Innis Family Tree

I was leaving my Colorado research for awhile when I went back and read through the COGenBlog that I mentioned in one of my previous posts. That blog reminded me that I needed to search the Colorado State Archives and I eventually wound up at the Colorado Historical Records Index. There are divorce cases posted for Colorado from the 1870s to 1939 from a variety of counties. I selected Start Your Search, typed in the name Gattis and selected Court as the record type. Just for giggles I tried divorce and got no results, but under Court there were four entries for divorce action – one for Lula C. Gattis, and three for Oscar C. Gattis all from 1921. You may select the records and inquire for the fees, but I’m not going to be requesting any records. Even with the wrong middle initials, I am fairly comfortable that these are my folks.

Well I think between this and the possible death dates found on familysearch my earlier theory that Oscar has died by 1920 should be set aside – it’s hard to be a party in a divorce action if you’re dead! So Lula’s use of the title widow was not accurate as applied to her Gattis surname. Hhhhhmmmmmm!

I tried all the other categories, but had no other hits for either the Gattis or Innis name. The search will pull up anything close in spelling – when I searched for Innis it pulled up Ninnis, Dennis, and McMinnis so exact searches may not be required.

Sadly, I found little online in Colorado that resulted in concrete sources. Even Ancestry’s huge records collection seems limited in this state. The only items on Ancestry specific to Colorado are the 1885 Colorado State Census, the rather limited Colorado Marriages from 1859-1900, and the newspapers are limited in area. When you go to the old search and pull up the records by state, with the exception of the items mentioned, they appear to be all national or general records. There simply are not enough state or county records to do you much good. Considering that Denver was a major city on several migration routes it’s a pretty poor compilation of records.

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Innis Family Tree

I swear that darn Arwen is like reminder central. I went with her to the program she gave the other night and having heard it twice before you would think that it would have already sunk in. It finally did this time, which confirms I’m a slow learner – something Arwen already knew! So I spent the last couple of days going back over my early research on this family and was preparing this post when I went in and read Arwen’s post. I realized that I had not checked ALL of the individuals on familysearch. You would think that I would utilize my darn checklist, but I got caught up in the “Thrill of the Hunt” and failed to follow my own protocols.

There are several items on familysearch which show death dates for Oscar Lee Gattis. The posted ancestral files and IGI relate death dates for Oscar of 1931 and a couple for 1929. These are from individual submissions and not from a specific film of documents so I still have no independent source information for either of these dates. The 1929 date does not include a location of any type and the 1931 date is only a year, but does say burial in Denver. It does not include a death location or a cemetery.

The other thing that needs to be done is to resolve conflicts. My Oscar Gattis does not appear to be the only Oscar Gattis. There is a marriage record from Franklin County Tennessee for Oscar Gattis and Jenette Brown from 5 Aug 1917. There are no ages given so Oscar could be anywhere from 8 to 80. Also there are several census records that make me wonder. 1900 Justice Precinct 6, Eastland Texas there is a young lady named Lula B. Gattis, born May 1879 in Tennessee. In 1900 Justice Precinct 1, Wise County, Texas, there is an Oscar Gattis born Feb 1878 in Tennessee who is a laborer. On the 1880 census in Lincoln County, Tennessee, Lula E. is older than Oscar. I went to the Family Trees on Ancestry for Oscar and one has the 1929 death date and lists a spouse of Lula Williams. There are no locations given or sources provided.

Well I am no better off now than I was before. Maybe I should have simply called it documenting conflicts rather than resolving.

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Innis Family Tree

I want to look at the siblings of Thomas Roberts Innis and see if I can finish off this generation. I understand from Sue that all his siblings are deceased. I really wanted to answer the question about Pauline not being on the 1920 census, so I searched for her first. I found her in 1920 in Leadville, Lake County, Colorado.1 She is in the household of Ed F. and Emma Seabert and listed as a niece. It is interesting to note that Edith is also in the household on the day of the census so she is enumerated twice in 1920; on 2 January in Leadville and again on the 13th in Denver with her mother Loula. Pauline [indexed as Imse] appears on the 1930 census in Denver still living with her aunt Emma Sebrt [sic] who is now a widow.2 I had to do a specific search of the 1930 census for her as Pauline, no last name, born 1908 in Texas, living in Colorado to find her. I have no information on a marriage or her death. I’ll check with Sue and report back.

Blanche as noted in the previous post appears on the 1910 and 1920 census. The first search on Ancestry revealed her California Death Index record under the name Blanche Zitnik.3 My confidence is high as the record shows a father of Innis and mother of Roberts. Her birth date is 4 April 1904 and her death is 3 Sep 1980. In 1930 Blanche is living in the same house as her mother, but she is the wife of Charles P. Hannen and has a son.4 I had noticed there was another family in the house with Loula and when I could not find a Blanche Innis on the records, I went back and looked. Her husband Charles is the last person on the page with Loula and Thomas R., and Blanche is on the following page with her son.

By 1930 Edith Innis has married Ralph E. Cowles and is living in La Junta, Otero County, Colorado with their two children.5 I have not located her death information yet.

There is some interesting material and some confusion for me on the Gattis question. I went back and took a hard look at the World War I Draft Registration for Oscar Lee Gattis. Ancestry has two posted with the same name and birth date, but they appear to be duplicates. The occupation is listed as ‘none’ and next to the name in parenthesis is the word ‘Jail.’ So it looks like Mr. Gattis was not out earning wages in September 1918. If he died it would seem to be between September 1918 and 13 Jan 1920, the date on the 1920 census for Loula.

I find an Oscar L. Gaddis on the 1910 census in Denver as a Lodger in a boarding house and his occupation is engineer on the railroad.6 He is single on this census, so he and Loula must have married between 30 April 1910 (the date on the census from Texas) and (theoretically) before Eddie’s birth on 10 Mar 1913. Eddie’s Find A Grave memorial lists his place of birth as Fort Lupton, Weld County, Colorado – yet another confusing point. I found no census records in 1920 or 1930 for Oscar. I did a variety of searches using alternate spellings and wild cards, but I had no luck. I have listed his death date as before 1920 with no location. I also had no luck finding information on either GenealogyBank or NewspaperArchive.com .

Searching for materials utilizing only online resources in Colorado is not the easiest thing – the amount of information online is simply underwhelming. As is always the case, some counties are great, but Denver is – just – well – not! I am constantly surprised that states won’t put up at least an index of items by year if not by date – especially death records. You can find a Social Security Death listing from three months ago, but not a death certificate index from a state for 50-100 years ago. Bless those states that are putting records up! The lack of records online in Denver is just annoying the heck out of me so I will set it aside for the moment and go work elsewhere for awhile.

1. 1930 U.S. census, Otero County, Colorado, population schedule, La Junta, enumeration district (ED) 11, p. 8B, dwelling 186, family 198, Edith Cowles; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 10 Jan 2010); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T626, roll 248.
2. 1930 U.S. census, Denver County, Colorado, population schedule, Denver, enumeration district (ED) 63, p. 5B, dwelling 77, family 110, Pauline Innis; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 10 Jan 2010); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T626, roll 234.
3. “California Death Index, 1940-1997,” database, Ancestry (http://www.Ancestry.com : accessed 10 Jan 2010), Blanche I. Zitnik.
4. 1930 U.S. census, Denver County, Colorado, population schedule, Denver, enumeration district (ED) 241, p. 6B, dwelling 97, family 105, Blanche [Innis] Hannen; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 10 Jan 2010); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T626, roll 237.
5. 1930 U.S. census, Otero County, Colorado, population schedule, La Junta, enumeration district (ED) 11, p. 8B, dwelling 186, family 198, Edith Cowles; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 10 Jan 2010); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T626, roll 248.
6. 1910 U.S. census, Denver County, Colorado, population schedule, Denver, enumeration district (ED) 74, p. 16A, dwelling 324, family 339, Oscar L. Gaddis; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 11 Jan 2010); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T624, roll 114.

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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

blockquoteEdward 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

Research Questions
  • 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.

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