William Abner Rose has been more than a bit of a puzzle for his descendants.His Seattle, King Co., WA, tombstone in Ft. Lawton Cemetery (William A. Rose) shows dates of 24 Sep 1899 – 17 Jul 1955, with the stone noting a birth in New York.
That New York birth location has proven to be a total red herring.It turns out that William Abner Rose was instead the oldest child of a SC couple, John Abner Rose and his wife Martha “Mattie” Ann Broom.His parents died when he was still a teenager with younger siblings, and he appears to have lived a rather chaotic life, perhaps as a direct result of those losses.
The 1900 Fairfield Co., SC, census record for the household of John Rose (listed as 26, b. SC) and his wife Mattie shows a son William Rose born Nov 1899 in SC.This Rose couple was living in a household immediately following that of a 51 year old Albert [sic – his name was actually Abner] D. Rose and wife Lavenia, both of these latter two appropriately aged to be the parents of the John Rose following them.The older couple’s household also included a daughter Alice Rose born Jan 1878 SC.
These 1900 names made it easier to peg the older couple as being the same family as the one recorded in an 1880 Fairfield Co., SC, household –Abner and Levenia Rose.That earlier enumeration included a 5 year old son John A. Rose and a 2 year old daughter Allice Rose.Further research has made it clear that the correct name of the older man was Abner D. Rose, with the 1900 Albert D. Rose listing clearly a census error.
Following that 1900 Fairfield Co. location for the younger John Rose, in 1910 Richland Co., SC, the same John A. Rose and wife Mattie now had five children, including an oldest child William A. Rose, age 10, incorrectly indexed as William W. Rose.Among the other children was a daughter Mary L. Rose, age 6, who would prove to be an important puzzle part in bringing William Abner Rose back to this parental family.More on her in a bit.
John Abner Rose died in 1915 and was buried in Elmwood Cemetery in Richland Co., SC (16 Oct 1875 – 28 Mar 1915).Shortly after his father’s death, William Abner Rose enlisted in the military.When his mother Mattie Rose died in 1918 (29 Aug 1874 – 20 Oct 1918, Elmwood Cemetery), the younger siblings of William Abner Rose were placed in an orphanage.
In 1925, during his military service in Hawaii, William Abner Rose met and married Helen Borge.In the early 1940’s, he would have another marriage to Marjorie (Sumners) Behnken.
Although William Abner Rose had children with each of those two different wives, apparently neither the children from the earlier family nor the children from the later family knew any details of the other marriage and family.Further, William Abner Rose seems to have been reticent in discussing his own Rose family ties with any of his children.As a result, neither of those two Rose families appears to have known anything consequential about his parentage or siblings.
That circumstance changed as a result of children from the earlier and the later marriages independently seaching for their father’s ancestry.With a distinctive name like William Abner Rose, when messages using that name were posted online, the two families ultimately discovered each other, and after comparing notes, concluded they might be dealing with the same man.Very recent swapping of family photographs of William Abner Rose himself confirmed that, indeed, these two groups of now senior citizens were long-lost half-siblings of each other.They became determined to pool their resources to track their shared father’s ancestry.
In addition to not discussing his first wife and first set of children with his second set of children and to not detailing his Rose underpinnings with either set, William Abner Rose was apparently less than clear about his actual birth location in his dealings with the US military, resulting in the military issuing a tombstone showing a New York birth.Consequently, it was difficult for those interested family members to place William Abner Rose as being the South-Carolina-born William A. Rose in the household of John A. and Mattie Rose of SC.That circumstance has changed.William A. Rose’s deceased sister Mary L. Rose, mentioned earlier, finally has had her chance to speak up.
In a fairly recent correspondence, members of Rose family one noted that their mother Helen Borge had left personal items indicating that an unidentified-in-those-items David McWatters had been in touch with this first Rose family perhaps as early as the late 1920’s or early 1930’s.That contact continued, with a son, David McWatters, Jr., visiting Rose family members of family one in the early 1940’s while himself in the Navy.
Continuing with that new information, the daughter in the second family, while pursuing the data posted with Martha “Mattie” Ann Broom’s tombstone listing at FindAGrave.com, discovered additional research there mentioning that Mary Levania Rose was a daughter of John A. and Mattie Rose, further identifying David McWatters as her husband.
Surviving Rose family members from the earlier marriage seem to have been aware of the McWatters interaction, though perhaps not aware of its full significance.
Suddenly, the pieces of the puzzle fell into place.William Abner Rose of the two marriages was indeed marked as being the William A. Rose of the 1900 and 1910 John and Mattie Rose household, the one with a sister Mary L. Rose.There could be no other explanation for the family contact with David McWatters, son-in-law of John Abner Rose.
With that as the finding, a previously-noted-by-the-interested-parties 19 Jul 1919 Halifax, VA, marriage record between a Willliam A. Rose and Rosa G. Marable became more significant.That groom had identified his parents as John and Martha Rose, making it highly likely that this was a first marriage for the same William Abner Rose, with the child-bearing marriages being marriages #2 and #3.
Cutting to the chase, the older Abner D. Rose (here identified as the father of John Abner Rose and hence the grandfather of William Abner Rose) is in fact the same man as the Abner Rose found in the 1860 and 1870 Fairfield Dist., SC, census of his own father, the Civil War soldier William Amos Rose (full name from the Civil War pension application of William A. Rose’s widow).
Incidentally, the name of the wife in the 1860 SC household of William Amos Rose has been abstracted by indexers and by many other researchers (including this one), as Daisey Rose.Closer examination of other uses of the letters “i” and “r” on that census page, when those letters occur inside a name, makes it clear that the correct abstract of that given name spelling is likely Darsey, rather than Daisey.This is consistent with being a variation of the proven name of the wife of Willliam Amos Rose, Darcus Catherine Wilson.
The ancestry of William Amos Rose is detailed in other messages here on GenForum.Those messages show his likely line of descent from the 1622 William Rose of Surry Co., VA, detailing him as being William Amos7 Rose (Thomas6, William5, William4, Richard3, William2, William1).--Carl