This week I was researching different families and working on locating missing information. I came across the Stephen Dayton Gilbreath family and found some interesting information.
Stephen Dayton Gilbreath was born 28 May 1845 in Washington, Arkansas. His father is Cyrus Granger Gilbreath (1808-1880) and mother is Sarah Jane Craig (1811-1848). I found Stephen with his parents on the 1850 U.S. Census with his father Cyrus and six siblings, John, Henderson, Sarah, Marget, Hiram, William. This census was taken just two years after Stephen’s mother Sarah passed away.
Stephen married Susan Mildred Billingsley, born 20 February 1844, in Kentucky. Her father is John B. Billingsley (1801-1883) and her mother is Rebecca Edwards (1806-1861). Stephen and Susan married on 7 February 1865 in Washington, Arkansas.
I found Stephen and Susan on the 1870 Mountain, Washington, Arkansas census with two children J.M. (James Milton) age one year and W.H. (William H) age five months.
The Gilbreath family moved to Oklahoma sometime between the 1880 census and the 1900 census. Today I really wish we still had the 1890 census, I know I could learn so much more about the Gilbreath family.
As I was gathering information from the 1900 census I noticed some interesting information that I had not remembered seeing before. It listed Stephen, Susan, and their daughter Amy, who is listed as divorced. It also said that Stephen and Susan had fourteen children with only five living. I only have six children listed in my database, this means I do not know who the other eight children are.
I wanted to verify that the information in the 1900 census was accurate and that it was not a mistake. I went to the 1910 census to see if it would have the same information. The 1910 census listed Stephen, Susan and their son Walker, who was divorced. It also listed Susan with fourteen children and only five living. The information matched.
As I started to research and learned more about the children of Stephen and Susan I found the Washington County, Arkansas History that had some interesting information about Stephen and Susan. According to the County History they had nine children with five living. The children I know are Stephen and Susan’s are: James Milton (1866-1953), William H (1870-1870), Sarah Rebecca (1871-1951), John Cyrus (1874-1957), Walker Dayton (1877-1945), and Amy Estelle (1880-1919). I have families for each of their five children, who lived to adulthood.
I know for sure I have missing children and would love to try to find them. This is going to be a challenge as the Gilbreath family has been researched by a lot of different researchers. I checked the FamilySearch wiki to learn what records would be available for Washington, Arkansas however birth and death records did not start until 1914 and were limited before 1920. I also searched the FamilySearch catalog and they have some microfilms that may have obituaries listed, of course these are only able to be viewed in Salt Lake City.
I searched find a grave and did not have success searching for the missing children. I am going to have to learn what other records are available that may list the children. So far my searches online have come up empty. My next step may be taking a genealogy trip to Oklahoma and Arkansas or Salt Lake City to see if they have any local records with the information I am searching for. I hope one day I can locate the records and have this family complete.
Susan passed away on 4 July 1917 in Stephens, Custer, Oklahoma. Stephen passed away just two years later on 20 August 1919 also in Custer, Oklahoma. They are both buried in Arapaho cemetery in Arapaho, Custer, Oklahoma.
5 thoughts on “Where are the Children of Stephen Dayton Gilbreath and Susan Mildred Billingsley?”
What a great mystery. I look forward to your post when you find these children #geneabloggers
Have you considered the idea that they may have been stillborn and therefore unnamed?
From my UK research, I have found children apparently born but without a record anywhere – I can only assume they were stillborn…
I had no idea that birth records started as late as they did.
Yes I have considered that. I am not sure I will find them but there are some options for me to search and see if I can locate them. In the states some birth records started really late.
You may already have done this, but if it were me, I would try to find out who – if anyone – is managing the cemetery, and either call or email to ask for the names of all Gilbreaths who are buried there. If they were stillborn, as Beth suggested, or died very young, there may not be a grave marker for them. But the cemetery should still have records of all who are buried there (assuming there’s still someone managing the cemetery).
Elizabeth, I have not done that yet. I need to figure out which cemetery in Washington Arkansas they would have been buried. Thanks for the idea.
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