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James "Jimmie" Adda Anders

James Adda Anders, known all her life as "Jimmie," was born on 13 Dec 1874 in Milam County, Texas. Little is known of her childhood due to a number of circumstances explained below. One of the first major events we know of in her life is her marriage to Robert Lee Anders on 10 Jan 1893 in Milam County, Texas. Robert, or R. L. as he was commonly known, was the son of James A. Anders, Jr. and Sarah Rankin and was Jimmie's first cousin once removed. At the time, R. L. was living in Walker County, so it appears he traveled to Milam County to marry his cousin.

Other than the usual census records, we see little of Jimmie until she is listed as a proprietor of a boarding house in Huntsville, Texas in the 1920 census. This fact is familiar to family members, but little is known about it. Her Aunt Susan Catherine Anders also ran a boarding house in Huntsville during this time; it is not known if it was the same boarding house.

Jimmie and Robert Lee had three children. Two of them (Lilly Ethel and Roy Jacob, Sr.) are well known to family members and are well documented in census, Bible, and birth/death records. However, in both the 1900 and 1910 census records Jimmie states that she is the mother of 3 children with 2 children living. The third child has not been discussed amongst family and was generally not known to exist. However, there is the grave of a 5 month old baby named Willie Anders (11 Jul 1897 - 03 Dec 1897) in Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Montgomery County, Texas (note that some Mount Pleasant burials were mistakenly recorded in the Scott's Ridge Cemetery in the Montgomery County Cemetery books). This fits the time frame for reporting in the 1900 census. Although the location initially appears to be inconsistent with R. L. and Jimmie living in Walker County, Robert's branch of the family had indeed just migrated from Montgomery to Walker within the past decade. Willie is also buried among 3 other Anders including Robert Lee's parents and uncle who all died in the same general time period. A search for other Anders or Andrews in the area in 1900 (including relations of Robert Lee) turns up no other possible parents. Therefore, I have concluded that Willie is the missing third child of Robert Lee and Jimmie Adda.

Jimmie Adda died of a cerebral hemorrhage on 19 Apr 1952 at her home at 904 Avenue L, Huntsville, Texas. She is buried in the Adickes Addition of Oakwood Cemetery in Huntsville, Texas with her husband Robert Lee, her son Roy Jacob Anders, Sr., Roy's wife Georgia Effie Florene Pegoda, her granddaughter Adda Wanda Anders, and Wanda's husband George Avner Baldwin. It should be noted that both the birth and death dates on her grave marker are believed to be incorrect; her death certificate, obituary, and family records are believed to be correct.

The parentage of James Adda Anders
Proving the parentage of Jimmie Adda is of great interest to the family because her paternal grandmother's parents were Daniel Gilleland and Precilla Boatwright. The Gilleland and Boatwright families belonged to Stephen F. Austin's Old Three Hundred, the first 300 or so Anglo settler families to come to Mexican Texas in the early 1820's.

Jimmie Adda was born into a confluence of events in 1874 that has made proving her parentage quite difficult. The ordering of these events is not certain, but their proximity in time is. Without trying to prejudice the following arguments, a general explanation for the believed reasons of this difficulty is in order.

In late 1873 or very early 1874, Jimmie's parents were married, probably in Milam County, Texas, and her mother became pregnant around March (based on Jimmie's birth date). Some time in 1874, her father purportedly died, in all likelihood before Jimmie was even born. In addition, the Milam County courthouse burned in 1874 destroying official county records of the marriage of Jimmie's parents, possibly the death of her father, and even her mother's remarriage to Thomas Slater.

So, we are left with no known primary evidence of Jimmie's parentage or the marriage of her parents. We must therefore turn to secondary evidence.

The Mother of James Adda Anders
We will begin with the easier and seemingly less crucial task of proving Jimmie Adda's mother. In 1950, a man named Rowland Edwin Slater died in Bay City, Texas. In his obituary from an unknown Texas newspaper, "Jimmie Andres of Huntsville" is cited as his sister. Given that Rowland and Jimmie have different last names, this can only mean that they are actually half-siblings sharing a common mother. Rowland's death certificate indicates his father is Thomas Slater and his mother is Mittie Boatwright. In the 1880 census in Lee County, we see a Thomas Slater with an implied wife named Annie and an implied son named Eddie (they are living in Thomas' father's house, S. T. Slater). The 1 year old "Eddie" is a perfect match for Rowland Edwin Slater who was born on 11 Aug 1878 (he is seen going by "Ed" in some later census records, so "Eddie" is an acceptable name to find him under). On the line below Rowland in the census record is a 6 year old female named Jas. A. Andrews. And so we have found Jimmie. She seems to be living with her mother, step-father, and half-brother in her step-father's father's house, the only discrepancy being the mother's name (Annie in the census, Mittie in Rowland's death certificate). This implies her father is dead or divorced. Evidence given in the section below on Jimmie Adda's father indicates he died in 1874.

A marriage license has not been found for Thomas and Mittie (Annie) Slater. Such a record would likely reveal her name from her first marriage as Anders. This would do little to prove who Jimmie's father is, but it would settle any remaining questions about Jimmie's mother and where Jimmie is living in 1880.

After 1880, Jimmie's mother seems to disappear. Family accounts have them removing from the state possibly to California leaving Jimmie behind in Texas where she was purportedly raised by her Aunt Mary Elizabeth Anders Carlile. No evidence of any of this has been found to date aside from Mattie Keithly's statements to Margaret Johnson. Curiously, a marriage occurred in Robertson County, Texas in 1883 between a Lee Slater and an Annie Slater. Thomas Slater has a younger brother named Lee. Is it possible that Mittie or Annie's second husband also died and she then married his younger brother?

The Father of James Adda Anders
Proving Jimmie Adda's father is by far the more challenging task. No primary evidence has been found for his marriage or death. We will begin with testimony from family members closely related to him.

On 29 Jan 1980, a woman named Margaret Johnson wrote a letter to my granduncle Roy Jacob Anders, Jr. (son of Roy Jacob Anders, Jr., grandson of Jimmie Adda). Margaret Johnson states her parents to be Burrel Holmes and Clara Frances Anders. She also states that Roy's grandmother, Jimmie Anders, is a first cousin to her mother. In other documents included with the letter, Margaret states that in Sep 1966 she received much information from her elderly and sick Aunt Mattie Keithly just before Mattie's death in Nov (Mattie Keithly died 05 Nov 1966 and was born 01 Sep 1888). Included in this information was the fact that Jimmie Adda married a cousin named Lee, that Jimmie's father was James (son of John Demostinie Anders), and that James died in 1874 and was buried in Hamilton Chapel Cemetery, Milam County, Texas. Since Mattie is Margaret's aunt, Mattie is a sister to Clara and therefore also a first cousin to Jimmie Adda. So, this is first hand knowledge being communicated by Margaret Johnson from Mattie Keithly about her first cousin Jimmie Adda.

Looking at the 1900 United States census, we find a Jacob B. Anders (age 48 [sic], born Aug 1859 in Texas) living in Edna, Texas with children Mattie (born Sep 1888 in Texas) and Clara (born Feb 1899 in Texas). These children are Margaret's mother and aunt. Since they are first cousins to Jimmie Adda with the same surname, Jimmie Adda's father must be a brother of Jacob B. Anders.

In the 1880 United States census, we see Jacob B. Anders (age 20, born in Texas) living with his father John Anders (age 57, born in Alabama). So, John Anders is the man whom we need to find a son of that could logically be the father of Jimmie Adda.

The 1880 census also shows John Anders with two other sons (Henry M. and Virgil) neither of which would have been old enough in 1874 to have been married and had a child. Working the census records backwards in time, in the 1870 United States census, we see John Andrews with the three sons listed above and two other implied sons, James W. and Charles, each of which were old enough to be married and have a child in 1874. However, Charles can be ruled out as he died on 28 Nov 1872 and was buried in Hamilton Chapel Cemetery in Milam County, Texas. In the 1860 United States census, one additional son is implied for John Anders: Cullin (John Cullen). John Cullen purportedly died on 29 Sep 1865, but I have yet to locate primary documentation of this fact. The 1850 United States census implies no other sons save James W. mentioned above.

So, we are left with only one son of John Anders that could be the father of an Anders/Andrews child born in 1874: James W. Anders. James was born about 1846 in Montgomery County, Texas (where his parents were living before moving to Milam County) making him 28 years old in 1874. This verifies the fact given by Mattie Anders Keithly that of the sons of John Anders, only James W. Anders could be the father of James Adda Anders.

To further build the case that John Anders is the grandfather of Jimmie Adda, on 04 May 1880, a man named John Anders/Andrews) applied in Milam County for guardianship of a 6 year old girl named Jimmie Anders/Andrews, and he was granted such on 27 May. This is surely our Jimmie, but unfortunately no relationship between Jimmie and John is specified in the court papers. In light of the family evidence given above, the grandfather John is gaining guardianship of granddaughter Jimmie.

Another indication of parentage is given simply by Jimmie's name. Jimmie's actual given name is indeed James. This is strongly indicated by the 1880 Lee County census record and also by a court affidavit for the birth of her son Roy Jacob Anders, Sr. in which her name is given as James Adda Anders. Now, James is a very uncommon name for a woman. Given the apparent circumstances around her birth, it seems that her name was given to her in memory of her recently deceased father. This is a nice piece of internal evidence.

I feel certain we have determined that James W. Anders is the father of James Adda Anders. While there is no direct proof, the level of secondary and circumstantial evidence seems sufficient to draw this conclusion.