Thursday, June 02, 2011
Who was Lewis Taylor Guffey?
Remembering my mother's wish for me to find out about my family, my very first research subject was her elusive grandfather and my great-grandfather, Lewis Taylor Guffey of Kentucky. Of course, I had to start with a brickwall at least it seemed to me, a beginner! Where do I start? I know we had drove all around Clinton County, Kentucky looking for his burial place when I was younger to no avail. All I had was a name, his wife's name - Ottie, and 3 of the children's names that I had grown up with - my grandmother Millie, her sister Louetta, and a brother, Lewis Jr. I had heard of census records as being one of the most important genealogical tools in finding a family so I decided to look for the family. I picked the year that I knew grandma Millie was born - 1890 - and looked at the census year following her birth. The Federal census was taken in 10 year increments so I first picked the 1900 census to look at. I also looked at the 1910, 1920, and 1930. On each of these I was able to find names of other children as well as where they were living at each census year. From that I could possibly find where they were buried. In the 1900 and 1910 census Lewis and Ottie Guffey were living in Clinton County with 7 children, 4 more than I had known about. In the 1920 census Ottie Guffey was found living alone and Lewis was nowhere to be found. I surmised he had died in the years between. By the 1930 census Ottie had disappeared. From this information I found that I could possibly find a death record as this part of Kentucky had started recording Death Records in 1911. I had found Lewis Taylor Guffey's death record! But none for Ottie? Lewis' death record was a little mysterious. It read a place of burial - river grave. What did that mean? Did he drown and his body lost? Was he buried near a river? That mystery will remain a mystery I guess for now, but at least I knew why we could never find a grave for him. But from this search I learned a lot about the whole family. Unfortunately Ottie's burial is a mystery also, could they both have been buried at a small family plot near a river that has been lost to time? That's what I choose to believe. After all your genealogy quest is a personal one.