Help me unravel this one, please!
James Maderson Eades (1847-1916, s/o James Allen Eades & Elizabeth Wells Pate) had the following children:
1877 - Mary Eades (d. 1970, had children with Wesley Hanford Fears, married William Lewis, ? Bereman)
1882 - Annie Dora Eades (who also married Wesley Hanford Fears)
abt 1882 - Elizabeth & James Eades - twins?
1895 - Moody Eades (d. 1930, apparently not of sound mind)
In 1900, James and Martha are found in Pickens with children Elizabeth, James and Anna, and stepchildren Jessie and "Suda" Billings who I think is Moody. Moody may have been a Billings, but later uses the name Eades.
The obvious thought is that Martha was previously married to a "Billings" and I have found a record of William Billings, married to Martha Jane "Pattie" Strickland with several children, including a Jessie, born in 1892. Perfect fit.
The most interesting feature of this record is that they state that they have been married 24 years and have 6 children - all living. Were they married to each other all that time, or other people? If you include Mary, born 1877 as one of the 6, that is also a good fit.
Jane can be found in Pickens, AL with W.M. Billings in 1880. Another researcher records his death as 1881, but I haven't yet confirmed it with a record. Not sure how 3 of their children would have been born after his death...
There is a US and International record that states that James Maderson Eeds married "P Meta Allen" and a 'family data collection' record that states that his wife was Jane Mittie Marinda Allen and, incorrectly, that his mother was Catherine Ray.
Another 'family data collection' record gives JMMA's death as 26 Aug 1884 - long after Martha Jane and James M were already supposedly married and having children, so that rules out the idea the "Mittie" might be "Pattie", unless the FDC records are incorrect. Also, where would the "Billings" children have come from, if JM's spouse hadn't previously been married, so that means we definitely have 2 couples, 2 families that merge.
This is how I see it:
James M. was married to "Mittie", had four children with her while Martha had her Billings children, then they married in the mid-1890s. "Mittie" had died in 1884, so that's reasonable. The 1900 record of the length of their marriage must just be wrong - they would actually have been married about 4 years, not 24.
I'm not comfortable with the record about "Mittie". I haven't found anything to support it. Anyone have any more info on her?
Thanks - I'd love your comments!