Saturday, March 13, 2021

My March through the FamilySearch Family Tree: Day 13 (Jane Belle Bodie)

I've left the most difficult branch of my family tree for last. Not difficult in the sense of difficult to research. In fact, among all the branches of my family, it's one that I've been able to link further back, all the way to immigrant ancestors during the time of British America. But to be honest, that research is mostly second-hand, taken from previously published works that, as I discovered over the years, had a few flaws.

My great-grandmother, Jane Belle Bodie, and her ancestors.

Learning about Jane led me to a fascinating surname. Not as rare as Weinglass, to be sure, but rare enough that it didn't even compare to names like Smith, Martin, or King. Over time, I spent the vast majority of my genealogical research time identifying not only my Bodie ancestors but also the descendants of the immigrant. And that led to a Bodie One-Name Study. 

One of the first things I learned, as I went back through the generations, was that the name was originally more commonly spelled as Boddie and that the two primary branches in the United States, one in upstate and central South Carolina (my branch) and one in North Carolina, had chosen to spell the name differently. The South Carolina branch, for the most part, dropped the second "d", and this eventually led to many modern descendants changing the pronunciation away from being identical to "body" and to having a long "o" sound in the first syllable.

The next thing I learned was that a prolific genealogist and distant cousin, John Bennett Boddie II, had written multiple times not only about the Boddie/Bodie family but also about many other families of the Southern U.S. Born in 1880, he was a Fellow of the American Society of Genealogists. Much of his work was published between 1918 and the early 1960s. I soon obtained copies of two of his books that were specifically about our common Boddie ancestors: Boddie and Allied Families and Seventeenth Century Isle of Wight County, Virginia. But let's get back to Jane, specifically.

Just a week ago, I participated in RootsTech Connect 2021, which included the ability to link to my ancestors in the FamilySearch Family Tree and see if any other attendees were related to me. I had over 9500 matches, and every single one of them was through the ancestors of Jane Belle Bodie. So this means that this part of the Family Tree may require the most work to confirm and correct.

Jane Belle Bodie:

Jane was married 3 times, first to Wiley Long (who I know almost nothing about), second to my great-grandfather Edmon Manley Martin, and third to John Farmer, who she is buried next to. She had children with both of the first two husbands (apparently 5 each).

Her entry in the Family Tree seemed reasonable enough, and no duplicates were found. I added a few sources where she appears. 

But tomorrow will be the complex day, as I know that there are some interesting entries in the Family Tree for Jane's parents.

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