Here’s the story behind the challenge if you want to participate. http://www.nostorytoosmall.com/52-ancestors-in-52-weeks. A recap of #52 Ancestors for Week 20 found (link not active at this time, but will update once it becomes active).
You may recognize Martha from yesterday’s WikiTree/TribalPages birthday post. I receive weekly birthday e-mail updates from WikiTree and weekly or monthly birthday e-mail updates from TribalPages. Most of the time, the same people are on both lists. At other times, I have someone on one list and not the other one. It may be the result of different cut-off dates, but in some cases I have a person only on one family tree.
I keep the birthday updates short, kind of mini-52 Ancestors challenges. The format for each entry is full name (including maiden and any married names when known), birthdate, death date, relation to me (generally based on Ancestry.com’s view relationship to me prediction) birthplace, death place, and burial place (if known). For Martha’s birthday entry, I knew her birth name, birth and death dates, and county of birth. Things I looked for – death place, burial site, and if she had married.
How did I find her death and burial locations and her married surname? It wasn’t easy. I started with the other information I had on Martha – parents’ and siblings names. Her parents were Amor Jefferies, Jr. (1822 – 1897) and Elizabeth Jane nee Grosvenor Jefferies (1823 – 1903), buried in Kansas. Turns out I came very close to the cemetery where they were buried on my Bushton trip, but didn’t realize it. One of Martha’s siblings, George Washington Jefferies, married Mary Catherine Swartz, the daughter of Sarah (Kring) and Simeon Swartz. Mary is buried in Wichita and is a future 52 Ancestors entry. Since this family wasn’t in my direct line, I had not done a lot of research on them before yesterday’s post. I am skipping a lot of Martha’s earlier history as this post is long enough without it.
In the 1860 U.S. census, I found the family (listed as Jeffres) in Union Township, Davis County, Iowa.
Amor (37), Eliza J. (35), Martha J. (14), John (12), Permelia (10), Scott (7), George (3), and Lovenia (10/12)
Using the above information and an Internet search, I found an article on Amor by David G. Woodward. He mentions the family moved to Iowa between 1854 and 1857, and Martha was part of the move. I checked Find-A-Grave and BillionGraves for Martha and found nothing. I conducted another search using other graving websites because many people aren’t listed on Find-A-Grave or BillionGraves, but do turn up on the other graving websites. My search included Iowagravestones.org. I didn’t find her there, but noticed the Iowa WPA Graves link at the bottom of the page. Decided to take a chance and see what I could find. It said enter what you know. Tried Jefferies, but nothing close. Went with Martha J. (no surname) and limited to Davis County, her last known residence. Found seven Martha J. and one had the correct birth year and death date. Martha J. (Mrs. H. M.) Lee in Rouch Cemetery, Union Township. A bit more digging and I found records of a marriage between Howard Lee and Martha Jeffries in Davis County. It’s only a transcription, but I believe this is Martha. In my experiences searching the Jefferies surname, I have seen it spelled Jefferis, Jeffries, and a few other variations.
My suggestion to those searching graving sites: don’t limit your searches to one or two, but search as many as you can find. I use BillionGraves, Find-A-Grave, U.S. GenWeb’s Tombstone Project, the various state gravestones.org, Interment.net, GenealogyTrails.com, Tributes.com (not a graving site, but has plenty of obits), Cyndi’s List (over 3,000 links), veteran specific (V.A. grave locator, SUV, and SCV), and numerous other less well-known sites.