Saturday, April 9, 2011

A Little Help from "Big Nuts" (Evans of Jackson County, Ohio)

Friday evening, I spent a couple of hours with my maternal grandmother at the nursing home she has been in the past two weeks (we are all hoping that she will be able to return home soon.) We've chatted in the past about her family, but grandma really doesn't have a lot of memories outside of her immediate family. We have especially been lacking when it comes to her father, Harvey Evans, and his family. Harvey died when grandma was a teenager, and she did not know who his parents were. I've tried looking up his name, and what few details I had, but the Evans name is big in southern Ohio, and I was always reluctant to say for sure that the Harveys I turned up were indeed her father's family.
On Friday, I asked her again if she happened to remember any of her dad's siblings, or perhaps any cousins that she had, and we managed to get a little gem! She told me about her dad's brother Elmer (Big Elmer) and his son (Little Elmer). Grandma used to run Malone's Bar in Oak Hill, Ohio and she told about the time when Little Elmer came into the bar and said, "I don't know if you know this or not... but we're cousins!" She also recalled another time when Little Elmer was entering the bar at the same time she was throwing out dirty cleaning water, and she dumped it on him.
Then, with a twinkle in her eye, my 80 year old grandmother told me one other little tidbit about her cousin, "He had a nickname, you know... they called him Big Nuts."
Armed with that little bit of information about Little "Big Nuts" Elmer, and more importantly, Big Elmer, I got online and added a sibling to my Harvey Evans search parameters. And whaddya know... I think I found him!
According to this 1900 census:

Name                   Relation     Birthdate         Age    
Evans, George      head          May 1840       60
     Mary A           wife           Apr 1848        52
     Elmer             son            Feb 1887       13
     Pearl               son            Feb 1887        13
     Harvey          son            Jul 1890           9
    Warren            son            Feb 1895         5
I think I've found my great grandfather, and his parents as well! My next little discovery will confirm my suspicions... Harvey's death certificate.
I don't know how I've missed this document in previous searches, but sometimes there's no explaining how things come together like they do. However, it confirms that George and Mary Ann were indeed Harvey's parents, so at last I have a line to follow... and it's all thanks to "Big Nuts".

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