Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Those Rascally Kidds!

Emma B. Jennings was born about 1867 to Daniel Rose and Mary "Mollie" (Johnson) Jennings. She spent the first few years of her life on her parents' farm in Amherst County, Virginia, before the family moved to Appomattox County where her father worked as a machinist. By 1886 Daniel had moved his family again, this time to Richmond.

Emma married John Kidd on 15 April 1890 in Richmond. He was the son of Chapman and Virginia Kidd and had been born about 1856 in Fluvanna County, Virginia, according to their marriage record. Soon after their marriage John and Emma moved to Chicago. Their two children Mary Ruth and Hugh Pointer Kidd were born there in 1893 and 1896, respectively.

Index record of the marriage of John W. Kidd and
Emma B. Jennings; image courtesy of

When the 1900 census was enumerated, however, Emma was a widow and she and her two children lived with her parents in Richmond. According to a city directory, Emma was still living with her parents the next year at 311 -- 2nd Street.

She married James Jordan Beavers on 28 November 1907 in Henrico County, Virginia. James was the son of Jeduthan and Sallie Beavers and was born on 23 February 1867 in Pittsylvania County, Virginia. He worked as a bookkeeper for a plumbing concern. He had also been married previously and had been widowed the year before. Apparently, their marriage was a short one, however, as the 1910 census indicated James Beavers was a widower in 1910. Interestingly, his in-laws, Daniel and Mollie Jennings lived with him.

Index record of the 1910 census for James Beavers;
image courtesy of

Emma's daughter, Mary Ruth Kidd, married Herman H. Smith on 3 October 1912 also in Henrico County. He was the son of Benjamin and Allie Smith and had been born about 1887. She and Herman had one known daughter and lived in Richmond for the remainder of her life. She died at her home at 1915 -- 4th Avenue on 19 January 1968.

When Emma's son, Hugh Pointer Kidd, registered for the World War I draft on 5 June 1917, he lived in Ashdown, Arkansas, and worked in fishing for John Mosby in Millswood. He was single and his appearance was described as short and slender with blue eyes and a full head of brown hair. He had served for three years in the Virginia militia. In 1920 he lived in Benton, Arkansas, and worked as a cook in restaurant.

He married Bessie Daughten on 1 December 1927 in Sevier County, Arkansas. She had been married previously to a Cecil Adams. Hugh and Bessie had two children and they remained in Ashdown, Arkansas, for the remainder of Hugh's life.  He worked as a laborer for a carnival that was in Sequin, Texas, on 7 September 1967, the day he died of a heart attack. He was interred in the Blackerby Cemetery in Little River County, Arkansas.

Hugh Pointer Kidd death certificate; image courtesy of

It all sounds like a fairly normal biography of a family group but finding the information was anything but normal. For example, I can find no death record for John Kidd, who was always listed as a child in the census as John W. Kidd, but listed on his son's death certificate as John H. Kidd. I only know that John's wife, Emma, was listed as a widow in the 1900 census and in a 1901 city directory. I have noticed it was not unusual for a divorced woman to say she was a widow at that time. Therefore, I have expanded the date range of John's possible death to include 1896 (son's birth) to 1956 (his 100th birthday). I have yet to find it.

Emma's second husband died in 1937. His death certificate stated he was widowed at the time of his death. The 1910, 1920 and 1930 census records also stated he was a widower. Yet I have been unable to find a record of Emma's death, which should have been between 1907, the date of their marriage, and 1910, the earliest record that listed James as a widower.

Emma and John's children were also problematic. Mary Ruth Kidd was listed as Mary C. Kidd in the 1900 census. It wasn't until I read a chapter about the Jennings families in the book, Miller-Duff and Related Families, which listed her married name as Ruth Kidd Smith. Once I knew her as Mary Ruth (Kidd) Smith, I was able to find her death certificate. This provided the date and place of her birth as well as her husband's name.

Hugh Pointer Kidd was listed as Hugh R. Kidd in the 1900 census. Again, finding his death certificate in Texas provided most of what I know know about him. That information led to his World War I draft registration, which also provided Chicago as his place of birth.

There are still many questions about this family group so I will continue to research them. If you are related and know information I do not, please leave a comment below.


  1. Emma Jennings Kidd Beavers died in Richmond, Virginia on Oct 14, 1909 and is buried in Riverview Cemetery under the name of Emma Kidd. Find a Grave memorial # 180852080. I found an obituary under the name of Emma Beavers in the Daily Dispatch on Friday, October 15, 1909, page 3.