Are there any additional sources I can explore for more information concerning Rainey (Laws) Broyhill?

+5 votes

Hit a dead end searching for her parents. Not sure if there is census info as I'm only using and can't find any additional info whether from typos or not.




All information has been posted to Rainey's profile (Laws-322) and is listed under Speculation.
WikiTree profile: Rainey Broyhill
in Genealogy Help by Stormy Faw G2G5 (5.1k points)
edited by Stormy Faw

2 Answers

+3 votes
Best answer

Hi Stormy Faw,

Have you pulled her death certificate? Obituary? Marriage record? You might also check the cemetery to learn if they have a file about her. has published the indexed to "North Carolina Deaths, 1931-1994"; includes entry for "Raney Laws Broyhill." Index reports birth 17 May 1899; death 19 January 1980. Provides location details for her residence at time of death and cemetery where she is buried. Parents are reported as "Bud Laws" and "Nann Price." The index cites FHL film 1984621, which is otherwise "Death Certificate, 1906-1994 and indexed 1906-1967." This suggests Family History Library has the image of her death certificate, Using the "Reference ID" you may be able to order a copy of the certificate image from the Family History Library.

I see the FindAGrave source comments that her parents were John Laws and unknown mother. That memorial was created in 2012. Perhaps write to the creator and inquire about how those details were learned.

by GeneJ X G2G6 Mach 8 (83.0k points)
edited by GeneJ X
Thanks! I found the census info on FamilySearch and posted those on her profile but missed the death certificate. I've also contacted the find a grave commenter as well.
If you have some time I would like your opinion on something:
I am trying to piece together Rainey (Laws-322) family and using and the info you provided I have come up with the following.
I found several NC Death Index files for various people listing Bud Laws. All listed Bud Laws except one, it listed Marcus James Bud Laws.
I found that there are various names for the mother: Nancy Mealy Watson, Nann Price, Nan, Nan Watson. 
Using the various names for Bud I was able to track census records:
* [ Census 1920 (Rainey is living elsewhere at this time)]
Now to complete the story I need to know where Rainey Laws was in 1900 and 1910. The two census records I have based on the above only list one person that is the correct age. They list a "Geany Laws" and "Gerang Laws" respectively. I know the census records contained names spelled phonetically and they are prone to transcription errors. 
My question to you is what is your opinion and do I have a case?
Hi Stormy Faw,
I hope you are half as impressed as I am by your effort. It is no small feat to trace the records about someone with a common surname, especially when the given name seems to change with each new find. Bravo!
You asked, "do I have a case?"
If you are asking whether or not all the records you have identified seem to be about members of the same family, I'd say yes. On the other hand, you may be asking if these records are sufficient from the standpoint of proving identity and kinship. 
We don't all approach this work in the same way.  I usually do a better job (including that my database doesn't get waaay out ahead of me) if I record indexed information along the way in the resarch notes, but base added links and relationships on information found in the underlying historical records (originals). From an extended group of records like this, the originals are bound to contain more genealogically valuable information, some of which might address the conflicts you've identified among the indexed items. 
I tried to add links to some of the census images in the materials that follow. From the citations about the other indexed items, originals can probably be obtained via FamilySearch's Photoduplication Service.
It can take a little time to gather those originals. I'd use that time to learn about other records that might give the story about this family a little body. For example:
  • Might we find the marriage records about Rainey and her husband? About Rainey's parents? [1] 
  • How can we learn about the Laws interments at cemeteries in Beaver Creek and/or Boomer, including whether or not graves for Rainey's parents can be located? (I'm only guesing that there are not five different given names inscribed on the father's tombstone, but wouldn't it be fun if there were!)
  • Are there archives of the local newspapers published? What years do those cover? Does the local library or historical society have an obituary index or card file? Is it possible to discover obituaries about Rainey and her husband? About Rainey's parents?
  • Are there Laws family records available from one or more of the churches in the area of Beaver Creek and Boomer?
A couple of other notes follow. Again, really impressive work! Hope this helps.--GeneJ 
A. About Rainey.
Great job pulling together the early records on a difficult name. Hoping we might find some first hand information, I tracked down the 1940 U.S. Census about her. This was interesting because the family was enumerated twice. She is marked as informant on one entry (at Moravian Falls, Wilkes); no one is marked as informant on the other (at Boomer, Wilkes--none of the households on that page have an identified informant). Sort of cool to compare data bits in the two records. Given the time period in which she lived, there is probably other first hand information about her. For the census, see
  • "United States Census, 1940," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 2014), Raney Broyhill in household of Cicero Broyhill, Boomer Township, Wilkes, North Carolina, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 97-3, sheet 12A, family 188, NARA digital publication of T627, roll 2988. Informant identified as Rainey Broyhill, wife.
  • "United States Census, 1940," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 2014), Rainey Broyhill in household of Cicero Broyhill, Moravian Falls, Moravian Falls Township, Wilkes, North Carolina, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 97-13, sheet 17B, family 297, NARA digital publication of T627, roll 2988. From the census image, one Millard Laws, age 44 and widowed, resides one door down.

(continued in next comment)

B. About Rainey's parents.
You have records and/or indices about Rainey that provide parents' names, and enough other records seeming about the parents to know that one of their names seem to change at every turn. A list follows (have added links to images for a couple of the census). Those items that have an asterisk call out Rainey and her parents in a family context. 
  1. *1900 U.S. Census (Beaver Creek & Boomer Twps.)--Index and Images. Her name indexed as Geany Laws. Father is James W. Laws; mother is Nancy. Note: Interesting John J. Laws in census a few doors up. 
  2. 1907 - Lina Laws birth record (index). Father is Maurice James Laws; mother is Nancy Watson.
  3. *1910 U.S. Census (Beaver Creek Twp.). Index / Image. Rainey is indexed as "Gerang Laws." Father as James W. Laws; mother is Nancy. 
  4. 1910 - Victoria Rosetta Laws birth record (index). Father is James Wilson Bud; mother is Nan Watson
  5. 1913 - Artie Belle Laws birth record (index). Father is Marcus James Budd Laws; mother is Nancy Mealy Watson.
  6. 1920 U.S. Census (Beaver Creek Twp.) - Index / Image - Marcus J. Laws (head), Nancy (wife). Note: The two parents' names are hard to read, but I can reason Marcus J. and Nancy.  
  7. 1967 - John Thomas Laws death record (index). Father is Bud Laws; mother is Nan Watson.
  8. 1977 - Mandy Lou Cain death record (index). Father is Bud Laws; mother is Nan Watson.
  9. *1980 - Rainey's death record (index). Father is Bud Laws; mother, Nan Price.
  10. 1981 - Cora Laws Smith death record (index). Father is Marcus Laws; mother is Nancy Watson.
  11. 1993 - Lina Laws Childers death record (index). Father is Bud Laws; mother is Nan.
Hoping only to be helpful, based on the identified 1900 census (includes Rainey), I queried FamilySearch for North Carolina men in the World War I Draft Registration to find a possible father's record. These registrations were a little more formal than the census and are more likely to contain first hand information. 
Several men named James Laws registered for the draft from Wilkes County, North Carolina. Two of them were reported born just a few years apart. One of those lived at Bucks, was born 6 March 1877 and had nearest relative, Maddie Laws; he was missing one eye. The other man was James Wilson Laws. He was residing Boomer, born 18 Aug 1875; had apparent wife "Mrs. J. W. Laws." The 1900 census reported Rainey's father born August 1874; he lived then at "Beaver Creek & Boomer townships," so this seems possibly a further record about him. 

"United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 2014), James Wilson Laws, 1917-1918; citing Wilkes County, North Carolina, United States, NARA microfilm publication M1509, (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d); FHL microfilm 1766153. Third registration. His nearest relative as "Mrs. J. W. Laws" [of] Boomer, Wilkes, N.C." Among other details, reports he resides at Boomer; birth as Aug. 18, 1875; he is engaged in farming. (Note: (a) Found no Marcus Law at North Carolina in WWI draft registrations; (b) in a page by page review, found no James Laws at Boomer in 1920 census.)

I was not able to confirm an 1880 census record about Rainey's father, nor did I locate a historical record of his marriage. I did not have success tracing the parents further forward in the U.S. Census or discover records of their deaths. 
[1] I haven't had much experience pulling North Carolina marriage records in this period, and would probably seek guidance from a library in the area or county clerk. FamilySearch has a historical collection called "North Carolina County Marriages, 1762-1969," reported 46% complete. According to the collection description, only a portion of the Wilkes County records have been digitized. The Family History Library Catalog has entry "Marriage Registers [Wilkes County], 1870-1956"; these records are said to have been filmed at Raleigh. 
0 votes
Unfortunately to be successfull at research you need many sites to work with.

Here are some you need to be on,,My Heritage.Family

If you cannot afford to join these i will help you.There are several Rainey some

Male,some female,also there is a  Rainey Laws Broyhill born 17 May 1899 Dies

Jan 18 1980 ,Wilkes North Carolina.There is a Ranie that is a male.
by Wayne Morgan G2G6 Pilot (919k points)
Thanks for the resources. I'm not quite ready to pay to join sites but I'll keep it in mind. The Rainey Laws I am investigating is female and married a Cicero Broyhill. Another researcher posted on Find A Grave that her father is John Laws but I can't find any records to verify. Any help is appreciated.

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