Monday, January 6, 2014

Mystery Monday: Answers ... and More Questions about Samuel C Dean

Rev. Sam C. Dean
[Atlanta] The Constitution, 3 May 1897

After posting about the wedding plans for my aunt Leila Perkinson, I decided it was about time I looked into the family relationship with Rev. Sam C Dean.  It has been an interesting journey, one that isn't over yet.

According to that wedding plans article, Sam Dean was the uncle of my aunt (and my grandfather), so he presumably would have been a brother of my aunt and grandfather's father, William Hiram Dean.  Looking at the family information I have gathered over the years, I knew that William Hiram Dean was one of eleven children born to Lemuel Dean and his wife Elizabeth Howard Dean.  Lemuel and Elizabeth even had a son named Samuel Howard Dean, but this Samuel was not the preacher Sam C Dean.  Samuel Howard Dean had died in 1862.  I had previously written a post about Samuel and his death in Richmond.  So, could Lemuel or another family member have had a son and named him in memory of the deceased Samuel Howard Dean?

I started by looking back at census records for Lemuel Dean, my 3GGrandfather.  Lemuel had died in January 1880, but I still checked the census for that year.  There in the 1880 census was a widow named Nannie Dean, two married daughters and their families, a son last name Jones, a son Lemuel Dean, and a son Samuel Dean, all living at 348 Marietta Street, Atlanta.(1)  This was the same address where Lemuel Dean had lived for a number of years, and it suggests that Nannie Dean might have been the widow of Lemuel Dean  The questions started because Lemuel Dean's (first) wife, Elizabeth Howard, had died in 1864, and I had never found anything to suggest that 3GGrandfather Lemuel had remarried and raised a second family.

Looking at the other sons of Lemuel Dean and Elizabeth Howard Dean, this Nannie Dean did not seem to be a widowed daughter-in-law now under Lemuel's care nor was Nannie the name of any of his daughters, back home to live with her children.  Perhaps Nannie Dean was a second wife.

Going back to the 1870 census, I saw that Lemuel Dean had a Nannie Dean in the household, along with young Lemuel Dean and the children with different surnames found in the household in the 1880 census.(2)  It was beginning to look like a second family for my previously widowed 3GGrandfather Lemuel Dean.

Meanwhile, I started a separate family tree for Samuel C Dean, listing the various census records and other personal information I found about him.  Fortunately, I found many references to Samuel in archive issues of The (Atlanta) Constitution.  I was able to track his record as an outstanding orator at Boys' High School in Atlanta and as a law student at the University of Georgia, and then the public announcement of his plan to leave the law for the ministry.  The sketch above accompanied the article about Samuel's decision and told of his plans to tour the state preaching in a large tent.(3)   

Further help came when I started a spreadsheet so that I can establish a timeline for information I had gather about Lemuel Dean, Nannie Dean, and Samuel C Dean.  As I added more information about these people, the spreadsheet pointed to the big questions:
  • When did Lemuel Dean and Nannie Jones marry?
  • Was Lemuel the father of Samuel?
  • What else happened to Samuel?
5/5/1864Howard, Elizabethdeath of Lemuel's first wifecemetery transcription
???marriage of Lemuel Dean and Nannie (Jones)
1870Dean, Lemuelresiding in ATL, Nannie in household1870 census
1870Dean, Nannieresiding in ATL, in household of Lemuel Dean1870 census
1873Dean, Samuel Capprox birth year1880 census
1877Dean, Lemuel348 Marietta ST, ATLSholes City Directory
1/11/1880Dean, Lemueldiedcemetery transcription
6/8/1880Dean, Nannie348 Marietta St, ATL, listed as widower1880 census
6/8/1880Dean, Samuel C348 Marietta St, ATL1880 census
1893Dean, Samuel Cgraduated from UGA
1894Dean, Samuel Cin ATL, practicing law, Withrow & Dean
May 1897Dean, Samuel Cannouncement of entering ministryAJC 3 May 1897
1898Dean, Samuel Cmarriage to Allie P1900 census
1900Dean, Samuel Cminister in Americus, GA1900 census
1903Dean, Nanniedied, listed as Nannie Dean MitchellAJC 5 Feb 1903
Apr 1908Dean, Samuel Cminister in Philadelphia, PAAJC 25 Apr 1908
abt 1910death of Allie P DeanAJC 20 Jun 1910
1910Dean, Samuel Cminister in Cartersville, GA, listed as widower1910 census
1911Dean, Samuel Cmarriage to Ida B D'armondAJC 19 Mar 1911
                     1912Dean, Samuel Cminister in Elberton, GAAJC 13 Jun 1912

So far I am not been able to locate a marriage record for Lemuel and Nannie either using Ancestry or through Georgia's Virtual Vault.  I'm still looking for answers to my questions about Samuel.  The Atlanta Constitution had numerous legal notices in which William H Dean, my 2GGrandfather, was listed as guardian of Samuel Dean and executor of Lemuel Dean's estate.  There were sales of property by the executor, some sales specifically noted to care for the care and education of Samuel Dean.  What I wouldn't give to see Lemuel Dean's actual will!  There are so many hints pointing to Lemuel being Samuel's father, but I really wanted to see something definitely documenting this before I could accept it as fact.

After writing the first draft of this post, I was straightening up my desk and saw the original file I had made for Lemuel Dean.  In Lemuel's file was a newspaper printout that mentioned a Sam Dean.  I had made several questions marks on that printout because I had been researching Lemuel Dean when I printed the article and had been puzzled by one sentence, "Rev. Sam C Dean ... was born in Atlanta, a son of Lemuel Dean."(4)  Now I have more certainly that Lemuel Dean is the father of Sam C Dean.  Certain enough to post this, certain enough to merge the Sam Dean tree into my family.

Samuel's life continued to take a lot of unexpected turns, first as a young man about Atlanta in the mid-1890s, then as a minister in Philadelphia, Newark, and in several towns in Georgia.  His first wife died, leaving him a widower with three small children.  He later remarried, then ... That's where the rest of my questions lie.

Lessons learned:
  • A spreadsheet can be invaluable for combining information about several different people.  It helps to point out the holes or missing pieces.
  • Keeping data on a new person in a separate family tree lets me dig and search, recording a variety of information until I know people are identical and I can combine the two family trees.
  • It pays to look back at documents with fresh eyes.
(1)  Georgia. Fulton County. 1880 U.S. census. Population schedule. Digital images. : 2014.
(2)   Georgia. Fulton County. 1870 U.S. census. Population schedule. Digital images. : 2014
(3)  The Atlanta Constitution, 3 May 1897. content source: Allen County Public Library, Fort Wayne, IN; accessed through : 2014.
(4) Atlanta Georgian and News, 13 Feb 1909.

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