How is it possible to not leave a trace of your existence aside from a few Census records???

+4 votes
My Emily Jane (Griffin) Wooten was one such person. I know census records show her and husband Jesse Wooten 1870 thru 1910 then nothing except names on children's death certificates. I can't even (so far) find anything in old newspapers about them. Any suggestions?
WikiTree profile: Emily Wooten
in Genealogy Help by
I have the same problem with one of my great grandfather’s. He has such a common name. I don’t have a confirmed birth date. I found him when he’s married to my great grandmother. He left a couple years after their last child was born with no word. Don’t have much information of his life before or after he left. He is a big void in my tree.

4 Answers

+4 votes
Best answer

Well, this looks like her son:

Her daughter:

Another son:

Maybe a daughter:

Looks like Emily in the 1850 Census: Maybe her mom married 2nd Moses Watson?

From these, I would guess that you need to concentrate your search in Greenville County, SC. The Civil War took a huge toll in this area, I believe, so records may be hard to locate.  

by Kitty Smith G2G6 Pilot (535k points)
selected by Maggie N.
Kitty. Thank you for going to that extent looking up names. You are very kind to do so. I am aware of these and yes you're accurate that they are children. As a matter of fact Margaret AKA Maggie happens to be my great grandmother. I do have this information. My problem is finding any documentation indicating any parents for Emily. Or a death record or certificate for her. I've even searched old newspapers but don't believe I've exhausted that resource yet.  The last I have found her is in the 1910 census for Anderson County SC.  She was living with one of her daughters and husband Jesse Wooten already passed away as she is listed as widow. She is not found by me in the 1920. Since I cannot find a death certificate for her I believe that she died before 1915. Thanks again. Folks like you are such an asset to this hobby.

frownAlso I forgot to mention that I had found that Greenville Moses Watson census for 1850 and do believe it's her. I have pursued trying to find out more in regards to this but what I've found so far hasn't helped too much yet. 

+2 votes
Hey!  Sounds interesting.  Where do her respective children appear in the 1920 Census?  Also - where are she and Jesse last found in the 1910 Census?
by Ray Jones G2G6 Pilot (153k points)
I used to know a group of people who went " underground" as teenagers in 1968. They didn't pay taxes ,have social security cards and worked at house keeping ,handyman ,yard work stuff and sold art and crafts. They lived in trailers camped in the woods I met them in 1978. Hippies.  In 1998 some of them were still together. Still "underground".  I myself moved around so much I missed 2 census. And one census a housemate gave the worker my info, it was not correct.  I don't think people could " go under " that way these days. A hundred years ago in Arizona prospectors lived as hermits in remote places and some families in such remote areas they didn't see other people for years. Some kept records , some didnt.  Some people moved  out west to get away from law, family and people. I can see it might not be easy but it is possible.
Hi Ray,  you like myself, love a good mystery, but this has been unsolvable for me so far.

I believe most if not all the kids lived in the Anderson and Greenville County SC area, and maybe Pickens in 1920. The last of Jesse Wooten, Emily's husband is Anderson Co. 1900, while Emily is found in the 1910 Anderson Co. SC living as a widow with one of her daughters, Leila Dickson I believe off the top of my head.
+4 votes
Sometimes you have to search for people indirectly in order to find them  In Kitty Smith's example, earlier, she searched for unknown people whose parents happend to have the last name Wooten and Griffin.  Also, If you know any siblings for the Emily Griffin or Jessie Wootten, finding those siblings, may lead you to the people you want.  Of course you should also check potential alternate spellings.  I've seen plenty of gravestons with alternate spelling.  Also, check initials and possible nicknames.
by Michael Palmer G2G6 (9.0k points)
Thank you Michael, you are so correct and while I have done this,I need to continue. I also want to network out and locate other living relatives that may know more.
+2 votes
I have a similar issue with Gregory William Wooten, supposedly born in 1822,  The only records are from census data, death stone, and a deed of purchase in Mississippi.  There is nothing else that shows he even existed.
by Kevin Wooten G2G Rookie (260 points)

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