Friday, June 17, 2011

The Illusive Miss Coleman






Photo: Peter Coleman






















She was a tiny little woman but wiry. She had very long arms. Some might have said God gave her those for "catching" the babies that she mid-wifed in the Appalachian hills. Whatever the reason, her arms did look longer than normal. Not that I ever met her -- she died long before I was born. But my mother remembered her well and I have seen pictures of her. Who is she? She's my great-grandmother, Louisa Ann Coleman Smith.








The ironic thing is that while I have no idea from whom she came, I do know exactly where she is...or rather, where her final resting place is. Great Grandma Louisa Coleman Smith is buried next to my great grandfather, Solomon King Smith in the Phillips Cemetery in Merrimac, West Virginia.








Trying to find her parents, however, has proven very frustrating. I am the oldest daughter of the oldest living daughter of the oldest daugher to the illusive Miss Coleman, however, for some odd reason, the oral family history (of which we have so much and which is a treasure and which I have written down for our next generations) never included that of Louisa Ann's parentage. All I can remember hearing about her is that her family may have come from a place called Wolfpit, Kentucky in Pike County.








The other facts that I know about her is that she and Great Grandpa Smith lived in Hurley, Virginia when my grandmother Ethel Smith was born back on New Year's Day in 1901. Papa Smith was a blacksmith and it is said that Grandma Coleman had taught school before marrying Solomon. It was also said that she was a year or two older than her husband.







Louisa had at least one sister who's name was Phygenia Coleman (Roberts). My great Aunt Phygenia could draw very well and it is no doubt from her that I get this same talent as did some of my 50 first cousins and at least one nephew. Great Grandm Louisa also had a brother that she referred to as "Shack" or something that sounded like that. But that's it. That's all I know about her. I want to know more. I want to trace her lineage as I have so many of my other ancestors..but she has proven very illusive.







Her husband, Solomon King Smith, my great grandfather, had a grandmother who was also a Coleman. My Great Great Great grandmother Sarah Coleman (May) is from the Peter Coleman and Abigail Jayne (originally "De Jeanne" - Fr.) lineage. This is the same lineage from which my husband, Paul Coleman, hails. (Paul Coleman, Edward Coleman, Riley Coleman, Matthew Coleman, Abraham Coleman, Richard Coleman, Peter Coleman II). My lineage in that same lines goes Geneva France, (Francis), Opal Lee France, Ethel Smith Lee, Solomon King Smith, Mary Ann May, Sarah Coleman May, Daniel Boone Coleman, Peter Coleman II. (So that means my 7th generation grandfather (Peter Coleman II) and my husband's 6th generation grandfather (Peter Coleman II) was the one and the same. Peter's grandfather was William Coleman, one of three Coleman brothers who settled in Virginia.







Was my great grandmother, Louisa Ann Coleman from this same line? I don't know but it is highly likely as it is said that three brothers who immigrated to the Virginia area and one of those three brothers was William Coleman and his son, Peter, (whose wife was Abigail Jayne (or De Jeanne" originally) begat all the Eastern Kentucky Coleman clan.








And boy is that a clan! You can't pick up a rock in Pike County, Kentucky and throw it lest you hit a Coleman or a Coleman relative. Mike and I were at a local restaurant once and we told them "Coleman reservation". After we were seated, we heard three more Coleman reservations be seated right behind us. Yeah, there's that many of us.










So, why can't I find definitive proof of the line of my Great Grandmother, Louisa Ann Coleman Smith's parentage? I don't know. I have been conducting genealogical searches for more than ten years and I have yet to find definitive proof of her parents. It's frustrating. But it's also interesting and I have learned much along the way from my false starts. One day, perhaps someone, somewhere, will be able to help me finally put a name on the parenting chart of my great grandmother, Louisa Ann Coleman Smith. Until then she will remain.....the illusive Miss Coleman.
























4 comments:

  1. Is this the grave of Peter Coleman father of all the Peter Crk area Colemans. Thats my husbands family. Im also looking for William Bill Francis Jr aka Yankee Bill's grave and any Colemans and Daugherty's. Do you have any info on them?

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  2. If you are still looking for info on Louisa Ann I have it for you.
    Louisa Ann Coleman Smith

    Parents of Louisa are George Coleman and Mary (Ball) Coleman, his second wife
    Name: Louisa Smith
    Death Date: 2 Jan 1952
    Death Place: Mingo, West Virginia
    Father Name: George W. Coleman
    Mother Name: Mary Blane Ball
    FHL Film Number: 1984250

    Kentucky Marriages, 1851-1900 about George Coleman
    Name: George Coleman
    Gender: Male
    Spouse: Frances Powell
    Spouse Gender: Female
    Marriage Date: 15 Jul 1861
    County: Pike
    State: Kentucky


    2nd marriage was in 1883, but he began living with her in 1880. What makes finding Louisa in the census records difficult is that she apparently wasn’t born yet during the 1880 census. And because there is no 1890 census, this compounds the confusion. I was unable to find her in 1900 but found her in 1910 when she was already married to Solomon.
    Kentucky Marriages, 1851-1900 about George W. Coleman
    Name: George W. Coleman
    Gender: Male
    Spouse: Mary Ball
    Spouse Gender: Female
    Marriage Date: 1 Mar 1883
    County: Pike
    State: Kentucky




    Mary was his second wife. In the transcription on this record below the name Phigenia was transcribed wrong (as Chig*) but you can see at the top where someone corrected it, and if you look at the original census record you can tell that it says Phigenia. This is in Lincoln County, Kentucky. Louisa was already married by then.
    1910 United States Federal Census about Chig* Coleman
    Name: Chig* Coleman
    [Phigenia Coleman]
    [Chiana Coleman]
    Age in 1910: 19
    Birth Year: abt 1891
    Birthplace: Kentucky
    Home in 1910: Crab Orchard Ward 3, Lincoln,Kentucky
    Race: White
    Gender: Female
    Relation to Head of House: Daughter
    Marital Status: Single
    Father's Name: Geo W Coleman
    Father's Birthplace: Kentucky
    Mother's Name: Mary B Coleman
    Mother's Birthplace: Virginia
    Neighbors: View others on page

    Household Members: Name Age
    Geo W Coleman
    65
    Mary B Coleman
    48
    Chig* Coleman
    19
    Emuel B Coleman
    17
    Solomon Coleman
    14
    Geo Dewey Coleman
    11
    Shack Coleman
    8



    View
    Original
    Record





    Here is Louisa with Solomon in 1910 census in va
    1910 United States Federal Census about Louisa Smith
    Name: Louisa Smith
    Age in 1910: 30
    Birth Year: abt 1880
    Birthplace: Kentucky
    Home in 1910: Rock Lick, Buchanan, Virginia
    Race: White
    Gender: Female
    Relation to Head of House: Wife
    Marital Status: Married
    Spouse's Name: Solomon Smith
    Father's Birthplace: Kentucky
    Mother's Birthplace: Virginia
    [Kentucky]
    Neighbors: View others on page

    Household Members: Name Age
    Solomon Smith
    26
    [24]
    Louisa Smith
    30
    Ethel Smith
    5
    Millard Smith
    1
    [10/12]



    View
    Original
    Record


    View original image


    And here they are in Mingo Co. WV in 1930
    1930 United States Federal Census about Louise A Smith
    Name: Louise A Smith
    Gender: Female
    Birth Year: abt 1884
    Birthplace: Kentucky
    Race: White
    Home in 1930: Magnolia, Mingo, West Virginia
    Map of Home: View map

    Marital Status: Married
    Relation to Head of House: Wife
    Spouse's Name: Solomon K Smith
    Father's Birthplace: Virginia
    Mother's Birthplace: Kentucky
    Occupation:

    Education:

    Military Service:

    Rent/home value:

    Age at first marriage:

    Parents' birthplace:
    View Image

    Neighbors: View others on page

    Household Members: Name Age
    Solomon K Smith
    42
    Louise A Smith
    46
    Millard E Smith
    21
    Pearl Smith
    19
    Lawrence M Smith
    14






    George was the son of Daniel Coleman and Bethena Adkins, and Daniel Coleman’s father was Peter Coleman. This is where it gets sticky. Because there are several Peter Colemans in Pike County and during this time period and so many people have different lines traced to different Peter Colemans, it is confusing. I am still researching differentiating the separate Peter Colemans for my own tree through Miles Coleman, who is a half brother to Louisa and Phygenia. However, there is a definite connection to a Peter Coleman who was buried at Wolfpit, KY

    Hope this helps and I will keep you updated on the Peter Coleman research.

    Sincerely,
    Marsha Hylton Rice

    ReplyDelete
  3. Also, here is her death certificate, I found it after I posted this other post, it says her birthday is in 1879 which is odd, because she wasnt on the 1880 census, but anyway, here you go
    I tried to copy and paste it but it wouldnt let me so here is the url

    http://www.wvculture.org/vrr/va_view.aspx?Id=2631692&Type=Death

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    Replies
    1. Oh and my email is mdricex@gmail.com if you need to ask me anything about the records or anything else. =]

      Delete