I'm learning that in the world of genealogy, when all else fails, "Think!" So I thought about brick wall Jackson Wise, and realized that although he died in 1893 in Wabash County, I didn't have a copy of his death certificate. Once I realized I was missing that important document, I bee-lined to Wabash County and spent a grand afternoon researching.
I am still reeling from the surprise that Jackson Wise's father was John Williams. His mother's name was not noted on the certificate, nor was the informant. Well, one out of three isn't bad, I guess. Jackson's 1880 census says that he was born in Ohio and his parents were born in Virginia, so that' a little bit of a clue.
I put a query out on the Wise Ancestry message board and was answered promptly by a very nice lady, who told me who she thinks John Williams might be. I need to do more research on this before I am comfortable with her ideas, but guess what I'll be doing today on-line, and also the next time I get to go to the Allen County Public Library. At least I have places and names to look at, and I am very thankful to Jayne for her help.
Right now, I have a name for Jackson's father and for that I am thrilled. But of course I want to know who his mother was, and how he came to have the last name of Wise. Was Wise his mother's name, and he was a "natural son" of John Williams? Was he adopted? Did he early in life take "Wise" as an alias for some reason? Does any reader have other ideas, of other possibilities?
While I was in Wabash, I looked for land records for Jackson, and found quite a few. I only had time to look up to about 1860, but in that short time frame (remember, he was in prison until 1854) there were several transactions involving Jackson, mostly centered in and around the little town of America. He seems at this point to be acquiring more than he is selling. I can't wait to go back to trace the land transactions further. I had the idea that he was poor, but in 1860 the census gives him $800 in real estate, which was more than just a little. I'd like to find out what he did manage to keep, and what happened to it.
Here's the line of descent:
John Williams and ??
Jackson Wise and Charity Bodkin
Mary Margaret Wise-William G Beeks
John Beeks-Elizabeth Wise (a different Wise line, we think)
Wilbur Beeks-Gretta Cleo Aldridge
Beeks children, grand children, great grandchildren, etc.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to Ancestry, FamilySearch, and various other websites!