Can anyone tell me how to find my great grandmother's parents?

+5 votes
175 views
My great grandmother's name was DELLA MAUDE SELPH. She was born in 1903 and passed away in 1970 in or around LAURENS,GA.  I was told that her parents' names were JOHN & SARAH MCDONALD, but was told that they didn't know much more than that. In a 1920 CENSUS  she is 18 and already married  and living with her husband, who is FREEMAN THOMAS SELPH (age 21). They have a child, my grandfather ST, who is a year. Also, apparently living with them is 11 year old HOKE SMITH.  I cannot find any information on him or what he means to my family.
in Genealogy Help by Julie Selph G2G Rookie (280 points)
recategorized by Jillaine Smith

I find two census for Hoke in 1910

Name: Hoke S Smith
Age in 1910: 1
[1 2/12] 
Birth Year: abt 1909
Birthplace: Georgia
Home in 1910: Cedartown, Polk, Georgia
Race: White
Gender: Male
Relation to Head of House: Son
Marital Status: Single
Father's Name: William H Smith
Father's Birthplace: Georgia
Mother's name: Mary A Smith
Mother's Birthplace: Georgia
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
William H Smith 62
Mary A Smith 38
Charlie H Smith 19
Effie Smith 13
John W Smith 11
Willis J Smith 8
Marvin Smith 4
Hoke S Smith 1
[1 2/12] 

 

Name: Hoke Smith
Age in 1910: 1
Birth Year: abt 1909
Birthplace: Georgia
Home in 1910: Lee, Dodge, Georgia
Race: White
Gender: Male
Relation to Head of House: Son
Marital Status: Single
Father's Name: William H Smith
Father's Birthplace: Georgia
Mother's name: Lemma Smith
Mother's Birthplace: Georgia
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
William H Smith 42
Lemma Smith 37
Roger Smith 19
Gussie Smith 17
Erie Smith 15
Paul Smith 13
Willie M Smith 11
Bernice Smith 8
Hewitt Smith 6
Winnie Smith 4
Hoke Smith 1
 

 

maybe he was counted at both his grandad's and with his own family
Looks to me like that is the case. Good catch there. In the first census William 62 could be the father of William 42.

3 Answers

+3 votes
You need to begin with your own family and put in everything you know.  Then your parents and their brothers and sisters and everything you know.  Then move on back in time a generation and do it again.  By then you will be able to start finding records that will be them and you can begin to see what information is still lacking and where to look.  It's easier to do it the hard way and put the effort into it in the beginning than starting 100 years ago because it's too easy to make mistakes when you do it otherwise.  Also, it's the only way to be sure.  And especially if you're looking for Smiths. Good luck!
by Vincent Piazza G2G6 Pilot (241k points)
0 votes
The only source with citation that I can find indicates that  Freeman Thomas Selph (b.23 Oct 1897; d.11 Dec 1965) married Della Maude McDUFFIE (b.16 Oct 1903; d. 5 Jan 1970) on 13 Feb 1918 at Telfair County. The citation is to Telfair County Marriage Book E, Page 238, of course you would have to track down a copy to confirm. The surname McDonald is however given in a 2013 obituary for Nettie Lou Selph.
by Rob Ton G2G6 Pilot (274k points)
0 votes

when records are not available online, call the library

Georgia State Archives

The Georgia State Archives provides an excellent library of genealogy records including: birth, death and marriage records, Pre-1900 records of Superior Court and Probate Court (formerly Ordinary or Inferior Court) for many of Georgia’s 159 counties, Confederate Pensions (RG 58-1-1); Executive Department Incoming Correspondence (RG 1-1-5); Department of Revenue Property Tax Digests (RG 34-6-1), Published and unpublished family histories, local histories, out of state material, indexes to various records such as census records, Census; Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands; Confederate service records; Bureau of Indian Affairs records, and more...

Georgia State Archives
5800 Jonesboro Road
Morrow, Georgia 30260

Phone: (678) 364-3700

Website: http://www.sos.state.ga.us/archives/

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