Bio – Mary Lillian Hobbs (Howell) (1885 – bef 1964)

52 Ancestors # 12 – Mary Lillian Hobbs (Howell) (1885-1964)

Sometimes one simple fact, one vital fact, can be incredibly difficult to trace down. This is the case for the death of Mary Lillian Hobbs Howell. From her husband’s death certificate I’ve learned that she preceded him in death but I have been unable to find her in any of the death records or indexes. I’m not seeing her death on Ancestry, Family Search, Mocavo, Vital Records, Genealogy Bank, or Family recollection indicates that died in the Washington, DC area (Virginia, Maryland, or the District).  I’ve contacted several relatives and received several “don’t know” responses. Several others that I’ve attempted to contact have been completely silent (non-responsive to my emails). And sadly enough, when I tried to contact several others that I thought would definitely know for certain, in the process of trying to contact them I learned of their passing.

I recall seeing something once but figured I’d find it again. That perceived missed opportunity has prompted me to use Evernote to help organize and track such findings. I use Chrome as my browser for genealogical work for several reasons. One of them is the very handy plugin, Evernote Web Clipper, which allows you to capture a web page into Evernote with just a couple clicks. Click the button, decide which format you want to save the item in – Usually simplified web for me, but article text, full page, and highlighted text are also options. Decide which folder to put it in and apply any tags to the file as appropriate. I usually put it into my “Action Genea” folder and tag the file with the individual’s name. I can then later go through my “Action Genea” folder, process the information into my Ancestry Family Tree for Mac tree, and then file the record into an appropriate Research folder, in this case it would have been my “Howell-Hobbs” folder.

Using Evernote as the foundation of collecting and organizing my research has revolutionized my work process. If you haven’t tried Evernote, give it a try.

Bio – Mary Lillian Hobs (Howell)

Mary Hobbs
Thanks to Debby Ziegler & Flickr

Mary Lillian Hobbs was born 28 March, 1885 in Hamilton, Martin County, North Carolina. She was the youngest of 10 children born to James Ashley Hobbs and Ann Debora Long.

She grew up in Hamilton and in 1898 her father was elected clerk of court for Martin County so the family moved to the county seat, Williamston. The 1900 census reports living in a house with her father, mother, older brother James Floyd Hobbs and attending school. The 1910 census shows her still at home with her father and mother.

She married James Dallas Howell on April 27th, 1910, in Williamston.

Her mother lived long enough to see her youngest daughter have her first child, James Dallas Howell, Jr. on December 31st, 1911. Her mother died in May 1913. In September, 1913, she gave birth to a second son, Ashley Long.

It must have been a difficult time as her husband was a Baptist minister which caused her to move many times. In 1916, her third son, Frank Armstrong Howell, was born in Brown Marsh, Bladen County. A fourth son, Clarence Fletcher Howell, was born in 1918 in Beulaville, Duplin County.

The 1920 Census reports Mary living in Plymouth, Washington county with her husband and her four sons. Her father died later in the year at Hobgood, Martin county.

Finally, in 1925, while living in Onslow county, she gave birth to a daughter, Mary Elizabeth Howell.

The 1930 Census shows the entire family together, Mary, her Baptist preacher husband, her four sons and one daughter renting a house in Ansonville, Anson County,

Mary Lillian Howell

In the 1940 Census, her husband J. D., as he was often called, was still preaching and their two youngest children, Clarence and Mary Elizabeth were still living with them.

I don’t know when, or even where, Mary Lillian died. It was was before her husband died in 1964. I have been unable to find her in any death indexes not a record of her burial.

This week is the 129th anniversary of her birth; we remember Mary Lillian Hobbs Howell and her life…

Further Research
Determine Mary’s death date and place.
Research more of James Dallas Howell ministry and see if there are any mentions of her in church bulletins, etc.

Ancestry.Com – 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, and 1940 Censuses.
Martin County Heritage published 1980 by The Martin County Historical Society
Maryland, Dept. of Health, Death Certificate, James Dallas Howell – 2 Sep 1979 – 18 Dec 1964
North Carolina, Marriages, 1759-1979, Family Search, J. D. Howell & Mary Lillian Hobbs – Accessed 2013-12-07.

One thought on “Bio – Mary Lillian Hobbs (Howell) (1885 – bef 1964)”

  1. My Grandfather is Ashley L. Howell. I am very new to trying to discover my family tree. It appears that we may be related in some way. Im interested in sharing information if possible.

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