Wow!!! Great Grand Father not who he said he was.

+6 votes
205 views
Jefferson Davis Walker not real name. Born (if this is even true) 18Oct1863 Came from Mississippi at age 12 to Navarro, TX but his name was not as he claimed. How can I find out or go about trying to find out who he really is/
WikiTree profile: Jeff Walker
in Genealogy Help by Johann Benkendorfer G2G Crew (610 points)

2 Answers

+5 votes
 
Best answer

These are the fun problems. Were their siblings? Sometimes they have better or at least different information. This is a lot like one of my great grandfathers. Every piece of official documentation generated from the time he left home is wrong. His first two marriages listed the same parents but his third marriage listed a different set of parents. His death certificate lists a third set of parents and a wrong age. His brother listed the same set of parents my ggf listed in his first marriages but his death certificate listed a fourth set of parents. It was wrong but contained the hint that ultimately solved the problem. Turns out he was using his mother's maiden name for his surname and had been using his uncle's (mother's brother) as his father's name. 

Anyway, if you can find any siblings to research, that can help. Who was he living with in Texas? Did any neighbors come from Mississippi? Elizabeth Shown Mills  talks about the FAN club (Friends, Associates, Neighbors) that can give clues to someone's real identity.  So, what do you actually know about him?

by Doug McCallum G2G6 Pilot (424k points)
selected by Shaun Doust
Agree with all of this, Doug. Also, Johann,  you should write down all that you know and put it in his bio. You never know who might read it and if you share what  you know, someone might have another part of the story.
1930s census on his profile shows his parents & his father-in-law born Alabama (and him born Texas).

Johann - I had originally put the bio info I'd added for his parents' profiles under "Research Notes" but then didn't. Perhaps you should add

== Research Notes ==

above the text I added from his death certificate (and for Sarah, the 1930s census). When I was thinking of putting the info under Research Notes, I also included the line: "See [[Walker-23439|his profile]] (and [https://www.wikitree.com/g2g/619752/ related G2G discussion]) for why this information is under Research Notes."
+2 votes
Looks like his mother would have been 63 when he was born. Unlikely. Perhaps his parents birth dates are incorrect?
by Natalie Trott G2G6 Pilot (828k points)
Well that's the problem story from his wife Elita Esther Dearman he was 12 years old when he arrived at her families farm & told them that his name was Jefferson Davis Walker but she later found out that this was not his true name but only other info she got was that he came from Mississippi. Why did he leave home? Why did he not talk about his real family in Mississippi? Why did he change his full name?.
Interesting. Many theories could be formed! Here's a scenario...his bio father died and his mother remarried a man that was abusive. "Jefferson" ran away.

His death cert. isn't reliable for information, then, as it is simply information he repeated to his wife/family all along. This is one of those things that DNA would be helpful with!  Did he simply make up the name "Sarah Salman" and "Charlie Walker" or was one or the other name actually his real parent?

I wish you lots of luck figuring this out. My advice is keep an open mind.

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