These are my great grandparents, Andrew Johnson and Jane Smith Johnson. I have spent quite a bit of time researching them and their children, but some I have not found besides here in this 1880 Census. At first, I thought Laura Johnson was Lula Johnson Vance, wife of my great grandfather, Rev. Lafayette Franklin Vance. Have you ever tried to find a female family member and only knew her birth name?
I decided to look around. Maybe she did not move far from home. The next available census is the 1900 Census. The place would have been the same, but the county’s name would have changed to Greenwood County, SC. I figured she had to be married by then. I searched and searched the families living in the Greenwood area for a Laura living near Andrew and Jane Johnson.
It was not until I searched for a Laura with parents named Andrew Johnson and Jane Smith without putting in Greenwood County, SC did I discover a death certificate:
That makes three Johnson girls who were born in Abbeville County, SC and lived in Carlisle, Union County, SC after marriage: Nunia, Lula, and Laura. Laura Johnson has married a Sims. She lived until 55 years old and was married to Berry Sims. Now, I could find two instances with her on the census, 1900 Census and the 1910 Census:
I would love to find the one child Laura had that lived. She had given birth to two. I need to research Zula Moore below who is listed as stepdaughter of Berry Sims. She could be the daughter of Laura:
Laura left Berry widowed until his death in 1948 at 84 years old. She had been dead since 1927. I need to research this funeral director because my grandmother mentioned him awhile back. I also need to research the informant, Mary Lyles. The names Sims and Lyles are family names on the other side of my family.
So, you can see that it is possible to find a female relative if you do not know her married name. I can research her and her family in records for Union County, South Carolina by starting with the resources on the Research Wiki.
Sharpen the Saw
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