Sunday, September 11, 2016

Census Sunday

Mamie Blunt

One of the many things that I have learned in genealogical research is that life is full of mysteries. There is no guarantee that when you research your family lines that the mysteries will be uncovered and you will discover the stories behind them. The mystery in my maternal line is the sudden unexpected death of my grandmother. There seems to be no answers to this mystery; and I have researched for fifteen years; and the answer is no closer than it was when I began my research. All I have is the story of a five-year-old daughter of the deceased, and few records available to prove the story. The only records that I have found in my research are census records and the marriage record for the first marriage of my grandmother.  My grandmother was married to a Blunt and had seven children but three died when infants. Her first husband I assumed died since he hasn’t been found on any censuses after 1900.  My grandmother married Clifton Coon about Jan 1908.

My mother’s Blunt half siblings have been a mystery to me. Mother often spoke of her brothers Joe, Jr. and Luther, and her sisters Julia and Mamie; however, I didn’t know what happened to them after their mother died circa 1924-1925. Mother didn’t talk about the parts of her life after her mother died and they left Mississippi. The children were young when their mother died. My genealogical venture has been research each of them and follow their migration path as far as it will take me.

This week I am researching Mamie (Mayme) Blunt the youngest of the Blunt children. The first census that Mamie is on is the 1910 District 7, Beat 3, Lincoln County, Mississippi Census. They were living on Brookhaven Road. Mamie’s mother was living on April 15, 1910. Mamie was three years old and her place was birth Pricedale, Pike County, Mississippi.

Mamie was living on West Providence Road in Ruth, Lincoln County, Mississippi in 1920. The all the children except Joe, Jr.  and including Clifton’s son with his first wife are living with their mother. Clifton is living as a widow and boarder in Marion County, Mississippi. Mamie was fourteen years old on this census. 

One lesson that I learned in researching this particular family was to look at spelling variations. From previous research I noticed the spelling of names varied from census to census. Also, the ages varied by two years in some cases. Nick names were used, as were initials, and first names. The county changes also are tricky; the family didn’t move the county changed. These are all significant tidbits of information to keep in mind when researching.

I don’t understand how the families who migrated from Mississippi to Louisiana. There was a flood in 1927 and eleven parishes of the Louisiana Delta were affected. People in the Delta were accustomed to high water years. The Northeast part of Louisiana makes up a large part of the floodplain of the Mississippi River. Were the Coon and related families here before the 1927 flood came? Did they come after the flood and was in Louisiana before the 1930 census? Further research is needed to answer those questions. 

By 1930 Clifton Coon had left Lincoln and Marion Counties and settled in West Carroll Parish, Louisiana. Mamie is twenty-two years old, married to Edd Ethridge, has three children, and the oldest child Helen is four years and two months old; Dorothy Lee is two years and three months old, and Calvin Edgar is seven months.  They were living in Ward Four, West Carroll Parish, Louisiana; and they were living by the Bowman family. That family be important in future research of another sibling.  Clifton and his family were living by his nephew and his wife. They were also living by an Adams family that is another name that will be important when I research yet another of Mother’s siblings. Clifton’s brother Edward was living nearby with Clifton’s son Morris and another nephew, Clifton and Edward’s sister’s son living in that household. The Coon, Hampton, Adams, and Bowman families all migrated together. The age of the oldest child of Mamie’s is vital information helping to narrow the death date of Mamie’s mother Mary Lavenia. 

Edd Ethridge had moved his family from West Carroll Parish, Louisiana to Chico County, Arkansas by 1940.  West Carroll Parish was an agricultural area. Edd Ethridge was a salary worker in Government work working on a road project in 1940. That was probably the reason for the move to that area. They lived in Planters, Chico County, Arkansas. By 1940 Edd and Mamie had seven children. Four additional children since the 1930 census. E. B., age 9, James Robert age five, Donald Gay age four and Billy Eugene age one. 

Mamie was last on the 1940 census and she was thirty-three years old. She was mother’s half-sister, but mother always referred to her as her sister. My memories of Aunt Mamie were of her as a tall “frumpy” lady; she wore her hair long; she was old in the eyes of the child; and she was a good cook. 

Her parents were W. G. and Mary Lavenia Ramsey Blunt. She is interred in the Lake Providence Cemetery, Lake Providence, East Carroll Parish, Louisiana.

I am looking for the marriage record for Mamie Blunt and Arles Edd Ethridge. They probably were married in Mississippi since their oldest child was born in Mississippi. The next two children were born in Louisiana. Also, I am looking for a death certificate for the two of them. There hasn’t been a Social Security Death record for them found as of this date; however, the research is ongoing on this family. ■

Higginbotham's This is It Garage, Waterproof, La. Photo: Courtesy of Betty Jo Harris.

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