Sunday, January 18, 2015

#52Ancestors: WK 3: STEVENS, Elizabeth Lou

** cross posted to Lass Chronicles **
Theme: Tough woman — Who is a tough, strong woman in your family tree? Or what woman has been tough to research?

I mentioned in my first post for 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks that I have two brick walls: Sallie Lou Green and Mary Frances Cornstuble.

This week, I've picked Sallie's mother, Elizabeth Lou STEVENS as my focus for this week.  I have a feeling this is going to be a short post.

Bessie (as she preferred) is my 2nd great grandmother.  Family lore says Bessie was a redhead (as was her daughter Minnie), she and her husband (David Edwin GREEN) met in an orphanage, she had a passel of children, her daughter Anna Belle was lost in the 1900 Galveston Hurricane, David deafened his own son, Joseph Clyde, with a slap or punch to the side of his head, and one of the daughters suffered from Bright's Disease.

I won't kid you. Bessie may always be a mystery.  There's a lot of family lore and no one to confirm or deny the accuracy of that information.  Public records can debunk some of the lore.

Anna Belle was lost in the 1900 Galveston Hurricane

I found Anna Belle in the 1900 and 1910 U.S. Census.  The 1900 census was enumerated in June of that year.  The hurricane hit Galveston on 8 Sep 1900.  Anna Belle's sister Ella was born Feb 1900.

Detail for David Green family in 1900
Detail of David Green family - 1900
The 1910 census clearly shows Anna Belle as 13 and living with her family in Juniper Creek, Calhoun, Florida.

Detail for David Green family in 1910
Detail of David Green family - 1910

Bessie had a passel of kids

If 13 kids makes a passel, this part of our family oral history is accurate.  Between 1897 and 1918, Bessie gave birth to eight daughters and five sons.  All of them lived to adulthood, as far as I have been able to confirm.

Clyde was deafened by his father

I have not found any proof that Joseph Clyde was deaf or partially deaf.  Even if I did, I doubt there would be evidence that his father was the cause.

Bessie and Minnie were redheads; one daughter had Bright's Disease

Sadly, there's no written record of what the women in the family looked like.  I can find some descriptions of men based on the WWI and WWII draft cards.

I have not had much luck tracking all of Bessie's children...the daughters in particular.  I can't confirm or debunk that one of the daughters suffered from Bright's Disease.

Love in an orphanage

Finally, the orphanage story.  It is possible Bessie was an orphan. It is possible David was given to an orphanage for a short time.  However, based on census records and the probable date that Bessie and David married, this orphanage story is probably just that...a story.

Bessie's story (or lack thereof) proves to me the importance of accurately and deliberately passing down family history.


  1. I have an extensive Stevens line that mainly lived in Louisiana. I wonder if they're tied together given the proximity of Galvenston. Your story is very interesting and well-written!

    1. Oh! Now wouldn't that be fantastic!! Are you on Ancestry? We should talk!

  2. Yes, I am. Here's the link to my public tree: My maternal great-grandmother is Lovincia Stevens and is in that tree. Let me know if you see anyone who looks familiar!