I always point out that you never know just what I might discover when doing research, and I have often found some rather interesting twists and turns. At present, I’ve only been actively researching this line of my family for about 2 days. So far I have found several records which no one has yet discovered about George T. Waters. This includes possibly where he grew up at in Tennessee. According his Civil War records, he used the name Waters, but according to the 1860 census, the name was spelled Watters.
Most people on ancestry who have researched George T. Waters have identified him in Tennessee as having come from Wilson County and being born on 5 Nov 1833. The problem I have with that is that they also identify him as having died in Wilson County on 29 Dec 1856. So, if he served in the Civil War, how did he die in 1856, yet serve in the Civil War during 1864 and die in battle in Jonesboro, Georgia?
There is in fact a George Waters who died in 1856 in Wilson County, Tennessee, so I’m guessing that this is the one who was born on 5 Nov 1833 and not our George T. Waters who fought in the Civil War. If this is true, then where was our George T. Waters from?
I believe the answer to this is in the spelling of the name. If you search for Watters instead of Waters, you find a George Waters who was living in Washington County, Tennessee in 1850. He was the oldest child of William and Nancy Watters and was 19 in 1850. This closely matches our George T. Waters, though not exactly because of a 2 year age difference. Now knowing the father’s name, we can search the 1840 census to see what we find.
In 1840 we find a William Watters who was living in Grainger County, Tennessee. Grainger County is not far from Washington County, so could be them. The numbers of people and their ages I would expect to find in the family don’t quite line up though, but some are close. We also find a Walter Watters who was living in Washington County. The name Walter is very difficult to make out because of a smudge on the census, so it is possible that the name has been read incorrectly. The ages of some of the family members more closely match that of what I would expect too, though here again, not exactly.
So it is that the search to figure out where he came from continues. I’d say that isn’t bad for just 2 days’ worth of work so far :-)
Moving onto the next subject of interesting find, George and Surilda’s oldest child was Susannah. According to Surilda’s obituary, she married a Redfern. His name is actually William S. Redfern. Here again, there may be a discrepancy in the spelling, and it might actually be Redfearn as I find records using both spellings. According to the 1910 census, they had a total of 12 children, but only 5 were still living. I’ve been able to identify all 5 still living, but the others may have been born between 1882 and 1898 and died very young. With no 1890 census it may be very difficult to identify the remaining children.
Following their children downwards, their oldest child was Joseph Wesley Redfern, who married Addie May Johnson. Their oldest child was Reva Geraldine Redfern who married Guy Keith Pennington.
What? Wait a minute. Who is Guy Keith Pennington? I haven’t had much time to research him yet, but it appears he was born and raised in Wayne County, Illinois. His father was Ira Oscar Pennington, who also appears to have been born and raised in Wayne County, Illinois. Ira was born in 1874, so this places this Pennington family in Southern Illinois in the same general area and at the same time as the Pennington family you have been asking about. Could the g.grandaughter of Surilda Moreland (whom we think may have been related to or descended from the Pennington family) have married into the same Pennington family?
As I pointed out initially in this message, you never know just what I might discover when doing genealogy research.
I first learned of the IRAD system in 1982 while attending SIU-Carbondale. In fact, the IRAD office was only a few hundred feet from my dorm building. The IRAD system was founded in 1976, yet in 1982 the guy working at that office was already telling me that I should make use of the system as quickly as possible because their funding had been cut nearly in half from the previous year and he wasn’t sure just how long the system would last. 35 years later it is now still in existence. It seems they have been complaining about funding since the early years of it. My experience with the system has been much more positive than yours as well. I’ll have to comment more on that in another message later.
I’m also very familiar with the Lincoln Presidential Library’s microfilm collection of newspapers. I was actually able to get my local library to obtain the microfilms on inter-library loan from them. It makes it a lot easier than traveling to Springfield to do that research, though prior to setting that up, I did travel to Springfield quite a few times to research the papers on site.