Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Beeks line: Matilda Martin Wise and My Big Fat "Oops!" Moment

I've known since early in my genealogy life (so probably 7 or 8 years ago) that Matilda Martin was the wife of David Wise.  That much was correct.  I've also learned, through the years, that her family history was not only interesting but long.  In fact, it was 1700 plus names long.  I know, because I deleted every one of them from my tree last week.  Sigh.

Those darned facts just keep getting in the way.

I've been having a wonderful time on Ancestry.com, going through their new wills and probates database.  I've found several wonderful wills for a great grandfather, two great grandfathers, a great great great grandfather, and some even further back, and I'm not done yet.  I also found the will for Joel Martin, whom I "knew" to be Matilda's father.

From having David Wise's Civil War record, I had recently verified that he married Matilda Martin in 1864, so I was feeling pretty good about that.  I also learned that she died in either 1876 or 1877, depending on which pension statement you believed.  What I learned from reading Joel Martin's will was that when he died in 1879, his daughter Matilda Kendall was still living.  Oops!  This didn't add up, either to dates or to names.

So, I wrote to a couple of researchers who have been helping me immensely with the Wise line, and said "What's up with this?"  One had the same tree I just deleted, and one said, "Oh, her parents were Tim Martin and Hannah Tilbury."  I, meanwhile, had been all over the web and had found Tim and Hannah in 1850 in Lagro, Wabash County, Indiana, where David Wise had lived most of his life.  They had a four year old daughter named Matilda, and their educational attainment (did not read or write) more closely matched David's.  So I'd already been wondering whether this was the Matilda we need in the Beeks tree, and researcher number two confirmed that.  She also pointed out that two people I had been unable to identify in the 1870 census, in the David Wise household, were actually Matilda's younger siblings. 

I'm just beginning to research these two new families, the Martins and the Tilburys.  I know they were married in Shelby County, Ohio (where the Wise's were from) in 1833 and I've found a John  Tilbury in Shelby County who was an early settler there and seems like a possibility to be Hannah's father.  But I'm not ready to say that's the case, it's just a possibility at this point.  I've not found death records for Timothy or Hannah yet, but I'm guessing that at least Timothy was dead by 1870, since some of his children were living elsewhere.

So, forget some of the posts I've written in the past.  The posts I've written about Lewellen Martin, Anna Smith Bane, and Morgan Abraham don't apply to the Beeks line.  The Beeks line is less royally connected than I'd thought, as some lines I'd followed all the way back to Henry II of England.  I had to delete a lot of interesting folks from the tree.  Now, however, I get the fun of seeing what I can learn about these "new" ancestors.  Welcome to the family, Timothy and Hannah! 

Of course, I most abjectly apologize for leading anyone else astray with my earlier posts.  I try to be accurate in what I write and it is with regret that I acknowledged my "Oops!", even to myself.  I hope this will present someone, sometime, from making the same mistake I did.  I certainly would love to hear from someone working on the Timothy Martin or Hannah Tilbury lines, as obviously I could use some guidance on these people.

The line of descent is:

Timothy Martin-Hannah Tilbury
Matilda Martin-David Wise
Elizabeth Wise-John Beeks
Wilbur Beeks-Cleo Aldridge
Mary Margaret Beeks-Cleveland Harshbarger
Their descendants