And just like that their family grew by one.
The Gates family was one of the first family that I researched. I had gotten the name of my 2nd great-grandfather, William R. Gates from my Aunt Jane. From there I started examining the census records. The 1850 Census was the first to state the names of all members of a household. In addition to Elisha and Christina, the 1850 Census lists John, L [Elizabeth Louisa], F [ Francis Leo], and M [Martha Ellen] Gates. The census didn't mention William Raymond Gates but he had married in 1849 and lived nearby.
Eventually, I found baptismal records for two additional children, Susanna Emily and James Ferdinand. I never found James F. in any later records so I might guess that he had died young.
After those initial records I spent a lot of time trying to prove the connection between William and Elisha. (That proof showed up in a land deed where Elisha mentions his sons, John G. and William R. Gates.) Then I began researching Elisha's ancestors and William's descendants.
Now fast forward several years, after I have found Elisha's ancestors and I have begun research for Christina Ann Summers Gates' parents. One of the pieces of information that I thought might help was to determine John G. Gates' middle name. His will didn't help but his will and census records did give me his wife's name. Yesterday I received an email from my cousin, Rick. He was in Salt Lake City on business and asked if I needed anything from the Family History Library. While I waited for his answer on John G Gates' marriage record I continued looking to fill in a few missing records.
About the time I heard back from Rick on the marriage record (which didn't have his full name) I found another marriage record for Mary Ann Gates and William Sims. Elisha sign the consent for the marriage. Mary Ann would have been about 16 years old. Was this the correct family or some new family group?
After evaluating some other documents that I have collected, I have concluded that Mary Ann Gates was an older sister to John and William.
Mary Ann was the name of Elisha's mother.
The Simms family lived next door to the Gates family.
Mary Ann Sims was a sponsor for the baptism of James Ferdinand.
Emily was a sponsor for Mary Ann's child.
A daughter with the age of Mary Ann is consistent with data in the 1830 Census.
So Elisha and Christina Gates's family just grew by one.