08 August 2008

The Problem With Pauline - Part 1

I am not really sure what to write on my blog. So after I "eeny, meeny, miney, mowed" the cases that baffle me the most I am going to introduce Mary Pauline Sheern/Sharon Sanford in a series of posts.

I had almost finished my research of a three generation narrative of my Sheern/Sharon family line that I hoped to use for my certification portfolio. I had only one child left that needed their biography completed. Her name is Mary P. Sheern. She was born to John Philip Sheern and Mary Brice and was baptized on 28 August 1856 at St. Mary of the Wood Village Catholic Church in Vigo County, Indiana. 1860 census she is age 5, 1870 census age 15 and by 1875, the family are living in Osage Mission, Neosho County, Kansas. Mary is using her middle name Pauline and she is 20 years old. On October 7th of 1875, Pauline marries the local dentist, George B. Sanford in Neosho County, Kansas. The marriage license states that George is age 35 and Pauline is age 28. I have the certificate and it very clearly is age 28. Why has Pauline lied about her age?
Needing more information about her life I start the search in census records for Pauline and George B. Sanford. 1880-1920 census show George B. Sanford living in Kansas City, Missouri, a dentist, married but no wife is ever listed with him. Pauline’s family moved from Kansas to Kansas City around 1890. My searches for Pauline Sanford in Kansas and Missouri come up empty. When I broaden the search to include all states, she still is not to be found. Thinking that perhaps she and George have divorced I search with her maiden name Sheern. I know this name to have been spelled many spelled many different ways with Sharon being found consistently. Using every combination imaginable, I still cannot find Pauline anywhere .
Kansas City Directories show that George lived near Pauline’s family. Marriage records from Jackson County show that when each of Pauline’s sisters were married, George witnessed the application for them. I have successfully located and traced the lives of her husband George B. Sanford, her parents and siblings from their births to their deaths. Why can’t I find Pauline?

1 comment:

Debbie said...

Sheri, I'm wondering if there is any mention of Pauline in the obits of her parents or siblings.
That her husband remained in the area with her family and witnessed her sibs marriages is significant IMO.
Is it possible she was in an asylum in the state or nearby state?
I'm not that familiar with the records available for the location.
Thanks for sharing your "brick wall" -- hope a break-through happens soon!
Deborah