Minda or Armin or Arminta or Amanda?

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My great-great-grandfather had a step-daughter that has me puzzled. The 1880 census lists her as the 18-year-old step-daughter of William Newton McGhee. The handwriting is hard to read, but it looks like Arminta or Arminda Micheal.

There don’t seem to be any hints on the ancestry site to help me out, so I’ve been poking around in other people’s trees looking for clues. I’ve tried variations on her name and stumbled across a possible husband for her (Lewis Davis).

Dresses on display at the Eureka, Kansas historical society.

Dresses on display at the Eureka, Kansas historical society.

Mitchell seems to be the maiden name for her mother, Elsie Jane, and possibly the census taker didn’t know how to spell that. Elsie Jane (also called Elsa in one family tree) appears to have a previous marriage as her name was Evans when she married William.

I found two Evans brothers to go with Arminda/Minta and even found Evans as a last name for Arminda on some trees. The brothers are Andrew and John W.

This raises the question of who was Minda’s father? Was it Thomas Evans who seems to be the father of Andrew and John, or was Arminda born out of wedlock before Thomas Evans married Elsie Jane?

As I mix and match the first and last names for her, I’ve found the listings for the husband and the brothers, but none of the trees include documentation like the census or a gravestone.

I wish I could solve the mystery of Arminta/Amanda/Armin/Minda with the last name of Evans/Micheal/Mitchell. She was born around 1862 in Arkansas.

Here’s what Velma Ann Roger’s had in her notes, with some additions of mine in (bold):

Samuel Newton McGhee was the second of three children born to William Newton McGhee and Elsa Jane Mitchell Evans.  Children of Wm. Newton McGhee and Elsa Jane were

1-John McGhee

2-Samuel Newton McGhee

3-Houston McGhee

William Newton McGhee had seven children by a previous marriage.  The first wife’s name is unknown. (I have Matilda E. Booker)

Their Children

1- Fate (Solomon Lafayette McGhee)

2-Lucinda (Lucinda Pearl McGhee)

3-Jane (Zilloh Jane McGhee)

4-Margaret

5-Eveline

6-Victoria (Victoria Isabell McGhee)

7-Matilda (Harriet Matilda McGhee)

8 – (Fidomia)
Elsa Jane, nee Mitchell, Evans had three children by her first marriage. 1- Andrew Evans, 2-Minda Evans (see the story above), 3-John Evans. According to scant information her husband’s name was Thomas Evans.

*An interesting footnote; Andrew Evans married Lucinda McGhee, and John Evans married Matilda McGhee. Brothers married stepsisters.  When Andrew died and Matilda died, John then took Lucinda as his 2nd wife.

What’s Next? I need to do more work on the whole batch of McGhees, Evans and Mitchells in Perry County, Arkansas. There’s a McGhee family cemetery on Find-a-Grave, so I’ll chart out a bunch from there and see if any fill the gaps in our tree.

mcghee martin family tree

mcghee martin family tree

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Finding Carl and Ida Babcock

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My mother had a photo labeled Elias, Carl and Ida Babcock. They appeared to be an older couple with a young boy, all dressed in the garb of the late 1800s. Who were they? Were they the grandparents of the boy? I was curious about how they fit into my family.

Elias, Carl and Ida Babcock (photo from the collection of Gail Lee Martin)

Elias, Carl and Ida Babcock
(photo from the collection of Gail Lee Martin)

I found Elias on my family tree, actually I found two of them. The Elias Babcock born in 1817 married a Laura, so I went to work on the one born in 1855.

Thanks to Ancestry.com, within a short time, I found the 1910 census with an Elias, Carl and Ida Babcock. They were living in Gentry, Arkansas. That rang a bell, as I have Vining ancestors from there also. This was the Elias born in 1855.

Further investigation showed that Elias Jahue Babcock was a younger brother of my great-grandmother, Nancy Jane Babcock (later Ashlock and then Vining). Carl was his son, not his grandson.

Ida, Elias’ wife, was Ida May Brown who lived from 1856 to 1928.

The Vinings and Babcocks are closely related. Ellenor Babcock married John Vining, Nancy Babcock married Henry Francis Vining and Joseph Babcock married Julia Vining.