Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: A Final Detail Confirmed!

August 25, 1842 - February 15, 1912

Sarah was the sister of my paternal third great grandmother Louisa Tyree Wallen, or "Grandma Wallen" as my great grandfather called her throughout his diary. Back in 2003 my distant cousin Connie sent me copies of notes her grandmother had made...snippets of things that old Grandma Wallen had told her. In those notes Grandma said her sister Sarah had also married a Wallen and had gone to Arkansas to live. Every other detail in those notes has since panned out, except that one...it had to be a mistake!

I didn't think much about it. I knew Sarah had married a Wallen, a distant cousin to my Wallens, and I had already traced her up to 1880...but she lived in Howell Co., Missouri, not Arkansas. Howell Co. is near the border of Missouri and Arkansas so I figured Grandma had just made a small error. James Wallen, Sarah's husband, died in 1867 in Missouri and I suppose when I could not find Sarah in the 1900 census I just assumed she had died there too and I didn't look further for at least 6 or 7 years.

Last week I decided I wanted to renew my efforts on Grandma's siblings and since I hadn't any closure on Sarah, I zoomed in on her.  I did a broad search of the 1900 census for her son Elisha with whom she had been living in 1880. Right away I found the family of Elisha...in Grant Co., Arkansas! And low and behold, Sarah was living with them! When I did more searches on cemetery listings in Grant Co. I quickly found Elisha, his wife Lina, and an infant daughter buried there in the Sheridan Cemetery. They were spelling their name Wallin in the census so that is the spelling I used in the search of the cemeteries. When I didn't find Sarah with them I changed the spelling to Wallen and searched again. There was only one Wallen listed and it was Sarah! (The members of this family were all buried together so I have no idea why the spelling on her tombstone was different.) With this information I did a search on FindAGrave.com and quickly found her memorial and tombstone photo and have used that photo here with the permission of the F.A.G. photo volunteer.

From the birth places of several of Elisha's children it is obvious Sarah had been living in Arkansas for quite some time, long enough to have written many letters to her sister Louisa in Texas. No wonder Grandma Wallen told everyone her sister lived in Arkansas! This may seem like a small detail but it was very exciting to me. It means that every item in those notes has now panned out. Small confirmations to family stories are really rewarding.

Interested persons can find out more on this subject at my companion blog "Genealojournal" by clicking on "Tyree" in the labels.


  1. What a great find, Lisa! I have had some good finds this week, and I know it is exciting!

  2. That's a big find! You said you put the search down 6 or 7ys ago-before you did, I know you probably spent hours and days and weeks just trying to find something to confirm the Arkansas info, if you're anything like me! Probably spent some late nights on the computer, too! So I'm happy for you that you found a big piece to that puzzle! I have lots of "pieces" rattling around in that puzzle box, too! You've just confirmed that sometimes you just have to walk away from it for a while! I'm happy for you!

  3. You are right CJ, I did spend many hours/days searching. Lucky for us the amazing amount of data being put on the Internet has made searching more rewarding these days. The first time I searched the census on Ancestry the information was NOT there, I'd swear to it. The info has improved and more cool beans data turns up in a search now. It's great!

  4. Woohoo! Don't you just love it when those pieces finally fall into place nice and neat! Yeah for your perserverance!

  5. Good job, Lisa! I'm so glad you are not only finding things but sharing them with your distant cousins.

  6. Thanks Nan! Just wait until you see my blog about Louisa's brother Jesse! It's a doozy!