Tag Archives: Ancestry.com

Arkansas & Missouri 1940 Census Index Released

Ancestry.com has completed and released a searchable index of the 1940 United States Census for the states of Arkansas and Missouri. I did a quick search for Grahams from Searcy County, Arkansas and got a number of good results in both Arkansas and Missouri.  You can search their index for free by visiting http://www.ancestry.com/1940-census.

1940 Is Coming!

Next Monday, 2 April, the National Archives will make available the 1940 United States Census. While the images will be available immediately online, the census will not yet have a searchable index. FamilySearch and Ancestry.com are both spearheading the indexing effort. See their respective sites if you wish to be a part of the indexing project.

Here at stately Graham Ancestry, I spent the day combing over my previous articles and jotting down notes on which ones will need to be updated with data from the 1940 census. I usually call these little updates to my previous articles “Tidying up the Gray Home”, but I made notes for changes to ten articles, so this is beyond tidying. This is spring cleaning!

I’ve been looking forward to the release of the 1940 census, because it is the first one on which my dad was listed!

What are you hoping to find on the 1940 census?

The Birth of Disinformation

Something recently happened at Ancestry.com that bothers me.

Ancestry has this feature called Member Connect that lets researchers connect their family trees and any supporting documents to other members’ family trees.  Once connected, Ancestry notifies members when any other members link to their trees or documents.  That’s actually a very handy feature.

Here’s the part that bothers me.  I received notification through Member Connect that another researcher had linked to the entry for William Thomas Graham in the Arkansas Death Index. At first I got excited because I thought, “Oh boy, another distant cousin that I can press for information!”  Then I looked at this other member’s tree and saw immediately that she had attached the document to the wrong William Thomas Graham!

I’ve done a lot of research on our William Thomas Graham, as chronicled here, here and here.  I’ve been in touch with our William’s grandson and great grandson.  I’m extremely certain that I’ve got it right, and that the entry in the Arkansas Death Index refers to our William.

Nobody wants erroneous information to be spread around.  I sent a message to the other member, but she has yet to make a correction.  What if she refuses to accept that she made an error?  What if she thinks that I’m in error?

In the original version of my article on Nona Elizabeth Graham, I reported that Find A Grave listed her middle name as Irene, which completely contradicts every other source I have on Nona.  I’ve recently been in touch with Nona’s son DJ and he informed me that after Nona’s passing, Franklin Lathum married a woman named Irene Jordan.  Whomever made the Find A Grave entry clearly confused the two women.

And the wrong information gets spread around the Internet.

Emma Dorothy Graham

The seventh child and fourth daughter of John and Tildy Graham was born on 16 February 1902 in Red River Township, Searcy County, Arkansas, and her name was Emma Dorothy Graham.

Emma was eight years old when the 1910 census was enumerated in Red River.  She was living on the family farm with her parents and seven siblings. The census recorded that she had not attended school.  The fields on the census form to note whether she could read or write were left blank, but for her older siblings it was noted that they could do neither, so therefore it’s reasonable to assume the same of Emma at that time.

On the 1920 census, Emma was age 18 and single, still living with the family on the farm in Red River with her parents, sisters Stella and Nona, and brother Daniel.  By this time she had attended school and was able to read, write and speak English.

Elsewhere and elsewhen in Arkansas, William Earl Mainord had been born on 28 February 1903.  In 1920, Earl was 17 years old and residing in Bear Creek Township on the farm of Walter McClung and his wife Bessie, who employed Earl as a hired hand.

EmmaEarlMarriageDetailOn 1 October 1925, Earl, then age 22, paid a $100 bond for a license to marry Emma, also 22.  W. M. Watts (possibly William Marley Watts) signed as security on the bond.  Watts, an unincorporated populated place in Searcy County, was given as the residence for both Earl and Emma.  On 4 October 1925, Justice of the Peace James C. Treat conducted the marriage ceremony.

Circa 1928, Earl and Emma celebrated the birth of their first son Wilber John Mainord.

On 20 February 1930, their second son Troy Clyde Mainord was born in Searcy County.

On the 1930 census, Earl was recorded as “William E Mainord” and was renting a farm in Red River Township.  Living on the farm with him was Emma and their two sons, Wilber John and Troy Clyde Mainord.

At some point after 1930 the family moved to Oklahoma.  Earl’s Social Security number was issued in Oklahoma circa 1951.  Emma’s Social Security number was issued circa 1953 in Oklahoma.

Some time after 1930, Earl and Emma had two more children:  another son named Carrell Mainord and a daughter named Earlene Mainord.

On 15 August 1975, Emma’s oldest brother Jessie Cornelius Graham died.  Emma was mentioned in Jessie’s obituary as “Mrs. Emma Mainord of Oklahoma”.

Emma Dorothy (Graham) Mainord died at the age of 84 in January 1987 in the city of Purcell, McClain County, Oklahoma, USA.

William Earl Mainord died at the age of 87 in February 1991 in Oklahoma.

Their son Troy Clyde Mainord died at the age of 69 on 6 April 1999 in Purcell, Oklahoma.  He is interred at Hillside Cemetery in Purcell.

Name Variations

Emma had the following name variations:  “Emma D” on the 1920 census;  “Emma Graham” on her marriage documents;  “Emma Dorothy” in the Grimes Family Tree.

Earl had the following name variations:  “Earl Mainard” on the marriage documents;  “Mainord, Earl” on the 1920 census;  “Mainard, William E” on the 1930 census;  “Earl E Mainord” in the Social Security Death Index; “William Eli ‘Earl’ Mainord” in both the Holland Family Tree and the Maynard Family Tree.  I’ve seen no source for “Eli” as Earl’s middle name other than those trees.  I’ve recorded him as William Earl Mainord in my family tree.

Wilber had the following variations:  “Willer J” at Ancestry.com’s 1930 census transcription; “Willer G” at FamilySearch’s 1930 census transcription.


Where are Emma and Earl interred?  It’s possible that Emma and Earl are interred at Hillside Cemetery with their son Troy, but at this time I have no confirmation of that.

What are the exact dates of birth for Wilbur, Carrell and Earlene?


Ancestry.com:  United States Federal Census of 1910, 1920, and 1930;  Social Security Death IndexGrimes Family TreeHolland Family Tree; Maynard Family Tree.

Arkansas Gazette:  Obituary for Jessie Cornelius Graham.

FamilySearch.org:  Arkansas County Marriages, 1837 – 1957.

Find A Grave:  Memorial for Troy Clyde Mainord.

GenealogyBank.com:  Social Security Death Index.

OKGenWeb Project:  Hillside Cemetery Burials.

Personal correspondence with D J Lathum, Earl and Emma’s nephew, March 2011.

Sarah Rosabelle Graham, Challenger of the Unknown

In the original version of my article on John and Matilda Graham, I speculated of the existence of an unnamed child based on what I had seen in the 1900 and 1910 census.  The 1900 census recorded that Tildy was the mother of six children by that year, however only five were listed.  The 1910 census recorded that Tildy was the mother of ten children, with eight living.  So, two of her children had died, but I could only account for one:  Mary Graham, who died in 1905.  Who, then, was the other?  I called this child Unknown Graham.

I speculated that Unknown Graham lived between 1890 and 1900, was a female, and was possibly named Sarah.  On what did I base that?

John and Tildy were married in October 1889.  So, assuming Unknown was conceived after their marriage and went full term, that makes the earliest date for her birth July 1890.  The discrepancy on the 1900 census suggests that the child may have died by that year.  Or does it?  I’ll come back to that.

I suggested that Unknown was a female and possibly named Sarah based on a memorial at Find A Grave for a Sarah Graham buried at Shady Grove Cemetery, the same cemetery at which John and Tildy were interred.

While researching Evisa Jane Graham recently, I found an entry for her in the Grimes Family Tree by username gag33 on Ancestry.  This tree listed Evisa and all her brothers and sisters, and it included a sister named Sarah Rosabelle Graham, but cites no online sources.  That caught my attention because it affirmed my speculation on Unknown’s identity.  The tree reported Sarah’s birth date as 16 June 1900, but no death date.  That birth date fit within the window that I calculated for Unknown’s birth.

And now, back to the 1900 census.  The census was enumerated in Red River Township by Eugene Arnold in June of 1900. Sarah was born on 16 June 1900. The 1900 census included instructions to the enumerators to omit children born after 1 June 1900. That is why Sarah was counted, but not recorded by name.

The Grimes Family Tree has some origin for its data outside of Ancestry. The tree lists dates and middle names that I hadn’t previously found in records. As I stated, no online documents were cited, so it probably used family sources. Imagine this scenario: The name Sarah Rosabelle Graham scribbled in a family bible with only the date 16 June 1900. Would you automatically think the child had lived and record no death date in your tree?

Find A Grave’s memorial for Sarah Graham reported her birth and death dates as “unknown”, but I’d bet the actual headstone doesn’t say that. I’d bet that it’s a simple stone with only “Sarah Graham” etched on it.

One Miss, One Hit

I travelled to Searcy County, Arkansas in June 2011 to attend the North Arkansas Ancestor Fair and the Graham Family Reunion. While there I visited Shady Grove Cemetery to take photographs of the grave markers. One in particular that I wanted to photograph was for the “Sarah Graham” recorded at Find A Grave. While I did find a grave nearby the rest of the Grahams that I believe to be Sarah’s, the simple rock marker was so weather-worn that nothing could be read from it.

In September 2011 I received a surprise packet of family papers from Louise Graham Bower. Included in that packet was a family data sheet recorded by Nellie Collins Allen which listed all of the children of her grandparents, John Henry Graham and Mary Matilda Bohannon. Sixth on the list was Sarah Rosabelle Graham, with a birthdate of 16 June 1900. The sheet cited as its source “my grandmother’s bible” and that the bible was in the possession of my grandpa, Daniel Graham. My speculation above that the information in the Grimes Family Tree originated from a family bible was spot on. But the data sheet included information that the Grimes Family Tree did not: Sarah had died on 8 September 1901 and, confirming the Find A Grave memorial, had been interred at Shady Grove Cemetery. Sarah lived only fourteen months.


Ancestry.com:  United States Federal Census of 1900 and 1910;  Grimes Family Tree.

Find A Grave:  Memorial 43001711.

John Henry Graham Family Data Sheet by Nellie Collins Allen, as transcribed from the Graham Family Bible.

Grave marker photographed by Ashli B. Graham on 4 June 2011 at Shady Grove Cemetery, Searcy County, Arkansas.

Cracking the Case of Evisa Graham

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.

Photo of Abby Sciuto, not Evisa Graham.

Abby Sciuto (not Evisa Graham)

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.

Evisa Jane Graham

If you’ve been paying attention, then you’ve noticed that I’ve been working my way through the children of John and Mary Graham, my great grandparents.

By my reckoning, Evisa Jane Graham was the first child of John and Mary.  She was born on 17 September 1890 in Searcy County, Arkansas, probably in Red River Township.  Since she was born late in the year, odds are that she was not recorded on the 1890 census, since it was enumerated in June of that year.  And at any rate, the 1890 census was destroyed in a fire in 1921.

She first showed up on the 1900 census at age nine, recorded as “Eliza J”, living with her parents on the farm in Red River Township, along with her three younger brothers, Jessie, William and John, and a young sister, Mary.

On the 1910 census she was recorded as “Visa”, age nineteen and single, still living on the same farm in Red River Township with her family, now consisting of her two parents and seven siblings.


The Arkansas County Marriages collection at FamilySearch has an entry for Posy Collins and his betrothed, one “Evisie Graham”.  The entry lists the groom’s first and last name, his birth year of 1884, his age 28, his bride’s name, her birth year of 1890 and a marriage date of 25 September 1912.  It also lists both the bride and groom as residents of Watts, Searcy County, Arkansas.  The marriage was officiated by Justice of the Peace John C Heard.

On 11 March 1915, their son Coy Dell Collins was born.

On 28 April 1917, their daughter Nellie Viona Collins was born.

On 12 September 1918, Posey registered with the local draft board in Marshall, Arkansas.  His draft card recorded the following details:

Posey Collins WWI Draft CardName: Posy Alpain Collins
Home Address:  Atlas, Searcy, Arkansas
Age:  34
Date of Birth:  18 November 1883
Present Occupation:  Farming
Nearest Relative:  Mrs P A Collins

The back of the card recorded his physical description as medium height, medium build, brown eyes, and black hair.

Since the armistice with Germany was signed two months later, bringing an end to World War I, it is doubtful that Posey was ever actually drafted into military service.

The 1920 census recorded Posey, Evisa and their two children living on a farm in Mount Vernon Township of Searcy County.

Circa 1924, their second daughter Emma N Collins was born.

The 1930 census recorded the family renting a farm in East Fork Township, Faulkner County, Arkansas.  Posey’s occupation was listed as farmer, and their son Coy, then 15, was listed as a farm laborer.  Evisa and the girls had their occupations recorded as “none”.

On 27 April 1942, Posey once again registered with the local draft board, this time for the Second World War.  His draft card recorded the following details:

Collins WW2 frontName: Posie Aplelean Collins
Place of Residence:  RFD 2, Greenbrier, Faulkner, Arkansas
Age: 58
Place of Birth:  Rock Springs, Searcy, Arkansas
Date of Birth:  10 November 1883

Evisa’s name was initially written on the card as Posey’s employer, but then it was scratched out and replaced with “Farming for Self”.  The back of the card recorded Posey’s physical description as 6 feet in height, 140 pounds, blue eyes, gray hair, and dark complexion.

In 1965, Evisa was issued her Social Security number.

Posey died on 4 February 1966 in the city of Conway, Faulkner County, Arkansas.  He was buried at Crestlawn Memorial Park in Faulkner County.

Evisa died on 15 January 1968 in Conway, Faulkner County, Arkansas.  She was buried beside her husband at Crestlawn Memorial Park.


Name Variations

There are several name variations for Evisa.  She was recorded as “Eliza J Graham”  (1900 census), “Visa Graham” (1910 census), “Evisie Graham” (marriage documents), “Evisa J Collins" (1920 census and the Social Security Death Index), “Visa J Collins” (1930 census original document image), “Vasa J Collins” (1930 census transcription at Ancestry), and “Mrs. Enissy Collins” in the obituary of her father, John Henry Graham.  No document that I reviewed listed Evisa’s middle name, but I found it recorded as “Jane” in the Grimes Family Tree on Ancestry.  In my tree I have recorded her as Evisa Jane Graham.

Posey had not only several name variations, but also a birth date variation.  His name was recorded as “Posy Collins” (marriage documents), “Posy Alpain Collins” (WW1 draft card), “Posy A Collins” (1920 census), “Posey A Collins” (1930 census), “Posie Aplelean Collins” (WW2 draft card), and “Posey Appleton Collins” (Grimes Family Tree).  His birth date was recorded as 10 November 1883 (WW2 draft card and Grimes Family Tree) and 18 November 1883 (WW1 draft card).  In my tree I have recorded him as Posey A Collins with the earlier birth date.


Did Evisa and Posey have any more children?  What is the definitive version of Posey’s first and middle names?  Which birth date is correct for Posey?  Where in Searcy County was Atlas?


Ancestry.com:  United States Federal Census of 1900, 1910, 1920, and 1930;  Social Security Death IndexWorld War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917 – 1918US World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942;  Grimes Family Tree.

FamilySearch.org:  Arkansas County Marriages, 1837 – 1957.

ArkansasGravestones.org:  Memorial for Evisa J CollinsMemorial for Posey A CollinsMemorial for Coy Dell Collins.

Marshall Republican:  Obituary for John Henry Graham.

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