Gene Notes

Some random and some not-so-random thoughts on family history.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Are You My Grandpa?

A recent post about my great-great-grandmother's death sent me looking once more for her father, Edwin Carter. I found a couple little teasers about him. According to Elizabeth Carter Webb's obituary, her father was Edwin H. Carter, and he did live in Lafayette county. In 1850, there is an Edwin H. Carter who was enumerated in District 46, Lafayette county, Missouri with a young woman by the name of Ann Carter, aged 32 (the index says 22, but it's a 3.)  Edwin's age is given as 42 - birth would be about 1808 and his birthplace is given as Virginia, as is Ann's.

I can't find him in 1860 -- anywhere. However, there is an Edwin H. Carter in Jackson county, Missouri, same age and born in Virginia. And there is a find-a-grave record for Edwin H. Carter, born in July 8, 1807. Is this my great-great-great grandfather?

The teaser is Mr. Leonard Cowley. No idea who he is. But I do note that it was published in Richmond, Virginia.

So, I start looking. Now, family lore has my great-great grandmother as Elizabeth Custis Carter Webb.  Well, that's what we read. That Custis could just as easily be Curtis.

I took another look at the 1850 census, and just for the fun of it, turned the page. Holy-Shmoly - there is my great-great grandmother Elizabeth C. Carter, age 16 (born 1834.) But wait, there are a lot of other children. In 1850 I have this family:

Edward  Carter, aged 42 born in Virginia
Ann M. Carter, aged 32 born in Virginia (at this point Mr. Enumerator has skipped two lines and the children are listed on the next page. The indexer also lists her as age 22.)
Elizabeth C. Carter, aged 16, born in Virginia (The 1850 says all the children are born in Virginia.)
Virginia Carter, aged 14
Harvey Carter, aged 10
Marion Carter, aged 9
Columbia Carter, aged 7
Edwin Carter, aged 6 (that's what his daddy's name should say.)
William C, aged 5
John Carter, aged 1

So I look for the 1860 census and this is where it gets really sticky. You see, Ann has probably died, and Edwin has remarried - Sallie Smith Burbridge. Yes, a second marriage for her too! His marriage record to Ann can be found in Henrico County, Virginia Marriage bonds - they were married in 1831. Second marriage was in 1860 to Sallie in Dover, Lafayette, Missouri.

E. H. Carter, aged 53 born VA
Sallie Carter, aged 33 born KY
Marion Carter, aged 20 born VA
Columbia Carter, aged 18 born VA
Edwin Carter, aged 17, born VA
William Carter, aged 16 born MO
John Carter, aged 11 born MO. I don't know for certain where they were born, either is plausible.
Sallie Smith Burbridge's children from previous marriage.

Sallie Smith Burbridge Carter dies in 1866. In 1867, Edwin H. Carter marries yet again, this time to Sarah Ann "Sally" Scruggs Royster, widow of Thomas Royster.

So on the 1870 Census we have:

Edwin H. Carter, aged 63, born in VA
Sarah A. Carter, aged 38, born in KY
Rhoda Carter, aged 22, born in Missouri
John L. Carter, aged 22, born in Missouri
Mary D. Carter, aged 8, born in Missouri - child with Sallie Smith Burbridge
Annie Carter, aged 5, born in Missouri - child with Sallie Smith Burbridge
Sarah Scruggs Royster's children from her previous marriage.

There we have Edwin H. Carter. Further research leads me to a Genealogy of the Carter Family in "The Descendants of  Capt. Thomas Carter of "Barford," Lancaster county, Virginia." Edwin Harvey Carter, son of Curtis Carter and Elizabeth Baker, was born July 8, 1807. Research on Find-A-Grave finds a partial headstone for Edwin H. Carter in Woodlawn Cemetery, Independence, Jackson, Missouri, born July 8, 1807 near Richmond, Va. Even though he was the eldest son, it looks like he packed and up moved to Missouri with his family. His father sired 15 children by 3 of his 4 wives, maybe Edwin didn't want to share.

His eldest daughter, Elizabeth C. Carter, my great-great-grandmother married John Garland Webb in 1853. Harvey Carter, the oldest son married in February of 1868 to Rhoda Sage. Harvey died in 1869. I think Mary D. Carter, age 8 and Annie Carter, age 5, on the 1870 census are Edwin's children from his second wife Sally Smith Burbridge. Edwin's daughter, Marion married Judge Jesse P. Alexander. A later census shows John L. Carter, one of Edwin's sons from Ann Paul, married to a woman named Rhoda. Hmmmm.

In addition to Edwin's direct line of descendants, he also had nephews and nieces living in the county. While Joseph Lyon in "The Descendants of  Capt. Thomas Carter of "Barford," Lancaster county, Virginia" states that Elizabeth Winn Carter was living in Dover Delaware in 1910, she was married in Missouri. I've not found a record of her anywhere in 1910.

Edwin died August 29, 1875 and is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery, Independence, Missouri. There is a memorial stone there for his son, Harvey.

So, the answer to the question is yes. I still have a long way to go with this family, collecting documents, but it looks like I added another limb to the family tree!

Copyright 2010-2012, ACK for Gene Notes


  1. I can safely say that I am not your grandpa.

  2. Congratulations on adding another limb to the tree! Cathy

  3. Congrats! Always nice to add limbs to that family tree!

  4. Thanks, Chuck. This was one branch of my dad's family tree that just was not documented. I'm sure my grandmother must have known some of this info, but no one wrote it down that I know of.