Sometimes in our research we run into people who drive us up the wall. This has been the case with my research of Fred Jack Sanford, the seventh child of Ambrose Sanford and Naomi Jane Liner. For years I operated in complete ignorance of his existence. They say ignorance is bliss and in this case – I’d have to agree.
Through email contact with another Sanford researcher I learned of Little Fred Jack. I learned he was born on the 12 Jun 1889 in Haywood County, North Carolina and died 18 Oct 1893 in Haywood County, North Carolina. Little Fred Jack was only four years old when he died. The same email informed me of his burial in Crabtree Baptist Church Cemetery in Haywood County, North Carolina.
The years in which Fred Jack lived out his short existence prevent me from finding any formal records on him. There is no 1890 census for the state of North Carolina and since his death occurred before 1913 there are no death records for me to find. I desperately clung to the hope that I would be able to find Fred Jack’s tombstone, so I searched Crabtree Baptist Church Cemetery as if my life depended on it… but I found nothing. I next looked through Cemeteries and Family Graveyards in Haywood County, NC – June 1, 1979 by George A. Miller in hopes that Little Fred Jack was buried elsewhere, but once again I came up empty-handed. It made no sense to me that Fred Jack would be buried in Crabtree Baptist when his parents and grandparents were just up the road in the Upper Crabtree Cemetery and I still remain a little skeptical over his burial site.
With all the endless issues I was having while researching Fred Jack – I began to believe perhaps the information I received about him was incorrect, but then I ran across one of Fred Jack’s nieces who confirmed the information I had received. I remain unaware of a family bible for Ambrose Sanford and Naomi Liner that would provide the evidence I am looking for, so I am running out of options. I plan to comb through newspaper articles the next time I am home, try to dig up burial plot deeds, and contact the Crabtree Baptist Church to see if they have a legend or any information on those buried in their cemetery. Knowing it is very likely that Little Fred Jack actually existed and not being able to prove it has driven me completely mad over the last several years… I’m a little worried that if I don’t prove his existence that the lack of information will be the proverbial straw on the camel’s back.