Sunday, February 22, 2009

My Number 21 - A New Obsession

Well, Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings has a lot to account for, as far as I’m concerned. He’s gone off and got me started on a new obsession. Number 21. It started off as “innocent” Saturday Night Fun for him, but it’s turning into Sunday search, search, search for me. Well, OK, I’m actually having fun.

Number 21 on my ahnentafel list is Martha R.S.C. Monk, who was my great-great-grandmother and the first wife my great-great-grandfather Joseph Madison Carroll Norman. The other Norman researchers I am aware of refer to her as Rebecca, which could be correct based on her initials. Her name is given in the marriage records for Talladega County, Alabama:

Joseph M. C. Norman married Martha R.S.C. Monk on 4 December 1851 in Talladega, Alabama by John Hubbard, M.G.

The only other documentary evidence I have seen of her so far is on the 1860 census:

1860 US Federal Census, Northern division, Talladega, Alabama, 26 Jun 1860

Line 5 520 1

J. C. Norman 26 M Farmer $150 $230 AL
M. Norman 23 F AL
E. Norman 4 F AL [Cynthia Ann]
H. Norman 2 F [sic] [William Henry]
L. Norman 1 F AL [Leathy]

Joseph Madison Carroll Norman is reported to have had 26 or 27 children (I can account for 21) and three wives. Rebecca apparently died before 1870, possibly as early as 1862. Other researchers have attributed 7 children to her; I have Cyntha Ann, born 1856; William Henry “Jack”, my great-grandfather, born 15 March 1858; Leathy L. (may stand for Lucinda), born 1859; Josephus James “J.J.,” born 1 May 1861; and Thomas F., born 1862. The other two may have died in early childhood.

Rebecca’s parents may have been Silas Monk and Nancy Dunn. I have seen claims that that Rebecca Monk married an Ervin Roden, although I have also seen some doubts among those same researchers on that score.

So the history of Martha Rebecca Monk, my #21, seems to be pretty murky, with hard facts few and far between: one entry for a marriage and one scant census record. That doesn’t seem right. I am starting to feel that familiar itch to find our more about her. To be continued….

P.S. Randy asks whether we can recite all of our eight great-great grandmothers. Unfortunately, I cannot. That’s because another one of my obsessions, my great-grandmother Susan Elizabeth Smith Bonner Brinlee, is my great brick wall and I don’t know who her mother was.


  1. Well's not my fault that you have an obsession with your ancestors.

    You ARE having fun! I knew you would!

    Enjoy -- Randy

  2. Heh, heh, said like a real mastermind.