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TO CAROLINA FAMILY ROOTS. Thanks for reading and commenting about my blog postings. My goal is to accurately document the genealogy of my family and allied families living in Chesterfield County, SC and Anson County, NC. If you have a Chesterfield County surname you are interested in please send me an e-mail.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Circumstantial Evidence–Analyzing the Clues

Pin It On September 5, 2012 we discussed the family of Epps Rivers Brown and the use if given names versus nicknames.

On one side, Epps was blessed with 7 daughter and 3 sons; on the other hand, now its my burden trying to find these girls after they left home.

One of those daughters was said to be Julia A. Brown. Never mind that available census records do not show a daughter names Julia. In the census, these girls are listed by nicknames NOT by their given names.
I have a FGS that shows that Joel H. Goodwin married Julia A. Brown on 26 Feb 1879 in Oauchita County, Arkansas.

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A copy of the actual marriage license was found on-line at FamilySearch.org. [1]


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Enlarge section of the bottom portion of this license show that Joel H. Goodwin and Julia A. Brown were  married on 26 Feb. 1879 as shown on the above FGS snippet. [2]


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This is actual proof that Joel H. Goodwin married Julia A. Brown and the 1880 census[3] clearly shows them living as husband and wife. But, there is no proof here that Julia A. Brown is in fact a daughter of Epps Rivers Brown. The licensee does show that Julia A. Brown was of Union County, Arkansas and that is where Epps River and Dorinda Adair Brown was living.

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A Rivers Family History Book[4] hand written by Minnie Sanders Rivers about 1929 in Chesterfield County (origin of Brown family) shows that Epps & Dorinda did have a daughter who first married Joel H. Goodwin and then a second marriage to James Buckner. But, Minnie shows this daughter to be named – Dora.

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Lines 209 – Dora and 210- Nannie are two of the daughters of Epps Rivers Brown and his wife Dorinda Adair. Evidence points to both of these girls moving to Texas.

Item 210 shows that “Nannie “married Al Glass. Nannie is actually Edmonia Lynn Brown and she married Absolom Pratt “Abb” Glass on 27 Sep 1888 in Navarro, Texas.[5]


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Conversely, James M. Buckner and his wife were also found in Texas but his wife was going by the name of Doanie or Donnie Brown Buckner. Her Texas death certificate #4376 list J. M. Buckner as her husband and E. R. Brown and Dorinda Ardan [Adair] as her parents.[6]


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Is Julia A. Brown and Donnie Buckner the same person? I think that circumstantial evidence point to the likelihood that these two individuals are the same person. However, the only link that connect these events are a 1929 handwritten family history that states “Dora married Joel H. Goodwin and Jim Buckner. Regardless of the name of the daughter, the author of this document was clearly stating that the girl was twice married, first to Joel H. Goodwin and second to Jim Buckner.

Another piece of evidence compounding this circumstantial case is a marriage between J. M. Buckner to Julia Evelyn Bradley.

Arkansas, County Marriages Index, 1837-1957 about Julia E Bradley[7] Name: Julia E Bradley
Gender: Female
Age: 25
Birth Year: abt 1855
Residence: El Dorado, Union, Arkansas
Spouse's Name: J M Buckner
Spouse's Gender: Male
Spouse's Age: 27
Spouse's Residence: El Dorado, Union, Arkansas
Marriage Date: 28 Mar 1880
Marriage License Date: 26 Mar 1880
Marriage County: Union
Event Type: Marriage
FHL Film Number: 988519
Source Information:
Ancestry.com. Arkansas, County Marriages Index, 1837-1957 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.Original data:
"Arkansas County Marriages, 1838–1957." Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2009, 2011. "Arkansas County Marriages, 1838–1957," database, FamilySearch; from Arkansas Courts of Common Pleas and County Clerks. Digital images of originals housed at various county courthouses in the State of Arkansas. Marriage records.

It's certain that the ending to this story has not been fully told. There is either two J. M. Buckner's here or the man is getting married quite often. The case is not solved. More research is needed.

If you have any suggestions on how to proceed with determining if these two women are the same person or if you have first-hand knowledge of this family please contact me through this blog.












[1] "Arkansas County Marriages, 1837-1957," digital images - Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, FamilySearch (http://www.familysearch.org : accessed 24 January 2013), Clerk Copy, "Ouachita County, Arkansas Marriage Book "B"," page 381, Joel H. Goodwin and Julia A. Brown; citing Register of Deed, Ouachita County, Arkansas Marriage Book "B", page 381.
[2] "Arkansas County Marriages, 1837-1957," digital images - Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, FamilySearch (http://www.familysearch.org : accessed 24 January 2013), Clerk Copy, "Ouachita County, Arkansas Marriage Book "B"," page 381, Joel H. Goodwin and Julia A. Brown; citing Register of Deed, Ouachita County, Arkansas Marriage Book "B", page 381.
[3] 1880 U. S. Census, Union County, Arkansas, population schedule, Tremont, Ouachita County, Arkansas, enumeration district (ED) #221, Page 47A; Line 1, Dwelling NL, Family NL, Household of J. H. GOODWIN; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : viewed 3 September 2011); citing NARA publication Roll: T9-0058.
[4] Minnie Sanders Rivers, A Rivers Family (Chesterfield, South Carolina: self-Published, 1929), page 26.
[5] Texas State Library and Archives Commission, "Confederate Pension Applications, 1899-1975," database, Texas State Library and Archives Commission; Austin, Texas, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : viewed 4 September 2012), Edmonia Lynn Glass, Pension File Number: 33071.
[6] State of Texas, death certificate no. 4376 (9 January 1933), Donnie Buckner; https:/www.familysearch.org.
[7] Union County, Arkansas, marriage no. 00426 (28 March 1880), J. M. Buckner age 27 and Julia E. Bradley, age 25; County Courthouse, Union County, Arkansas.



























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