Monday, April 14, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: #15 Mollydine Alexander Cole and Twin

We don't talk much about the family of my maternal grandfather. Most of what I know has been gleaned from records, newspapers and very distant cousins. But I do recall one conversation about my great-grandmother, Mollydine Alexander Cole.

My Mom was telling me that only her mother's stubbornness stood between herself and the name Mollydine. She  was grateful that she had been named Molly, rather than Mollydine after her grandmother. I didn't ask about the spelling. Instead I wrote the name down as Molly Dean, thinking it was a clue to another ancestral line.

Quick drop page from ArtPlay Palette Family by AnnaAspnesDesigns
for Digital Scrapper, March, 2012

When I saw the 1880 census for Weakley County, Tennessee, I figured out how the unusual name came to be. Mollydine had a twin, Josephine. Can't you just see their parents trying to rhyme a name with Josephine? Give it a try -- I did!

The exact date of the twins' birth is fuzzy. Mollydine and Josephine were born on January 31, 1873, according to Molly's obituary. Josephine's typed death record gives a birth date of January 13, 1873, but I suspect that is a typographical error. Josephine Alexander Stacks showed a birthdate of February, 1875, in the 1900 Weakley County census. Molly showed January, 1874, for her birthdate in the 1900 census taken in Clay County, Arkansas. The twins never had identical ages in any census after 1880. Based on all the evidence, I believe that their most likely birthdate is January 31, 1873.

The twins were born to Thomas Jefferson "Jeff" Alexander and Rebecca Ann Maynard. Josephine's death certificate says that they were born in Weakley County.  They grew to womanhood there and were also married there. Mollydine married William J. Cole on December 6, 1891. Josephine married William Edward Stacks on January 19, 1899. Their lives diverged when Mollydine and her family moved to Clay County, Arkansas, leaving her twin behind in Tennessee.

Mollydine gave birth to four sons: Carlos, Noble, Clifford and Seborn. She and William apparently had marital problems. In the 1930 census, "widowed" Molly and son Seborn were living in Michigan, near her sons Noble and Clifford, while "widowed" William was living in Arkansas with son Carlos.

Mollydine Alexander Cole died in Arkansas on January 24, 1956, and was buried in Piggott Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Piggott, Arkansas. She was buried in a different cemetery and even a different town from William J. Cole, who had predeceased her.

Josephine Alexander Stacks died on July 19, 1948, in Hardeman County, Tennessee. Her place of burial was not given on her death certificate.

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