Sibling Saturday: A tale of two sisters

1896 Map of Henry County, Alabama.  IMAGE SOURCE

Have you discovered interesting connections among ancestors in your family tree?

Several years ago, I remember hearing my father speak about "two sisters marrying two brothers" somewhere in his family line...but I can't remember specifics.  Kept that tidbit in the back of my mind while setting out on this grand adventure of exploring our family history!  What do you know...I found one such set of siblings.  It's possible this isn't even the one to which was referring.  Maybe there are more to discover!

Only a couple of generations back, I located sisters Minnie Cora McMath and "Dutch" Isabelle McMath.  I added the quotes to "Dutch", because it seems like a nickname; I'm not positive of its origins (maybe Dad can enlighten me?) or whether or not it was in fact a nickname.  All census reports list her name as Dutch.  Interesting!

I also located brothers Johnnie Levey (I think this is actually a misspelling or mispronunciation of Levi, the name of a great-grandfather of Johnnie) Parrish and George Parrish.

Starting with the McMath family.  Dutch Isabelle McMath (1873-1939) and Minnie Cora McMath (1885-1941) were born to parents Hachaliah McMath, Jr (1840-1916) and Elizabeth M. Prudence Shelley (1840-1934)[1][2].  McMath family lived primarily in the Chipola, Henry County, Alabama area – whose location is in present-day Florida, just south of the town of Marianna.  

Now, for the Parrish brothers.  George Washington Parrish (1872-1953) and Johnnie Levey Parrish (1885-1950) were born to parents John Washington Parrish – a farmer - and Nancy (Baxter) Parrish.  The John Washington Parrish family lived and farmed in Gordon Township, Henry County, Alabama[3]

In 1900, Dutch Isabelle (McMath) and George Washington Parrish lived as a married couple (having married in 1896).  Next door lived Johnnie Levey Parrish with his parents John Washington Parrish and Elizabeth (Shelley) Parrish.  Here's a quick snippet:

In just a few short years (1904), Johnnie Levey would eventually marry his sister-in-law, Minnie Cora McMath.  I wonder...did he meet her when she visited her sister?  Were the families long-time friends?  The paper trail doesn't exactly give me a glimpse into that aspect of the story.  I do know that from the union of Minnie Cora and Johnnie Levey Parrish, my great-grandfather Willis Lester Parrish (1905-1961) was born. 

Two sisters marry two brothers.  A little twist in the family tree!

[1] "Alabama Deaths and Burials, 1881–1952." Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2009, 2010. Index entries derived from digital copies of original and compiled records.  Accessed from Alabama, Deaths and Burials Index, 1881-1974 [database on-line], February 2013.

[2] 1880  U.S. Federal Census (Population Schedule), Chipola, Henry, Alabama. Page 538B, Hach McMath household, jpeg image, (Online:  The Generations Network, Inc., 2009).  Digital scan of original records in the National Archives, Washington, DC, subscription database, <>, accessed February 2013.

[3] 1900 U.S. Federal Census (Population Schedule), Gordon, Henry, Alabama.  Page 9A, Enumeration District: 0082; FHL microfilm: 1240018.  Digital scan of original records in the National Archives, Washington, DC, subscription database,, accessed February 2013.


Popular Posts