Monday, October 10, 2011

A Brick Wall Ancestor - Josephine Minter or Tilley (Tillie?)

We all have brick wall ancestors... one of mine is my great grandmother who was named Josephine or Josie, however her correct maiden name remains a mystery in my family tree.

Here is what I have found so far:

1. She seems to have been married 3 times.
Husband one - John Johnston
Husband two - Bill Gardner
Husband three - Evans Parks

She was born in May 1877 or January 1878, possibly in Narrows, Giles County, Virginia, or one record says b. in KY.

She died 9 Aug 1917 in Iager, McDowell County, West Virginia.

Her son Ray's delayed birth certificate lists her maiden name as Minter.
Her son Sherman's obituary gives it as Tillie, but I've never been able to find her on census records under either surname.
Her daughter Thelma's social security application lists it as 'Jossie unknown'.

In 1900 she appears on the census for McDowell County WV with husband John Johnston and 3 children.

In 1910 she appears on the census for McDowell County WV as a widow, mother of 6 children, 5 living. All the children have the surname 'Gardner' on this census although at least three of her children were Johnston's. The youngest child on the 1910 census was my Grandmother, Bessie Parks. She appears as Bessie Gardner in 1910, age 18 months (or could be 8 months). Evans Parks is also in the household, listed as 'brother in law'. Evans Parks was married to Fannie Johnston, sister of Josie's 1st husband John Johnston.

Sometime after She married Evans Parks 13 July 1913 and had 3 or 4 children by him:
Bessie Louise (my Grandma), Clyde Parks, Sherman Parks and Dolly Worley Parks.

Dolly died as a baby. Bessie went by the name of Parks, don't know if she was a Parks or a Gardner.

She died when my Grandma Bessie was only 8 years old. My mother said her mom told her that Josephine loved to sing and play the piano. Maybe that is where some of our family musical talent was inherited from! I would love to know more about Josephine and her ancestry.

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