Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Jeanetta Bascom - The Lost Daughter

Carley H Bascom is my 4th great grandfather. He had 6 children:
  1. Robert Bruce Bascom married Olive Bovard. (My 3rd great grandparents.)
  2. Cynthia A Bascom died at the age of 22 unmarried.
  3. Azora Ann Bascom married Lewis Downey.
  4. Margaret Bascom married Taylor Smith.
  5. Jeanetta Bascom
  6. Melissa Ellen Bascom married Marion Thomas Cole.
Notice how I don't have any information on Jeanetta? That was true until I received an email from a cousin last week.

The last thing I knew about Jeanetta was that her father, Carley, had given her all his land in his will. None of the other children were mentioned (except Robert Bruce as executor). The other children were all married at the time of Carley's death in 1889 and had probably all received land or money at the time of their weddings.

So what happened to Jeanetta? My newly found cousin's email told me that Jeanetta had married a Dr. William McCarty and sent me the entry for her tombstone on Find A Grave in Jefferson County, Indiana. Her birth date on Find A Grave was incorrect by about 10 years and no death date was given. Was this the correct Jeanetta?

I looked at some online trees for Dr. William W McCarty and found mentions of Jeanetta Bascom McCarty. But they had all placed her as his daughter instead of his wife. Was it his daughter or his second wife on his tombstone?

I found the Jefferson County (Indiana) Public Library has a website called History Rescue full of genealogical indexes. There I was able to find the marriage of Geanette Bascom and William W McCarty on 9 February 1896.

I searched census records for Jeanetta. I found her and William living together in the 1900 and 1910 censuses in Shelby Township, Jefferson County, Indiana. Then I found her as a widow in the 1920 census and 1930 census in Madison, Jefferson County, Indiana. Her ages in the censuses matched her age in the censuses when she lived with her parents, giving a birth date around 1853. So we had found the correct Jeanetta.

Jeanetta probably met William while visiting or living with her sisters, Melissa and Margaret. Both of them lived in Jefferson County. According to an index of church records, Jeanetta died in 1943. Her death was never recorded on the tombstone of her husband and his first wife. Jeanetta did not have any children and her step children (who were her age) might not have wanted to spend the money on her death.

But what about the wrong dates on her tombstone? Well it appears to be a transcription error on Find A Grave. A look at other transcriptions of the cemetery show her birth as 29 August 1853.

Now I have found the last of Carley's children. But I forgot to mention one other thing my new cousin sent me. A picture of Jeanetta Bascom McCarty.


  1. I had the same problem with a missing date of death for the second wife of my 2nd Great Granfather, who lived and died in Union County, Ohio. He remarried after my 2nd Great Grandmother passed. My 2nd Great Grandmother has her own tombstone, but the 2nd wife is included on the tombstone of my 2nd Great Grandfather with only the birth date for her. I could not find a death record anywhere until I found a brief mention in the local newspaper that a niece of this 2nd wife received word that her aunt had passed away in Michigan while visiting family there. I have since obtained the 2nd wife's Michigan death certificate and it gives her place of burial in Michigan.

    I know this might not be the case for Jeanetta, but just a thought as to what might be going on in similar situations.

  2. It is great to have cousins like this - especially when you follow up with some outstanding detective work!