Thursday, July 28, 2011

I'm My Own Grandpa

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Today is one of those genealogical days that make my head hurt and remind me of the song I'm My Own Grandpa by Ray Stevens.

Some weeks back I had been researching my husbands great grandfather, Nathan M. Shumate.  I had discovered that Nathan had married Margaret J. Adams and one of the offspring from that union became my husbands grandmother, Virginia Shumate Moran.  So far so good.

Nathan married Annie Purcell after the death of his first wife, Margaret.  Family gossip said that Nathan's three daughters didn't get along with his new wife. It happens. To make matters worse Nathan had a child by Annie so now there was a not just a step-mother but a step-sister.

In addition, Annie Purcell was not just the second wife of Nathan.  She was the first wife of Milton Green Dermon and they had four children of their own which came into the Shumate household.

The three original daughters started spending a lot of time with their uncle Quincy Shumate and his wife Lou in Newbern, TN. Quincy and his wife had six children of their own.  You can see it's starting to get a little complicated.

I didn't give anymore thought to Annie Purcell and Milton Green Dermon because they weren't blood relatives and I had way too many other people to track down.

My research continues and from notes I have I was able to confirm that Margaret J. Adams (first wife of Nathan) parents are Cy W. Adams and Mary Elizabeth Cummins.  I use but I also use original source material so I'm happy with my finds.

Today I was delving into the parentage of Mary Elizabeth Cummins and have confirmed through records that her parents are Stephen (corrected from Samuel) G. Cummins Jr and Amanda Carson.  But...I've also run into a name that I've seen before, Milton Green Dermon.  According to the 1860 Census, Milton age 16, was living in the Cummins household and he's listed as an orphan.  Interesting.  Could it possibly be the same Milton Green Dermon?  The birth year pans out and how many Milton Green Dermons can there be in Rockcastle County Kentucky in 1860?

So I move on to the 1870 Census and there he is again, still living in the household with the Cummins family.  This time he's listed as a farmer.   Up next, the 1880 census which now lists him as a boarder with the Cummins family.  Who the heck is he and how did this orphan come to live with Stephen Cummins?

Time to look into who were the parents of Stephen (corrected from Samuel) Cummins.  His father was Stephen G. Cummins Sr. and his mother, depending on which records you're looking at, list her as Clarissa Dermon/Durmon/Dearmond.  You've got to be kidding me!  I haven't found out yet what relationship there is between Clarissa Dermon and Milton Dermon but it's very very possible that Milton Dermon is a blood relative to Nathan Shumate's first wife, Margaret Adams.  And as I've already reported, Milton Dermon was the first husband of Annie Purcell, who was also Nathan Shumates second wife.  Which means that all of the children from the Shumate, Adams, Dermon, Purcell marriages are blood related and not just step children to each other!

Nathan Shumate married Margaret Adams in 1884, had 3 children. Margaret died in 1896.
Milton G. Dermon married Annie Purcell in 1883, had 4 children.  Milton died in 1894.
Nathan Shumate married Annie Purcell Dermon in 1896, had 1 child.

I believe Margaret J. Adams Shumate and Milton G. Dermon are related by blood through the Stephen (corrected from Samuel) G Cummins and Clarissa Dermon union.  How?  I'm not sure yet but it's almost to the point that someone is their own grandpa!

The search goes on.


  1. Mary,

    It was Stephen Cummins that was married to Amanda Carson. Samuel C. was their son. No wonder you're own grandpa. See the Stephen Cummins Bible pages transcribed on my blog

  2. oops, my bad. I did call him Stephen once but for some reason the name Samuel stuck in my head and I called Stephen Samuel the other times.

  3. Milton Green Dearmon, Durmin is the son of Fleming Dearmon, brother to Clarissa "Clary" Dearmon, Durmin.
    Clary and Stephen G.Cummins were married 11 June 1801 in Garrard County, KY.

    Valerie J. Thompson
    Kentucky Genealogy

  4. Yes I know. I found that out while researching today. I spent 25 years as a researcher in a Federal Depository Library at a local University. I do it for fun now and I like to write about it. It helps me think.