The Story of Aunt E’s Elopement

Every day I get an e-mail from Genealogy Tip of the Day.  This is what I found this morning:

Does It Really Mean It Happened?

A marriage license does not mean a couple actually got married. It means they requested permission to get married. A marriage record indicates they get married. A declaration of intention does not indicate a person actually became a citizen. A naturalization record does. Filing a homestead claim does not mean a person actually got the property. A final patent issued for the land does.

Think about exactly what a record means and, more importantly, what it does not mean.

Posted by Michael John Neill

This is so true.  I can’t tell you how many times I have found a record of something that never happened.  For instance, there is a record at the Union Parish courthouse that states Ethyl Manolia Tabor married Rodney J Manning on 5 Feb 1898.  Here is the rest of the story.

Over the years the children of John Burl and Josephine Tabor told the story of one of the sisters failed attempt at eloping.  She packed a bag of her belongings and hid it from her parents.  She then waited up for the young man to show up.  What she didn’t know was John Burl had somehow found out about the plan.  He hid in the apple orchard with his shotgun.  When Ethyl’s beau arrived he was met with gunfire.  I am sure the gun was not aimed at the poor man.  After all it was a shotgun and he didn’t get hit.  He just took off running never to be seen around the Tabor place again.  Ethyl was left with a broken heart.  She did recover after time and married William Vander Burns on 12 Dec 1899.  He was the brother of the Reverend M V Burns who was married to Bertha Porter Burns.

William and Ethyl Tabor Burns

William and Ethyl Tabor Burns

That story has been told many times in our family but somehow not one single living person knew which sister it was.  That is until I went digging in the Union Parish marriage license book. There it was.  The marriage that never took place.

Ethyl was the oldest of John Burl and Josephine Tabor’s thirteen children.  My grandmother was the youngest and had not been born when the elopement incident took place.

The children of John Burl Tabor and Josephine A. Butler are:

Ethyl Manolia – William Vander Burns
Willie Jessie – James Louis McCallum
Infant – we don’t the name or sex
Robert Sylvester – Ethyl Reeves
Eunice, who only lived a few months
James Brooks – Urka Belle Tipton
Laura Ann – Benjamin Franklin Matthews, who died young
                  John Henry Lewis
                  August Loe Smith
Jenny Ruth – Larkin Lafayette Salley
Charles Louie – Mary Pearl Hutto
George Holland “Pat” – Pearl Janet Toler
Florence Mae – Leroy Lee
Mattie Inez – Welbon Alfis “Jack” Rogers
Bertha Lee – William Jesse Fomby

2 thoughts on “The Story of Aunt E’s Elopement

  1. Pingback: Warriors, elopements, and pranks! It’s Follow Friday! | finding forgotten stories

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