Jake Wingfield of Rayle, Wilkes, Georgia ..an ongoing tale about a man whose life and death can help unite us all.

Jake Wing(k)field was or is my great grand uncle. I say is because I believe the spirit never dies and thus he lives. In any case I have chosen to write this piece because it may prove to be beneficial to another person in search of their ancestry.

 Now let's get some particulars out of the way by answering some very basic questions.

  1. When did I meet my great grand uncle?
    1.  I didn't he died 40+ years before he was born. 
  2. What kinds of stories led you to discover him?
    1. None, no one I knew at the time had even heard of him.
  3. What was his daily life like that gave you clues to what to research?
    1. Ummm, none, didn't even know the dude existed until I saw my great grandma on a census with him.
  4. Why in the world are we talking about him then?
    1. Ahhh, well finally something that I can answer positively. We are discussing Jake Wing(k)field because his life and death helped me to tell the stories of several other family members.
    2. I bumped into Jake on the census of 1900. He was living with my great great grand mother Mattie Goolsby Wing(k)field, his brothers John & Louis and his 3 sisters Conzie, Blanche (Lillian) and my great, granny Mary Wing(k)field Turner. It wasn't just his presence here that was helpful although it certainly helped. It was just a piece of this very helpful puzzle, here are some others.  

1st help: Unfortunately my ggg's Mattie and her husband died before 1910 and Jake and his brother's went to go live with my Mattie's father Moses Goolsby by the year 1910.

how did this help:

  • They showed up on the census with relatives I had never heard of before. The names listed there jogged my great aunt's memory and helped bridge the gap from Goolsby to Wing(k)field.
  • Before then I had no clue who my ggg's Mattie's parents were and him showing up there identified not only my gggg father, Moses Goolsby but eventually his wife Julia Binns or (wives) another story for another day.
  • My gggg mother's maiden name (through a marriage certificate)  their 22 children and offspring.
  • This resulted in also finding 3 now 2 of our oldest living relatives who helped fill in the pieces of his and thus my family story.

2nd help: He died, and died young. Now at first glance this seems as unhelpful but indeed it was his death or rather death certificate gave me sooooo much information.

how did this help:  
  • 1st, it gave me where he died, it identified where he lived at the time so I could know to definitely search that area for other family members.
  • 2nd, it identified my ggg father Jet Wing(k)field
  • 3rd, it gave me more proof my ggg mother Mattie's maiden name was indeed Goolsby, verified by their marriage certificate I was able to verify based on death certificate.
  • 4th, it gave me the burial spot, because of this information I was able to locate several other likely relatives (families usually bury near church memberships or other family is buried) . Some of his children are buried there as well.
  • 5th, reason for death - he was murdered so it gave me a real life mystery story to follow.
    • Turns out when he was killed his brother Louis (Reese) avenged his death which in turn caused his (ruled accidental, but was not) death 2 years later.
  • 6th, witness - it gave me the name of a possible relative or friend [ the informant] of my gg uncles that I could use to help put pieces together.

3rd help: He went forth and was fruitful... very, very fruitful. So fruitful in fact that in his 35 or 40 years of life he fathered children with at least 2 different women. No easy task considering he reportedly didn't get started until (that we know of ) the last 7 years of his life. It seems from what I have gathered from several obituaries and censi that he fathered 4 children with his wife, Ethel Cornelia Bolton Wing(k)field Price. He also fathered 3 children with Reba Hardeman Williams. So unless we find more children (not unlikely) he had a child for every year of his life once he began having children. Two of his sons were named John like his brother and one after himself.
The other children were named Lucile who is reportedly still alive, Laura Jean Heard, George Lee Wingfield, and Innette Calloway. 

how did this help: 

These connections helped to bring about 300 - 400 new relatives some of which I connected with on facebook, ancestry.com etc. These connections help me understand the type of culture my family comes from and even bits and parts of their personalities.

It is my hope that the brief life my great grand uncle led continue to inspire many new discoveries. Although he has been gone for more than half a century I have a sneaky suspicion he isn't done helping me yet.


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