Gilford Dudley Story (1797 – 1870)

     Gilford Dudley Story (1797 – 1870) is my third great-grandfather.  There are six generations between the two of us.  I’ve just recently been able to find information on the Story family, one of the branches of the family my research had not turned up as much information on.  For years, I could not find my great-grandmother Dollie Zimmerman nee Story’s death certificate.  I recently found it, which led to more discoveries on her side of the family.  Gilford was Great Grandma Dollie’s grandfather, although she never met him because he died eleven years before she was born.

parker-harry-dolly-franko

Parker Zimmerman holding Harry and Dollie Zimmerman holding Frank O. in Commerce, MO in 1913.

     Gilford Dudley Story was born in South Carolina during 1797 to John Story and Elizabeth Mallard.  Sometime after his birth, the Story family moved to Illinois.  Gilford seems to have gone by his middle name Dudley for most of his life.

     By the age of 21, Dudley married a Native American woman named Rebecca with whom he had six children.  It appears Dudley and Rebecca were married prior to 1819.  Most of the other genealogies on the family agree on this point.

     Dudley and his Rebecca welcomed Irena Story in 1819, Joseph Story in 1824, another son, who did not survive, in 1825, Martha Ann Story in 1827, Sarah Ann Story in 1828 and Ephraim Story on June 11, 1830.  Rebecca passed away around 1835 at only 35 years of age.

     On December 6, 1836, 39-year-old Gilford Dudley Story married 20-year-old Nancy Jane Womack in Pope, Illinois.  Dudley and Nancy Jane would have nine children.  James Story, John Story, William Riley Story, George Washington Story, Margaret Story, Green Emery Story, Lewis Story and Columbus Monroe Story were born between 1837 and 1854.  George Washington Story (1843 – ) was my 2nd great-grandfather and Dollie’s and Mandy Story’s father.

     When his youngest son was born, Dudley was 57-years-old and Nancy was 38-years-old.  Due to high child mortality rates, parents in rural America during the Nineteenth Century tended to have very large families.  Dudley was fortunate in that so far I’ve only found one of his children to have died in childhood.

     Gilford Dudley Story lived a relatively long time for a farmer in the Nineteenth Century.  During 1870, when he was 72 or 73 years old, Dudley passed away in Alexander, Illinois.  An only child himself, Dudley left a large family as his enduring legacy.  I wish I could go back in time and get some stories from him about his full life.

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