Tuesday, April 19, 2016

P is for Martha Jane “Mattie” Polly

I am participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge (April 2016), where we write 26 blog posts featuring each letter of the alphabet.

P is for Martha Jane “Mattie” Polly

Martha Jane Polly, called “Mattie,” was born to Nathan H.O. Polly and Lydia Margaret [--?--]  in Texas. She was my third great grandmother. She was born in August, though the year is not certain. Early census records give ages that make 1854/55 being likely,[1] but her later census records indicate a later date around 1856/57.[2] Her death certificate gave her birth as 26 August 1856. Her family was living in Montague County in Texas in 1860, but since her father was a minister, they might have been living elsewhere.  She was the third daughter of seven children, with only one boy.

At the age around sixteen or seventeen, Martha married George W. Lancaster in Kaufman County, Texas on 25 October 1871.[3] 
1871 Marriage between George W Lancaster & Martha J Polly
They would have six children together:
  • William Carl Lancaster
  • Lonnie Osborn Lancaster
  • Margaret Rose Lancaster
  • George Eldon Lancaster
  • Reginald F Lancaster
  • Jesse Polly Lancaster

I could only find George W. Lancaster in later census records and no Martha Jane. What had happened to her? Had she died? I couldn’t find any record for a death nor a cemetery record. It was such a mystery for many years. I couldn’t find the younger children either, only William Carl, who was my second great grandfather.

Then one day I got a message explaining that Martha Jane married Noah F. Parks in Arizona and later moved to California. This opened up a whole new avenue to research. I have since learned:
    Land George W. Lancaster obtained. If he'd kept it, he'd be rich today.
  • George W. Lancaster bought land in Maricopa County, Arizona in 1886 & 1887.[4]
  • He registered to vote in Maricopa County in 1888[5]
  • In 1889, he sold some land in Maricopa County[6]
  • On 27 Dec 1892, Martha J. Lancaster filed for divorce in Maricopa County.[7]
  • The divorce decree was issued on 23 December 1893. She would have sole custody and control over children: Lonnie, Maggie, Eldon, Reginald, and Jesse.  George W. never answered his summons. He had returned to Texas.[8]
  • On 28 Dec 1893, Martha J. Lancaster married Noah Flood Parks in Phoenix, Maricopa Co, Arizona.[9]
  • She and Noah sold land in July 1896.
  • Mattie and Noah have two children of their own: Daisy Omelia Parks and Rosy A. Parks.[10]
  • Sometime after 1900, they have moved to Tulare County, California, where Noah was a farmer[11]
  • Martha died 7 Apr 1932 and was buried in Tulare Cemetery[12]

It was wonderful to find Martha and her children throughout California. A photo of Martha can be found at the Find-a-grave memorial for her here.


[1] 1860 U.S. census, Montague Co, Texas, p. 76b (stamped), dwelling 721, family 743, H. O. Polley, digital image, Ancestry.com  (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 21 Dec 2010), citing NARA M653, roll 1301. 1870 U.S. census, Kaufman Co, Texas, p. 31, dwelling 372, family 386, N.H.O. Polly, digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 21 Dec 2010), citing NARA M593, roll 1594.
[2] 1900 U.S. census, Maricopa, Arizona, enumeration district (ED) 36, sheet 9a, dwelling 182, family 182, Noah F. Parks, Digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 8 May 2005), citing NARA T623, roll 46.
[3] Kaufman Co, Texas, Marriages, 2: 51, Geo W. Lancaster-Martha J. Polly, 1871; FHL microfilm 1302500.
[4] Bureau of Land Management, General Land Office, database & digital images, http://www.glorecords.blm.gov, AZAZAA 014321, Serial Patent, Cash Sale, George W. Lancaster, 1890.
[5] Arizona, Maricopa County Voter Registers 1876-1932, FHL film 1405007, 1888, #2510, George Wilson Lancaster.
[6] Territory of Arizona, Maricopa County, Land Deeds, Bk 21, p 32, 1889, Lancaster-Coulson; FHL film 2196859.
[7] Arizona, Phoenix, Arizona Republican, 1892-12-28, p1, “Local Briefs,” Mattie vs Geo Lancaster, digital images, Chronicling America,  http://www.loc.gov.
[8] Pima County, Arizona, RG 110, Superior Court Records, SG 8 case 2250, Lancaster v. Lancaster, decree, 23 December 1893; Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records, Phoenix.
[9] Maricopa County, Arizona, Marriage Licenses & Certificates, RG 107, SG 8 Superior Court Records, Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records, Phoenix, 1893, Noah F Parks & Mattie J Lancaster, p 405.
[10] 1910 U.S. census, Imperial, California, Imperial Twp, enumeration district (ED) 13, sheet 7b, Noah F. Park, Digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com), NARA T624.
[11] Dana Burks, San Diego City Directory, 1905, p 642, Noah F Parks; 1906, p 738, Noah F Parks; digital image, Ancestry.com.
[12] California Department of Health Services, Death Certificates, death certificate,32-024489,1932,Mattie Jane Parks. For burial: Find A Grave, database with images (http://www.findagrave.com : ), 9 Sep 2011, Martha Jane "Mattie" Polly Parks.

Copyright © 2016 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

1 comment:

  1. There's such a sense of satisfaction when one finds a missing ancestor. Well done.

    ReplyDelete

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