Here is everything I know about John Marion Marshall that I hope will eventually help us find his grave site. It is quite a story.
First, John Marion Marshall is my great grandfather. He married Christina Sparger and fathered 12 children by her in White Plains, NC, just outside Mt. Airy. Until late in the year 2001 I had no solid documentation about where he might be buried. I was pretty sure that he was buried in or around San Antonio, Texas, but had no official documentation. Now I have some census information that firmly places him in San Antonio in 1880. Here is what I know.
I have two letters that Robert K. Marshall and Gurney Robertson exchanged in 1925.
Robert K. Marshall is the one who tried to connect us to Chief Justice John Marshall, which Gil Robertson was able to disprove. Gil is Gurney's nephew. Anyway, Robert K. was collecting letters about the Marshall family to store at Guilford College in Greensboro.
Here is what Robert K. had to say about John Marion Marshall:
"To this I hope to add a letter written by John Marion Marshall to uncle Sam."
(Uncle Sam would be John Marion Marshall's son, Samuel Edward Marshall, my grandfather - DWM) "There was also a letter written to Eleanor Martha (Saunders) by John Marion asking if it would be possible for him to return (with his second wife). This should also be located."
Gurney's letter to Robert K. Marshall says the following about John Marion Marshall:
"John Marion Marshall became attached to a woman in Yadkin County and about 1872 left the county with her going west. Her name was Frankie Pate. They lived together and two children are know to be born unto them. Elizabeth and Bill. They were living in Indianapolis, Indiana. In 1876 they left there to go west of San Antonio, Texas. He was going there to look after a ranch for a man near Indianapolis. Before he arrived there the man that owned the ranch died and left him without a job. The last he was heard from his wife had died and he was living somewhere in Texas."
To the information in those two letters, add the information below from the census records:
1880 United States Census
Census Place: San Antonio, Bexar, Texas
Source: FHL Film 1255291 National Archives Film T9-1291, Page 79B
|John M. Marshall
|Minnie D. Marshall
You can see that the census record agrees with Gurney's letter in great detail. Frankie was dead, and they did have at least two children, actually three children. His occupation also matches what we know about him in Surry County. There are a couple of interesting things that the census record shows. Notice that the first two children are said to have been born in North Carolina. I have never heard of any children being born to them while John was still in White Plains. This could mean a couple of things.
1. He lived in NC for a while with Frankie before going to Indianapolis. However, that doesn't agree with Gurney's letter that he left Surry County in 1872. The oldest girl, Elizabeth, would have been born about 1872.
2. John misreported their birth locations to the census taker.
3. Something else happened that we don't know about.
Does anyone have an idea about this?