Update: I broke my brick wall!
ORIGINAL POST: I have been unable to identify any records relating to one of my ancestors, Caroline America Hobbs, prior to her 1889 marriage in southern Illinois. Her 1900 census record places her birth as April 1868 in Ohio and suggests her parents were also born there. She died in 1907 so there are no additional census records to corroborate those details. Her marriage record does not identify her parents and I have not been able to locate a death certificate. I have, however, largely managed to rule out the two men who are most commonly postulated to have been her father.
The first candidate, James Hobbs, had a daughter, Caroline May Hobbs, who would have been about the right age and even passed through southern Illinois in the 1880s. Many researchers have assumed the two similarly named women were the same person and appear unaware of the marriage, census, and death records which demonstrate they were actually two distinct individuals.
The second candidate, James Stark Hobbs, moved from southern Indiana to Kansas with his family by 1870. I can find no evidence that he had a daughter named Caroline or that he or any of his children ever returned east. Frankly, the only connection I see is that, like the first candidate, he is also named James, though I have seen no particular reason to believe her father was even named James.
My current unsubstantiated speculation is that Caroline America Hobbs may have been the daughter of Squire Timothy Hobbs. His sister, Hannah Hobbs, lived in the same southern Illinois town listed as CAH's residence on her 1889 marriage record. Hannah even appears to have fostered at least one her brother's daughters, Hannah Jennie Hobbs, after the death of his first wife.
Is anyone able to identify any relevant records that I am missing or have suggestions for additional places to look?
UPDATE: I just found my missing link to Squire Timothy Hobbs! A death notice on page 6 of the Centralia Evening Sentinel from 18 March 1907 identified Caroline Maneese of Ina, IL as a sister of Jennie Farrell of Centralia. Jennie (or Hannah Jennie) was an older daughter of Squire Timothy Hobbs, who I had already identified in the home of his sister in Centralia.
N Tychonievich mod
@tyams You've done a very nice, complete job of describing your research and conclusions. It looks like it's time to get help from the experts. You might want to check out this opportunity to get one-on-one help from the pros: https://community.familysearch.org/en/discussion/85420/free-research-help4
@tyams have you looked in the 1880 census? That census will show James and Mary Hobbs who have a child Caroline with a date that would match your Caroline. Also have you looked on Ancestry.com for other trees? it may be that you could message the person who has the tree in Ancestry.com that matches your information about her marriage and collaborate with them and work together. You might also look in historical newspapers for any information, death notice, obituaries, visits from relatives, etc. I hope that you are able to find information for the end of line. As stated above, you could get some free research help to give you more ideas by going to the link that was provided above.1
@N Tychonievich Thanks, I took your suggestion and they echoed your assessment. They also suggested contacting the local library to see if they have any newspapers from that time period that aren't more widely held and concluded that DNA testing might be the only real option to confirm/refute my current theory.
@AndLinda Yes, James Hobbs had a daughter, Caroline May Hobbs, who is frequently mistaken for Caroline America Hobbs in Ancestry member trees because of their similarity in name, age, and purported birth location. Several other trees, replace James Hobbs with James Stark Hobbs or combine them together to create one James Hobbs with several wives and ~20 children scattered across 6 states. I have done some searching through newspapers from the area that have been digitized but have not found much relevant information yet. I do plan on trying to follow up with newspapers that have not been digitized.1
I wonder if the Ohio Historical Society might have some information the parents, as you have the child's name.1
Sehr geehrter Herr Binte,
vielen Dank für Ihre Antwort auf meine Frage im FamilySearch Community-Zentrum. Meines Erachtens gibt es einen entscheidenden Unterschied zwischen einer Antwort, die eine Frage auflöst, und einer, die lediglich irgendeine Art von Rückmeldung liefert.
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