The Challenge that Amy Johnson Crow issued for this week 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks was “Close to Home”. I could not decide. Recently we moved, again, and while I feel at home here. It is not what I think of when I think of “Home”, that would be Visalia California. That was were I was born and where two prior generations of Putnam’s lived most of their lives. Since then and with my husband we have had lots of homes. The place we lived the longest was in Arizona. It was were I started this genealogy quest and where I learned many of the basics at the local family history library. I had visited the local cemetery there and never realized that I had a paternal ancestor that had also lived in that same small town in northern Arizona.
So this week I thought I would tell about Thomas B. Shipp who also lived  in Kingman, Arizona.

Thomas B. Shipp was born in 1850 to George F. and Elizabeth C. (Vaughn) Shipp in Jackson County Louisiana. The third of eight children His older sister Clemintine (Carroline) Jane was my paternal 2x great grandmother.

1850 US Census Jackson County Louisiana
1850 US Census
Jackson County

In the 1850 census (above) we see that Jackson is 6 months old. This census was taken on the 7th of November. Therefore Thomas was born in either  April or May.

1860 US census Tulare County California
1860 US census
Tulare County

In the 1860 census we find the Shipp family has left Louisiana and now reside in California.

While the census states that Thomas is 9, it also say that he was born in California. This census was taken the 12th of July 1860. Possibly the Shipp family left Louisiana soon after the 1850 census was taken. We also see from this census that Thomas and his older sisters are all attending school. George the father is a Farmer with real estate valuing $3000 and  personal estate valuing $3000. For that period he appears to be financially comfortable. This census also shows Thomas with 6 brothers and sisters.

In the 1870 US census the family is shown in San Luis Obispo county.

1870 US census Santa Rosa township, San Luis Obispo county California
1870 US census
Santa Rosa township, San Luis Obispo county

Here we find Thomas 20 years old. George, his father has increased his wealth and is now shown as a Stock Raiser. While Thomas is 20 he is shown “at home”. Just two doors down is a Vaughn family also listed as stock raisers and born in Mississippi. George W. Vaughn (31) and James Vaughn (29) are Elizabeth’s younger brothers.  Also listed below George W. Vaughn is Lavina Vaughn (68) Elizabeth’s mother.

It makes me curious who came to California first, the Shipp’s or the Vaughn’s?

Thomas Shipp next shows up in the 1880 US census in Arizona. In this census for the Big Sandy River, Signal, Mohave, Arizona, Thomas is shown as 30 years old, single, born in Louisiana, both mother and father born in Mississippi. His occupation is listed as stock farmer. The next entry is for a marriage 20 April 1889 in Mohave county, Arizona to a Lucy Ann Goodman. This is recorded in the court house in Kingman. Having been in that court house basement and having seen the record books stacked when I was consulting on a remodel project for this very historic and iconic building in Kingman I wish I knew then that a record for one of my relatives may have just been a few feet away.

Lucy remarries just two years later. What happened to Thomas? Is he buried in the local cemetery that I have visited?  The trail ends in Kingman. Will I ever know?




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