So I found an offer online a few months ago where I could get Ancestry for $49 for six months. The offer had been sent to the blogger and she’d posted it online and I thought, “What the heck, I am only working 20 hours a week now, and I have wondered what they have and it’s summer….” So I signed up. I have only two real brick walls, George L. Gee, and Susan Markham.
So I decided I would research George’s wife, Sarah Jane Rash. Sarah Jane is the daughter of Robert Rash and Rebecca Sills. As I started researching, Rebecca, whom my great aunt had said was Rebecca Stills, I found a lot of Stills family living around her and thought okay, perhaps she was Rebecca Stills instead of Sills. So I started researching on Ancestry and found one Josiah Stills. But as I researched the Stills family in Virginia, two things became apparent. Josiah was NOT her father, and Rebecca did not live any where near where the Stills were from. So I decided to trace the Sills family in VA. First I looked for Sills in Lunenburg County in VA in 1810, since Rebecca had married Robert Rash there in 1809. But there were NO Sills in Lunenburg County in 1810. So I went back to the drawing board. Robert and Rebecca move from Lunenburg County, in 1810 to Greensville County in 1820 and then back to Lunenburg by 1830. WHY?
Well, the 1820 Greensville census tells the story. The county is full of Sills. One of which is a Rebecca Sills (not our Rebecca). I believe she is from Greensville, though it isn’t clear why Rebecca married two counties away in Lunenburg County just yet. Still have some research to do, but have several good candidates as her parents. Cluster research for the score.
So I decided to try some of this cluster genealogy with Susan Markham. I’d trace all the Wilson County Markham’s back and see if a Susan emerged. Yeah right! It didn’t take long to realize that there just aren’t any cluster around Susan to research..
In 1860, there is John and Susan (too old to be our Susan) in the 10th District and Nancy Telford Markham in the 25th District. Neither family has a daughter named Susan living at home. Research on Nancy Telford Markham shows her son John to be the only heir of his father.
In 1870, there is Ben Marcrum, in the 21st. I have thought for a long time Ben was related to Susan, just haven’t been able to prove it. Another researcher states the Susan I thought was Ben’s niece is actually married to a Matt Dennis. So that would rule our Susan out.
In 1880, there is J. F. (Ben’s son) in the 21st, and Berry (Ben) in the 11th. There is the only time we see Susan living with her son-in-law A. J. Lannum, and there is Winson Markham, age 21 and Sophia Markham age 12, born in KY. and living with Z. A. Baird
So since I have already traced Berry/Ben Markham and his son J. F. and haven’t proven a relationship, that left John and Susan, and Winson.
I found Winson and his sister Sophia living in the house of Winston Markham, age 37 in 1870 in Caldwell County, KY. (Though Susan states she was born in TN, for now I am open to that part being a mistake.) Living with him is H. H. Markham, a physician age 39, John, 13, Winson age 11, and Sophia age 3. They have a black female named Susan Wilson, age 46 and a black female named Sylvia age 12 as domestic servants. Next door is Ben and Sarah Board (Baird?)
So I then searched for al Markhams** in Caldwell County. No one that fit our Susan, age 22 and Caldonia age 4.
So I searched for Victory Baird, because Winson and Sophia were living with Z. A. and Victory Baird in 1880. And I find Winson and Sophia also living with Zeblon and Victory Baird. They are listed on the 1870 as Bairds. Not sure if the Winson and Sophia living in Caldwell County are the same as the Winson and Sophirah living in Wilson County, TN are the same people, but it seems like they could be..
However, this gives me another surname to research looking for Susan. Since I have never found Susan and Caldonia in 1870, I believe they are enumerated under a different surname. What if they were living with family and were enumerated under that surname and not Markham?
While the Baird family is large in Wilson County, TN, I did not see anyone with a Susan or Caldonia that could be ours. I haven’t given up on Zeblon* or Victory Baird though. I think there may be something there. Winson and Sophia are their niece and nephew. Though Zeblon was 25 years older than Victory (Victoria), I do believe they were married. In 1850, he is living with Andrew and Martha Baird. In 1860, he and Victoria are living with Andrew and Martha. In 1870, he is head of household. But so far, I have not been able to find a marriage record for him.
So I go back to Kentucky. Winston Markham married Mrs. Ann M. Throckmorton on 28 Nov 1855 in Caldwell County, KY.
In 1860 Winston and Ann have a son John, age 3 and a son Winston Jr. age 1.
In 1870, Ann has apparently passed away and we see Winston living with H. H., the physician and his, John, age 13, W. B., age 11, Sophia age 3. That same census year, we see Winson and Sophia living with the Bairds and they are enumerated as Bairds.
So what is the relationship between Zeblon of Wilson County, and Winston of Caldwell County, and does any of this show a relationship to Susan? Well, obviously I don’t know. But it’s apparent that Winston is not Susan’s brother. If they are related, at most he would be a cousin. So that leaves me back with John and Susan and Berry/Ben. Ah Susan, why do thou allude me?
So far even cluster research ain’t helping me with Susan.
*Zebelon is not to be confused with the Zebelon Baird living in Davidson County at the same time.
**Note Markham is spelled numerous ways. Most of the time, I search for Mar*m. That tends to return almost any spelling. I tend to use the standard Markham when talking about the people and the way the name is spelled on the record if available otherwise. They are all in the same.