- Father, Donald Eugene Bowen I
- Grandmother, Florence Ruth Dews Bowen
- Great-grandmother, Lorena Estelle Eley Norsworthy Dews Harlow Lenahan Collins
- Great great grandmother, Sallie (Sarah) Ann Darden Eley Pierce
- Great great great grandfather, Charles Henry Darden, and his first wife, Nancy Seeds
However, Nancy died sometime after 1851, that being the birth year of her last known child, Osceola Darden. (So stated with the acknowledgement, that, NO, we have never found a death record for Nancy.)
By 1857 Charles has married his second wife, Martha Stevenson or Stephenson, as they have their first child, Euphronia Nancy Darden in August of that year.
In my research I even found a Bible record, said Bible belonged to Nancy Catherine Darden Lassiter. (Nancy was the 5th child born to Charles Henry Darden and Martha.) The Bible record I have is a typed transcription of the original, I have yet to see the original. It shows both sets of children, it does not name the mothers, however.
I dug through the Isle of Wight County Virginia vital records time and time again, not once, not twice, not even three times. Heavens I lost count how many times I looked at that microfilm. Page by page, line by line, looking for children born to Charles and Nancy, and children born to Charles and Martha. Deaths, and marriages of those same children were also hunted down and recorded. The family, both sets of children, filled out with dates and places quite nicely. Oh, don't get me wrong, there are still holes that I stumble into and that I have not filled in.
But, I NEVER could find any reference to Charles' marriage to Martha. There was even that question of the spelling. Course, we all agree, spelling don't count, so, that was really not much of an issue. I would take ANY spelling, just to have SOME reference to a marriage date and place.
Martha's death notice/obituary was no help. The only mention of family members was of her son-in-law, Mr. W. E. Lassiter. Note the initials, not even a full name for the son-in-law.
My faithful readers may remember my post last time it was my turn to write for the Relatively Speaking, Cousins That Blog series, I said thank you to friend Amy several times for her help. If you re-read that post, you might catch down near the end, I mentioned finding a license to marry for Charles H. Darden and Martha A. Stephenson, found at the Brantley Association of America site.
I could have presented the image in that post, but, selfishly, I wanted to enjoy the thrill of the find for a bit longer. Ok, I fess up, for days I would pull up the image, look at it in disbelief, remind myself to breathe, smile, giggle a bit, and then, a huge sigh of happy relief was heard all around Tana! Now, a few weeks later, fellow Darden cousin Marilyn and I spent some delightful hours emailing back and forth about the Darden clan. I shared with her my discovery and promised her a blog post - - - - -
So, after this long tirade of madness and frustration, I now share with you, THE image of THE license that I spent well over 15 years looking for. Presented as found in Southampton County, Virginia, Marriage Book 1, 1850 -1861. (Clicking on the image will open it in a larger format, click the back button to return to Reflections From the Fence.)
Date: 11 Aug 1856.
Now, that I am no longer driven mad by the lack of this marriage information, even though this is just a license, and not a return, I will turn my madness to the lack of a death record for Nancy Seeds Darden. Would love to find a burial record, a headstone, something. And, since I am mad, why not hunt down a image of the Bible record, not just a copy of the typed transciption.
Madness Monday seems to be covering Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday .............
Copyright 2010, CABS for Reflections From the Fence.