Home > 000003. Carol Lee Colley, 000006. Luster Earl Colley, 000007. Doris Marietta Wears, 000028. John Thomas Wears > Luster Earl Colley to JoAnn (Wear) Spore, e-mail, 11 December 1998

Luster Earl Colley to JoAnn (Wear) Spore, e-mail, 11 December 1998

Source: Luster Earl Colley to JoAnn (Wear) Spore, e-mail, 11 December 1998.

On Wed, 09 Dec 1998 20:04:52 -0700 JoAnn WEAR SPORE writes:


I just bought a new Family TreeMaker CD today and rented another one. The #227 Marriage Index: AR, CA, IA, LA, MN, MO, OR, TX 1728-1850 showed the following marriage in Henry Co., MO: George W. WEARS married Martha A. EMERY 25 Feb 1838. Is this your George and would this explain why Martha went to Henry Co. I checked to see if there was a marriage for Armisted EMBREY to Mildred _______ but found nothing. If this is the correct George and Martha he had to have a first wife? Did I get something mixed up??????

I had not thought of the interpretation that you suggest, but I think I can see your viewpoint. But I think I can offer some counter-arguments. I will describe how I came to the conclusion I have had for a long time.

Years ago, I bought a copy of the paper ound, typescript book titled, “HENRY COUNTY, MISSOURI MARRIAGE RECORDS; 1835-1861” by Betty Harvey Williams; 1966. My attention was immediately attracted to the item recording the marriage of George W. WEARS to Martha A. EMERY 25 Feb. 1838; by Daniel BRIGGS M. G. I immediately wrote in red ink my own note, “maybe 1858”. I have been a victim of errors in printed copies of records before, and I had long planned to get the film of the original marriage book to check what I suspected to be a misreading of the original source.  But I plan faster than I execute, and I still have not checked the film of the original record.

Since George WEARS has a wife (I assume) named Martha in 1850 in Mason county, VA, there seems to be a strange possibility that George WEARS married Martha A. EMERY (EMBRY) in Missouri in 1838, went to Virginia where they had children, then the mother and children came back to Missouri soon after 1850. If this happened, then the first child of the theoretical marriage would have been no more than about age 21 in 1850.  But the George and Martha WEARS in VA in 1850 had a son, James, age 25.  To explain that, we would have to assume, as you say, that George had a previous wife.

I think that the FTM people copied the record published by Mrs. Williams, errors and all, rather than going to the original record. Or maybe they just made the same mistake that Mrs. Williams made.

Here is my version, which could just be wishful thinking:

The familes headed by George WEARS, born about 1798 in VA, and by Armistead EMBREY, born about 1795 in VA, were neighbors and close friends in Mason county, Virginia. Soon after 1850, both families removed to Henry county, Missouri where they were again neighbors. On the 1860 census of Henry Co. MO the George W. WEARS family is listed in dwelling 7, while the EMBRY family is listed in dwelling 8. In the 1850 census, the WEARS family included a George WEARS, age 15, while the EMBRY family included a Martha A. EMBREY, age 10.  After moving to MO, in 1858, George WEARS was about age 23 and Martha A. EMBREY was about age 18.  Then and there they married. On the 1860 census of Henry county, MO, George W. WEARS, age 24, Carpenter, is head of a household with Marth A. WEARS, age 21, and an infant boy age 1 month. George W. WEARS was killed at Kennesaw Mountain, Georgia, 20 June 1964, a southern soldier. Martha married again to a man by surname DODSON, and they continue to appear on the Henry Co. MO census.

We have a clue to the approximate date when the WEARS family moved from VA to Henry Co. MO in the Henry Co. MO marriage of Lucretia WEIR to Richard JONES 20 Dec. 1851. I think there may be a strong possibility that George WEARS (the elder) was caught up in the gold excitement (the 49ers) and left his family in Missouri to go to the California gold fields. Many heads of families were missing at that time for that reason.  Many of these adventurers died before they could return to their families.

I copied some land patent documents from the Bureau of Land Management web site. Among them is a record for a George W. WEARS, dated 1 November 1859. The subject land was in St. Clair county. St. Clair is my birthplace, the next county south of Henry county. John Thomas WEARS later moved from Henry county to my home village of Lowry City.  I have a vague recollection of him as a very old soldier. I was married to Doris WEARS, a granddaughter of John Thomas WEARS.  Carol MATTOCKS is our daughter.

I have more “stuff” if you want to hear it.

  1. Suzanne
    16 April 2010 at 2:15 pm

    I know this is an old letter but have to inject that George Wears the elder who married Martha Howard died in Kanawha River, Mason County, West Virginia in 1853 which can be proved by the record of his death in the West Virginia Death Records available for viewing online. Theses are the original listings of deaths in the original handwriting.

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