching this family; you can use the “Contact” button on the left side of this blog to get in touch with me.


  1. I wonder how common the Sisson surname best friend next door is a Sisson. Wouldn't that be a small world if you and he were related.

  2. Apparently Sisson can come from several previous incarnations, including Cisum. The main Sisson lines in America are covered on the "Sisson Genealogy" site shown at the left under "Family Links." My line is the Thomas Sisson-Hannah Parker line. Your friend/neighbor could check that website and see whether or not anything rings a bell.