Tuesday, May 15, 2012

More on the Mystery of Alexander and Tamson (Cary) Gandy

In the post Mystery Monday – A Love Triangle, I wrote about the marriage of Alexander Gandy and Tamson Cary and the stories surrounding their supposed deaths and Tamson’s subsequent marriage to Robert Phares Kirby in Texas sometime in the late 1850s.

Several other tidbits of information have been found related to this mystery: 
  • A child named Shepperd Gandy died 31 May 1855 aged 3 days; his gravestone at Brannan Cemetery in Leesburg Township, Union County, Ohio, appears to read “son of A & T.” Could this have been the son of Alexander and Tamson—perhaps their first (and only) child? Nearly every Gandy family had a son named Shepperd, but I know of no other Gandy couples whose initials were A and T. Did Alexander and Tamson leave Union County for Illinois as a result of losing their baby?
  • Henry H. Gandy (Alexander’s great-grandfather and Tamson’s grandfather) died in 1849; I posted a transcription of his estate documents here. The first item in the inventory is a “note of hand” on Robert P. Kirby and Oliver Simpson, due 1 January 1847, appraised at $20. It is believed that this is the same Robert P. Kirby that later married Tamson (Cary) Gandy. How did Kirby happen to know Henry Gandy well enough that Gandy would loan him money? Why had the note not been paid? Oliver Simpson, the other party to the note, appears to have remained in Union County; did he pay this debt to Henry Gandy’s estate?
  • Many Cary researchers, myself included, have recorded that Tamson (Cary) Gandy died in 1855 in Pike’s Peak, Colorado. My hypothesis has been that, when Alexander returned to Union County about 1860, this is what he told the family. However, in the following biography of G. W. Cary (Tamson’s brother George), Tamson is listed as one of his still-living siblings! How did this biographer know that Tamson was still alive? When did the Cary family learn that she had not died in 1855 in Colorado? Why has this inaccurate information continued to be passed down, despite a written record to the contrary?

Source: Pliny A. Durant; W. H. Beers & Co., Chicago, publishers,
The History of Union County, Ohio
PDF download, Internet Archive
 (archive.org : downloaded 11 May 2012), 434.

The search for the truth continues…

© 2012 Denise Spurlock


  1. This mystery gets curiouser and curiouser. I hope you can solve it.

    1. Wendy, The other individual who is researching this mystery is going to put together a timeline so that we can sit down and look at everything from a new perspective. Maybe that will help us figure out what happened!