Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth. -Arthur Conan Doyle
Searching for ancestors can lead to insanity if one is not willing to accept the truth once it is found. Sometimes, that truth is ugly and sometimes it is sweet. Either way, it is the truth and must be accepted as such. I have been on the hunt for my great-great-great-grandfather, William 'Buck' Marks, for quite some time now, but, it has only been in the past month that I have really focused one hundred percent of my attention on him and his family.
William Marks seems to have mysteriously dropped into Montgomery County, NC just as mysteriously as he left the place. There is no birth record, no death record, not even a grave to lay a flower upon. Granted, the court house in Montgomery County, NC burned down in 1835, and again in 1840, and many records were lost. But, by 1850 the good people of Montgomery County seemed to have figured out what the problem was and corrected it; so, records of my 3rd great grandparents should exist since it wasn't until close to 1850 that we find them together. At least that is the logical conclusion.
|Montgomery County Court House|
The first child that we show a record for is Jane R. She shows up on the 1850 Montgomery County, NC Census. I am not sure what area of Montgomery County they are living in, as the 1850 Census does not say, but I imagine it is the Eldorado community as that is pretty much the same area where my Marks family has resided up to this day. William and Leah have been together for more than a year as Jane R is shown to be 1 year old.
Jane shows up again on the 1860 Census as 11 years old but disappears as magically as her father can by 1870.
I have two theories I am chasing on Jane.
Theory # 1 is that Jane died between the 1860 and 1870 Census of some dreaded disease that always seemed to afflict our ancestors and any clue of her death was destroyed by some happenstance, like flooding the area to build a lake. However, I am not able to find that there was a dreaded disease outbreak during that time or that there was another happenstance in the county at that time. I also had no good fortune in locating a grave for an 11 to 20 year old Jane R. She could perhaps be buried in an unmarked grave at Prospect Baptist Church on River Road, near the Eldorado community. It is believed that William and Leah are buried there in unmarked graves.
Theory # 2 is that Jane R grew up and married Lindsay Loflin between the 1860 and 1870 Census. I say this because while I was searching for the death of Jane Marks, my search instead returned a death certificate for a Mrs. Abie Hanes Davis. Jane Marks is listed as her mother and Lindsay Loflin is listed as her father. Abie's birth is listed as about 1879, making Jane about 29 years old when Abie was born. The dates fit.
|Death certificate - Mrs. Abie Hanes Davis|
I went back to the 1860 Census to see if the Loflin family lived near the Marks family. Perhaps, Jane and Lindsay grew up together. There on page 11, just 7 pages from the Marks family, was the Loflin family showing a young Lindsay at age 14.
There is a possible third theory on Jane. It is not mine, but a family member who noticed this one. On the 1870 Census there is a Jane listed living with S.H. Hamilton. The age for Jane is correct and there is a strong possibility that this could also be our Jane R. More research must be done to either prove or disprove this third theory.
I have not as yet been able to pin down Jane's entire story. While looking for her grave I could only find a Rebecca Jane Loflin at findagrave.com. However, the person who did this research has Jane married to Burrell Loflin. I did search for Burrell Loflin and Jane Marks but found nothing other than this posting at findagrave.com.
I'll continue to search for Jane R. Marks - she is out there somewhere and she does have her own story to be told. Hopefully, someday, I will be able to tell it...
Note: images taken from google.com search engine, ancestry.com, findagrave.com, and familysearch.com