Double Husband Scenario
Lately, I have been researching a man named Joseph James Merritt(K298-ZPY). He is the oldest son of my 4th great grandfather, Robert J Merritt, and 4th great grandmother, Zilpha Ann Mercer. He was born around 1845 according to family records. He is in the 1850 and 1860 census with his parents in Duplin county North Carolina, but he disappears after that. It was originally thought that he married a Martha Jane Stewart in 24 February 1868 in Hawkins county, Tennessee, as the next census he was found in was an 1880 census in that area with his wife Martha and children. I;m guessing it was assumed that Joseph moved to Tennessee after the Civil War. However, I have discovered for myself that this is incorrect. Here is the following note I recently added to FamilySearch.
It has been brought to my attention that Martha Jane Stewart did not marry Joseph James Merritt of Duplin county North Carolina(son of Robert J Merritt and Zilpha Ann Merritt). At first I thought this because that Joseph disappears after 1860. I assumed that after the war, he moved to Hawkins and settled there. But I have recently discovered that there was already a Joseph Merritt living in Hawkins in 1850 and 1860. He was born there to Joel Merritt and his wife Mary(unknown surname).
The problem with me simply isolating Martha from the wrong ordinances lies in the ordinances of Joseph James Merritt. The ordinances of the Duplin county Joseph(K298-ZPY) show that he was sealed to Martha Jane Stewart in the mid 1990s(she should be sealed to the Tennessee one), but the rest of the ordinances were done in the 1950's for the North Carolina one, including a sealing to his parents Robert and Zilpha. This tells me there's some strange merging going on. I don't know how to reconcile this, so I wanted to bring this fact to the attention of expert researchers who might be better at reconciling this problem. Here is what I've done so far. I will show you the IDs of each person so that you can figure out who is who.
Joseph James Merritt(North Carolina): K298-ZPY
Joseph Merritt(Hawkins, Tennessee): L1G2-Y8M
Martha Jane Stewart(wife of Hawkins Joseph, but attached to both for now): L455-L7N
Thank you for your time and support. I really appreciate it!