William Graham was probably the first born child of Jesse Graham and Sarah Scott, born approximately one year after the estimated date of their marriage. Not a lot is known about him. He appears only on the 1880 census for Bear Creek Township, Searcy County, Arkansas.

1880 Federal Census, Bear Creek Township, Searcy County, Arkansas

William is the third listed. Aged 15 years, making his estimated birth year 1865, born in Alabama, probably Calhoun County.

There are no further records found that mention him. The 1900 census for Red River Township, Searcy County contains a clue. It recorded that Jesse and Sarah had a total of eight children, with four living in 1900. None of the four living were William, so he had died sometime between 1880 and 1900, a span of twenty years.

Last year, a distant relative found a Find A Grave memorial for another William Graham and linked it to Jesse and Sarah’s memorials without doing the appropriate research. This caused me to spend a lot of time researching the other William to sort out the facts from the assumption. In the end, I determined that this was not our William, and contacted Find A Grave to have the memorials unlinked. Months passed before this was resolved. What kind of damage had been done to others’ research?


Ancestry.com, 1880 United States Federal Census (Online publication – Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005.), Ancestry.com, http://www.Ancestry.com, Year: 1880; Census Place: Bear Creek, Searcy, Arkansas; Roll: T9_56; Family History Film: 1254056; Page: 448.4000; Enumeration District: 173; Image: 0582.

Ancestry.com, 1900 United States Federal Census (Online publication – Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004. Original data – United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1900. T623.), Ancestry.com, http://www.Ancestry.com, Year: 1900; Census Place: Red River, Searcy, Arkansas; Roll: T623_76; Page: 16B; Enumeration District: 125.