Biggie Shell, Part Two

Well, it’s official.  I am a genius.

And as my form of geniusity takes place, there is a method to my madness.  I’m worried about poor old Biggie Shell.  All I could find about him was the 1900 census where he lived in Roane County, Tennessee, and also his death certificate.  On his death certificate, his name is “Bige”, so I thought that was a phonetic spelling of Biggie:  Big-E (kind of like Car-E the cat). 

Today at work I was still worried about Biggie Shell and how there’s nothing about his life, at least not that I can find, when I suddenly thought, “What is Bige was a nickname for his real name, like, ummmm, Abijah?”  Stay with me, folks, I’m on to something.

I clicked on over to my friends at (hello, people, are you noticing extra hits on your website?  You’re welcome.  Can I have something free now, pretty please with sugar on top?).  I did a little search on Abijah Shell.

BOOM!  That’s the invisible sound, for indeed sound is invisible, that your computer and your brain simultaneously make when the genius stick hits you in the head. 


A quick aside to clarify something:   the photos on the blog can be enlarged by clicking on the image.  I tried something new and exciting with the death certificates for Thomas Morton Yearout and Bige Shell.  I copied and pasted from, and it freakin’ worked.  I, too, was shocked.  I’ve been laboriously downloading photos from the SD card on the camera, cropping, compressing, blahblahblah, not that you people are not worth it, because I live for your pleasure.  I had no idea that I could copy and paste directly onto the blog template, which now brings me to a small non-bonus.  You can’t click on the image to enlarge it.  I suppose you could right click on the image and save it to your computer, then you’d be able to enlarge it to your heart’s content. 


Which now brings us to the image of Biggie and Lena’s marriage record…

Abijah and Lena

I was worried that you, faithful reader, could not read this small script, so I downloaded the image to my computer, saved it, and uploaded it to the blog.  Click away.

I’m feeling good about myself right about now.


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8 Responses to “Biggie Shell, Part Two”

  1. leo Says:

    It might be possible to find him in the 1880 KY census. He may have been born in KY in 1877.


    • ruthrawls Says:

      Leo, I’m not the smartest yet in the genius class. I can’t find him in Kentucky. He was supposed to be born, according to one census, in 1869. I suppose I’ll have to worry over this a bit more. There is a man named Abijah B. Shell who was in Oregon in 1930, perhaps a son?


  2. Kariann Deno Says:

    You are *AMAZING*. I super loved this post.


  3. becky Says:

    I and my faithfully-reading eyes thank you for making it so that we could enlarge with one click!


  4. leo Says:

    Okay, so you got me hooked already. I think this may be your family. Buen Thell, wife Lena and 6 kids, living in Roane County in the 1910 census. I don’t have access to Ancestry now so can’t look at the actual entry, but seriously think this is your group. If you agree then you have the kids names and can folow up on them. Lena will probably show up later with some of the kids.


    • ruthrawls Says:

      Leo, you are also a genius. I found that also, and saved it to their tree, but simply didn’t blog about it yet. I’ll see if I can download the image to my computer from ancestry, then post in on the blog. I haven’t had any luck finding anyting about the kids yet.
      Congratulations on your find!


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