The Piece That Solves My Genealogy Brick Wall of Agnes Anderson

Puzzle piece with title final piece that solved my genealogy brick wall

Sometimes, only one piece is needed to tie together the different clues that break down your genealogy brick walls. I finally found the pieces that solve the mystery of Agnes Anderson’s parents.

A Quick Recap of Agnes’ Mystery

In a previous post, I had the possibility of connecting Agnes Anderson, my grandmother’s birth mother to Amanda Sparks and her brother Robinson Peter Sparks and 5 additional family members. I had received a Find A Grave link, an 1870 Census record, and death records for R Peter Sparks and a brother George, and a newspaper tidbit about Agnes selling real estate to Robinson Sparks.

If you missed the previous posts, you can catch up with these links: How Could I Miss That Clue for Agnes Anderson? The Crack in Agnes’s Wall Widens

Let me pause for a moment. I was reading and re-reading these discoveries and becoming more excited. But, the skeptic side of me raises a valid point.

Were these people really my Agnes?

We shouldn’t blindly accept someone’s research. As I was reviewing Shelly’s discoveries (a contributor to U.S. Midwest Genealogy Community on Facebook), I had a flutter in my stomach screaming the theory was very plausible. Yet, I needed something that confirmed these convenient coincidences.

Finding the Missing Link

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An article in the Newark Advocate discussed a life insurance policy court dispute, mentioned in the previous post. The news item states that Sarah Oetting was challenging Richard P Sparks over the beneficiary on behalf of Agnes’ daughter Marie Anderson.

Newspaper sheet with Marie Anderson viruses Richard P. Sparks.

Judge Moore Sustained, The Newark Advocate, 2 Jan 1923

Marie Anderson is the name of my Grannie Louise Long before she was adopted.

I have seen the adoption papers stating this fact. Sarah Oetting putting up a guardianship bond for Marie Anderson.

This one article connects Agnes Anderson to Richard P Sparks through the court case to the informant, R P Sparks, who appears on Anges’ death record.

By the way, why couldn’t this man use his given names on the court papers? Seriously?

Reviewing the Documents Again

After reviewing the guardianship bond for Marie Anderson in the light of this court dispute, I noticed R P Sparks on the document.

Now I can see that the R P Sparks who is involved with the guardianship of Marie Anderson (via the guardianship bond) is most likely the Richard P Sparks in the news clipping. Sarah Oetting’s name appears on both documents and snaps the puzzle piece in place.

Now Everything Makes Sense

  1. Agnes’s death record places R P Sparks in St Louisville.

  2. Agnes sold some property to Robinson P Sparks of St Louisville a few months before her death.

  3. According to a death record and a gravestone image, Robert (Robinson) Peter Sparks is buried in a St Louisville cemetery.

R P Sparks’ Name is Inconsistent

R P Sparks’ name is inconsistent across the documents of his life. This might suggest that there was more than one R P Sparks in St Louisville.

After evaluating the evidence, my conclusion is the various names point to the same person. He appeared in various records with the following names:

  1. Richard P Sparks

  2. Peter Sparks

  3. Robinson P Sparks

  4. Robert P Sparks

What remains constant is this man’s life in St Louisville, Licking, Ohio?

What also remains constant is that there does not appear to be any other R P Sparks from this area who interacted with Agnes Anderson.

How Does The Final Piece Expand My Family Tree?

Proceeding with the conclusion that the R P Sparks on Agnes’ death certificate is identified as Peter Sparks appearing in the 1870 Census in Licking County, Ohio, I found Agnes’ mother Amanda in the same household. Since the 1870 federal census lists relationships to the head of the household, I can infer that Peter Sparks and Amanda Sparks are siblings. Thus R P Sparks is Agnes’s uncle.

I was then able to add Amanda Sparks’ parents and another sibling to my family tree!

Time for a Happy Dance Video!

It’s time to do a happy dance.

Just when I think that’s good enough and I want to praise Shelly’s name on high, she drops another surprise on me.

Review how a combinations of clues help to confirm my theory when researching my genealogy brick wall. #genealogy #methodology #researchplans

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