The third in a series of posts revealing the fallability of records, even “official” ones.
The “true facts”: Jesse “Jack” Henderson was the son of Loudie Henderson and Joseph Buckner Martin. He was born about 1893.
On 3 Dec 1914, Solomon Ward applied for a marriage license for Jesse Henderson of Wilson, age 21, colored, son of Jesse Jacobs and Sarah Jacobs, both dead, and Pauline Artis of Wilson, age 18, colored, daughter of Alice Artis. They were married later that day.
Jesse and Sarah Henderson Jacobs, in fact, were Jesse’s foster parents, and both were very much living at the time. Sarah Henderson Jacobs was Jack’s maternal aunt.
And this …
First, by reporting his first name as “Jack,” rather than Jesse, to the Social Security Administration, Jack effectuated a legal name change and ensured that few would remember the name he was given at birth. (He was Jesse or Jessie in the 1910 and 1920 censuses, and when he registered for the draft in World War I, but Jack in the 1930 census and thereafter.) The names he gave for his parents are mystifying. Lewis Henderson was, in fact, his grandfather. “Ludy” (or Loudie) was his mother’s name, but she was Loudie Henderson, not Jacobs. Jacobs was the surname of the uncle and aunt who reared him after Loudie’s death in childbirth. And note his birthdate: 16 Sept 1892. (His draft registration card listed 1893, month and day unknown.)
And this …
Jack Henderson’s death certificate, with information provided by a daughter, lists his parents as an unknown father and “Lucy (?) Henderson” and his birthdate as 21 April 1898.
“Lucy” certainly was Loudie. My grandmother remembered her great-grandmother’s name variously as “Loudie” or “Lucy,” but a church record and a single census entry, in 1880, confirm that it was Loudie. God only knows Jack’s birthday, but the year was probably late 1892 or 1893, as reflected in the 1900 census and on his Social Security application.