There was a lot of sadness in Eva Georgia “Georgie” Baxter Payne’s 47 years. Her mother died when she was 4. Georgie died 5 years after her husband when she was 47 leaving behind 8 children, the youngest who was 8.
And she had a really inconvenient birthday. The 1880 census recorded everyone who was living in the household on June 1st, 1880. And Georgie was born on June 10th, 1880. Oh, the 1880 census her family was on was enumerated on June 17th, 1880; but this enumerator followed the rules.
Finding her parents was a bit of a challenge. Georgie’s death certificate said her mother was Mary Alexander and her father was S. R. Baxter. The informant was my grandmother, Georgie’s daughter, Jennie E Payne.
There are no S.R. Baxter’s that I could find in North Carolina. I looked. And I looked. And I looked.
I looked for Georgie’s marriage certificate James. James and Georgie were married October 18th, 1902. North Carolina marriage certificates have parents’ names. I found the film, I scrolled through it. Bingo! You know that feeling when you find the obvious document that will have your answer. The excitement! The answer!
Georgie’s parents are listed as unknown and unknown, and they both were dead. And you know that feeling too, don’t you?
Time to use the FAN method! I recorded the information that was on the marriage certificate including those who signed. B. R. Payseur, and name I still can’t read, and something like Reasley Carrol.
I went back to the North Carolina death certificates on Ancestry.com and search for people who had a father S.R. Baxter or a mother Mary Alexander.
And I found Sara Baxter, whose mother was Mary Baxter and her father Peter Baxter. And her husband? Boyce R. Payseur. Now we know that B. R. Payseur was a witness to James and Georgie’s wedding. I felt like I was on to something. OK, not solid proof. But it sure felt like a substantial lead. And it was. Boyce is listed as a guardian for Georgie’s children. James and Georgie’s son was named Jack Boyce Payne. 
But I needed more. I hunted down Peter Franklin Baxter’s probate files, who is listed as Sarah’s father on her death certificate and her father in 1880. He died October 16th, 1897, five years before Georgie and James were married. When his will is recorded it lists a Sally Payseur, wife of Boyce and a Georgie Baxter. But that still isn’t enough. What if there is another Georgie Baxter that has a sister named Sally/Sarah?
So I searched for the final settlement for Peter’s will. And lo and behold, Georgie, is now Georgie Payne and her husband is JR Payne.
She tried to hide her parents, but with a little FAN work I found her. Every piece of data on every may be significant.
The answers are out there.
Categories: 52 Ancestors