One of my occasional hobbies is genealogy. I think of it as a very personal way to learn history and I’ve always been interested in history. I’ve been able to trace most of the branches of my family back pretty far and the Internet in most cases has made this far, far easier than it used to be. However, one of my most direct lines ends in a mystery with a man who was born in ~1824. His name was Richard Wade Skaggs. If you have any documentation on who this person’s parents really were, I would greatly appreciate it.
Here is the information I have on Richard Wade Skaggs, some of this came from a post I made on Ancestry a few years back:
His death certificate lists his mother as Nannie Skaggs (supposedly maiden name according to the form) and his father as “Unknown”. Based on this I would guess that he was most likely born out of wedlock and that he took his mother’s last name. However, there could be some other explanation like perhaps the person (probably son) who provided the information didn’t know her maiden name…
Some other relevant facts about Richard Wade Skaggs:
According to an indenture made October 4th, 1841, Richard Wade Skaggs turned 14 in March 1841 (birth year would be 1827). His age was probably fudged for this to make him older.
In the 1850 Census of Green County, Kentucky, Richard Wade Skaggs is listed as a laborer living with Stephen and Sarah Skaggs. He is listed as being 21 years old and born in Louisiana (birth year would be ~1829). Stephen and Sarah are about 10 years older so they couldn’t be his parents though I would have to assume that they are related somehow, probably through his mother.
In the 1860 Census of Taylor County, Kentucky, Richard Wade Skaggs is listed as being 27 years old and born in Kentucky. (birth year would be ~1833)
In the 1870 Census of Taylor County, Kentucky, Richard Wade Skaggs is listed as being 44 years old and born in Louisiana. (birth year would be ~1826)
In the 1880 Census of Larue County, Kentucky, Richard Wade Skaggs is listed as being 52 years old and born in Kentucky. (birth year would be ~1828)
In the 1900 Census of Larue County, Kentucky, Richard Wade Skaggs is listed as being 74 years old and born in Kentucky. (birth year would be ~1826)
In the 1910 Census of Buffalo, Larue County, Kentucky he is listed as being 84 years old and born in Louisiana. (birth year would be ~1826)
The death certificate of Richard Wade Skaggs lists his birth date as March 15, 1825 and his tombstone says March 15, 1824. His mother is listed as “Nannie Skaggs” and his father is listed as “Not Known”. His birth place, and the birth place of both parents is listed as “Kentucky”. The informant on the death certificate is James Skaggs (he had a son named James so that’s probably him).
It seems to me that “Nannie” is probably a nickname or short for something like Nancy but I’m just speculating. Richard’s birthdate is uncertain but it seems likely to have been March 15th 1824 or 1825.
Interestingly, there was a Richard Wade married to a Mary Skaggs mentioned in a lawsuit with a bunch of other Skaggs relatives (presumably). So specul