New records appear on-line regularly, so revisiting ancestors often uncovers bits of gold. Considering the new probate records available on Ancestry.com, I decided to take a break from my “should dos” and plug in some names to see what might be new.
First—a little clarification. My grandfather, Justus Leonice Croy, whom I never met, married my grandmother, Mary Elizabeth Ison, a woman for whom I hold just a few very special memories. (More regarding them here.) Grandmother’s parents were Gabriel Ison and Gillie (Gillian) Virginia Morriss (Morris, Morrison).[i] I write this post specifically regarding Gabriel Ison’s father, Schuyler Sterling Ison and mother, Mary Ann Overstreet. [ii]
Why? In my search, I found Schuyler’s probate records![iii] The single page application lists the names of each child and his/her residence:
- James W Ison, administrator of the estate, residence Bates County, Missouri
- Mildred Robinson of Bates Cty, MO
- Heirs [not listed] of William Ison dec. of Magoupin [Macoupin] Cty, Illinois
- Jane Ison of Bates Cty, MO
- Elizabeth Ison of Bates Cty, MO
- Jasper Ison of Bates Cty, MO
- Gabril [Gabriel] Ison of Bates Cty, MO
- Heirs[not listed] of Emma Parrine dec. of Magoupin [Macoupin], Illinois
- Ulisses [Ulysses] Ison of Bates Cty, MO
Schuyler’s wife is listed as Mary Ison. He had no will and the probate application was dated 28 February 1883. Findagrave shows his death date as 24 February 1883.
So what does this clear up, or not?
- First, it defines precisely the names of all children and the married names of two daughters. The Federal Census, 1880, Summit Twp, Bates County, Missouri[iv] lists Mildred as an Ison and includes five more children listed as his sons and daughters, Nora, F, age 14; Floyd, M, age 11; Schuyler, M, age 9: Dora, F, age 5; Viola, F, age 2. It always seemed suspicious since Schuler and Mary were 62 and 59 respectively at the time, but…now we know they were not their children.
- So whose children were they? I had long ago checked the Ison boys given the children were listed as Ison. This time I rechecked the married surnames of the daughters listed in probate. Under James Henry ROBERTSON [not Robinson] in the 1870 census,[v] I found Mildred with children SoNORA and James in Grand River Twp, Bates Cty, Mo. While I had this record in my files, I could now confirm the relationship. I found James Henry Robertson in Findagrave where his death certification is included along with a wealth of added information including Mildred’s second marriage to Stephen S. Varns, 22 May 1884.
- I was unable to find any children or father of Emma Ison Parrine.
And THEN! I figured I’d check to see if Mary Ison had a probate record. No luck, but I found an 1895 Plat Map showing exactly where Mary Ison’s land was in Bates County, MO. Here is a detail of a colored version available through the Missouri State Historical Society…Sections 18 and 19 of Twp 40, Range 30, Summit Township. Gabe Ison is listed here; first I’ve seen the nickname though I suspected it. (Conrad Grape-husband of Elizabeth, Frank Cuddeback-husband of Sonora, Mildred Varnes, U.S. Ison, and Jasper Ison are all family mentioned above.)
So keep looking, keep wondering, and trying new avenues of discovery. You never know what you might find.