Saturday, August 28, 2010

John William & Rosa Emma Slack – The Family Bible

I recently had the privilege of talking to another newly found cousin—Jim Slack of Keller, Texas.  While I was excited to meet a new cousin, I was also eager to discuss a package loaded with genealogical information that he mailed to my Grandfather Ellsworth W. Slack way back in 1995. I inherited the package when my mother passed away over ten years ago, but didn’t really pay much attention to it until I start researching my roots. Jim’s package contains many research gems that have helped me learn more about the Slack side of my family for the better part of two years now. 

It all started when I located a telephone number for one of Mary J. Carter’s sons several weeks ago, Joe Carter of Nixa, Missouri. Joe directed me to his sister, Linda Rose Carter Wirz of Verona, Missouri for more information about the family. Linda emailed her cousin Kathryn Ann Whitehead Tilley of Destin, Florida who in turn contacted me. In talking to Kathryn I learned that she happened to know Jim and his phone number. It was either good fortune or dumb luck that finally took hold, but in the course of a few days, many months of fruitless detective work boiled down to the discovery of a key bit of information that cracked the mystery. Doesn’t it usually work that way?

As it turns out, Jim is the grandson of James Earl Slack (b. Nov 2, 1899 d. Nov 2 1993) who was one of Ellsworth’s older brothers. Jim has been interested in his Slack ancestors for many years, and both he and his wife prepared the information my grandfather received in the mail. I have learned many tidbits and interesting Slack family facts from Jim, but one of the most exciting discoveries came during our first call--I found out that our Great Grandmother Rose E. Slack’s Bible still exists, and he has it!

According to Jim, the bible isn’t in the best shape (missing a cover and publication information), but it does contain her children’s births, one death (Amos Dee Slack) and a three marriages. One of those marriages was Ellsworth’s.  What a find!  I had been searching for that one for months.  It's written in pencil at the bottom of the "Marriages" page. The scanned bible images below were graciously provided by Jim Slack.

(Click on the images to enlarge)

I was initially drawn to the bible entry showing the marriage of John W. Slack and Rosa Emma Morgan for two reasons. First, I didn’t have a clue when they were married. Problem solved. Second, it helped me discover that I mistakenly listed Rosa’s name as “Rose Emily” in my family tree documentation. Consider it corrected! With this information, I will update my previous post to this blog that introduced John William & "Rose Emily" (Morgan) Slack. That’s the nature of family research—sometimes mistakes happen.

As an interesting aside, take a look at Rosa’s name on her death certificate (below) in 1937.

It’s possible the person recording the information on the death certificate heard and subsequently wrote “Rosie”, when James Earl Slack (the informant) said “Rose E.” No doubt her son and many family members called her “Rose”. Given the poor penmanship, it’s also likely the recorder of the certificate was hurrying through the process and not paying close attention. We’ll never know.

Thanks to Jim, Joe, Linda and Kathryn for all their help! I look forward to many more conversations and fascinating family stories.

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