Family History Search:
Who Was Vines?

The story of our family history search continues with all roads leading to a mystery person named, "Vines".

Joyce AKA "Genealogy Grandma" writes:

Knowing the identities of my great-great grandmother (Vinie Johnson) and great-grandmother (Jennie Johnson-Sutton-Allen) is possibly enough information to locate them in the censuses of 1870 or 1880 of Leflore County, MS. 

I believe they may be in this location because it is the birthplace of my grandmother, Emma Daisy Allen.  

I have previously looked at the census records of the state of Georgia where they were born--but without much luck.  My family history search covered every county in Georgia and I did not find any record of them.  

Therefore, for now, the focus will be solely on Mississippi and with any luck, I hope to find them there.

Having spent numerous hours looking for Jennie Johnson, Jennie Allen, and Jennie Sutton--I’m now hitting a brick wall.  

I have come to realize that I must change my tactic and look for Jennie’s mother--Vinie--in hopes of finding something substantial.  

If by chance, I can locate Vinie Johnson then I may find her daughter living in close proximity to her, say a few doors away.  I will use this strategy and see what I uncover.  

Without much fanfare at all, I find in the 1880 Census of Leflore County, MS, a female named “Vinie Johnson” residing in the household of a man named “VINES BEASLEY“. 

The census describes her as a 50-year-old black female who was born in Georgia.  If this woman was 50-years-old in 1880, then her birth year would be around 1830. 

As I scroll the page, I see that the name of the wife to the head-of-household is Jennie.  Jennie is described as a 24-year-old mulatto female, who also, was born in Georgia…

I’m thinking, “This is starting to look good.”  If Jennie was 24-years-old in 1880 then her birth year would be around 1856, which is pretty close to the year of my great-grandmother’s birth.  

Additionally, there are two small children in the household with Jennie. The children listed are “Emma,” a mulatto female, two years of age; and “Ezella,” a mulatto female, who is only a few months old.  

Everything here fits the profile of my ancestors, except the head-of-household and husband, VINES BEASLEY, and the younger child EZELLA.  I have absolutely no oral history on the two of them--none.  

My grandmother, Emma, would have been about two-years-old in 1880.  Her sister Ezella could have died in infancy, and that could explain why my mother did not know she had an aunt who died at an early age.  

But what I cannot reconcile is this person, VINES BEASLEY, who is listed as Jennie’s husband.  My great- grandfather’s name is “Ned”, or “Fred Allen“.

Was my grandfather not home the day the census taker took the census? Was VINES BEASLEY in the home, and the census taker mistook him for Jennie’s husband?  

This is the only explanation I can construct in order to say these people are my maternal ancestors. 

Yet, I know I cannot jump to that conclusion without additional evidence on this family.

Stay tuned for what happens next in our family history search!

If you missed our previous installments, click on any of them here:

Part 1   Part 2   Part 3   Part 4   Part 5   Part 6   Part 7   Part 8   Part 9

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