Thursday, May 7, 2020

30 Mothers in 30 Days: Mattie

As I write, Mother's Day is but a few days away. At this time, the leading DNA companies, like Ancestry and 23 and Me, are putting their DNA tests on sale. I have been contemplating ordering an MtDna test. As many mothers are in my family tree, some 13 or 15 generations down the line, my direct maternal line doesn't go very far. But what would be the benefits of a test?

Like Y-DNA tests, that follow the trail of father to son for millenia, the MtDNA does the same down the maternal line. Unlike the test for males, in which surnames are passed from father to son as well, in the maternal line, it usually does not. People who are trying break down brick walls in genealogy will sometimes use the Y-DNA test to do just that, and to get them beyond. People who take maternal line tests are usually either adoptees just trying to discover something of their biological roots and ethinicy or those Elizabeth Warren kind of folks chasing down the illusive Indian Princess they've been told about that hasn't shown up in autosomal testing.

I've administered, or been privy to, 7 separate Y-DNA tests so far. Their helpfulness has been hit and miss, depending on how many matches turn up. Some give us information on who we are descended from and others remain a puzzle. All of them will reveal Haplogroup origins. The one rule that governs them all, is that Human Nature Trumps Paper Trails. Who the records say you are, may not be who you are at all. Given the natural animal instincts of human beings, have an unbroken line of the same surname for 10 or 12 generations is a miracle unto itself.

Image may contain: 2 people, people sitting

I have nearly met my entire maternal line in person. From my mother, Joyce Davis, to her mother, Maude Mauldin, to her mother Wincie Ann Mauldin, who lived until I was 5. Grandma Mauldin, as I called her, was a tall, thickly built woman comapared to my other tiny Great Grandmother, Penny Turner Davis, who lived a block away. Her house remains in my memory as if I had seen it yesterday. I remember the big brown heater in front of the fireplace and the large painting of 'Jesus on the Mount', over it. In fact, in the above picture, the side of the heater can be seen.

I knew Wincy, but I did not her mother, Martha "Mattie" Russell Mauldin, who died even before my Grandmother was born. And Mattie was as far down my maternal line as I had gotten.

Now, to back up. I thought I had Mattie's lineage nailed down. You see, there was this book....

My distant cousin, of the Mauldin family name, had written a book about our family years back. He did the old timey research and put hours and hours of hard work into it. However, his focus was on people by the name of Mauldin, not so much their spouses. I did not think I needed to do any research on the family line of Mattie, because it had already been done. And as I have discovered multiple times over the years- its never really done. I constantly and consistently have to make corrections and additions to research I've accepted from my predecessors and also to my own.

The parents that the book had listed for Mattie, I noticed, could not be right. I also looked into Family Trees online. Some had another couple listed as her parents, and others had no parents at all. The parents listed in the book were Aaron Russell and his wife Lizla, (or probably Liza, short for Elizabeth). The problem with that was, Aaron Russell died in 1842 and his wife sometime before 1850. He could not be the father of a child born in 1848. The other possibility put out there was an Asa Russell and his wife Seena Swaim. The problem with that was that Seena was born in 1847. How could they be parents of a child born in 1847.

Drawing Board Computer File, PNG, 4852x8000px, Drawing Board ...

So, it was time to erase the drawing board and start over.

I had two actual records showing Martha alive, the 1880 and the 1900 census records.

In 1880, the transcribers have them listed as black. I suppose they had been working too many hours as the census taker didn't list them as black, it's clearly "W's". At first glance, this census could be very confusing, unless you know who the people are. Leading the trail of Mauldins in Household 253 is my Frank Mauldin, 30 and his wife Martha, 25. Children are 'Gilford' age 7 (Gilford Harrison 'Mauldin'), Lou E (Louella) 5, Sela 3 (Actually Alice Virginia) and Dena 1, (had to be Mary Elizabeth comparing ages).  Frank is a farmer. Working for him are Frank W. Mauldin 21, with an 18 year old wife, Sofrona in Household 254, and Puette Mauldin, 23 and wife Rilla, 20, in Household 255.

That's pretty confusing, two Frank Mauldins living next to each other and only 7 years apart in age.

The other Frank Mauldin was actually Franklin Manasseh Mauldin and his wife, Ella Sophronia Huckabee, daughter of Brittain Huckabee and Nancy Carter. Puett is Henry Eli Puett Mauldin, with his wife Sarah Loretta "Retta or Rittie" Marks Mauldin, daughter of Thomas and Nancy Carter Marks. Yes, two Nancy Carters.

These were cousins of Frank Washington Mauldin, the elder Frank. My Frank and Martha would have a daughter named Wincy Ann, my Great Grandmother. Frank M and Sopronia Huckabee Maulding would have a son named James William Mauldin. After my Great Grandfather, Jonah Mauldin, son of James Duncan and Margaret Solomon Mauldin, passed away, Wincy would remarry to James William Mauldin, whom we all knew affectionately as "Papaw Jim", seen in the above picture. He was a sweet, wonderful man and outlived Wincy by a few years.

Name:Martha Maulden
Birth Date:abt 1848
Birthplace:North Carolina
Home in 1900:Center, Stanly, North Carolina
House Number:1
Sheet Number:221
Number of Dwelling in Order of Visitation:368
Family Number:374
Relation to Head of House:Wife
Marital status:Married
Spouse's name:Frank Maulden
Marriage Year:1869
Father's Birthplace:North Carolina
Mother's Birthplace:North Carolina
Mother: Number of Living Children:9
Mother: How Many Children:10
Can Read:Yes
Can Write:Yes
Can Speak English:Yes
Household Members:
Frank Maulden50
Martha Maulden52
Marshal Maulden17
Wincey Maulden15
Johnny Maulden18
Ruthfus Maulden11

The second census record found them moved from the other side of the river, just out from the town of Mt. Gilead to the Forks, near Center, or the town of Norwood. The Forks refer to the forks of the Pee Dee and Rocky River, a very fertile farming area.

In this census, all of the youngest children are listed, including my Great Grandmother Wincy. These 4 are Eli Marshall Mauldin, Wincy Ann Mauldin, John Franklin Mauldin and Rufus Little Mauldin.

Martha is 52, she can read and write and she has been the mother of 10 children, with 9 living. It states she and Frank were married in 1869, but I have found no marriage license or bond.

It has been recorded in Family Bibles that Mattie died in 1903. She was about 55 years. She is supposed to be buried 'at the Forks". The Forks of the river is now occupied by Forks Farms and Stables, a beautiful place. There is an old cemetery within its confines and there are Mauldins within it. I was priveledged to be able to explore this old cemetery a few years ago. I did not find Mattie's grave.

The Fork Farm and Lucky Clays Farm |
Forks Farm and Stables, from

The other records that mention Mattie were those of her children. In their marriage licenses and death certificates, she is listed as either Martha Russell, Mattie Russell or with the last name Mauldin, her married name. So I knew that her maiden name of Russell was correct. So this is where I was stuck and this is where I began.

In 2020, genealogical research has became high tech and involves social media. I belong to a Facebook Group called DNA Genealogy Group for  Montgomery-Stanly Counties. Despite being separated by the river for 150 years, Stanly and Montgomery counties in North Carolina are still very connected. Spear-headed by one of my Marks cousins, who is a super-sleuth in both research and DNA, the group has collected a variety of members and contributors, some novice, but others with decades of research experience and knowledge. Montgomery County, itself, was a beehive of Russells. My first husbands Russell lines hailed from the El Dorado and Blaine areas. So, yesterday, in my search for Martha beyond 1880, I decided to pose a question to the group. As Montgomery was a burned county and the Mauldins were in Montgomery in 1880, I thought they may have been married there, and it is possible they were. I wondered if anyone had any particular knowledge on the Russell family.

There were a few clues in the children themselves. The oldest son, Gilbert Harrison Mauldin, claimed to have been born on March 10, 1870, in Rockingham, Richmond County, NC, that borders Montgomery. The second born child, LouElla, was born in Montgomery County in 1872. So it appears that the family moved from Richmond to Montgomery between 1870 and 1872.

I also knew Frank was born and raised in Stanly County, where my Great Grandmother ended up, so that gives me a 3 county area to look into. I'm still not done, but I did discover quite a bit.

Gilbert H Caulder

North Carolina, Department of Archives and History, Index to Vital Records, 1800-2000

Name:Gilbert H Caulder • 
Event Type:Death
Event Date:20 Jun 1925• 
[20 Jun 1825][20 Jun 0025]
Event Place:Cabarrus, North Carolina, United States • 
Event Place (Original):Cabarrus,North Carolina
Parent Name:Frank Maulden • 
Parent 2 Name:Mattie Russell • 
Page Number:37
Volume Number:11
Record Number:8

One intriguing thing I found was this, on Family Search, from the North Carolina Archives.

Gilbert H. Caulder died on June 20, 1925 in Kannapolis, Cabarrus County with his parents listed as Frank Maulden and Mattie Russell.

Gilbert Harrison Mauldin died on June 20, 1925 in Kannapolis, Cabarrus County and his parents were Frank Mauldin and Mattie Russell. This is the same person.

So now I am looking into the possibility that Mattie was married to a Caulder before she married Frank Washington Mauldin and that Gilbert was his stepson/adopted son. One thing I've learned in research is that years, especially years of birth, can be off by a few in records. Women were particularly bad at reporting themselves younger, especially if they married a younger man.

It was known after Mattie's death that Frank had remarried to Sophronia "Phronie" Floyd, a woman with 2 (fatherless) children. Phronie was his widow when he died in 1925. My Grandmother remembered her Grandfather, being about 16 when he died.

But my cousin the sleuth found something that I hadn't known existed, and this document was the key to everything.

No photo description available.

This is the 1904 marriage license for Frank Washington Mauldin and Onie Russell. Frank was indeed the son of Thomas and Mary Mauldin. This Onie Russell was the daughter of Henry and Frankie Russell. Her question was, could Onie and Martha have been sisters.

This is what I found out about Onie.

She was the daughter of Henry R. Russell and his wife, Sarah Frances Rummage Russell aka Frankie or Fanny. She was born about 1864 and had two children, John W. Russell (b 1887) and Eliza "Liza" Ann Russell (b 1890), out of wedlock. John married Liza Page and his sister, Liza married Walker Hampton Dean. Onie married Frank Washington Mauldin on December 28, 1904, about a year after Martha Russell Mauldin had died.

Name:Washington F Mauldin
Age in 1910:58
Birth Year:abt 1852
Birthplace:North Carolina
Home in 1910:Center, Stanly, North Carolina
Street:West Main Street
Relation to Head of House:Head
Marital status:Married
Spouse's name:Onie Mauldin
Father's Birthplace:North Carolina
Mother's Birthplace:North Carolina
Native Tongue:English
Industry:Cotton Mill
Employer, Employee or Other:Wage Earner
Home Owned or Rented:Rent
Farm or House:House
Able to Read:Yes
Able to Write:Yes
Years Married:6
Out of Work:N
Number of weeks out of work:2
Household Members:
Washington F Mauldin58
Onie Mauldin46
Leiza A Russell20

This is Frank and Onie in 1910, living in Norwood and working in the Cotton Mill there.

Name:Onie Mauldin
Birth Date:1865
Birth Place:North Carolina, United States of America
Death Date:6 Dec 1911
Death Place:Norwood, Stanly County, North Carolina, United States of America
Cemetery:Randall United Methodist Church Cemetery
Burial or Cremation Place:Norwood, Stanly County, North Carolina, United States of America
Has Bio?:Y
Father:Henry Russell

Onie died on December 6, 1911. She is buried at Randalls United Methodist Church, near the river and up the old Green Top Road (now Indian Mound Road) from Norwood.

On January 7, 1912, just a month later, Frank married Phronie Floyd, daughter of James Floyd and Margaret Jane Aldridge Floyd. Phronie had a daughter already, Addie B., born in 1904, whom Frank took in and gave her his name, also.

Although Frank had no children with Onie, he had 4 with Phronie"

1912 Queen Victoria Mauldin Eury
1915 Ivey Lee Mauldin
1917 James Leonard Mauldin
1919 Thomas Otto Mauldin

Name:Frank Mauldin
Birth Year:abt 1851
Birthplace:North Carolina
Home in 1920:Center, Stanly, North Carolina
House Number:F24
Residence Date:1920
Relation to Head of House:Head
Marital status:Married
Spouse's name:Phronia Mauldin
Father's Birthplace:North Carolina
Mother's Birthplace:North Carolina
Able to Speak English:Yes
Industry:General Farm
Employment Field:Own Account
Home Owned or Rented:Rented
Able to Read:Yes
Able to Write:Yes
Household Members:
Frank Mauldin69
Phronia Mauldin43
Victoria Mauldin6
Leonard Mauldin2
Thomas Otto Mauldin0
Addie B Mauldin16

This is Frank's family in 1920. Somehow Ivy was left out, but he existed.

Frank died on June 25, 1925, at the age of 75 and is buried in the Norwood Town Cemetery.

But back to Mattie, who was she?

Onie's father Henry led me to her.

Henry was the son of Eli Henry Russell and his wife Elizabeth. Some have Elizabeth as a Mauldin, others have her as a Morris.

Name:Henry Russel
[Henry Russell] 
Birth Year:abt 1829
Birthplace:North Carolina
Home in 1850:Albemarle, Stanly, North Carolina, USA
Industry:Industry not reported
Line Number:25
Dwelling Number:936
Family Number:941
Household Members:
Eli Russel46
Elizabeth Russel39
Alxe Russel24
Henry Russel21
Caroline Russel18
Isiah Russel15
Temply Russel13
Elizabeth Russel8
Gabriel Russel5
Catharine Russel3

This is the family in 1850. Eli died in 1854, leaving probate papers. His wife Elizabeth is mentioned, but not his children.

Name:Elizabeth Russell
Birth Year:abt 1818
Birth Place:North Carolina
Home in 1860:Stanly, North Carolina
Post Office:Albemarle
Dwelling Number:389
Family Number:390
Real Estate Value:200
Personal Estate Value:100
Household Members:
Elizabeth Russell42
Henry Russell30
Mary E Russell18
Gabiel Russell16
Martha Russell11
Wm J Russell7

This is the widow, Elizabeth in 1860, with Henry and the younger children. Elizabeth dies in 1861, with her son, Isaiah, as the administrator of the estate. Notice in the above census record an 11 year old Martha as the next to the youngest child. Either she was accidentally left out of the 1850 census or she and Catherine are the same person. I believe the first scenario occurred and that Catherine, who was just two years younger than Gabriel, had passed away.

This is my Mattie. She was not the sister of Onie Russell, but her aunt. Henry didn't marry Fanny Rummage until after he returned from the Civil War and he was 37 years old. Onie was his oldest child.

While the team on Facebook was helping me try to locate Mattie, I was trying another trick using Thrulines on With Aaron (who was 6 years dead when Mattie was born), and Lisla as her parents, I had still gotten numerous DNA connections on Thrulines, most of them through an Eli Russell as a branch (child) of Aaron.

I also just did a general search of the surname Russell in my matches and started looking at 4th cousins and on with good trees. Some were random Russells, but I began seeing a trend and the trend was that most of them descended from Eli.

With the discovery of Onie, and then Henry, it came together. My Mattie was a sister of Henry and Onie, her niece. Eli H. Russell was a son, mentioned in the 1842 will and 1844 Probate Records of Aaron Russell. My Mattie was not a daughter of Aaron Russell, but a granddaughter. The book wasn't totally wrong.

Now that I know who Mattie was, she is not my oldest ancestor straight down the motherline. Her mother, Elizabeth is.

But who was Elizabeth? Was she a Mauldin as some suggest? And if so, where in the Mauldin line does she fit in and where did this possibility come from?

Or she was a Morris? Those who have her tagged as so give her parents as Elias Solomon Morris and wife Mary West. They seem pretty sure about that one.

So the search for Elizabeth begins. And I still haven't decided if I want to spend money on an MtDNA test or not.

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