Step by Step #7: Roy S. Teague’s Parents, Part 2

In Roy S. Teague’s Parents, Part 1, we began to explore census records in the hopes of determining the names of Roy’s parents. Today’s post is a continuation of that discussion.

When last we left this family, our to-do list included looking for obituaries on Roy’s known siblings (some of which should name their parents, while Roy’s did not), searching for a marriage record for Lina, Roy’s mother, to an unknown Teague (possibly Stephen Teague), and searching for Roy’s as-yet unknown father in the 1910, 1920, and 1930 US Censuses. The first obituary I searched for was Louie Teague’s, and it was incredibly helpful:1

  • Louie Teague was 85 years old at the time of his death on Tuesday, 23 February 1982. He died at Ridgecrest Medical Center.
  • He was the husband of Fannie Queen Teague.
  • He was born in Rabun County, the son of the late Stephen and Sarah Angeline Hamby Teague.
  • He was a retired farmer and a member of Battle Branch Baptist Church.
  • Survivors included his widow; sons Ed Teague of Lavonia, James F. Juny of Pelzer, SC; daughter Mrs. Joel Garrett of Hiawassee; brothers Ulyus Teague of Rabun Gap, and Clifford Teague of Greenville, SC; sisters Faye Barron of Clayton and Reba Sullivan of Tallulah Falls; 14 grandchildren, and several great-grandchildren.
  • Services were held at 2 p.m. Thursday, 25 February 1982 at Battle Branch Baptist Church with Revs. Waymond Lunsford and Cranford Carnes officiating. Burial was at Pickett Cemetery. Hunter Funeral Home was in charge of the arrangements.

Louie’s obituary gives his parents’ names, and we learn the name of one other brother, Clifford Teague. Additionally, finding the names of some of his children extends the family to cousins (if this were our family) who might be willing to exchange information. (Plus, it’s always interesting to meet “new” cousins!)

A search for a marriage record between Stephen Teague and Sarah Angeline “Lina” Hamby yielded the following, right where it should have been:2

This marriage record confirms what we had already found: that Stephen Teague married Lina Hamby, and that they were married in 1895, some time before the birth of their presumed eldest son, Louie. Further, between this record and Louie’s obituary, we can say for certain now that the 1900 US census entry we found in previous research (showing Stephen as the head of household, with wife Sarah A., and children Louie, Alvin G., and Roy S.) was the correct one.

While we now have a good idea of who Roy’s parents and full siblings were, there’s still much more to learn, such as: Where was Stephen in 1910, 1920, and 1930? And how do Roy’s half-siblings fit into the picture?

Stephen was enumerated in the Tennessee Valley area of Rabun County in 1920 and 1930. These enumerations were a little difficult to find because Stephen was listed under a different name (W. S. Teague in 1920, and William S. Teague in 1930). We know this is the correct family because in each case he was enumerated with known children (Melvin, “Ulus”, and Edgar in 1920; Edgar and Clifford in 1930). Additionally, J. J. Teague, a white man aged 77 and a widow, was enumerated with Stephen in 1920 as his father, and J. G. Teague, a white married man aged 43, was enumerated in the same household as Stephen’s brother.3 No amount of searching yielded Stephen’s household in 1910 in Rabun County. Where was he, then?

The key to finding Stephen in 1910 rested with his sons, Melvin and Ulyus, who were both born in Tennessee.4 Both Ulyus and Stephen can be spelled in different ways, but Melvin has a much more stable spelling. By doing a loose search for Melvin Teague born about 1906 in Tennessee in‘s US Census database, I found the family’s 1910 residence in Polk County, Tennessee. Here, Stephen was listed as “Steve Teague”, aged 39, married twice, married currently for 5 years, and born in North Carolina. His wife was enumerated as Perlie, aged 21 and born in Georgia, having born three children with two living. Also enumerated in this household were two of Stephen’s sons: Melvin, aged 5 and born in Tennessee, and Ulus, aged 1 year and 3 months and born in Tennessee.5

Stephen’s marital information as taken from this census implies that he and Lina had been divorced, the only way in which he could have legally married again while his first spouse was still living, which Lina was. A search of Rabun County’s Superior Court records (where divorces were recorded at that time) from about 1900 to 1910 yielded not a divorce for this couple,6 but a clue as to what happened with this family: in 1908, Stephen was charged with four counts of “abandonment of child.”7 Meanwhile, Lina was stricken from the county’s pauper list in 1907, 1908, and 1910.8

Yet, after this, Stephen apparently returned to Lina and sired two further children, Reba and Lucy, who were born about 1910 and 1916 respectively. In an effort to determine when Stephen might have lived in Rabun County during this time, I read the road tax records for Rabun County, which extend from 1909 through 1917. While I did find several Teagues (namely James G. Teague, J. B. Teague, T. R. Teague, Thomas Teague, Tom Teague, and Manley Teague), I did not find a trace of Stephen.9

What I do know is that Stephen was living in Birmingham, Alabama in 1917 and 1918. Roy listed his father as his closest living relative on his World War I Draft Registration Card in September 1918. Grady and Louie were both living in Birmingham per their World War I Draft Registration Cards, the former in 1918, and the latter in 1917. While Stephen’s reason for living in Birmingham remains unknown, Grady and Louie had found work there in a local manufacturing company.10

The decades after this appear to have been more stable ones for Stephen. He returned to Rabun County in 1920, fathered several more children with Perlie Freeman, and was buried at the Head of Tennessee Baptist Church in Dillard, Georgia, upon his death in 1945. Still, there are many questions remaining as to his relationship with Lina, Perlie, and his children. Our to do list has some items that might help:

  • *Finish searching Superior Court Records in Rabun County for a divorce record for Lina and Stephen*
  • *In the same (and other) court records, search for a conclusion to the abandonment charges*
  • *Search for a marriage record between Stephen and Perlie*
  • *Search for probate and land records for Stephen and Lina*

In the next post in this series, we will summarize Stephen’s known family to date, and begin searching for his parents and siblings.

* * * * *

1. Louie Teague obituary, The Clayton Tribune, 4 March 1982, Volume 82, Number 9, page A-8, column 2.

2. Marriages Book E, 1895 – 1921, Rabun County: page 10; Probate Court, Clayton, Georgia.

3. This information was summarized rather than being detailed (as in previous posts) due to space considerations. See: W. S. Teague household, 1920 US census, Rabun County, Georgia, population schedule, Tennessee Valley District 556, ED 150, SD 9, sheet 6A, dwelling 71, family 71; NARA micropublication T625, roll 270. Also: William S. Teague household, 1930 US census, Rabun County, Georgia, population schedule, Tennessee Valley, ED 121-6, SD 5, sheet 2B, dwelling 28, family 29; NARA micropublication T626, roll 381.

4. W. S. Teague household, 1920 US census, Rabun County, Georgia, ED 150, SD 9, sheet 6A, dwelling 71, family 71.

5. Steve Teague household, 1910 US census, Polk County, Tennessee, population schedule, 5th District, ED 150, SD 3, sheet 11B, dwelling 347, family 353;, 1910 United States Federal Census [database on-line], Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc., 2006; NARA micropublication T624, roll 1515.

6. There is no master index for divorce records from that time period in Rabun County. Proceedings related to divorces were usually entered into the minutes of the Superior Court. Two minute books were searched in their entirety by case headings in an attempt to locate information on a possible divorce between Stephen and Lina, Minutes 1900 – 1905 Rabun County Superior Court and Minutes 1905 – 1909 Rabun County Superior Court. A third book was searched from the beginning through the end of 1910, Minutes 1909 – 1913 Rabun County Superior Court. Because the dates for the conclusion of the charges against Stephen for abandoning his children by Lina occured after 1910 (see footnote 7), and because Stephen and Lina had two other children after that date, a second search will be conducted in the future through at least 1920 in the hopes of finding additional information.

7. While Stephen was charged with four counts of abandonment, only three counts were listed in the criminal docket. The disposition of these cases is currently unknown. Minutes 1905 – 1909 Rabun County: page 90; Clerk of the Superior Court, Clayton, Georgia. Also: Docket Numbers 314, 315, and 317, Criminal Docket 1900 – [no date] Rabun County: pages 65 – 66; Clerk of the Superior Court, Clayton, Georgia.

8. There may be other instances listed within these minutes which were not found, as the search through these books was for a divorce record by heading, not by a word-for-word reading. There are pauper records located in the Probate Court vault, but these have not yet been searched for possible information on this family. Minutes 1905 – 1909 Rabun County: pages 298 and 367; Clerk of the Superior Court, Clayton, Georgia. Also: Minutes 1909 – 1913 Rabun County: page 93; Clerk of the Superior Court, Clayton, Georgia.

9. Road Record Rabun County [1909 – 1917], Probate Court, Clayton, Georgia.

10. World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 [database on-line], Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc., 2005; United States, Selective Service System, World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918, Washington, D.C.: NARA micropublication M1509.


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