Saturday, January 22, 2011

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun...Do Some Random Research

Thanks to Randy for the latest SNGF challenge!

"Hey genealogy buffs - it's Saturday Night and time for more Genealogy Fun!  Play along with us and tell us about it.

Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to follow Chris Staats' rules (from Freaky Friday: Random Research Reports)  for picking a random person's name and then doing some online research about that person.  Here are Chris's rules:

1. Go to The Random Name Generator and click the red “Generate Name” button at the top of the screen

2. Go to and enter your generated name in the search box on the main search page. [Randy's add:  If you don't have, go to and do it there - it's free.]

3. From the results, your research target will be the first census result for your generated name.

4. Using whatever online resources are at your disposal, see what else you can discover about your random person and write about it. It can be a formal report complete with footnotes, or just a “research story” about what you tried, problems you overcame, or success you had. Maybe you want to create a research plan for practice?

5. Post about it on your blog or wherever you wish, and link here to tell Chris about it.  Tell Randy about it too as a comment here or a comment on Facebook or Twitter."

And so I gave myself one hour of research time online to see what information I could find.

At the Random Name Generator I was given the name Jordan Gamble.

Upon doing a search at Ancestry, the very first Census record that came up was the 1930 Census for Keaton, Arkansas County, Arkansas.

From there I located the 1920 Census for Gamble, his death record and his divorce.

Jordan Gamble was born in either Arkansas or Alabama [depending upon which Census record you look at] in either 1882 or 1879 [1930 and 1920 Census records respectively].

Keaton, Arkansas, Arkansas
Roll: 64/ Img 251.0
ED 14/ Sheet 5B/ 10 Apr 1930
Lines 83-88/ Public Road/ 94/99

GAMBLE, Jordan    Head     M  Neg  48  D    Arkansas    Mississippi  Mississippi  Farmer/ General
                  William   Son       M  Neg  20  S    Arkansas     Arkansas    Arkansas    Farm Laborer/General
                  Jordan E. Son     M  Neg   18  S    Arkansas    Arkansas     Arkansas    Farm Laborer/General
                  Oscar     Son       M  Neg  16  S    Arkansas    Arkansas     Arkansas    None
                  Elporter  Son       M  Neg  12  S    Arkansas    Arkansas    Arkansas     None
                  Ezell       Son       M  Neg  10  S    Arkansas    Arkansas    Arkansas     None

From this we deduct that Gamble was a farmer. We also learn that he rented his farm. According to this census no one in the household was attending school, and no one could either read or write.

In the previous Census [Keaton, Arkansas, Arkansas; Roll: T625_53/ Img 283; ED 11/ Sheet 13B/ 26 Jan 1920; Lines 75-85/ FM/245/ 251] Gamble is married to what appears to be his second wife, Emma. We can presume Emma is his second wife due to several clues. First, while Jordan is listed as 41 years of age in this census, Emma is only 26 and the eldest child, Isaiah, is 16 years of age. While not entirely impossible that she is Isaiah's mother, it is highly unlikely. Also, in the children's mother's place of birth only three of the 8 list NC [Emma's POB] as their mother's POB. The remainder as listed simply as US.

In 1926 Jordan filed for divorce from Emma [he is listed as Plaintiff and she as defendant on records]. The divorce was granted 09 Apr 1926, and it appears, according to the 1930 census, that Jordan received custody of the children born to this marriage.

Jordan Gamble died on 22 Feb. 1933 in Arkansas.


Donna Hansen Peterson said...

Good research and logical deductions.

Dana Leeds said...

I'm curious as to where you found he divorce record. I've come across a few, but they seem hard to uncover.

I didn't do the Saturday Nigh challenge until last night, but it was still quite profitable and fun!