Friday, July 9, 2010

Martha Formby

Martha Formby (Anders line) was born on 09 Jul 1802 in South Carolina [1, 2]. Her parentage and ancestry are completely unknown. Because of a first-cousin-once-removed marriage among her descendants, Martha is both my 4th and 5th great-grandmother. She was married to James Anders (Andrews), Sr. I have seen no direct biography or information about Martha, but the events of her life paint a picture of a woman who was, or was forced to be, strong. In terms of time and presence, she appears to be the matriarch of the Anders family in southeast Texas.

The first time we see Martha is at her marriage. In truth, her maiden name and marriage are not known for certain. The best evidence suggests her maiden name was Formby and she was married to James in Wilkes County, Georgia on 05 Feb 1822 [3]. In the years to come, James and Martha would settle in Alabama. Martha's presence is implied in the 1830 United States census in Greene County, Alabama [4]. She is the 20-30 year old female in the household of James Andrews with 5 children.

In 1839 life changed. We suddenly see Martha's husband James appear in the Republic of Texas on 29 Dec 1839 [5, 6]. James is granted land at the rate of a unmarried man, so it appears that his family initially stayed behind in Alabama. In a supplemental land grant, James appears to prove he has a family and his land grant is upgraded to that of a married man. In this supplemental grant, he indicates his family did not arrive until Nov 1841 [7]. The result of all of this: Martha was a citizen of the Republic of Texas.

At this point, we have an odd data point that may be very telling of the lives of James and Martha. On 03 May 1847 in Montgomery County Martha Anders purchased 200 acres from John P. Hall (out of Benjamin Rigby's headright) for $160 [8]. Martha? A married woman? In 1847? Puchasing land? This seems quite odd. Where is James? Why is he not purchasing the land, or at least why are they both not present?

Any answer will be speculative. But, an event almost 8 years later may explain this land purchase by Martha alone. On 09 Mar 1855, James committed suicide [9]. The newspaper article on the suicide implies he had been on a drinking spree. So, James may very well have been an alcoholic. Whether James was travelling legitimately, had disappeared for a time, or was just unable to purchase the land, we will never know. But, in the end, it appears Martha may well have been running the household. A strong woman she was, or must have become, in dealing with all of these events.

In subsequent years we see Martha on tax rolls [10, 11], taking out a loan [12], and executing various land surveys, purchases, and sales [13, 14, 15, 16]. Aside from the 1850 United States census [2], we only see her in one other census - the 1880 United States census - living with her daughter Mary Ann Anders Weatherford [17].

Martha and James had 8 children. One of the children, Martha, was not known to some descendants in the Anders family. A letter [18] from Ruth Rabun Gardner, a descendant of the daughter Martha, to a relative named Mrs. Schoverling indicates Martha was a sister of Mary Ann Anders Weatherford who is firmly known to be a daughter of James and Martha. This revealed Martha to be an unknown 8th child of James and Martha.

The children of James Anders, Sr. and Martha Formby:
1) Martha Anders [18] was born about 1822 in Alabama [19]. She married Robert F. Oliver. She presumably died before 1870 in Montgomery County, Texas as she does not appear in the 1870 United States census with her husband and there is a 9 month old child in the house [20]. It is possible she died during or shortly after child birth.
2) John Demostinie Anders was born about 1823 in Greene County, Alabama [21]. He married Nancy Gilleland on 21 Jan 1845 in Montgomery County, Texas [22]. He died about 1889 in Texas [21].
3) Elizabeth Anders was born on 05 Jun 1826 in Greene, Alabama [1]. She married 1st Moses G. McGuffin on 18 Jun 1843 in Montgomery County, Texas [23] and 2nd William M. Carvell on 22 Nov 1854. She died on 20 Feb 1891 in Montgomery County, Texas and is buried in Mt. Pleasant Cemetery [1].
4) Jacob Anders [2] was born on 14 Feb 1827 in Greene, Alabama [26]. He married Cyrintha E. Rankin on 02 Dec 1851 in Montgomery County, Texas [24]. He died on 11 Jun 1909 in Montgomery County, Texas and is buried in Mt. Pleasant Cemetery [26]. Interestingly, Jacob and Cyrintha had no children. It should be noted that one edition of the Montgomery County, Texas Cemeteries book lists Jacob in the wrong cemetery (Scott's Ridge) [25].
5) Burril Anders [2] was born on 14 Apr 1829 in Greene County, Alabama [27]. He married Elizabeth Martin on 27 Oct 1853 in Montgomery County, Texas [28]. They were later divorced on 21 Apr 1866 [29]. Burril later married another woman with a first initial of E. as seen in the 1880 United States census [30]. He died on 30 Jul 1896 in Freestone County, Texas and was buried at St. Elmo Baptist Cemetery [27].
6) Stacy Anders [2] was born about 1832 in Greene County, Alabama [2]. She married Andrew J. White on 18 Dec 1856 in Montgomery County, Texas.
7) James A. Anders, Jr. [2] was born on 29 Apr 1833 in Greene County, Alabama [26]. He married Sarah A. Rankin about 1858 probably in Montgomery County, Texas. He died on 03 Jan 1900 in Walker County, Texas and was buried in Mt. Pleasant Cemetery [26]. It should be noted that one edition of the Montgomery County, Texas Cemeteries book lists James and Sarah in the wrong cemetery (Scott's Ridge) [25].
8) Mary Ann Anders [2] was born on 17 May 1835 in Greene County, Alabama [32]. She married Jones Weatherford on 02 Jan 1851 [31]. She died on 25 Jun 1921 in Huntsville, Walker, Texas and was buried in Mt. Pleasant Cemetery [32].

Martha Formby died on 16 Nov 1883 at Mt. Pleasant, Montgomery, Texas and was buried at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery [1]. With her birth date of 1802, Martha's grave is the oldest of our Anders ancestors in Texas. The inscription on her grave marker reads: "She was a kind and affectionate wife. A fond mother and friend to all. She hath done what she could. Mark." She hath done what she could. From what little we know of Martha, I believe this statement to be quite true. May she rest in peace.

References
[2] 1850 United States Census. Montgomery County, Texas, Page 45 A.
[3] Marriage Records of Wilkes County, Georgia. Book 1, Page 255.
[4] 1830 United States Census. Greene County, Alabama, Page 379 B.
[5] Texas State Archives: Records of the Texas General Land Office. File 262, Bowie, 3rd Class, James Anders. Sabine County clerk return, Page 5.
[6] Texas State Archives: Records of the Texas General Land Office. File 262, Bowie, 3rd Class, James Anders. Conditional Certificate (#292).
[7] Texas State Archives: Records of the Texas General Land Office. File 3815, Montgomery, 3rd Class, James Anders. Unconditional Certificate (#294).
[8] Montgomery County, Texas Deed Records. Volume M, Page 143.
[9] The Texas State Times, Austin, Texas. 24 Mar 1855, Page 2.
[10] Tax Records of Montgomery County, Texas. Tax roll for 1855, Page 423 A.
[11] Tax Records of Montgomery County, Texas. Tax roll for 1856, Page 444.
[12] Montgomery County, Texas Deed Records. Volume S, Pages 4041, and 42.
[13] Texas State Archives: Records of the Texas General Land Office. File 262, Bowie, 3rd Class, James Anders. Land Survey. Page 1 Page 2.
[14] Texas State Archives: Records of the Texas General Land Office. Land patent records. Volume 19, Number 32.
[15] Montgomery County, Texas Deed Records. Volume T, Pages 163 and 164.
[16] Montgomery County, Texas Deed Records. Volume T, Page 177.
[17] 1880 United States Census. Montgomery County, Texas, Page 90 B.
[18] Personal correspondence. Letter from Ruth Rabun Gardner to Mrs. Schoverling, undated.
[19] 1850 United States Census. Montgomery County, Texas, Page 33 A.
[20] 1870 United States Census. Montgomery County, Texas, Page 412 A.
[21] Young, Patricia Gilleland and L. Richard Scroggins, The Tree and the Vine, Gilleland Branches from Texas RootsPage 122.
[23] Marriage Records of Montgomery County, Texas. Volume 1, Pages 197 and 198.
[24] Marriage Records of Montgomery County, Texas. Volume 1, Page 166.
[25] Montgomery County, Texas Cemeteries, Volume 1. Page 58, Scott's Ridge Cemetery.
[26] Mt. Pleasant Community Scrapbook, Cemetery and Church, Montgomery County, Texas, 1870-1979. Page 66.
[28] Marriage Records of Montgomery County, Texas. Volume 1, Page 210.
[29] Montgomery County, Texas Various Court Records 1840-1896, Montgomery County Genealogical and Historical Society, Conroe, Texas, 1987. Page 23.
[30] 1880 United States Census. Navarro County, Texas, Page 430 B.

[31] Mt. Pleasant Community Scrapbook, Cemetery and Church, Montgomery County, Texas, 1870-1979. Page 65.

[32] Ibid. Page 69.

2 comments:

  1. So, is your Landrum family the ones that are settled here in Montgomery?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes, Zachariah Landrum is my 4th great-grandfather (twice even). I plan to do a post on him in the next week or so, probably on the anniversary of his death (19 Jul).

    ReplyDelete