What’s In a Name?

In researching my Smith branches of the Smith-Jenkins family tree, I was confused and unable to determine who were Amelia Smith’s parents. Amelia was born about 1883 and her death certificate listed her father as Young Smith and her mother as ‘S’. Right away I was able to find on the 1880, 1900 and 1910 census a man named Young Smith who was the right age to be her father. His wife’s name was Hester or Esther. This all seemed to fit Amelia’s death certificate. The names fit, but I could never find Amelia in Young’s and Hester’s household or living anywhere near them. Young lived in Glencoe, St. Mary Parish, Louisiana and not Patoutville, Iberia Parish where I was told that Amelia lived.

Amelia’s husband was named Oliver Jenkins. So, I searched for him on the census pages in St. Mary/Iberia Parish beginning with 1900. I couldn’t find him anywhere. Amelia and Oliver’s children were born and grew up in the Patoutville area, so I knew they had to be somewhere on the 1900 Iberia Parish census page. I used Ancestry.com, Familysearch.org and Heritagequest.com, with no luck. I gave up trying to use electronically indexed web sites and went to a local genealogy center and pulled out the microfilm. I painstakingly scrolled page after page and almost gave up until something caught my eye. What I found was a Joseph Smith, his wife Charlotte, two daughters Amelia and Cora and a son named Alava. I turned the reel a half turn or so and then scrolled back. I’d found them!!

Oliver was Alava! But, he wasn’t Amelia’s brother, he was her husband. And, her father’s name was supposed to be ‘Young’ and her mother’s name was supposed to start with an ‘S’.¬† Charlotte could be spelled with an ‘S’–Sharlotte. So, I threw out Young and Hester in Glencoe as Amelia’s parents and instead placed Joseph, aka ‘Young’ and Charlotte, aka ‘S’.


Author: Faye Hayes

I started my genealogy journey looking for anyone who had Robert Jenkins and Bridget Guy on their family tree. Almost immediately, 2 unknown cousins connected via e-mail and began sharing stories. It became clear that we knew a few things about the Jenkins branch of our family tree and knew almost nothing about our Smith branch. This blog will share information of my search for Jenkins, Guy, Smith and now Phillips, Torney and Watts people on the branches of my family tree--Maryland to Louisiana!

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