Where Art Thou, Cephas? and, Does it Matter?

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I’m thrilled to report that I’ve made a lot of progress in research contacts over the past month! It’s time to update the list:

  • Maxwell Augustus Wilson (‘Max’) — eleven children. NEW: In contact with youngest daughter, and a granddaughter.
  • Cephas Love Wilson (‘Cephas’) — two children; a son and a daughter. No contacts yet with any of Cephas’ descendants.
  • Percy Brockenbrough Wilson (‘Percy’) — three children (twins and a daughter). In contact with granddaughter & great granddaughter of one child.
  • Everard Meade Wilson (‘Meade’) — two sons, both deceased. Oldest son did not have children. NEW: In contact with great-grandson of second son.
  • Francis Childria Wilson, Jr. (‘Frank’) — one child, died in infancy; no other children. In contact with wife’s nephew.
  • Eudora Neely Wilson Smith (‘Dora’) — two daughters. NEW: In contact with grandson.
  • Catherine Elizabeth Wilson Meade (‘Katie’) — one son. In contact with granddaughter.
  • Emmett Wilson — never married; no known descendants.
  • Julian Anderson Wilson — one daughter. In contact with daughter.
  • Walker Guy Wilson — two children. In contact with grandson.

I’m antsy to find more information on Cephas, though. He was closest to Emmett. To recap:

  • He was Emmett’s law partner at the beginning of his career;
  • Cephas was there for Emmett when he almost died in Washington, DC during his first term;
  • Cephas was executor of Emmett’s will and handled his funeral.

It is important to find out what happened to Cephas’ papers, because he would have had a lot about Emmett in them.

I find it ironic that Cephas, the one sibling who was the most wealthy, prominent, and renown of that family in West Florida, is the hardest one to find anything about today.


In other news, I’ve made progress with the outline of the third chapter — the writing begins this week. What’s been dogging me on this particular chapter has been a self-imposed burden: The third chapter involves Emmett’s closest friends (there weren’t that many, by the way), and I’ve been trying to track down the descendants of those friends.

The reason is I’ve found some interesting information — documented — that even in this day and age I think would be a bit uncomfortable to read about in another person’s biography.

When I found this information, I asked: Would I want to learn about something about one of my ancestors published in a book and not know about it beforehand?

What if that information is over 100 years old? Does that matter?

I don’t know if other biographers or researchers do this, but I, personally, I feel it is my duty to, at least, try to reach out to these folks’ descendants, to let them know what is going on, so that they aren’t shocked to see that great-grandmothers and great-grandfathers were not such stuffy Victorians.

 

To be honest, if it was something about an ancestor of mine three or four generations back, it wouldn’t really bother me — unless it was tawdry. If that were the case, I’d at least like to know about the information. But, if it were factual and documented, I’d just let it go, especially since the event or incident was a part of a past before my existence — I can’t change the past. No one can.

I just don’t want to presume that of other people.

It will be interesting to see what happens, if they get back to me on this.

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