Along with the facts of his life and the lives of his family members, I also learned that sometimes those very facts are not apparent, even on Ancestry.com, which usually makes research amazingly easy. If you're not familiar with Ancestry, you might not know that once you create a profile for a family member, Ancestry is generous with hints and suggestions. In researching Boone Reed, I had suggestions from other people's family trees and links to all kinds of documents, including census, marriage, and death records. But when I tried to verify his birth and death dates, I couldn't find a document that matched up with the dates that most Reed researchers had listed for his birth and death.
The Social Security Death Index listed his birth date as 22 September 1867, but it didn't show a death date--just a "claim date," 12 June 1957. There was no link to a death certificate, but when I did a search for one, I found out the reason why. First, the name on the certificate was D. B. Reed, and he died in Holton, Indiana! How did I even know this was the same person? Because at the very bottom of the certificate, under burial information, the cemetery was listed as "Reed Cemetery, Elsie, Ky." The death date was 21 December 1957, and the birth date was given as 10 September 1967 (he was 90!) And honestly, I don't even know if the birth date is correct, because the informant listed on the death certificate is Henry W. Reynolds, who says that D.B. Reed is his "step-father-in-law." More about that later.
|D. B. Reed Death Certificate|
Even though Holton, Indiana, was a surprise, the name D. B. Reed was not. Uncle Boone was really Daniel Boone Reed, and throughout his life he used the names Boone, Daniel Boone, Daniel B., and D. B. interchangeably. He and his sister, Nancy Emily Reed, my 2nd great-grandmother, were the children of Lewis Reed and Sarah Patrick. The first census on which Daniel Boone Reed appears is the 1870, where the family is listed as: Lewis Reed, age 40; Sarah, age 40; Martha J., age 19; Nancy E., age 17; Mary, age 10; Eli, age 9; Sarah A., age 8; Daniel B., age 2; and (Catlet) Lee, age 3 months. The 1880 census lists Lewis, Sariah, Ely, daughter Sariah, Daniel B. and Catlet. (By 1880 Martha Jane had married Harrison Patrick, Nancy Emily had married James Thomas Day, and Mary had married Mason Gullett.)
|1870 Magoffin County census|
By 1900 both Lewis and Sarah had passed away, and all their children had married. Further research into the siblings of Nancy Emily and Daniel Boone Reed solved a little mystery I have wondered about for years. Aunt Emma also gave my grandmother the Day family Bible. Under the Deaths was a date for a Sarah May. I never could figure out who that was, since there was no Day family member by that name. It turns out that Sarah, daughter of Lewis and Sarah, sister of Nancy and Boone, listed above in the 1870 and 1880 censuses, married Abel May.
According to Kentucky marriage records, D. B. Reid married Mary Elizabeth Patrick on 5 December 1889. (Another complication is that Reed is spelled several ways in the records.) Of course, since his mother was a Patrick, I wondered if Mary Elizabeth was his cousin, and yes, she was. Her father was Brice Patrick, brother of Sarah Patrick Reed. By the 1900 census Boone and Mary had four children: Cassius, Curtis, Nora, and Fannie. By 1910 Levna and Tilden had been added to the family. (Yes, Levna is the correct spelling. It's been transcribed as Levenia and Leona, but Levna is the spelling used in her will, which she signed.)
|Boone and Mary's marriage record|
So, back to the photo--who, besides Uncle Boone and Aunt Mary, posed for this photograph? Assuming, of course, that the children were the children of Boone and Mary Reed, this is the conclusion I came to, although I could be wrong:
1. Just judging generally by the clothing, I thought the picture was probably taken in the early 1900's. Mary died in 1929, so it had to be before then.
2. Unless the boy shown in the photo is a grandchild, he has to be Tilden, who was born in 1905. Cassius and Curtis are the only other boys and they were much older and close to each other in age. If the picture was taken when they were young, both of them would be in it. Tilden appears to be 8-10 in the photo, so my guess is that it was taken about 1913-1915.
3. Looking next at the girl to the far right, she is wearing shorter skirts than the other females, so she is probably still considered a child. Levna was born in 1902, so dating the picture at 1913-1915, she would be 11 to 13, which is exactly what she looks to me.
4. That leaves the other female. I can't find a marriage record for Nora Reed, but on the 1920 census, her oldest child is 6, so I'm guessing she married about 1913. Fannie married in 1916, so I think she is the one shown in this photo.
I found this photo of Nora on Ancestry, contributed by an Ancestry user with the username Airsoup. Isn't she pretty? She was 16 in this photo. Does she look like the girl in my photo? In my opinion, no. I still think the girl in my photo is probably Fannie.
|Nora Reed, age 16|
My only qualm is that Boone looks old to me in this picture, but he would be getting close to 50 in 1915. That's young nowadays--or at least it is to me!--but people seemed to age earlier back in the day. But wait! Boone has a lot of life left in him yet.
As I mentioned, Mary died in 1929. On 23 September 1930 D. B. Reed married Eliza Patton (maiden name McCarty), a widow. (She is listed as a widow on the 1930 census--taken in April of 1930--with five children, Eulah, Ruth, Dillard, Mary, and J.B.) Boone was 63, and Eliza was 35. They go on to have a child together, Grover, who was born in 1931.
And that is how Boone ends up in Holton, Indiana. Henry Reynolds (Remember him? The source for Boone's death certificate?) married Ella Ruth Patton, Eliza's daughter. Apparently, at some point after the 1940 census, Boone and Eliza go to live with or near Eliza's daughter in Indiana. Boone dies there in 1957 at age 90; Eliza dies there in 1980 (after marrying again!) and is also buried in Elsie, Kentucky, according to her death certificate.
Moral of this story: Sometimes you really have to hunt, especially when there have been name and geographical changes that don't seem to make sense. Clues lead to clues, and eventually you can make sense of the timeline of a person's life.