So, like I said (I think), I’ve been focusing on my mother’s genealogy. Her mother’s family has been in America for several generations, and I’ve been able to trace many lines back to the first generation in America (which isn’t all that far back compared to my dad’s family). However, there is one person in my family tree who has been a real mystery–my great-great-great-grandmother, Mary Compton.
Mary is one of those people that I constantly wonder if she really belongs in my family tree. I have absolutely nothing on her before she married my great-great-great-grandfather, Granville Hendricks. I have found a record of their marriage, and I have traced that family in census records from 1850 to 1885. But as far as I can tell, she didn’t exist before her wedding in 1846, then she vanished off the face of the earth after the Kansas state census taken in 1885.
Now, I’m sure she did actually exist beyond those 35 years. In fact, every census record says that she was born in Indiana, and that her father and mother were born in New York and Ohio, respectively. That right there would indicate that she didn’t just appear when she married her husband. Each census, though, gives an age that doesn’t match the others. As far as I can tell, she was born sometime between 1822 and 1830. Now, I realize that some people back then just didn’t worry about when and where they were born, but most got it within a range of a couple of years. Eight years is a pretty big range!
I have an old letter written by my great-grandmother’s brother that says Mary died in Idaho, but I haven’t been able to find anything that shows that she was ever in Idaho (although I know that at least three of her children moved on to Idaho homesteads). For that matter, the same letter says that her husband (who by this time was her ex-husband) also moved to Idaho and died there. I haven’t been able to find any records to indicate that they split up, nor that they died (although I’m pretty sure they did eventually die).
So, for me, Mary Compton is one of those people that I love to hate–the one’s that keep me going, constantly looking for information, but constantly frustrating me when I find nothing. I do know, though, that ANYTHING at all will be the thrill of a lifetime! So, I keep searching.