You have to be Joe-King
Joseph King, national man of mystery was born circa 1830 and married Ellen Jane Whittington. He is reported by various documents to have been born in North Carolina, Missouri and Iowa and even New York. His daughters were born in Iowa as per the last census record that his wife filled out herself. The oldest records are normally the most reliable; closest to the source, closest to the truth. She reported she was a widow in the 1860 census.
Now, did he join the war and vanish? Did he and his family suffer the same plight as his granddaughter Cornelia Mast and her young family did? Travel far from home, to make a new life only to die before the new and hopefully better life they dreamed of was realized? Did he run off and remarry someone else and fake his death?
There are only 8, 033 Joseph Kings born in 1830 born in America. One of them, is of course, the right one. Through records, through shared genealogical sources and maybe even through DNA results, the answer is out there. I just have to find it.
Surely, he must be Joe King.