Step by Step #2: Hattie’s Maiden Name and Roy’s Obituary

Our previous discussion of the Roy and Hattie [--?--] Teague family centered upon their entry in the 1930 US census. Today, we’re going to follow up on two items from our to-do list: Find a marriage record for this couple, and check the Vital Statistics register for their deaths. We’re looking first in the records created and maintained within Rabun Co., GA, where the couple lived in 1930.

The Probate Court in Clayton has bound volumes of marriage records from about 1820 through the present day. Each volume has the dates it covers listed on the spine. By skimming the spines of each volume, I found that Marriage Record F covers 28 December 1921 through 9 April 1932. The index to this volume was arranged by the groom’s surname. Under the “T” section, I found an entry for a Ray Teague indexed as being recorded on page 102.1 Checking page 102, I found the following:2

This record seems to fit our family. “Ray” Teague and Hattie James obtained a license to marry on 15 June 1924 in Rabun County (license obtained by the oath of the groom), and were married the next day, 16 June 1924, by M. H. James, a Justice of the Peace. In spite of the lack of other identifying information (witnesses, ages, residences, etc.), we can conclude that this is almost certainly our couple based on the names (Roy Teague and Hattie), the location (within Rabun County), and the date of the marriage.

Returning to our 1930 US census entry, we can also tentatively conclude that Hattie was the mother of Roy’s three children. This is a tentative conclusion only; we will reserve the right to change that conclusion if we find contradictory information, such as a divorce record for this couple between 1924 and 1930 and a subsequent marriage by Roy to another woman named Hattie. For the moment, however, we’re going to treat those three youngsters as if they were the children of both Roy and Hattie.

One final thing before we move on: Roy and Hattie were married by M. H. James, JP. **His name should go on a separate piece of paper labeled “Associates” along with the date and the reason for the association** The fact that Hattie was married by a person surnamed James can’t be a complete coincidence. Also, we may need to know with whom Roy and Hattie associated later on, something we will discuss as we move through more difficult genealogical problems.

While I was at the Probate Court, I decided to look through the Vital Statistics registers to see what information I could find on this family.3 I found the names of several other possible children, which we will discuss in a future post. I could not find an entry amongst the deaths for a Hattie Teague, but I did find two entries for Roy Teague, one for Jack Roy Teague (died in Clayton on 13 November 1963), and another for Roy S. Teague (died in Clayton on 7 June 1969).4 Even though the 1930 US census gave Roy’s middle initial as “S.”, we should follow up on the other Roy Teague, just in case.

The Probate Court also maintains copies of The Clayton Tribune (the paper of record at that time for Rabun County) so I pulled the relevant bound volumes and searched for obituaries of the two Roys.5 Sure enough, the 21 November 1963 and 12 June 1969 issues of the Tribune carried notices of these two mens’ deaths. I could not obtain good copies of these obituaries, so below is the information I extracted from each one.

From 21 November 1963:6 John R. Teague, 61 of Clayton, died Wednesday “after a short illness.” He was a native of Oconee Co., SC, but spent most of his life in Rabun County. He was the son of the late Manly and Laura Teague, and was survived by his widow, Amy Darnell Teague; three daughters, Mrs. June Kilby of Clayton, Mrs. Ruth Holbrooks of Douglasville [GA], and Mrs. Millie Crane of Seneca, SC; one sister, Mrs. Glenn Lee of Clayton; and 6 grandchildren. Services were at R. E. Cannon Funeral Home on Thursday at 2 p.m. with the Rev. M. R. Elrod officiating. Burial was at “Hail” Ridge Cemetery near Clayton.

This doesn’t sound like “our” Roy Teague. John was probably born in SC; Roy was born in GA. John’s widow was named as Amy Darnell; Roy’s wife was Hattie James. Of course, we can’t yet conclude that John R. Teague and Roy S. Teague were not the same men based on the scarce records we have at the moment. We can conclude that this man was probably the same man as the Jack Roy Teague whose death was indexed in the Vital Statistics register (Jack is a nickname for John, and the death dates were the same).

Roy S. Teague’s 12 June 1969 obituary was both illuminating and frustrating.7 He was 69 and a resident of Warwoman Road at the time of his death, which occurred Saturday at the Ridgecrest Medical Center in Clayton (*Are these records private?*). He was a native and lifelong resident of Clayton, an auto mechanic, and of the Baptist faith. Survivors include three sons, Jack Teague of Clarkston, Michigan, Ray Teague of Pontiac, Michigan, and Dewey Teague of Titusville, Florida; three daughters, Mrs. Roosevelt Coffey and Mrs. Red Dixon, both of Clayton, and Mrs. Sherman Martindale of Van Buren, Arkansas; 11 grandchildren; two brothers, Louie Teague of Clayton and Grady Teague of Pontiac, Michigan; two half-brothers, Ulyus Teague of Rabun Gap [GA] and Melvin Teague of Canton, NC; three sisters, Mrs. Faye Barron and Mrs. Lucy P. Ramey of Clayton, and Mrs. Felton Sullivan of Tallulah Falls [GA]. Services were held Monday at 2 p.m. at R. E. Cannon Funeral Home with Revs. Crawford Carnes, Short Lunsford, and Baptist Layman Lloyd Hunter officiating. Burial was at Pickett Cemetery.

In spite of the lack of given names for the daughters and there being no mention of a wife (living or deceased), several items mentioned in the 1930 US census and this obituary are the same:8

  • The Roy enumerated in 1930 was born in Georgia, as were his parents; the Roy mentioned in the obituary was a native and lifelong resident of Clayton.
  • Both men were about the same age, the 1930 Roy having been born about 1901, and the Obituary Roy having been born about 1900.
  • Both men were auto mechanics.
  • Obituary Roy had brothers named Louie, Grady, Ulyus, and Melvin, and sisters named Faye and Lucy; 1930 Roy lived next door to a family including individuals named Louie, Faye, and Lucy, all of whom were of an age to be his siblings.

This obituary and the 1930 census entry seem to refer to the same man.

*We should note these items on our to-do list as a follow up to the obituary: Check Pickett Cemetery in Clayton for Roy’s burial spot. Check funeral home records. Compile a list of known information on Roy’s children to use as a reference against new records. What church did Roy attend? What happened to Hattie between 1930 and 1969? (Death/divorce?) Look through several issues of the newspaper prior to the obituary and just after it to look for additional information, such as hospital news, thanks from the family, etc.*

Also note that three men performed the services for Roy S. Teague, two ministers and a Baptist lay preacher. *Researching the ministers may lead to the discovery of which church Roy attended, thus shortening our search for that information.* The third man, Lloyd Hunter, married R. E. Cannon’s daughter and assumed responsibility for the funeral home many years ago. *Mr. Hunter is still living and may be a good source of information on this family.*

**The names of all three men should also be placed on the Associates list for future reference.**

While our research was not as fruitful as one would hope, we did find Hattie’s maiden name, and we found a possible obituary for Roy which could be very useful in the future.

That’s it for this post. Until next time, happy hunting!

* * * * *

Footnotes:
1. The little “o” and the little “a” are often written in a similar manner, leading to names like “Ray” and “Roy” being confused with one another in handwritten manuscripts. This is important to remember when searching indexes and records, especially transcribed and published ones.

2. Rabun County Marriage Record F 1921 – 1932: 102. Probate Court, Clayton, Georgia.

3. When researching, we should make notes on the nature of the records we’re using. In particular, we should note the range and scope of the record and any peculiarities, such as the way the information within it is arranged, the nature of the handwriting used, and so forth. In this case, I remarked in my notes, “Unpaginated. Births indexed on the left page, deaths on the right. Entries written as they [births and deaths] occurred. Volume A covers 1919 – 1980. Volume B covers 1957 – 1960 or about. No parents’ names for deaths. Only father’s name for births. Includes cause of death [for deaths].” I also noted that the tab was worn off the “T” section; even though I did not make a specific note to this effect, I can tell from the tab notation that the index was arranged with all the A surnames grouped together, and so forth. All of these notes will help me interpret the information gathered from these volumes.

4. Vital Statistics Index A Rabun County: 10th page, T section. Probate Court, Clayton, Georgia.

5. The Clayton Tribune was at that time generally published on Thursdays. Knowing this helps to work out dates mentioned in each issue.

6. John R. Teague obituary, The Clayton Tribune, Clayton, Georgia, 21 November 1963, page 4, column 3.

7. Roy S. Teague obituary, The Clayton Tribune, Clayton, Georgia, 12 June 1969, page 1, column 6.

8. Roy S. Teague household, 1930 U. S. census, Rabun County, Georgia, population schedule, Clayton Militia District 587, ED 121-10, SD 3, sheet 2B, dwelling 27, family 28; National Archives micropublication T626, roll 381. Lina S. Teague household, 1930 U. S. census, Rabun County, Georgia, population schedule, Clayton Militia District 587, ED 121-10, SD 3, sheet 2B, dwelling 28, family 29; National Archives micropublication T626, roll 381.

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