52 Ancestors #25: What’s that say?

Grandpa Douglas is a bit of a household name, even though Winfield Scott Douglas is my maternal 2nd great grandfather and died 5 years before my own grandpa was born.

Grandpa Douglas is a man attached to stories told by his daughter, Phoebe, and her son, and his sons … stories that have been told and retold so many times that I feel like I can turn around at any moment and see Grandpa Douglas standing in front of me. He lives and breathes even 101 years after his death.

Perhaps it is for this reason that I am drawn to him. Many of you understand this … we’ve all had folks from our past who we’ve felt compelled to learn about because of some unexplainable connection. We’re drawn to them for reasons yet understood. They aren’t simply names and dates or even faces, their voices are as clear in our heads as that of our own mother or child. Their stories are more real to us and we feel obligated to tell them. Roots run deep, some deeper than others, I suppose.

Grandpa Douglas’ parents are also quite the conundrum. They are all but undocumented short of a few census records I have located. As of yet, there are no marriage records, wills, land records, or anything else to provide a clue as to who they were, how they met … “from whence they came” is the recurring phrase in my mind … because I can’t answer it! Grandpa Douglas’ mother poses the most difficulty. I’m not even sure what her name was because it appears very differently on different documents.

Maybe you can help. I’m not good at interpreting handwriting (even my own!).

Feby Douglas, my 3rd great grandmother

The 1850 Census shows her name as Forobe.

1850 Census JD Douglas

1850 Census, Weakly County, TN


The 1860 Census shows her name as Feby, which is what I call her. 

1860 Census John JD Douglas

1860 Census, Stoddard County, MO


I lose her after 1860. Family lore says she traveled into Illinois from here, with Grandpa Douglas. I have found no record of her, however. 

The only other document I have with reference to her name is Grandpa Douglas’ marriage to Margaret Lindsey. I have stared at this name for almost 20 years now and still cannot decide what it says! What do you think? The maiden name is especially confusing!

Winfield Scott Douglas Marriage

Section of Winfield Scott Douglas’ Marriage License


Here’s the full document, in case it helps!

Winfield Scott Douglas Marriage License

Winfield Scott Douglas Marriage License

I won’t tell you what I think it says … but please tell me what you think! 

My Name Theory

Grandpa Douglas named his daughter Fariba Matilda … she went by Phoebe.  I have often wondered if Grandpa Douglas named her after his mother, especially since they both went by Feby/Phoebe. It’s only speculation … call it intuition that I can’t prove!

Leave me a comment with your name theory!


No Replies to "52 Ancestors #25: What’s that say?"

    Leave a reply

    Your email address will not be published.

    * Copy This Password *

    * Type Or Paste Password Here *

    %d bloggers like this: