Help determining a last name at birth for Grace (Brown? Johnson?) Smith aka Asparagus

+3 votes

I'm looking for help finding Grace's last name at birth, or opinions about what would be the most appropriate choice. Here's what I've written on her profile about her name (sources are cited inline over there if you want to take a look):

Grace's last name at birth is uncertain.

In 1920, she was living with her mother and was enumerated as "Grace Brown", 2 year old daughter. If Grace was born in 1918, it would have been after her mother's marriage to Charles Brown, and she is likely Charles' daughter.

In 1930, she was living with her mother in the household of Percy Asparagus, and was enumerated as a stepdaughter, "Grace Asparagus."

In 1938, Grace married Jerald Smith. She gives her name as "Grace Johnson", age 19 (consistent with a birth year of 1918/1919) and has the consent of her mother "Bettie Asparagus." (Without a firm birth date for Grace and a death date for Betty's first husband, Walter Johnson, we cannot rule out posthumous birth. There is also the possibility that Grace used the name Johnson to match her older siblings.)

(I'm personally inclined to leave her name as Unknown and her father blank, in the absence of a birth record.)

WikiTree profile: Grace Smith
in Genealogy Help by Erin Breen G2G6 Pilot (258k points)
One thing to keep in mind, especially in the south, marriage dates don't determine parentage. I run into a lot of cases where a couple lived together and/or had at least one child together before they married.

1 Answer

+2 votes
After a few quick look-ups, I found the 1920 Census was 22 Jan. Bettie married Percy Asparagus 24 Aug 1920. The 1920 Census has some siblings for Grace; Margaret 1905, Eugene 1910, Horace 1912, Edith 1913, Hilda 1917, all as Brown. Edith and Hilda are also on the 1930 Census as Asparagus. Additional children born after 1920. This could take some deep study as the older siblings could be Johnson, if that's the correct first husband's name. Therefore, I would say that Grace's LNAB is Brown as this is only 2 years before the Census with Bettie as a widow. Anyway... my 2 cents.

Edit: on Bettie's marriage application for Percy, she states that she had been married only once and that her previous husband died "in Virginia about 7 years ago". Father: Isaac (Edwards?), mother: Harriett.
by Luther Brown G2G6 Pilot (156k points)
edited by Luther Brown
The older siblings are almost certainly all Johnson (and have supporting sources to that effect on their profiles). It's just Grace who is an outlier between the definite Johnson children and the later Asparagus sons.

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