Annie Rorer Fenity, one of my favorite mysteries--my companion through so much research, is solved. At least for now, with the records we have and for what my real intention was.
I wanted to find Annie's parents because I couldn't live with the fact that she was being listed in all of my software as the daughter of a murderer. I didn't want that fact to be hidden in plain sight in the future, with the possibility that it could be a hundred years or more before somebody finally tries to uncover the truth.
Once I figured out who her uncle's parents were (Richard Nance and Louisa Blackwell), I was also able to figure out who his only sister was (Delaware Nance.) And knowing what I know about alcoholic wife beaters, I always believed these had to be her children. Men who consume massive quantities of alcohol and abuse their wives are fundamentally selfish creatures. Only the direct obligation of blood kinship would allow any sort of imposition or inconvenience to their existence. It never seemed likely to me that James Nance would ever agree to care for his wife's niece and nephew. No, these were Nance children--with Nance blood.
But until I could prove it, I couldn't treat it as fact.
My friends I met on on the Pittsylvania County Facebook group agreed to help me, and I just received the email about their search through the courthouse records. That was where they found this death certificate for Annie, which lists her mother as:
They also confirmed for me that Annie is buried in the Keatts family cemetery, located between Old Mine Road and Emery Road in Pittsylvania County. I'm so eager to make the trip down there, and hopefully in the next couple of weeks I'll be able to do just that.
I owe a lot to Annie Rorer. Looking for her relentlessly has made me a better researcher. Searching for her and her parents has taught me to stick with a problem continually until I solve it. I've gained new skills and made new connections with people I never would have met, were it not for her. And as difficult as finding her has been, I wouldn't wish it to be any easier--because now I'm more prepared for everything I still have ahead of me.
And now, for a very special happy dance...
Annie are you OK...
Will you tell us that you're OK?