How a document on eBay lead me to a new branch in Greene County, TN

It seems at times that we have discovered everything there is to know about the Babb families of Greene County. After all, we have spent lots of time there and the family unit is huge in that area.

But this random document on eBay lead me to discover the previously unknown branch of Charles Babb. In my records we only had a single proof of his existence in the 1850 Census at the age of 5. He was listed as Charly and never appeared in the records again. It has long been assumed that he died as a child and that there was no more to know about him. That is until this document came to me.

I purchased it almost a year ago and like others it sat patiently waiting its turn to be scanned and cataloged. I had purchased it because of its age not knowing exactly which Charles it related to. But knew I could find it.

Today I sat down to catch up my scanning pile and started to narrow down the list of possibilities of who this could be. There are 24 descendants of Philip Babb (1-2-2-1) listed in the database with the name of Charles/Charlie. But virtually all of them were born too late to have needed to sign an oath of allegiance after the Civil War.

Eventually, I eliminated all but our Charly from the 1850 Census. I looked at other trees on Ancestry to see if I had missed something about him and they listed his death date as 1850 and had no more information than I did about him.

I altered my search to look for Charles and found a grave for a person who appeared to match, but I wanted something more since it is a relatively common given name and while looking at Charly’s family tree I noticed that his mother’s maiden name is Gass. The other signature on this document is that of James A Gass. James happens to be her father and brother’s name which helped me close the loop on this document.

It should be readily apparent by this point at how I can spend several hours on just one piece of paper at times. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Charles’ father Samuel died at about the same time as when Charles was born. He was the last of 8 children that were left in the care of his mother Mary Gass at the time of the 1850 Census. I’m unable to find him or his mother on the 1860 Census, but he appears again on the 1870 Census and is now married to Josephine O (Gauntt). No children are listed and he died the following year. So, while it is unlikely that he has any descendants, I’m still glad I was able to tell his story.

Josephine lived for another 29 years after his death and remarried W H Hunter.

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