Monday, February 6, 2017

Mystery Monday: Another Eliza Jollett

Mystery Monday is a daily prompt at Geneabloggers that asks us to share mystery ancestors or mystery records – anything in our family history research which is currently unsolved.  With any luck fellow genealogy bloggers will lend their eyes to what has been found so far and possibly help solve the mystery.

It has been quiet around here this year because I have been trying to work on that darn Jollett Reunion book that I planned to finish LAST year. The slow progress is due to my determination to correct past errors, fill in missing dates if possible, and add some spark to what my children and nephews might regard as a snooze fest. My newspaper subscriptions sometimes come to the rescue. And sometimes they offer up a bonus: a new mystery to solve.

Usually I search by the name of a specific person, but since the book will cover a number of Jolletts, I simply typed in “Jollett” and selected the state of Virginia. An article popped up with a name that I recognized, but the context of the story made me doubtful that the woman was someone I knew.

Baltimore American 1 Jun 1922
Hostilities between three women in the 2900 block of Bernard street resulted in three trips by the opposing parties to the Northern police station, where Magistrate Schroeder settled the question by fining Mrs. Eliza Jollett, 2917 Bernard street, $5 and costs and warning the other two militants. Both Mrs. Annie Watson, 3122 Cedar avenue, and Mrs. Sarah Carlin, 2917 Bernard street, received bruises and cuts in the affray. The trouble arose from an accusation of theft made by Mrs. Jollett.

The only Eliza Jollett in my database is my 2X great-grandfather’s second wife. She was probably a bit too old in 1922 to cause much damage in a cat fight with a couple of young “militants.” Besides, she didn’t live in Baltimore.

As “MRS Jollett,” Eliza would have been someone who married into the Jollett family. All the age-appropriate and living Jollett men were already taken, not a one with a wife named Eliza, Elizabeth, Lizzie, or Betsy. I fought the impulse to give up, to resign myself to believing she was married to one of those Jolletts from New York that so far have not been connected to the Jolletts of Virginia.

This BSO (Bright Shiny Object) was just too good to resist.

It must have been my lucky day because the name “Eliza Jollett” surfaced again. This time though, it was a death notice.
Baltimore American 14 Sep 1922
JOLLETT (nee Watson) – On September 12, 1922, ELIZA H. age 24 years, beloved daughter of Samuel H. and the late Eliza Watson.
Funeral will take place from her late residence, 2641 Mace street on Saturday, September 16, at 3 A.M. Interment Sanador, Va.

NOTE: Probably that should be 3 P.M.; “Sanador” evidently meant “Shenandoah”

Eliza Watson? Still didn’t ring a bell. But her connection to Shenandoah in Page County, Virginia is a sure sign that she belongs SOMEWHERE in my family tree.

The census records for 1900 and 1910 do little to answer the question of which Jollett boy caught the eye of Eliza Watson. In 1900, she was the youngest of 3 surviving children of Samuel Watson and his wife Eliza. He was a miner, likely of iron ore judging by their residence in the Stonewall District of Rockingham County where a number of furnaces were in operation. By 1910 the entire family had moved to Baltimore. Samuel was in the building trades, and the three children all worked at the cotton mill.

Unfortunately, the connection to any Jollett boys was still not apparent. It would take one more news article to send me in the right direction for an answer.

Next Week:  Mary Alice

© 2017, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.


  1. Strange her husband isn't mentioned in the death notice! I wonder why she died so young.

    1. I wonder too about her cause of death. Consumption seemed to be a "popular" cause in that time but that is just a wild guess.

  2. These old newspaper clippings are so interesting and flesh out our ancestors' lives. I hope you can find out more about the Jollett boys too.

  3. Now that's a mystery I hope you can solve!

  4. Hope you can solve this mystery! I don't think you mentioned looking for the 1920 census. Did you? And/or, did you try finding that address in 1920? Best wishes!

    1. Yes, I did check 1920. I'm not sure why I didn't say so. I found the address, but like so many of my ancestors' homes, it is now a parking lot or high rise building.

  5. Wendy, good luck with your Jollett Reunion book. I know a book always takes longer than I think it will, especially when you see something you want to include, like another Eliza Jollett! I hope you track her down.

  6. Looking forward to the next post, Wendy. The things we find or are led to by newspapers can be so interesting.