Greg, although I sent this info via your personal email, I wanted to post it on the board as well, since there could be others interested in this particular group of people within our thread.
What I know about this particular group of people, I learned primarily from reading transcriptions of court records within USGenWeb's Jackson County Tennessee website. The depositions in the various lawsuites are full of genealogical relevancies (names, dates, relationships, etc.).
To summarize the info you sent, William Stratton (my great grandfather) was residing in your 3rd Great Grandparents' household during the 1870 Census, Jackson Co., TN (household of Robert & Judith Goolsby). You knew that Robert Goolsby had a brother named Francis Marion Goolsby who married a Martha Jane Kirby in 1862, Davidson Co., TN. From this, we have surmised that after my William Stratton's mother's death (the death of Mary Ann Kirby Stratton), William was taken in by Mary Ann Kirby Stratton's mother's side of the family. The actual relation is that William Stratton was a step grandchild of Francis Marion Goolsby (brother to Robert Goolsby), who married widow Martha Jane Kirby (William's biological maternal grandmother); the marriage was a second marriage for them both. So that is our connection, but still does not answer why William was in Robert's household. It would make more sense to me that William would have been taken in by the step grandfather Francis Marion Goolsby, rather than by his step grandfather's brother Robert Goolsby. Then again, maybe Francis was too busy being a lawyer to raise him, or perhaps too old or in too poor health at the time to raise a 10-year old.
I do not know yet what Martha Jane Kirby's maiden name was, prior to her marriage to Henry William Kirby. However, the marriage produced Patrick Kirby (b. Bef. 1834), Mary Ann (nee Kirby) Stratton (b. 1834), and Martha Jane Kirby Jr. (b. 1837). Martha Jane (nee Unknown) Kirby's DOB was about 1817. The marriage date was around 1832.
From what I know of Francis Marion Goolsby, he was born about 1819/1820, so it would have been the widow Martha Jane (nee Unknown) Kirby that he took as a second wife. In court records for Jackson Co., TN, Martha Jane the mother was often referred to as "Sr," and the daughter of the same name as "Jr" to differentiate between the two.
Yes, a lot happened to Mary Ann Kirby Stratton, mother to my William Stratton (who was in the Goolsby household at age 10 in 1870) in 1860. She had been granted a divorce from Hartwell H. Stratton in July 1859 (divorce initially filed 1857). She was enumerated in 1860 as head of her own household with 4 children (Pamelia Arintha, Mary Jane, Francis Maria, and 9-month old William), and her sister Martha Jane Kirby, Jr. Sometime after that census, but still within 1860, she married Leonidas A. McCarver (the man she denied having an affair with when she and Hartwell filed for divorce). Then, still yet within 1860, Mary Ann (who was then Mary Ann Kirby Stratton McCarver) died. Also deceased apparently at the same time were the children Pamelia Arintha Stratton and Francis Maria Stratton. This left children William Stratton and sister Mary Jane Stratton more or less orphans, hence William going to live with Robert and Judith Goolsby, at least in time for the 1870 census. But who took in Mary Jane Stratton? William was under age 1 when his mother died, and his sister Mary Jane was only age 6 or 7. Their father Hartwell did not take them in, as he immediately moved to Missouri following the divorce and was in med school at St. Louis when the death happened.
As to cause of death for so many people at once, I read in either the Court Records or a diary from Jackson County TN written by a man surnamed Buck, that in 1859/1860 yellow fever swept through the area. I am speculating that it was yellow fever that caused the demise of Mary Ann Kirby Stratton McCarver and children Pamelia Arintha Stratton and Francis Maria Stratton.
That pretty much summarizes what I know. I appreciate your info and help so much, Greg. If anyone else has ideas or info to contribute, please let us know.
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