Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday - Another Great Grand Uncle?

My Latest Diversion

I came across the above death certificate, purely by accident or maybe it was just good genealogical sleuthing. I was playing around on one day when I came across death information that seemed to indicate my great grandfather, Cornelius Pierce, had another sibling that I wasn’t aware of (that darn missing 1890 census).

So, how did I start piecing this together?

By playing around. Even though I know that during the time period in which my 2nd Great grandparents lived there were no vital records, I still plug their names into various data searches. This is how I discovered the death certificate for my Great Grand Aunt, Nunna Pierce Sims, on Georgia Virtual Vault, which helped in confirming my 2nd Great Grandparents and their family.

Anyway, when I did this on pilot FamilySearch, amongst the results returned was death information for a Jesse Pierce, whose father was Jasper Pierce and whose mother was Jane (Maiden Name Unknown). This caused me to immediately take notice as I’ve only come across one other Jasper and Jane combination, my Jasper and Jane, who might fit as this Jesse’s parents.

I already knew that my 2nd Great Grandparents had had at least one other child, Hester, after the 1880 census. The 1900 census shows in the household of Matthew Sims, his wife (Great Grand Aunt Nunna), their children, and sister-in-law (Hester Pierce born abt. Apr 1880).

This Jesse Pierce was about 39 when he died which means he was born abt. 1889. In 1889, both of my 2nd Great Grandparents were young enough to have had a few more children after the enumeration of the 1880 census. In 1889, Grandpa Jasper would have been abt 39 and Grandma Jane would have been abt. 45.

If my still as yet unproven theory about Jesse M. Pierce being my 2nd Great Grandparents slave owner is correct, it’s quite possible that Jesse was named after him.
After determining that it’s conceivable that this Jesse Pierce could possibly be another Great Grand Uncle, I then tried to find other documentation that could possibly link him to my Pierce Ancestors.

Since he died in Atlanta, I thought chances were good that he possibly had an obituary. Obituaries are typically wonderful sources for determining other family members and relationships.

However, as you can see, such was not the case with the obituary for Jesse. Through, I was able to locate an obituary for Jesse Pierce but it contains the barest of details (name, date of death, funeral and burial information)

I then turned to Georgia Virtual Vault to get an actual copy of his death certificate (shown above), hoping that it would include specifics as far as city and county of birth but this offered up another disappointment. As you can see, only the state of birth is provided. The informant was Clementine Pierce, Jesse’s wife.

Lastly, I tried tracing Jesse back through the census records.

Since he died in 1928, the first census I tried to find him on was the 1920 census. I was able to locate Jesse and Clementine in Atlanta

The 1910 census, Atlanta, shows a recently married Jesse and Clementine.

I wasn’t able to locate a Jesse Pierce in 1900 Atlanta who met the description. So naturally, I checked the White Plains, GA area. Not in White Plains but in another area of Greene County, GA, I came across a 16-year old Jesse Pierce, who was enumerated in the household of Bob Hardeman where he is listed as nephew.

What Next?

• Determine if the funeral home, R. C. Tompkins, is still in existence and if so contact them to see if they have any further information on Jesse Pierce.

• Contact Southview Cemetery, where Jesse Pierce is interred, to determine if they might have records with regard to Jesse.

• Continue tracking of Bob Hardeman through the census records to determine what if any connection(s) may exist between him and my ancestors.


  1. Mavis,
    What a wonderful find for you! Here's something to add to your What Next list. Jesse is the right age to have had a WWI draft registration. They were also on the Pilot (or was it the Labs?) Labs is the backbone of what has become the Pilot. Either way, I was looking just now to confirm that is were I found them and now they aren't there. I know what I saw and I have about five of them for my folks.

  2. Oddly, my research over the last few days mirrors yours very closely. Searching for parents names I found a new GG-Aunt via family search who died in Atlanta in 1928. I then got her death cert and two of her children's off the GA Virtual Vault. I was just about to head out to the library to look up her obit on microfilm when I read this and saw that you got yours off of ancestry. I hate using their newspapers, but sure it enough, after a bit of searching, I found mine there too. Thanks for detailing your research - it helped me out!

  3. it helped me too! i went to family search and found several exerpts of marriage records and death information for my Turner family in Lowndes Cty, al. i should look for some obits.

  4. Darlene, thanks for the reminder on the WWI draft registration. I have them for several relatives already.

    Valerie and Kristen, I'm glad my efforts were able to help you in your research.

    Thanks to all of you for following my blog.

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