Any Info on Cora Leona Hilliard?

+4 votes
I'm researching my tree and my great-grandfather's(John Rufus Maddux) biological mother, according to my family and what i've dug up, is Cora Leona Hilliard. THIS is the only thing I can find on her, which is the census from 1900.


BUT other trees (such as one on here I came across-not mine) states Laura L Maddux was his mother (but she wasn't in the census when he was little and shows up in it when he was 10. This is the 1910 census for John Rufus Maddux aged 10. His father George R. Maddux is head of household. Laura L Maddux is listed as wife. His sister Cora C Maddux is listed at age 7. Sister Joanna G. Maddux aged 8.


If any of my research is to be true this means his bio mom died when he was 3 when his sister Cora was born or very young...and his dad later married Laura.

I can't find any birth records for Cora Leona Hilliard (1876-1903)nor any birth records for John Rufus Maddux (1900-1980) with his biological mother's name on it. I'm trying to clear this confusion up. Any help will be greatly appreciated!
in Genealogy Help by Lynn Taylor G2G Crew (400 points)
edited by Lynn Taylor
Here's the profile on wikitree. The profile manager is active. I've placed a comment on the profile.
Where did you get Hilliard from (her maiden name?)
Yes, Hilliard is her maiden name.My grandpa and great grandpa used to mention her to my mom and aunts. One of my aunts recalled the name when we were talking about family history. I'm not sure why she was mentioned, I guess just one of those family stories passed down?
I tried without success to find a Cora L Hilliard born about 1876 in Louisiana in the 1880 census.
That's odd. That's what I mean about being unable to find records. Maybe family got birth state wrong? She's in census in 1900 we know this..hmm, let me look more. I could have sworn I found something at one point because I thought it said her dad was Blakely Ebenezer Hilliard. Hang on a few and let me dig in my records.....

*Update* nope, all i'm finding so far is my 1900 census where it states she was born in Lousiana to a texas mother and mississippi father. I wonder how people come from no where like that?
I can't find any Blakely Ebenezer Hilliard anywhere. If I were you, I'd be seeking to confirm the claim of her maiden last name and name of her parents.
Will Do! I'm still digging due to all the uncertainties and unable to find records. I did find a Cora L Hilliard immigrated from Canada, but she wasn't born in Louisiana around 1876. *sighs* The only thing I can figure is my aunts and such recalled her maiden name wrong. Have to start from scratch, I guess. Been working for over 8 years on my tree lol.

Well, it appears to find her birth records are going to be near imposible according to Louisiana's site. The only Cora Leone I could find was born in Lousiana around 1894 instead of 1876.

Louisiana Birth Records

You can search the Louisiana Birth Records Index Database and order certified copies of birth certificates for births that occurred in Louisiana more than 100 years from the end of the current calendar year. The only birth records that are currently available at the Archives prior to 1911 are from Orleans Parish. Birth records were not required statewide by law until 1918." []

*Civil* birth records were not required statewide til 1918. But you might find her baptism in church records. That will require examining microfilm at a local LDS unless she was Catholic. Catholic records *in Louisiana* were not microfilmed by the LDS and lookups must be requested in writing from the diocese and include the address of the family -- at least last time I tried to research a Catholic marriage.

And don't forget to check Texas.  We've got conflicting data between the 1900 and 1910 censuses. So she might have been born there.

If it makes you feel any better, one of my brick walls is another Louisiana ancestress... So you're not alone.
I hope you get through your brick wall! It's definitely difficult sometimes when records were poorly kept, poorly documented, etc.

I hope they're doing a better job of it now for our future generations than they did for our ancestors lol.
Alabama Hilliards moved to Louisiana and Texas after the Civil War. Try searching Bureau of Land Management Government Land Records (BLMGLO) for names. When I get home I'll check my records for Cora. I'm on a cell phone now & going to work. Thats why I dont have the actual link for you.

2 Answers

+4 votes
Look at the other details on the 1910 census. It indicates this was the second marriage for George and Laura and that they'd been married six years.  Laura has had zero births. The youngest child is 7.

This means that Laura was not the birth mother of any of the children, that Goerge had had a previous spouse who died or left the family the year the youngest child was born. Death related to child birth?
by Jillaine Smith G2G6 Pilot (725k points)
Another discrepancy: in the 1900 census, cora's birth place is Louisiana. In the 1910 census, the birthplace of the children's mother (Cora) is given as Texas. Look at the 1920 for each of the children. Where does it say their mother was born?
I was assuming that Texas was Laura's birthplace. If I remember correctly her records show that. Ugh. This is so frustrating! Have to dig more. I've been stumped on this for a while. And all grandparents and great grandparents are dead, so all I had to go on was word of mouth from their children/grandchildren. Thank you for trying to help me with this!
I've received the messages and repaired the Cora mistake.  We'll get it straightened out for you.  :)
Thank you, Vincent! We're still having issues finding Cora's actual maiden name though and issues with finding her birth records. I'm still digging in the Louisiana birth records for that time period, but brick walls seem to be our friend right now lol.
Have you tried to find Cora's death certificate?
Or her marriage to George?
In the 1920 census, Cora's children are enumerated as having a mother born in Louisiana.

Cora's children are no longer living with George in the 1930 census. So you'd need to look them up separately
Yep, can't find it yet. Still digging. No one in my family seems to know anything other than a name. I'm starting to think you might be right in that they recalled her maiden name wrong. The only reason I know she died in 1903 is because the family has been saying for years she died when great grandpa john was little when his youngest sister cora was born.

Just talked to an aunt last night from my dad's side, I was hoping she would know something because she grew up with my mom's family and my mom's sister is married to her brother....but no luck there. But at least I did get to find out my gg grandpa bennie on dad's side rode with roosevelt on san juan hill lol.

The only aunt on my mom's side who knew anything (the one I got info from a few years ago) had a severe fall last year and hit head on concrete which resulted in brain injury and inability to use of her left side of her body, so she has issues recalling any information. :-(

I'm going to look up Texas records as you suggested and I'm going to look up Cora Maddux instead of what we think might be her maiden name and see what we get...Also, never thought to look via her kids individually...going to have to try that route...Maybe one of them has cora instead of laura listed. It makes no sense to me why she would be listed as wife in the census but there's no marriage record...could it be common law marriage? Also, is it possible of some kind of fire destroying records?

I know my gggrandpa bennie's records and birth records were destroyed by a warehouse fire in 1921 so all the records from the 1890s are gone, including his birth records. Maybe something similar happened to Cora's stuff?

Look for birth and death records for each of her children; full names of mother are often listed on death certificates if known by the "informant" -- the person providing the information. 

Similarly, some (but not all) marriage records list the names of parents, so look for marriage records of each of her children. Remember there's a difference between civil marriage certificates and church marriage records. Each may have different information. (Ditto with births/baptisms.)

Just because you can't find their marriage record doesn't mean they weren't married. What do you know about their religion? Or where they went to church? 

I have an 1867 New Orleans birth record that says my gr-grandmother was the lawful issue of her parents. That means her parents were married, but I can't find their marriage ANYWHERE. (This is the couple who were probably married at a Catholic church, and I can't request their marriage record without knowing their address, and I don't know their address...)

See how I've documented this problem/challenge; maybe you'll get some other ideas:


As a result of my dna testing I found a 3rd cousin who actually endd dup being Joanna Grace Maddux's daughter. Joanna was the daughter of George maddux and cora l. hilliard! She ended up sending me all kinds of stuff! Photos, copies of censuses, copies of family bible etc! Finally! a brick wall scaled due to something as simple as a dna test! YES!!!!
+1 vote

Cora Hilliard in Library of Congress Archival Records

Check this link.

The series shows more than one Cora Hilliard in the time frame.

by M Hilliard G2G6 Mach 1 (12.6k points)
edited by M Hilliard

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