Dead Ends

Dead Ends

Everyone doing genealogical research eventually runs into a few dead ends.  We know that people don’t just appear out of nowhere, or drop off the earth never to be seen again, but many times that’s what it seems like.  This page lists some of the genealogical mysteries and dead ends my relatives and I have run into.

Who was the Father of James Samuel Grigsby?

What we know:

James Samuel Grigsby (1800-1875) was the grandfather of Betty Bell Grigsby (Dishman).  The records indicate that he was born about 1800 in King George County, Virginia, and that his mother’s name was Mary.  He had a sister named Elizabeth that was born between 1800 and 1804.  Nothing has been found that indicates his father’s name or Mary’s maiden name.

Potts Connection

Mary, James, and Elizabeth are all named in the 1829 will of William Potts Sr. of King George County.  Mary and Elizabeth are given the right to live on William Potts’ land, and James is given $30.  Nothing is known of the relationship between William Potts and the Grigsby’s.

John Grigsby and Mary Grant

King George County Marriage Bond Book 1 records one marriage between John Grigsby and Mary Grant on Sep 17, 1801 and another on May 7, 1810.  It is not known if these are the same people that were married twice for some reason.  Some people speculate that the John and Mary of first marriage are the parents of James and Elizabeth based upon the names and the closeness of the marriage date to the birth dates of James and Elizabeth.

  1. Who was James Samuel Grigsby’s father?
  2. What was Mary Grigsby’s maiden name?
  3. What was the relationship between William Potts Sr and the Grigsby family?

What Happened to John Asbury Dishman?

What we know:

John Asbury Dishman (b. 1876) was the older brother of James Samuel Dishman.  He married Lena Redding in 1901, had one daughter named Gladys in 1902, and then divorced sometime prior to 1904.  After 1904 he was living in Richmond, Virginia, and working for various furniture companies as a collector or as a director.  In 1907 he married Melvin Virginia Mann of Rodolfil, Amelia County, Virginia.  The 1917 Richmond City Directory shows him living in Atlee, Virginia (just outside Richmond in Hanover County) and working as a collector for the Rountree-Cherry Corporation.  This is the last known record of him.  The 1918 Richmond City Directory shows Miss Melvin V. Dishman living in Richmond.  No records have been found for him after 1918.  Neither John Dishman or his daughter Gladys are listed as heirs to the estate of his mother, Anna E. Dishman, who died in 1929. Melvin V. Mann is listed as a widow in the 1920 census in Richmond. She remarried in 1938 and died in 1944.

Family legend says that John Dishman got into some sort of financial difficulty about 1916, possibly involving embezzlement of funds from his employer. The family in King George had to raise several hundred dollars, a considerable amount for a farming family at that time, and John’s brother James Samuel Dishman went to Richmond by train from Fredericksburg, VA to settle the affair.  In later years, none of the older members of the family would talk about John Dishman. His mother was often heard praying at night about “poor John”.

  1. What became of John Asbury Dishman after 1917?

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