The surname of James Partee's wife, "Emeline/Elmina/Elmira" (seen in all these forms in the census and land records), is a mystery so far.
It is often difficult to trace the females surname if no marriage record can be found, if no family bible is found which recorded it, or if it doesn't become apparent in such a case that her mother, brother, or sister was living in the home on one of the census's and shown to be 'a mother, brother, or sister (or in-law in the case where the head of the house is still living).
If a will could be found or perhaps a deed, naming her by her given name and her Partee name, as a 'daughter', sister, etc..., then perhaps we could prove her surname.
Also, since she first appeared in James's house in 1850, that is the first census to name all individual's in the home, so even if we went back and looked in that area of Izard Co., in 1840 for a household who had a daughter of that age, and name, it won't be found. Prior to 1850, only the head of the house was named, and the ages of all in the home were simply shown within an age group..usually comprised of 5 years, so it would be impossible to know if a household had a daughter with her name, or exact age.
I do have one theory I'd like to follow up. The middle name given to son, "John W. Partee" is said by some to have been Wolfgang/Wolfgame, but by at least one of his son's, "Benjamin", it was told to his daughter that John's middle name was "Wolfe".
I did notice that on the 1850 census, living only 2 doors away from James Partee's home was the home of "John Wolf", age 44. He is shown as born in KY.
However, my theory is that perhaps he was an older brother to Elmina/Emeline, and that while he was born in KY., Emeline/Elmina was born 9 years later (she was age 35 on the 1850 census) in TN.
It is possible that if related that their parents migrated from Ky., first into TN., then into Arkansas.
If my theory proves out, then Elmina/Emeline may have been a "Wolf" by surname and named her son, John Wolfe Partee, after her brother. The 'e' on the end of "Wolf" is of no consequence as it was common for persons to spell their names in different ways at this time when education was lacking and census and court reporters often spelled them as they thought best.
This is just a theory at this time, but perhaps records can be found on the Wolf family of this area which may prove or disprove my theory.
I have also wondered if it possible that Emeline was the name of a 1st wife and Elmina the name of a 2nd wife. Their ages did differ by 2 years from the 1850 to the 1860 census. Emeline was age 35 in 1850 and Elmina was age 43 in 1860. This is not in itself a big deal, and the names are similiar, but it is a possibility worth looking into as well.
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