Finding Reason! (1-2-2-2-5-12)
In these times of so many nonsensical things it is so great to bring in some Reason!
I’m talking about Reason Smith Babb, who’s ancestry was lost. Thanks to a query by one of our members and some detailed research it has now been found and verified!
I’ve never been able to sort out the ancestry of Reason Smith Babb, because I only had the name Rees from the early records. One of his descendants provided me with his full name and the context that he went by Rees. Having his full name allowed me to compare and add context to his life.
I found that he married twice, first to Achsah C. Dye in 1856 and next in 1876 to Hattie Marinda (McCowan) Preston, who was the widow of Peter H. Preston. Achsah had also passed by this time, so Reason found his new meaning with Hattie and they were married through the remainder of their long lives into their late 80s.
They were living together in the 1910 Census, which provided me with initial details about their proper age and birth locations.
Note: You can click on any one of the images to see it in full size.
I also came across a marriage record for his first wife Achsiah C. Dye, which gave me her last name. This led me to a FindaGrave entry for Achsiah, which mentions him on her headstone. The entry mentions that she went by the nickname Axie.
This set me off on a long string of updating descendants and eventually brought me to the members parents and back to Reason’s wife Harriet in a City Directory in 1916. This lead me to a variety of other census records for Reece (Reason) under spelling variations of his name. But nothing that connects me to his
I then turned my attention to other possible naming variations of Reece in my database. There are two possibilities, Reece B. Babb (1828-1903) that has easily identifiable paper trail and different birth/death dates. I quickly eliminate him.
The other possibility is Reese Babb (born 1841 in Hampshire, VA to Archibald Babb). I’ve lost track of him after the 1850 Census so he is a good possible match. His father’s birthplace in Virginia (in a portion of the state that was later to become West Virginia) is correct and his mother Margaret Stone has a limited paper trail as she died in 1851, shortly after the US started keeping an every name Census in 1850. That record states that she is from Virginia, which isn’t a match with the 1910 Census which shows her to be from Maryland, but is a match with the 1900 Census that shows she is from Virginia. The birthdate is a little different, but this is my only solid lead, so I pursue it.
As I push further into his records, I find an easily traceable paper trail of his move to Marion, Missouri which is where Archibald and Margaret died. In 1860 he is living with what is apparently Margaret’s family. So, he is not our match either.
We appear to have a brand new Reason on our hands. But while searching I notice something else. There are only 5 total Reese’s and the one Reason in all of the tree. Without exception, they all descend from one common ancestor (1-2-2-2-4) which is Abner Babb (1768-1815) of Winchester, Frederick, Virginia. Abner has 172 descendants listed in the tree and our Reason is a probable descendant of one of them.
Reasoning that Reason must be associated with this lineage I compare and for a variety of reasons I eventually eliminate all of Abner’s descendants from being the possible father. But our member noticed something that I hadn’t. Abner’s brother Peter Babb Jr. (1-2-2-2-5) had a son listed Rees listed in his will. I looked for the will, but did not find it in Jean A. Sargent’s records. There was mysteriously little information about him. I looked back and found that he was included in the 2nd and 3rd Editions of Jean’s book Babb Families of America. I had made an improper connection back in 2006 to a Presley Babb that accidentally obscured Rees from the tree. Fortunately, I keep notes on such things and was able to correct my mistake.
We found the Estate Records of Peter Babb in Belmont County, OH and located the entry that mentions Rees in the will. He is apparently the youngest son of Peter (1-2-2-2-5) and was a mere 4 year’s old at the time of Peter’s death. Reason moved to Washington County, OH and started a new life in his 20s. This is why the paper trail is so lacking. I’ve never been able to locate him in the 1850 Census which might have short circuited this whole process. In 1856 we find him in Marietta, Washington, Ohio with Achsah.
From there I can easily pickup the trail and come up with more interesting documentation such as his Civil War Veteran Census record in 1890 and his marriage documents for Harriett. But I’m still lacking that essential piece of information that draws a more permanent connection to the proper locations. Belmont County is about 70 miles from Washington County, but that in those times that is still somewhat of a distance.
Searching for that single document that helps me prove the link between Rees and Reason, I start searching up and down the members of the tree. I looked through records of Rees’ siblings and through the 100 or so pages of Peter’s estate records and found only scant evidence of his existence. It was a similar experience checking through Jean A. Sargent’s files and I found that even she doodled trying to figure out which Rees she was dealing with. She never figured it out and her books only contain a single note about him, that he is mentioned in his father’s will and disbursement records. After that he seemed to drop off the face of the earth and isn’t a match with the other 5 Rees/Reece Babbs listed in the tree.
With no luck finding that connection I start looking for more modern records of Reason’s children to see if one of those contains the needed information. For some reason, I started with his youngest son John Otis Babb and worked my way to the top of the list. I hadn’t found anything until I got to his first child Alonzo Reese Babb. Alonzo’s death certificate mentions his father, so I pulled it up and finally found what I had been searching for. It shows Alonzo’s father, Reese Babb as having been born in Bridgeport, Ohio. Not familiar with the city, I looked that up and found that it is in Belmont County, Ohio! I have finally found Reason at last and was able to fully prove his connection to Peter.
While repairing the tree, I came across another error of mine relating to an accidental crossover of records with Peter Babb (1-2-1-4) & Mary Beeson, which was cross referenced with Peter Babb (1-2-2-2) and Mary Bowen. I’ve untangled that and have also included an updated tree of Peter’s (1-2-2-2) descendants, this time with Reason!
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