06 June 2009

The Tale of Two Betsy's

[Image is our friend and possible cousin, Michael Reck who is pondering whether or not he is related to studmuffin. Until we resolve the issue of the two Betsy's, Michael is left in a state of uncertainity.]

There's something to be said for having a name that the rest of the world doesn't share. I mean, think about it, if your name happens to be Betsy or Elizabeth, and your surname happens to be HURST, you might be surprised to know that there are so many of those that its almost impossible to differentiate between them. And no, age is not even a good stat to use. We all know that no woman EVER lies about her age right?

And so it is with the tale of the two Betsy's.

One the one hand we have John & his wife, Mary Hurst. Parents of at least 14 children, the eldest being Eliza Ann aka Betsy, born ca 1824 in Claiborne County, Tennessee.

Enter stage - George R. Fletcher, born ca 1819 in Lee County, Virginia. And he's married to... (insert drum roll here) Yep, you got it! He's married to one Betsy Hurst. Okay as if the name isn't enough to make things confusing, lets toss in she was born Apr 8, 1824, yep, right again, Claiborne County, Tennessee. Or so her census shows. George & Betsy were married 19 NOV 1840 in Claiborne County, Tennessee.

To some people that would be enough. But not yet. I recently spent some time at the Tennessee State Library & Archives, searching for ANYTHING that might say, these two women are one in the same. But it was not meant to be. Her marriage record did not name parents names. I searched for but did not find a will for either of her parents. I have her on every census that is available for her and no parents ever show up in the Fletcher household.

I wrote to the library in Wise County, Texas, where Betsy Hurst Fletcher dies, 24 AUG 1899, thinking maybe an obituary would resolve the issue. Nope, no obituary found. Get a death certificate you say... nope, Texas did not begin keeping "official" records until 1903.

So for now the tale of two Betsy's remains unresolved. For my friend Michael - this keeps him from answering one of his most pondered questions, "Am I related to Studmuffin or not?"....

So for now.. the tale of two Betsy's goes on, no answers, only questions. One of hundreds hanging around in my files ... just waiting for someone to come along with the proof that we've been waiting for.....


Dawn said...

Have you looked in land and probate records?

Karen said...

Hi Dawn,
Thanks for your comment. Yep, looked at land & probate and found zippo! Nothing. Hard to believe. Next step will be rather than proving it is her, I am going to look at it from the point of proving its NOT her.
Thanks again for reading the blog.