I have a woman with two sets of parents, one set is her real parents and the other is the one that raised her after her real parents died. Nothing at all unusual, right? Of course you knew it wouldn’t be quite that simple.
Ida Spires’ real parents were Wiley J. Spires and Martha Houghton. Wiley and Martha married in Lincoln County, Georgia on 10 Sep 18651 and had four children with Ida being born 02 Jul 1873.2 Martha died between 1876 and 1880. In 1880, Wiley is still alive and has the four children in his household.3 Ida marries in 18894 and she is living with her husband in 1900.5 So what happened between 1880 and 1889? Wiley doesn’t appear on the 1900 census so he had, most likely, died.
Fast forward to Ida’s death on 30 Apr 1957. The informant on Ida’s death certificate was her daughter Ethel (Lewis) Sprouse. She stated that Ida’s parents were Edwin Spires and Eva Faulkner.4 It makes sense that if Wiley died shortly after the 1880 census, someone would have taken the kids in. Ida would have only been 7ish. The problem is, I can’t find anything on an Edwin Spires and Eva Faulkner. All of Wiley’s brothers are accounted for and none are named Edwin or anything similar. His uncles are also similarly accounted for.
So that is my starting point. The question is, did Edwin Spires and Eva Faulkner exist or was Ethel mistaken on the names? This is an old brick wall. If you do an internet search with the names Edwin Spires and Eva Faulkner you will find a couple of queries I did on Rootsweb mailing lists back in 2001. I thought it was time to revisit this one. I just wanted to show you that the types of dilemmas I work on are no different than yours.
1 Lincoln County, Georgia, Marriage Book I: 135, Wiley J. Spires-Martha E. Houghton, 1865.
2 Georgia Department of Public Health, death certificate 630 (1957), Ida Spires Lewis.
3 1880 U.S. census, Lincoln County, Georgia, population schedule, District 183, enumeration district (ED) 70, p. 21, dwelling 157, family 157, Wiley Spires household; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 20 Nov 2008); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T9, roll 155; On the 1880 census, the youngest known child was born about 1876 and Wiley is listed as a widower.
4 Columbia County, Georgia, Marriage Book E: 63, Ernest E. Lewis-Miss Ida Spires, 1889.
5 1900 U.S. census, Columbia County, Georgia, population schedule, Militia District 126, enumeration district (ED) 3, sheet 11A, p. 37, dwelling 183, family 189, Ernest L. Lewis household; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 29 Jan 2009); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T623, roll 190.
6 Georgia Department of Public Health, death certificate 630 (1957), Ida Spires Lewis.
Copyright © 2013 Michele Simmons Lewis