Saturday, February 4, 2012

Surname Saturday - Reece


I am related to the Reece line through my paternal Great-grandmother, Gussie Creed Kuhn. Gussie was born in St. Joe, Texas, December 9, 1889 and her given name was Pearl Augusta Creed. Her parents were Joseph Micajah Creed and Mary Elizabeth Reece.
Gussie Creed Kuhn's parents as listed on her death certificate from April 15, 1975
Mary Elizabeth Reece, Gussie's mother, was born in Kingsville, Johnson County, Missouri on February 23, 1846. Her obituary from the March 24, 1927 Courier Dispatch and Times Democrat, Pawnee, Oklahoma, states that her father was Reverend William Reece, "pastor of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Desota, Kansas." This find led me to an 1860 census for a Reece family in Johnson County, Missouri. The age of the Mary E. listed matches "my" Mary.
1860 census for the Reece family
I tentatively link this census to the Reece family...which I quickly realized is often spelled Reese. Following the individuals listed in the 1860 census leads me to an 1880 census for the same family. They now live in Johnson County, Kansas.
1880 census for the Reece family
Note a Nancy E. Creed living with William Reece. This child is Mary and Joseph Creed's first child, Nancy Estella Creed. The places of birth for herself and her parents matches the information that is certain for Mary and Joseph. Therefore, I'm accepting this William H. Reece and his wife, Elizabeth, as Mary Elizabeth Reece's parents. In a lucky genealogy tidbit, Elizabeth's brother is also living with the family...bingo for her maiden name: Alexander.

I am able to find William H. Reece's headstone in DeSoto Cemetery, DeSoto, Kansas, along with his wife, Elizabeth.
I am able to track William from his death in 1889 back to his marriage to Elizabeth in 1836.
This is where the documentation stops. I know that William Reece was born in Tennessee October 2, 1809, but I have found no information that links him to the next generation. If he had an obituary, I have not been able to find it. I have located two other men with the surname Reece in the same counties that William Reece lived in: Isham and Jesse. They are of the appropriate age to be his siblings and both are from Tennessee. Their migration patterns match those of William and he named two of his children Isham and Jesse. To date I have not found a conclusive link between them. There is a marriage record for Isham Reece from Rhea County, Tennessee. Perhaps a lead...

Reece To-Do List:
1. Contact Johnson County, Kansas to search for probate records for William Reece.
2. Trace the lives of Isham and Jesse Reece to learn their connection to Tennessee and see if it links them to William and his time in Tennessee.
3. Then what???

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