Wednesday, March 23, 2011

What I Learned Wednesday: 23 March 2011

(A new feature - and I hope a regular one - for posting weekly updates on my research.)

This week some of the “slow and steady” transliteration and analysis has paid off.

Last week I started transcribing the probate packet materials for the estate of Bud Mathis Moore (B. M. Moore), the brother of my great-great grandfather William Spencer Moore. The main body of materials date to 1888, but there are some letters to heirs that date to 1896.

Some of the materials consisted of letters from to and from the descendants of Elizabeth Moore Bain, B. M. Moore’s oldest child and his only child by his first wife, Elizabeth Brashier. The descendants in question were James D. Fields and Mary E. Fields, the children of Martha A. “Mattie” Bain, the daughter of Elizabeth Moore and James Bain, and William Fields. Mary is first referred to as “Mollie Fields” and then as Mrs. J. M. Davis.

Mattie Bain Fields did not appear with her family on the 1870 census for Etowah County, Alabama, so I looked for a Martha or Mattie Fields of the right age in 1870. I found her with her husband William and children “Jas. S.” and “Mary E.” in Hunt County Texas; also living with the family was her brother Richard Bain.

By 1880 James and Mary are living with their grandmother - Elizabeth Griffin - and they are all back in Etowah County, Alabama. This Elizabeth Griffin is the right age to be Elizabeth Moore Bain, and in fact, when I flipped ahead in the B. M. Moore probate materials, I saw an “E. F. Griffin” listed as one of the recipients of items from the estate, so one question which would have arisen was already taken care of. Moreover, her marital status was described as “Married - husband gone.” So there appears to be a story here that I may want to look into later. I cannot find this Elizabeth Griffin on the 1900 census.

Using Mary Fields Davis’ age from previous censuses and the information that her husband must have been a J. M. Davis, I found her with her husband John Davis on the 1900 census in Fort Wort, Texas (though the names are common, I knew it was the right couple because both the letters and the census gave Magnolia Street in Fort Worth as the address for the family) with their children Martha, John, Jennie, and James.

The letters addressed to James were sent to Blountsville, Alabama, and I found James D. Fields with wife Ella and children Thomas, Guss, and William on the 1900 and 1910 censuses. I may have found James’ family on the 1920 census in Marion County, Alabama, but I’m not sure. It is the family of William J. Daily and his wife Ellen J. Daily, who is the same age as Ella J. Fields, and her sons Guss Fields (two years older than the Guss Fields on the 1910 census) and Bethell Fields, who is the right age to be the William Fields of the 1910 census.

So here is what the descendant report looks like for Elizabeth Moore and James Bain so far:

James Bain
 b. ca 1818, South Carolina
& Elizabeth W. Moore
 b. 12 Dec 1824
|      Mary Emma Bain
|       b. 1845, South Carolina
|      Martha A. “Mattie” Bain
|        b. 1846, South Carolina
|      & William Fields
|       b. 1848, Alabama
|      |      James D. Fields
|      |        b. Apr 1867, Alabama
|      |      & Ella J.
|      |        b. May 1876, Alabama
|      |      |      Thomas V. Fields
|      |      |        b. Jan 1898, Alabama
|      |      |      Guss Fields
|      |      |       b. 1902, Alabama
|      |      |      William Fields
|      |      |        b. 1909, Alabama
|      |      Mary E. Fields
|      |       b. Oct 1870, Texas
|      |      & John M. Davis
|      |       b. Nov 1866, Kentucky
|      |      |      Martha Davis
|      |      |       b. Nov 1889, Texas
|      |      |      John E. Davis
|      |      |       b. Dec 1894, Texas
|      |      |      Jennie Davis
|      |      |       b. Jan 1898, Texas
|      |      |      James Davis
|      |      |        b. Jan 1900, Texas
|      William Manning Bain
|        b. 1848, South Carolina
|      Richard H. Bain
|       b. 1851, South Carolina
|      George B. Bain
|       b. 1854, South Carolina

I do not know what happened to any of the other children of Elizabeth Moore and James Bain after 1870; none of them or their descendants is mentioned in the B. M. Moore probate materials. Whether this is because they died or because they had lost all contact with the family in Greenville or for other reasons, I do not know. But since this is the branch of the Bud Mathis Moore family that moved away from South Carolina quite early and about which the least is known, I would like to find out what happened to all of these people.


  1. How enormously satisfying this must be. Not to mention a relief to be digging into things that have probably been lurking in the back of your mind - at least they would/do in my mine.

  2. Exactly! This is one of those families and some of those bits of information floating around that just nag at me. I'm hoping something else will turn up that sheds some light on what happened to the rest of the people in this family (maybe a descendant will contact me??).

  3. Your post reminds me that I must check for probate court records when I make my field trip next week.

    You got a lot of information out of these records. I hope your post on this yields some cousin contacts for you.

  4. I love this kind of self imposed accountability. In the same manner, this past week I REALLY looked at all the documents related to the birth of my dad and his just older brother -- i.e., census reports, birth certificates, and newspaper clippings -- vis a vis, the old family stories and my Uncle Ralph's letters. Wow, I really opened a can of worms--- and nothing is making sense --- yet.

    So, posts such as yours keep me to the straight and narrow. Thanks.

  5. dee - Hope you have a good field trip - I'm itching to get out on another one.

    Joan - You've guessed my problem and my trick - have to make myself carefully look at and think about the documents I am finding.

  6. Hi Greta, I had most of these names on my tree. I had them as Bayne not Bain, was also missing a lot of the decendants. Thanks for the info. Let me research it some more. I have found that facebook is a great way to look for living decendants. Do a name search and narrow it down with the last known town. Using this method I was able to find some of the Brownlee's. They live in the very place I grew up, which is not far at all from where I live know...One of the in-law Brownlee's is into Genealogy if you would like her info.

  7. Bio and Links
    I am a descendant of Jennings NIX from South Carolina, and Ellison Crossroad, Altoona Etowah County, Alabama. Searching Moodys Chapel, Sauls, Samuels, Morton, Moody and other local cemeteries.
    Leave Public Message
    Forums: daltonn

    Found this on findagrave if you are interested..

    Dalton J. Nix (#46810816)
    member for 7 years, 5 months

  8. Ugg that probably wasn't enough info... Addie Nix married Thomas V Fields, so of James D and Ella J Fields.James is the son of William and Martha Bain. Martha, daughter of Elizabeth W

  9. Ok here is another one at findagrave, this one is not from an inlaw. Its for John Hampton Fields, so on William A Fields and Martha Bain...

    Birth: Jun. 13, 1875
    Jefferson County
    Alabama, USA
    Death: Dec. 17, 1921
    Harris County
    Texas, USA

    Son of Abner Fields & Martha (Shugar) Fields. Husband of Minnie Lee Fields.

    Cause of death: Gunshot wound

    Humble Cemetery
    Harris County
    Texas, USA

    Edit Virtual Cemetery info [?]

    Created by: Rick Kauffman
    Record added: Jun 18, 2008
    Find A Grave Memorial# 27665280
    Bio for Rick Kauffman
    Bio and Links
    Just a guy that enjoys history and thinks that history and geneology are an important part of our lives. I was born and raised in Western Pennsylvania, and now I live outside of Houston, Texas. At home, I am trying to get as many local cemeteries listed as possible. I am currently focusing on "forgotten" and out of the way cemeteries in East Texas. I also travel quite a bit with my job, so in the evenings on the road, I visit local cemeteries and try to fulfill photo requests. I also travel back to Western PA frequently and try to get cemeteries there.

    I try my best to try and find out as much as possible about each person using public records, obituaries, etc. However, I know that I will make mistakes. PLEASE let me know if there are any errors so that I can correct them.

    Transfers: Please follow the FAG guidelines for transfers. If the person memorialized is not a direct relative - as defined by FAG - please do not ask for transfers.

    The greatest thing about love is that no matter how many ways you divide it, it never gets smaller.