Friday, April 29, 2016

The Case of Emma M Downs

While researching my 3rd great-grandfather, I came across a marriage record for his son Uriah. I was extremely interested in this record, because it listed his mother as Margh Hiltz and I have her name as Nancy (according to an 1850 census record).

Actually I found two marriage records of Uriah and Emma M Downs. One has an event date of 27 Jan 1869 and the other 28 Oct 1869, both occurring in Rock County, Wisconsin, USA. These records are linked to two separate images on a Family History Microfilm and I will have to check these out later when I am at the Family History Library. Perhaps the marriage was going to happen in January and they had to postpone, who knows.

However, in my genealogy program, I have Uriah married to Frances Annette Blaine on 8 August 1871, the year matches a DAR Lineage Book for Member 157101 Mrs. Cora A Hilts Cummings, who happens to be the daughter of Uriah and Frances.

I show by the 1900 US Census, Anette Hilts is a widow and had only one child. I found a Michigan Death record for Uriah with a death date of 12 Apr 1900, with the parents of Lawrence Hilts and Lena Perin.

About now you are probably wondering why this post is titled “The Case of Emma M Downs” when I have three different names for Uriah mother as Nancy (unknown), Margh (unknown) and Lena Perin.

I am really wondering about these two marriage records I have found that were recorded in Rock County, Wisconsin. Who is Emma M Downs and did she ever in fact marry Uriah? The marriage record(s) state the parents as Francis E Downs and Mary E Downs. 

I found a Christening record for Emma from Providence, Rhode Island with a birth date of 7 Sept 1851 with parents Francis E Downs and Mary E Smith.

Next I found the 1855 Massachusetts State Census for Emma who is now 3 and living with her parents, Francis E Downs (age 33) and Mary Downs (age 32).

In 1860 they are living in Janesville Ward 4, Rock, Wisconsin; F.E. Downs (age 38), Mary E Downs (age 36) and Emma N Downs is now age 8.

I lose all tracks of Francis, Mary and Emma until 1900 where Mary E Downs (age 76) is a widow living in Providence, Rhode Island with her single daughter Emma M Downs (age 47). Mary was married for 51 years and had 3 children with only one living.

I find a burial record of Mary E Downs through FindAGraveMemorial # 132139915 which has a photocopy of the “Record of Burial” that states Mary E Downs died at 82 years, 9 mos and 12 Days. The record is tied to Emma M Downs, therefore I am sure this is still my Emma M Downs. I don’t find Emma in any future census records, perhaps she married. I don’t find a burial record through FindAGrave for either her father, Francis or for her.

Genealogy is all about questions. It is exciting when we find answers to questions but always seem to create more questions.

I still wonder if Emma M Downs and Uriah Hiltz ever did get married. I wonder when her father past away and where they were living between 1860 and 1900. I wonder what happen to her after 1900.

Of course I wonder about my 3rd great-grandmother. What is her name? it is exciting to have two new names to research. However, that question is for another day to research. 

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