Sunday, July 24, 2011

A "Diamond" in the Rough

As mentioned in the previous post, I had the opportunity to travel to Lexington to research my gg-grandmother, Mary Elizabeth Dimond Probert. I'd only known about her for less than a year.  She was the first wife of my gg-grandfather, Thomas H. Probert, and mother of my g-grandmother Lucy.  In a search of the online Lexington Herald newspaper, I had found a marriage announcement for my gg-grandparents.

(Spelling:  Dimond)

A search of the Lexington Cemetery turned up a burial record for Mary and her newborn son, Thomas. Thomas was buried in the same plot a week earlier.

I was able to find a census record for Mary Elizabeth's father, Joseph, in the 1840 Census. (Spelling:  Dimond)

Same for the Marriage Record from the Kentucky Marriage Index. (Spelling:  Diamond)

A trip to the Lexington Cemetery found everyone in the plot using the "Diamond" spelling.  Yet a review of the Lexington City Directories from the early 1800s to 1902 showed members of the same family with the surname spelled both ways.

Thanks to correspondence with a member of the community, I felt like I would be able to identify the branch of the Diamond/Dimond family from which Mary Eliz. descended.  I set up a spreadsheet and logged in every person whose surname was spelled either way. Then I was able to narrow my data base to those "Diamonds" that descended from Joseph and Mary Elizabeth.

I knew who Mary Elizabeth's siblings were.  The list posted above is comprised only of her siblings, their spouses, and in a few cases, their children.  I noted that both A.C. (Augustus Charles) and his brother, Richard, made their living drilling wells. David, a member of the next generation, got into the family business.

With this information in hand, my next job will be to research other family members. The cemetery record listed James L. Diamond as the owner of the plot.  There is evidence that James lived in Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, and then returned to Kentucky.  One census document states that James' father was born in Massachusetts.   I'd say that is quite a lot of clues for one day's work.


  1. Would all our days were that successful! Great work, Kathy.

  2. Wow! A spreadsheet. I know that sounds obvious but I have never taken the data and plugged it in to a spreadsheet. You can bet the next time I am stumped and searching I will remember this post! Thanks!


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