Edgar Lane lived a short life. And he was my great-grandfather. He was born to John C. and Marietta (Vaughn) Lane about 1878 or 1879 most likely in Dyer County, Tennessee.
I searched for Edgar in census records for a long time. And finally I found him in 1880 living in Crockett County, Tennessee in the home of George Vaughn, enumerated as G. W. Maugham¹. Edgar was between the age of one and two years of age. His brother Isaac was four months old. Their mother, Marietta, had died before the census was taken leaving their father John with two very young children.
Like all good genealogists I questioned many times whether I had the correct person; there were so few documents for Edgar. One day, while looking for Lane’s and Vaughn’s in Crockett County on the GenWeb.com website, I found a link to people who were listed as contacts for surnames. This led me to Jean, my genealogy angel. She was listed as a contact for the Vaughn family surname. I took a chance and emailed her. And lucky me, she replied back. In the beginning we shared family stories, and the more we communicated, the more we felt that there was a family connection. A year later I sent my DNA to FamilyTree and eagerly awaited the results. The happy dance commenced when I found that Jean was listed as one of my matches. I was on the right track.
Edgar married Minnie Mae Perry on 19 July 1894 in Crockett County.² He was about fifteen, which seems very young to be married. A year later, my grandfather, William Everett Lane, was born. Why did he marry at an early age? Perhaps his age was incorrectly enumerated, perhaps he was a wild child, or people just got married at a young age back then. We may never know.
A relative told me that Edgar liked to gamble and disappeared one day. Speculation was that he owed someone money and wound up in the river as fish-food; a gruesome thought. Or it’s possible he was one of those men who shirked their responsibility by leaving their families and taking up a new identity somewhere else in the United States.
Life went on for Minnie Mae and their son William Everett. She married Sam Cosey in 1901. In a probate document recorded in June 1906, after the death of George Vaughn, was the sentence “Due on settlement to be equally divided between Minton Vaughn and the Lane minor heir of Edgar Lane deceased.”³ All of the clues, plus the DNA, have confirmed to me that indeed John and Marietta Lane and George Vaughn are my ancestors.
I was fortunate to meet my genealogy angel, and cousin, Jean last year when she and her husband Jim met me in Crockett County. They took me to the location where the Vaughn homestead once stood and to Lebanon Church Cemetery where Richard Vaughn, my gggg-grandfather, and other Vaughn family members are buried. She has been so kind in sharing her well-researched genealogy with me.
And recently I enjoyed another happy dance. I located a cousin, via DNA and Ancestry.com that connects me to John Lane. Life is good!
If anyone has information about this cast of characters that are my ancestors please contact me. I would love to hear from you.
My Lane genealogy line is:
Great, Great-Grandfather, John Lane b. abt. 1859, d. abt. 1898
married Marietta Vaughn b. 1860, d. abt. 1880
Great-Grandfather, Edgar Lane b. abt. 1879, d. abt. 1898
married Minnie Mae Perry b. 26 Feb 1875, d. 13 Dec 1863
Grandfather, William Everett Lane b. 13 Jun 1895, d. 5 Jun 1939
married Ruberta Hood b. 14 Oct 1894, d. 5 Feb 1969
Father, Talmadge Hollis Lane b. 21 Nov 1914, d. 22 Jan 1993
married Bonnie Lee Schwegler b. 25 Mar 1927, d. 29 Jun 2002
¹1880 U.S. census, Crockett County, Tennessee, population schedule, Maury City, enumeration district (ED) 007, sheet 240-C, dwelling 121, family 121, George Maugham (Vaughn) household, digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 11 Mar 2014); citing NARA microfilm publication T9, roll 1249.
²Tennessee State Marriages, 1780-2002, indexed database and digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 14 Jun 2015), Crockett, 1894, image 3 of 4 : Edgar Lane to Minnie Mae Perry.
³Crockett, Tennessee, Tennessee, Probate Court Books, 1795-1927, 3: 235, George W. Vaughn; FHL film 179819001, Image 415 of 524, Settlement record for George Vaughn.
2 thoughts on “Finding Edgar Lane and Doing the DNA Happy Dance”
Sometimes fate puts us in touch with just the right person. I too have a genealogy angel, in the form of my Dad’s youngest cousin, Kay. In writing about my Great Grandfather (Kay’s Grandfather), she keeps dropping little pieces of information or conversations she had with her father which have immensely.
On Mon, Jun 13, 2016 at 8:14 AM, Gathering Leaves for My Family Tree wrote:
> Tonya Ferguson posted: “Edgar Lane lived a short life. And he was my > great-grandfather. He was born to John C. and Marietta (Vaughn) Lane about > 1878 or 1879 most likely in Dyer County, Tennessee. I searched for Edgar in > census records for a long time. And finally I found him in” >
The same is true for me. Jean has shared so many conversations she had with her dad. I’ll be writing more about Edgar and his father John in the future.