In Search of Collaterals…

It’s been said that if you can’t find an ancestor, hop on the collateral train.

I have looked for the parentage of George L. Gee for 20 years. Nothing, Nada, more brick walls than you can count. He currently has 14 parents in TMG that are marked Father-Not (This person is NOT his father) or Father-Res (I am trying to prove this person is).

So I started looking back through my research and found a Ben O. Gee born ca 1805. Married in Williamson County, TN just like our George. He is enumerated on the 1850 census in Marshall County, TN. He has a wife Virginia, and three kids. Now here’s the kicker. I can not find him or his family in 1860. At all. Did the entire family die? There was an influenza outbreak around 1857. Did they move to Indian Territory?

I need proof that this Ben and George were related in some other way than name and marriage place. I need to show that they were descended from the same people. To do that, I need proof that they weren’t just two men living in the same area with similar names. But how can I do that if the later in time I move the lesser records I find. Ben O. was supposedly the son of Jeremiah Gee of Lunenburg County, VA, which fits in with what we thought of George (the Lunenburg County part.) It’s possible that George lived with his older brother after his father’s death. It’s possible that George was one of the males living with Ben in 1830. The problem is it’s possible is a long way from it’s proven. And I’d need to know more about Ben to find out more about George.

Yes, it does help to follow the collateral line sometimes, but this time the line isn’t there to follow. In 1860, George moves to Davidson County, to be closer to his in-laws, because his wife is sick. After her death, he marries again and moves back to Rutherford County. After his death, his second wife raises all the children.

I may never solve the issue of who were George’s parents. I believe he was related to the Gee’s of Lunenburg County, VA, just have no idea how. His wife used names from her family for her children, Robert, James, Sarah… Common names. Not the more unusual Gee names, Neavil, Jones, Drury… Was that because there was no relation, or did she just like the more common names better. We more than likely will never know.


10 thoughts on “In Search of Collaterals…

  1. It is like a million piece jigsaw puzzle with pieces the same color, but you can’t make them fit. Of course, you’ll never quit, but sometimes you just have to put them down for awhile, only to be drawn back to keep trying…Happy Birthday, again!

  2. The problem is that I don’t have all the pieces. If I had them all then I could make it work. But I only have the middle ones. And they are all black and it’s dark in my office. LOL

    But therein lies the fun.

  3. Not yet. I just went back to the marriage records of TN to see if I had all the Gee’s listed and found Ben O and decided to follow him through the census. I have tried the Lunenburg records before, but they are incredibly hard to read, bad writing, poor copies, you name it. But I have tried to find any such record for George and they simply don’t exist. Have no idea where he is buried, I would guess beside his home, but don’t know where that was because I have never found any deeds for him either. He’s my one tough cookie.

  4. I found Ben and his kids on the 1860 census in Texas, Hill, Division. Don’t know what happened to Virginia. If you have ancestry try this link:

    Also there was a 4th child, Elizabeth age 1 listed on the next pg of the 1850 census. Some of the kids were born in Alabama. I hope this helps, even if it’s just another one checked off your list.

    If you don’t have ancestry I can send you the images.
    fallnappl at aim dot com


  5. Thanks. I have Heritage Quest, so I will look for him there. I think it’s possible that he went to AL for the gold rush, but haven’t proven it yet. He certainly had wanderlust.

  6. I’m just starting my genealogy and it’s driving me crazy. My mom’s side is rather new to the country and my German is non-existent, and no one can tell me anything about my grandparents on my dad’s side. I’m collecting a lot of “I’m pretty sure this is them” kind of things. Hope you can find something soon!

  7. That can be difficult. Take lots of genealogy classes and it might be fun to learn German. Well, not really. I am terrible at languages. I have the opposite issue. All my family came from the same small community in TN. My husband’s family was from KY so I married him, thinking new blood. šŸ™‚ Turns out, his mother’s family was from, yup you guessed it, the same small community in TN. We are 6th cousins.

  8. Wish I could help you. I have a George L. Gee of the Lunenburg area that married Sarah Gatewood Shelor in 1819. She was seventeen and I have no further information on him or if they had any descendants.

  9. My George L was born in 1816 so I don’t think this is the same guy. I do believe he came from one of the Lunenburg families. I think his father perhaps died and he then moved to TN because his family had no money to support him.

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