Franz Adolph and Isabelle Rose McCart Bly

This is the tombstone of my great-grandparents, who are buried in Moberly, Missouri. Nothing appears to be unusual, and it looks like a good source of  genealogy proof material. But here is where the lesson lies–be skeptical of the genealogy “proof” you locate–it doesn’t always give you the entire truth.

My great-grandmother’s correct name is Isabelle Rose McCart, as identified in the probate file of her father, John McCart, in 1870. For most of her life she was referred to as “Belle”, and there are many newspaper articles and personal testaments to support this. The 1900 and 1910 censuses  list her as “Rosy B.” The only time she was referred to as “Rosa” is on the tombstone.

The second fact discrepancy is the birthdate of Isabelle Rose. She was born in 1869, not 1864, as noted on her tombstone. And the month of her birth was November, not March. Why all of this contradiction? The story is a bit complicated, but it is explainable. My great-grandmother was orphaned in 1870–both of her parents died within days of each other from unknown causes. The six living children in the family were taken in by various relatives in the Chariton County, Missouri area. Belle went to live with her Aunt Ann E. Brockman Hise (John) as shown in the 1870 US Census. No one knows why the date discrepancy for Belle exists–but it persisted for many years and still does for some descendants.

If there is a lesson to be learned from this, though, it is to double-check your facts and keep working to resolve the conflicts you may find. Franz and Belle are buried at Oakland Cemetery, Moberly, Missouri.

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