Monday, January 26, 2015


Surrilda Cornelia Jackson Hamilton

(photo of - front - Robert Hamilton, Hollis, Surrilda Jackson Hamilton, back row - Ben, Will and Frank)

This lady has been driving me crazy for awhile.  This is my grandmothers mothers (Charlotte Hamilton) mother who married Robert Hamilton.  There were all kinds of theories but all we really knew was that her parents were William Jackson and Mary Bennett and that she was born in Benton, Des Moines, IA in 1852. 
I found a census report from Iowa in 1856 that listed the family all intact living in Benton, but then they are gone as a group.  I will keep looking for the family story, but for now this is what I have found;
Surrildas daughter Anzina Pearl 1886-1890

Wm Jackson
Mary Jackson
Calvin age 16
Evaline age 12
Harvey age 6
Surrilda age 4
Manerva age 2

My Aunt Evelyn had shared a lot of photos with me and in them was a copy of a picture of "Anzina McLain - the McLains raised Surrilda"  was written on the photo.
Anzina McLane Stone and family

I started tracking her (Anzina- this just had to be the source of Charlotte's sisters name - Anzina Pearl, who had died so young)  and found her grave in Yakima Washington, Stone was her married name and McLaine (McLane) was her maiden name I started tracking census reports and trying to find any reference to Surrilda or the Jackson family.  I got stuck, as her father had, unbeknownst to me, married twice and Anzina was from the first wife, whom I found through Anzina's sisters obituary and there it was - her mothers maiden name was Bennett! The same name as Surrildas mother Mary. Now it looked like it was a family situation.  When I started looking in the census for the Bennett family I also found Harvey (Surrilda's brother) living with the Aaron Bennett family in Memphis MO.  From there it has just been tracking down and proving.  So here is Surrildas family as I know it so far.  I have not been able to find any information on her parents and their deaths yet, but I know who her mothers family was and why she was in Missouri.

Anzina McLane is the daughter of Daniel McLane and Drusilla Bennett (Buried at Prairie View Cemetery, Azen, Scotland Co, MO)

Drusilla Bennett is the daughter of Aaron R Bennett  4/15/1815 VA - 4/5/1882 MO and his wife Hannah Mitchell 3/29/1817- 9/3/1865  (Hannah was a little difficult to track as Aaron's second wife had put the phrase "husband of S.E. Bennett" on the headstone!  A lesson about trying to be the last one to die!)

 Aaron Bennett is the brother of Mary Bennett and they are 2 of the 11 children of John Bennett 1/3/1790 VA - 1832 VA and his wife Sarah Raines 1/7/1789 VA - 2/9/1870 VA  (Aaron has Harvey Jackson in his house in 1860)
John Bennett is the son of Joseph Isaac Bennett (maybe Jr) 5/10/1732 Cumberland NJ - 5/7/1808 Pendleton VA and his wife Hannah Starnes. 8/4/1747 VA - 3/18/1814 VA

So the McLanes that raised Surrilda were her mother's niece and her husband who had a child (Anzina) 9 years younger than Surrilda.  Surrilda's older brother Harvey went to live with the uncle Aaron.  Aaron, Hannah, Drusilla are all buried at Prairie view Cemetery.

A note - Drusilla's daughter (Anzina's sister) Florence Emma died in the State Hospital for the insane in Fulton MO according to her obituary. 

I have learned a lot from this search and one of those things is that no piece of information is too small and even if it looks unrelated it may help you someday.  The photo with the legend on it and the obituary of someone who is not an obvious relative were the break-throughs in this search.  Not too sure this is a good thing to have in my mind as I really have a lot of paper already and probably will die with some of it still  unfiled!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

For Those Who Don't Do This Alot

So there we were at the Christmas table with our friends who also had no family coming by for the holidays - our orphans group.  Our friend Jim mentioned in the course of the conversation that he didn't even know the name of his grandparents on either side of his family.  I was of course understandably horrified! (smile) I grew up knowing the 3 past generations and hearing the stories of others so it is a foreign concept to me.  He said he would like to know something about them if only their names, so I volunteered!  I figured there would not be much, sounded like a small family and know the rest of course.  He has a huge family and I was making painstaking progress and then I got back to a point and he has relatives of famous people and I was able to add a whole section that would have taken me a really long time on my own to find.  I have now traced all his family lines back to the first immigrant to America and will begin to put them together.

And it occurs to me that to give a report to some one that is not immersed in this like I am I need to be careful, I need to watch that I don't use abbreviations that are obscure, that I don't make references that are unknown to the general public (when I first got interested I had no idea what a GEDCOM file was, and had a hard time finding it!) and that the "tree" format that I use is easy to understand and follow.  Makes me realize how much 'jargon' I have fallen into.

Ah well, learning new tricks means I'm not an old dog yet?