Elizabeth O’Neal has posed a fun challenge for this month’s Genealogy Blog Party – a Virtual Research Trip – hunting for information about an ancestor for whom little is known.
I decided to take a look at one of my husband’s collateral paternal lines, one Robert J. Scott, to be exact. I’ve written about the Scott family in the past, as Eramanthus Elizabeth Scott married James Hollen (aka Hollin, Hollon and Holland) on 10 June 1847 in Howard County, Missouri.
However, identifying Eramanthus Elizabeth Scott’s family hasn’t been easy. I am quite certain that she was the daughter of Samuel W. Scott and Sarah Thompson and that she and her husband James were likely first cousins. James Hollon’s parents were James Holland and Annie Thompson.
After much research, I have come to the conclusion that Samuel W. Scott was born to an unmarried mother, but have tried to widen the research net to capture more clues about the Scotts. Samuel died by 13 August 1835, so my chances of discovering more about the family are quite slim, but not impossible.
However, I had hoped that perhaps Elizabeth’s possible brother, Robert J. Scott, might provide a new paper trail to his family. In 1850, he was living with James and Eramanthus Scott and their baby son, John. in District 96, Sullivan County, Missouri.
Robert Scott married Elizabeth Jane Massey/Maxey on Christmas Day 1853 in Sullivan County, Missouri. They had five children:
1. George Hampton, born 31 October 1854; died 19 November 1948, Grant County, Kansas; married Louisa Hensall on 15 December 1874, Knox County, Missouri
2. John H., born c1856; died after 1870; no further information
3. Sarah Martha, born 16 April 1858; died 26 October 1940, Liberal, Seward, Kansas; married James W. Morris, c1876.
4. Samuel W., born February 1860; died before 1870 census
5. Paul I., born c1862; died after 1870.
Robert’s widow, Elizabeth, married James B. Crawford on 3 March 1866 in Adair County, Missouri. It seemed likely that Robert might have died during the Civil War, but I found no probate record for him or any other mention of him after the 1860 census.
My virtual research plan was simple – to take another look at FamilySearch records for Howard, Chariton, Linn and Sullivan Counties, Missouri. Why all of those? Because the Scotts and Holland clans were in Missouri before 1820, settling in Howard County. Chariton was formed from part of Howard in 1820, Linn County was set off in 1837 and Sullivan was organized in 1843. I know from previous research that James Holland lived in all four counties, but never moved! Scott records might be scattered throughout the land.
Since I have well covered Howard, Chariton and Linn Counties, I decided to revisit just Sullivan County.
My results? Two snippets of information.
First, the land records index (deeds themselves are still on microfilm) showed Robert J. Scott selling to Ephraim Holland one horse, bridle, saddle and “martingails”(which are harnesses) on 15 October 1851. The actual sale is recorded in A:347.
Second, the Sullivan County probate index is one of the stranger ones I’ve come across as the ADMINISTRATOR, not the deceased, is indexed. Therefore, if the two have different surnames, good luck!
I hadn’t found any probate in the past for Robert and only knew that he died sometime between the 1860 census and 1866, when his widow remarried. I decided to look at Hollen and its variant spellings and came across John Hollin, who was appointed administrator of the estate of Robert J. Scott on 4 October 1862.
Therefore, I have narrowed Robert Scott’s date of death to between the 1860 census and October 1862. It is likely he died during the summer of 1862, but whether or not his death was related to the war is unknown.
While progress was made learning a bit more about Robert J. Scott, it didn’t shed any light on when his mother died (I only know she was living in Howard County at the time of the 1850 census) and I learned nothing else about his father or siblings.