Since I’m fairly new to GeneaBloggers, I’m not sure if ‘Freaky Friday’ has ever been given as a prompt. But that title certainly fits how I’m feeling this Friday. To be truthful, in a number of ways, I feel great relief. Nevertheless, when I stop to think about the difficulties that I’ve had trying to prove facts about my paternal grandfather, I get totally ‘freaked out.’
The relief comes from the fact that I’ve successfully completed applications for two lineage societies, which I talked about in my post Society Saturday. And just to give my readers an update, I was accepted this week as a member of the Huguenot Society of the Founders of Manakin in the Colony of Virginia. Yes! I’m so excited about that. J Needless to say, confirmation from the D.A.R. will take much longer.
The ‘freaked out’ part comes from the fact that I still have problems and questions about the records that my grandfather left over the years. There were so many variances, beginning with his real name. I know for a fact that his parents named him Richard Enloe Love, but for most of his life he went by the name, Enloe, which was often incorrectly spelled as Enlow – of course! That just added to my frustration. I feel certain that he used Enloe in order to differentiate himself from his uncle, whose name was also Richard Love. They were very close, so I can understand that need of his to be different – and he certainly was, in so many ways. (That fact could definitely be a topic for another post!)
The earliest record I’ve ever found on him was the 1900 Jackson, Madison County, TN federal census. His father was already deceased, and he was listed with his mother, Mary Love, who was 38 at the time, and his older sisters, Florence, 17, and Lottie, who was ten. He was listed as nine years old, born in Tennessee, and his name was spelled Enlow. First record. First mistake.
I found him again (as Enloe Love) in the 1910 census. He was nineteen years old, living in Memphis in a boarding house and working as an iron worker, one of the many occupations he would have over the course of his life. Somehow, he managed to give his birthplace as Mississippi. Huh? I think that was probably because he spent a good deal of his ‘growing up’ years at the home of his favorite uncle, the afore-mentioned Richard, who lived in the small town of Michigan City in Benton County. In subsequent census records, he always listed his birthplace as Tennessee.
He appeared again the very next year when he married my grandmother, Huldah Norma Akers. He signed the form, naturally, as Enloe R. Love. Oy vey…really? He did the same thing again in 1917, when he filled out his World War I draft registration card. However, this time he wrote down his actual place of birth, Tiptonville, Lake County, TN. Finding that record was a true breakthrough for me because I had always believed that he was born in Dyer County, TN where most of the Love family lived. But Bell Lowe, who was Mary Love’s sister, was living in Lake County during that time period, and Mary and her husband, Samuel T. Love (my great grandfather) were probably staying with Bell and her husband, Marvel Lowe. That’s only conjecture on my part, but the facts certainly fit.
The next official record that I obtained for my grandfather was his Social Security Application. Sending off for that was a windfall for me because he listed his parents as Sam and Mary Love. But, as fate would have it, he once again listed Mississippi as his place of birth, and specified Michigan City as the town. Why would he do that? I can only refer to my earlier speculation regarding his relationship with his Uncle Richard.
I had sent off for that application because his death certificate named his father as someone named Joseph Love. Who the heck was that? I don’t think that there is anyone named Joseph in our line of the Love family. Unfortunately, the person who gave the information was his second wife, who was a wonderful lady who obviously didn’t know much about his background. She gave his mother’s name as ‘unknown,’ stated that he was born in Jackson, TN, and, of course, gave his full name as Enloe Richard Love! Bless her heart. (That’s ‘southern-speak’ for OMG!)
As you can see, having so many different bits and pieces of information on the various records collected on one person is a researcher’s nightmare. Proving any point is tedious at best, but collecting so many records does help to weave together a person’s life, allowing the researcher to come to certain conclusions.
You may also be wondering why I am so self-assured that my grandfather’s name was really Richard Enloe Love and not Enloe Richard, as all of the records appear to indicate. I know it for a fact because he named his first-born son (my father) as Richard Enloe Love, Junior. My father, in all of his perfectly-precise records (he was a U.S. Marine, after all!) always wrote his own name with the ‘junior’ added and always wrote his father’s name as Richard Enloe Love. My brother was named Richard Enloe Love, III. So, yes, I know it for a fact, but finding so much conflicting information in the records I’ve gathered has truly ‘freaked me out.’
Luckily, his children from his second marriage knew his real name, and his grave marker is written correctly. That’s the one piece of proof I do have and have used extensively.
Thank goodness for tombstones and grave markers…a thought which could be considered a tad ‘freaky’ in itself!
|Grave Marker for Richard E. Love|
Colbert Memorial Gardens, Tuscumbia, AL