By in Family

When Genealogy is Plain As the Nose on Your Face

I engage in genealogical pursuits. Now I have little money. I must confine myself to online searches. I have many resources, nonetheless.

For years, I pursued one Mary Wallace , buried in Gloucester, Camden County, New Jersey. She lies under the same stone as does Frederick and Ida Zeisweiss.

Who was she?

Sometimes, a thing is as plain as the nose on your face, yet you don't perceive it. You know what I am saying is true. It's happened to you.

Well, I was talking to a family member, when I came to the crazy idea maybe her Wallace family were buried in this very same cemetery. And guess what? Within two or three minutes, I knew what eluded me all those years was suddenly uncovered! Yes, uncovered in a cemetery.

Mary Wallace was maiden named Mary Davis of Philadelphia. She'd married James Wolfenden of England. He died, but not before daughter Ida was born. She'd married George Frederick Zeisweiss. James died. Mary married Robert Wallace of NJ. Now Robert, a relative handful of years earlier, had a wife and kids. The wife died. Robert died shortly after the wedding, but not until after his kids had left the nest.

Last of all, in her 80s, Mary died. Doubtless poor. And so ends our story.

Image Credit » Pixabay

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MegL wrote on June 3, 2017, 4:50 AM

My goodness, a condensed version of about 50 years of family history? That was a good hunch you had!

VinceSummers wrote on June 3, 2017, 7:32 AM

Part of the problem was my perspective. I'd rather assumed Mary had come to New Jersey to spend her final years under the care of her daughter. In reality, she had come to live with her new husband, the rascal! But due to the marriage coming *after* the 1880 census and there being no available 1890 (it was destroyed) and his dying before the 1900, I'd assumed she'd lived with him in Philadelphia. So I never thought to look in NJ. Besides, although I knew she'd become a Wallace, what was the husband's first name? It's not all that rare. It was the complete package of circumstances that nailed it. He'd been married and had kids. Yet a check on it and I learned his wife had died. His kids were old enough to have moved out by 1900. Everything just fell into place!

melody23 wrote on June 4, 2017, 12:06 PM

I work on my family tree (which also contains a Mary Davis by the way) every so often, its hard but really interesting when you find some new information

lookatdesktop wrote on June 4, 2017, 2:20 PM

Good detective work. I know you have much experience with doing this. for me, I once wondered just how common my last name was and found out that Davis is such a common name that I would have a very hard time finding out which Davis tree I came from other than my father's father or even my great great grandfather. I don't even really know how far back my Davis tree goes. It might be that I am somehow related to a few Davis's more than I can imagine.

VinceSummers wrote on June 4, 2017, 4:34 PM

In fact, my wife was a Davis. And in Virginia. Maybe tied in with yours.

lookatdesktop wrote on June 4, 2017, 11:54 PM

That would be interesting if it were so.

VinceSummers wrote on June 5, 2017, 8:23 AM

Give me a short list of straight-line Davises and I'll let you know. You can message me on FB.