Some of the most difficulty I’ve had in this genealogical journey is finding out what happened to my great-grandfather J.E. Nance’s sisters, Pearl Nance Hill (b. 1899), Pearlee Nance Stewart (b. 1903) and Dovie Nance Ardis (b. 1902).
I don’t know any of their descendants and growing up, I never heard anyone mention them. All I’ve ever known about them was their names, dates of birth , names of spouses and names of children.
And then ancestry.com came along with its bomb search function. I recently discovered that Pearl Nance Hill didn’t stay married to her husband very long. In 1920 she and her husband, Dee, were living with their infant son in Haw Ridge, Ala., right next door to her parents, Henry and Annie Nance. But 10 years later, Pearl and her son Horace turned up in a 1930 Census living in the Blackmon househould in Enterprise, Ala. Interestingly enough, she’s listed as being a cousin to the head of the household, J. Cleveland Blackmon. (There’s no mention of husband, Dee).
Cousin?! Wait, what?! I quickly did a mental inventory of the vast and extensive of surnames related to mine on my paternal side: Nance, Whitehurst, Brooks, Brown, Tindall, Flowers, Barnes, Cotton, Gilley, Clark… Blackmon? That’s a new one.
On a related note, this seems to validate my long-held theory that I’m related to every black person in Enterprise, Ala., but I digress…
Also, Pearl listed herself as single. Not widowed, but single. That made me wonder what happened to her husband, Dee. It also made me wonder more about the head of this household, J. Cleveland Blackmon.