Thomason Family Mystery

20 Sep

Last night while sending marriage dates to Sara (my future mother-in-law) for family wedding photos we will display at our wedding, I ran across my photo of Nancy Ellen Johnson Thomason. This led me to once again pick up the quest of the Thomason Family History Mystery.

Nancy was born in May of 1865 in Illinois. I’m not sure when or how she wound up in Georgia, but she married into the rather large Thomason Family of Hall County, GA. Her husband, William John Foster Thomason, was the son of Zacharias and Mary Malissa Cavendar Thomason. After the death of Zacharias, Mary wed his brother, Hiram.

Nancy married WJF Thomason in 1885. They had two children: Alice Arizona Elizabeth “Lizzie” and William Zachariah Thomason. WJF died in Georgia in 1899. According to the 1900 census, Nancy and her children, plus her in-laws, are living with Mary Malissa’s parents, John Deadmon Cavendar in Georgia.

Soon after, Hiram & Mary, Nancy, Lizzie & William Z. all headed for Oklahoma. Nancy buys land in Jackson Township, Comanche Co. This is near Walters, Oklahoma, and her 160 acres is now located smack dab in the middle of I-44, which goes to Wichita Falls, Texas.

This fact gives credibility to a later story of LizzieThomason Davis (my grandmother’s grandmother) told to my grandmother about riding in a covered wagon and seeing Geronimo. This makes sense, because the Apaches were all over that area. Lizzie married Robert Wallace Davis in August of 1904.

So here’s the mystery. Written on the back of this photo is “HD and Ellen Thomason. Mama’s mother and second husband.” What?!? I have never seen anything to suggest that Nancy remarried. Ever. She was a widow with two small children in the 1900 Census. In 1910, she was still a widow, living with her son in Comanche Co., Okla. In the 1930 census, she was living in Edmond, Okla. with another widow as a servant/housekeeper. She died around 1940.

I don’t think I could find her in 1920. I’ll look again.

I guess she could have married HD between 1910 & 1930. And he could have also died in this time frame. It just doesn’t make any sense to me. This photo looks older than that era. I would date this photo to be around the late 1880s. Or possibly 1885, the year she married WJFT. She would have been 20 years old.

Nancy is buried ALONE in the Frisco Cemetery, which is south of Piedmont, Oklahoma. This is the same cemetery where her in-laws, Hiram & Mary Thomason are buried. Wouldn’t she be buried with HD if he had died here in Oklahoma?

Who is HD Thomason? Could this photo be of William John Foster & Nancy Ellen Johnson Thomason? Something makes me believe this might be a possibility. Alas, the mystery goes unsolved.

Edit, 04 April 2012: I have since learned that she did in fact marry Henry David Thomason and they were living in Johnson County, Missouri in 1920. He was a first cousin to Nancy’s first husband, William John Foster Thomason. Apparently they divorced as she is later back in Oklahoma and is buried alone.

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Posted by on September 20, 2006 in Genealogy


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