If you are planning a reunion (or to attend a reunion) involving families of FANNIN, WORKMAN, or FERGUSON with roots in Wayne County, West Virginia around 1850-1880, I have a request.
Please copy and take with you the following information for discussion, and post any new information and clues found. If you are not planning to attend such a reunion, but know of someone who is, please send them a copy of this information.
My great-grandmother was born Rebecca Fannin, to Silas and Mary (Ferguson) Fannin, April 1850. Census information gives Virginia as birth place, so it was probably in or near Wayne County, West Virginia.
Census locations given on pages for the Silas Fannin family in Wayne County, WV were:
1850 – District 66, 8 August 1850
1860 – Round Bottom (now Prichard), Butler District, 14 June 1860
1870 – Cassville (now Fort Gay), Butler District, 23 July 1870
1880 – No Township Noted, Butler District
I don’t think he moved in these different years; I think the post office just changed due to the different arrangements for census taking. Silas performed marriages in Wayne County, WV until 1887. I have checked available 1890 through 1930 censuses for Silas and Mary and did not find them. Also, I have never found by what authority he performed the marriages, JP or clergyman.
First marriage: 8 August 1868, was in Wayne, West Virginia to Reece Carl Workman, son of Matison and Elizabeth (Webb) Workman. Second marriage: unknown, not found in Wayne County, WV records.
Divorce: The divorce ‘Rebecca Workman vs. Reece Workman’ cover states “Entered on Page 471 March 8” 1877.” Inside it states, in part, the “defendant, who is out of this state,” “plaintiff appears to have proceeded against the defendant…came on this day to be heard on the bill, the evidence on file, and was argued by the counsel for plaintiff…” “and that the plaintiff have the custody of the child Workman, the issue of said marriage.”
The plaintiff, Rebecca (Fannin) Workman, never saw her son, Benjamin “Freelan” Workman, my grandfather, again. He was born in Wayne County in 1870, and would have been age 7 when she filed for custody. His father, Reece C. Workman had already been remarried and was either living (1877) in Wyoming County or Pocahontas County, West Virginia. They were in Pocahontas County, West Virginia when the 1880 census was taken.
My mother told me her dad left home (probably about 1915) to see if he could find Rebecca or what happened to her and was told that she remarried and moved away. I have tried courthouse searches, cemetery records, letters, and since 1970, and Internet since 1999, and found no clues after her divorce in 1877.
In order to complete my search, I need to know the second married name for Rebecca and where she went. I found the 1924 death record for her older brother, Easton Fannin, in Huntington, West Virginia. A younger brother, John Fannin, died 1923 in Odds, Kentucky, and another younger brother, Thomas Fannin, died 1940 in Ashland, Kentucky. I have used every technique known to me to find a clue for Silas and Mary after 1887, and for Rebecca after 1877 in Wayne County, and I am still looking. Railroad travel was pretty easy in that time period, and they could have gone far away. It is also possible that they relocated closer, such as in Dickenson County, Virginia.
Thank you for assistance in this manner.
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