I'm back from a lovely vacation with a few good genealogical finds in hand. I'd have had more if I hadn't come down sick with a migrane on the day I was scheduled to go courthousing/cemetery hunting in IL with my cousins. I did manage to drag my butt over to the courthouse but I could barely concentrate and only got the bare minimum of what I wanted. Hm, I guess this means that I have to go back again. Oh, darn. Hah!
Of those I managed to get, the best by far was a copy of the original marriage license of Samuel J. Browning and Sarah Anne from the Tuscarawas County OH Genealogical Society for a grand total of $.60. I'd been theorizing for years whether she was a Dickinson or a Dickerson. When the Genealogical Society handed it over to me I read it and just started laughing with that laugh of frustration that I am sure all good genealogists know. It was pretty clearly "Dickerson" to me. I didn't see a dot over that "i" no matter how I looked or wanted it to magically appear. Even with this evidence, though, I am still comfortable with the idea that Dickinson was Sarah's surname. After I learned of the fact that George Dickinson included George W. Browning and Effie May Browning, the children of Samuel and Sarah, as heirs of his estate in 1876 in Crawford County I began to feel strongly that this was the most solid of evidence for their relationship. Dickerson and Dickinson sound very alike and a mistake could have been made in the license by the clerk being that both surnames were present in the county at the time. At any rate, take a look at the difference between the original copy I had of the license here and the new one to the left. The difference is pretty substantial. I'd love comments on whether or not any of you all also think I'm right in basing my opinion about Sarah's surname on the will more than the marriage license.
When we finally arrived in Crawford County and I managed to get to the courthouse there (no more hands-on looks at the death and birth records in Crawford County, much to my chagrin -- more on that later though!) I only got two documents -- the death certificate of Richard Jennings (proving that he was indeed the son of William Jennings and Jane Nevitt and making my day! -- more on that great find later too!) and a bit of a dig through the will of George W. Dickinson. I should have copied the entire thing but I was feeling so horrid that it was all I could do to stand there and copy the four pages I did get. The four pages were the guardianship records of John W. and Ella May Browning, children of George W. Browning, deceased.
These four pages, dated 1892, contain an affidavit from Amanda (Raney) Browning Short, who lived in Mt. Vernon, Jefferson Co., IL. Included in the pages was a guardianship paper from Jefferson County showing Amanda was the children's guardian and that she claimed $48 from the estate as the guardian of John and Ella, two of the minor heirs. These papers, more than anything else, tell me the following: John and Ella were George's children, and as George was Samuel and Sarah Anne's son, they were also Sarah Anne's grandchildren. This also tells me -- most importantly -- that Sarah was George Dickinson's daughter and a Dickinson instead of a Dickerson. It also helps that she named two of her children (George and Effie) after her parents.
I love when things come together. More to follow!
30 minutes ago