Brick Walls

For more than 60 years, I have been engaged in extensive research putting together my family tree and have published a website listing 14 of these ancestor trees and 6 descendent charts. Along the way, I have encountered numerous "brick walls", which are genealogical research problems that seem impossible to solve. While my website includes a list of these brickwalls, I have decided to supplement it with this blog. Some of the brick walls you will read here have been resolved, while others have not. My hope is that readers will perhaps have answers or possible different solutions to the ones I have presented.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Margaret Parma Research Notes

The Problem No census record has been found for 1900 for Margaret or her husband James Thomas Coward, and no marriage record has been found for them. James first appears in the Memphis (TN) City Directory in 1903. Their oldest known child, William Clarence Coward, was born about 1903 in Tennessee, probably in Memphis. Margaret and James moved to San Diego CA some time after the 1930 census. James was a grocer in Memphis and in San Diego.

Margaret She was born 18 Mar 1882 in Texas. This date is consistent on her baptism record (St Mary Cathedral baptismal register Vol.3) and on her death record (Arkansas Vital Records 1943 Deaths no.194300372). However, the baptism took place in Galveston, and that record indicates that she was born there. Her death record shows her birth place as Houston.

In most records, she is called Margaret or Maggie W., but from her baptism record and her first child's birth record we learn that the W. stands for Wilhelmina.

She died on 21 Sep 1943 in Hot Springs AR, and was buried in San Diego CA. According to the death record, her usual residence was San Diego, so she was apparently visiting or touring when she died. The informant on the death record was George C. Baxley, 806 21st Ave., Birmingham AL.

 Go to Margaret Parma in the Shahan-Coward Tree


  1. Hi, Grandma Shirley! Welcome to the world of blogging. Hopefully, your blog will lead to information that will help smash down those brick walls!

  2. I like your approach. Putting it all in writing (the problem, and an analytical summary of what you know) should help you to find a solution.