Leaping into the Rainwaters
Updated with new text and images on 2019 Feb 24.
In my first two posts introducing my Aunt Mazie's tree, I've pointed out a couple of key caveats: 1) I expect to create a more complete scan of the original poster-size drawing, and 2) the information in this tree is prone to the variety of errors that are typical in any handed-down story. It is certainly incomplete and inaccurate and yet it continues to guide fascinating new research paths!
Recently I returned to the tree to look more closely at the Rainwater branch. My work on Ancestry.com started with this hand drawn tree yet I had not returned to it for almost a year while focusing on unrelated projects. I stumbled onto the work of a fellow Ancestry member who also has Celia and Gabriel Rainwater in her tree. Referring to my inherited partially-scanned drawing below, I saw that I had the name of 'Celia Rainwater" not once but twice. And now I have to wonder:
What can we learn from each other?
In Mazie's tree the name Celia Rainwater appears twice as two separate individuals. Once as a granddaughter of Ellis Cannon and again as the wife of his grandson, Elijah Cannon. In the first instance she is the daughter of Elizabeth Cannon who married into the Rainwater family; here she has one brother named Gabriel Rainwater. Nothing is drawn directly to connect this Celia to the next one.
Celia: Wife &Mother
In the next instance, Celia Rainwater is the wife of Elijah Cannon, who is a son of Nancy Wyatt and a grandson of Ellis. In this branch, Celia is the mother of Charity, Elhannah, Enoch, and Ellis. In both instances, Celia Rainwater is in the same generation at two branches removed from Ellis Cannon at the trunk. Is there any documentation that connects these two instances as either related individuals or as the same person?
Did Celia Marry Her First Cousin?
If it turns out that there is only one Celia Rainwater in this tree, then she and her husband Elijah had the same grandparent, Ellis Cannon. That would make them first cousins of course and this was not uncommon in their time. I suspect it is true but I will need a lot more evidence before I can make a reasoned argument. As a soft conjecture I see that Elijah and Celia started their family in South Carolina close to the time that Mazie's great grandfather Nahum traveled to Tennessee to marry his first cousin, Cynthia Wyatt. Their children grew up far apart in South Carolina and Arkansas, yet Mazie's father Ed Cannon was already 14 years old when his great uncle, Elijah died. If he did not know them personally, he likely had a few stories from his South Carolina cousins, perhaps enough to have known that his great aunt and uncle were also first cousins. Again it is wildly speculative until there are some records to connect Elijah's wife Celia to Gabriel and to common parents.
What do records show?
Ancestry records align with Mazie's tree neatly for the lower branch that shows Celia Rainwater as the wife of Elijah Cannon (born in 1796). In US Census records and in a marriage record, they had these same four children: Ellis, Elkannah, Charity and Enoch. Charity continued to live with her parents after her siblings left home and she took care of her widowed father Elijah when he had palsy. And for the first instance, I have recently discovered Rainwater family records pointing to a household where Celia and Gabriel are siblings.
The New Quest
I do not have a full name for the spouse of Elizabeth Cannon Rainwater. We have only their father's surname and not his first name. Next I will be continuing to reach out to my Ancestry contact who also has Celia and Gabriel Rainwater. Together I hope we can find the documentation that proves that our Celia and Gabriel Rainwater match up neatly.
This is simply a conversational blog where each post is a response to another researcher or a place to think aloud about ongoing challenges. As it grows it will become a timeline for our research conversations. It features selected branches of our family trees originating with George Edward Cannon and Margaret Antoinette DeLony.
In general this site has been created to make our family stories available to others and to help us improve the work with your suggestions and corrections.
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This blog site is designed and written for family members and fellow researchers by Kathy Cannon.
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