March 31, 2010

Mary Eva Smith II

The above logo will/should indicate to family members that the following post is data for the family trees. By all means please feel free to comment, whether you agree or disagree.

I received an e-mail from a cousin who is becoming more active in the family genealogy but wishes to remain anonymous at this time. He was reading my book and came up with a question regarding the birth of Mary Eva Smith II, Soapy's daughter. He also came up with the answer. That's what this blog is all about, questions and answers.

My cousin writes,

A quick question, if I may:

Regarding the birth date of Mary Eva II. On page 108, fn. 2, you state, “Born July 4 between March 1887 and July 1989, when Ltrs in the Smith collections begin to mention her.

Do you mean by this that you know that her birthday was July 4, but don’t know if it was in 1887, 1888 or 1889? If so, I may have some helpful information. If not, then the water may still be a bit muddy.

We know that your grandfather [Soapy's son: Jefferson Randolph Smith III] was born in February 1887 (page 107), so Mary Eva II couldn’t have been born five months later in 1887.

My grandfather, and therefore all of my family, believe that he was born on November 27, 1889. If this is true, then Mary Eva couldn’t have been born in 1889, four months before my grandfather.

This leaves 1888 as the most likely year of Mary Eva’s birth.

That would be quite a busy time for Mary Eva I, but she was quite young and probably as fecund as possible. Not impossible that she could have had children three years in a row. (Children born back-to-back were {derogatorily} known as “Irish Twins.” Here we’d have “Irish triplets.”)

What do you think?

My cousin had new information that I did not have previous. Anytime that happens, it's a good day. In another e-mail my cousin added additional information.

As to Eva’s birthday: I have some solid info for you. I asked my mother about “Aunt E” as Mary Eva II was known in our family. (She lived in Milwaukee, near my grandfather and his family.) Asked about Aunt E’s birthday, my mom shot back, “Fourth of July.” I asked how she knew and she said, “We used to celebrate it. Your grandmother’s (JJ’s wife – my grandmother) was July 2, and we’d celebrate both.” So, we have clearly established that Mary Eva II was born on July 4. And as I said in my earlier email, it is pretty clear that the year was 1888. My mom will call a cousin from that family to see when she died. My grandfather died on Feb. 24, 1969, so J.J. Smith’s dates are: 11/27/1889 – 2/24/1969. Hope this helps.

Yeah it helps! Great work cuz. Solving mysteries is fun, and even more when your related to them!


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Thank you for leaving your comment and/or question on my blog. I always read, and will answer all questions left here. Please know that they are greatly appreciated. -Jeff Smith