Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Plan of Action: William Preston Ford, Part 3

This post is the third part of an ongoing research problem into my great-grandfather's life. In the previous two posts, I began researching to find out who the parents of William were and to find the marriage to his first wife Leona F. Sharp who died a few days after giving birth to their son, George William.

If you would like a recap you may use these links:

Plan of Action: William Preston Ford - part 2

I have been working diligently to locate any information on my great-grandfather, but I am coming up empty-handed at every turn. Here is what I have worked on since my last post.

1. Out of the eleven William Ford's in Missouri in the 1880 Census, I have ruled out seven. Those seven are all married with children. The ones I am still researching are:

* William Ford, born abt 1853, MO, lives in Prairieville, Pike, MO.

* William Ford, born about 1857, Ohio, living with another family in Sedalia, Pettis, MO, but there is also an older Ford in the home, John L. Ford, age 53.

* William Ford, born about 1857, living with William and Nancy E. Whitfield (nee Scott) in Blackwater, Pettis, MO.

* Wm. B. Ford, born about 1857, MO, living with parents Frank and Elizabeth. The initial could be a transcription error, or the census taker could have heard it incorrectly.

These may or may not be my William, but they are a place to start.

In addition to the above:

2. I have searched for marriage records for William Ford and Leona Sharp on Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org, as well as using various search engines. 

3. I searched on FindaGrave.org, Ancestry.com, FamilySearch.org for any sign of a Leona Frances Sharp (birth records, census, death), but could find nothing. I tried with both names and then each name individually and I made sure to not use exact search.

4. I found the marriage application dated 25 Aug 1881 on FamilySearch.org for William and second wife, Sarah Dodd. It lists Fulton County, Arkansas as where William is from. I did an Ancestry.com search for all Ford's in Fulton County, Arkansas in the 1880 census and did not find William Ford there. I expanded the search to surrounding counties and still no luck. 

5. I have sent off for marriage records for William Ford and Sarah Dodd, but have not received them yet. I do not expect to find anything on William's parents on the record, since he was of age, and had been married before, but I am still holding out hope.

6. I have been researching the Nancy E. Nicks (nee Nichols) who was caring for young orphan, George William Ford, aged 1 year. Found information on her husband and children, but have not found any link to William Ford's family as of yet.

Other areas I can continue to research:

1. Although I have not found any probate or will for William Ford online, I can call the county where he died to see if they have any records for him.

Plea for help:

I know there are other resources I have not checked. Is there anyone that could recommend any research strategies I have not already tried? All suggestions welcomed.