What was the maiden name of Bruce Finch's wife Geanetta?
The Finch family was found on Ancestry World Tree
|What we knew
|Her 1896 tombstone in Taney County, Missouri recorded Geanetta's birth date as 17 Nov 1849.
|According to the
submitter, Genetta was born in Indiana.
Family lore said that the two oldest children of Bruce and Geanetta (Leroy and Ivy) were born in Wayne County, Indiana in 1868 and 1870. The next five children were born in Nebraska.
|Where we looked
|Starting with the
latest census that would include Geanetta, we find the family in
Center Precinct, Jackson County, Nebraska.
The household includes Bruce, wife Jenette, 30, and several children including Leroy and Ivy. But the census says Jenette, Leroy, and Ivy were all born in Iowa, not Indiana.
The record says that Jenette's father and mother were born in Kentucky and Indiana, respectively.
|There was only one
Bruce Finch in the census index for 1870. He was in Wayne County,
Iowa. The record showed him to have a wife Jenetta born in Indiana and
two young children, Leroy and Ivy born in Iowa.
Note that the family had information that the two children were born in Wayne County, Indiana. Here was the family in Wayne County, Iowa. That is probably why the researchers had not found a marriage record for Bruce and Geanetta.
|Someone submitted a marriage for Bruce Finch to Jennette Harris on 23 Nov 1867 in Wayne County, Iowa. This fit perfectly the facts of our case, but this was an undocumented submittal.
|At this point we do
not know if Geanetta was born in Iowa or Indiana or if her name starts
with a 'G' or a 'J.' We do know that she was definitely in Iowa in
1870 and we have a suspicion that she married there, so that is where we start looking.
Using the clue that her last name is Harris and trying alternate spellings and wildcards for the first name (Gean*, Jen*, etc.) we look for someone born in Iowa or Indiana in Iowa.
In Appanoose County, right next to Wayne county, there is a Jenette Harris, 10, born in Iowa. The father, James, 49, is born in Kentucky, and the mother Catherine, 39 is born in Indiana.
This family certainly looks promising.
|Jenette was married
by 1870 and living in Wayne County, Iowa, but finding the Harris
family in 1870 might prove helpful. We find them in Wayne County, Iowa
in an adjoining township to where Jenetta and Bruce Finch are living.
There are still some children at home, but not the daughter Jenette
that was there in 1860.
This looks even more promising, but still not proof.
|There is no James or Catherine Harris in Iowa in 1880 that matches the 1860/1870 family. We do find a Catherine Harris, 60, born in Indiana just a few houses away from Bruce and Jenette Finch in Center Precinct, Jackson County, Nebraska! Living with her is a daughter Elizabeth, 33, born in Iowa, father born in Kentucky that matches a daughter in the family in 1860 and 1870.
|What we learned
|The Catherine Harris in Nebraska in 1880 is definitely the one we found in 1860 Iowa. The fact that Catherine is living so close to Jenette in 1880 is convincing evidence that she is Jenette's mother.
|For this month's puzzle, we learned the value of looking around the last known location for a likely match. We probably could have found Jenette without the clue for her last name if we had been persistent. But in any case, the search would not have been possible if the first name had been more common or if we did not have the ability to search for every name in the 1860 census.
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