What a Difference a Day Makes: Genealogy Gold Dust, the FAN Club & the TN Adams Clan

Yesterday was quite depressing in terms of making any headway on my husband’s Adams family who lived in Cumberland County, Kentucky and Clay County, Tennessee.

After I finished writing up my latest Adams potential clues, I decided my brain needed a break. I wasn’t yet ready to leave the Dulworth clan, though, so John Dulworth’s family (he was an uncle to Abraham who married into the Adams group) moved up to the top of my to-do list.

I’ve often thought that the ancestors are up there, encouraging us to keep at it and, sometimes, even pointing the way for us. Maybe, just maybe, Jennie Adams is trying to help me!

The Dulworths spilled over not only into Clay County, Tennessee from Cumberland County, Kentucky, but also in Overton County next door.

John Dulworth’s oldest child was Burrell Dulworth, born c1829 in Cumberland County, Kentucky. By 1860, he was married and had moved his family to District 8 in Overton County, Tennessee.

The Dulworth surname is often misspelled – Dilworth, Dulwit, Dulvitt, Delwert, etc. In fact, the 1860 census has him listed as Burrell Dulivett. Because I can’t find his mother, Hyla, in 1860, I decided to read page by page through District 8 to see if she was living perhaps with a married daughter.

Then I got to this page and just about jumped out of my chair:

1860 Census, Overton County, TN
Source: Ancestry

What caught my eye was the family near the bottom of the page:

If there was ever an OMG moment, this was it – right in front of me, in black and white, was the family of JANE, FRANCIS (female) and ELISABETH ADAMS!!!!!

This particular census stated Tennessee as the birthplace of all three ladies.

Why hadn’t I been able to find them before? There are several reasons. First, Adams is a super common surname. Second, Jane is also found as Jenny, Jennie and Jinny/Jinnie. Third, the ages and reported birth states are all over the place.

As you might imagine, Hyla Dulworth flew right out of my mind and the Adams family again took over.

Let’s take another look at the 1870 census in Cumberland County and compare.

Adams, Jennie, 80, born SC
Adams, Francis, 45, born TN
Adams, Elizabeth, 40, born TN
Adams, Jane, 18, born TN
Adams, Race (Rashis), 14, born TN
Adams Brilina (Perlina?), 10, born TN
Adams, Sarah, 4, born TN
Adams (sic), Matilda, 1, born TN

Ten years earlier, in 1860, we now find:

Adams, Jane, 45, born TN
Adams, Francis, 23, born TN
Adams, Elisabeth, 18, born TN

Is it any wonder that the search engine couldn’t figure out these were the same people? I really have to question who the census taker talked to in 1870?

Discovering the 1860 energized me to search for the family in Tennessee in 1850. Look who I found in white County, Tennessee:

1850 Census, White County, TN
Source: FamilySearch

White County shares part of its northern border with the southern border of Overton County.

Adams, Daniel, 53, born 1797, NC, occupation = Miller
Adams, Jinny, 50, born 1800, NC
Adams, Francess, 16, born 1834, TN
Adams, James, 13, born 1837, TN
Adams, Elisabeth, 13, born 1837, TN
Adams, Louisa, 11, born 1839, TN

There are a couple of negatives here. Being a miller, Daniel Adams is enumerated as owning no land, which I was able to confirm by a quick look at the White County deed index. He also apparently died between the 1850 and 1860 census; there is no probate record found for him in either White or Overton County. This is also the only Adams family in District 10. There is one other Adams living in White County – Stephen, aged 30, born Tennessee, with a family in District 8. He doesn’t appear to have any ties to Daniel Adams.

On the positive side, Daniel Adams appears on the 1833, 1836 and 1838 tax lists and is also found in the 1840 census for White County, Tennessee.

I also think that Daniel & family lived in Smith County, Tennessee in 1830. The southeast corner of Smith County shares a teeny tiny border with the northwest corner of White County.

I feel much better about today’s puzzle pieces as compared to those I played with yesterday. I think it is starting to come together.

Progress is being made! On Saturday, we will take a look at all the new pieces of information that have been uncovered.




2 thoughts on “What a Difference a Day Makes: Genealogy Gold Dust, the FAN Club & the TN Adams Clan”

  1. Wow – that’s cool! The ages, however, are all over the place…census records are so frustrating that way as we have no idea who the informant was.

    And serendipity is a beautiful thing – I too have found records about one person while looking for records for another 🙂

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