Friday, September 6, 2013

Following Henry

William Henry Evans was the first cousin of my grandfather Millard Fillmore Green. He was born four years earlier, on November 28, 1876 in Taylor County Florida and died one year before JFK on November 22, 1962.

I don't know if he and my grandfather stayed in touch as adults. I never heard his name before I started doing genealogy research. Early on in life they lived together.

William was living with my great grandfather, Andrew Jackson Green's family on the 1880 census and nearby with Andrew's father in law James Henderson Hogan on the 1885 census. By then he was an orphan.

His father, John Evans had died around 1879 and his mother, Samantha Green Evans died in October 1884. William and his brother John David Evans ended up with their grandmother, Sarah Strickland Green and both moved to Suwanee County Florida.

I found his grandmother and brother on the 1900 census in Taylor County but William wasn't living with them. He showed up on the 1910 census in Suwanee County Florida and by then he was married on his own. Until just recently I couldn't find any record of him after that.

New Harmony Methodist Church Cemetery put copies of military grave marker applications online earlier this year and I found one that seemed to match him. It showed he had served in the Spanish American War in 1898 with the 1st Florida Regiment. The Florida Regiment never made it to Cuba. They were stationed in the Tampa area drilling to take part in the invasion of Havana but Teddy R won the war before they could get down there.

His military service would explain why he wasn't with his grandmother on the 1900 census. I wasn't sure this was his record even then because the wife listed wasn't the one I had found with him on the 1910 census. That wife was named Minnie Evelena Bass and she was from Taylor County also. The wife listed on the grave marker application was shown as Ethel.

I decided to start looking for him in other parts of Florida and soon found a trail that would take him around the State.

In 1918 he filled out a WWI Draft registration card while living in St. Petersburg. On the 1920 census he was working on a fruit farm in Elfers, Pasco County Florida. There was a 1936 divorce record in Lake County which explained why Minnie wasn't around when he died. Then I found a 1938 record in Suwanee County showing he married Ethel Verdie High. On the 1940 census he and Ethel were living in Suwanee County and he was listed as a farmer. He died in 1962 in Pinellas County, I assume at the Bay Pines VA Hospital. He was buried in Suwanee County at the New Harmony Methodist Church Cemetery.

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