Thursday, June 30, 2016

Like Father Like Son?

I recently had a new DNA match with the common shared ancestor as my three times great grandfather John William Jennings, Sr., as I looked through his family tree, I began to see names I didn't recognize. So I started tracing his line backwards from the first deceased person to Pleasant Jennings born between 1801-1810 according to the 1840 census. He lived in Preble County, Ohio, where he married Viletta McCabe in 1831. The marriage and census records were all I could find online. So it was the furthest back I could take my DNA match's tree.

Preble County, Ohio; courtesy of

I have a Pleasant Jefferson Jennings in my family tree. He was my three times great uncle, born about 1820 in Buckingham County, Virginia, married Martha Ann Christian Kelley in 1839 and removed to Walker County, Texas, by 1850, where he lived for the remainder of his life. Several people, including my DNA match have combined records about the Ohio and Texas men named Pleasant Jennings, thinking the name was uncommon. We were able to definitely prove we were dealing with two different men and I found an interesting story along the way.

My DNA match's Pleasant Jennings had a granddaughter named Clara Belle Jennings. She was born on 13 January 1861 in Ohio to John P. Jennings and Nancy L. Charles. She married Jasper L. Granger on 25 March 1880 in Butler County, Ohio. They had three children:
  • Mary "Mamie" Granger (1881-1962), married William Daniel Partin
  • Frances E. Granger (c1882-1970), married Walter L. Martin
  • Everett Jennings Granger (1886-unknown)
In 1900 Clara was the head of the household and lived with her three children in Atchison, Kansas. She told the enumerator she was married and had been for 20 years. Her daughter, Frances, worked as a clerk and they had a lodger. Was that the only income? Or was husband Jasper contributing? And where was he? It turns out Jasper was in Elko, Nevada where he lived on the Western Shoshone Indian Reservation with his partner in a blacksmith business. 

I have not been able to find Clara, Jasper, or the children in the 1910 census. In 1920, Clara lived with her daughter, Frances, who had married Walter L. Martin, and lived in Kansas City, Missouri. The 1921, 1922, and 1923 city directories for Kansas City included listings for Clara (Jennings) Granger, as a widow of Jasper Granger.

Clara died on 12 March 1924 in Kansas City. And her will included this nugget of information:

Snippet from Clara Belle (Jennings) Granger's will proving Jasper did
leave the family; courtesy of

Apparently, Jasper may have returned to the family sometime after the 1900 census was enumerated but only hung around for about eight years before disappearing for good. I do not know where he was in 1920 but in 1930 he lived at 829 Sixth Street in New Orleans, Louisiana, in a home he owned and was the proprietor of a grocery store. He died there in 1932.

Fast forward several years. Clara Belle and Jasper's son, Everett Jennings Granger married Lillian Margaret Murray and had two children. They lived in Chicago where Everett managed a printing business. In 1938 and 1940 Everett and Lillian were listed in the Michigan City, Indiana city directories. Michigan City is some two and half hours by car from Chicago. It is on Lake Michigan. Was it a summer place? Was this a different Everett J. and Lillian Granger?

2222 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, site of Everett Jennings Granger's
printing business

Those are the last records I have for Everett. He simply disappeared more thoroughly than his father. Two of his descendants told me his disappearance is the great mystery in their family.

Lillian eventually moved to Pasadena, California, near her son. She died in Brea, California, in 1986. Beginning in 1953 she listed herself in the city directories as a widow of Everett Granger.

If you know what happened to Everett Jennings Granger, several of us would dearly love to know.

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