Friday, June 23, 2017

Elizabeth, Wife of Ambrose Chapman


© Kathy Duncan, 2017

Documentation for the surname of Ambrose Chapman's wife Elizabeth has eluded me for years. They lived in Marion County, Georgia and are buried in Phillipi Baptist Church Cemetery in neighboring Schley County, Georgia. Both were born in South Carolina in the first decade of the nineteenth century.

For years I've seen her name as Elizabeth Griggs or Greggs. Supposedly, she was Ambrose's second wife. His first wife was supposedly Elizabeth Allen. No one has ever come forward with any documentation to support either wife. Did their names come down through oral tradition? A family bible?

Then along came FamilySearch.org with their growing collection of records. It is possible to search for documentation for an individual through the family tree and attach the documentation or source. On FamilySearch a large number of children have been attributed to Ambrose Chapman.


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Many of these children did not die until the early twentieth century, which means they might have death certificates that name their father AND mother. One of the best strategies for research is to gather as much information on all the children as possible. With that in mind, I started using FamilySearch's search engine to link sources to the Chapman children.

The first the death certificate that I found was for son Ambrose Taylor Chapman, who died 5 January 1930 in Marion County, Georgia:

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While Ambros Chapman is named as the father, the mother is given as "unknown." That of course, is disappointing.

The second death certificate that I found was for daughter Mary Jane (Chapman) Woodall, wife of Abner Woodall, who died 23 April 1927 in Taylor County, Georgia. 


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Her death certificate provides the information that her father was Ambers Chapman and her mother was Elisabeth Griggs. This the only documentation that I have ever found for Elisabeth Griggs. Of course, Mary Jane's death was 87 years after her birth and 53 years after Elisabeth's death, so it is a secondary source at best. Still, it's the only documentation that I have so far for the Griggs surname.

I still have hope of setting eyes on the death certificate for daughter Martha Dandridge (Chapman) Allison who died in 1928 in Ashley County, Arkansas.



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