I have hunted these guys up and down, back and forth, over and under, and just about any other way I can think of. They’ve remained mostly hidden or under cover, and as adults, just plain disappeared.

Here’s what I know.

  • Nettie married the boys’ father, William L Clawson, 29 Nov 1905 in Crittenden County, Arkansas. 1
  • Nettie Clawson then married George W Wilson, 11 Jul 1909 in Mississippi County, Arkansas. 2

According to the 1910 Census, Lee CLAWSON was born about 1907, and Clayborn CLAWSON was born about 1908. I emphasize their last names because this is not the way they are listed on the census. Their relationship to the head of the house, G. W. Wilson, is actually step-sons:


Neither is Mary’s last name Wilson (listed above Lee), but that’s a story I started in this blog post. Gladdis is George’s daughter from his previous marriage.

Speaking of marriages, check out the number in the married column. Across from George (G.W.) it says M4. And for Nettie it says M3, but I’ve found records for possibly four previous marriages for her. Appreciate the enumerators taking down this information. What I’d really like to know is who gave the answers to the enumerator.

I didn’t notice for the longest time that Nettie says she’s the mother of five children, but only three are still living (I was too busy trying to figure out relationships). That’s Clayborn, Lee, and Mary, which begs the question, what happened to the other two children, and who was the father(s)?

So in May of 1910, Nettie and George have been married for nine months. The census lists four children, but none of those children are “theirs.” That changes on the 1920 census.


1920 United States Federal Census: Dist. 0159, McGavock, Mississippi County, Arkansas

George is listed as head and 58, Nettie, his wife is 38. Mary is 15 and still listed as Wilson even tho she’s not his daughter. Lee is 13, and Clayborn is 12. Again both listed as Wilson, but aren’t Wilson’s boys. Gladis is 11. They have two children: Loyed is 5, Catheareen is 1½. And a boarder living with them named Earn Clarence Wilson who is 16. He’s probably a relative, but I have yet to figure out how. Notice none of the children attended school since Sept. 1. From what I understand, they lived among black people, and everyone picked cotton.

These are the only documents I’ve found with Lee and Clayborn on them. Lee does, however, appear in the 1930 census.


1930 United States Federal Census: Dist. 23, Golden Lake, Mississippi County, Arkansas

Again Wilson is listed as his surname. Loyd (15) and Catherine (12) are still living with their parents, and George and Nettie have added one more child, Irene, aged 10. At least I “think” it’s George and Nettie. The enumerator has John as Head, Nettie as wife, and George as Father. So John apparently is George’s son, but a little confusing what Nettie and George’s relationship is since George’s marital status is listed as widow?

But back to the Clawson Boys. They seem to have disappeared after 1930. Searching with Wilson and/or Clawson, the only thing found is a death for “Cleburne Clason” on 18 Oct 1928 in Crittenden County, Arkansas. 3

Crittenden County borders the south side of Mississippi County so sounds promising, but can’t tell for sure until I see his certificate. There is an affiliate film number listed in the record, but after clicking, it says “No records found for Film Number.” I asked at the local Family History Center, but they couldn’t tell me what it meant. Apparently it’ll have to be ordered through the county or the State.

They are as frustrating as their half-sister, Mary. All born in the 20th century, yet they show up on so few records. Thus far, a mysterious enigma.

1) “Arkansas, County Marriages, 1837-1957,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/V4XF-CKD : accessed 12 February 2016), Wm L Clawson and Nettie Lefler, 29 Nov 1905; citing, Crittenden, Arkansas, United States, county offices, Arkansas; FHL microfilm 1,020,230.
2) “Arkansas Marriages, 1837-1944,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:F7SB-JJG : accessed 12 February 2016), G. W. Wilson and Nettie Clawson, 11 Jul 1909; citing Mississippi, Arkansas; FHL microfilm 1,302,551.
3) “Arkansas Death Index, 1914-1950,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VJRN-M17 : accessed 12 February 2016), Cleburne Clason, 18 Oct 1928; derived from “Arkansas, Death Index, 1914-1950,” database and images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : 2005); a multigenerational derivative citing Division of Vital Records, Arkansas Department of Health, Arkansas Death Index, 1914-1950 (Arkansas: Arkansas Genealogical Society).