Thursday, March 1, 2012

Not so Treasure Chest Thursday - Another PETERS death certificate from Missouri

Since working on my brick wall ancestors has been one of my goals for 2012, I thought I would highlight another death certificate from one of my brick wall ancestors in my Peters line. Last month I posted the death certificate of my grandfather’s half-uncle, William Herbert PETERS. It was a true treasure trove because it told me that Herbert’s parents were my 2nd great-grandmother Dora KING and a man she was not married to, Posey WILLARD. Since Herbert’s last name was PETERS and not WILLARD, I can infer that my 2nd great-grandfather, William Edward PETERS adopted Herbert as a baby and raised him as his own. William and Dora did marry, after all, only 8 months after Herbert’s birth.

Unfortunately I was not as lucky with William Edward PETERS’ death certificate. I learned from his death certificate and obituary that he was born March 10, 1874 in Thomasville, [Oregon County] Missouri and that his last wife’s name was Caroline PETERS, but none of this was a surprise to me.  His daughter Danie PENDERGRASS filled out his death certificate and next to his parents’ names she informed that she “didn’t know.” She didn’t know where his parents were born either.

Death Certificate of William Edward Peters, 3 Feb 1948, in the possession of the author. 

So my 2nd great-grandfather, William Edward PETERS continues to be my brick wall in that I still do not know who his parents were or where they were born.

The census reports were not much help either. I entered information from the 1900-1930 census reports into a matrix so that I can compare data quickly and easily. From the matrix I can see that William was born in either Missouri or Illinois. His father was likewise born in either Missouri or Illinois and his mother was born in Missouri, Illinois, or Tennessee. Unfortunately, William was a boarder in the 1900 census, and lived with a different wife on each consecutive census reports. We do not know who informed the census taker about the people living in the house. It could have been the husband or the wife or whoever was home at the time the enumerator stopped by.


Specific Information
Sources
Name
William Peters
1900 Census, Highland Twp., Oregon Co., MO
William Peters
1910 Census, Big Apple Twp., Oregon Co., MO
William Peters
1920 Census, Thayer Twp., Oregon Co., MO
Will Peters
1930 Census, Bristow, Randolph Co., AR
W. E. Peters
Obituary Pocahontas Star, Feb 3, 1948
William Edward Peters
Death Certificate, William E Peters, Feb 3, 1948




Birth Date
Mar 1877
1900 Census, Highland Twp., Oregon Co., MO
Abt 1875
1910 Census, Big Apple Twp., Oregon Co., MO, taken April 28, 1910: lists his age as 35; 1910-35=b. 1875
Abt 1872
1920 Census, Thayer Twp., Oregon Co., MO, taken Jan 6, 1920, lists his age as 48; 1920-48 = 1872
Abt 1873
1930 Census, Bristow, Randolph Co., AR, taken Apr 15, 1930, lists his age as 57; 1930-57=1873
Mar 10, 1874
Obituary Pocahontas Star, Feb 3, 1948
Mar 10, 1874
Death Certificate, William E Peters, Feb 3, 1948




Birth Place
IL
1900 Census, Highland Twp., Oregon Co., MO
IL
1910 Census, Big Apple Twp., Oregon Co., MO
IL
1920 Census, Thayer Twp., Oregon Co., MO
MO
1930 Census, Bristow, Randolph Co., AR
Thomasville, MO
Obituary Pocahontas Star, Feb 3, 1948
Thomasville, MO
Death Certificate, William E Peters, Feb 3, 1948
Father’s Birth Place
IL
1900 Census, Highland Twp., Oregon Co., MO
Unk
1910 Census, Big Apple Twp., Oregon Co., MO
IL
1920 Census, Thayer Twp., Oregon Co., MO
MO
1930 Census, Bristow, Randolph Co., AR
Unknown
Death Certificate, William E Peters, Feb 3, 1948
Mother’s Birth Place
MO
1900 Census, Highland Twp., Oregon Co., MO
IL
1910 Census, Big Apple Twp., Oregon Co., MO
TN
1920 Census, Thayer Twp., Oregon Co., MO
MO
1930 Census, Bristow, Randolph Co., AR
Unknown
Death Certificate, William E Peters, Feb 3, 1948




One last thing of note is that I was told by the daughter of the woman who informed on William’s death that William was killed by three men who though he had sold the farm where he was a caretaker. They were trying to find where he had hid the money. Unfortunately, this story was not reflected on the death certificate which said that William died of a heart attack due to high blood pressure.

However I did write previously of a story I found in an Iowa paper about a man named John PETERS who was shot and beaten to death on his employer’s farm by a gang of brothers in Council Bluffs, Iowa in 1891. I wondered if maybe this was my William’s father or close relative. The only problem is that the 1880 census report listed John PETERS as single (William was born in 1874) and living in Iowa, not Illinois or Missouri like the census reports indicated. It also said John PETERS was from Denmark and I think I would have heard about it if our family was from Denmark!


** This "matrix" was adapted from something I learned from Dr. Thomas Jones in one of his lectures at a National Conference. 

5 comments:

  1. Wow ! You really did a lot of research to figure this mystery out . Keep going...........very interesting case story.

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    1. Thanks HFR for reading! I love the hunt!

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  2. Lots of great details here Ginger. With all your careful analysis and digging, eventually something will pop up to help fill in what you're looking for - sooner or later! Thanks for posting your work so thoroughly.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Celia, I sure do hope something pops up eventually! And thanks so much for reading!

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  3. I'm not a big help with the brick wall, Ginger, but the news article was very interesting and the phraseology was great!

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