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):
1. Lambert (1811-1895) married Susannah Crawford 1830.
2. David (1812- ) married Margaret Crawford 1828.
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…
This is my Week #19 post for Amy Johnson Crow’s
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The optional theme for week 19 was “There’s a Way”.
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