Another Prolonged Puzzle

Here’s another one of my genealogical puzzles: Wesley Calvin George. I ordered a copy of his death certificate, which named his parents: Jacob Will George and a woman named Elizabeth. Unfortunately there was no maiden name recorded.

I have had a heck of a time finding anything on a Jacob or Will or William or Jake or J.W. or W.J. I have tried a lot of combinations, but so far nothing.

The same goes for his son — my great-great grandfather — Wesley Calvin (W.C.) George. I have tracked him down in 1850, but more than twenty years of his life is missing from records, at least government records such as the federal census, during the period from 1851 to 1873.

This is highly unusual in my experience researching the family history. No one else in the family has gone missing from records for this long, with possibly one exception, the Conner family. (This might be a case of them hiding in plain sight, since Conner is such a common name.)

Where was Wesley George in 1860? He would have been 19 years old. In 1850 he appears to be living with his mother Elizabeth in Baltimore. In 1860 she is still living in Baltimore, but he isn’t there, at least not when the census taker came by the house.

Where was he at the outbreak of the Civil War? Did he join the war effort? Was he a Confederate? Was he out at sea, like his cousin Elijah Bonner, who was living with the family in 1850?

When Elijah married, one of Wesley’s cousins no less, Elizabeth continued living with the couple in Baltimore. Bonner became a prominent ship captain. He died unexpectedly during a trip to Boston. Although his death was noted in the papers, Elizabeth, perhaps a motherly figure to him, was not mentioned.

Born in Virginia in 1840, what were Wesley’s views on slavery? Did he like Southern culture? Because I haven’t found the family in any records relating to Virginia, I don’t know if they owned any slaves or what their position in society was.

I doubt the family had much money, and I think it is even more doubtful that the family had slaves. I certainly hope not.

AJH

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