A couple of weeks ago I posted about Eliza J Graham, a grand aunt that I was having trouble learning about beyond having been enumerated in two census. I started to learn more only after I made the post, of course. And so today I have largely rewritten that original post and included a couple of document scans.
This is when doing family research starts to feel like working on a case for NCIS, except I don’t have Abby Sciuto to hack into genealogical databases for me.
I couldn’t find any trace of Eliza Graham after 1910, so I thought that she may have married and changed her name. I started out by browsing every image of the 1920 census of Searcy County, Arkansas for any woman named Eliza of about 29 years old. There were only 18 pages to go through, so it wasn’t as bad as it sounds. On the sixth page, I found an entry for Posy A Collins and his wife Evisa J in Mount Vernon Township. It was a close match. So close that I went back to add it to the original post as a possible match.
The name Posy rang a bell. Some months ago I had browsed FamilySearch’s marriage records for Searcy County for any woman named Graham. I had found a record for “Evisie Graham” who had married Posy Collins. I pulled up that record again. “Evisie” was a resident of Watts, a populated area in Red River Township, Searcy County. A real strong match now. But I didn’t accept it right away. I felt that more evidence was needed.
I had already learned that searching on Ancestry for Eliza J Graham was fruitless, so I searched instead for Posy Collins. I found a hit on the 1930 census which listed his wife as “Visa J”. My Eliza had previously been enumerated on the 1910 census as “Visa”.
I searched for “Evisa Collins” and got another hit on the Social Security Death Index, which gave me her exact dates of birth and death.
About this time I started searching Ancestry member family trees for Posy Collins. Sometimes I like to browse other people’s trees to see if I’m on the right track. I’ve learned not to trust them too much (a lot of folks post them without researching), but sometimes they can be useful markers on the genealogical highway. I found Posy in a tree called Grimes Family Tree and it listed his spouse as Evisa Jane Graham. I browsed the tree. It had recorded Evisa, her parents, and her brothers and sisters, and it all matched my Eliza with some slight variations.
I finally felt that I had found her.