"Let me see generation times, will we hear children singing rhymes? Sweet memories gone by..."

19 June 2012

Grace, part 2

Place a name upon the night
One to set your heart alight
And to make the darkness bright
Paint the sky with stars
--  "Paint the Sky with Stars" by Enya

Yesterday marked my great-great-grandmother Grace Cole's birthday - only, her name wasn't originally Grace...

Tracking down Grace and her siblings in the Virginia birth registers has been interesting to say the least.  Her parents, Dabney and Lucy Baker, had five children, but it seems as though they had some difficulty deciding on names.  Further adding to confusion is that the children had trouble keeping track of their birthdays. 

Dabney and Lucy were married on July 16, 1868.  One year and four days later, their first child, Nellie Blanche Baker, was born - July 20, 1869.  Sadly, little Nellie lived only nine months.

Their second child, Grace, was born on June 18, 1871.  But going back through the birth records, her name appears as "Nellie G. Baker."  Possibly Nellie Grace?  But in all other records, starting from the 1880 census onward, her name is Grace Belvin Baker (Belvin for her grandmother's maiden name).

The Bakers' third child was Elijah, named for his paternal grandfather.  Elijah was supposedly born on September 1, 1873.  In the Richmond birth register his name is recorded as simply "D. E. Baker," and his actual birth date was October 12.

Next came Mattie Virginia Baker.  In theory, her birthday should be January 31, 1875, but I haven't yet been able to find her in the records.  Heaven only knows if that date is correct, or what her name might originally have been.  Hopefully, she'll turn up eventually.

Lastly is Dabney Gathright Baker Jr. - he was especially fun to search for.  Dabney wrote his birth date as August 4, though on different records the year varies between 1878 - 1881.  As it turns out, he was born on August 14, 1878, with the name "James Northell Baker" recorded.  Even better, on the 1880 census, his name is given as "Lothair."  Go figure.

P.S.  No pressure, Lesley! :)

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