1 Ancestry Challenge October

Ancestor #14

My great grandmother, Molly May Spraggins, was born on March 20, 1892 in Slackland, Cherokee County, Alabama. Her birth certificate shows unknown for both parents.

The 1900 U. S. Census shows Mollie, and her sister, Jane Spragins as the adopted daughters of John and Anna E. Howard. They were living at Walker Chapel, DeKalb County, Alabama.

John was a minister, born in 1846 in Tennessee. In 1865, he married Anna E. Unknown, who was also born in Tennessee on July, 1835.

The 1880 U. S. Census shows John and Anna living in Davidson, Tennessee with five children; 3 boys and 2 girls. None of these children are listed as living with them on the 1900 U. S. Census, so it could be the wrong family.

I have been unable to find anything else on John and Anna E. Howard. I am in the process of working to find the adoption papers for Mollie, and her sister, Jane. Were they legally adopted or just taken in? If adopted, why were they listed as Spragins instead of Howard?

According to my grandmother, there was a boy also, but she couldn’t remember his name. Why wasn’t he adopted or taken in by the Howard’s? Was he old enough to go to work on his own or was he living with another family? Questions, questions, questions…

On December 23, 1909, Molly May Spragins married John Columbus (Lum) Gant. The 1910 U. S. Census the couple are living in Lebanon, DeKalb County, Alabama. By the 1920 U. S. Census, the couple had moved to Graham (which is known today as Grove Oak), DeKalb County, Alabama.

The family lived there until shortly after Molly’s death, at age 41, on November 22, 1933. John, along with the six children still living at home, moved to Kirby, Marshall County, Alabama. John had moved back into DeKalb County, before his death in 1964.
1 John and Molly Gant Tombstone


1900 United States Federal Census

1910 United States Federal Census

1920 United States Federal Census

1930 United States Federal Census

Alabama Deaths, 1908-59

Alabama, Deaths and Burials Index, 1881-1974

Web: Alabama, Find A Grave Index, 1755-2012