sharpchick (sharpchick) wrote in myfamilytree,

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My ancestor dilemma

I've been researching my family history for about three years now.

You know how frustrating it is to get stuck on one person. . . That's happened to me a few times, but this one is a real dilemma.

She is my g-g-grandmother on my father's side.  Her name is Mary C. Dunn.

She was born in 1849 and according to census records, in Georgia.  Moved to Arkansas sometime before 1866, because that's when she married for the first time to Allen Mason Lowery Callaway in Clark County, Arkansas.  He was born in 1847.  They had one child (I know, that's weird for the time) in 1873, my g-grandmother, Julia Ann Callaway.  "Mace" (as he was called) died in 1877, leaving Mary a widow with a four year old daughter.

In 1878 in Clark County, Arkansas, Mary married a widower named David Andrew Williams, who had a daughter named Mary Etta.  This is where it starts getting fun.  David Williams' previous wife was named Martha L. Dunn and she was born in 1850, died 1871.  All of these folks lived in the same county, in the same township.  It was not uncommon for widows and widowers to marry siblings from other families - you knew these folks, their families, and likely all went to the same church.  You knew what you were getting.

I can't help but feel that Mary and Martha were sisters, but I can't prove it, because I can't find information for either of them about who their parents were.

And more interesting than that is the 1880 census.  David and Mary Williams are living with his daughter Mary Etta, and Mary's daughter, Julia three houses down from Robert J. Dunn and his wife, Sarah.  Robert's age is listed as 26, which means he was born around 1854.  That would make it possible that he was the younger brother of Mary and Martha.  The census says he was born in Georgia.

But I can't find any information on his parents either.

Right now, I'm looking at men with Dunn last names from Georgia as soldiers in the Civil War, and running each one of them through searches to see if I can find any with children born in 1849, 1850 and 1854 with the names I've got.  I've just started that, so I have no news on that search yet.

Any suggestions or thoughts?
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