Sunday, August 2, 2015

52 Ancestors #31: Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy

Ancestor Name: William Raiford TUCKER (1898-1991)

I've written several posts about how hard it can be to find an elusive ancestor. My Scottish immigrant Muir line (Dad's side) have given me the most trouble, surprisingly once they came to the U.S. In
Scotland, I didn't have much trouble post 1855. When I say trouble, I mean you can find things, it's just hard work. I am not including my completely "invisible" Dagutis line or my similarly invisible Lange line -- both with origins in eastern Europe.

Sometimes, though, the research is much, much easier. My sister-in-law is a 5th generation Georgian of the Tucker family. They are a fascinating family, which I've written about several times[1]. Once I thought I had cracked a brick wall regarding her six times great grandfather, Benjamin Tucker (1704-1778), but DNA testing has me back to Benjamin Tucker.

Benjamin Tucker's home in Southampton County, Virginia;
photo circa 1990 and courtesy of Robert Dennard Tucker

Three years ago I ordered a book entitled History of Colquitt County Georgia by W. A. Covington, which was originally published in 1937. The book included biographical sketches of several Colquitt County citizens, including my sister-in-law's third cousin three times removed, William Raiford Tucker, Sr. The book provided three generations of his paternal and maternal genealogy and information about his wife and children.

Once I entered all the information into my tree, the green leaves went crazy. After looking at all the hints, double checking them to ensure they were correct and supported W. A. Covington's book meaning what I had entered into my tree was correct, I have a very complete picture of William Rayford Tucker's life. The major documentation I am missing are his birth and death certificates. Information about his naval service became available when I re-searched while writing this post. His service card is part of the Georgia World War I Service Cards, 1917-1919, collection, which Ancestry made available to subscribers on 21 October 2013. A good example of why I always say our research is never done.

William Rayford Tucker after processing the hints recommend by

I looked at other family trees that included William Tucker and found photos of he and his wife as well as their marriage license. So in 60 or 90 minutes, I'd pretty much completed my initial online research on this particular Tucker. There is still more I could do offline.

Vera (Page) Tucker, William Tucker's wife

William Tucker was a meat cutter and operated a meat market in Moultrie, Georgia, for many years. He was born and raised in Colquitt County and spent his life there except for his time in the Navy during World War I. He and his wife, Vera (Page) Tucker, raised six children.

One of his grandchildren has an extensive Tucker tree and I have contacted that person in hopes of learning more. You never know where you may find your next research collaborator!

I just love ancestors with names that are difficult for someone else to mis-index or transcribe and lived in one place all of their lives.

This is my entry for Amy Johnson Crow's 52 ancestors in 52 weeks challenge optional theme Easy.

[1] You may locate my previous posts on the Tucker family by clicking the Tucker label in the right-hand column.

William Raiford Tucker was born on 4 October 1898 in Colquitt County, Georgia, to John Crawford and Sara "Sallie" Ann (Newton) Tucker. William's father owned a farm in the Mill Creek area of Colquitt County.  On 12 November 1918, William registered for the World War I draft. He was unmarried and already serving in the U.S. Navy as an apprentice seaman. His appearance was described as tall and slender with blue eyes, light hair, and no distinguishing physical marks, scars or other defects. He was discharged on 17 March 1919. William married Freddie Vera Page on 15 June 1919 in Colquitt County. They had six children together between 1920 and 1932. William and Vera lived in Funston and Moultrie, Georgia, both towns in Colquitt County. William worked first in a packing house (or slaughter house) and then as a butcher in a meat market. In 1940 he worked as a meat cutter in a retail grocery owned by Colonial Stores, which was based in Atlanta. William and Vera lost their eldest son on 28 December 1941. He was in the Army Air Corps, training in Kissimmee, Florida, when he was killed in a motorcycle accident at the age of 21. William's wife, Vera, died on 8 April 1975 and he never remarried. He died on 13 January 1991 at the age of 92 and was interred in Funston Baptist Church Cemetery beside his wife and son.


  1. Yes, I dream of such "easy" ancestors!! Some names can be mis-indexed/transcribed through the decades and even centuries! William & Vera sound as if they lived a good life - so sad to lose their eldest son. With four children of my own, I definitely empathize.

    1. When I discover the death of a child, especially in the near past when it was more unusual, it always makes me stop and reflect what that would be like and how people move on from such a tragedy.