Monday, June 29, 2009

Madness Monday - My Morris and Downer Line

Since my Aunt moved into my apartment building, I have been fortunate enough to gain much of her old genealogy notes and many family pictures. She has been kind enough to allow me to look through her notes and use her notes to further my own research.

My main challenge while looking through her work was that a lot of her notes on our Downer line was based on FamilySearch's IGI - which is not the most credible of sources. In fact, I couldn't find any sources attached to the IGI's family group records.

So, I decided that it was up to me to prove all of this information. In fact, it has become a bit of a mission for me.

So I looked at this first family group, which I have in my database and was actively researching. The couple was William Morris and Julia Ann Downer. Here is the information I have on the couple:

William Morris -
Born: Abt 1827. I can't find an actual birth record to prove the actual date. On the 1900 Census, William is listed as being born in January of 1827 in Virginia. The 1880 census lists him as 53 years of age, which would corraborate with the year 1827.
Death: Between 1900 and 1910. The reason I believe this is that William is on the 1900 Census, but by the 1910 Census, his wife, Julia, is listed as a widow.

Julia Downer -
Born: Abt. 1831. I haven't been able to find an actual birth record to prove the actual date. On the 1900 Census, Julia's birth month and year is listed as Feb 1831 in New York.
Death: I haven't found a death record for her yet, but I also haven't found her in the 1920 or 1930 Census yet. I've been searching, but haven't finished my list of possibilities.

I believe William and Julia married around 1855, since that is around the time that their first child, Alice, was born. I haven't looked up the birth records for each of the couples children just yet, but I am in the process of communicating with a newfound cousin on getting this information. We've been comparing notes and records and coming to some new conclusions. Our emails back and forth have been very enlightening.

I'm still searching for the couple's marriage records. I have the census record of Julia living with her parents (thanks to my Aunt's notes) in 1850. Julia was living with her parents in Belpre Township, Washington County, Ohio. I've been searching for their marriage record there, as well as in Sullivan County, Indiana, where Julia and William lived once they were married.

This couple has been driving me crazy lately. I've been searching for their marriage record for a while now with no luck. Since the last name Morris is so common, it creates a difficulty finding the right Morris family. But with some persistence and creativity, I know I'll find that marriage record.


Alana said...

You could try expanding your search on the marriage past the date of their first child's birth. I have discovered in my own family that some parents waited anywhere from 2 months to 3 years after the birth of their first child before getting married.