This is NOT the post I thought I would be writing today. We had planned a trip for this week to Sidney and possibly Troy, Ohio, to pin down the documents needed to figure out just who Jackson Wise was. From comments from another researcher, I thought I knew who Jackson's parents were, but I wanted documentation before stating it, since no one seems to have that information on the web. I had a list prepared of when the various repositories were open, maps printed of where they were, just in case our GPS failed us, and a list of questions I hoped to answer, one place or another. I was primed and ready to go. I thought this would be a "Happy Genealogy Dance" post today.
That is, until...Until I heard this past weekend from a Beeks researcher, who told me that Mary Margaret Wise, Jackson and Charity's daughter, who is the connection to Jackson in this tree, may have been adopted. She even gave me the birth name of "Mary Rough". Now, what am I supposed to do with this information? The source is an alleged statement from Rhoda Owen Beeks, who married John A Beeks in Wabash County in 1866. She would have been about the same age as Mary, lived in the same area as Mary, and would probably have known her well. Rhoda and Mary were married to Beeks first cousins, so this information can't be discounted. At the same time, I'm not sure if it can be proved.
So far, all I have been able to glean from censuses is that Mary "Wise" Beeks was born in August, 1848 in Indiana, and had 10 children. My research so far shows only seven children, so I'm not sure whether the other children died in infancy, or what happened to them. I have her birth place as Liberty Township, Wabash County, Indiana, but I show no source for that information, so it may not be correct. I haven't found any Rough family members there yet.
If there was a formal adoption, I don't know where to start looking for the court papers. The Wises were in Shelby County, Ohio in 1840 and (except for Jackson) were in Wabash County in 1848, Jackson, of course, was out of the picture, in prison, in February 1847, where he stayed until 1854. If Mary was born in 1848, then she was either the result of a conjugal visit (not unknown at the time) or she was not Jackson's child. Datewise, the same questions present themselves with Abel, born 1851. Whose child was he? Perhaps another trip to Wabash County is in order, to see if I can find Superior Court records.
So this is where the Jackson Wise story is at present. I am not going to do further research on him until I can verify whether or not the adoption report might be true. I am also not going to delete him from the family tree, because all the work I've done on him and on Charity shouldn't be deleted until absolutely sure. I will add a "possibly" to the front of his and Charity's names, to indicate that this information may or may not be correct. And I'll continue looking for "Rough" families that may have had a tragedy requiring Mary to be adopted out.
I'd love to hear from anyone who knows anything further about this possible adoption, or about a missing "Rough" family member from this time period. It seems I may have answers to all the wrong questions, for now.
Here's the line, now:
Mary (Rough?) Wise-William G Beeks
John Beeks-Elizabeth Wise
Wilbur Beeks-Cleo Aldridge
Beeks children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and more