So I have this theory. My third great grandmother, Kitty James, pops up in records in 1817 when she marries a guy named Elliott Bellamy in Gallia County, Ohio. So I look around Gallia County for Jameses in 1820. I find a few old men who fit the bill: a guy named John and a guy named Bartlett. Both are old enough to have a daughter Kitty’s age. My theory is one of these men is Kitty’s father.
I plug both John and Bartlett James into my family tree to get DNA hits from my dad’s and my tests. No hits come up for Bartlett, which is surprising because Kitty named one of her children Bartlett. For John, I get 13 DNA matches from three of his children. My theory tightens to John James is Kitty’s father.
Next I research John’s family top-down, meaning I start with John and his wife and then research his children and grandchildren, recording who they are and where they settled. I’ve been digging into this family for few months now.
Okay, you’re caught up, but if you’re a family member or a curious reader who wants to know more, read this.
I was looking into the family of the sister of John James, one of the two men living in Gallia County in 1820 with the last name James. This sister happens to have the same exact name as my third great grandmother. For the sake of clarity, I’ll call her Catherine, and I’ll stick to calling my third great grandmother Kitty.
Catherine married Adam Butcher and lived for most of her life in Pike County, Ohio. As part of my research process, I plug their names in Google and find this old page from a forum on genealogy.com.
Now this is a long list of Butcher family members. As I scrolled down the page, I saw many listings for Harrison County, Missouri. That piqued my interest because Catherine and her family settled in Harrison County in the 1860s or so.
I conducted searches in Ancestry for Butchers living in Harrison County, Missouri, and found a large number of them living in Cypress Township on the southern border of the county. Kitty and my family lived in Clay Township along the northern border.
I looked into Kitty’s census records next. Look who I found on the NEXT PAGE after Kitty’s family’s listing:
Jacob Butcher is the son of Adam Butcher Jr, who is the son—you guessed it—of Catherine James Butcher, John James’s sister! So Jacob Butcher is the son of Kitty’s suspected first cousin.
Looking at the 1876 Plat map of the county, I can see how close the Jameses and the Butchers lived. The red circles are the houses. The yellow is just highlighting their names.
They lived really close to each other. Right?
How much of a coincidence could it be that a member of the family I suspect to be Kitty’s happens to live across the creek from them in 1876 in a different county in a different state that where they originated?
This is an exciting discovery. I think I’m on the right track.
Now I am researching Kitty’s other neighbors.
I know. My last blog post was about how I’m resisting starting a HYOOJ project to distract me from my troubles.
I’m only researching the neighbors listed 2 pages before and 2 pages after Kitty and her family. I’m hoping to find more connections.