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.