Monday, June 18, 2007

Genealogy Frustration

The genealogy project I've been working on lately is to find as many of the descendants of my 2nd Great Grandfather Andrew Jackson Hatcher as possible. He had 11 kids with two women, so the number of individuals could get fairly high in the end. I've had pretty good luck finding descendants of his younger children, but I've hit complete dead ends so far trying to find anyone descended from Hester or Della Hatcher, who were the oldest children of his second wife, Sarah Ann. Hester married a man named Bayless Joshua Moses, and Della married James Thomas Jones.

My cousin Tommy Hatcher in Tuscaloosa gave me a clue about Della's youngest daughter, Mabel A. Jones. Tommy's father was her 1st cousin and he visited her in Mobile several times, but the last time was back in 1996 and she was in poor health at the time.

I did a search on the Social Security Death Index and found a Mabel Cochran that died in 2002 in Mobile. The birth date was in 1912, which matched up with what her date of birth was thought to approximate based on US Census records. I tried to find her obituary listing online, but apparently the Mobile Register has a gap in their obituary index around 2002.

Finally, I contacted the genealogy department of the Mobile Public Library, and a very kind lady there looked up the obituary and faxed me a copy. It listed all of Mabel Cochran's children, and I found one in the phone records for Florida. Her middle initial was even "A" for Anderson, so I was getting excited thinking I had finally found one of Della Hatcher's children.

I called the number tonight and spoke to a nice gentleman in the Florida panhandle, but it turns out this was not the right Mabel A. who was born in 1912. He had never heard of the Hatcher or Jones surname in his family history, and he had done some research himself recently. Argh!

I'm back to a complete dead end on the children of James Thomas Jones and Della Hatcher at this point, except for the one young son named Toney who is buried next to them in the Friendship Baptist Cemetery in Tuscaloosa County. My only other clue at this point is that Tommy's mother remembers them always pronouncing her name as "May-Bell", so I guess I'll have to search for alternate spellings.

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