Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: Martha Jane Smith Blacketer

Martha "Mattie" Jane (Smith) Blacketer

Is it just me, or did her name not get exciting until she married a Blacketer?  To top it off, her mom was a Davis.  See, this is what I get for complaining about all my Mary's.

Ah. Harrison and Mattie.  What kind of relationship did they have?  According to the 1880 census, Harrison [36yo] was married to Mattie's mother, Estella C. Smith [29yo], and Mattie J. Smith is listed as Harrison's step-daughter.  Now, this is the census where they asked the question about illnesses, which is a cool question if your ancestor had the misfortune of being ill.  And according to this census, Estella had been sick.  She's listed as having heart disease and pneumonia [poor thing!].  I would imagine being 10yo, little Mattie had to do a lot, if not all, the housework.

While looking for a marriage record for Harrison and Estella, I came across a marriage record for Harrison and Mattie.  No she wasn't 10yo, but 28yo, and Harrison was 53yo.  Now this wouldn't be so strange to me if maybe I could find another marriage for Harrison to someone. Anyone.  As mentioned in last weeks post, Harrison had been in the Civil War.  So maybe he hadn't dealt with that very well, and just never married.  Maybe Estella had been widowed and was ill with little Mattie, and Harrison took them in.  Maybe Harrison even married Estella, and I can't find their marriage record.  Maybe he never married her, but just said he did.

But what makes this stranger, is that Estella did not pass away before Harrison and Mattie got married.  [You were assuming that, weren't you?]  In the 1900 census, Harrison, Mattie, and their son [my grandfather] are listed together.  And guess who else is listed as being in their household.  Right.  Estella.  And she's listed as Harrison's mother-in-law.

So what was going on in this household?  That definitely is the question.  My plan is to search further for a marriage record for Harrison and Estella.  Or Harrison and another woman.  I understand that Mattie had been probably running that household for a while, but I find it a little strange that a man who had at least raised a child from the age of 10, marries her 18 years later.  But what do I know?  I wasn't there.  Maybe they fell in love.  [Or something else.]  Maybe after being a bachelor for 53 years [if he didn't marry previously], Harrison thought, "It's time to get hitched.  And why not Mattie?  She's been running my household for so long anyways?"

Well, I hope it wasn't like that.  [I'm just having a little fun.]  Maybe they did fall in love after so many years together.  They did have a total of 3 children: James Wesley, Maude, and Maurice.

Makes me wonder what my descendants will think about me and my decisions.  I guess I'd better hurry and get everything written down.  Well, at least what I want them to know.  You know, my version.  The rest they can figure out.  They can wonder, "What the heck was she thinkin'?"  [I'm assuming, of course, they'll have my Texas accent.]

Below is Harrison's and Mattie's tombstone, which is located in Graceland Memorial Cemetery in Cameron, Clinton Co, MO.  It was real sunny that day so I took some close-ups too.



  1. I do love those stories that take one, first this way, then that, then around and around. Keeps us entertained for a spell.

  2. I love going through the census records and then trying to make sense of what has been reported. I have 3 male figures (with no direct relation) that their relationship changes every ten years, they go from cousins to brothers and then add family tales to it and they are father and sons. Don't know if I will ever find out!

    Good luck on your search!


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