Reeves, Frances Mariah (1840 GA - ? AL)

Reeves, Frances Mariah

Reeves, Frances Mariah


Father: Redden Reeves
Mother: Cynthia Reeve

Birth: Jul 1842, Georgia
Birth Source: Census and Marshall County AL Estate File

Death: Aft 1902, Marshall County, Mississippi
Death Source:

Spouse1: James F. Taylor, m. 6 Jun 1860 in Marshall County, Alabama
Spouse2: Samuel Wiley, m. Abt 1868, Winston County, Alabama
Spouse3: James H. Cantrell, m. 28 Feb 1880, Winston County, Alabama


Children of Frances Mariah Reeves and James F. Taylor:
  1. Francis M. Taylor b. May 1861, Winston County, Alabama
  2. Albert H. Taylor b. 1862, Winston County, Alabama

Children of Frances Mariah Reeves and Samuel Wiley:
  1. David Samuel Wiley b. 1869, Winston County, Alabama
  2. Candace Wiley b. 1872, Winston County, Alabama
  3. Washington Wiley b. 1875, Winston County, Alabama
  4. Martha E. Wiley b. Nov 1877, Winston County, Alabama

Children of Frances Mariah Reeves and James H. Cantrell:
  1. James D. Cantrell b. 26 Jan 1883, Winston County, Alabama
  2. Josephine Cantrell b. 8 Sep 1884, Winston County, Alabama

Frances Mariah Reeves was a minor when her mother died and then her grandfather, and is named as their heirs in both of their estates. She married James F. Taylor (sometimes mis-transcribed as John F. Taylor) in Marshall County on 6 Jun 1860. Frances was either divorced or not legally separated from her first husband before marrying Samuel Wiley, 50 years her senior, sometime in the 1860s. They appear in the 1870 Winston County, Alabama census, with Frances's two children by James Taylor, Francis M. Taylor and Albert H. Taylor, and her son with Wiley — David Samuel Wiley b. 1869. In 1880, Frances has remarried following Wiley's death and is living with her third husband, James Cantrell, and her four children with Wiley — David Samuel, Candace, Washington and Martha E. Two children with Cantrell, James D. and Josephine were born in 1882 and 1884. [The remaining text is a direct quote from Bob Baird's entry on Frances M. Cantrell from his page for her at www.genfiles.com, and is used with his permission] "By 1886 the Cantrells had moved to Marshall County, Mississippi where James H. Cantrell died on 22 December 1890 just two months after initiating a pension application for his one year's service in the U.S. Army's 1st Alabama Cavalry in 1863. After his death Frances M. Cantrell applied for a widow's pension. Her application listed two dependent children: James D. Cantrell, born 26 January 1883, and Josephine Cantrell, born 8 September 1884. Her pension was approved retroactive to 23 December 1890 at the rate of $12/month plus $2/month for each of the two children.

"In her application she had indicated that she and Cantrell married on 28 February 1880, two years prior to the death of James F. Taylor. When later examined about this discrepancy, she stated that Taylor had obtained a divorce from her in Winston County, but that the court records had been destroyed in the 1891 courthouse fire. In 1901, having been unable to produce proof of the divorce, she stated before an examiner that it was she who "obtained or sued for" a divorce in DeKalb County. The Pension Bureau's examiner was not convinced and in 1901 recommended rejecting her pension on the grounds that she had not been divorced from Taylor and therefore her marriage to Cantrell was illegal. Examiners found no record of a divorce, but in early 1903 Frances M. Cantrell changed her statement, declaring that "to the best of her belief" she was divorced from James F. Taylor "in the month of April 1867 by a decree of the Chancery Court of DeKalb County, Alabama."

"The Pension Bureau's examiner didn't believe her, but the legal department overruled him and declared her marriage to Cantrell legal, thus saving her widow's pension. The Board of Review examiner wrote that "I have no doubt that Frances M. knew Taylor was alive when she married both Wiley and Cantrell [and that] he was her lawful husband all the time" but because the Law Division had declared her Cantrell's legal widow "we will have to reject the claim of Frances M. upon some other ground."

"Unfortunately, once the Pension Bureau accepted the fact of an April 1867 divorce, it had to declare Almarine Taylor's 1866 marriage illegal. Almarine was disadvantaged by the fact that she had not met James F. Taylor until after the war, so apparently had no first-hand knowledge of his first marriage. She obtained affidavits from two relatives or close friends that Frances M. Taylor had died in 1864 in an attempt to preserve her pension, but they probably had the effect of reducing her credibility. In August 1903 the Bureau of Pensions notified her of its decision that at the time of her own marriage to James F. Taylor "his former wife, one Frances M. Taylor, now Cantrell, was living and undivorced." She did not contest the issue and her pension was rejected.

"Frances M. Cantrell was enumerated in the 1900 census of Marshal County (her birth given as July 1842) with her two Cantrell minor children. Living in adjoining households were three of her children by the first two marriages: Frances (Frank) Taylor and his wife Lena, Samuel Wiley and his wife Arminta, and Martha E. Wiley and her husband James A. Piplin. She indicated that she had borne 9 children, 6 of whom were still living."


Marriage1: Alabama County Marriages, 1809-1950 (FamilySearch)
History:  Bob Baird, Bob's Geneaology Filing Cabinet (www.genfiles.com : accessed 17 Oct 2014)
                   Frances M. Cantrell, pension application, Certificate No. 364861, National Archives.
Census:    1850 U.S. census, District 22, Marshall Co., AL; Roll: M432_10; Page: 194B; Image: 392.
                   1870 U.S. census, Winston, Alabama, population schedule, Twp 10 Range 4, p. 530A (stamped), dwelling 59, family 59
                   1880 U.S. census, Winston, Alabama, population schedule, Beat 2, enumeration district (ED) 286, p. 529A (stamped), dwelling 106, family 107
                   1900 U.S. census, Marshall, Mississippi, population schedule, Beat 5, enumeration district (ED) 0070, sheet 11, p. 11B, dwelling 158, family 159