"Chasing Our Tales" around North Central Texas

Here's my January 2007 column:

As many of you know, I grew up in Stephenville, Erath County, Texas, and recently I became the county coordinator for the Erath County TXGenWeb page, http://www.rootsweb.com/~txerath/. As such I receive email queries regarding ancestors who passed through that county.

Most recently I received the following email from Janet Riley, Thelazyjoker@msn.com:

"Hello. I am looking for the birth parents of Arthur Owens, born in Erath County in 1922. His father was G.L. (Gilly) Owens. I also need to know if there are marriage records for Gilbert Owens from 1920 to 1924 to Maggie Lula Hurley or Jones and also marriage Maggie Lula Hurley or Jones Or Ownes to a Mr. Rhodes."

Well, I began looking for Arthur, Gilly, and Maggie, and the first thing I found was Gilbert L. Owens as an 18-year-old son of Frank and Sarah Owens in Limestone County, Texas, on the 1900 Federal Census.

I kept on checking census information on Ancestry.com until I came across Lula Rhodes with son Arthur Owens in Red River County, Texas, on the 1930 census with two Rhodes sons, Maron H. age 15 and Emual R. age 12. There was no husband listed, so it's hard to tell whether these older boys were sons of hers or Mr. Rhodes or when she married Mr. Rhodes, as Lula is listed as head of house.

Lula had been born Alabama, as had her father. Her mother had been born in Georgia.

In the 1920 Census in Red River County, I discovered a Maggie Rhodes, age 53, married to Richard Rhodes. She was born in Texas, but her father was born in Missouri and her mother was born in Tennessee. She had a son, Robert, 33, and grandchildren Albert age 7 and Lula age 1 3/12 living with them. This cannot be the same Maggie Lula, but is it quite a coincidence that they were in Red River County only ten years before the other Lula Rhodes.

I then found a Lula Rhodes in Thurber, Erath County, but she was too old to be the Lula we were looking for. At this point, though, I am wondering. Isn't Lula Rhodes a fairly uncommon name? And, yet, I'm finding them all over the place!

In death records, I found a Lula Victoria Rhodes who died in Red River County on 7 September 1918 certainly couldn't have been our Lula, as she was on a 1930 census nor could it have been either of the others I'd found. But they were in the same county. Were they related?

Then I found a Lula Mae Rhodes who was born in Erath County on 2 February 1907.

Lula Hurley did not show as an obvious choice, but interestingly I found a Lula Hurley who was a matron...what was a matron, you ask. Well, in this case she was one of the ones in charge of the Texas Baptist Orphanage in Ellis County, Texas, in 1920. Also, the girls under her care were called "inmates" at the time. I thought I'd found a prison, at first!

OK, I needed to move on, so I looked for Lula Jones born about 1890 in Alabama, who might have married a Rhodes or an Owens, but, lo, there were hundreds in this category. So, since her name was Maggie Lula, I started all over with that.

There were no Maggie Lula Jonses, so I proceeded to Hurley. And again, so luck. So I tried Maggie Lula Owens, and again I got nowhere!

Oh, but wait, Arthur Owens' father was born in Alabama, as well. And his name was Gilbert, right? So this brought me right back to the 1900 census. Here's what it tells us about who Gilbert was living with and what their names were:

Frank A Owens 40
Sarah J Owens 37
Gilbert L Owens 18
Mary E Owens 14
Richard C Owens 11
Pearl E Owens 9
Ozie L Owens 7
Oletha Owens 4
Daisy I Owens 2

And lo and behold, this Gilbert, who Janet tells us is the right Gilbert, was born in Texas, as was his father, while his mother, Sarah, was born in Mississippi. So, is the Arthur who was living with Lula Rhodes in Red River County the son of this Gilbert L. Owens? Well, it's possible, as perhaps neither Arthur nor Lula knew where Arthur's father and mother were born.

And for right now, that seems to be a dead end! In corresponding with Janet, I discovered something that I have come upon many times. The older generations do not want to share the information with the younger generations, and so it goes to their graves, and the younger generations are left with a puzzle.

I would like to encourage you, one and all, to tell your children and grandchildren about their ancestors. Write it down, tape record it, video tape it, but tell them! If there was a black sheep in the fold, that's ok, it happened, and it's over now.

And, if you have information on any of this, please email me and Janet and let us know. Let's solve this mystery!

OK, you Garlands, listen up. Here is a query about your wonderfully interesting family!

"Greetings from Ireland. I would very much appreciate it if you could help me to get in touch with a local historian or local historical society in Garland. I have been engaged for many years researching the history of the surname Garland and have built a fairly detailed picture of the history of the name in Ireland going back to 1170 when the French form Gemon (Gerngn or Guerngn) was used and comes from a Norman family which arrived in England in 1066.

"I noticed some time ago that you have a city or town near Dallas named Garland, and I would very much like to find out more about its origins. I would also be happy to corresponded with anyone with the surname garland. a considerable number of Irish people with this surname emigrated to the USA especially last century.

"I am a teacher of Sociology and Religion and am a member of the County Londonderry Archeological and Historical Society and a founder member of the North of Ireland family History society.

"With every good wish, Yours Sincerely,

"Roy Garland
22 Hambleden Park
SDunmurry, Belfast
N. Ireland, BT 17 9 NA"

And here is some further Garland information from Noel Garland:

"Have just started reading this Gary Hanks, a distant cousin descending from a Bennett who lives in Gainesville, Texas. It is a genealogy book and am most interested in his biography of Abraham Lincoln. It appears that Gary's Hanks may be related to Nancy Hanks Lincoln, Abe's mother. Just barely got thru the first paragraph, there is a rather large section on Lincoln, so I don't know what all is in there. Am going to copy out all or most of Gary's lineage pages, for future reference. Probably like me, you know nothing about Nancy Hanks Lincoln, who didn't live long after Abe's birth, where he was raised by his fathers second wife.

"Sure was strange finding another possible distant relation to my step-grandmother across the street from this Bennett kin practically. Will have to follow up to see how he is related. Am sending him more on the Easley family of the 1800's, plus some more about Julia which I found I may not have given him in my haste to get ready to leave Waco. This 100 year autobiography of Julia contains so many references to what she and the rest of the family did there in Mineral Wells, I can't count. I did go to the Palo Pinto Court House last year and copied out all the courthouse and land deed records on my immediate family, but there are many more there about the Garland Bend, and Jesse Garland families from Palo Pinto County and Mineral Wells. Jesse was my father's brother whom I never met, but did meet Don Garland, the Barber once, and either Jesse's son or grandson, Charles Garland, a couple of times briefly, who still lives there. Art Weaver sent me the obituary on Don Garland last year"

Here is a query for information in Archer County:

"I would like to request a lookup for a death that happened in Megargle in 1928. JOSPEH FRANKLIN TUCKER, supposed have to died at his daughters house, her name was Mary "May" King, her husbands name was Claude King and they lived there at the time of his death, and I am needing information on a marriage license that was got in Archer County back in 11-1926, for a Clarence Ray Tucker and V.D. Simpson, just wanted to be sure this is where they got the license. It would be greatly appreciated. This is my Grandparents.
Donna Foley

Well, guys, guess that's the end of this segment of Chasing Our Tales. If you have information or questions you would like published, please email me at siouxcitysue@suddenlink.net (this is a NEW email address) or send me a letter at P. O. Box 61, Mineral Wells TX 76068-0061.

And until next time, stay warm and dry, and write down that genealogical information.


Mrs. Goodneedle said…
Wow! Stay warm, dry, and don't name your daughter Lula. Words to live by.. got it.
Sheila said…
This stuff fascinates me Sioux..!
as you know from a recent post I did, how important it is for families to record all they can.
My children are first generation Canadians, and so while I can, I'm asking all the older family members for their memories and any information they may have, before it is too late. Put names and dates on all photos, you know who they are, but who will know 50 years from now..?
Gail said…
I'm very interested in family history so I find this fascinating reading. I am an only child and have no family left on either of my parents side.I know very little about my fathers family. Someday hope to learn more about how to search it out.
Sue said…
Wow, this is all so interesting. I love mysteries and detail, I would have a blast trying to track people down like this.
Gemma said…
Geneology is so interesting. I too have searched and found alot of my Irish roots. The Odochartaigh clan, who now have names like Doherty, Daugherty, Daughtery etc
makes following my family line fun.
My family spells it Daugherty....luckily there are websites with info on this family.
BTW my family lived in Texas. Ruth Amanda Daugherty Childs is who I'm looking for!
Tammy said…
very interesting post...on my hubby's side of the family are a lot of Amanda's...Amanda Virginia--Amanda Tennessee...I named my own daughter Amanda...but I've always loved the name too!!
I lived in Temple Tx for 5 years :-D

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