Yesterday I posted a picture of my 3x great-grandparents, Judson and Nancy Almy. He’s been a main focus in my research lately because of his Civil War record file that I received. Well that, and a bit of a mystery too.
Cora Almy, a daughter. Here’s the story, in the 1880 census (her first she’d be in) she is not with her parents at all. In fact, I never see her with them in any census records. My search for her started because she is mentioned in both Judson’s and Nancy’s obituary as Mrs. Frank McLean. That led me to the Saginaw Obituary Index where I found Frank’s name and the index states his wife was Cora Almy.
Now I had a name! But then where was she? I found her in the 1910 census, which gives how long she had been married and her age. She was 36 years old and had had no children (but one adopted son lived with her and her husband). Here’s one of my surprises – they had been married for 20 years – which means they got married when she was 16! I understand that was 1891 and things were very different but it still shocks me when I see that.
So, now I know why I can’t find her with her family after 1880. She was married and out by 16. I puzzled for a long time (in my opinion) over why she wasn’t with her parents in the 1880 census. Nancy and Judson didn’t move and none of Judson’s relatives had a 6 year old girl with them… that’s when it hit me. Six-year old girl! In 1880, Judson and Nancy had only been married for three years – Cora would have been 3 years old when they married.
I didn’t notice this right away when I collected her birth year from the 1880 census (the getting married at 16 thing had really shocked me apparently). All I figured was that she must have been six years old at the time of the census and didn’t put two and two together. I feel silly that it didn’t hit me until a phone conversation with my mom yesterday when I was talking about.
SO! As far as I knew, this was Nancy’s one and only marriage but I didn’t have evidence confirming that. But, knowing that she had a 3 year old daughter when she married made me think to look at Nancy’s parents 1880 census (I had only recently confirmed her parents’ names so I hadn’t searched yet for Cora in those records). And there she was:
She’s even listed as a granddaughter! Her name is listed as Cora M Abby, which leads me to believe that she was not from another marriage with Nancy because Cora would have his last name. So, was Cora Judson’s? When Judson had to list his children in a Civil War document, he specifically leaves out Cora’s name. Why? Shame? He was supposed to list their ages and maybe he didn’t want them to figure out she was born before they were married (although he did accidentally list everyone’s birth year as 1898, the year he filled in the document)? And was this why they married in Midland County instead of Saginaw, where they both lived? And is this the true story of why their marriage certificate was “lost”? (See this post for that story.)
I love how in genealogy, you may get an answer to your original question but then you are always left with more questions! :)
 1880 U.S. census, Saginaw County, Michigan, population schedule, Thomastown, sheet 3 (penned), 196 (stamped), Enumeration District (ED) 322, dwelling 25, family 26, household of Judson Almy; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 30 October 2014), citing National Archives and Record Administration microfilm publication T9, roll 603.
 “Judson Almy, Civil War Veteran, Here 75 Years, Succumbs,” Saginaw Daily News (Saginaw, Michigan), 21 May 1932, p.3, col. 4. Also, Mrs. Nancy Roxann Almy, Saginaw News (Saginaw, Michigan), 13 October 1939, p. 17.
 1910 U.S. census, Saginaw County, Michigan, population schedule, Saginaw Ward 15, sheet 3A (penned), 122 (stamped), ED 64, dwelling 44, family 44, household of Frank McLean; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 30 October 2014), citing NARA microfilm T624, roll 672.
 1880 U.S. census, Saginaw County, Michigan, population schedule, Richland, sheet 16, ED 311, dwelling 138, family 138, household of Amos Abby; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 30 October 2014), citing NARA microfilm T9, roll 602.
 Department of the Interior Questions about Marriage and Children, Jutson Almy (Private, Company I, 15th New York Engineers, Civil War), pension no. XC 265,180, Federal Military Pension Application – Civil War and Later Complete File; Department of Veterans Affairs, Record Group 15; National Archives, Washington, D.C.