Tracing women in a family tree can be particularly difficult if you don’t have anything to a go off of. In the case of my great-grandmother Rachel Bryant, all I knew was her name when I started researching. A few weeks ago I found a marriage certificate that suggested that her name at one point may have been Rachel Henley. Just last week I found her death certificate and she is listed as having another name: Rachael Jackson.
This Rachael Jackson’s parents were listed as Crawford Bryant and Laura Dobbins, which matches the information of a six-year-old Rachel Bryant in the 1900 U.S. Census record.
So here is another part of the mystery solved. But who was the man who made Rachel Bryant Rachael Jackson? As it turns out, his name was Joe.
I looked up Rachael Jackson who lived in Stewart County, Ga., and found one record– a 1930 U.S. Census. It showed a 35-year-old Rachael married to Joe Jackson, a man 25 years her senior. The two lived on a farm in Lumpkin, Ga., the seat of Stewart County, which is where Rachel Bryant was born– and died on Nov. 25, 1936. She was young– either 37 or 42 years old.*
*The 1900 U.S. Census lists Rachel Bryant’s birthdate as June 1894. Her death certificate lists her year of birth as 1899.