Wednesday, March 10, 2021

My March through the FamilySearch Family Tree: Day 10 (my maternal grandmother's parents and paternal grandparents)

Grandmother Martin was the grandparent that I knew best, as she lived in the same town I lived in and I was 16 when she passed. Her parents were Robert Benjamin King (born 1839 in Laurens County, South Carolina and died in 1911 in Laurens County, South Carolina), and Sarah Ann Elizabeth "Bettie" Foshee, born about 1851 in Laurens County, South Carolina, and died in 1928 in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

Robert Benjamin King:

Sarah Ann Elizabeth "Bettie" Foshee:

Starting with Robert, there are questions concerning his birth year. The tombstone says 1834, but this doesn't accord with his entries in the census. He's 11 in the 1850 census, 21 in the 1860 census, 40 in the 1880 census, 64 in the 1900 census, and 75 in the 1910 census. (No idea where he is in 1870.) The 3 earliest censuses point to an 1839 birth year, which is more believable than the later ones.

No apparent duplicates. On to Bettie. Even Bettie's first name has been a bit of a mystery to me, as I normally referred to her as Elizabeth, and in most records, she appeared either as Bettie or as "Mrs. R. B. King". Only in the past few years have I come upon evidence found by cousins that she was Sarah Elizabeth (in one census, she is "S. A.", giving support to the idea that she was Sarah Ann).

An even bigger mystery was the identity of her mother. I had reason to believe that her father was Benjamin Foshee, but I had learned that Benjamin was married more than once. From a newspaper entry, I learned that Benjamin Foshee married (for his 2nd wife) widow Sarah "Sallie" Neely Grant on 8 October 1850. So was Bettie born before or after? Her tombstone says 1845, but what does the census say? She's 26 in the 1880 census, 52 in the 1900 census, 64 in the 1910 census, and 75 in the 1920 census. I can't find her in 1870, when she should be just married to Robert but not yet having children.

This leaves 1850 and 1860. If she was born in 1845, she may appear in the 1850 census, but how old is she in the 1860, before she marries? The 1860 census for Benjamin and Sarah Fooshe (yes, there are lots of spelling variations on this surname) doesn't show a 16-year-old female. What it *does* show is an 8-year-old Sarah, which strongly suggests that Sarah Ann Elizabeth Foshee was named for her mother, Sarah "Sallie" Neely, and that she was born in 1851 or 1852. Oh, and I can't find Benjamin in 1850 with his first wife.

So I'm going with a birth year for Sarah between 1851 and 1852.

Returning to Robert Benjamin King, census records indicate that his parents were Charles "Charley" King and Letty/Lettie (maiden name unknown). A newspaper story also confirms Charley King to be his father.

Charles King:


Nothing really to add to these.

Tomorrow, a return to the Foshee and Neely family lines.

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