One of the things I hope to solve when I go to Ohio on Wednesday is a little matter that's been niggling at me for years -- a correct surname. Dickerson or Dickinson? The jury is still out.
I thought I had this surname figured out when I found the marriage indexed in the Tuscarawas County, Ohio marriage records. There it was, clear as day:
Browning, Samuel - Sarah Ann DICKERSON 4 Oct 1849
For a year or so I took that at face value. That was before I got around to ordering the marriage itself from the courthouse; I was finally concentrating on researching Samuel and Sarah's descendants. When I got the license, it looked like this:
Yeah. Horrid. Absolutely horrid. So I wrote it down as a "need to get a new copy" on my to-do list. The last time I was in Ohio, in August, I went to the courthouse and pulled up the record on the microfilm reader. Voila, it was in the same shape! The ladies there informed me that the original records -- being old and delicate -- had been microfilmed and then sent off to the Tuscarawas Genealogical Society for safekeeping. I was told it was in Dennison and that there were odd hours. The hours that it was open didn't correspond to my remaining time in Ohio and as a result, I left without getting a copy.
It's obvious that I really need to see that marriage license. It's important because our Samuel here (Sam Jr., who is Samuel and Margaret's son) married Sarah Ann and they had three children together (Effie Emmaline, George, and Samuel) before she died, between 1858-1860. Samuel then remarried a woman named Julia Ann Dickinson in November of 1860.
After Samuel's death in 1862 his children with Sarah became the wards of George W. Dickinson. By all accounts this George W. was either Julia Ann's brother or cousin. Now George's mother's name was Effie Emmaline. Hm, the same as Samuel and Sarah's daughter -- coincidence? Also, George's father was also named George Dickinson Is it another coincidence that Samuel and Sarah's son's name was George Browning? I wondered about the names and wondered why Samuel's children would become wards of the unrelated second wife's Dickinsons and not the Brownings....unless they were also related to his first wife Sarah? So, maybe Sarah's name isn't Dickerson after all?
Or....wait. Yes, perhaps it was Dickerson. See, Samuel and Sarah raised a boy named John Christy (b. c1843) in their household from about 1850 until Samuel's death. This little boy might've been the orphaned son of a couple who were married in Tuscarawas County in 1842 -- John Christy and Julia Dickerson. Gahhhhhh! But wait, this typed marriage was also as badly microfilmed as Samuel and Sarah's was, and it might read Dickinson too? Yeah, I'll be checking that one too if I possibly can.
It should be easy to rule out one surname but to complicate matters, there were Dickinson and Dickerson families in Harrison County, Ohio at the same time. It could be either. All I do know is that it was the Dickinsons that were taking care of the Browning kids after their parents' deaths.
Hopefully I'll learn more in a few days. I've made it a point to schedule time for a visit at the Society, with cousins that I have never met yet! We're making it a first meet/breakfast/go see records session that I'm looking forward to.
I hope the Society will allow me to view the original marriage record and at least snap a photo of it. So please everyone, pray with me that the genealogical gods look upon me favorably and I get the chance to do that. If not, perhaps the ladies there will view it for me and at least tell me if it's DickINson or DickERson!
6 hours ago