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Possible theory and suggestions where to look next?

Possible theory and suggestions where to look next?

Posted: 1360934538000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Ingram, Stephenson, Hicks

I have been researching my birth father's family. Since I never met any of them, it has been a bit of a struggle but I have made quite a bit of progress.

One real stumbling block is tied to my 2x great grandmother.

Here is what I know:

On Feb 18, 1882 Eugene Stephenson (2x Great Grandfather) married a Rhoda Ingram (2x Great Grandmother) in Nankin, Wayne county Michigan. I found a copy of the Marriage return and also ordered a copy of the marriage document from Lansing.

According to the paperwork, Rhoda was 24 years old and was born in Nankin. Neither of her parents are listed in either document.

In 1885, my Great Grandfather George Stephenson was born. I have the Birth certificate (although it wasn't filed until 1940) and the marriage certificate from his second marriage; Both documents state that Rhoda Ingram is his mother.

Eugene got married again in 1897, so obviously something happened to Rhoda; either they divorced or she passed away sometime between 1885 and 1897.

In the 1900 Census, George is living with Eugene's parents in Nankin, Eugene is in Southfield with his new wife and their infant daughter. On the census, it say 'Don't Know' where Rhoda's birth place should be.

Now, I have done a search on, Family Search, seeking Michigan and the internet in general and can find absolutely no Death record for a Rhoda Ingram or Stephenson.

I have also done a search of the Census' from 1860 through 1900 and can find absolutely no Rhoda Ingram that was born 1857-1859 and living in Wayne County. In fact, there are no Ingram's in Nankin at all until the 1920 Census.

I have written to Wayne county to see if they have any Divorce records but they state their records only go back to 1897.

I have contacted the church that the Preacher who married Eugene and Rhoda (Halloway Sawyer) was associated with and they have come up empty as well.

I found several Plat maps of Nankin and found one person with the name of Ingram but further research shows that this person was Eldridge Ingraham and according to what I have found, he was never married.

On a hunch, I did a search of anyone named Rhoda that was born between 1857-1859 in Nankin, and the search came back with one result: Rhoda C Hicks.

The Hicks farm was fairly close to the Stephenson farm but that doesn't mean anything.

Rhoda is listed in the 1880 census as a school teacher and in the 1900 census she is living in Oregon and listed as a physician. In the 1930 census she is found in Garden City MI. She passed away in 1936.

I have found her in a few family trees and they all state that she never married.

I know that a lot of the time back then, school teachers were not suppose to marry (I have this on authority of my grandparents), so it might make sense that she was married under a false name and the fact that she was in Oregon in 1900 and George was living with his Grandparents lines up as well.

Now I know all of this is theory and circumstantial but I'm grasping at straws at this point. Obviously, I can't document any of it so it will remain in the 'Theory' folder.

Does anyone out there have any further suggestions where I could look to try and find the identity and origin of Rhoda Ingram?

Thanks for your time.

Mark Martin

Re: Possible theory and suggestions where to look next?

Posted: 1360941041000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1360942660000
Surnames: Ingram
Hi Mark,

Your search sounds very similar to my missing paternal grandfather for whom I have located a scant four records. But I digress!!

When Rhoda married at age 24, could it have been a second marriage and thus Ingram was not her maiden name? It sounds like you are assuming that she was born in the U.S. and always lived in Wayne County. In the 1870 census I see a Rhoda Ingram living in New York state with parents and siblings, and she was born in Canada. You might pursue that family, since she has a similar birth year.

What I read suggests that you have relied quite a bit on internet searches. Everything is not on the internet. Just because a death record does not appear on Seeking Michigan does not "necessarily" mean that no record exists. It will cost a bit, but I would suggest seeking a death record from the Wayne County Clerk's office for the years 1885 to 1897 which you suggest. While the search might turn up nothing for your money, at least you will know that you have attempted that search.

You might also look in the Detroit City directories for Rhoda Ingram in case she was living alone for some years during the times you noted. Once again, for a little bit of money I would pay for a death record for the Rhoda who died in 1936 in Garden City. Don't assume anything!! Check all the records that might reasonably be your lady.

Good luck in your search.

Joseph Martin
Romeoville, Illinois

P.S. We are not related!!!!

Re: Possible theory and suggestions where to look next?

Posted: 1360946717000
Classification: Query
Have you looked at the actual record for Eugene's 2nd marriage? It might give some indication of whether he was divorced or a widower. What about state census records? That might narrow your window of when Rhoda vanishes.

Good luck!

Re: Possible theory and suggestions where to look next?

Posted: 1360959623000
Classification: Query
I’m not related to any member of this family.

WHERe is Rhoda in 1910???
1910 census asks this question - How many times has this person been married. Scroll across to the "MARRIED" column.
You should see - M, M1 or an M2 there.

M2 means 2nd marriage.

Re: Possible theory and suggestions where to look next?

Posted: 1361025846000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1361026854000
Surnames: Stevenson
There is a Rhoda Stevenson (with a V), wife of Eugene, died 7 Feb 1887. Age 29 years, 10 mos, 7 days. She is buried at Newburg Cemetery, Livonia, Wayne County.
This is on

Re: Possible theory and suggestions where to look next?

Posted: 1361035644000
Classification: Query
Wow! How did I miss this?

Thank you so much, I'm filling out the paperwork for the Death Certificate as we speak.

Re: Possible theory and suggestions where to look next?

Posted: 1361049664000
Classification: Query
Be sure to order DIRECTLY from the state of MICH.

State of Michigan Death Certificate Request Link:
Current Fee is $27.00; non refundable fee if search fails

Pricing may have changed.

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