Innis Family Tree
Getting started on Ancestry, I put up a new family tree for the Innis family. The minute I had the first names in, the “shaky leafs” starting popping up like mad. Everyone does know that you can find “everything on Ancestry” right? Just like the lady in the commercial, I should be able to find one record and then a family tree and “then everything!” Small matter that most of those trees are not sourced or even close to verified – I should still be able to get back to Charlemagne shouldn’t I? Sorry – I wandered off on a tangent – that commercial just annoys me. Ancestry has so many good commercials about people finding out the truth about a family by using the available records, but that commercial isn’t one of them!
Starting with Thomas Roberts Innis I began looking at census records. The 1910 census record was from Fannin County, Texas. From this 1910 census record I am able to establish the family as:1
Thomas B. Innis, born abt 1879 in Kentucky,
Loula [Roberts] Innis, abt 1879 in Tennessee,
Blanche, abt 1904 in Texas,
Edith, abt 1906 in Texas,
Pauline, abt 1908 in Texas,
Thomas R., abt 1909 in Texas.
Thomas R. is indexed as Thomas T.
It appears Thomas B. is from Kentucky (his parents are from Kentucky and Tennessee) and Loula is from Tennessee (her parents are from Tennessee and Arkansas). They have been married 7 years and Loula had 4 children and all are living.
The 1920 census record is from Denver, Colorado and lists the family as:2
Loula Gattis, born abt 1880 in Tennessee
Blanch Innis, born abt 1905 in Texas,
Edith Innis, born abt 1906 in Texas,
Thomas Innis, born abt 1910 in Texas,
Eddie Gattis, born abt 1914 in Colorado.
Loula is listed as the head of household and a widow. So is she a widow of an Unknown Gattis or the widow of Thomas B. Innis? I checked with Sue, and she confirmed that she did not know the Gattis name. She never heard Eddie’s last name. Like most of us that are a certain age, all adults in our lives were Mr. or Mrs. or if related, they were Aunt or Uncle – regardless of the actual relationship. She simply knew him as Uncle Eddie. Sue also told me that Loula had remarried at some point and when she died her last name was Preston. This is getting way more interesting. Could this be why Eddie wound up in the orphanage?
The 1930 census record is also from Denver and lists the family as:3
Loula Innis, born abt 1879 in Tennessee,
Thomas R. Innis, born abt 1910 in Texas
Loula has gone back to the name Innis and is listed as the head of household and a widow. Was she widowed or divorced from Eddie’s father? Many women in the early 1900s listed themselves as widows rather than divorced due to the poor social standing a divorcee would have had.
I made a change to the tree listing for Loula and created a second husband as Unknown Gattis and put Eddie in that family. When I changed his name there was an immediate hit for records. With the California Death Index4 and Social Security Death Index5 information, I can clearly establish his full name is Edward Franklin Gattis, born 10 March 1913 in Colorado, died 1 August 1988 in Anaheim, Orange, California. You have to love the California Death Index because they give you the mother’s maiden name. In this case it states “Roberts” so I know I have the correct man.
A search for an obituary on genealogybank.com did not help much. The notice simply stated,6
Edward F. Gattis, 74 of Anaheim, a retired chief petty officer for the US Navy, died Monday. Private services …
There is a findagrave.com memorial posted for Eddie with a nice picture of both Eddie and his stone.
My resistance to temptation is minimal (none if there is chocolate involved) so I did a quick search on Ancestry for a Gattis who died in 1915 in Denver. The date was random based on Loula declaring herself a widow on the 1920 census. The first item that popped was a World War I Draft Registration for Oscar Lee Gattis born 1878 (same age as Loula) with a Denver residence.7 I opened the image and went right to the nearest relative line and found the name Loula Gattis. I believe that we might now know the name of Eddie’s father, but more research will be needed to be positive
- Where is Pauline in 1920 – she would only be about 12, but she isn’t with the family – did she die, is she with relatives, or was she given up like Eddie?
- Where are Blanche, Edith, and Pauline 1930?
- Where is Eddie in 1930? A quick search of Ancestry did not reveal an answer. I will have to dig more and search with a wild card and some alternative spellings.
- What happened to Eddie’s father? Is he really dead or did he and Loula divorce? I’ll ask it here and try to answer it with this generation because I don’t plan on following the Gattis line beyond clarifying his father.
1.1910 U.S. census, Fannin, Texas population schedule, Justice Precinct 1, enumeration district (ED) 33, p. 19B, dwelling 255, family 259, Thomas R. Innis; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 10 Jan 2010); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T624, roll 1547.
2.1920 U.S. census, Denver County, Colorado, population schedule, Denver, enumeration district (ED) 310, p. 2A, dwelling 34, family 40, Thomas R. Innis; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 10 Jan 2010); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T625, roll 161.
3. 1930 U.S. census, Denver County, Colorado, population schedule, Denver, enumeration district (ED) 241, p. 6A, dwelling 96, family 104, Thomas R. Innis; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 10 Jan 2010); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T626, roll 237.
4. “California Death Index, 1940-1997,” database, Ancestry (http://www.Ancestry.com : accessed 10 Jan 2010), Edward Franklin Gattis.
5. Social Security Administration, “Social Security Death Index,” database, Ancestry (http://www.Ancestry.com : accessed 10 Jan 2010), Edward F. Gattis, SSN: 229-44-2022.
6. “Edward F. Gattis,” The Orange County Register, 4 Aug 1988, p. b09; digital images, GenealogyBank (http://www.genealgybank.com : accessed 10 Jan 2010), America’s Obituaries.
7. “World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918,” database and images, Ancestry (htp://www.ancestry.com : accessed 10 Jan 2010), Oscar Lee Gattis.