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Now I Remember

I remember now why I allowed my Mom to have control over the Mays Line of our tree for so long. It gets very confusing. With that many different people I guess it’s only a matter of time. Since I’m determined to do things right this time, I found that I was trying to ignore big discrepancies between Census years.

In the 1850 and 1860 census years, the children of William and Anna Mays were very easy to match up. The birth years weren’t off by more than a year or so. I was able to figure out who everyone was by name and age. It was glorious… Then I went to 1870. Things just got complicated.


At first I couldn’t find them in Morgan County, KY where they had been in 1860 and 1870. Then I found William and Anna in Elliott County, KY. After a quick peek at the history of Elliott County, I found that it was formed in 1869 from parts of  Morgan, Lawrence, and Carter counties. So that little mystery was solved. They most likely didn’t move, the county border did!

Things didn’t improve after that little nugget of information though. It’s when I started to try and match up the kids that I ran into more troubles. Thomas Lindsey Mays wasn’t an issue. He matched up perfectly. Besides that weird stuff at the end of her name Anna Mays lined up pretty well also. I think I was almost too confident at this point. I had to be, because what else could I have done to deserve this.

Rebecca Mays threw me for the big loop. The problem she threw at me started because I can’t decide what to believe about her. You can see in the image her age is shown as 18. However, I know she is older than that. In fact, my dates put her at 10 years older than that. What on earth went wrong here! I certainly can’t take the age of 18 as fact, because she was in both the 1850 and 1860 censuses as 8 and 18 respectively. So I just scratch my head and put a little note in the file about this discrepancy.

I then moved on to Arminda, age 17 from the image. I’m going to assume that she is Amanda Mays, (born. about 1854). I’m finding that Arminda and Amanda were basically the same name back in those days. It’s like Sally and Sarah. They are a bit interchangeable.

Jane, age 15 is my big frustration here. Her age shows that she should have been in the last census. I promise you there wasn’t a Jane. There was an Elizabeth J though. Jane was a very common middle name for Elizabeths in my family. Very very common. It wouldn’t be an issue if my Elizabeth wasn’t supposed to be 23 in this census. Of course they were off by 10 years on Rebecca, so could this be another case? Or is this a niece/cousin/relation staying with the family. It wasn’t until 1880 that they even started adding relationships onto the census.

blog-144I had to look at the 1880 census before I made any decision about who Jane was. Maybe I’d get lucky and she’d be there. So I looked. Luckily Rebecca was back to her rightful age. My Jane from the last census is now in the form of Jurena I think… This is all really confusing to me. If Jurena is another daughter. She should have been on the 1860 census, aged 5 years old. There was no Jurena, just Amanda/Arminda who was close enough in age, but she’s accounted for in the 1870 census.

So my final conclusion is I have to add Jurena as a separate child, but I have no idea where she could have been in 1860 census, but maybe when I check in with all the other families, I will find her. I’ll just have to make note of her special circumstances.

Forward Progress

I’ve put this off for a long time but now I’m breaking it out and working on it. I am restoring a damaged photo of my Grandfather, Stanley Mays. It’s one of the few pictures we have of him, and it’s certainly the best one. So here’s my progress so far.


Not bad so far if I do say so myself! This is only after a few minutes of doing it so I had some progress to show. 😉

What does this mean? Anyone know.

I’ve been going through person by person, census by census. I’m trying to do this all correctly which means if something comes up, then I have to ask questions. I’m currently trying to cite all the census information for William Harmon Mays and his family. He and his young daughter moved to Ohio after his first wife died. In Ohio, he then met and married my Grandfather’s mother, Iva Belle Moyer, when she was hired to look after his daughter. This is all per my Grandma.

So now I’m left with getting all the factual evidence. I may never get “evidence” for the nanny part, but I can at least document the marriages and death of the first wife, right? Maybe not. We’ll see.

There are some trees out there that give the marriage date of William and Sarah Elizabeth McDaniels. Until I find the documentation, I’m going to leave that off, but the date sounds right. So at least I have a place to look. The not promising part of the picture is that Kentucky didn’t regulate recording marriages until 1958. So I may be out of luck, but hopefully there will be something on a local level.

My next step was trying to actually confirm with the census records the places William would have been at anyway. That’s when I ran into this.


Hard to read, I know. Maybe a local visit will turn up a better copy too. Basically what I’m seeing is that Elizabeth is marked as William H’s wife, with daughter Mary J. All the ages fit perfectly. William’s parents are living next door. So this is the right family. However Elizabeth is crossed out. So I’ve always assumed this means that she died before the census day. However, I want an official answer on why she would be crossed off. This could be a clue as to what happened.

So I went to Ancestry’s 1910 census main page and started reading everything they give about the census.


What I gather from this instruction is that the enumerators were to still count people who died between April 15, 1910 and when the enumerator showed up. This is the most logical explanation I could find for why Elizabeth would be crossed out. This family was counted by the enumerator on May 3, 1910. It’s a little sad knowing that Elizabeth would have died within the month, heck it could have been that week!

If there is anyone out there reading this that knows for sure this is why Elizabeth would have been crossed out, please let me know! I will make a note of it so I can try and search death records for her.


That is if it was recorded. Hopefully a trip to Kentucky can solve this problem.

Surname Saturday: Oy Vey

Today, is Surname Saturday over at GeneaBloggers. I wasn’t even going to post again until Monday or Tuesday. Then I watched the newest episode of Who Do You Think You Are? That show is so great to give me motivation to get off my duff and get back to work on my family file. I really do want to clean it up and get it in order. The right way this time. So here I am, spending my Saturday going through census records on and citing my sources correctly on my website and in my programs. Yes I said programs. I’m a long time Family Tree Maker user but I’m checking out RootsMagic Essentials.

Five out of seven families on this page alone are in my family file. This is what happens when I research my mother’s family. The Whitt, Mays, Adkins, Click, Rowe families of Kentucky all belong to me in some way. They all inter-married at different sections of the tree too. So if I am adding new information in from a record and spy a maiden name of Adkins or Whitt, I know it’s only a matter of time before the tree winds around again. It’s quite interesting and I can’t help but wish I knew the stories behind all these marriages!


The Mays family that I currently have documented originate from Virginia. There is some talk about a connection to Mays’ that ended up in Texas or other points west, but I haven’t been able to find any proof of that yet. It’s hard enough finding information for what I currently have! The first know Mays relative I have is William Mays, he was born around 1777 in Pittsylvania County, VA. As the family grew, they also moved around. I have Mays family members being born in Floyd County, VA. The family that I have found eventually made their way to Kentucky. I have them living all over, Mason County, Elliott County, Bracken County, Pendleton County, Morgan County. Just about everywhere.


The Adkins family first entered my tree when Frances Adkins married my first Mays member, William Mays. I have noted her father’s name as maybe being Moses Adkins, but I have no solid evidence of that yet. Hopefully as I work up my chain, I will finally be able to find a birth or death record for Frances. That isn’t the only place the Adkins turn up in my tree. In fact I have 39 people in my file with the surname of Adkins. All of them are spouses or children of people in my main line. That is without me even trying to research the Adkins family yet. Most of my Adkins people are from Virginia and Kentucky. Where the Mays family is, the Adkins family follows… or vice versa.


The other families I mentioned are really along the same lines of the Adkins family. They turn up often as spouses of my main families, or each other. I have 12 Rowes, 27 Whitts, and 15 Clicks in my family file. All originating from the same places as the other families.

In Conclusion

Sometimes I think maybe these families came over to America together and just stayed together. I don’t know if that’s the truth as I haven’t found the exact origins of these families yet. It’s comforting that I have a big pool of these families brought together, but it can be so exhausting trying to determine where everyone fits in together. It’s mainly why I let my mother handle this side of the family for so long. So that’s why I say Oy Vey!

Surname Saturday is a Daily Blogging Topic that I got from GeneaBloggers. To participate in Surname Saturday, simply create a post in which you discuss a surname and mention its origins, its geographical location(s) and how it fits into your genealogy research.

Kids by the Dozen: Nathan Mays edition

I have re-written this entry many times. I just can’t seem to grasp the scope of Nathan Mays and his big family without over complicating my narration. Usually when I decide to sit down and do genealogy research, I pick a random family and then I aggressively research that family through the census and any other documents that may be found online. Luckily for me there are a lot of Kentucky vital records on and then Family Search has Ohio Death Records at my disposable.

The problem that usually pops up is I become limited by not being on site. Soon I hope to be able to start to take genealogy trips over the summer but that doesn’t help me today. When I inherited the information I have on the Mays family from my mother, Nathan Mays was listed with 19 children. Then when I started searching for death records, I discovered 2 more bring the total to 21. Oy!

The problem I eventually ran into was trying to line up all the different census years and compare the children listed. So I went to old school methods. I printed out blank census forms and I transcribed the family for each census.

Before my journey into this family this weekend, I had only found Nathan’s family in 1860 and 1870. However, I was able to find them all the way to 1900 on Saturday! I was excited to see Nathan’s wife in 1900 because it showed me something that immediately helped me.

Rachel is listed of being the mother to 15 children, with 9 still living. Obviously there has been some misunderstandings in the record taking process. Not by the census, they didn’t add relationships until the 1880 census. By whoever had taken an accounting of the children. One thing that I should have taking into consideration was the age of Nathan and Rachel’s older children. Now that I’ve realized it, I can’t believe i missed it. As long as I’ve been doing this, I should have realized that even though Nathan and Rachel were still producing children, that didn’t mean that their children were not. That’s not even taking into account when family members take in children of their family.

This is the 1880 census. As you can see, some of the children are actually Grandchildren. Now I just have to figure out who they belong to. However, this is going to take me longer than a weekend. I know that because it’s Monday and I still haven’t managed to track all those kids down. I’ll get there, but it hasn’t happened yet.

So here’s what Nathan’s family looks like in Family Tree Maker for me right now. I’m hesitant to move Molly and William anywhere until I know where to put them. I was already able to verify that one of the children (Mary I) was actually the daughter of Nathan’s daughter Mary J Mays-McClanahan. Mary J died of a ‘cold’ just 2 weeks after her 4 month old daughter died of an inflammation of the stomach. An incredibly sad story.

Edit: 5 hours after I posted this blog I was able to combine Celia Ellen and Emaline together after scouring the Kentucky records on This family is constantly changing. 😉

Mrs. Rowe’s Cookbook

Since the last post was about Dad’s side of the family, this one will be about Mom’s. A few years back, my Mom was getting cookbooks from one of those mail order book clubs. This one was exclusively for cookbooks. This gem came in the mail at some point. I didn’t think anything of it at first. Then a light bulb went off in my head. Hey, the family name of Rowe!

To know the significance of the name Rowe, you have to be familiar with my family tree. Which you probably aren’t. That’s okay, I’ve done my research and I know my stuff! My mother’s family line is made up 90% of the surname Mays. They liked to have children and they didn’t stop at two or three. One thing I realized when I started trying to research the Mays’ was that they are very difficult to research. The surname can be construed as many different things, and it depends on who was spelling it. They not only were many, but they were spread out over a ton of country. They started in Virginia from what I can find, and they spread eventually to Kentucky. When I say Virginia and Kentucky I mean the whole state. So if your name is Mays and you live in Virginia or Kentucky… Hi, I just might be your cousin!

Back to the point. One of the things I realized was that the Mays family had lots of children, but those children married into the same families. So my Mays ancestors married many people from the Rowe, Whitt, Click, and Slusher. That’s just what I’ve proven. Who knows what else! Not to mention those I’m aware of but haven’t found proof of yet.

So when I sat down one day looking through cookbooks, I finally took a good look at what this one contained.

Do you notice that little nugget? The sister of Mildred Craft-Rowe? Bertha Mays. I have to be up front with you. I do not believe in coincidences. Everything happens for a reason and if something eerie happens, then that means listen up it’s important. So my little mind has been agonizing over this ever since. Not only does the cookbook show that the sisters married into both the Rowe and Mays families, it tells me that they are from an area of Virginia that my Mays line was very prevalent.

Even if I didn’t have a maybe family connection to this cookbook, I would still love this cookbook. It not only has lots of stories and photos from the family, it has great down home recipes. I’m going to try some of them very soon!

Visit Mrs. Rowe’s Restaurant Website

Get your own cookbook at!

I’ll let you guys know if I ever connect the dots on this mystery. 😉

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