• Mariann Regan

    This is excellent tracking and so exciting! I’m guessing you broadened your search for them to Texas in general? You are being so thorough even to explore exactly the job your great-grandfather had. That is so intriguing, that she says “widowed” and he says “married.” I suppose a person can say whatever they want to the census taker, in some respects. Maybe this discrepancy means that he, Lewis, holds out hope for getting back together. I hope you find many other Chappels living in Houston that can shed light on this mystery and the whole picture.

    • Thanks @MarrianSRegan. Oh yes, a much broader search of Texas was exactly how I found them. I happened to be at the Clayton Library recently where I decided not to use a computer but blew the dust off an old fashion research method (the soundex code) and it wasn’t long before those sitting no far from me heard me say – “Gotcha!” The ancestor hunt came be quite invigorating for me at times – LOL!

      Yes, what was reported by my great-grandmother in this census reminds me of Robyn’s blog post last year titled, “Lie to Me” where she talks about how records lie . . . and in this cause where ancestors are not forth-coming with the truth sometimes.

      I’m hard at work scouring all of the Houston city directories for more information right now. So stay tuned, because this journey I’m on . . . gets better!

  • minkyadoo

    Our ancestors always leave us clues and it looks like you are putting the pieces together as you gather. You are right about the directories it can be a benefit. Wish you Well.

    • So true, so true @minkyadoo:disqus and thank you too! I’ve learned a lot these past two years that I’ve been using to breakthrough this brick wall I’ve had regarding my great-grandfather.

      Blogging this way is a “first experience” for me (something I promised that I would do more of this year) that has helped keep me focused and organized throughout this process . . . woo-hoo!

      So stay tuned; this journey for Lewis is just getting revved up . . . LOL!

  • Kathleen Brandt, a3Genealogy

    Liv, Very perceptive and most likely conclusion. Until recent history, the word “widow” often indicated “separation.” This term was often used for marriage dissolution for religious reasons, or in lieu of “separated” due to the negative social implication. Both men and women used it in this way, but I’ve noticed a wider use with wives. Often we never find a legal divorce, will, probate or guardian record, etc. to suggest death. Whenever we see the term “widow” we must try to attempt to locate a legal death reference. Glad you took the time to re-explore the census open to a fresh possibility.

    • Kathleen THANK YOU so much for your excellent input and guidance! What you say about the word “widow” is so true. Since posting this information, I still have not been able to locate any type of document that offers any proof that my great-grandfather even died in the state of Texas!

      • Kathleen Brandt

        Yum…I love scandals. In one case I was able to find annulment papers (actually was a divorce with cause). Wife had an ongoing affair. It named “the lover” and where the wife and lover engaged (in the woods, in the house, etc). Descendants were told the the man had abandoned them. Kinda embarrassing, but the details were great. So just like “widow” the meaning of “annulment” has evolved. Love your research!

        • LOL! Yep, scandals are the best and I must say there’s definitely “trouble in paradise” with my maternal great-grands. I’m bound and determined to find out all I can too – LOL!

  • Robyn

    Great detective work! Its amazing how many things we can “see” when we go back and look at records with fresh eyes. This EXACT same thing happened with me, Liv..my gggrandmother Hannah wrote widowed on the 1900 census when her husband was alive and remarried:

    Was the couple back together in 1930, or still apart?

    • Thanks for adding the link to your post “Lie to Me” — that is exactly what these 1920 records regarding my great-grands were doing too . . . with the help of my ancestor of course – LOL!

      No, my great-grands have definitely called it

      I’m almost done tracking them in the city directories and did see some great info in those records that was very helpful too.

      But another conversation with my mother revealed some more new info that required me to modify my search. That modification has prompted some new leads that I’m tracking now. It looks like I’m about to have a breakthrough where great-grandfather Lewis is concerned!

      I’ll be blogging about those findings real soon!!

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