Elijah C. Haywood 52 Ancestors #3

I’m sure you have made the connection from Elijah C. Haywood to Louise Myrtle Haywood, aka Myrtle Elijah Way and her mother, Mary Elizabeth Bridges. Apparently, his daughter, Myrtle, decided to use his given name as her middle name and the surname Way from her step father, Charles A. Way. Although on her marriage certificate to Orvan O. Plunk, she used the name Myrtle Haywood.

According to the Arkansas, County Marriages Index, 1837 – 1957, E. C. Haywood was 21 at the time of his marriage to Mary Bridges in 1905. That would put his birth year about 1884. The 1890 census was destroyed by fire. I couldn’t find any record of an E.C. Haywood born about that time on the 1900 census. In fact, there was not even a Haywood family on the same census as Mary Bridges and her family in 1900.

In the 1910 Census, Mary Haywood is listed as a widow. So, obviously, E.C. Haywood died sometime between his marriage to Mary in 1905 and the 1910 census. But, their daughter Myrtle was born March in 1909, so that narrows the time frame down to a year.

Again, my new found double cousin, Tamara, came to my rescue when she found this article:

From the Sharp County (Arkansas) Record newspaper
Vol. 32, No. 5, Friday, March 5, 1909
p. 1, col. 4
Shocking Accident
Yesterday evening about 2 o’clock, Rev. J.C. Haywood
and his son, Elijah, were returning from Salem to their
home near Moko. At the southern approach of the South
Fork bridge, their team became frightened and they both
dismounted from the wagon, the elder man on one side,
and the younger on the other. Rev. Haywood noticed his
son stagger and fall, but never realized he had been
kicked by one of the mules until a few moments
afterward. The injured man only lived about 20 minutes
after the accident. He was brought to town, to the home of
his brother-in-law, Frank Decker. Haywood, whose
untimely and shocking death occurred so suddenly, was
an honest and respected young man. He leaves a widow
and one child to mourn his demise. The entire community
is shocked and extends sympathy to the bereaved relatives
and family. – Salem Sun

One child? That would be Mary’s daughter Kate Haywood as Myrtle wasn’t born until a few weeks later on March 15, 1909. It makes sense that a daughter that never knew her father would take her father’s given name as her middle name.

And he was kicked by a mule as the family legend always portrayed it.

These are the only tangible evidence I have of this great grandfather. A marriage record index and a newspaper article.

Hopefully, someone, somewhere, in the Haywood family will read this and have a picture of him that they would share with me. I would even like to know the cemetery he is buried in so that I could visit and pay my respects.

Mary E. Bridges 52 Ancestors #2

In Louise Myrtle Haywood, 52 Ancestors #1, I wrote about some questions as to why she also used the name Myrtle Elijah Way.

In the 1910 U.S. Federal Census, I found Mary Haywood, a widow, living in the household of her parents, John W. Bridges and Nancy Adeline Pugh in Washington, Fulton, Arkansas. Also in that household were Mary’s daughters, Kate K. Haywood, age 11 and Louise M, Haywood, age 1. I was pretty sure this was the family I was looking for, but I needed further proof.

I contacted both Haywood and Bridges family researchers and although they all knew of Mary Bridges Haywood and her daughters, no one knew what had happened to her Haywood husband, nor why Louise Myrtle Haywood was using the name Elijah as her middle name. One of those researchers suggested I contact Tamara who was related to both the Haywood and Bridges families. A happy referral for me because it turned out that Tamara and I are double cousins. Tamara led me to the Arkansas, County Marriages Index, 1837-1957:

Name: Mary Bridges
Gender: Female
Age: 25
Birth Year: abt 1880
Residence: Viola, Fulton, Arkansas
Spouse’s Name: E C Haywood
Spouse’s Gender: Male
Spouse’s Age: 21
Spouse’s Residence: Viola, Fulton, Arkansas
Marriage Date: 25 Jun 1905
Marriage License Date: 22 Jun 1905
Marriage County: Fulton

Then five years later:
Name: Mary Haywood
Gender: Female
Age: 30
Birth Year: abt 1880
Residence: Viola, Fulton, Arkansas
Spouse’s Name: C A Way
Spouse’s Gender: Male
Spouse’s Age: 37
Spouse’s Residence: Viola, Fulton, Arkansas
Marriage Date: 16 Aug 1910
Marriage License Date: 15 Aug 1910
Marriage County: Fulton

I now have the proof that Mary E. Bridges is my great grandmother, and her daughter Louise Myrtle Haywood is my grandmother, Myrtle Elijah Way.

I can understand that her use of the Way surname was her step father’s surname. I’m suspecting her use of Elijah is something to do with her father, E.C. Haywood.

As happens to me constantly, all of this lead to even more questions. According to the 1910 Census, the daughter Kate was born in 1899 , but Mary Bridges married E.C. Haywood in 1905. It doesn’t appear that Mary was married to another Haywood prior to E.C. Haywood. Who, then, is Kate?

Myrtle was born March of 1909, and her mother, Mary Bridges Haywood, marries C.A. Way in August of 1910. What happened to E.C. Haywood? My family legend is that he died from being kicked in the head by a mule. Did he?

Louise Myrtle Haywood 52 Ancestors #1


Louise Myrtle Haywood Plunk, aka Myrtle Elijah Way
My maternal grandmother and the mystery that started my obsession with genealogy. She was born March 15, 1909 in Missouri and passed from this life on March 23, 1933, Oklahoma.

myrtle 2

Her youngest child, my mother, was a couple of months old at the time of Myrtle’s death. Naturally, she was curious about her mother’s family and life. She knew that Myrtle’s name was Myrtle Elijah Way, that her real surname was Haywood, and that Myrtle used the surname of her step-father, Charlie Way. She also knew that Myrtle’s mother’s name was Mary and that Myrtle’s father had died from being kicked in the head by a mule. The family didn’t know the name of Myrtle’s father though. The only other things I knew about her was that she had one brown eye and one blue eye, had a half-brother named Granville, and was a giving, caring person. Her nature was described in the story of how Myrtle had given a quilt to a woman simply because the woman admired it.

Although I had searched and searched, I could not find a Mary Haywood with a daughter Myrtle on the 1910 census. I had almost given up until that one fateful telephone conversation with my mother when she said, “Grandma told me that before dad married mother, he used to go with her sister Kate”. A few nights later, I literally awoke at three in the morning because I suddenly remembered a 1910 census I had seen with a Mary Haywood and two daughters. Not Mary, with daughters Kate and Myrtle, but Mary with daughters Kate and Louise M., living in the household of Mary’s parents, John William “Buck” Bridges and Nancy Adeline Pugh.

I had just found a whole branch of my family and even more mysteries to solve! Why was Louise Myrtle using the name Elijah as her middle name? Who was her father and what really happened to him? What happened to Kate?