Wednesday, March 4, 2015

#52Ancestors: WK 9: CORNSTUBLE, Mary Francis

** cross posted to Lass Chronicles **
This week, I'm thinking out loud about my research for Mary Francis CORNSTUBLE. First, a little background.

Mary Francis Cornstuble was born about 1881 in Missouri.  She was the middle child (and second daughter) of Dora Bell (GINGER) and John E. Cornstuble.1 On 3 Dec 1896, 15 year old Mary Francis married Welcome ADAMS.

Marriage Record: Mary Francis Cornstuble & Welcome C. Adams2

A little less than a year later, my great-grandfather (Benjamin Franklin Adams) was born. Five more children followed (Robert, Daisy, John, David, and Opal). Sometime after 1918 (Opal's birth year) and before 1930 (when Welcome is enumerated as divorced), Mary Francis and Welcome divorced. She remarried a man named Alec or Alex Smith. Alec/Alex died in 1930. Mary Francis is enumerated in the 1940 U.S. Census with her daughter and son, Opal and Robert. Sadly, on 7 Jan 1950, Mary Francis died in a house fire.

Death Notice: Mary Francis (Cornstuble) Adams Smith3

Myths vs. Reality and the beginnings of a One-Name Study

When I was about ten...maybe a little older, I was told by my grandmother, Eulaliah, that we had several "Indian" names in the family. Cornstubble, Cornsilk, and Rainwater. I was told that we are descendants of either the Choctaw or Cherokee nations because of where our family was from, Southeast Oklahoma, Southwest Arkansas, Northeast Texas -- an area some will know as Arklatex or Arklatexoma.

First, I've never found a Cornsilk or Rainwater in the family tree. Cornsilk and Rainwater are in my general search area. Those names (as well as Cornfield, Corntassel, and Cornshucker) show up in the Oklahoma and Indian Territory, Dawes Census Cards for Five Civilized Tribes, 1898-1914.4 However, Cornstuble is the name that I have to follow; and it, so far, has never appeared in any Indian Census record I have searched.

Second, I have been told Cornstuble is not "Indian" -- although, that's up for debate beyond the scope of this post. I can say MY Cornstuble family traces to Illinois. Does that help or hurt the family mythology?

At RootsTech, there was at least one session on One-Name Studies. I didn't attend (hello, conflict!), but I am now wishing I had. Cornstuble presents an interesting topic for study.

The US Census Bureau says that Cornstubble appears 145 times in the 2000 Census.5 That is 145 potential cousins! The US Census Bureau does not include Cornstubble in the 1990 Census data.6 The methodology for the 1990 summary explains why some names don't end up in the list.

There are variations and/or misspellings for the Cornstuble name in Illinois, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Arkansas between 1850 and 1940: Barnstable, Comstuble, Connstuble, Constable, Cornstable, Cornstble, Cornstoble, Cornstubble, Cornstufle, Cornstusle, Coustablle, Scorstubble...

Based on my brief searching and spot checking, the name Cornstuble pops up in Illinois, Kentucky, and Maryland; and for at least one individual has a German origin.

All of this makes me think I need to consider a one-name study for Cornstuble. As a bonus, just today, I found a website that seems to cover an entire branch of the Cornstuble family: Descendants of Stephen Cornstub(b)le. I'm about 90% sure this is my Cornstuble family. How 'bout them apples? #52Ancestors turns up all kinds of interesting things!

1. The Cornstuble children are:
Sarah Jane Cornstuble (1876 – 1922)
Henry Douglas Cornstuble (1879 – 1900)
Mary Francis Cornstuble (1881 – 1950)
Charley Cornstuble (1883 – 1920)
Sherman Cornstuble (1887 - ?)

2.,. 'Frances Cornstuble and Welcome Adams, "Arkansas, County Marriages, 1837-1957" — Familysearch.Org'. N.p., 2015. Web. 5 Mar. 2015.

3.,. 'Obit: Mary Francis Cornstuble Adams Smith - On Newspapers.Com'. N.p., 2015. Web. 5 Mar. 2015. (Joplin Globe, 8 January 1950, Page 4).

4.,. 'Oklahoma And Indian Territory, Dawes Census Cards For Five Civilized Tribes, 1898-1914'. N.p., 2014. Web. 4 Mar. 2015.

5. U.S. Census Bureau. 'Frequently Occurring Surnames From The Census 2000'. N.p., 2015. Web. 4 Mar. 2015.

6. U.S. Census Bureau. 'Frequently Occurring Surnames From The Census 1990'. N.p., 2015. Web. 4 Mar. 2015.

Optional Theme: Week 9 (Feb 26-Mar 4) – Close to Home. Which ancestor is the closest to where you live? Who has a story that hits “close to home”?

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