Saturday, January 29, 2011

Searching for Grandma Addie's family: Part 1

Addie Mae Deen Sweat is my maternal 2nd great grandmother. From her 1896 marriage to her 1966 death, her life is pretty much an open book. Prior to her marriage is a bit of a blank.

Addie was born in Blackshear, Georgia on either 8 Oct 1873 or 8 Sept 1881. According to her death certificate and headstone, the first date is the correct one. Her son, Clifford Eugene Sweat, was the informant on the death certificate and presumably the headstone as well. The Social Security Death Index gives the second date. Since I have not been able to locate Addie in the 1880 census and her approximate date of birth according to census records is 1879-1882, I'm inclined to believe that the 1881 date is the correct one.

Addie married James Walter (JW) Sweat in Pierce County, Georgia on 1 Nov 1896. They had nine known children. Some researchers would disagree as a tenth child, Ruby Sweat, is listed as their daughter in the 1930 census. However, my research, which includes correspondence with Ruby's daughter, found that while they raised Ruby as their child, she was in fact their grandchild.

JW passed away 18 Feb 1940 in Berrien County, Georgia. At some point after this, Addie moved to Florida. This was most likely in 1950 when her son, Clifford Eugene Sweat, moved his family there. She passed away in St. Cloud, Florida on 13 May 1966 and was buried at Mount Peace Cemetery.

According to Addie's death certificate, her parents were Billie Deen and an unknown Jerdan. There was a William Deen (b May 1847) living the same area as Addie during the 1900 census. He is listed as widowed with seven children living with him-Zilla (b Apr 1884), Alfred (b Jun 1886), John (b Sept 1887), Lonnie (b Apr 1890), Annie (b Sept 1892), Maidie (b Nov 1894) and Georgia (b Apr 1896).

In searching message boards for potential clues about Addie, I found two posts, one on Genforum and the other on Ancestry. Both posts were written by the same individual.

In the Genforum post, written 18 Nov 2003, the writer is asking for information on a Billie Dean who first married an unknown Jordan and second married Mary Ann Wilson. The writer gives the children of this Billie as Addie who married James Walter Sweat, Doley who married William L Sweat, Annie who married Lonnie S Sweat, John Wesley who married Hulda Sweat, Georgia, Eddie, Alfred, Minnie, Emmitt and Maggie (or Marie).

In the Ancestry post, written 12 Jun 2007, the writer again asks for information on a Billie Dean who first married an unknown Jordan and second married Mary Varnadore. The children are listed as Addie, John Wesley, James Smith, Annie, Minnie, Doley and others.

A search reveals that the marriages in the first message board post did occur. William Lawton Sweat married a Zillo Deen in Pierce County, Georgia 6 Mar 1901. Lonnie S Sweat married Mary Ann Deen in Pierce County, Georgia 2 Aug 1905. John Wesley Deen married Hulda Sweat in Appling County, Georgia 1908. All three of the Sweats in these marriages were siblings of Addie's husband.

To me, this indicates a link between this Deen family and the Sweat family. Whether these Deens knew the Sweat siblings because of Addie or because of their proximity remains to be seen. Could there be other links yet to be unearthed?

Sources:

1880 US Census, population schedule, District 584, Pierce County, Georgia, ED 80, Sheet 575B, Household 17, Family 17, John F Sweat household, NARA microfilm publication T9, Roll 161

1900 US Census, population schedule, Blackshear, Pierce County, Georgia, ED 80, Sheet 13A, Household 235, Family 235, John F Sweat household, NARA microfilm publication T623, Roll 216

1900 US Census, population schedule, Militia District 1383, Appling County, Georgia, ED 103, Sheet 22B, Household 386, Family 388, James W Sweat household, NARA microfilm publication T623, Roll 178

1900 US Census, population schedule, Militia District 1563, Appling County, Georgia, ED 103, Sheet 3B, Household 47, Family 48, William Deen household, NARA microfilm publication T623, Roll 178

Marriage license and certificate, Pierce County Marriage Book, 1899-1912, Marriage Records from Microfilm, Georgia's Virtual Vault, Georgia Archives

Social Security Death Index, Addie Sweat, SSN 264-98-0034, Rootsweb [Database online]

Addie Sweat death certificate, Florida Department of Health, Office of Vital Statistics, certificate number 66-026513

Addie Sweat headstone, Mount Peace Cemetery, St Cloud, Osceola County, Florida, Section D

Sweat, Diane (18 Nov 2003), Deans's in So. Ga. Pierce and Ware Counties, Dean Family Genealogy Forum, Message 5885 <http://genforum.genealogy.com/dean/messages/5885.html>

Sweat, Diane (12 Jun 2007), Dean family from Pierce and Ware Co, Ga., Dean Family History and Genealogy Message Board <http://boards.ancestry.com/surnames.dean/4625/mb.ashx>

Sweat, Thomas Walter (deceased). Personal interview. 23 Dec 2009. Interview conducted by and notes in possession of D Radcliff.

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