{52 Ancestors #1} Finding Josephine...in Calvert

I love a good challenge! And there's no better way to fuel the blogging juices than a focused task.

Thanks to Amy over at No Story to Small for coming up with the idea:
The challenge: have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor. Not only should this get me blogging more, but also to take a deeper look at some of the people in my family tree.

1: Josephine Anderson Cross 

She was my great-great grandmother, but her name is almost all that I know about her. I have only been able to find her one time in the census (1880). 
1880 Census - Calvert, TX (Robertson County)
According to the census, she was born in Texas (around 1863, at the height of the Civil War), but her father was born in Mississippi and her mother was born in Alabama.

The only other facts I know of her come from the record of her marriage:
via Family Search
That and references to her on my great grandfather's death certificate and social security application (more on that later), are what gave me her maiden name (and provided me with sufficient confirmation that I have the right person).
Note: Josephine's husband's name on the 1880 census is listed as "Gaston."  On the marriage record it's listed as "Garrison." The Garrison-Gaston conundrum will be the subject of a future post, but suffice it to say that I know about the apparent discrepancy and I'm more and more certain they are the same person.
That's the end of the story. I've searched high and low for even an inkling of Josephine. Where did she come from? What happened to her? Josephine and her husband had at least 2 children of which I'm aware -- Garfield and Alberta -- but she never shows up in the census records with either of them. And I can find no record of her death. Maybe someone reading this will have a clue that will help me find great-great grandmother Josephine.


  1. I can understand your frustration. I did find my great grandmother in the 1900 census only after I printed the entire district and searched, not for the last name, but the first. Apparently no one ever mentioned she remarried or divorced within a year so we had no where to look. I hope you find answers too.

    1. That's a great idea! Thanks. I did make a major breakthrough while writing this post. I found, in the same census, and loosely confirmed who I think are her parents and siblings! So that's more than what I had before, and maybe they will lead me to what happened to her!


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