Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Workday Wednesday: IDA MAE ALLEN CRIDER's letter seeking her birth certificate yields family history - 1943

Copyright 2015, The Hopelessly Hooked Genealogist
(B. Harrison)

I have taken a long hiatus from writing in this Blog to enjoy some time doing other things, including travel...and additional research on my ancestral lines.  Now, I'm back to share more info about some of my ancestors.

Looking through daily blogging prompts from for ideas to get myself back into the blogging-writing mode, I came across the prompt for "Workday Wednesday" and decided to share this letter written in 1943 by my maternal grandmother, Ida Mae Allen Crider, addressed to the "Dept of Confederate Pensions" in Frankfort, Kentucky.  She was trying to obtain documentation of her own birth from the Widow's Pension file of her mother (Lucy "Fannie" Clark Allen), in order to obtain a birth certificate or proof of birth from the state of Tennessee, (where she says she was born), which she needed to obtain "some useful employment".  She was age 53 at the time, living in Poplar Bluff, Butler County, Missouri with her husband (my maternal grandfather) Stephen Linn Crider, 17 years her senior at age 70.

The letter is a genealogy goldmine of information.  Along with the details mentioned above, the letter contains her father's full name ("the late Thomas C. Allen") and her mother's name ("Lucy F. Clark Allen"); along with confirmation of her father's service in the Confederate States Army, Company I, Regiment 12, Kentucky Cavalry. (Interesting to note she used the word "calvary instead of "cavalry"; a common mistake). It also confirms the existence of her mother's Confederate Widow's Pension Application filed with the state of Kentucky, where her father had served.  The letter confirms that Ida Mae was born in the state of Tennessee, although her later death certificate information in 1968 as reported by her daughter-in-law says she was born in Fulton, Kentucky in 1890.  This discrepancy, and the fact that Ida herself stated she was born in Tennessee, prompts me to search Tennessee records further for information on her parents' lives circa 1890.

I have had a copy of this letter for quite some time, and had posted it in my trees as a scanned media attachment, but looking at it again to write this Blog post opened my eyes to that new piece of information that I had previously overlooked. I had been looking in Kentucky for information on her parents' lives circa 1890 and coming up empty. So, either they came to Kentucky later than I had thought, or there is a discrepancy in Ida's birth date and location to be further investigated. It is possible Ida was 10 years older than her stated age.

Below is a photo of my maternal grandparents Ida Mae Allen Crider and Stephen Linn Crider taken circa 1935-1940 in Missouri.