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By: Ethelene Dyer Jones
Repeated Given Names Often Confuse Genealogy Searchers ~Or: Which Person Do You Mean?
This week I’ve spent time back-tracking to an article I wrote for this column on June 2, 2005 about John Little Ingram’s family. He was my great, great grandfather who was born in 1788 in South Carolina, died in 1866 in Union County, Georgia, married three times, and had a total of twenty-one children, nine by his first wife Mary “Polly” Cagle, ten by his second wife, Cynthia Kittle, and two by his third wife, Catherine Cameron.
A question and additional research came about the tenth child by John Little Ingram’s second wife, Cynthia Kittle. This child was named Martin Ingram, born in 1844 and, according to Watson B. Dyer in his family history book, died in Jackson, Mississippi in 1863 during the Civil War.
A very fine genealogy researcher, Dr. Charles Ingram, read my article online at the GaGenWebProject and saw the name Martin Ingram. He immediately thought that the birth and death dates were wrong, because his ancestor by the same name, Martin Ingram, he had documented well. He knew that his particular Martin was born December 26, 1816 and died November 13, 1891 and was buried at the Four Mile Cemetery, Pickens County, Georgia—not in far away Mississippi during the Civil War.
One of the difficulties seemed to revolve around the name of the wife listed for each of the Martin Ingrams. Both were listed as marrying a Rebecca Bozeman, and to further confuse, Rebecca had a nickname, Beedee or Becky. Now is that coincidence, or an error in listing? Dr. Charles Ingram has a family Bible showing his 1816 Martin Ingram married Rebecca (Beede/Becky) Bozeman on November 24, 1842 in Cherokee County, Georgia. He also has authentication from Cherokee County marriage Book A, page 46, a listing for the marriage of Martin Ingram and Beedy Bozeman.
The only record I’ve found for the 1844 Martin Ingram’s marriage to Rebecca Bozeman is a listing on page 408 of Watson B. Dyer’s “Dyer Family History, 1600’s to 1980.” He did not give a source for the marriage record. Maybe the younger Martin Ingram married a cousin by the same name of the wife of his first cousin, 1816 Martin Ingram. I looked in the Union County marriage records and did not find the younger Martin’s marriage listed there. Could this be an error? Perhaps Watson Dyer found a listing for the 1816 Martin Ingram’s marriage, and assumed that the younger Martin married a Bozeman, too. Since the 1844 Martin died young, at age 19, he evidently married young, too, if, indeed, he wed before he went to the Civil War and was killed. I did find a listing of Martin R. Ingram in the 52nd Regiment of the Georgia Infantry Volunteers, Army of Tennessee, Company G. They called themselves “The Alleghany Rangers,” from Union County. They enlisted for six months and their commanding officers were Lewis B. Beard and Julius H. Barclay [Reference: “Sketches of Union County History, Volume 2, 1978, p. 41]
John Little Ingram’s son, Martin, lived only nineteen years, and whether he married before he went away to war (to a Rebecca Bozeman or not?), we do not have a record that he had children.
On the other hand, the Martin Ingram (1816-1891) who is definitely known to have married a Rebecca Bozeman, was the son of Tillman Ingram (1794-?) and Elizabeth “Betsy” Dalrymple Ingram (1799-?). Tillman and John Little Ingram were brothers, so the two Martin Ingrams were first cousins. The 1816 Martin Ingram became a Baptist minister and preached in churches in Cherokee and Pickens Counties, Georgia for more than thirty years. They had eleven children, nine for whom we have names: Isaac N., John H., Samuel T., Nancy E., Hester A., James P., Thomas K., Mary, and Loan. Rev. and Mrs. Martin Ingram were buried at the Four Mile Cemetery, Pickens County, Georgia.
Given names in any family are important. Maybe the babies are named for someone in the family, a grandparent, parent, aunt or uncle, or even going farther back to another ancestor. The fact that brothers give their sons and daughters family names causes confusion at times, because there are multiple people with the same name. That’s how we got confused over the name Martin Ingram. We could say the same of John, Little, Isaac, Tilman and other given names, carried through several generations.
Jones; published October 6, 2011 in The Union Sentinel, Blairsville,
Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
[Ethelene Dyer Jones is a retired educator, freelance writer, poet, and historian. She may be reached at e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; phone 478-453-8751; or mail 1708 Cedarwood Road, Milledgeville, GA 31061-2411.]