Something about Mary…

Rachel Hays Shepard

My great grandmother, Rachel Hays, was named after her grandmother Rachel George Hays, who had died around 1900. My mission for the past couple of years has been to find out what I can about Rachel George’s family.

It has been a very interesting journey so far. Using land records and online trees, that are of course not sourced, I have been able to piece together some parts of the puzzle. In fact one recent re-discovery, helped fill in more of the missing spots.

The current belief is that Rachel George is the daughter of Elzy George and Mary (possibly Baker).

Elzy was the son of William Absalom, jr., and Margaret and the grandson of William, sr. and Debra Ankrom.

The Ankrom’s are of Scottish descent. The Georges were probably Welsh quakers, I am still working on that.

I know most of this through my own research into the census records and land records and a few printed genealogies. But the big find for me, was a better confirmation that Rachel’s mother’s name was Mary. This happened when I was going over an 1870 census, a record I have had for several years, but until only recently understood the significance of.

When I transcribed the census record into Ezra Hays record in my genealogy file, I had a Mary George age 16 living with Ezra and Rachel Hays along with their two sons, Edmund and Ausborn, and a farm helper. I thought that Mary was probably a niece of Rachel’s living with the family.

However, while doing some recent census research for Mary, up popped this same census record which I didn’t remember I had. Only now I am looking at the actual image, and I see that the Mary listed, who I though might be a niece, was a 67 year old lady. Oh my goodness, this was probably Rachel’s mother. Which would make sense because she was a widow in the 1840s and had never remarried. So I had either transcribed the census record incorrectly, had a typo, or the earlier image had been hard to read.

This is an excellent re-discovery and swings the consensus of Rachel’s parents being Elzy and Mary more into the yes category. Earlier census records for the Elzy George family also indicate a connection because there is a daughter of an age of Rachel in the both the 1830 and 1840 censuses.

1870 Census records from Ancestry.com from Grant, Wetzel County, West Virginia. It covers two pages and Mary George is on the second page.

When Rachel was about 20 years of age she had an out of wedlock son, William George. We don’t know who his father is, as he is never named in any of William’s official records. This son lived by his mother and her new husband and sons, married, and had children of his own.

It is like pulling teeth on this family, but that is what makes research so interesting. I will be doing more GEORGE research in June when I head over to Salt Lake City again. Here’s hoping.

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