Waller and Montgomery County Stories Generally
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"Fannie Suggitt" is one of our relations about whom we have known very little...
One of the standard Wallingford stories is that "After T.G. Wallingford's first wife died, he married Fannie Suggitt, who ran away with a sewing machine salesman". According to Annie Tucker Wallingford, T.G.'s third wife, the family "never talked about her..."
Part of the trouble in tracing her was that she was not born Fannie Suggitt. She was born Francis M. Holder, in Alachula County, Florida, sometime in 1853, to Thomas Bell and Elizabeth Holder.
Sometime just before 1860, the family moved to Texas, settling first into the Bellville Precinct of Austin County. Though it is not confirmed, it seems very likely that Elizabeth died before that move to Texas, as by July 1860 Thomas has remarried to Mary - 15 years his junior, so not much older than his children that came with them. Thomas and Mary had several more children after settling in Texas. By 1870, the family had moved to northwest Harris County.
At that time (July 1870) the family consisted of Francis (18) with her father and step-mother, her brother Richard (18), sister Nancy (14) and two younger step-brothers Lewis (10) and William (5). That youngest boy, William Bell Holder, will be significant later in this story. Living only a couple of houses away were her Aunt Mary (her father's sister) and various of her family - the Swifts and the Wadkins. These relations had followed the family to Texas from Alachula County, Florida, arriving several years later.
Five months later, on 1 December 1870, Francis married William Suggitt in nearby Montgomery County. This was all before the creation of Waller County - and the boundaries of Grimes County (where William was likely living at the time), Harris County (where Francis lived) and Montgomery County (where they married were all very close together. Nothing is known about how they met. William would have been a young farmer, 21 years old, and Francis would have been about 17.
SUGGETT, William Marriage Wife: Francis HOLDEN Marriage Date: 1 Dec 1870 Recorded in: Montgomery, Texas Source: FHL Number 1006044 Dates: 1838-1879
Notice the typos - William's last name is spelled 'Suggitt' (most often) or 'Suggett' throughout the documents throughout the years. In this case, the spelling of 'Holden' made it initially pretty hard for me to find this record!
The Suggitts had been around Texas for some years before. William's parents, though born in England and Germany, had been married in Grimes County back in 1848.
Marriage: William Suggitt and Catherine Elizabeth King (Search for Suggett)
They were in Grimes County in 1850, but I can't locate them in the census for 1860 or 1870. It seems likely they remained in the Grimes County area, so they would have been pretty well established when their oldest son William married Francis.
There is no indication of what went wrong with the marriage, but it would appear that they were divorced within just a few years after marriage, with no evidence of children.
At any rate, just over three years later on 29 January 1874 she remarried - to Albert J. Stinchcomb, this time in Grimes County. Fannie married under the name "Fannie Holder" - it would appear she may have been properly divorced from William Suggitt, but that is not certain.
Marriage: A.J. Stinchcomb and Fannie Holder (Search for Stinchcomb)
STINCHCOMB, A. J. Marriage Wife: Fannie HOLDER Marriage Date: 29 Jan 1874 Recorded in: Grimes, Texas Source: FHL Number 1006281 Dates: 1871-1879
Albert was the oldest of a very large family that had moved to Texas from Louisiana, sometime in the 1850s. The father was born in Washington, D.C., and the mother was Irish. The Stinchcombs had been in Dewitt County in 1860 but were in Colorado County by 1870. Albert's father was a carpenter, but Albert was, apparently, a stick dowser - he located water by walking around with a stick of some sort! It could be that his work took him around the country a bit, and that may well be how he first met Francis. She would not be in a "good position" for those days - divorce was not common.
Again, we don't know the details, but Albert died in the middle of 1874 (according to an old Stinchcomb Bible) - less than six months after they married.
Stinchcomb Bible reference: Death of Albert Stinchcomb (Look for person number 454)
So at the age of 21, Fannie had been married twice - with one divorce and one dead husband.
It didn't take long to get to the next record I could find - she married Albert's younger brother John Decatur Stinchcomb, Jr. on 16 November 1875 - not much more than a year after Albert died. She married this time under the name Fannie Suggitt - perhaps because she didn't want to be a Stinchcomb marrying a Stinchcomb? This marriage was registered in Waller County - as it had only just become a county a few years earlier.
Marriage: John Stinchcomb and Fannie Suggitt (Search for Fannie - notice the range of typos, including John's initials and T.G.'s name...)
And once again, we don't have any details, but it would seem that John and Fannie were divorced within a few years of their marriage. Sometime before 1880, John D. (along with a number of other Stinchcombs) had moved up to Abilene - John was living on his own, and working as a barber.
One Wallingford story has it that Fannie first got involved with Thomas Ginn Wallingford as a housekeeper, taking care of the younger children. As T.G.'s first wife Evaline had died in 1870, he was still caring for several young children, including Robert Thomas (born in 1862) and Annie Debell (born 1867) in the middle 1870s.
At any rate, Fannie Suggitt (26) and Thomas Ginn Wallingford (51) were married in Waller County on 15 March 1879.
The marriage could not have lasted very long - the divorce was finalised on 14 June 1881! We'll never know the details - the story about 'running off with the sewing machine salesman' may have simply been that was the means of transport she used to leave T.G. - there is no evidence she stayed with such a salesman...
We don't know much more about Fannie after she left T.G. One of the clues that brought all of this together was finding her in the 1880 Harris County census. Her father Thomas had just died a few months earlier, so she was living with her step-mother Mary and step-brother William. Twenty six years old and she had been married four times in the previous 10 years - three divorces and a death...
And her first husband, William Suggitt now about a decade older? He was still in the Fields Store area in 1880. It appears his parents had died by then, but he was living with two of his brothers, a sister and her child - and were listed in the census by the census taker - T.G. Wallingford! One can only wonder whether the two ever had any conversations about their time with Fannie! William remarried several years later, about the same time that T.G. took the trip to Kentucky that resulted in his third marriage, to Annie Tucker.
Various of the Suggitts remained in the area for many years to come - though William and his second wife (known only as "M.U." for now) never had any children, other Suggitt children did, and the siblings and their children variously married into other Waller County familys - Danford, Clepper, Lowe and Thomas are all familys that were "locals". William himself died in 1916, seven years after T.G. died, having lived his entire life in close proximity to one of the other three who had married Fannie.
The surviving Stinchcomb husband, John Decateur, stayed in Abilene, remarried and raised a family of four up there - none of the Stinchcombs appeared to remain in the Waller County area after 1880.
Now to that step-brother William. His full name was William Bell Holder (the "Bell" being a common family name with the Holders, apparently). William was 12 years younger than Fannie. Eventually, after a first marriage that resulted in two children, William Bell remarried in about 1894 to a girl who would have been one of his neighbours for all of his growing up - Minnie Irene Ogg!
Minnie was the oldest surviving child of Henry Warren (Sr.) and Emmaline Ogg - she was my grandfather's sister. Minnie and William (sometimes known just as W.B.) stayed in the same area for all of their lives, having 11 children eventually.
So Fannie, of whom we knew very little, becomes a bit clearer - and provides another connection between the Wallingfords and the Oggs, though one probably never known or, at the very least, never spoken about...
The last written record of Francis Holder was that 1880 Harris County census, fresh from her fourth marriage. We can only speculate what happened to her after that. A final happy marriage, maybe even with children? A move out of the area? A life on her own from then? No records have been found to support any of these - we'll just have to guess and keep looking.