William Stanford is my oldest known Stanford ancestor. Direct evidence of his vital information remains a mystery. Census records lead me to believe that he was born in the Carolinas about 1820 and died in Alabama between 1900 and 1910. The 1870 census shows that most people with the Stanford surname, in Barbour county, over the age of 40, were born in the Carolinas.
The power of writing this blog about my 4x great grand father and divine intervention has shown me that I indeed have direct evidence. I just found marriage evidence. Folks, it is strange and delightfully overwhelming at the same time. Here is the blow by blow:
While writing this blog I have open: The Master Genealogist with William Stanford in view. Additionally I have my homemade form for writing a narrative lineage which I created from the BCG Standards Manual. The first part of the narrative, according to the manual, is a genealogical summary of vitals and parentage.
As you know I am still in the vitals section, of which I have, (had) no direct evidence. A search for vital documents has been performed. No birth record, as William was born in the 1820’s before most had registrations. I will need a collection of indirect evidence to prove this one. No death record, although I believe that I can recheck this for the following reasons.Barbour County had death registrations at least as early as 1906 and the state of Alabama began registrations in 1908. Both were checked, but a second look would not hurt. No marriage record, he would have been in his 40’s at the end of slavery and may not have applied for the official document. I did not find him in the marriage registers for the county….until tonight.
I said to myself, Shamele, look again. First I checked my digitized marriage registers, taken at the ADAH. Mistakenly I opened the beginning of the Stanford in the index when I wanted to view the end of the Stanfords, as his name was William. But, instead of moving ahead I decided to take a look anyway. Stanford, Bill caught my eye. Reading to the left I saw Kitty. Kitty, I thought. Bill. Kitty. BILL AND KITTY! These are my folks. This time I did not dance and sing a little diddy. I just paused.
I knew that I would learn something about my ancestor while writing this piece, but I did not think that I would find direct evidence in my own home. Then, just to make myself feel even more ridiculous I searched for Bill and Kitty’s marriage at familysearch.org. There is was, in the IGI, on the WORLD WIDE WEB. OK.
Back to the life of William “Bill” Stanford.
William “Bill” Stanford married Kitty Stanford on December 2, 1865, in Barbour county, Alabama. His parentage is unknown. As a farmer, William Stanford worked on the plantation of Hosia Bailey in 1883. He mortgaged his possessions of “one little sorrel horse named Henry and all of my entire crops of cotton and cotten seed. Corn fodder peas, rice, cane and potatoes except our bale cotton for new,” to produce crop by the first of the year. The mortgage was $29.87 and held by DH Blair.
Then in 1896 he worked on PP Anderson’s plantation. At this time his possessions were:” one yellow mare mule named Kit one red and white spotted cow named Reddy, and her yearling heifer calf also red, and red white spotted”. This time the mortgage was $42 and was owed to TR Parish & Brother.
Finding the 1896 mortgage this fall was very exciting, as the index for the volume listed the record as Stanford, Wm and wife. This was the first non-census record that I found which shows this relationship. But now, tonight, I found the marriage evidence, which blows this lil’ ole mortgage record out of the water, which was indirect anyway.
Vital evidence on Kitty Stanford has yet to be found. According to census records she was born about 1829 in the Carolinas. I have yet to find even a whiff of her parentage.
William Stanford and Kitty were the parents of the following children:
- Tilda Stanford, born about 1850
- Green Stanford, born about 1854
- Lewis Stanford, born about 1860
- Jane Stanford, born about 1861
- Dick Stanford, born about 1862
- Lonnie Stanford, born about 1864
- Vicky Stanford, born about 1865
- Jamie Stanford, born about 1869
- William Stanford, born about 1870
I am a descendant of Green Stanford, who I will write about at another time. My goal was to discuss what I know about a member of my 1870 Barbour County Dream Couples. LINK Additionally I was taking my first stab at writing a narrative. Instead, what I did was attempt to flesh out a narrative in a bloggy sort of way. I have learned plenty. Now I have an item to add to my “To Do” list when I visit Alabama in June. Also, I know that I am a great distance away from writing a true narrative lineage.
Thank goodness that I am taking Helen Leary’s writing course at Samford’s IGHR. But first, I must write a draft of a three generation narrative lineage for this course. This type of report was my choice. I could have chosen to bring a draft of something else genealogical, but I thought, what the heck, go for the gusto. One day I would like to apply for certification and kinship determination is one of the requirements. IGHR will be a great time to get expert assistance with enhancing my narrative. As you can see from my attempt above, I need all of the help that I can get. Stay tuned for my attempt at fleshing out the life of Green Stanford, the son of William Stanford.