Manda CHITCHANSelfWFemaleW26MOKeeping HouseVAVA Eliza CHITCHANDauSFemaleW6TXAt Home------ James CHITCHANSonSMaleW4TXAt Home------ John CHITCHANSonSMaleW3TXAt Home------
On the 1870 census I find several Chidester families in Pulaski Co, AR (place of birth given for father of Lizzie and James on 1900 census), and one family in Quachita.You might do a little searching in those counties.I would post queries for those counties on GenForum and GenWeb, too.GenWeb counties tend to receive more hits, but I like both and you never know who is using which sites.Getting queries out in as many locations as possible is always good.(^_^)
Since Manda was born in MO and her late husband (she's a widow) was born in AR, I would guess they met and married in TX.Check for marriage records in Jack Co, TX.And, you now have a new spelling for your family name.He obviously died after youngest child and before census.Being a young widowed female, she may not have had money for a headstone, but I would look, as sometimes family will go back later and place a headstone.Check Jack Co, TX GenWeb site, see if they have their cemeteries online, or have a volunteer who will do lookups.
Also, if they owned land, look for guardianship records.Yes, even if the mother was living the court would appoint a guardian for minor children (if there was an estate -- land) to report back to the court of any sale of the estate.By that time period they may have "allowed" the mother to be the guardian.I had one in 1889 in Wilbarger Co, TX who was allowed to be the guardian of her minor children.
I don't see a Manda (or Amanda) on the 1900 TX census index with surname that even comes close to Chidester/Chitchan etc, so I'm guessing she remarried.