I crossed my fingers and hoped that I would find Jane Norman and her two sons on the 1910 census. Dissie had died in 1908, so someone recognizable as her husband Jack Norman might still be around in 1910.
The Puzzle Piece
For a 1910 US Federal Census search on Ancestry, I entered “Norman” in the last name field, “Arkansas” in the state field, and “Garland” in the county field. The Norman names that showed up in the results did not include a Jane or Thomas Norman, but they did include a “Jackson W. Norman,” age 22 – and he was listed together with a Sarah J. Cotton, age 53, and a Thomas P. Moore, age 25. This was the very family that Inez Cline had referred to. Sarah J. was Sarah Jane, Thomas was the “other son named Moore,” and Jackson was Jack! When I checked back on the 1900 census to see why there was a discrepancy in Jack’s name, I could see that “John M.” was probably actually “Johnson” – apparently the census-taker could not remember his exact name. Most importantly, Jack’s marital status was given as “widowed.” As on the 1900 census, the Newton Norman family was right next door.
I still wanted to know if there was not only a connection by marriage, but also a connection by kinship to “my” Normans. Before I did any more census research, I decided to visit what I knew to be a rich source of information on the Normans and numerous members of the Arkansas families related to them. Next stop: Findagrave, specifically the entries for Peak Cemetery, Garland County, Arkansas.
Sarah J. Cotton household, 1910 U.S. census, Garland County, Arkansas, population schedule, Lincoln Township, dwelling 136, family 139; National Archives Microfilm Publication, Roll T624_50; Page 9A; Enumeration District 71. Accessed via Ancestry.com.