Monday, November 9, 2015

The Other William, Kate and George

     William, Kate and George are in my family tree.  While it is not the Royal William, Kate and George, they are another piece of the puzzle solved.  There is even a younger sister for George, mine is named Elba.  In a previous post from 11/27/13 I had hypothesized that the William and Kate I had found may possibly be related to me.  After further research I am more convinced that this is factual.
     William Arthur SMITH married Katie G. McELROY on 7 Dec 1890 In Rocky Ford, Otero County, according to the State of Colorado Marriage Record Report.  The ceremony was performed by a Presbyterian Minister, Samuel BARBER.  This is interesting to note because my grandma says that grandpa was raised a Catholic.  I believe that I'm on the right track here and these are my 2nd great grandparents because in the 1900 US Federal Census George W. SMITH is living with William, Katie and his sister Elba in Teller County, Colorado.
     William is listed as a teamster, born in Missouri, Nov 1858.  Katie came from Ireland in 1885 and was born Feb 1868.  She only has 2 children of which 2 are still living.  George, born Jun 1891, is going to school in Teller County, Colorado but no school record was located at the Colorado State Archives.  Elba, born Nov 1896, is too young for school.  At this time it is not know if there are any other children.
     In 1917 George completed a WWI Draft Registration Card listing his wife and mother as dependents, but not his father.  Why is that?  Was his father not in the area?  Was his mother living with him at that time?  The card also gives George's residence as Maxwell, Colfax, New Mexico.
     By 1930, the US Federal Census enumerates my SMITH family as living in Arriola, Montezuma, Colorado.  George has four kids and his father William is living with him, but not his mother.  William's marital status is listed as widow, so sometime between 1917 and 1930 Katie has passed away.  Of interesting note in this census is the name of the next household - John J. SMITH.  Is this a brother or another relative?  The family appears to be in the same place in the 1940 census, having added another child and the oldest son, George W. SMITH, Jr.'s young family is living in the household, but not William.  William seems to have passed away before 1940.
     Next search takes me to Find-A-Grave.com.  There is a memorial there for Katherine G. SMITH (1870-1919) and William A. SMITH. (1858-1924), both are interned at Valley View Cemetery in Rocky Ford, Otero, Colorado, but nothing else is listed.  No obituaries are found, no more online records.  I decide to take a trip to the cemtery in Rocky Ford.
     My trip to Rocky Ford is not as fruitful as I had hoped.  I visited the cemetery and found the headstones.  I went to the cemetery office and obtained the death dates Katie's being 5/28/1919 and William's being 7/23/1934.  Where did Katie pass away?  I assume William passed away in Arriola.  Where can I look for obits for them?  The local historical museum has no newspaper records available for the time period that I need.
     Not yet wanting to stop looking, I go to the Colorado State Archives and look at the microfilm for Otero County Marriage Certificates.  Bingo!  I find it, the marriage certificate for William and Kate.  Witnesses were a Mr. and Mrs. H.W. POTTER.  How did they know my grandparents?  That's not it though, another random search at the Denver Public Library country record books brings me across a land patent book that shows Katie McELROY had land in 1891 in Otero county, the same year she was married.  Was it a homestead she started with help from her family and William married her?    Other McELROY's in the area are Patrick and Francis (Frank).  Are they relatives?
     So I have some further leads to look into.  How are the Potter's tied into my family.  Are the McEloy's and John Smith related?  Where did Elba go?  I'd like to try for a death certificate and obit.
     Thank you for completing this long post read.  I had a lot to share and work through.  I wanted to map out what I discovered and develop a story.  Thanks again. Until next time.