I had never heard the name Isabella Jane Goodloe before I became interested in genealogy, but I was immediately drawn to her because I liked her name. I was a little disappointed to learn that she went by Janie instead using her full name, but she is always Isabella Jane to me.
Isabella Jane was my 2nd great-grandmother. She was the paternal grandmother of my paternal grandmother, Verda Waller Hankins—the grandmother that I never knew. If you ask people in my family about Verda’s middle name, most will probably say it was Jane. It wasn’t. The story is that Verda didn’t like her real middle name so she replaced it with Jane in honor of her grandmother. I’m not sure all of her children even knew Jane wasn’t her real middle name.
I don’t know when Verda decided to adopt her grandmother’s middle name. She was only twenty years old when Isabella Jane died. It could have been then. The funny thing about Verda trading Waller for Jane is that Waller was also a name connected to Isabella Jane. It was the maiden name of her great-grandmother, Dorothy Waller Goodloe, and had been used as a middle name for both boys and girls in the family for three generations, including Isabella Jane’s sister, Mary.
Isabella Jane Goodloe was born on 27 Jan 1838 in Hopkins County, Kentucky and she lived there her entire life. She was the first of four children born to John Emerson “Jack” Goodloe and Eliza Ann Dobyns. Her two sisters both died young. Elizabeth Goodloe was about 15 when she died 18 Jul 1858. Mary Waller Goodloe Offutt died 10 October 1868 at age 25, leaving a husband and three children. Her brother Thomas Henry Goodloe lived to age 78 and was the father of one daughter.
By the time Isabella Jane turned 11 years old, her mother had died and her father had married Elizabeth Pettus. She and Elizabeth apparently had a close relationship. Clippings from the personals section of the Earlington Bee from 1903 and 1904 refer to them as mother and daughter in reporting visits between the two.
Isabella Jane married Albert Hankins on 24 Oct 1855 at her father’s home in Hopkins County. They had four children: John Houston born 24 Aug 1856; Thomas Leander “Lee” born 13 Jun 1858; James W. born 25 Jul 1960 and Mary Madore “Mollie” born 10 Mar 1863.
Albert apparently died between 1863 and 1870 although it is not known exactly what happened to him. He had enlisted in the 8th Kentucky Infantry (Confederate) in Oct 1861 and his muster roll on 1 Aug 1862 lists him as a 4th Sgt. with Company I but shows he was “absent at home in Kentucky without leave.” There are family stories that Albert was with a friend in a barn in the company of Confederate deserters, was accused of desertion and shot. My Aunt Liz once told me (in response to a question about how Albert died) that she remembered hearing “he got into some trouble and was shot.” That seems to go along with the barn story.
Regardless of how Albert died, Isabella Jane was left alone with four young children to raise. She and the children moved near her father, likely on his property since they were listed next to him in the 1870 census.
Isabella Jane married Thomas G. Yates on 3 Jan 1874. His fate is unknown but they weren’t together long because she married Thomas K. Devault on 23 Nov 1879.
Isabella Jane’s four children were all married by the time she and Thomas adopted a daughter about 1887. Bessie Walker’s mother died just a few days after she and her twin sister, Jessie, were born. Their father died three years later. Isabella Jane and Thomas took Bessie. William and Virginia Goodloe Moore (Isabella Jane’s half-sister) took Jessie. Twins Separated and Adopted by Sisters — How Did I Miss This? tells more of that story.
Written for 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge from Amy Johnson Crow.
This post was originally published in 2014, but has been edited and other information has been added. >Photos of Isabella Jane courtesy of Rick Thorpe, a descendant of Mary Madore Hankins Clements, who shared many Hankins pictures with me more than 10 years ago.by