Monday, October 12, 2009

Madness Monday: the Search for Cora Belle House

Cora’s not mad, but she’s certainly driving me crazy!

Using the premise of starting with what you know and working backwards, here’s what I know:
  • She was born July 2, 1881
  • She married John William Prewett
  • She had thirteen children
  • She died January 21, 1942 in Los Angeles, CA
  • She was buried in Lightning Ridge, Pontotoc County, Oklahoma
Where was she born? According to various sources she was born in either Arkansas or Oklahoma. Since Oklahoma wasn’t a state in 1881 I’m leaning toward Arkansas. It would be nice to at least narrow it down to a particular county….

When & Where did she get married? According to a “cousin’s” family tree, she & John got married on November 12, 1896 in Red River County, Texas. But he has no verification. I haven’t been able to find any either. Don’t even get me started on how many spelling variations there are for Prewett, Prewitt, Pruitt, Prouette, etc.

Who the heck are her parents? I was really hoping to have this one answered by now! Back in May I ordered a copy of Cora’s death certificate. It arrived a few days ago. Her father is Frank M. House (birthplace unknown) which goes along with what my husband’s sister thinks she remembers. She thinks his name was Francis Marion, which is a very common name in her George line, so she wasn’t sure. It’s nice to know she may be right! Her mother’s name and birthplace are both unknown. :(

Most of the trees online list her parents as Francis Marion House and Rhoda Elizabeth Turner. They believe this because a 1900 Federal Census for Sulphur, Sebastian, Arkansas shows a Cora B House born in 1881 in Arkansas as the daughter of Francis M and Rhodil House. I have a problem with this because a 1900 Federal Census for Township 1, Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory has Cora Prewitt with her husband John W Prewett and first child, Harvey O. How can she be both people?

How I long for a copy of the 1890 Federal Census, it would answer so many questions!

Cora & John Prewett with Leah & Ivan Clayton


  1. I'd say it's not out of the question that she *was* both people. I've seen it in other lines before. I wonder if sometimes the census taker sat down and said "OK, tell me all your children and their ages" and Mr. House might have thought he meant ALL his children. Just a thought.

  2. Tracy, my first comment! Thanks for the feedback -- its nice to know she could be both and that you've actually witnessed it yourself. Thanks!

  3. STachia,its Duffy. My mom also does this for fun and profit...If you need help, let me know and I can get the two of you in touch...She is currently getting frusterated with the Truschel lin, since they seem to float back and forth between Ohio and Pennsylvania, without ever moving. Aparently they also did this with Prussia and Germany. She is also doing Mary Mac's boyfriends family tree. She could probably use a diversion. the most recent family gossip? My Grandmothers dad was born CATHOLIC and may have had a prio mariage that ended in divorce but was not recognised by the Catholic church at that time, hence why he became Lutheran. Hmm......

  4. Help is always appreciated, Duffy!