Saturday, September 5, 2009

Sometimes there are surprises . . .

On August 31st I blogged about my trip to the Kentucky Archives in Frankfort and my trip to Mt. Sterling. I really felt like my trip to the archives gave me very little new information. As so often happens with genealogy, I was looking through my notes trying to make sense of the Mt. Sterling Proberts, Cronins and Daileys. I have a lot of information on the Proberts. Before Thomas was the town jailor, he had been a "confectioner". At that time, confectioners ran shops that sold sweets of all kinds including bake goods. In the History of Mt. Sterling, Kentucky, 1792-1918 by Carl B. Boyd, Jr. and Hazel Mason Boyd, it states:
". . . the earliest baker to build a significant reputation in the community was Thomas Probert, who was in Mt. Sterling by 1859. By 1871 he was listed as a confection and liquor dealer, and apparently went completely in the liquor business after that." p. 184 According to the 1870 Census, Thomas had transitioned to his job as jailer. In fact, the same book says on p. 107 that:
The jailor at this time was T.H. Probert, who was paid 75 cents a day for "dieting" prisoners. The county also assumed the costs of fuel, medicine and doctor's visits for inmates. City prisoners in this period were used as labor at a rock quarry on Queen St., working out their fines at $1.50 a day, or were used by the jailor in cleaning streets."

The 1870 Census lists Albert Storey and his wife, living at the jail in the same household as the rest of the Probert clan. Albert has transitioned to taking over the bakery business as evidenced by property deeds that I possess. Although the Census lists the name of Albert's wife as "Atlanta", I have other documents that list his wife as Addie, the oldest daughter of Thomas Probert.

Near the end of Thomas' life, things must have become extremely difficult financially. In December of 1875 a lien was placed on a billiard table and fixtures owned by Catherine. Thomas died in 1876 of cirrhosis.

But I just got off track -- here was the major finding. When I was at the archives, I noted (and unfortunately did not copy) that Thomas Probert of Lexington married Mary E. Dimond on either December 23rd, or December 30th 1846. Upon searching records once back home, I discovered that the Kentucky Death Records noted that Mary Probert died at the age of 29 of consumption.

That solves several problems for me. I now believe that Addie and Lucy were daughters of Mary E. Dimond Probert and not daughters of Kate. I think Kate was his second wife. I had never understood how Kate could have given birth to Addie at age 11 and Lucy at age 15. Kate is 13 years younger than Thomas.

In addition, the 1880 Census lists Mary Lou and Maude, two of her daughters as living with her. She states that she had six children and that only two are now alive. I always thought that was strange because I knew Lucy was still alive. Now I know that she did, in fact, have six biological children. Three died at the age of three and under as evidenced by the August 31st posting of their graves. Lizzie, who was one year old and living at the jail in 1870 apparently also died by the time of the 1880 Census but is not buried with the rest of the children. Catherine was stepmother to both Addie and Lucy.

I can't imagine losing four children before they reached adulthood. One other piece of evidence for Addie being the wife of Albert Storey is that their daughter, Maggie, is living with her grandmother (Kate)and listed as a granddaughter in the Census. I've spent the morning updating all of my records. Another problem solved.


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