Dumb Luck

Continuing on the work from my previous post where I try to use the DNA results I’d been given to help me solve my James Myers problem, I have an interesting update.

I got bored and frustrated with trying to make that Ancestor Discovery work in my family, so I pursued a different angle. I went back to that 3rd cousin match for the Myers line to see what more I could learn about it.

First a quick back story. Not long ago my uncle sent me a packet of pictures and newspaper clippings he thought I’d be interested in. I remember seeing a family tree he showed me a few years ago that mentioned that James Myers’ mother might have been a Cox. And he told me that James’ second daughter was named Amarilla after either James’ mother or grandmother. In this packet he sent was a piece of stationery from a Regal 8 Inn in Flagstaff, Arizona. On the back was a hand-written family tree of sorts. The best part was this:

Myers, James family tree cropped

That was the whole extent of what was known about James’ family.

So I went looking for documentation for the line of that 3rd cousin match. Using census records I had what I believed was the great-great grandmother of the 3rd cousin: Matilda Corporan. A ‘hint’ led me to a possible husband for her: Jacob Myers. I wanted to see if I could prove this relationship, so I went to Ancestry.com and searched the Missouri Marriages, 1805-2002. Nothing matched. Then I remembered what Crista Cowan is always saying about these databases: Read the description! It might be that the database doesn’t cover the locale needed. The description didn’t indicate what counties it covered because there is a drop down menu that shows the counties.

Missouri Marriages

Putnam county is conspicuous in its absence from that list. I could have searched all day in that database and never found it because that county isn’t included. Good to know. So I Googled Putnam County Marriages and of course the first result was Family Search. (Which by the way is an easy way to bypass the filtering system in the search function on Family Search–Google takes you right to the correct database.) I searched the Family Search Missouri Marriage records for Jacob Myers to see if this marriage to Matilda Corporon was there and got this:

Myers, Jacob marriage results

There she is at the bottom of the page. Ahh, but look what was staring me in the face–a record I never thought I’d find–Jacob Myers and Emariler Cox!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Insert Hallelujah Chorus here.)

Emariler is Amarilla written phonetically as pronounced by someone who says words ending with an ‘a’ that sound like an ‘r’. That’s the other thing Crista Cowan stresses: think about how the people in that time and region would pronounce a name. It’s always so much fun to find something I’ve been looking for for a very long time when I wasn’t actually looking for it. That’s the best kind of dumb luck. (Honestly, I’ve had so many false starts on this family I was reluctant to believe my good fortune at first.)

By my reckoning Amarilla was Jacob’s 2nd wife of four. Jacob was Matilda’s 2nd husband of three.

What does this do to my Ancestor Discoveries? Well I found a reference that states that Jacob is indeed the son of Daniel1; and Daniel at one point lived in the same county as Collins family (previous post). Now that Amarilla Cox is no longer a pipe dream, but a real person, it would appear that the Ancestor Discovery couple is even more difficult to shoehorn into this family. I’m not going to rule them out because DNA has proven helpful in the past, and there are still all those cousins to consider. Anything I do now would be pure speculation, which I’m not opposed to, but I’m not seeing the benefit of indulging that line of thinking at the moment. They might hold the key to the identity of Amarilla Cox for all I know. That would be good because at the moment I’m clueless where to even begin documenting this woman.

The real star in this show is family lore. For all the times I’ve disproved family lore over the years, it was nice to find a record that validates a story handed down through the generations. So welcome to the family Amarilla Cox. I hope I can learn more about you, and that you don’t just disappear into the dust of time.

________________

1Adair, Sullivan, Putnam and Schuyler Counties, Missouri (p. 426). (1888). Chicago, Illinois: The Goodspeed Publishing Company.

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