Last Update: Names Without A Stone: Mattie HART

Hart, Mattie buried WALDERAll information I have on Mattie HART is from her death certificate.

Mattie HART died 23 December 1913, and is buried in “Walden”.   Update Feb 2015:  Waelder City Cemetery in Gonzales County Texas (where Mattie was born) has an African-American section.  Although Mattie died in Travis County Texas, I feel it more likely that Mattie was simply buried back home in Gonzales County Texas, in Waelder City Cemetery.  Unless or until proven otherwise.  I have taken the liberty of adding Mattie’s name to this cemetery in Find-A-Grave, with reference to this post.  Farewell Mattie, I hope to have done right by you.

So that future researchers will not reinvent the wheel, here are my notes on Mattie:

Mattie was born to Silas HART and _____ BLASINGALE in Gonzales, Texas in 1868.  Silas HART was born in North Carolina.  I find no record of a Silas HART, who was no doubt a former slave.  I find no record of a BLASINGALE marrying Silas HART.  But if they were slaves/former slaves, I seriously doubt there would be public record of their marriage.

I have often said that the most important piece of information on a death certificate is the name of the informant.  The informant on Mattie’s death certificate was A C Barksdale of Lockhart.  Lockhart is in Caldwell County Texas.  Gonzales County Texas (where Mattie was born) was a neighboring county.  An AC Barksdale (Americus Collier Barksdale) was a guard at the Huntsville Texas Prison in the 1910 census.  If this is the same man, how he came to be the informant on Mattie’s death certificate is unknown.

Although Mattie was a widow, her married name is the same as her maiden name. So:

1  She was divorced, and went back to using her maiden name (Hart).  In these cases the record would say “divorced” and not “widow”.

2  Her married name and her maiden name were the same (HART), which can happen.  Since she is”Mrs” Mattie Hart on her death certificate, I believe Mattie was truly a widow whose maiden name was the same as her married name.  Unless –

3  The informant was erroneously giving the name of THEIR OWN FATHER, and not Mattie’s.  It happened sometimes.  If so, then AC Barksdale was a married daughter of Silas Hart and _____ Blasingale.  If so, why wouldn’t she know the first name of her own mother?

UPDATE December 2014:

Americus Barksdale was not the informant.

There was a family of African-American Barksdales in Lockhart in 1910, and I cannot help but think they are related.  Although there is no match for “AC Barksdale”, I do find:

1  Monroe Barksdale, born ca. 1865 in Texas, servant in the household of John M CARDWELL.  Amy PARISH was their cook, born ca. 1870 in Texas.  She and Monroe were both divorced.  Monroe Barksdale married Amy on 24 August 1910, about 10 weeks after the census was taken.  Amy might be our informant “AC Barksdale”.

2  Henry Barksdale, born ca. 1872 in Texas, married to Lucy.  Living with them were Willie Barksdale, born ca. 1890 in Texas, married to Mattie.

Henry and Willie Barksdale were living next door to “Annie Hart” a 41-year-old widow.  This matches Mattie Hart’s demographics, but Annie and Mattie are not the same person.  I don’t know why, but I firmly believe that Annie and Mattie were related (sisters?).  Annie Hart was born 31 May 1870 to Cecil (Silas?) Hart and Sharlett McDonald (no further info found on either).  Annie died in Lockhart 9 December 1957.  Annie had five children:

1  Sylvie (Sylvia?), born ca. 1894 in Texas.

2  Allie, born ca. 1896 in Texas.  Alexander?  In his WWI Draft Registration, Allie BYRD was born 4 December 1894 in Prairie Lee, Caldwell County TX.  In the 1930 Caldwell County TX census, he is Allie “Byrd”, married with two children.

3  Claude, born ca. 1898 in Texas.  In 1920 Caldwell County TX census, he was Claudie BIRD

4  Fate, born ca. 1900 in Texas.  Lafayette?  In 1920 Caldwell County TX census, he was Fayette PROCTOR

5  Gussy, born ca. 1908 in Texas.  Gus?  In 1920 Caldwell County TX census, he was Gussie PROCTOR

Mattie was sick for a little while before she died.  Her death certificate states that the physician (JH Stevens) first saw her on December 19th, 4 days before she died.  She somehow made it to Austin for medical care, but unfortunately she died. She was in my opinion buried in Pond Springs (not the Walden section), as Pond Springs was a public cemetery.  The easiest guess would be that she was a servant in a Travis or Williamson County TX household, but so far research has not been fruitful.

Who was Mattie?

“Mattie” is commonly a nickname for Matilda, although it can also be used for Martha. In working from the known to the unknown, by first researching the 1870 census for Gonzales Texas, I discovered three African American “Matildas” born ca 1865-1870:

1  Matilda FLY, born to George W. and Mary FLY.  George was born ca. 1848 in Mississippi, Mary was born ca. 1853 in Arkansas.  No further info.

2  Matilda “Tildy” MONROE, born May 1870 to Steven and Charlotte MONROE.  Steven was born ca. 1840 in Mississippi, and Charlotte was born ca. 1842 in Mississippi.  Matilda lived to 1900 at least.  No further info.

3  Matilda DAVIDSON, born to Ann DAVIDSON.  Ann was born in Tennessee ca. 1840.  No further info.

And 15 African American “Marthas” born ca 1865-1870, surnames:  CANADA, COLLINS, DANIELS, GOSSET, GREEN, HAGENS, HENRY, JACKSON, MCKELLER, MORRISON, PRICE, SOLOMON, THOMPSON, WALKER, WALKER

Contributors to Ancestry.com and census records reveal the following:

a.  Mattie Thompson (1868-1903) married Joseph Blasingale (1868-) and Osborne Shannon.

b.  John Blessingame in 1860 Lavaca County TX Slave Schedule, white, born ca. 1822 South Carolina.  Lavaca County is next to Gonzales County.

c.  John Blassingame, black, 1870 census Portland, Ashley County Arkansas, born ca. 1813 South Carolina.  Dau? Louisa born ca. 1844 ALA.  Daughter Martha born ca. 1869 ALA.

– Suzanne

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Published in: on February 22, 2015 at 4:20 pm  Leave a Comment  

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