Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Update on the Gandy/Cary/Kirby Mystery

In previous posts here and here, I have shared information regarding the mystery surrounding the events which led to Tamson (Cary) Gandy leaving her husband Alexander Gandy and embarking on a relationship with Robert Phares Kirby, a married man who was twenty years older than she.

While we still have not discovered the true story of what happened, my fellow researcher Keith and I continue to find bits and pieces of information that tie the families together prior to that fateful event (whatever it was!).

  • The document below, a school census taken in 1843, was found by a researcher in Union County, Ohio. It shows that Robert Kirby lived as a neighbor of the Gandy and Cary families when Alexander and Tamson were about 11 and 8 years of age, respectively. It also lists four of Kirby’s children from his first marriage who likely were friends and schoolmates of Alexander and Tamson. What did these older children think when they found out that their father had deserted them and run off with a woman who had been their childhood acquaintance?

  • By 1850, Kirby and his family had removed to DeWitt County, Illinois. Henry Sheppard Gandy, Alexander’s uncle, moved with his family to DeWitt County sometime before 1860. Were Alexander and Tamson with Sheppard Gandy when he made this move? We don’t know.

  • The Union County, Ohio, deed indexes show numerous transactions involving members of Kirby’s family, the Gandy family, and other related families. Films have been ordered and perhaps a review of the actual deeds will provide valuable clues.

  • I have ordered several microfilms of newspapers from Union County for another purpose, but will also search them for any possible mention of Robert, Alexander, and Tamson.

  • Keith has been in contact with a descendant of Robert and Tamson who was planning to attend a family reunion this past weekend. Keith sent a summary of our findings and the various stories, along with some unidentified photographs, with the hope that someone at the reunion would be able to confirm or refute some of the stories and perhaps identify the people in the photos.

We are looking forward to whatever we may learn from all these various sources!

© 2012 Denise Spurlock

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