I found Wm. V. McNeely in the 1850 census.
Now, I know you don't know that that's a big deal, but it is...
The first step was to find William in the 1860 census. I've known where he was in 1870 for some time: he was living in Scott County, Arkansas where six years later his daughter, Mary M. McNeely, married Edmon S. Hamby.
Mary and her older brother James were both listed as being born in Georgia, so that's where I've focused for 1850, but their younger brother was born in Tennessee in 1856, so I was going back and forth for 1860. His second wife Lucinda was also listed as being from Georgia, but I finally found their marriage record by pure chance in Sebastian Co., Arkansas in 1864. I was looking for the record of another family entirely and noticed the "McNeely, W.V." marrying a Lucinda. She was too young to be the mother of any of these children, but I'd imagined they'd gotten married in Georgia at any rate. They didn't.
After finding that record I began looking a little closer to Ft. Smith and Sebastian Co. and finally found a "William McNeely" with children James, Mary and John, all the right ages, in Iron County, Missouri. The birthplaces weren't spot on, but they never are, are they?
That was the original relief: finding them all together in 1860. And not too far away was John C. McNeely and living with him and his large family was "Jane McNeely 75 born in Pennsylvania". Since William reported his parents as having been born in PA in the 1880 census, I felt I had enough to move forward...
And then there was the key, John C.'s son and William's (probable) nephew, William V. McNeely.
John and his family eventually ended up in Newton County, Missouri, where William the younger married Lucreasy Trent. It was in an old query posting that I found a woman looking for "William Lance and Lucresy Trent McNeely". Now, I had seen his many census listings, and they were invariably "William V. or W.V.", so I thought, huh, must be William Vance...that's kind of unusual...
So today when I tried YET AGAIN to find William and his mother Jane and her other son James in Tennessee in 1850 (John C. having already been in Madison Co., MO by 1850) I was sure I'd have no luck. I've searched and searched and searched...but today I tried the *wildcard* trick yet again, but this time I noticed "McNeelea, Vance"...
Knowing leads seeing, as usual.
That was it. 1850 Hamilton Co.,TN Census:
Dist No 27, pg. 911/459A, 24th Oct. 1850 by R.P. Jones
line 4, 1232/1232 Gincea McNEELEA 45 F N Carolina
Vance 18 M Laborer Tenn, James 10 M " [Tenn]
line 7, 1233/1233 George McNEELEA 22 M Farmer Tennessee married in the last
Rhoda 18 F " [Tennessee] married in the last year
"Gincey" was a nickname for Jane...very, very tricky of them! So, yeay! I found another brother too, but, unfortunately they all probably got married in Hamilton Co., TN, where all marriage records of this period have been destroyed...this is especially frustrating because the most likely woman to be William V.'s first wife is Louisa Gardenhire, daughter of George Gardenhire, and I love the name "Gardenhire".
I like William V. quite a bit. He eventually became a minister. Here is a link to part of his work for the Missionary Baptist Church of Shiloh, near Ione, Scott County, Arkansas.
And another with the current "full story" of his family: Descendants of James McNeely and my database (think, searchable!) for the Hamby-McNeely families.
So, I had a good day!
And decided to share my joy (and my research) by starting this blog.