My Grandmother, Amelia Grayer Ream

My maternal grandmother was magical. Sometimes, I believe that she may have even been an angel .

Her name was Amelia Grayer Ream but I called her “Grandma Pet.” As my way to honor her, I also asked my family to use this as my grandma name. So, now, I am also proud to be “Grandma Pet.”

She was magical in nature, but this was not to say that her life was without a great deal of struggle, heartache, and physical pain. I think, perhaps, what made her magical was her response to these life challenges. She became more full of grace, she carried a smile on her lips and in her eyes, she laughed in a contagious manner. She knew her friends because she cared to listen to them. She clapped for us because of the delight we brought her. Her most beautiful and powerful attribute was her complete love for family. When I sat on her lap, it was as if I had entered a safe, cozy, spot where the eyes looking at me reflected only admiration and joy. I still remember leaning into her soft body and being surrounded by her arms while I smiled back my love to her. All these many years later, my memories of her are filled from my senses. I can see her, I can hear her and feel her touch. During my sleepovers, we would share a bed and ever so quietly as I snuggled close to her she would recite the 23rd Psalm in a way that still brings me comfort.

My sisters and I loved to watch the Lawrence Welk show with her on her black and white TV. The TV had a funny film laid over the top of the screen. This film was blue at the top of the screen and  green over the bottom of the screen. This gave the rather lame impression that we were watching in color.

My grandmother’s body was ravaged by rheumatoid arthritis. Because she could not dance along with the Lennon Sisters on the show, my sisters and I twirled and danced for her.  As a young child I heard people say that my Grandma was crippled. The only evidence I had of this was that she had to crawl up the stairs. Being a child, I did the best I could and just crawled with her turning my head to smile and encourage. I was rather proud to hear how she liked getting injections in her joints. I thought it must be very special to enjoy getting a shot.

When I arrived on the planet in 1954, my Grandmother Pet was already 68 years old. By this time, she had been a widow for 24 years and had never remarried. She was still running her boarding house at 520 N. Main Street, Ann Arbor. She  lived on the main floor of this grand 3 story home. The 2 stories above her housed the rented rooms for the guests traveling through the city (mostly sales persons or folks associated with the University.) The basement level had a huge mangle for the sheets to be pressed for the guests.

We always walked in the back door to visit Grandma. This would lead us straight into her kitchen. Again, I need to use the word magic. She could whip up everyone’s favorites in that kitchen on a short order notice. If I was there with my 2 sisters, she would make each of us a special meal with our personal favorites. 3 girls and 3 menus! There was also a special jar in the kitchen. We called it the riddle jar. My Grandmother had to lead a very frugal life so she found inexpensive ways to entertain. She would find funny jokes in the newspaper and cut them out into little strips of paper that would be folded and added to the riddle jar. The very special treat that came with the riddle jar were Purple Cows for me and my sisters. In case you do not know, a purple cow was a float with vanilla ice cream on grade soda pop. My sisters and I were allowed to take turns pulling out a slip of paper from the jar and reading the jokes aloud. We laughed. Oh, how we laughed and laughed. I still thank her for making humor a part of our family treasure.

She was born in Ann Arbor, MI in September of 1885. She fell and love and married my grandfather Grover Cleveland Ream. He was a carpenter. Many of the fine sorority and fraternity houses in Ann Arbor were built by my grandfather. He also built the home on North Main Street.

Grandma Pet was 27 when she married. My grandparents had twin boys that died in infancy in 1913. They had another son in 1919 who also died as an infant. Then they had my Uncle Bob and 8 years after that, my mother Gretchen was born. My Grandmother Pet was 40 years old when my mother was born. My Grandfather died at the age of 45. My mother was only 5 years old at the time of her father’s death. A sadness that would be a part of her life story because she was not old enough to have more that a couple of memories of him.

My Grandmother was left alone as a single mother just as the Great Depression was beginning.

2 days after my birthday in 1965, my father woke me up. He hugged me and told me that Grandma Pet was now an angel. He told me she had gone to heaven. I was so heartbroken, but also I knew that she always had been an angel. I still love her with my whole heart.



It was a Monday and the squirrel detectives were spending their morning chattering together and reviewing their Summer detective accomplishments. Just in the month of August alone, the squirrel detectives had solved two very critical cases at the city park. The squirrels wanted their contributions in these solved mysteries to remain anonymous. They didn’t do detective work for the admiration of others, they just wanted to be good detectives. Summer was now coming to a close, the squirrels chattered among themselves remembering each case from the summer months and how they had had cleverly solved them. Their excited squirrel voices made loud happy chirping sounds throughout the park and their bushy tails waved up and down.

First there had been mission #1: A woman named Leslie had carelessly lost her heirloom heart-shaped locket. The locket had been a special gift from her Grandmother. The squirrels had to grab the locket by it’s silver chain, scamper up to the tree tops with it, and then they had to keep dropping the necklace carefully down into obvious spots along the path that Leslie was taking (and I must note that she was headed in the completely opposite direction of where the locket had been lost). It only took the two necklace drops before Leslie noticed it. She had a strange sense that it had fallen from a tree, but then decided that conclusion must simply be her nerves talking. Leslie then also made the false assumption that she had located the locket on her own merits without any assistance. The squirrel’s mission had been accomplished!

and then after mission #1 there was

mission #2: A man named Bob McIntyre lost his i-phone at the park and the squirrels watched him drive away without noticing that he had left it on a picnic table under the park shelter. Fortunately, Bob McIntyre had the lamest pass code for his phone. The squirrels simply tried the combination 1-2-3-4 and they were “in”. They noticed that Bob’s i-phone had several apps. They first tried the Google translate app , but translations from squirrel chatter to English were not available. So, the squirrels took some selfies using Bob’s Snapchat app. It was super fun for them to use the goofy filters that made their faces look so adorable and laugh-out-loud funny. The squirrel detectives even added some eye-glass stickers to their cute squirrel faces. Bob’s friends saw that he had posted hilarious squirrel photos on his Snapchat feed with hashtags such as #Squirrel-Strong, #Squirrel-Detectives, and #Squirrels- For-Nature-Conservancy. And Bob’s friends, who had always thought Bob to be a bit too stuffy and very serious, were now completely delighted and amused that he had suddenly become very funny.

The squirrels had the idea to post photos on Bob’s Facebook feed of the picnic table under the shelter where they planned to leave the phone for Bob. Bob McIntyre saw this on his home laptop and was therefore able to find his phone easily the next morning. He was a bit dismayed that there was no message or note for him near the phone. He still wonders about this.

Before the squirrels had put Bob’s phone down on the picnic table for him to find, they had taken the time to look at Bob’s profile photos on his Facebook feed. There were only a few photos of Bob from the whole summer. In each of those photos, Bob was always alone and wearing an old gray rumpled t-shirt that had no design or pattern. He also wore over-sized wrinkled cargo shorts and flip-flops. Bob was an o.k. looking guy, but he was not smiling in any of those photos. There were simply no happy summer photos of Bob.

The squirrels wanted to complete one more mission before the end of summer.

And so there was mission #3:

Basically, the squirrels wanted to do some match-making and they saw Leslie and Bob as a likely couple. However, the squirrels didn’t really need to do much to make this happen. You see, both Leslie and Bob had such pleasant times at the city park, that they both started walking there nearly every day. One day, Bob worked up his courage and complimented Leslie on her locket. She told him about how it had been nearly lost at the park and then found. So, Bob shared the story about his i-phone’s return to him under strange circumstances. They became friends.

On the first day of Autumn, the squirrels noticed that Bob was back at the park. He was wearing a new green Nature Conservancy t-shirt, some crisp blue jeans and great looking adidas hiking shoes. The most important thing that Bob was wearing was a smile. Why was Bob so happy? Because Bob was walking with his new friend Leslie (and yes, she was wearing her locket). Bob and Leslie were enjoying the crisp Autumn air, they were holding hands and they stopped three times to use the Snapchat app on Bob’s i-phone to do some funny selfies. Their hashtag was #Autumn-For-New-Friends. Then, Bob and Leslie whispered and smiled at each other and also posted #City-Park-Squirrels-Are-So -Cute. They were excited and happy about all the adventures that awaited them.

They didn’t even notice all of the squirrels just overhead of them doing high-fives, cartwheels, and grinning from ear to ear. It was Autumn and love was in the air. #Nature-Conservancy-Detective-Squirrels-And-Matchmakers.

Zaccheus Gould 1589-1668 – My 9th great grandfather

Zaccheus Gould history

THE FAMILY OF ZACCHEUS GOULD (My 9th great grandfather)

Zaccheus Gould (My 9th great grandfather) was born in 1589 in England. In a deposition he made on March 26, 1661, he stated that he was 72 years old. He lived at Hemel Hempstead and Great Missenden. He was married to Phebe Deacon. (My 9th great grandmother)

Zaccheus and Phebe had the following children; Phebe (bapt 1620-aft 1691) who married Deacon Thomas Perkins in 1640, Mary (bapt 1621-) who married John Redington of Topsfield, Martha (bapt 1623-1699) who married John Newmarch of Ipswich, Priscilla (my 8th great grandmother) (-1663) who married John Wildes,(my 8th great grandfather) and John (1635-1709/10) who married Sarah Baker in 1660. Phebe, Mary, and Martha were all baptized at Hemel Hempstead, England.

Zaccheus (My 9th great grandfather) came to New England around 1638. His brother Jeremy who settled in Rhode Island in 1638 and a number of other relatives preceded him. These included Nathan who settled in Salisbury in 1650, Sarah, and Zaccheus. These three were children of his brother John Gould of King’s Langley, England.

Zaccheus (My 9th great grandfather) first settled in Weymouth, Mass. where he bought land from his brother, Jeremy, in 1639. He was also the overseer of Henry Russell’s will. Henry died in 1639/40. Jeremy Gould was also a witness to this will.

From 1639 to 1644, Zaccheus lived in Lynn, Mass. where he owned a mill on the Saugus River. He also leased 300 acres of Salem land from John Humphrey. The lease went into effect on September 29, 1640 and the farm was called “Plain Farm”. This lease called for an annual rent of 400 bushels of rye, 300 of wheat, 200 of barley along with 8 oxen, 5 cows, 2 heifers, 4 calves and 2 mares. At the same time, he also leased another farm, the “ponds” from Mr. Humphrey. This land called for rent of 160 pounds the first year and 200 pounds the next. The rent was to be paid in the form of farm goods.

In 1640, Zaccheus petitioned the General Court for relief from militia training. The petition follows;

“To the right worshipful Governor, Council and Assistants and the rest of the General Court now assembled, October 7, 1640.

The humble petition of Zaccheus Gould of Lynn, husbandman, in behalf of himself and all other husbandman in the country—

Sheweth that wheras Husbandry and tillage much concern the good of this Commonwealth, and your petitioners have undertaken the managing and tilling of divers farms in this country and sowing of English Corn, their servants are oftentimes drawn from their work to train, in seed time, hay time and harvest, to the great discouragement and damage of your petitioners, and your petitioner the said Zaccheus Gould for himself saith that for one day’s training this year he was much damnified in his hay. And forasmuch as fishermen upon just grounds are exempted from training because their trade is also for the Commonwealth,

Your petioners humbly pray that this Court will be pleased to take the premises into their grave consideration and thereupon to give order for the encouragement of your petitioners who are husbandmen employed about English grain, that they and their servants be exempted from ordinary trainings in seed time, hat time and harvest. And your petitioners shall as their duty binds them pray etc.”

The General Court agreed with this petition and gave much discretion to the local officials for the “avoiding of loss of time and the opportunities of the furtherance of husbandry.”

By 1644, Zaccheus was living in Ipswich, in the section now occupied by Topsfield. Zaccheus’ son-in-law stated in 1665 that “about 21 years before, William Paine sold land to Zaccheus Gould, where his house now stands.”

In 1644, Zaccheus petitioned the General Court to have the section of Ipswich he lived incorporated as a separate town from Ipswich. The General Court agreed to this on October 18, 1650;

“In answer to the request of Zaccheus Gould and William Howard of Topsfield, the Court doth grant that Topsfield shall henceforth be a town, and have power within themselves to order all civil affairs, as other towns have.”

Zaccheus Gould, William Paine and Brian Hamilton sent the General Court a petition concerning the name of their new town.

“We humbly Intreate this honored Court that you wold be pleased to bestowe a name upon our village at the new medowes at Ipswich which wee suppose may bee an incoragment to others to Come to live amongst us: and also a meanes to further a ministry amongst us, wee think that hempsteed will be a fit name if the Court please to gratify us herewith.’

The General Court replied;

“This dept. have granted this Pet. wth Refference to the Consent of or honoured magists.”

Wm Torrey by order &c

The magtrs (upon conference wth som of the principall [persons] interested) doe thinke it fitt it should be called Toppesfeild weh they referre to the consent of ye brn the Deptyes.

Jo. Winthrop:Gov

This change in name was probably due to the influence of one of the governor’s assistants, Samuel Symonds, who was from Topsfield, England.

In 1651, Zaccheus took the oath of Fidelity but he never became a freeman.

Zaccheus appeared in Ipswich Court on a number of occasions. On January 26, Richard Shatswell brought 1650/51 a complaint against him. Shatswell claimed that he took one of his mares that had strayed from his farm. The court found for Shatswell and Zaccheus had to return the mare. A related suit involved a charge of slander brought against Joseph Fowler by

Zaccheus. Apparently, Fowler had called Zaccheus a horsethief. The court awarded Zaccheus damages of 10 pounds.

On April 24, 1656 Zaccheus was arraigned, in the Ipswich Court, for absence from meeting on the Lord’s Day.

In 1659 on March 29, Zaccheus was brought before the Ipswich Court on charges that he had disturbed the church services. He was accused of having “sat down on the end of the table about which the minister and scribe sit, with his hat full on his head and his back toward all the rest. Although spoken to by the minister and others he altered not his posture. He spoke audibly when the minister was speaking” Witnesses against him in this case were Captain William Perkins and Isaac Cummings. Isaac Cummings appears to have been involved in a number of court cases against Zaccheus. In this case the court ordered that Zaccheus be “admonished”.

In another case, Zaccheus Gould was found guilty of entertaining Quakers and fined 3 pounds. His nephew, Daniel Gould, a recent convert of the Quakers, was sentenced to be whipped with 30 stripes and to depart the town within five days. If he failed to depart, he would be placed in jail. This shows how serious the community took the “approved” religion and how they treated dissenters. Zaccheus himself seemed to be fairly liberal about religious matters, being friendly both to the Baptists and the Quakers, neither of whom were looked upon with favor by the prevailing religion.

This fine was later remitted in the spring of 1660. This was apparently because Zaccheus’ property had sustained some serious losses due to a fire.

The first house built on the farm, purchased from William Paine, was a garrison or blockhouse designed as a place of refugee against Indian raids.

Zaccheus died between March 30, 1688 and November 13, 1688. He was buried on land near the town meeting house. At the time of his death, he was one of the largest landholders in the area, having amassed 3000 acres in the area, which was then Rowley Village and later Boxford.

Does age matter? The marriage of Elmer Walsh and Elva Sopha Walsh. (Joan Miller’s great grandparents)

I have researched literally hundreds of families on, I have come to expect that couples usually are of a similar age. Not so for Elmer and Elva! Elmer married his much younger second wife in 1915. Together, they became the direct ancestors to my friend Joan Miller.

Elmer Ellsworth Walsh was born on May 17, 1862, in Kirkwood, Illinois. His second wife Elva Loretta Sopha was born on March 11, 1895, in Elmer, Michigan.

I will do the math. Elma (the bride) was 20 years old when she wed Elmer. Elmer (the groom) was 53 when he married her.

Elmer had previously wed a woman named Lucy Chalker. They were divorced in 1915 (yes, if you are checking, the same year he married Elva!) As an interesting note, his first marriage ended because of “extreme and repeated cruelty.”

Elbert and Elva’s were the direct ancestors to Dorothy Walsh (the paternal grandmother of Joan Miller.) Elbert was 55 years old when Dorothy Walsh was born. Elva was only 22 years old.

Are you ready for this story to totally turn your head? There is another record that shows that Elmer and Elva did not marry until 1921. What???? If that is true, then they were NOT married at the time that Elva birthed her twin daughters Dorothy Walsh and Doris Walsh in 1917. (A genealogy question!) More information is needed to solve this big mystery!

Here is the web site for Elmer Walsh’s grave (includes his obituary)

Here is the death certificate for Elmer Walsh:

William Harold Capps 1916-1989

Port Huron Times Herald 9 Feb 1989

William H Capps was born on February 28, 1916, in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada, the son of Hazel Holbrook Capps and Percy Capps. He had two sons and one daughter with Dorothy G Walsh between 1936 and 1941. He died on February 8, 1989, in Port Huron, Michigan, at the age of 72, and was buried there.

In the Canadian 1921 census, William was only 5 years old. He was living with his parents in the Lambton West district of Sarnia, Ontario, Canada.

At the time of the US census in 1930, William was 14 years old and living at home on Forest Street in Port Huron, MI. The 1930 census states that both of his parents were born in Canada. They immigrated in 1926 to the USA. William is listed with a US citizenship status of “alien.”

The image below is from 6 July 1926 -immigration to Port Huron Michigan. Note that his race is “Irish.” (note that at this time, the notation that he was of an Irish race may simply mean that he was not native born American.)

In that same 1930 census, Percy (William’s father) states that his occupation is “kiln-hand.” at a brass factory. Percy also says that his parents were both born in England.

By the time of the US 1940 census, William was 24 years old and is a naturalized US citizen. He lists his highest education level as completion of High School. He is employed as an inspector in a parts factory. He is living with his wife and sons at 2620 Armour, Port Huron, MI.

In 1941, William Harold Capps enlisted in the Army on July 25, 1941, during World War II. He was 25 years old.

Sadly, in 1953, his 12 year old daughter Carole Dorothy Capps, passed away.

The Times Herald Port Huron, MI 27 Jul 1953
Port Huron Times Herald 23 Sept 1952

Here is how William Harold Capps connects:

Great Uncle of my brother-in-law, William Bivona, 1900-1981

When Gugllielmo “William” Bivona was born on November 9, 1900, in Partanna, Trapani, Sicilia, Italy, his father, Vincenzo, was 26 and his mother, Anna Cappadoro Bivona, was 22. He married Calogera “Lillie” Triolo on February 23, 1927, in New York City, New York. They had one child during their marriage. He died on August 12, 1981, in Woodhavens, Queens, New York, at the age of 80. (William claims two places of birth in various US government records…described later in this blog… he may have actually been born in Argentina.)

The english translation for Gugllielmo is William.

14 Aug 1981 Daily News NY, NY

William was the second born child. He had an older brother named Giuseppe “Joseph” Bivona who was born sometime around 1899.

When William was 4 years old his brother Francesco “Frank” Bivona was born. It was this brother, Frank, who was the maternal grandfather to my brother-in-law. So, William’s relation to our family is a Great Uncle to my brother-in-law.

In the 1920 US Census, William is 19 years old. He is living in New York on Manhattan Avenue in Brooklyn Assembly District 13, Kings, New York. The census records that he can speak English, but his native tongue is Italian. At the time of this census he is single and occupied as a dyer in a silk factory. (The census takers at this time were not too careful with spelling…he is listed as part of the Bevona family.)

Could history ever give us a break on facts? In the 1920 census, William states that he was born in Argentina. Later, in 1927, he will apply for naturalization and will claim that he was born in Italy.

I am guessing that William was an Italian citizen, but may have been born in Argentina??? That might be why he claimed in the 1920 census that he was born in Argentina but in 1927 filled out forms for naturalization stating that he was born in Italy.

In 1930, the US census is again careless with his name. He is now listed as William Bevone.

In this document, he again lists his birthplace as Argentina. He must have been trilingual. Earlier, he stated that he could speak English but his native tongue was Italian. Now, he claims he speaks Spanish.

In the 1930 US census, William is 29 years old. He is now occupied as a chauffeur. Again, census takers gave little importance to the spelling of names. He is listed as William Bevana. Really? Also, the math of the 1930 census taker is horrible. How could you be 39 years old in 1930 if you were born in 1900? Clearly, it is a pretty amazing feat for to still realize this is the same person.

The only child of William and Lillie was Vincent Joseph Bivona who was a 1st cousin 1x removed to my brother-in-law.

27 april 1974
Queens, NY
Left to right, daughter Karen Bivona Susino (daughter of Vincent Bivona), Lilly Triolo Bivona (wife of William Bivona), William Bivona, Dolores (she was the wife of Vincent Bivona and the daughter-in-law of William Bivona), Vincent Bivona (was the son of Lillie and William Bivona.)
This obit is for the son of William Bivona.

Margaret “Maggie” Darlines Kelley Barnes 1851-1933. I am starting to believe you are not a direct ancestor to Samuel Tilden Barnes! And, if not you, then who?

When Margaret “Maggie” Darlines Kelley was born on February 18, 1851, in South Carolina, her father, William Henry Kelley, was 35, and her mother, Elizabeth Ann Taylor Kelley, was 26. She married Simeon Scarborough Barnes in 1875. They had eight children in 22 years. She died on January 18, 1933, in Fitzgerald, Georgia, at the age of 81, and was buried there.

The first resource materials that I found on Maggie were the 1860 and 1870 US census records. At the time of these census takings, Maggie was living with her birth family in Sumter County, South Carolina (the Bishopville Post Office). Her father was a farmer.

I believe that she married Simeon Scarborough Barnes in 1875 at the age of 24.

Usually, math works…right? Well, I have a math problem! The first child of Maggie, a son named Wilson Scarborough Barnes, was born on 31 August 1876 when Maggie was 25 years old. But her next child, also a son, Samuel Tilden Barnes, was born on 6 February 1877. It was this son (Samuel Tilden) who was the direct ancestor to my brother-in-law.

Can you see how very little time there would have been between the births of the 1st two sons? The math is wrong it would be too fast to get pregnant, give birth and have a child that premature that would be able to survive. My head started spinning. Have we got Samuel Tilden Barnes in the right family? (Note: There are only 159 days between the dates of birth. The dates from Ancestry mean that Samuel would have been born 5 months and 6 days after the birth of his brother- NOT POSSIBLE) So…what? Where to now? Were Simeon and Maggie really the parents of Samuel Tilden Barnes (my brother-in-law’s direct ancestor?) Back to the research materials…

It was helpful to see the 1880 US Census. Here, our Samuel Tilden (Chris’ great grandfather) is listed simply as “Tildon”. Note that Wilson and Tildon are listed as the children of Maggie in this census. So, this is good for the case that they were brothers…right? If they were brothers, how amazing that they are only 5 months apart! Is that possible?

I started to wonder about pre-mature births in the 1870’s. I found this link: The comment that stood out was, “In 1876 there would not have been anything that could be done for a baby born too early, or with any significant problem.  They either survived or they didn’t, and the mother and her female supporters just did their best.” 

The next research I did was on grave markers and burial locations. Simeon Scarborough Barnes and Margaret Kelley are buried in Fitzgerald, Ben Hill County, Georgia, United States of America. The oldest son, Wilson, and several other children of the couple are also buried there… but NOT the direct ancestor to our family Samuel Tilden Barnes. Arrrghhhh… If Samuel was their son, why isn’t he buried with the rest of his family?

OK, back to census records and I hit a brick wall. In the 1900 US Census. Samuel Tilden Barnes in missing from the record!!! So…was he NOT the son of Simeon and Maggie? If so, then why was he listed in the 1880 census? Samuel Tilden would only have been a teenager and should be living with his family! Or, are they his family? Why was he in the 1880 census and not the 1900 census?

Here is another look at the troubling census of 1900. (The S.S. Barnes below would be Simeon Scarborough Barnes who I am starting to think is not the father of Samuel Barnes after all.) Again, the older brother Wilson is listed, but not our Samuel Tilden!

Stick with me here while I continue to unravel the mystery.

In a lawsuit filed after the death of Samuel Tilden Barnes, it states that Simeon Scarborough Barnes and Maggie were “next of kin”. Well, that means Samuel was related to them…but not necessarily their child. Right? The lawsuit is very tangled, but all of the right relative names are listed so … somehow, Samuel was “in the family” even though he is removed from many census forms and the math does not work for his birth date. He belongs with this family in some format, but could clearly NOT have been a biological son to Maggie. Oh dear!

Here is the link to Samuel Tildon Barnes’ grave site: Pay attention to the dates.

Here is the link to his older brother Wilson Barnes’ grave site (again- note their births are too close together to be biological brothers from the same mother)

In conclusion, here are my questions (if I can’t have answers, I can have questions)…

Was Samuel’s father Simeon Scarborough? If so, that means that Simeon had an affair with someone during his marriage.

Was Samuel a super premature birth?

Was he brought into the family? Here is one interesting clue from the Ancestry web site- see photo… (This would be VERY interesting!…Hard to trace) The Cherokee nation? Wow! (Oh, and the child listed below is not grouped with any parents???)

Or, my final guess. Was he actually the child of Simeon’s sister Margaret who died at about the time of Samuel’s birth? Margaret may not have been married so “giving” her son to her brother and sister-in-law may have been necessary. There are no birth records listing Simeon’s sister as a mother.