So I decided to take a good look today at my great-great grandfather (Benson Samuel Harris) death certificate… I started reading and I got to the address of his death. Instead of a hospital it listed a residence ~ 408 E. King Street in York, PA. That’s when I had a thought…. “I wonder if this building is still standing… he died in 1959 so who knows” This thought led me to Google and I was so happy with the results…
Not only was the house still standing but it was online! Built in 1890 The house isn’t currently on the market (but I’m still going to contact a realtor to see if a tour is possible) and it was last purchased in 2008. A 5 bedroom 1 bathroom 1620sq foot row house condo. There were even pictures of it…
So with this new information I have to wonder ~ when did everyone leave the “homeplace”? Did the legacy of homeplace end with the death of my great great grandmother (Maryetta Johnson/Harris)?
To find the answer to this question I called my grandmother (Marva Choates) and asked her… she said didn’t know but was sure that my great grandmother (Clara Ringgold) would know. I asked her randomly if she knew anything about 408 E. King Street in York, PA… she said
“Oh that’s where granddad lived with Lizzie”…. “Whose Lizzie?”, I asked. “Granddad’s second wife.”
HOLD ON… HE REMARRIED!?!?!? (I swear I really do learn something new everyday) So sometime between the time that his wife (Maryetta) died in 1950 and 1959 he met (or already knew) and married Lizzie. Since I was (am) at work I couldn’t talk long but I did manage to find out that the family wasn’t entirely pleased with Benson’s decision to remarry; and that the children weren’t exactly fond of Lizzie. My grandmother told me that Mommom Ringgold (Clara) “hated her” (now anyone who knows my great grandmother knows that there isn’t a hateful bone in her body so for her to say that or feel that way there must be something that really stood out about Lizzie ~ it could just be that she was a stepmother who knows?) she also told me that there was no point in looking for photos of Lizzie because my great grandmother more than likely didn’t keep any of her. All I know of Lizzie (Elizabeth) is that she was light skinned that she married my great grandfather, that they weren’t buried together.
After I got off the phone with my grandmother I took another look at the death certificate and at the very bottom as if it was just waiting for me to see it was the signature of the witness… Mrs. Elizabeth Harris.
I’m learning that its all in the little things and minute details when it comes to this research. I’m so happy that I’m still finding things out like this ~ it makes the research worth it for me 🙂