New Year, New Findings

Happy New Year

In five days I leave for Lithuania to study abroad for a semester. I still need to shop, pack, and figure out some passport and insurance stuff. Other then that I am ready to go and experience something different. With this break from school I have been catching up with the Voice (love this show), reading (Ain’t I an amazing student), and searching for internships. Hopefully I find one in Washington D.C.. I have also been doing some…just a little bit of research. Just can’t stay away . Actually I was a little bored and decided to extend research on Gladys Flowers Stevenson and I am glad I did.

A few months ago I found the death record of Gladys’ son, Paul Stevenson Jr., born in 1936. He passed away in 2011 in Los Angeles, California. I never followed through to see if any of the other Stevenson’s lived in LA and decided to start there. Well, I came across the death index of Gladys in California. I got an exact birth date with the correct birth place along with her death date. Both Gladys and Rachel died within the same year, 1988, approximately two months apart. This death index also included a great surprise, their mother’s maiden name. It was just what I was looking for all along.



I never knew much about Rachel’s mother. It took me a while to even figure out that her first name was Nancy and now I have her maiden name. Her full name was Nancy Sawyer Flowers Sams and she was born in 1873 in North Carolina. She married Harry Flowers in 1893. This marriage ended in a divorce and in 1913 she married Henry Sams (to explain the long name). Both men were born in Florida.  With her maiden name I was now able to uncover her family’s history.

Her father Joseph J. Sawyer, or “J.J.” was born in 1837 in North Carolina and her mother Susan was born in 1850. Susan and Joseph became married in 1870 and resided in Jacksonville, Florida, the hometown of Rachel and her family. They did not live far from their grandparents. J.J. and Susan had three children, Nancy, Carrie, and Joseph Jr..

1885 Florida Census


Closer View:


In 1885, Joseph occupation was listed as a farmer and he lived with his wife who was 35 at the time. By the 1900 Census, a new person appeared, a son, well Nancy’s brother, David, who seemed to be born in 1859. It really does not make sense because Susan could not have a baby at the age of nine. Hopefully, it is only an error. There are other minor errors within the 1900 Census, but at the same time it is very difficult to read. The person’s handwriting is horrible. 1900UnitedStatesFederalCensus_298632753

The Sawyers are the last household listed on this Census document. Joseph’s occupation was now listed as a minister. I believe he became a pastor in 1887. This was his occupation in the “phone book” from 1887.



Until the next post. I am not sure if I will continue my research while in Europe. It all depends, but I do have to write up an honor thesis at some point. I do not know if I want to do something digital or not, but we will see.



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