Up on a ridge overlooking George’s Lake near Mooretown on County Highway 53 just outside of Bergholz, Ohio, sits a Civil War monument dedicated to the memory of the fallen soldiers of Ross Township, Jefferson County, Ohio. The face of one side of the marker includes the name Newton Wycoff, my maternal first cousin 4x removed. He was the contemporary and first cousin of my second great-grandmother, Jane “Jennie” Wyckoff.
Isaac Newton Wycoff was born 13 April 1842 in Ross Township, Jefferson County, Ohio to Isaac Newton Wycoff (1814-1885) and Catherine Ann R. Frye (1818-1889). It appears that he had only one natural sibling, Cornelius William (1837-1914).
Church records from the Bacon Ridge Presbyterian Pioneer Church indicate that Caroline Saltsman was baptized on 01 December 1862 as the child of Isaac and Catherine Wycoff. She would have been approximately ten years old at that time. Headstone at Shane Cemetery indicates that she was the adopted daughter of Isaac and Catherine.
Here, she appears with Isaac and Catherine on the 1870 census.
Back in September (2016), my children invited me down to Atlanta for a long weekend. In the days leading up to my departure, I was asked what I wanted to do during the visit and my reply was that I would like to visit Kennesaw Mountain, if possible, perhaps look for Newton’s grave. And so we did…
Sources and Additional Reading:
Battle of Kenesaw Mountian [i.e., Mountain]–June 27, 1864–Union (Gen. Sherman, com.) … Conf. (Gen. Johnston, Com.) … circa 1891 lithograph. By Kurz & Allison., [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.
Confederate troops dragging guns up Kennesaw Mountain. Circa 1888. By Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buel [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.
Burial Ledgers. The National Cemetery Administration, Washington, D.C. (Original records transferred to NARA: Burial Registers, compiled 1867-2006, documenting the period 1831-2006. ARC ID: 5928352. Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs, 1773–2007, Record Group 15. National Archives at Washington, D.C.
Interment Control Forms, 1928–1962. Interment Control Forms, A1 2110-B. Records of the Office of the Quartermaster General, 1774–1985, Record Group 92. The National Archives at College Park, College Park, Maryland.
Official roster of the soldiers of the state of Ohio in the War of the Rebellion, 1861-1866 [microform
Name: Jennie Marie HACKATHORN Birth: 26 June 1900; Bergholz, Jefferson County, Ohio Parents: Thomas John HACKATHORN and Florence “Flora” D. PAISLEY Spouse: Joseph Fritz CHAMPION Death: 12 July 1992; Ravenna, Portage County, Ohio
“He is happiest, be he king or peasant, who finds peace in his home.”
~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Wyckoff, Peter [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Historic American Buildings Survey, E.P. MacFarland, Photographer May 8, 1934, VIEW FROM NORTHWEST. – Peter Wyckoff House, 5902 Canarsie Lane, Brooklyn, Kings County, NY
I’ve always felt that it would have been a wonderful feeling to know that there was an old homestead somewhere that had been in my family for generations and that there was still a part of my family living there, but that isn’t the case with any of my direct family lines. With the exception, of course, of the Pieter Claessen Wyckoff House which is the old homestead of the thousands of Pieter Claessen Wyckoff’s descendants that are scattered across these states (and world).
So far, I have not personally visited this place in Brooklyn as my grandmother did, but I have read a lot about it. This would have been the home of my ninth great-grandmother, Grietje Van Ness, and that of her husband, Pieter Claessen Wyckoff, and of my eighth great-grandfather, Nicholas Wyckoff, until he married. Much has been written about this house and the land that it lies on and I have not gleaned any new information to add to its story, but for those unfamiliar with it – a much abbreviated bit of information.
As near as can be determined, this house was constructed in 1652, and amazingly, still stands today. This date was determined, in part, by pottery shards dating to 1660 excavated on the property. Many additions were built onto the home over the years, including what was probably the first addition, a large kitchen wing built onto the west side of the home.
Architectural evidence maintains that the original roof was of the “salt-box” type. Although the original roof was removed during later additions, it is thought that this particular roof was developed by the settlers of New Netherlands, probably evolving from storage sheds that had been added to the back of previously built, symmetrically gabled houses. 17th century Dutch moldings that were found within the original part of the house also support the fact that the house dates to the early years of the third quarter of the 17th century.
It is believed that this house on Carnarsie Lane was built on part of a large tract of land purchased by Govenor Wouter Van Twiller (Director-General of New Netherland). In the 1652, the land was seized by the Dutch West Indie Company and when Van Twiller was recalled to Holland, he claimed that he had built houses on all of his holdings. The property then went to the Duke of York when New Netherland was ceded to the English.
Pieter Wyckoff’s descendants owned and occupied the house until about 1901 when it ended up sold to Brooklyn Realty Company. The homestead went into a rapid state of decline and was scheduled for demolition when Borough Historian, James Kelly, helped to block that action. The Wyckoff family and The Wyckoff House Association then acquired the property with the intent of gifting the house to the city to establish a city park and, hopefully, for the restoration of the house. The city accepted this gift in 1970 and now the house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is considered the oldest home in New York City.
The house, now a museum, is located in Milton Fidler Park at 5816 Clarendon Road in the Canarsie area of Brooklyn on Long Island and was denoted as a National Historic Landmark in 1968. It is the oldest surviving example of a Dutch saltbox frame house in the United States and was one of the first structures built on Long Island by Europeans.
Although the city does own the home, it is operated by The Wyckoff House & Association. And it was to this home, a bowery once owned by the Dutch West India Company, that Grietje, and her husband, Pieter, brought their two young children when Pieter agreed to superintend the bowery of Peter Stuyvesant and where they continued to raise their growing family.
Grietje Cornelis Van Ness was born to Cornelis Hendrick Van Ness and Maycke Hendrieux van der BURCHGRAEFF around 1629 (or sometime between 1624 and 1630), probably in the Netherlands. Grietje and Pieter Claessen were married about 1646 in Beverwyck, New York.
Born to them were 11 children and those children were:
Nicholas, born circa 1646, at Beverwyck. (my line)
Margrietje, born circa 1648, at Beverwyck.
Annetje, baptized 27 November 1650, at New Amsterdam.
Mayken, baptized 19 October 1653. Sponsored by Judith Bayard, wife of Peter Stuyvesant.
Cornelius, born circa 1656.
Hendrick, born circa 1658.
Geertje, born circa 1660.
Garret, born in 1662.
Marten, born in 1663.
Jan, born 16 February 1665.
Grietje died between 1699 and 1703 and was buried beside her husband, Pieter, who had died between June of 1694 and 1697.
Name: Grietje Cornelis Van Ness Parents: Cornelis Hendrick Van Ness and Maycke Hendrieux van der Burchgraeff Spouse:Pieter Claessen Wyckoff Surnames: WYCKOFF, Van NESS, Van der BURCHGRAEFF, PAISLEY Relationship to Hollie: maternal 9th great grandmother
Historic American Buildings Survey, E.P. MacFarland, Photographer May 8, 1934, DETAIL OF MANTEL AND CHINA CLOSET (WEST WALL-DINING ROOM). – Peter Wyckoff House, 5902 Canarsie Lane, Brooklyn, Kings County, NY
Nederlands: Vervaardigd in ca. 1684. This map of the current New England was published by Nicolaes Visscher II (1649-1702). Visscher copied first a map byJan Janssonius (1588-1664) from 1651 and added a view of New Amsterdam, the current Manhattan. The map is very accurate: each European town which existed at the time has been represented.
Settlers of Rensselaerswyck, 1630-1658; By New York State Library, Arnold Johan Ferdinand Van Laer;
Van Rensselaer Bowier Manuscripts: Being the Letters of Kiliaen Van Rensselaer, 1630-1643, and Other Documents Relating to the Colony of Rensselaerswyck; New York State Library Kiliaen van Rensselaer January 1, 1908; University of the state of New York
The Pieter Claessen Wyckoff House, Brooklyn, New York: An Analysis of its History and Development and a Record of its Present Condition Preparatory to Restoration...Oppenheimer, Brady & Associations, Architects. NY,NY.
“We are braver and wiser because they existed, those strong women and strong men… We are who we are because they were who they were. It’s wise to know where you come from, who called your name.” ~ Maya Angelou
Sometime in the late ‘70s or early ‘80s I stopped by to visit my paternal grandmother, Erma, and she took me down into her basement saying that she had something that she wanted to give to me. I must have been around 21, because I didn’t have a car or my license to drive until then because I either walked everywhere that I wanted to go or hopped on a city bus during inclement weather. I was surprised and touched when she pulled out some old quilt tops that she had made and asked me if I wanted them because I was the only granddaughter that she knew of that sewed.
And I did love to sew. I spent time when I was young with the Mary-Martha Fellowship at the Mennonite Church that I went to and with my favorite Sunday School teacher, Martha King, learning stitches and embroidering. My maternal grandmother taught me to basic knitting and crocheting and I remember knitting lots of headbands with variegated yarn. Because I was a kid in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s it was a time when fashions were changing and kids were splitting open the seams of blue jeans and inserting calico material to make bellbottoms. I did this, too, and also did a lot of embroidery on my jeans. At that time, embroidery was my favorite thing to do (besides reading) and I used to take whatever I was working on to church with me and work on it while sitting in the pew during services. And…I majored in Home Economics in high school along with music, art, and English – all those things that absolutely would not help me to get a job later in life. But I certainly can entertain myself!
I believe that my grandmother told me that she had made those quilt tops during The Depression but had never gotten around to actually finishing them up. So she wanted me to have them because she didn’t think that she ever would. So I stored them away in tissue paper to keep them safe and have hauled them around with me wherever I have lived. In the small town where I raised my children, there was a house over on the next block that, for whatever reason, was selling off the contents of the house in yard sales for several weeks. Because it was a small town, we could walk most everywhere that we wanted to go and walked by this house often. One day my daughter and I were walking by and noticed that there was one lone item standing in the front yard that had a sign on it that said “FREE” and then I noticed that it was an old, handmade quilting frame. Yes! Perfect! My daughter and I picked it up and carried it down the alley.
A couple of years ago, I got the quilt tops out and made some minor repairs where the thread had come loose from dry rot and then packed them away again. Soon, though, as soon as time permits, I will start to work on them since I have the space to spread out and get busy. I cherish these quilt tops as being a part of the family that has been entrusted to me and I’ll give one to each of my children as I finish them up.
One of the reasons why I adore these quilt tops is because they showed me a different side of my dad’s mother. I never suspected that she sewed. It seemed at the time like a small bond between us. My two grandmothers lived for a time right across the alley from each other, which is, of course, how my parents met. When I was in 2nd grade, my maternal grandmother went to live with her cousin and we moved into Grandma’s house, so for a while, we lived right behind my dad’s mom and my dad’s sister lived a couple of houses away. Two of my cousins and an aunt lived with Grandma, two more cousins lived nearby, and we were mostly pretty close to the same age. My grandmother’s house had a parlor-ish front room with covers on the furniture that we, as kids, were not allowed to enter. What I remember the most about my grandmother at this time was that she had housework duties scheduled. Although I don’t really recall what that schedule was, I’m pretty sure that she did laundry on Monday (sometimes we got to help sprinkle the clothes, roll them up, put them in a plastic bag and into the refrigerator), because Tuesday was ironing day.
She had a big metal glider on her front porch and petunias in flower boxes on the banister. In her back yard was a big bed of peonies that we kids were supposed to stay away from. That was something that we always kept in mind while playing games of “Mother May I”, “Witch in the Well”, “Colored Eggs”, “Red Light – Green Light”, and “Freeze Tag”. The fence surrounding the backyard was bordered with marigolds and zinnias (with which my Aunt Dorothy taught me how to save seeds) and there were irises surrounding the house (with which Aunt Dorothy taught me how to divide). Also in the backyard was a huge cherry tree with sour cherries that were not so good for eating, but great (I hear) for making pies. Just outside her fenced in backyard was a handful of apple trees that produced very sour green apples (Which I didn’t like, but some of the neighborhood kids did.)
I’ve not been able to find much of a paper trail for this grandmother, but there are some things that I do know through various documents. Erma R. Minnie Pittman was born 06 August 1907 in Flushing, Belmont County, Ohio to Jeremiah Mason Pittman and Sarah “Lena” Pool. She was the seventh of eight daughters and also had two younger brothers. So far, I have not found any actual birth document for her, but I have with her siblings.
Those siblings were:
Lottie Esther, born 11 October 1893, married William Dennis Gatten
Francis Estelle, born 10 February 1898, married James “Matthew” Brandon
Esther Mae, born 29 September 1899, married Carl Victor Medley
Eva Louella, born 24 October 1901, married John Orville Piatt
Lillie Van Vesse, born 05 January 1904, married Raymond Clarence McWilliams
Elma Jane, born 21 April 1906
Celesta Ann, born 21 November 1910, married Walter S. Burkhart
Raymond Mancel, born 12 June 1913, married Esther Ickes
Thurmond “George”, married Dorothy B. Unknown
In the 1930 census, we find Erma living with her husband Lloyd Albert Schrader in North Industry in Canton Township, Stark County, Ohio along with his two young sons from a former marriage, Junior and Wayne, and their infant son.
In 1940, the family is living in Plain Township, Stark County with their growing family, which now includes my father, George. Lloyd and Erma would have nine children, one of whom died as an infant. The youngest, Melvin, passed away a couple of years ago, otherwise, all of my paternal aunts and uncles are living today (with the exception of my dad’s two half brothers from Lloyd’s first marriage who have also passed away). In January of 1943, Lloyd would die leaving Erma with a house full of young children. Erma passed away 25 May 1994 and is buried at Sunset Hills Burial Park, the same cemetery as my maternal grandmother, Elsie, in essence, making them neighbors one final time.
In preparation for this post, I exported a Marriage Report from my Family Treemaker software into an Excel spreadsheet so that I could do some sorting. Initially, my plan was to figure out what month most of the marriages of my ancestors took place in. (I, also, realized at this time just how many I didn’t have.) Would it be June, the traditional wedding month? Would it be October? But then, I happened upon two marriages that took place on the same day, in the same county, within the same family – but different officiants. This information was just begging for a closer inspection…
On Thursday, 13 May 1847, while the Mexican-American War raged on against Santa Anna, a sister and a brother were being newly wed. Levi Wycuff, ninth born child of Cornelius Wycoff and Leah Critzer (and third-born son) was marrying Mary Earl and Eliza Wikoff, seventh born child (and Cornelius and Leah’s fifth daughter), was marrying David Donaldson.
David Donaldson, the son of the Rev. John Donaldson and Mildred Goodwillie, was born 05 January 1823 in Harrison County, Ohio. Eliza was born 06 June 1820. I think that it’s pretty safe to assume that since David’s father was a minister attached at one time to the Scroggsville United Presbyterian Church, that this is the reason that David and Eliza were married in this particular church. The minister who performed the ceremony was James Patterson, who followed John Donaldson as minister of the church.
The Scroggsville United Presbyterian Church is celebrating their 197th Anniversary this month (August 2015). The church, to this day, still holds weekly services. The Reverend John Donaldson was associated with at least three Presbyterian churches in Ohio.
Approximately 10 years after David and Eliza married, they made the move to Washington County, Iowa where they would settle for the remainder of their lives. David and Eliza Wycoff Donaldson both died in Washington County, Iowa. David on 11 September 1909 and Eliza on 24 January 1924. They are both buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in Washington County.
“DONALDSON, DAVID, farmer; Sec. 36; P. O. Washington; among the pioneers of this township “is the subject of this sketch, a native of Harrison county, Ohio; was born January 5, 1823, but was raised in Carroll county, that State, on a farm, and has always followed farming as an occupation; he came to this county as early as the fall of 1853, and entered land and returned to Ohio that same fall, and in 1857 came out and located on his present homestead, which now consists of 180 acres; he is justice of the peace, and has held various other offices of trust; he was married in Ohio, November 24, 1846, to Miss Louisa Wycoff; by this union they have a family of three sons and one daughter living: John A., David O, William H., and Catharine Mildred, and two deceased : Isaac, and Martha L.”
The particulars of Levi Wycuff and Mary Earl have been a bit more difficult to bring to light. My theory for this is that some families were more social than others (throughout history, of course) and that the ones that were more “sociable” would be the very ones that we find out the most information about. The quiet folks (introverts) with a small circle of friends and family are probably the ones that have just faded away into history.
Levi and Mary were married in a civil ceremony by a Justice of the Peace in Fox Township, Carroll County, Ohio, B. Boice (Boyce.) In the United States, there is no distinction made between church marriages and civil ceremonies. Both religious and civil forms of marriage carry equal weight according to the law.
Levi was born 22 November 1825 in Jefferson County, Ohio, one of the 12 children that were born to Cornelius and Leah. Mary was born 22 December 1825 in Carroll County, Ohio, the daughter of William Earl and Catherine Withrow.
Levi and Mary were married for more than forty years and had seven children:
Jane “Jennie”, born 29 March 1848, married Simon E. Paisley [*my line] and Henry C. Fried (Freed).
Leah Catherine, born 29 October 1849, married William M. Beadnell.
James Pierce, born 29 April 1852, married Minnie E. Harmon.
William “Henry”, born 4 June 1856, married Janet “Jane” Brown.
Samuel “David”, born 20 December 1858, married Bridget Hanley.
Cornelius Atwood, born 9 June 1861, never married, died young.
Thomas Ellsworth, born 8 March 1864, married Thaisa Hess.
In 1850, we find the couple living in Washington Township in Carroll County, Ohio with their two young daughters. Levi’s occupation is listed as being a farmer. I have yet to find Levi and Mary in the 1860 census even though I am like 99.8% sure that they should be in Carroll County, Ohio. I can’t even imagine why I can’t find them even using “creative” spellings of Wyckoff (or as Levi’s family writes it, “Wycuff”.) Even after attempting to go through the county page by page and line by line, I am coming up empty. All of their children from Jennie through Thomas have claimed on various documents that they were born in Carroll County, Ohio and the births of those children would cover from 1848 through 1864.
The one thing in particular that I found disturbing while trolling through those pages was the high incidence of “unoccupied” written on a line instead of a family name. Seriously. There are a bunch. In all of my years of scouring census data, I have never run across so many homes listed as unoccupied. I seemed to find the highest incidence in Fox Township. I scrolled up and looked to see who the enumerator was (or the Assistant Marshall, as it’s called there) and the name is D.H. Tolan. The only likely candidate that I found was a 25-year-old David H. Tolan living in Carrollton whose occupation is listed as “Printer” living in the household of his father, the Post Master. Seems like an intelligent enough person (with very legible handwriting), so were there really that many unoccupied homes in 1860? (I get so very side-tracked in my researching…)
The next thing that I did was to look up the historical population for Carroll County. From 1840 to 1850, the county saw a decrease in population of -2.3%. From 1850 to 1860, the population decreased by another -11.00%. And from 1860 to 1870, the population decreased by another -7.9%. Carroll County was (and still very much is) a rural farming community. Were people moving west as territories opened up for homesteading? Or were they just giving up farming and going to work in the coal mines?
In Levi’s case, it appears that he gave up farming to move to the Salineville area to work in the coal mines, because that’s where we find him and his family in the 1870 and 1880 censuses.
Levi died 22 June 1888 and Mary followed him on 25 November 1894. They are both buried in West Grove Cemetery in Jefferson County, Ohio.
As much as people think that marriage has changed in these times, it hasn’t really changed so much at all. There have always been civil ceremonies and religious ceremonies throughout the different countries and throughout the ages. It is essentially a contract between two people. Around the time of these two marriages, the mid-19th century in America, marriage was beginning to change in the fact that people were starting to marry for love, and not just out of necessity to run a household. Without any kind of record of how the day progressed for these two couple, I wonder about what that day was really like. Were these couples in love? Or did the union just seem like a good deal as they were moving into adulthood? I imagine that both women wore their best dresses (that in all probability were not white). Were those dresses black, blue, or red? Did all of the families involved – the Donaldsons, the Wyckoffs, and the Earls- meet at a central place to celebrate later in the day? Was it a nice relaxing evening in mid-May where the families took a break from the toil of farming to celebrate all together? So many questions…
I’m not supposing that I’ll ever know, but it is something to think about while trying to imagine the lives of our ancestors.
History of Washington County, Iowa: From the First White Settlements to 1908. Also Biographical Sketches of Some Prominent Citizens of the County, Volume 1Howard A. Burrell January 1, 1909, S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
The History of Washington County, Iowa: Its Cities, Towns, and C., a Biographical Directory of Its Citizens ….m, January 1, 1880, Union Historical Company
Portrait and Biographical Album of Washington County, Iowa: Containing Full Page Portraits and Biographical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens of the County, Together with Portraits and Biographies of All the Governors of Iowa, and of the Presidents of the United States, Brookhaven Press January 1, 1887, Brookhaven Press
I don’t remember exactly when it was that I purchased my first computer. I think that it was about 1992, but I wouldn’t swear to that. Perhaps ’92 was the first year that we had dial-up service with AOL. It was also somewhere around this time that I started moving my genealogy into a computer program, starting with a DOS based program that I don’t remember the name of and then moving soon to a program that Broderbund had introduced called Family Tree Maker. Technology evolves and we change right along with it, so seamlessly that at times it is difficult to remember when those changes actually happened. The only year etched into my memory as far as technology goes, is 1963. That was the year that my dad bought a color TV and when the news broke about Kennedy, my five-year-old self was sitting in front of it, and I instantly made the connection to the framed portrait of the President that was hanging on the wall in our living room.
I think that I was pretty fortunate to be able to hold a subscription to Ancestry.com since its beginning days. I was also able to keep one or two other subscriptions going at one time or another, providing me with access to old newspapers and other information. All of that changed when this month, for financial reasons, I had to let those paid subscriptions go. When a company where you’ve worked for more than 35 years closes – there is oft times a big adjustment and this has been true for me. These last few weeks, it has become quite clear to me just how much and how often I used these services and how much I miss being able to sit down, in my home, at 6am or midnight to do a bit of sleuthing. But the good thing is that there are all kinds of places on the internet to help you with advancing your family tree that are free and this is going to force me to expand my horizons a bit. Plus, I’ll still be able to access some things at the library whenever I might get the chance to spare a few hours on a Saturday.
So, as I was preparing for my next blog posting, I thought a lot about the information that was out there that I (and anyone else with access to the internet) can obtain without charge. For this post, I was able to verify 94% of the factual information against sources found online without using a paid subscription. The bulk of those references can be found at https://familysearch.org.
My great-grandmother, Florence Paisley, was born on the 15 October 1874 in Salineville, Columbiana County, Ohio to Simon Paisley and Jane “Jennie” Wycoff. Florence had two brothers and a sister who survived to adulthood. A sister, Sarah Etta, died at four months of age in 1878 and a brother, Joseph Levi, died when he was not quite two in 1884. Florence was the oldest. Her sister, Mary Catherine, who was called Mayme, was born in 1876 and she married Lewis David McConnaughy. Her brother, John Clark Paisley, was born in 1880 and married Gwendoline Lewis and her brother, Charles Elliott Paisley, born in 1885, married Jennie Myers (granddaughter of Lambert Myers and Susannah Crawford.)
When Florence was 11 years old, her father, Simon, was killed by a train. Her mother, Jennie, remarried in 1887 to Henry C. Fried, a Civil War veteran who was also widowed, his wife having passed away the year before.
On 18 June 1893, Florence, or Flora, as she was called, married Thomas John Hackathorn, the son of Jacob A. Hackathorn and Mary Amna Myers. Thomas’ oldest brother, Christian, vouched for them, but by my reckoning, instead of 20 and 26, they were 18 and 28.
Their first child, Mary Amna, was born on 28 December 1893. In June of 1895, Flora gave birth to twins, but only one, William Henry, would live past that first day. Unfortunately, William would only live until October of the next year before he too died. The cause of death was listed as indigestion, but I’m not sure what that would have really been.
Tragically, this wouldn’t be the family’s last experience with the death of a child.
Silvia Dora was born on 17 January 1902, and died 05 May 1904 from pneumonia.
Eva Lucille, who was born 14 October 1905, died on 20 November 1906 from whooping cough.
Robert Clyde, born 17 October 1915, passed away shortly after birth. Those children who lived to adulthood were:
Mary Amna, born 28 December 1893, married Charles Edward “Chad” Champion, died 21 September 1966.
Charles Clarence “Shorty”, born 27 September 1896, married Sylvia Rebecca Jolley, died 28 August 1973.
John Thomas “Jack”, born 28 September 1898, never married, died 06 October 1959.
Jennie Marie, born 26 June 1900, married Joseph Fritz Champion, died 12 July 1992.
Golda May “Goldie”, born 17 January 1904, married Frank Gritser, died 08 December 1994.
Elsie Marcella, born 01 January 1908, married David Moore, died 11 December 2002.
George Ernest, born 01 January 1910, married Ruth Reising, died 26 September 1963.
Frank Edwin “Sandy”, born 16 December 1911, married Ruth Palmer, died 11 March 1976.
Audra Lois, born 05 October 1913, married Joe Paris, died 27 August 1977.
07 May 1917, Flora went into premature labor and both she and the child, a boy, died. Her cause of death was “placenta previa” and she hemorrhaged to death. Flora had given birth to 15 babies in her short 42 years of life. She left behind six children who were under the age of 17. The oldest daughter, Mary, was a teacher and stepped in to help care for the youngest children. My grandmother was nine years old at that time.
My grandmother, Elsie, knew all but what turned out to be two of the names of my grandfather’s aunts and uncles and who all of the girls married. What she didn’t know was the name of my grandfather’s grandfather, nor did she know who his grandmother might be- but thought that her name might have been Ruth. When I began the search for my elusive Moore family, I spent hours at the library searching for Moore families in Ohio who had children with the names that my grandmother had written on the back of an envelope for me. So started the search for finding two of my maternal 2nd great-grandparents, Charles Moore and Jane Johnson.
Eventually, I did find my maternal 2nd great-grandparents on the different censuses, but that is a long and frustrating story. Once I had collected the information from the censuses from 1860 through 1910, and then tracked down each of the siblings and their families on the subsequent censuses, I felt that I had a fairly good picture of who this family was. The next task that I had set for myself was to track down when Charles and his wife, Jane, had died and where they might be buried which involved pouring through cemetery books for four counties. Why four? Because the family moved many times over the years back and forth between those counties – Jefferson, Carroll, Columbiana, and Coshocton – all in Ohio. This was no easy task when you’re dealing with Moore names like Charles, William, Thomas, and James. My initial efforts were not very successful. I then started looking for marriages and found the one for Charles and Jane in Jefferson County, Ohio dated 01 January 1852.
But probably the single best thing that I did when researching my Moores, was to send away for Charles’ Civil War pension file from The National Archives. I got the form from the library, filled out the information for his regiment, Co. G. 122nd OVI, mailed it in and waited.
And waited. And waited some more. At the time, it cost me $25.00, which I thought was an enormous sum. Now, that price is $80.00 for the first 100 pages and then, $0.70 for each page over that. Approximately five months later, I received the package in the mail with the documents. Although there are many pension files online now, the information for Charles still is not. That makes me feel pretty good though because I don’t have to feel that I would have been able to obtain them easier and cheaper if I had only had the patience to wait. And besides, who knew that we’d have so much information available to us online?
I didn’t. I can’t remember if I even had a computer then, and I was an “early adopter.” Recently, while spending a few hours on a rainy Saturday afternoon in the comfort of my home, I became frustrated because I wasn’t having any luck finding any new information…until I remembered how long it used to take me to discover one little fact during a library-a-thon or a tromp through a cemetery with two kids in tow. Yes, I realized that I had become a bit spoiled with the wealth of information that we have available at our fingertips these days.
The first paper was the “Ex-Soldier’s Pension Claim” and it revealed a lot of information that I had not known before. It told me where Charles and Jane were living in 1890 – New Somerset, Ohio. That he was born in Muskingum County, Ohio on the 12th day of March in 1824. It gave a physical description, stating that he stood 6’1/2”, and with a light complexion, dark hair, and black eyes. I was so excited!
The bulk of the papers in the packet were affidavits having do with Jane attempting to collect a widow’s pension after Charles had passed away. I realized from the signatures that a lot of these were written by family members and that they had confirmed the names that my grandmother had passed to me on the back of that envelope. Another important piece of information, that I have still found no record of anywhere else, is Jane’s date of death, 05 March 1917 – as seen in the above document. Among the affidavits was one signed off by the attending physician, B.F. Collins, M.D. and the undertaker, J.H. Paisley stating the Charles had died “from injuries received in a runaway” and the date of 8 August 1893.
Charles is buried in the cemetery of the New Somerset United Methodist Church in Jefferson County, Ohio. As a veteran, his headstone was provided by the government.
The most unexpected thing that I discovered from these papers was that Charles had been captured on 15 June 1863 at the 2nd Battle of Winchester and spent some time in Andersonville Prison. His health deteriorated rapidly there and he contracted scurvy. When he was released from Andersonville and examined by a doctor, he was given a furlough of twenty days in order to regain some health back.
And then it was back to the war. And, almost unbelievably, he was captured again in May of 1864 at the Battle of the Wilderness.
At some point in the future, I plan to write a blog post about his experiences within his time served, but am presently trying to get access to a book that was written by a man who served in the same regiment, The Civil War letters of the late 1st Lieut. James J. Hartley, 122nd Ohio Infantry Regiment. Until then, I’m (slowly) reading the official war record of the 122nd.
Charles was no spring chicken when he enlisted. He was a 38-year-old man and it is apparent that the war took a great toll on him. His health was poor after he returned home and that made it difficult for him to do manual labor.
Charles and Jane had nine children, five boys and four girls:
Wesley, born in May of 1849, married Sarah Catherine Landers, m2. Mary B. Rose.
Mary, born 25 September 1852, married 1) George W. Ossler, married 2) James C. Wallace.
Thomas, born September 1854, married Elizabeth E. Cameron.
Sarah Ann, born 14 February 1856, married John C. Duke.
Emma, born 04 July 1858, married Joseph Walker Griffith.
Charles “Tally”, born February 1859/60, married Mary Elizabeth Wilson.
James H., born 04 April 1862, married Ida L. Simpson.
Lucinda, born 04 April 1862, married Neil Liggett.
William Grant, born 01 April 1865/66, married Nancy Jane Hale. (My line.)
It should be noted that I have heard of the possibility that Wesley may have been adopted and that his original birth family may have been McClain. I have found no evidence to either support that or refute that. Wesley names his parents as Charles Moore and Jane Johnson when he marries his second wife, Rose. My grandmother had thought that, perhaps, Mary had been married to an Ott or an Orr before her marriage to James Wallace. I have not found that information either. (New information! Edited to add that the first marriage was to George W. Ossler.)
Charles’ parents (and also Jane’s) have not been proven so far. I suspect that I have found Charles’ family on the 1850 census in Jefferson County, Ohio, and there is a Charles of the correct age in that household, but I haven’t found any real proof that would link him to that head of household, Charles. Even if this family would prove, the Sarah Ann who is listed as the wife of Charles (the father) would not be the mother of my Charles because this marriage took place in June of 1846.
So, until more (pun intended) information surfaces, I am still looking into Moore and Johnson (Johnston) lineages trying to figure out who we spring from.
As I have said often, over the years, I really had not researched my paternal line with much depth. Some time had passed after I had DNA tested at Ancestry, when they introduced their DNA Circles and I had found myself plopped into a circle that I knew very little about – tracing back to a common ancestor by the name of Mary Ann Miller and her husband, my 4th great-grandfather, Simeon Breech.
I poked around a bit in the usual records of Ancestry, Family Search, and http://www.findagrave.com looking for a little more information. My curiosity was certainly piqued when I found the above tombstone of Simeon Breech. Hmm, now THAT sounds interesting! The tombstone looked fairly new and, I assumed, had replaced an old stone because the cemetery was quite old. Someone must’ve been caring for that grave. So on that particular day, I did a quick search of the newspaper sites looking for that story because there had to be one, right? No luck. Not a big deal…
I moved on to another family line of research and quite a bit of time had passed. Then while looking over weekly writing prompts, this tombstone came to mind immediately. I spent a good seven or eight hours laboriously reading through newspaper sites for anything around this date in 1849 that might shed some light on this gunfight. I also stumbled upon some information that declared that the gunfight was with a deputy, that both had died, and that half of Simeon’s body was buried in Belmont County, Ohio and half in Brown County, Indiana. Wait…what?! So this sent me searching through Indiana newspapers. Still, no luck. Sigh.
As a last resort before entirely giving up, I posted a query on a county Facebook page to see if anyone there might know of the history of Mr. Breech. And they did. Moral of this story?
“Believe nothing you hear, and only one half that you see.”
~ Edgar Allan Poe
Simeon Breech was born on 23 August 1782, to Thomas Briggs Breech and Mary Barger. He married Mary Ann Miller in Pennsylvania. They left Pennsylvania and traveling in a “one horse wagon” to Ohio, settled just south of Barnesville in Belmont County. Simeon and Mary Ann had eleven children together, the oldest being Elizabeth who was born about 1810 and is my line. Their children were:
Elizabeth, who married John Gray.
Charles J., who married Esther Calvert.
Isaac, who married Rachel Huff.
Mary, who married Benjamin Mellott.
Rebecca, who married Benjamin Moore.
And in the 1870 census of Brown County, Indiana, Simeon is alive and well and living with his daughter, Rebecca and her family…
Yes. Simeon died 04 May 1878 in Brown County, Indiana and his entire body is buried at the New Bellsville Cemetery in Pikes Peak. According to a “Breech Family History” recorded by Mary (Breech) Mellotte in 1895, her father lived to be 96 years old and that he was a temperate, moral, and kind man who taught school when he and his wife first arrived in Ohio and that he was interested in astronomy. She mentions that he read a great deal and lists some of his books which included, “Pilgrim’s Progress” and “The Life of Daniel Boone”. She notes that he was a carpenter and that he stood about 5’9’’ and had a fair complexion, light hair, and blue eyes. (Nothing at all like the Dick Dastardly type of fellow I had conjured in my head at the sight of “Killed in a Gunfight” on the tombstone!)
The story behind the tombstone? I don’t know, perhaps something misunderstood from old family stories. I won’t be pursuing the reason why it was placed. But, if nothing else, this is certainly a lesson learned for me.
I have a lot of “brick walls”. Don’t we all? I have a handful of ones that are driving me to the point of insanity and I keep revisiting them, over and over and over and over…
My 4th great-grandfather, Silas Myers, and his wife, Catherine Eades, are one of those brick walls that I keep banging my head against. There just has to be a way to positively document who their children were and to move back in time beyond this couple. There are plenty of researchers that have been looking into these two for years. So…it’s not from a lack of interest from the descendants nor a lack of determination that the particulars of this family have been so elusive. Thanks, in part, to DNA testing, many of us have found each other and are puzzling this out together. This gives me hope that one of us will have a break-through in this line sometime soon.
For this post, I’d like to lay out a lot of everything that I think that I know about these two in the hope that there are others out there, somewhere, to make connections to. If you think this is a part of your family, please, comment and let’s compare notes. You Myers researchers that are out there, don’t hesitate to correct me if I’ve got something wrong here. After 30 years of looking at these two, my notes are, quite frankly, a mess!
What we do know for sure, is that Silas Myers and Catherine Eades were married 06 March 1806 in Columbiana County, Ohio. We don’t know who the parents of Silas or Catherine are and there are no obvious candidates in the Columbiana County, Ohio area appearing about the same time as Silas and Catherine do. We’re looking at Silas being born about 1788 in Virginia and Catherine being born about 1790, also in Virginia.
Acting on a hint from a fellow Myers researcher, I looked at two names of Eades persons who were married in Columbiana County near to the timeframe when Silas and Catherine married.
Nancy Eades married Thomas Cross 15 Feb 1810.
James Eades married Phebe Whitacre 12 February 1812.
I found that it was difficult to trace Nancy and Thomas Cross, only finding that they had at least one son, James, born about 1820 and that he married (at age 70) to one Mary Oesberger on 21 August 1890 in Van Buren County, Michigan, and that’s about it.
James Eades also proved difficult to find, at first, until I realized that he was appearing on censuses as James “Ades”. Consistently. That gave me pause because I had always pronounced Eades (in my head) with a long “e” sound, not a long “a” sound, but I can see quite clearly how that might also be a pronunciation of Eades. Or we could just be dealing with the whim of whoever was writing the names both on the census and in the marriage register. I haven’t found any documents that James might have signed, yet. James and Phebe had at least seven children that I have identified and I noticed that they had a daughter named Nancy, and a daughter named Catherine, and, possibly, a son named James.
The most interesting thing about James is that he had a sister by the name of Linna (very important) and that she married, yes, Phebe’s brother, Cornelius Whitacre on 20 Dec 1811 in Columbiana County. Her last name is spelled as Ades in the record. Both Cornelius and Linna Whitacre are buried in the Cool Springs Cemetery in Columbiana County. It is associated with the West Fairfield Friends Meeting. Both of these families have been identified as living in Virginia previously, Loudoun and Frederick counties, and the Whitacres seem to be associated with several Quaker Meetings. Because I didn’t find Catherine Eades as a sibling to James (nor Miss Nancy, who married Thomas Cross), I’m looking to see if I can find a cousin connection by pouring through Quaker Meeting records. I think this is going to take a bit of a while. I am not familiar, at all, with looking at these records.
I found another item of interest in a family genealogy booklet by the name of History of Cornelius Whitacre and Linna Ades Whitacre & Their Descendants, July, 1916; written by M. Jeanette Haley.
Another clue! Perhaps. At present, I am looking into trying to find some Baptist church records in the vicinity of Loudoun County, Virginia. If this Ades family turns out to not be connected to my Eades family, it won’t be the first time that I’ve taken a wrong turn in trying to flush a family out. The things that I keep in mind are that, for one thing, it gives me experience in researching other types of records that I might not have explored. And for another, at least I’ll know what I’m not looking for and I can close that avenue for that line. I’ve found family in stranger ways.
So back to Silas, we know that he bought land in Columbiana County 27 Oct 1804 because we have Ohio Land Grant records. Notice that he is listed as being from Columbiana County (CB).
Notice, also, that listed just above Silas is the name, Lambert Myers. Lambert is also the name of Silas and Catherine’s firstborn son (that we know of) and is my line, my 3rd great-grandfather. This Lambert Myers who bought land in 1811 in Columbiana County has been giving me fits for more than 30 years. In my head, I felt that there was surely going to be something linking him and Silas together, but so far, there has not been. Note that the record lists him as being from Loudoun County, Virginia (LO). This Lambert married Mary Eveland in Loudoun County, Virginia and, among other children, had a son Lambert about 1812.
Lambert (from Virginia) had a brother Jonathan, who paid the taxes on the land that Lambert bought in Ohio, but unlike Lambert, actually lived there also. Right down the road from our Myers’. Jonathan also had a son named Lambert, born about 1811. People confuse Jonathan’s Lambert and Silas’ Lambert a lot. And sometimes, even manage to give (Virginia) Lambert the death date and place of Jonathan’s Lambert. But…I digress, and we’ve not even touched on the Mahlons in Virginia or how a bunch of these families are related to the Schooley family. So, no connection has been made to these Myers families yet that might say that they’re kin. But I’m hanging on to my notes because these are Quaker families also.
Another thing we know about Silas, for sure, is that he served in the War of 1812, 2nd Regiment Hindman’s Ohio Militia. The above is the only paper that I’ve found relating to his military service.
It, also, appears that Silas did not leave a will because one has not been found yet. So we are left to try to piece together who the children of Silas and Catherine are. When I first started this family history journey, I knew of my third great-grandfather, Lambert, and that he had a brother, Mahlon. After coming into contact with others researching the same family, I’ve been trying to come up with likely candidates to be Lambert’s siblings using census records, proximity, migration, and naming patterns. Now, we also have the added information that we can deduce from looking at DNA matches. While most of this DNA information won’t tell us with certainty who the child of who is, what it can tell us is that we are related, and can help us to verify the paper trail.
Following is a list of who I think that those children are. I think that my list might differ some from others’ in some ways, but I feel comfortable with this one (birth dates may be approximate):
3. Mahlon (1813-1869) married Rebecca Hackathorn 1837, married Elizabeth Partlow 1856.
4. *Elizabeth (1815-1848) married Lewis W. Clark 1839.
5. Linnea (1816-1900) married John Heston 1837, Married Henry Criss 1852.
6. Sarah “Sally” (1820-1898) married Ebenezer (Eber or Eben) Clark 1839.
7. Nancy M. (1823-1920) married Emmor (Emmar) Clark 1844.
8. Mordecai (1828-1913) married Miriam Emmons 1851.
9. **James Andrew (1832-1919) married Clarissa Spencer 1858.
* Elizabeth marrying Lewis Clark is the newest bit of information that I’ve stumbled upon. I have had the name Eliza listed as a child of Silas and Catherine for years, but never made the connection to this marriage until last week. Please keep in mind throughout this post that, in the absence of proof of these relationships, what is being done is to try to reconstruct likely scenarios. I have a book of Carroll County, Ohio Early Marriages from 1833 to 1849 and have skipped over this piece of information for years. After learning of Nancy and Sally Clark’s husbands, it jumped right off of the page at me. It makes total sense since Lewis is a brother to Eber and Emmar.
The Clark family lived right next door to Christian Hackathorn and Catherine Phillis, parents of Rebecca Hackathorn who married Mahlon Myers. If this relationship doesn’t prove out, I will be greatly surprised. Elizabeth and Lewis had two children. A daughter, Nancy, born in 1844 and a son, Eber, born in 1847. Elizabeth died 11 June 1848 and her daughter, Nancy, 5 days later. They are both buried in Upper Glade Run Cemetery. The 1850 census finds Lewis living in his brother Emmar’s household in East Township, Carroll County and his son, Eber, living down the road in the household of one Elizabeth Reed, along with her children, Amos and Hannah. Who was Elizabeth Reed? It turns out that she was Elizabeth Edwards, daughter of John Edwards and Hannah Whitacre. Yes. She’s the sister of Cornelius and Phebe, who married into the Ades family.
And what does all of this prove? Nothing. These instances could all be huge coincidences, but I like to compare it to a bunch of jigsaw puzzle pieces that look pretty much the same and after trying diligently to make them fit – realize that the pieces might belong in another box.
** James Andrew. The general consensus amongst most of the Myers researchers that I am in contact with is that Mordecai is the youngest child of Silas and Catherine and that James is a grandson. But for me personally, I feel that I need to keep him on the list as belonging to Silas and Catherine. If our estimates of Catherine’s birth date are close to correct, she would have still been at childbearing age with James perhaps being a “menopause baby.” The parents on James’ death certificate are listed as “Unknown.”
In the above snippet from the 1850 census. We find James with Catherine and Silas and, also, a Mary, aged seven, which would make her date of birth about 1843. We pretty much all agree that Mary is a grandchild, but who did she spring from? In the above example, we also see Mahlon and Lambert and their families. Both of the Marys belonging to them are accounted for. Linnea had a Mary who was born about 1831, but she would have been a Heston. It seems as if Nancy had a Mary or Marianne, but I don’t have a date of birth for her and she would have been a Clark. It appears that Nancy’s firstborn was born in 1846- and was a son. Mordecai had a Mary born in 1852 and James had a Mary born in 1862. So who does this Mary belong to? I have had an uneasy feeling that we might be missing a child (or children) of Catherine and Silas only because of the fact that they were married in 1806 and the first child that we know of, Lambert, wasn’t born until around 1811. Realizing that infant mortality rates were high during the early 19th century, that fact didn’t bother me too much until I started trying to place Mary somewhere into a known family.
After the 1850 census, the Myers family started to spread out. Silas & Catherine and others of the family traveled down to Meigs County, Ohio to take up residence. Some went over to East Liverpool, Ohio, some went out west, and others didn’t stray too far from where they were born. I ran across a 1905 local history concerning the San Joaquin Valley out in California and found an entry for Mahlon’s daughter, Mary, where it was mentioned that her grandfather, Silas “was at one time a planter and owned slaves, but being opposed to the bondage of the negro he removed to Ohio, where he freed his slaves.” So far, I have not found Silas in a single document anywhere in Virginia, although I’m certain that there are possibilities that I have not researched yet.
There is other evidence that has surfaced from Linnea’s descendants, that Catherine Eades parents were Cyrus Eades and a Mary, or perhaps, Mary Sophia, or vice-versa. This comes in the form of handwritten notes in an old account book. This account also mentions that they came from Wales because they were being persecuted for their religion and that they arrived the same year as William Tell. I’m pretty sure that they meant William Penn. William Penn arrived at New Castle, Delaware on 27 October 1682. If the reference to William Penn is correct, and understand that I am a poor math student, then I’m figuring that Cyrus and Mary (or Sophia) are a few generations back from being the parents of Catherine, perhaps great-grandparents. Or that Cyrus and Mary could be Catherine’s parents, but that their families arrived around 1682.
I always take a family’s history, published or not, with a grain of salt unless there are documents to back information up. They usually provide good clues, but I have found many things mistakenly written about members that just didn’t prove out to be true. Sometimes, it’s difficult to separate the fact from the fiction. Which is, after all, what we’re trying to do here.
Silas and Catherine both passed away in Meigs County, Ohio in the year 1875. Catherine on January 15th and Silas on May 11th. I do not know where either one are buried, but I assume them to be in the Chester/Pomeroy area. I’m expecting that at some point, the stories of Silas and Catherine and their origins will come to light because we’re not really dealing with ancient history.
In the meantime, I’ll just keep trying to put this puzzle together…