If you want to understand today, you have to search yesterday - Pearl S. Buck


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Who's Your Mama Update - Step #1 Complete

This is the first follow-up to the Who's Your Mama? post I did in April.  I have been trying to find out who my great grandfather's(William Thomas Spradling) mother was.  It could have been Cynthia or her sister Amanda (we have always thought it was Amanda).  The problem I had was that Will's birthday did not match up to his father's (William Alexander Spradling) and Amanda's wedding date.  You will have to click on the above link for the full story.
There are several steps involved to help solve this mystery.  The first one I have completed which was to order Will's death certificate.
I like it when I receive a death certificate in the mail.  It contains so much information.  This sounds morbid, but to a family historian it is like getting a birthday present in the mail.  I'm such a nerd.
Anyway, I checked the date of birth first.  Will's date of birth is listed as Sept. 15, 1878, which is one year later than I had in my notes or what is on his tombstone according to findagrave.com and to the Oklahoma cemetery records online.  So if his death certificate is correct then Amanda, not Cynthia, was his mother.  Keep in mind that the information on a death certificate is only as good as the person providing it.  So if the mortician is asking questions to someone who is distraught then most likely the information will not be accurate.  I will discuss this later because it can interfere with your research.
This is Will's death certificate.  He was born in Dexter, Texas and his parents were William A. Spradling and Amanda (unknown).  This was common for the mother's last name to be listed as "unknown".  His wife's name is listed as, Mrs. W.T. Spradling, so funny, and she provided the information for his death certificate.  Mrs. W.T. 's real name was Effie Gideon Carter.  Will died of a heart attack at the age of 83.  He had lived at his residence 54 years.  He was retired and had been an engineer which I understand meant that he worked for the railroad.  Now this is what I like.  He  lived at 1416 Pecan Street in Duncan.
from Google maps
The house he lived would have been to the right, but it is an empty lot now.  The building at the end of the block is the old Bethel Assembly of God Church.  Will walked to this church for services.
With Google maps you can see where your ancestors actually lived.
Brothers:  l: John Edgar and r: William Thomas

Anyway, now that step 1 is complete my question is still not answered.  Was Amanda Will's mother?
I need to find out what happened to the first wife, Cynthia (also Amanda's sister).

I'll keep you posted.
Happy Grandma's Day.
Territory Mom 


Lost City Denise said...

I must be a nerd too, because I find all of this fascinating!!!

Oklahoma Granny said...

Incredibly interesting!

Elizabeth said...

I love this! Genealogy nerds, unite!

And I just have to add that many of my family members went to the original Bethel AG church and my parents attend the new one. They have for about 15 years. It's where I got married.