Are you ready for another mystery? Ok, then! Let’s go!
When I received a copy of the Cathey Family History and Genealogy written by Boyt Henderson Cathey in the mail last week I already knew that my Cathey, William Glenn Cathey, was not in it. I also knew that Archibald Cathey and Isabella Lankford, who are commonly thought to be William Glenn’s parents, are in the book. I had inquired before why William Glenn wasn’t listed with the other children and I was told by John Cathey, the secretary of the Cathey Reunion Association, that William was probably not found until after the book had been written. Which to me is odd, since he is on the census records. No, let me rephrase that…since a William is on the census records. What follows is what I have concerning William Glenn Cathey and William Cathey on the census records that may or may not be the same William.
William Glenn Cathey was supposedly born to Archibald Cathey and Isabella Lankford in Tennessee sometime between 1857 and 1864, depending on which source (Reflections From Our Past, A Pictorial History of Houston County, Tennessee © 2001) or census record (1870, 1880 or 1900) you want to believe. The only problem that I have with the 1857 date is that Archibald and Isabella married on February 7, 1857 (according the Reflections From Our Past) or February 8, 1857 (according to Family Search). That does give them plenty of time for Isabella to give birth to William Glenn before the end of 1857, provided that she got pregnant immediately after the marriage. Otherwise she would have had to be pregnant before the marriage since Reflection From Our Past, the source of the 1857 date, also says that Archie and Isabella’s daughter, May Ella Cathey, was born in February of 1858.
So, in the 1870 Stewart County, Tennessee census there was a William (Wm) listed as living in the household at age 8 years, estimated birth date about 1862. Archie, a farmer (of course), and Isabella are listed, along with their other children: Mary (age 12 years), George (age 10 years), Maude (age 6 years), Archibald (age 2 years) and John (age 3 months). So this census gives us quite a difference in the birth year of William, a difference of 5 years, actually, from Reflections.
In 1880 in Houston County, Tennessee we once again find the family with a William, age 17 years, estimated birth date in 1863. Parents Archie (Archable) and Isabella (Izabell) and their children listed: Marella (age 22 years), George (age 20 years), Maud (age 15 years), AK (age 12 years), Walter age (10 years), granddaughter Maud (age 2 years), and Udora Lankford (Eudora, age 35 years) who was Isabella’s sister and is listed on the census as Idiotic.
We already know that William Glenn Cathey married Margaret Elizabeth “Lizzie” Summers on August 26, 1889, even though Reflections gives the year as 1888 (I’m beginning to see a pattern of misinformation in this book…I would really like to get my hands on the book…the two pages I have seen from it were emailed to me from the Stewart County, Tennessee library).
In 1900 William Glenn and Lizzie are living in Indian Bayou, Lonoke, Arkansas. William, by now is 36 years old and this census gives his birth date as February of 1864. So that is now a 7 year difference from Reflections, a 2 year difference from the 1870 census and a 1 year difference from the 1880 census. William at this point has four children: Riley (Riley Leonard, age 10 years), Arthie (Acra Archie, age 6 years), Georgie (George Arlee, age 4 years) and Katie (Katie Clady, age 2 years). This is also the census that describes William Glenn’s occupation as “tipping block” which I don’t have the foggiest idea what that is (please, I am begging someone to tell me!).
William Glenn Cathey and Lizzie had at least 2 more children before his death: Ludie Mae Cathey and Willie Richard Cathey. There is another Cathey child listed on the 1910 census with widowed Lizzie by the name of Maggie Cathey, though I am still trying to determine if she might be the Maggie Smith listed on later census records (or not, I can’t figure it out yet).
According to Reflections, William Glenn Cathey passed away on July 4, 1906 in Houston County, Tennessee and he is buried in Nolan Cemetery in Hurricane Mills, Humphreys County, Tennessee. Since Tennessee was not required to keep vital records until 1914, there is no death record for him (that I have located). I put in a request at Find A Grave for someone to find his headstone and snap a picture of it for me, but no one has claimed it yet. Of course, I don’t even know if there is a headstone, let alone if he is really buried there.
So there’s another mystery that has yet to be solved. I still can’t figure out why the William on the census records wouldn’t have been included in the Cathey book unless Boyt did the research for the book only from sources other than census records. I also wish I could get better birth and death dates. And I also wish that someone would tell me what “tipping blocks” is for an occupation.