I mentally filed away the information on Dissie Norman’s marriage to Jack Norman and started census work for the family of her father, Newton Leonard Norman. What I found on the page where the Newt Norman family information was entered whetted my appetite for more information on Jack Norman and his mother Jane:
The Puzzle Piece
You can enlarge the image above by clicking on it. Here is the information:
1900 US Federal Census, Lincoln Township, Garland County, Arkansas, Enumeration District 31, sheet number 5B, enumeration date 8 June 1900
Line number 86, dwelling number 84, family number 84
Norman, Jane Head White Female May 1858. 42 years old at last birthday. Married. Mother of two children, of whom two are still living. Born in Arkansas, father born in Alabama, mother born in Arkansas. Farmer. Months not employed: 0. Can read, cannot write, can speak English.
[Norman,] Thomas Son White Male Dec 1885. 14 years old at last birthday. Single. Born in Arkansas, father born in Arkansas, mother born in Arkansas. Farm laborer Months not employed: 0. Can read, cannot write, can speak English.
[Norman, John M.] Son White Male Mar 1891. 8 years old at last birthday. Single. Born in Arkansas, father born in Arkansas, mother born in Arkansas.
So here is Jane Norman with her two sons, Thomas (Norman) and John M. Norman (that is how the name is interpreted in the Ancestry transcription). I found this entry several families above the Newt Norman family, and on either side there are Moore families - remember that according to Inez Cline’s “Norman Family’s History” one of Jane’s sons was a Moore. Here she and her sons are all listed as Normans. This would lead me to believe that she was not born a Norman but had married a Norman. According to Cline and according to the census, she had only two sons, so was one of these sons actually a Moore? The other son, John M., would probably be the “Jack Norman” in question. Another intriguing item was that the “M” for “married” appears to have been written over an “S”.
This was the information that set off my detective instincts. It was one thing for Cline to have listed this family as having married into the Newton Norman family, but here in 1900 the family in question is living quite close to the Newton Norman family as well as to Moore families which I knew to be connected to “my” Norman family by marriage. Norman families living in close proximity would seem to indicate the probability of kinship, wouldn’t it?
I went through my list of known sons and grandsons of J.M.C. Norman. Almost all of them were “otherwise accounted for.” J.M.C. did have a son named John; the only information Inez Cline had for him was “13 in 1880 [on the 1880 census]; N.F.R. [no further record].” Though nine years younger than Jane, theoretically he could have married her and been the father of her two sons. However, the fact that Cline had no other information on John from Norman descendants seemed to indicate that he had died young. Also, this would have meant that Dissie Norman married a first cousin. Possible, but I didn’t think it was likely.
This made me wonder whether Jane Norman’s husband and the father of Thomas and John might have been a more distant Norman relative, possibly a cousin of J.M.C. Norman.
I decided to try to find out more about Jane Norman and her sons; next stop: 1910 census.
Jane Norman household, 1900 U.S. Census, Garland County, Arkansas, population schedule, Lincoln Township, dwelling 84, family 84; National Archives Microfilm publication, Roll T623_59; Page 5B; Enumeration District 31. Accessed via Ancestry.com.