I have written several times in this blog about my on-going search for the Allen and Elizabeth Saunders Adamson family. As a reminder, this is the family who had twelve children, and lived in Texas County, Missouri. Around 1858, the mother, Elizabeth, died and the children were parceled out to her relatives. The father, Allen, went to live with his father in Kentucky, leaving the children in Missouri, and apparently never returning. I have spent quite a few years trying to track down what became of all of the children. Something about this family grabbed my heart and I continue to research them. They are not my direct line. Allen Adamson was a brother to my gg-grandfather, Aaron W. Adamson.
One of Allen and Elizabeth's sons was Elijah Adamson, born about 1851 in Missouri. After his mother's death, Elijah and his sister Catherine went to live with one of Elizabeth's sister and her family, and they are listed with the family in the 1860 Pulaski County, MO Census. Elijah is then listed in the 1870 Phelps County MO Census as a boarder and laborer. In 1876, Elijah married Martha Elliott, and they were listed in the 1876 Texas County MO Census.
That was the last record I had found of Elijah or Martha. What became of them? Did they ever have children? Did Elijah die before the 1880 census? I just could never find any information on Elijah after 1876.
Then one day a couple of weeks ago while I was on Ancestry.com, I noticed that someone had copied my marriage record for Martha Elliott. However, they had her marriage listed as being to Elijah's brother Edward. I contacted the submitter and together we worked to determine that Martha had married Elijah.
It turned out that by 1880, Martha was widowed and living with two small boys, James and William Adamson! (The tricky part was that they were listed as "Adams", not "Adamson" in the census). The family was listed in Yell County, Arkansas. So did Elijah and Martha move there before Elijah died? The youngest son was born in 1878 in Missouri.
As I learned from the submitter, shortly after the 1880 census, Martha remarried and went on to have seven more children. It is really because one of her descendants knew that she had a son, James Adamson, that the whole mystery came together!
It continues to surprise me how some genealogy questions can be answered by showing diligence and patience! And it surprises me even more how satisfying it is to me to learn that Elijah had children, and that he had descendants! I am sad that Elijah died so young. To my knowledge, only two of the twelve children born to Allen and Elizabeth Adamson were alive after 1880. It appears that five of the boys died in the Civil War, two more sons died of accidents at ages 33 and 22. I still have not learned what became of two of daughters. The other two daughters lived until 80 and 83 years of age. I am always saddened to think of how the children's mother would feel to know that 10 of her 12 children did not live long, happy lives.
As far as I know right now, Elizabeth had 21 grandchildren, that were born long after she passed on. Knowing that, however, gives me hope that sometime I may locate some of her descendants and perhaps learn even more of what became of the family! Never give up!