|Hedge Maze, St Louis Botanical Gardens|
photo source: Wikipedia Commons
It all started when I was trying to find the death date for the first wife of my 4GreatUncle Burrell Marion Camp. One thing lead to another as I kept coming across more marriages between the same families and friends. Here's the brief outline of some interesting family connections.
Connection #1 Mary E Stegall was the first wife of Burrell Marion Camp. Two years after Mary's death, Burrell married the widow Sarah Holland Elsberry in 1871. Earlier in 1864, Sarah's brother, George Washington Holland, had married Lydia Camp, the daughter of Burrell Camp and Mary Stegall Camp. This meant that after 1871 Sarah Holland Elsberry Camp was Lydia Camp Holland's sister-in-law as well as being Lydia's stepmother.
Connection #2 Prior to her marriage to Burrell Camp, Sarah Holland had been married to Lindsay Elsberry, Jr, one of the members of the 40th Georgia Infantry, CSA, who died during the Civil War. It turned out that Lindsay Elsberry had a sister Sarah Sally Elsberry who married Archibald Holland, the widowed father of Sarah Holland. This meant that Sarah Elsberry Holland was both a sister-in-law and a stepmother to Sarah Holland Elsberry Camp. I'm beginning to see a pattern here.
Connection #3 Sarah Holland Elsberry Camp's first husband, Lindsay Elsberry, Jr, had a brother Matthew, also a member of the 40th Georgia, who also died during the Civil War. Matthew left a widow, Mary Jane Henderson Elsberry. In December, 1883, she then married the now widowed George Washington Holland, brother of her sister-in-law Sarah Holland Elsberry Camp. No doubt about it, Mary Jane Henderson Elsberry Holland and Sarah Holland Elsberry Camp were definitely sisters-in-law.
Connection #4 According to the findagrave memorial for Mary Jane Henderson Holland "the story was shared among many family members, that when Lydia Camp Holland was near to her passing she told George [Holland] that her wishes were for him to remarry and that if she could choose his next wife for him, it would be Mary Jane Henderson Elsberry". I continued to find this story posted on several online family trees and family genealogy web sites. Maybe it is true, maybe not, but it is still a great story.
As I checked census records, Civil War widow pension data, findagrave.com pages, and Georgia marriage records, I kept bumping into repeated connections between the Camp-Elsberry-Holland families. It made for an interesting afternoon, all of which started when I found a photo of Mary Stegall Camp's grave marker and took the time to see who else was buried at Old High Shoals Cemetery in Paulding County, Georgia.