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The family of William Jonathan Vines

A discussion on whether William had two or three wives.

William Jonathan Vines (also known as William Joseph Jonathan Vines)was born in July 1842 and died in 1913. Throughout the internet (and on some books I have seen), he is listed as being married three times (Mary Elizabeth Parker, Merry Martha Parker (Mary’s sister), and Mrs. Amanda Louise (Butler) Boyd.

I am having a difficult time proving the three wives. I can find Mary Elizabeth and Amanda with abundance. But I can only find Martha listed on family trees with no solid sourcing. This has caused me to do some digging. What follows is what I have found. I will conclude with what seems logical to me and what can be proved to my satisfaction. I do hope that future visitors to the website will review this and provide solid source proof to verify or disprove my conclusions.

So here goes…..

In the 1880 Census of Lawrence County, Alabama, I found the following Vines family:
W J, 38
Mary, 36
Martin 7
Jane, 14
Fannie, 12
William, 10
Sarah, 10
Daniel, 5
Mary, 5
Martha, 3

In the 1900 Census of Lawrence County, Alabama, I found the following Vines family:
William J, 57
Amanda, 45
Malissa (Malissia), 22
Amanda, 15
Ludy, 14
Dulceny, 12
Luther, 10
Alger, 8
Kellis, 6
+ two Boyd step-daughters (Anner & Mary)

My main focus is the 1880 census. I list the 1900 to show Martha (youngest in 1880) and Malissa (oldest in 1900) are most likely the same person.

Within Rootsweb.com and in a book that I have, the children in the 1880 census are divided between Mary and Martha as follows:
Mary’s Children
Missouri Jane
Parker (I assume the William in 1880)
Francis Parlee (Fannie)
Sarah Emaline

Martha’s Children:
Mary Elizabeth
Daniel
Ben (I assume Martin in 1880, ages match)
Martha Malissa


On the website “Alabama Deaths, 1908-1974” (ancestry.com), I found the following children who are listed as Martha’s

Name – Father / Mother (from death certificate)
Daniel M – William J Vines / Mary Parker
Martha Malissie Johnson – Johnson Vines / Merry Parker
Mary Elizabeth (Betty) Hallmark – W J Vines / Mary Elizabeth (no maiden name)
I could not find a record for Martin or Ben.

Mary Elizabeth was born about 1875 (1880 census) long after what is assumed to be the death of Mary and the Marriage of Martha.

On the same site I found:
Sarah Emiline Brackin – W J Vines / Betsy Vines
W P Vines (William Parker??) – W J Vines / Bettie P Vines (could the P be for Parker?), estimated birth year 1870.

Note that on the page for Sarah, her age at death was 79y 4m 22d. Using a date calculator at http://www.progenealogists.com/birthfromdeath.htm, her birth date would have been 28 Jun 1870 (approx. two weeks before the census taker arrives). Also since William is listed as 10 on the 1880 census, I am assuming William and Sarah are twins.

In the 1870 census W J with two children (M E & A P) are in the dwelling of William and Sarah Parker (Mary Elizabeth’s parents, from what I have seen). Where are Mary, Sarah, and William? I don’t know, but the babies are only two weeks old. This is part of the puzzle that can’t be explained, yet.

I found marriage records as follows
W J Vines – M E Parker – 22 Nov 1865 – Jefferson County, Alabama
W J Vines – Mrs. Amanda L Boyd – 30 Aug 1883 – Lawrence County, Alabama

Both dates match what I have seen elsewhere.

On the Mountain Springs Cemetery, Lawrence County, Alabama page on www.findagrave.com, there is an entry for Mary E (Parker) Vines (1855-1882 (http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=53750221)). The memorial (and tombstone) states that she is the wife of Wm J Vines and the sister of Jefferson C Parker. This appears to be the same couple, but the birth year is incorrect since Mary would have been ten when they married. I found the same entry at http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~allawren/cemeteries/mountainsprings.htm. Maybe this is a typo that should have been 1844. My point in bringing this up is her death in 1882 fits with William marrying Amanda in Aug 1883.

I hope all of this makes sense. The central point is this is the 1870 census. Since Mary and the babies are not listed, maybe the thought was that she had died. Some entries list her death 1868-1869 which doesn’t make unless there is a fourth wife named Elizabeth who birthed Sarah and William.

So all said and done, I don’t think there was a third wife. I think Mary Elizabeth (Parker) Vines was the mother of all eight of the children.

This is the children:
Missouri Jane (M J 1870 census)
Francis Parlee (A P 1870 census)
William Parker
Sarah Emaline (Emiline)
Mary Elizabeth
Daniel
Martin (maybe Ben??)
Martha Malissa

Owner/SourceCharlie Vines
Date7 Jul 2010
Linked toMary Unknown; William Jonathan Vines

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