GENEALOGY: Where U Confuse The Long Since Deceased, and Irritate The Hell Out Of The Living!
Since a Hesson did some messin' all's Wells may not end Wells because there may be a Skelton in the closet. :-D
I have my Maternal Great Granny to blame for this guy (A Skelton) even being connected to my family at all.:-D
The story centers around folks who lived in Howard, Perry, Ripley, and Warrick Counties, Indiana, between 1871 and 1920.
You see, between 1889, and 1920, Mary Hesson married 4, maybe 5, men from Indiana and Ky., and had children by 2, possibly 3, or all 5 of them, though each child has a different last name. :-D
I know very, very little about any of the folks in this little drama.
Anyway, this story begins with Margaret Jewell, a woman who died in Owensboro, Ky. on 12/11/1938, of tuberculosis, at the age of 44.
Her Mother signed the death certificate as Mrs. Mary Fields (hubby #4).
Margaret (Maggie) was born to a John West, and Mary Hesson, on 12/18/1893, in Indiana.
Here's where things get intriguing, and very messy.
First let me say that Mary died in 1957, at age 85, putting her birth at 1871/72.
Mr. West was hubby #1.
There is a story that she married, earlier, some guy last named CHENAULT in abt. 1889, and had a child named FLORENCE, who lived only maybe 3 years, but further research does not indicate this happened.
Mary Hessen DID marry John West on August 2, 1891, in Warrick County, Indiana.
Then, a month BEFORE the birth of Maggie:
Mary West marries ELIJAH MELVIN SKELTON on Nov. 11, 1893.
She, (and Maggie West) seem to have left Mr. Skelton sometime in the next few yrs. because she appears (with Maggie West) as a boarder in the household of her next hubby, My Great-Grandfather, the widower, JOHN T. WELLS, in the 1900 Perry County, Indiana, census, under the last name of SKELTON.
This is interesting, in and of itself, because My Grandfather William Jennings Wells is on record as being born in 1898.:-D
Stay with me here as I explain what I found in the 1900, and 1910 census.
Elijah, single, is living with his mother Louisa, and a sister, in Pigeon Township, Warrick County.
No sign of John West yet.
Mary and Maggie are boarders in Anderson Township, Perry county, in the househould of widower John T. Wells, and his children Charles and Murriel ( No-one has heard of either, or of the 1st wife).
NO SIGN so far, in my search, for a 2 yr. old William Jennings Wells.
Mary, without Maggie, is now married to John Wells, and they have a 5 yr. old daughter named Blanche (no-one has heard of her), and live in Kokomo City in Howard County, Indiana.
FamilySearch says SS Death Index has a Blanche, born in Indiana, to a John Wells, in 1902, who died in In. in 1974.
Not 100% sure this is MY John and Mary, though.
No sign of John West, or Elijah Melvin Skelton, yet.
I finally find a 12 year old William J. Wells living as a boarder in Milan, Ripley County, Indiana, with the family of a Marquis Tilberry.
He WAS NOT living here in 1900.
Not 100% sure this is MY William, though.
Sometime in the next few years William got together with his Mother because I have a photo of the 2 of them in Owensboro, Ky. in 1916.
He met my Grandmother there.
The Photo, above (cropped on bottom, and right side, by scan to my computer), is the only known image of Mary, and the earliest of William.
Mary has married her last husband, WILLIAM FIELDS (d. 1945), and they live in Owensboro.
William married my Grandmother in 1919, and they, with her child from her 1st marriage, live in Owensboro.
My Mother, Mary Alice, their 1st child, was born in March 1929.
He died a tragic death in 1937, but THAT’S a whole ‘nother can of worms with a mystery of its own.
William and Iva, my Mother, and Iva’s Daughter by previous marriage, are in Owensboro, KY.
Is he truly a SKELTON who was LEGALLY adopted by Wells AFTER 1900 when he and Mary must have got hitched?
Does THIS bit of 70 year old hair hold the answer?
Anyway, I have no clue of the fates of John West, or John T. Wells. :-D
Nothing about divorces, or deaths.
No clues about the fates of the other siblings, and step-siblings either.
I have some info about Mr. Skelton’s ancestors, and those of Mary Hesson, as well as of John Wells, and John West.
Elijah Melvin Skelton is shown, in a listing at FamiliySearch, to have died on his 71st birthday, January 12, 1938, in Warrick Co. Indiana.
He had a 2nd wife, Mary Lillian Angle, who died in 1958.
Based on her file they must have married after 1913.
I DO have a clue as to the connections between Mary and her possible Chenault ties, her West husband, and her Skelton husband.
A fellow researcher turned up an intriguing set of listings in the 1880 census CD for Indiana:
Pigeon, Warrick County, Indiana:
William West/Catherine West with, among others, a son named John, age 9, born 1871.
JUST DOWN THE STREET:
Joseph M. Skelton/Mary E. Skelton with a son named Anson, age 10, born 1870.
Mary Hessons family.
MEANWHILE, in Cannelton, in Perry County:
Jos. Chenault/Martha Chenault, with sons John, age 11, and Arthur, age 8.
This is all very intriguing, and mysterious, and I have fellow researchers, plus some digging of my own, to thank for bringing this much to light.
To bad the 1890 census is lost.
If there is ANYONE out there who can help me sort all of this out, and shed light on the SKELTON/WELLS side of things, especially, I'd be grateful. ;-D
Oh, and yes, I am the creator of the slogan that began this post, but it's my take on a popular original that is far too boring for my tastes. ;-D
***UPDATE - 7/11/08***
Recently I helped my Uncle Paul, the sole remaining child of William, submit his DNA to the important, and historic Wells DNA Project.
This is important, especially in light of a new discovery I made, and a new possibility suggested to me by a fellow researcher:
The first wife of John was EFFA (EMMA?) M. SUITER, who he married in 1881 in Spencer Co., IN..
Could she have either died in giving birth to William, or in the following 2 years, and then Mary eventually became the Step-Mother of William by marrying John?
Oh, and John may have died around 1912 because Mary appears to have married a Chenault, afterall, before marrying the Fields guy, according to the Draft Registration card of William from WW1! ;-D
God, what a woman! ;-D
The DNA results will be known in 3 weeks, and we will finally confirm whether or not we are Wells by blood. ;-D
***UPDATE 2 - 8/18/08***
Yo, Willie! You ARE a Wells! ;-D
Now, let's see if I can sort out who your Mother is! ;-D
CONTINUE: From the mystery of his birth, to the mystery of his death.