Women's History Month Fearless Females blog prompts: Is there a female ancestor who is your brick wall? Why? List possible sources for finding more information.
Mary Elizabeth Heath (Thomas) a.k.a. Polly, she's a brick wall alright. I think the wall must be "higher than all the worms!" "Higher than all the worms" is how much we love each other in our family, nobody knows how high that is but I can tell you that it is pretty high!
One of the tough things about Mary is that she is the wife of my other huge brick wall, Jonathan S. Thomas. Jonathan and Mary are my great great-grandparents on my mom's paternal side of the family. I can pretty confidently trace ancestors back several generations on all sides of my family but these two just don't give a clue. Maybe because they had such common names, maybe because they lived in a very rural area, maybe, maybe, maybe....
It appears from US Census records that Mary had two brothers, two half brothers, and one sister. Three of her brothers (including both of her half brothers) were killed in the American Civil War. Her widowed sister, Elizabeth, lived with Johnathan and Mary most of her adult life. It appears, also, that Mary's mother died when Mary was very young, possibly when she was only two or three years old.
Mary was born sometime during 1829, most likely in Johnson County, Georgia. I have traced her in US Census records every ten years from 1830 to 1880, living in Emanuel, Pulaski, and Appling Counties in Georgia. How it is that someone who regularly shows up every ten years in the census is considered a brick wall? Well, I don't know her mother's name, when Mary died, or where she was buried. Just a few pretty important facts to help wrap up her story.
|The researcher, the family historian, and the photographer, |
searching for Mary (and Jonathan) in Dexter, Georgia, February 2013
Angie Abbate Mood, James Earl Thomas, Vicky Abbate Johnson