Wednesday, June 29, 2016
My mysterious Great Grandpa, George Washington Willis. Born 10 NOV 1865 • Mississippi and died 5 OCT 1941 • Monroe, Ouachita, Louisiana. Great Grandma Sarah Jane White born 28 AUG 1875 • Winfield, Winn Parish, Louisiana and died 3 MAY 1965 • San Jose, Santa Clara, California. Married 25 Sept 1894 • Mineola, Wood, Texas. These are my mother's, mother's, parents. Grandpa, your birthplace is unknown for certain because almost every census gives a different state, however, your youngest son's death certificate says Mississippi. I have four census and they each give a different state! Are you trying to be elusive for me? Supposedly........Sarah had one son prior to her marriage to George out of wedlock. Or so goes the stories that were told to cousins when we were growing up. The story goes that "Granny Willis" met and fell in love with a married man, got pregnant and then he would not leave his wife. So she married George, possibly under protest. They married, had a family. He raised the oldest boy, Jack Brady, as if he were his own. That's him behind George. We were always told she was mean and spiteful to her husband George so I can only imagine that you must have been a ball to live with. Anyway many years later and a few great grandchildren later who do genealogy, we find that that was a story that you most likely made up. And little did you know that in 1910 you revealed the truth yourself!!! There it is, the census record shows that you both had had a previous marriage. Granny, how could you lie about it. I will always be searching the family tree for any clues. And though I have not found the marriage record for either one of the marriages for you or Grandpa Willis, YET, I will not quit. So thank you for telling the truth in 1910 and for not lying to the census taker. As for Grandpa, I will keep digging until I can locate his birthplace and his parents.....
As far as John Wiley "Jack" Brady, I have tracked down his real father through the U.S. Social Security Applications and Claims Index. Shows his father as Kelley Brady and his mother as Sarah White. His birth date and his birth place, Munroe, Ouachita, Louisiana, match up.