Thursday, October 20, 2016

Thursday’s Thoughts

Henry Ramsey

I have been researching the Ramsey familial lineages for ten years with difficulties along the way. One of the greatest barriers in finding family members are indexing errors. Misspelled surname was a common error for the Ramsey line. Knowing the Ramsey’s lived in the Pike County area for many years I knew they had to be on all the censuses through 1940. Trying variations in surname spellings I found Henry Ramsey as Romsey on 1920 census, and he was living with an unknown family. On the 1910 census he was living in another county. His family has lived in Pike County, Mississippi since Asa Ramsey arrived in 1862.  So I wasn’t looking for Henry in other counties away from family and the family’s usual place of residence

Asa Martin Ramsey and Eliza Jane his wife were the parents of seven children, with two sets of twins. Henry was Asa and Eliza Jane's first son born. And from all indications of my research he lived a quiet life, living on a farm in Pike County, Mississippi. There are only a few records of him and he didn't leave a paper trail other than the necessary census records, and World War I Draft record. 

Mother told me about her grandmother having twins and they “run in the family.” Those were Mother’s words for describing the twins in the Ramsey family. I was about twenty-one years old and married when Mother shared that information with me, so I thought one of Mother's daughters might have twins. However, they didn't. When Mother died a library of family history died with her. She didn’t talk about her family, or growing up in Brookhaven, Mississippi. What I would give to let her talk and tell me about her Ramsey family.

Henry was the third born child of Eliza Jane, and was born 12 March 1886 in Pricedale, Pike County, Mississippi. On the World War I Draft Registration Card R it shows that Henry had blue eyes and light hair. He signed up for the Draft in Pearl River County, and he lived in Holmesville. His physical description fits the description of the family - blue eyes, light color hair, stout, and medium tall. On the World War I Draft Registration Card it states that Mrs. Henry Ramsey is the nearest relative. He was thirty-two years old when he signed up for this draft.

Finally finding him on the 1920 census, the next big challenge was on; and that was to find Henry in the 1910 census. I continued searching for Henry on the 1910 Pike County census, and didn’t find him there. So, I did a broad search for Mississippi.  Since I had found Henry Ramsey on the 1920 Pike County census I knew he had to be on the 1910 census because he wasn’t listed with his parents and siblings. The possibilities that I had to keep in mind were:   Either his surname was misspelled; he was living in another county; he was living with another family; in an institution census; the census taker missed him; or he died. I knew he wasn’t deceased because I had his death information. Not giving up on finding Henry in 1910, I continued and finally found a him living in another unknown household, in another county, working as a hired hand, mail repair for the mail industry, a wage earner, single, and his age the age that Henry Ramsey would be. Perseverance has paid off and I was excited. These searches were made using Ancestry by using various ways of searching.

It just didn’t seem possible that Henry had married since I couldn’t find a marriage record for him searching and exhausting all possibilities. There wasn’t a record of a marriage on Ancestry for Henry, and searching the family trees for Henry Ramsey, there was no spouse listed for him. So, no one seemed to know his spouse’s name. However, I finally found the 1920 District 104, Beat 3, Pike County, Mississippi Federal Census with Henry listed on there and living with another unknown family. I previously searched the Ancestry trees, My Heritage, Wiki Trees, Family Search and Find a Grave and there was no wife or widow listed for Henry. Therefore, I concluded from the evidence that Henry Ramsey was married, even though I hadn’t found a marriage record.

I was able to solve the mystery of his status of married or not. On the 1920 census it showed he was married to Dora Rayborn age fifty and born in Mississippi, and had three step-children, Boyd, age twenty-one, Alma age twenty, and C. D. a male age nineteen. His wife previously married a Rayborn.  Eliza Jane, Henry’s mother was related to the Rayborn family.

I had Henry’s wife’s name from the 1920 census, so I searched again in the 1910 census on Ancestry for his wife. In the last name search box, I put in Rayborn. In the lived in search box I put in Pike County, Mississippi and hit search. The search results came up with a Chancy M. Rayborn head and his wife Dora I. (Isabell), age forty, with three of their children, Alma R. age thirteen, Boyd W.  age eleven and C. D. age nine. Dora was the mother of five children but only three living. Living in this household was the future wife of Henry Ramsey. What happened too Chancy? Did he die? Were they divorced? More research needed to answer those questions.  

While I was researching on Ancestry and had the search results for Chancy M. Rayborn, I looked through the result on him and Dora and found a goldmine of records. Chancy was born 18 November 1868 and died 23 January 1911 and is buried in the Boyd Cemetery in Pricedale, Pike County, Mississippi. Dora Isabell Boyd was born 27 September 1869 and died 18 November 1924. Dora is also buried in Boyd Cemetery. C. M. Rayborn and Dora Boyd were married in Pike County 17 December 1895.

Chancy’s parents were Joe J. Raborn and S. J. Raborn born in Mississippi. More research is needed to determine how this Raborn line is related to Eliza Jane Burnett Ramsey mother of Henry.

On the 1930 Price Town Road, District 6, Beat 3, Pike County, Mississippi Federal Census Henry stated he was widowed and was forty-two years old. His age at his first marriage as shown on the census was twenty years old. This bit of information hindered the search for him because I was looking for him married to Dora in 1910. If he was twenty at his first marriage that would put him marrying in 1908 in Pike County, Mississippi. However, he gave the wrong information to the census taker, and he would have married about 1911. Lesson learned is to use variants when searching. By 1930 Henry was a widower, owned the home he was living in. He was working on his own farm. Living nearby Henry are his brother Wallace, wife Kate and their children and his sister Bertha, her husband Allen Alexander and their children. In the household with Henry Ramsay are his brother Percy age thirty-eight, and his mother Jane age seventy-five years. Asa his father was deceased by 1930.

By 1940 Eliza Jane Ramsey had died and Henry’s situation had changed. On the 1940 Pike County Federal Census for Henry Ramsey living with his brother Wallace and his wife Kate and their three children, Estelle, age sixteen, Mary, age twelve, and Paul age eight, and his brother Percy whom is forty-eight years old and single. Henry again states on this census he is widowed. He was working on his own account, and owned his home. He had completed the eighth grade and working sixty hours a week. He lives in the same residence in 1935 and he worked three weeks in 1939.

Henry continued the family tradition as a farmer. He lived in the Pike County, Mississippi area until his death 12 June 1958 in Pricedale, Pike County, Mississippi. According to a note posted with Henry Ramsey's information on Rootsweb from a family member, he lived on his father's "place" until his death. Henry is buried in the Calvary Baptist Cemetery in Pricedale, Pike County, Mississippi, rather than in the Boyd Cemetery with Dora. Dora was buried beside her first husband Chancy M. Rayborn.  There are other Ramsey family members buried in the Calvary Baptist Cemetery as well.

Researching Henry Ramsey was a challenge and I used as many search variants as I could think of to search for him. Henry is in my Family Tree Maker program with his parents, Mary Lavenia, and Florence A. Ramsey. ■ 

Burial is in Calvary Cemetery,
 Pricedale, Pike County, Mississippi

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