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Seven Brothers and the War of Rebellion: Part Six

Maj. Gen. Slocum and staff and army of Georgia passing in review by Mathew Brady

Maj. Gen. Slocum and staff and Army of Georgia passing in review
by Mathew Brady

So what happened to the four brothers serving in the 92nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Company G, after Missionary Ridge? Greer Croy labored in the 36th under Sheridan in the Shenandoah Valley. Nathan and Calvin, in the 148th, protected the Capital. (see previous post)

Under Sherman, the 92nd would move south. Sherman, promoted by Grant, took command of a “Division of the Mississippi” and, in turn, promoted Major General George H. Thomas, who had distinguished himself in the Chattanooga campaign, to lead the Army of the Cumberland. The taking of Atlanta became their first mission.

Assigned to Thomas, the 92nd moved against Johnston and Hood in the drive to take Atlanta, Georgia. Joining with the Army of the Tennessee and the Army of Ohio, they took the center. Later Grant referred to the battles and consequent siege of Atlanta as a “120 day continuous battle.”

During the day and night of September 1-2 of 1864, Hood evacuated Atlanta. He headed north, hoping to join up with Lee. Rather than follow in mass, Sherman divided up the forces of Thomas’ Army of the Cumberland. Half would go after Hood with Thomas. The rest would head south, supporting Sherman’s mission to cut the South’s supply route. The 92nd went south.

The 92nd OVI again acquired new leadership. They now served under Major General Jefferson Columbus Davis in the 14th Army Corp. They marched under General H.W. Slocum and would man the left wing of Sherman’s March to the Sea. But first they would decimate Atlanta’s infrastructure including railroads and manufacturing. They protected churches and hospitals from destruction.

On November 15, 1864, they headed for Savannah. Most records show that Slocum’s Army of Georgia, taking the left flank, saw little opposition and less fighting. As with so much of the boy’s Civil War service, the exactly role of Robert, William, Duncan, and David Croy in this controversial march remains unknown.

“They had enjoyed a fine march, having had but little resistance. The stories of the mock Legislature at the State capital, of the luxurious supplies enjoyed all along, and of the constant fun and pranks of “Sherman’s bummers,” rather belonged to that route than ours.” Major General of the Army of the Tennessee, Oliver O. Howard[i]
Sherman's Army removing ammunition from Fort McAllister in Savannah by Samuel A. Cooley

Sherman’s Army removing ammunition from Fort McAllister in Savannah by Samuel A. Cooley

On December 21, 1864, after an 11-day siege, Sherman’s army marched into Savannah. The troops again busied themselves either destroying or confiscating the city’s resources. Meanwhile, the ranks needed replenishing. New volunteers came south over a rough and circuitous route. One of the new members traveling to join up with 92nd, Company G was Calvin Croy.[ii]

Again taking the left flank, Slocum’s army moved north following Confederate General Johnston. At Bentonville, North Carolina, on March 19, 1864, the Confederate forces doubled back, surprising them. They fought through the night and nearly lost their position. In the end, Sherman sent reinforcements and Johnston retreated. They joined forces in Goldsboro and Sherman honored Slocum’s army with its official title, “Army of Georgia.”

On the way to Raleigh, on April 12, 1865, Sherman issued a major message. Lee had surrendered at Appomattox! Image the celebration of the five Croy brothers left in the war. Image the joy in Fairfield Township where their wives, children, parents, and brothers waited, one who was recovering from war wounds. The words of Major General Slocum, written some 20 years after the event, might capture the emotion.

“Thoughts of meeting wives, children, and friends from whom they had been so long separated by the bloody struggle, occupied the minds of all. A happier body of men never before surrounded their campfires than were to be found along the roads leading to Raleigh.”[iii]

Then another event required a second message from Sherman. On the way to negotiate the surrender of Johnston, he learned of the assassination of President Lincoln. Under this veil of sorrow, the troops marched to Washington, D.C., burying soldiers left from earlier battles on the way.

The five Croy brothers participated in the Grand Review on May 24, 1865, the last great event of the war. In Slocum’s words, it was not the cavalry or mounted generals that won the greatest applause, but the rank and file soldiers, lovingly called “bummers,” who earned the audience’s greatest admiration.

“At the review the men appeared “in their native ugliness” as they appeared on the march through Georgia and the Carolinas. Their pack- mules and horses, with rope bridles or halters, laden with supplies such as they had carried on the march, formed part of the column.” [iv]

Next post: The aftermath

Note: Excellent resource with many primary sources http://www.armyofgeorgia.com

[i] Howard, Oliver O., Major-General, United States Army, Shermans advance from Atlanta. In Battles and Leaders of the Civil War, Vol. 4, Century Magazine, New York: Thomas Yoseloff, Inc., 1887, 663-666. (quote from P 164)
http://www.armyofgeorgia.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderfiles/howard_shermans_advance.pdf
[ii] NARA. U.S., Civil War Pension Index: General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934 (Ancestry.com) T288_105, also Martin R. Andrews, edited and compiled, History of Marietta and Washington county, Ohio and representative citizens, Vol. 1 (Biographical Pub. Co., Chicago, 1902) pg 755-756 https://openlibrary.org/books/OL6573096M (Includes interesting accounts of each Ohio regiments service from the perspective of the late 1800’s.)
[iii] Slocum, H. W., Major-General, United States Volunteers. Final operations of Shermans Army. In Battles and Leaders of the Civil War, Vol. 4, Century Magazine, New York: Thomas Yoseloff, Inc., 1887, 754-758. (quote from p 755) http://www.armyofgeorgia.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderfiles/slocum_final_operations.pdf
[iv] Ibid quote from p 758

Missouri Bound Part Four: The Tschudi/Judy Family

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United States 1819

The United States in about 1819, the same time Mary Judy and Isaac Ely moved from Kentucky to Missouri Territory.

In the last three posts, I discussed the lineage of Gillian Virginia Morris(s), my Great-great-grandmother on my grandmother’s side, including the migration of that lineage from Virginia and Kentucky to Missouri. Her parents, grandparents, and her great-grandparents on her mother’s side would call Missouri home.

 

As review:

In Part I. I provided extensive information on the Salling (Sally, Salley) family who settled in Rockbridge County, Virginia. I included evidence to support the correction of an error in the parentage of Malinda Salling, mother to Peter Philander Morris, Gillian’s father.

Part II. I detailed my attempt to determine the parentage of Thomas H. Morris(s), Gilllian’s grandfather, who also lived in Rockbridge County, Virginia. The results were inconclusive. His parentage remains a brick-wall.

Part III. I documented the Ely family who came to America in the 1700’s and settled along the Cacapehon River in what would be Hampshire County, West Virginia. I provided evidence of the movement of son of Isaac Ely, Sr., Benjamin Ely, and his family, to Clark County, Kentucky, as well as proof of the Clark County marriage of his son Isaac Ely and Mary Judy. They were Gillian’s great-grandparents.

Now, what about the Judy family?

The surname “Judy” is of Swiss origin and was originally spelled Tschudi (Tschudy). The spelling morphed into “Judy” and “Judah” soon after the family arrived in America. Four men with the Tschudi name came to Philadelphia between 1740 and 1770. They included: Mardin Tschudi in 1738; Martin Tschudi in 1749, settling in Hampshire County, WV; Weinbert Tschudi in 1752.[i]

Then, my ancestor, Martin Tschudi, in the company of a Martin Nicholas Tschudi and Johann Tschudi, sailed from Rotterdam on The Sally and, after a stop in Cowes, England, disembarked on November 10, 1767.[ii] It is possible all four Tschudi’s were related. They all came from the Canton of Basel in Switzerland and many given names were the same.[iii]

According to the Lists of Swiss Emigrants in the Eighteenth Century to the American Colonies, he arrived with wife Anna Boni and children, Johannes, Martin, Elisabeth, and Anna.[iv] A son, Jacob Judy, was born September 18, 1767, this according to information in Find-a-Grave, which would indicate he was born on the ship. Afterward, Martin and Anna had three more known children: Winepark (Weinbert), David, and Samuel.[v] Some say there was one more daughter, a Nancy but the evidence is, so far, scant.

While numerous records for a Martin Tschudi exist, there is no clear evidence of where the family resided before 1791 in Bourbon County, Kentucky.[vi] The name was common and there were at least six of that name in America in those early years. Family lore abounds regarding the “Trek” to Kentucky, but I have found little definitive evidence to support it.

The 1800, Clark County, Kentucky tax list includes Martin Sr. and his sons David, John J, Martin Jr., Samuel, and Winepack (Weinbert).[vii] So between 1767 and 1800, the family, excluding John,[viii] had settled in Clark County, Kentucky. By then Martin Jr., Mary Judy’s father, had married Elizabeth Judy. While proven in a probate record,[ix] I’ve found no marriage record.

Family Lore says she was Martin’s first cousin, but I’ve found no proof. Of various suppositions I’ve found, the most likely candidate for Elizabeth’s father is Weinbert Tschudi who arrived in Pennsylvania fifteen years before Martin., or could be the Johann Tschudi who arrived with Martin. Some have linked her to a Johannes (John) and Maria Shaffner Judy from Fort Pitt in Pennsylvania, but Lancaster, PA, Mennonite Vital Records for a couple with the same names show them married in 1808, much too late to be Elizabeth’s parents. Some family historians indicate the father of Martin Sr. in Switzerland was the one who married a cousin. I mention all this speculation because it is floating out there as fact, so I wanted the reader to be aware of it. If anyone has validating information I would love to see it!

Regardless, Martin Jr. and Elizabeth Judy had a daughter, Mary (Polly) Judy. She married Isaac Ely, in 1798, and by 1820, they had moved to Missouri.

Like an extended Abbott and Costello skit, let’s play the game of Who’s On First, only our game is Who’s in Missouri.

  • Mary (Polly) Judy and Isaac Ely arrived in Ralls County, Missouri by 1824, more likely by 1819 when Isaac’s father Benjamin is recorded as arriving.[x]
  • Malinda Salling and Thomas H. Morris(s) are in Chariton County, Missouri, by 1849.[xi]

Now for one more piece of the Who’s in Missouri puzzle: Part Five of the Missouri posts—The Utterback Family.

 Map courtesy of Library of Congress; A new and elegent general atlas, containing maps of each of the United States; Baltimore : Fielding Lucas, [1817?]
[i] Strassburger; Pennsylvania German Pioneers, Vol 1, 1727-1775; Genealogical Publishing Company; Find My Past; pages 249, 391, 507
[ii] Ibid. pg. 738
[iii] Faust, A.B. & Brumbaugh, Gaiius. Lists of Swiss emigrants in the Eighteenth Century to the American Colonies, Vol. 2. Washington, D.C.: the National Genealogical Society, 1925. Reprinted by Genealogical Publishing co., Baltimore, 1976.
[iv] Ibid. pg. 243
[v] Various Find-a-grave resources for cemeteries in Clark County, Kentucky
[vi] Ancestry.com. Kentucky, Compiled Census and Census Substitutes Index, 1810-1890 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 1999. Original data: Jackson, Ron V., Accelerated Indexing Systems, comp.. Kentucky Census, 1810-1890. Compiled and digitized by Mr. Jackson and AIS from microfilmed schedules of the U.S. Federal Decennial Census, territorial/state censuses, and/or census substitutes.
[vii] Ancestry.com. Kentucky, Tax Lists, 1799-1801, original from: Clift, G. Glenn. Second Census of Kentucky, 1800. Baltimore, MD, USA: Genealogical Publishing Co.
[viii] No definitive record until 1820 census and Find-a-grave Greene County, Ohio
[ix] Heirs of Martin Judy; Ralls county Court House, pg. 537-538; probate 15 May 1838; transcribed by N.L. Moore.
[x] Documentation to come soon, in a separate post.
[xi] Documentation provided in Part II of the Missouri posts

Missouri Bound: Out of Rockbridge County, Virginia Part I

salling-estate-newspaper-article

I was Just Plain Wrong

In my New Year’s quest to review all my family records for accuracy, I turned to my grandmother, Mary Elizabeth Ison’s ancestry. Her parents Gabriel Ison and Gillian (Gillie) Virginia Morris(s) married in Missouri.[i] Gillie was the daughter of Peter Philander Morris and Elizabeth Ely.[ii] I’ll delve into the Ison, Morris, and Ely family history and how they came to Missouri in later posts. This is just Part I of my efforts to rectifying any abuses of the following rules of genealogical research:

  1. Never rely on another researcher’s family tree without looking for documentation.
  2. Always back-up your work with documentation or a triangulated proof.
  3. Use “Find-a-grave” for information on photographed and marked graves only. Otherwise refer to #1.

Gillie’s father Peter Philander Morris was the son of Thomas H. Morris and Malinda Salling.[iii] In previous posts I stated Malinda’s father to be George Salling, right family wrong sibling. This post repairs that error and provides just a smattering of amazing information I’ve discovered as I researched her ancestry.

Malinda Salling was born to Peter Salling and Rebecca Holms[iv] on March 19, 1803 (ca).[v] How do I know this? Because I just finished analyzing 1,126 pages of Chancery documents available at the Library of Virginia website.

An aside: I find Chancery documents in which inheritance issues, often complex, are ironed out, often over extended periods of time to be the genealogical mother lode. If you have any Virginia ancestors, check out this site. http://www.lva.virginia.gov/chancery/?_ga=1.224291475.920046502.1485978183

Let’s Start at the Beginning with the Patriarch: John Peter Salling

John Peter Salling arrived in Pennsylvania in 1733 with wife Anna Maria Vollmar and children Elizabeth and Anna Catharina. [vi] On 14 November 1735, he filed a warrant for 250 acres of land on Conestoga Creek in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.[vii]

Then: “In the year 1740, I came from Pennsylvania to the part of Orange County now called Augusta; and settled in a fork of the James River close under the Blue Ridge Mountains of the West side, where I now live.”[viii]

This passage comes from John Peter’s recollections of his capture by Indians, his transfer into the hands of the French, and his eventual recovery by the British Navy and his return to “Charles Town.” (For more on his crazy adventure go to the link cited in endnotes.) An Index of his will names one son besides the daughters who came from Northern Alsace (Germany) with him, that son is George Adam Salling.[ix]

The Family of George Adam Salling

From the Chancery Document of Augusta County, Virginia, we know that George Adam Salling of Orange County, North Carolina bought and transferred a warrant for 200+ acres to George Salling on the first bend of the James River.[x] Biographical information in A History of Rockbridge County says George Adam moved to North Carolina about 1760. He must have returned to Rockbridge or was simply cleaning up old warrants, as his will is recorded in August County (the land in what would be Rockbridge County, VA). It provides for the same 200+ acres for George and is “proved” 1 June 1789, about a year after George Adam Sallings death.

The Chancery records include an incomplete copy of the will of George Adam Salling, 1788. It lists his male offspring: Henry, Peter, and George. He leaves use of the meadow and the house to his wife Hannah along with the use of Henry’s portion of the plantation until he reaches maturity. He declares that the plantation at the fork of the James and North Rivers with three hundred sixty odd acres and meadow be divided equally between sons Henry and Peter (the quality of the division the reason for the dispute). He gives two hundred twenty acres to son George. With wife Hannah to “support that part of my unmarried children who may chuse to continue with her and likewise to give them the necessary schooling.”[xi]

The above statement indicates additional children. Virginia marriage bonds are family affairs, often listing the parentage of both bride and groom. I was able to add Magdalen, Elizabeth, Peggy, and Hannah.[xii] George Salling who married Matilda 19 January 1791 and moved to Gate City, Scott county, Virginia between 1810 and 1820. (This is the George I incorrectly designated as Malinda’s father.)

Thanks to the extraordinary effort of Marilyn Headley and Angela Ruley. They digitalized the Rockbridge County Marriage Bonds, 1778-1801. A great resource, http://www.usgwarchives.net/va/rockbridge/license.html

The Children of Henry and Peter Salling

For this portion, let me introduce you to Peter A. Salling, the son of Peter Salling, and he had a mission: to acquire the whole of the estate of George Salling. He and his wife, Aurelia Paxton had no children aside from Aurelia’s neice whom they adopted. It seems tradition was important to Peter A., so he left his substantial estate to his namesake nephew, Peter A. Salling.

rockbridge-county-detailThe “Mrs Salling” at the Fork of the James and North River is Aurelia, the last owner of the Salling Plantation.

The ins and outs of his complicated acquisitions and the dispersals at his and Aurelia’s death led to four separate Chancery filings over fifty years. From these records we know:

  • Henry Salling (of George) married Lucy and had children: Lucy, Mary Polly, Hannah, Magdalene, George Jackson, Lavinia, Henry, and Benjamin. Henry died in 1834.[xiii]
  • Peter Salling (of George) married Rebecca Holms and had children: John, Rebecca wife of William Harrison, Malinda wife of Thomas H Morris (Happy Dance!), and Mary Ann deceased who had children by a Goodwin (George W., Harriet wife of William Wasky, Peter A (the namesake), Robert B, John, and Rebecca wife of David Ely who died after her Grandfather Peter who died in 1839[xiv]

As you can imagine, the 1, 126 pages of information holds gems galore. One page of interest lists the names of Negros to be distributed to the heirs as exchange for their share of plantation land. Thomas H. Morris, Malinda’s husband, took his share in slaves.[xv] slave-dist-morrisInsights into farming, husbandry, life in Texas, and changes brought by the Civil War comes to life in these pages. I can only say—again—if you have any ancestors in Virginia and know the county of origin, check out the Library of Virginia.

Next week: Thomas H. Morris and who moved to Missouri…

[i] Marriage License of Gabriel Ison and Gillian Morris Ancestry.com. Missouri, Marriage Records, 1805-2002 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2007. Original data: Missouri Marriage Records. Jefferson City, MO, USA: Missouri State Archives. Microfilm.
[ii] Census record of Peter P. Morris Year: 1870; Census Place: Township 55 Range 19, Chariton, Missouri; Roll: M593_768; Page: 362B; Image: 63785; Family History Library Film: 552267 Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.
[iii] Peter Philander Morris Death Certificate #9537 (T.H. Morris and Malinda Salling parents)
[iv] Peter Salling/Rebecca Holms marriage bond 9 April 1787, Rockbridge County Marriage Bonds, 1778-1801, digitalized at http://www.usgwarchives.net/va/rockbridge/license.html
[v] Malinda H. Morris Find A Grave Memorial# 37019534, Brunswick City Cemetery, Brunswick Township, Chariton County, Missouri.
[vi] Burgert, Annette K. Eighteenth Century emigrants from the Northern Alsace to America. Camden, ME: Picton Press, 1992. Pg. 416; Ancestry. Com. U.S. and Canada, Passenger and Immigration Lists Index.
[vii] Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Land Warrants and Applications, 1733-1952 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.Original data: Warrant Applications, 1733-1952. Harrisburg, PA: Pennsylvania State Archives.
[viii] The Journal of John Peter Salling, transcribed by L.S. Workman from The Annals of an American Family by E. Wadell http://files.usgwarchives.net/va/augusta/misc/m-sal01.txt
[ix] Ancestry.com. Virginia, Land, Marriage, and Probate Records, 1639-1850. Orignial data: Chalkley, Lyman. Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish Settlement in Virginia, 1745-1800. Extracted from the Original Court Records of Augusta County. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1965. Originally published in 1912. NOTE: I did not find this record in the Library of Virginia Chancery Records.
[x] Index # 1818-104, Augusta Co. Henry Salling vs. Peter Salling. Library of Virginia Digital Collection: Chancery Record Index, pg. 68.
[xi] Ibid. pg 27.
[xii] Rockbridge County Marriage Bonds, 1778-1801. All found under “M”
[xiii] Index # 1840-028, Rockbridge Co. Peter A. Salling vs. heirs of Henry Salling. Library of Virginia Digital Collection: Chancery Record Index, pg. 3.
[xiv] Index # 1841-019, Rockbridge Co. John Salling vs. heirs of Peter Salling. Library of Virginia Digital Collection: Chancery Record Index.
[xv] Ibid pg 27

Editing Your Writing–Six Tips

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edit writing

I prefer marking up a print copy for steps 3 and 4. Transferring the corrections to my computer adds another layer of scrutiny.

Whether you’re writing a family history, a journal essay, a cookbook, or the Great American Novel, editing looms as perhaps the most essential and difficult part of the process. I’m in the midst of editing two manuscripts. I don’t recommend it. On the other hand, it spurred some reflection regarding the task. I’ve edited grants and documents (in my previous life as an educator), personal family stories, genealogies for extended family, my blog, and two fiction novels. I’ve tackled each with varying degrees of intensity and understanding, and I’m getting better. Here are my thoughts so far, built on trial and a lot of error.

  1. Plan your work. Oh no, it’s the old debate about whether to write seat of your pants or from an outlined. Of course, some free spirited innovation, some inspiration from the ethers, is essential. But, while you might not want a hyper-detailed outline of your impending project, do block out the task just a Detours occur, but your work will appreciate the planning.
  2. Edit as you go. However you divide your writing task (by scene, section, generation, recipe), take time to read it through out loud. If you are lucky enough, like me, to have a small group of like-minded souls with whom you feel safe, read it to them. Take everything they say home with you, reflect on their input, and edit your work (or not, but get humble or you’ll toss out feedback when you shouldn’t.)
  3. When you finish the project, reread the whole thing for continuity, consistency, accuracy, rhythm and flow. For a longer piece, you might want to do this at the halfway mark or some other point along the way. You may opt to read it more than once and concentrate on one or two items at a time.
    1. Continuity–Does the piece move naturally from one point, scene, conclusion, plot point to the next? Does it make sense? Are descriptions or scenes with multiple people, places, or actions confusing? Are the pronouns clearly pointing to the right person, place or thing? Are there holes in the story or research?
    2. Consistency­– Is the narration in each scene consistently present or past tense? Is each scene from a single point of view, with no head hopping? Is it the best point of view? Are all dates, people, places consistent? (For example: Is it Andy or Andrew or both? Is his hair always brown? Is the date 1 May 1850 or May 1, 1850? Do you turn right to the hospital one moment and left the next.)
    3. Accuracy–If it is a research paper, can you reference every claim? If writing a cookbook, then is it a teaspoon or a tablespoon? It makes a big difference in a recipe; trust me. In fiction, is the world you create accurate? (For example: Is the moon rising at the right time of night, or day, for its phase? Does the plant you reference bloom at that time of year?)
    4. Rhythm and flow–Does each sentence sound sweet to the ear. Could a change in word choice improve the flow, sweeten the alliteration, or emphasize the mood? Could combining or separating out sentences vary pace? Writing is like music. It should have a cadence appropriate to the task. And the most essential part, the point of your sentence, paragraph, or piece, should crescendo. Does your sentence culminate in the key phrase? Does your paragraph conclude with the key point? Does your last paragraph (or chapter) reiterate your main idea, your theme?
  4. Read it again, focusing on details, not content. Even during your first edit, you will find errors unrelated to your focus. Fix the problem and write it down. Chances are if you fixed it once, you missed it five times over. Every writer has their personal flaws, writing traps they fall into with regularity. Mine is the over use of “…ing” words. Add your own writing traps to this list.
    1. Punctuation consistency– Commas in a series, commas in dialogue, commas in general…ugh! Have a good reference in reach, and good luck.
    2. Word repetition or overuse– Fix some of it as you go, especially if you see “smile” three times in the same paragraph–a flow problem. But along the way, you might sense an overuse of “eat.” Write the word down. Now is the time to use the “find” feature on your writing program and go on a word hunt. (Hint: If the find feature is pulling up the word inside words, put a space before and after the search word. Problem eliminated.)
    3. Weak word choice Do you use wishy-washy words? These, among others: sort of, really, almost, might. Be direct without losing your voice. Look for them; send them packing. (Not: You might look for them and maybe send them packing.)
    4. Homophones–You would think it a no brainer, but when I go on a writing terror, just trying to get the words on the page, I slip­–often. No one is immune too it. (That was a joke.) Same thing with “can not” or “cannot” and possessives.
  5. Now you are ready to hand your treasure to your Beta-readers. Choose two or three people to trust with your fragile ego. (Face it; it’s fragile.) Give up your work to them; ask them to give input, to expose your flaws. Be open, be humble, and be ready. When they’re done, wait a while, nurse your wounds, then return to step 3, and go at it again. This time make sure you read it out loud. (Hint: Use the “Bookmark” feature to keep track of where you are in your editing.)
  6. Know when to say when. If you feel like you rearranged the furniture, and then just put it back again, stop. You are done. Perfect isn’t realistic, is it? Hum…I might just take THAT advise to heart.

What are your “traps,” and how do you handle your editing? Let me know. I’m dying too here from you.

ON THE ROAD (Part 2) Coshocton County

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DSCN0203I stand at the remnants of the Ohio-Erie Canal in Coshocton County, Ohio near the restored old Roscoe Village, a dogwood and redbud dotted treasure through which the Walhonding and Tuscarawas rivers flow and join to become the Muskingum. Coshocton County was home, at one time or another between the 1820’s and 1880’s, to my great grandfather and his parents and grandparents, my great grandmother and her parents and grandparents, AND my great grandmother’s husband’s family. Wow!

So yesterday I spent the day at the Coshocton County Library in Coshocton, Ohio. The library spawned library-envy in me, as it would in all my Friends of the Auberry Library family. A long span of oak pillared, carved oak trimmed alcoves with a naturally lit reading corner at one end and a great family history collection at the other greeted me, as did a fabulous staff.

After seven hours, I had found clues to a brick wall (begging research when I return), excellent books for each township mapping the graveyards, and a reminder of how much I dislike microfilm. But in one of the graveyard books someone threw in a treasure.[i] Here is an excerpt, and there is more…this is just a piece.

“The first [mill] was located on the Ed Steiner farm, one mile north of Avondale, now Fresno. It was built in 1832 by Thomas Diehl and had an undershot wheel sixteen (16) feet in diameter and about three (3) feet wide… Its two stories towered above the wooded slopes of historic White Eyes creek and stood on a foundation 32 x 40 feet…The mill was purchased by Andy Croy, father of the late David Croy in 1839 and operated by him for 16 years.”

My finds will require some contemplation and additional research, but I will write about them when I can find time for both. Meanwhile, after a last bit of Coshocton grave and land hopping, I take what I’ve learned and drive back in time to Stark and Carroll County where the first known Jacob Croy and his wife, Mary Huston Croy arrived, probably by 1798.

[i] White Eyes Township, Coshocton County: Cemeteries…, Coshocton County Chapter, OGS, P.O. Box 128, Coshocton, Ohio, Pg 174: housed at the Coshocton County Library, Family History Collection.

Mary and Jacob and Progeny: Part 2

Mathias marriageIn my last post I began to analyze my records regarding Mary Huston Croy and Jacob Croy, my 4x great-grandparents and children and covered the period from first record in Ohio to 1824. Because, Ohio did not require the recording of births and deaths before 1867 and detailed familial information did not appear on census records until 1850 (with familial relationships appearing in 1880), definitive information regarding family relationships before those dates must be extracted mostly from probate, church, or family records. Tax and census records are useful (very useful in my opinion) for determining residency, movement, and proximal relationships, but cannot “prove” familial ties. I constantly thank John Huston for obstinately pursuing his interest in his mother’s land (over fifteen years after his father’s death, more on that here.) The lengthy report contains important information and also provides clues for investigation. In this post I continue my analysis from 1824-1839, with a little early overlap to include some added discoveries.

Let’s begin with an overview of the information on my 3x great grandfather, Andrew Croy. He first shows up in tax records, 1826-1828, for Brown Township, Stark County, right across the border from Rose Township where his wife, Susannah Oswalt’s family settled. On April 2, 1829 he purchased land in Rose Township where, besides his wife’s family, his brother Mathias lived. He appears on the 1830 census for Rose Township, and owned a lot in the town of Morges in Rose Township from 1834-1838. (Check out the Morges years here.)

I was unable to find a marriage record for Andrew Croy and Susannah Oswalt. (We know they were married thanks to the Chancery Records.) Under the premise that they might have been overlooked in indexing, I decided to scrutinize the Ohio marriage records on Family Search. They would likely have married between 1798 and 1801, (the home of the extended family was in Jefferson County at the time.) I checked the on-line FamilySearch marriage records for Jefferson and discovered deteriorated 1798 to 1803 records with many missing pages. I did not find their marriage records, probably because they were lost or not recorded.

One tip given to genealogists is to go beyond indexes and find the original documents. I decided to look for every original marriage record for the family using FamilySearch. I found all the Ohio Genealogical Society indexed records there except Elizabeth Croy and David Devore, 1798. The big reveal came when I found the record shown above. It indicates that Andrew’s brother, Mathias, was married in Brown Township, Stark County. It is very rare for these records to include the township (and, as an aside, to be recorded by a man with the same last name as the bride), so I was very excited. (Okay, I’m a genea-geek; odd things excite me.) Anyway, this tangential evidence indicates the two brothers likely lived in Brown Township in 1816. Keep in mind, Mathias was between six and ten years of age when his father died and his mother remarried. Could his brother have taken him in?

On another note of discovery, I posed the question in my last post–What happened to Mary and Jacob’s son, Jacob Jr. and his wife Sarah Stoner. Using the Chancery Records as a jumping off place, I discovered that by 1830 Jacob Jr. had left Marion County, OH with his family after his wife died in 1824. He bought land in White Pigeon Township, St Joseph Ct., Michigan right over the border from LaGrange, Indiana. (The land claim indicates he came from Marion Ct., OH) He engaged in some land speculation, naming his residence alternately as Allen (1834) and LaGrange County (1839). While I found less definitive records for Rebecca Croy Stoner, who married John Stoner, Sarah’s brother, her will shows that her life mirrored her brother’s life, owning land in Honey Lake, Michigan; LaGrange, Indiana, and West Unity, Williams Ct., OH.

The rest of the children stayed in Ohio their whole lives. Richard maintained his life in Hudson Township, Portage/Summit County, OH. Margaret, David, Elizabeth and Eleanor stayed near where their mother died in Darby Township, Madison/Union County, OH. (I have no record of Elizabeth after 1830…possible remarriage?) The Chancery Records document Sarah Croy Delong’s death in 1834 in Tuscarawas County, OH. Mathias disappears from Stark County after 1830 and, while other records for a Mathias Croy exist (Shelby Ct), none can be definitively our Mathias.

Next week I complete my review of the Mary Huston Croy/Jacob Croy family, determine next posts, and set some goals for the trip around this family. So far though, because of the Chancery Records and information I’ve already gleaned, I think most of my goals for this family will be to visit some of the places they lived, take photos of their burial sites, and inhale the magic of place.

1816   Mathias Croy marries Susannah Pugh in Brown Township, Stark County, OH[i]

1820   Mother Mary Huston Croy, census Darby Township, Union/Madison Ct.[ii]

1820   Andrew Croy census, Brown Township, Stark Ct. (omitted from previous post-1st OH record)[iii]

1824   Mother Mary Huston Croy dies, Aug 9[iv]

1825   Sarah Stoner Croy: wife of Jacob dies in Marion Ct., after which Jacob goes to Indiana[v]

1826-1830 Mathias Croy Personal Property in Rose Township, Stark Ct., OH (Index info only)[vi]

1828   David Croy marries Sally (Sarah) Wasson Dec 14 Franklin Ct.[vii]

1826-1828 Andrew Croy Personal Property in Brown Township, Stark Ct., OH (Index info only)[viii]

1829 Andrew Croy purchase:E ½ of SE corner of S 17, T16, R7 (Rose Township) Stark Ct.[ix]

1830   Andrew Croy, Personal Property in Rose Township, Stark (Carroll) Ct. (Index info only)[x] Andrew Croy, census, Rose Township, Stark Ct.[xi] Jacob Croy Jr. in Indiana Territory, census, White Pigeon Township, St Joseph Ct., Michigan Territory-very near LaGrange/ Purchased sw ¼ of Section 32, T 7S, R 11W previous residence Marion Ct.. OH[xii] Elizabeth widow of James Russel, census Darby Township, Union Ct. Margaret wife of John Jolly, census, Darby Township, Union Ct. David, Franklin Ct., census, Jerome Township, Union Ct. Eleanor of John Marquis, census, Darby Township, Madison Ct. Richard, census Hudson Township, Portage Ct. Mathias, census, Rose Township, Stark Ct. Rebecca of John Stoner, census Blooming Grove, Richland Ct. Sarah of John Delong, census Dorhman, Tuscarawas Ct.

1832   Carroll County formed of Stark County December 25

1833   Jacob Jr. census Petitioner, St. Joseph Ct., Michigan, Index only[xiii]

1834   Sarah Croy Delong dies Tuscarawas Ct., Chancery Record Jacob Jr. living in Allen Ct., IN purchased land W ½ of NW ¼ S 17 8S 7W subject to sale of White Pigeon Prairie, Michigan Territory land[xivJacob Jr. purchase: W ½ of NE corner of 34, T 38, N of R 10E, LaGrange, Indiana, Aug. 5[xv]

1834-1838 Andrew Croy owned lot in Morges, Carroll County tax records (see Morges for citations)

1839   Jacob Jr. purchase: SE ¼ of SW ¼ of Section 18, T 8S of R8W 40 acres in Bronson Ct.,     Michigan, May 1 Lived in LaGrange, IN[xvi]

1830- 1845 Rebecca Croy Stoner (based on her will, was in Honey Lake, Michigan near White Pigeon, and LaGrange County) Note: She and brother, Jacob, married Stoner brother and sister and moved together[xvii]

[i] “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013,” database with images, <i>FamilySearch</i> (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1-17790-61816-35?cc=1614804 : accessed 17 January 2016), Stark &gt; Marriage records 1809-1836 vol A &gt; image 43 of 201; county courthouses, Ohio.

[ii] 1820 U S Census; Census Place: Union, Ohio; Page 208; NARA Roll: M33_94; Image:256. Ancestry.com. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.[accessed 4 April 2014]

[iii] 1820 U S Census; Census Place: Stark, Ohio; Page 171; NARA Roll: M33_94; Image:186. Ancestry.com. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.[accessed 14 June 2014]

[iv] Find A Grave. Find A Grave. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi. Plain City Cemetery, Union County, Ohio

[v] Find A Grave. Find A Grave. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi. Pleasant Hill Cemetery, Big Island, Marion County, Ohio

[vi] Stark County Tax Records Index, 1826-1830, Compiled by Stephanie M Houck, Stark County District Library, Canton, Ohio, [accessed on-line January 2013]

[vii] “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013,” database with images, <i>FamilySearch</i> (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1-17759-23666-62?cc=1614804 : accessed 18 January 2016), Franklin &gt; Marriage index and records 1803-1830 vol 2 &gt; image 161 of 181; county courthouses, Ohio.

[viii] See vi

[ix] United States. Bureau of Land Management, General Land Office Records. http://www.glorecords.blm.gov/ Springfield, Virginia; Bureau of Land Management, Eastern States, 2007. [accessed May 2013]

[x] See vi

[xi] 1830 U S Census; Census Place listed (contact me if you want full citation)

[xii] See ix

[xiii] Ancestry.com. Michigan, Compiled Census and Census Substitutes Index, 1827-1870 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 1999.

[xiv] See ix

[xv] See ix

[xvi] See ix

[xvii] Find A Grave. Find A Grave. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi. Pleasant Hill Cemetery, Big Island, Marion County, Ohio

Seven Brothers and the War of Rebellion: Part Three

Transport on the Tennessee River Taylor & Huntington

Transport on the Tennessee River
Taylor & Huntington

Imagine your 16-year-old son telling you that he is going to war. He can stand aside no longer, not while his brother fights in a war consuming the Nation. What do you say or do? If you are Jacob and Margaret Croy, it seems, you send your eldest son along to protect him. You are family. Duncan Croy, age 16, signed up for the war on the same day as his brother Robert, age 28. They volunteered for a three-year term in the 92nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Company G, on August 5, 1862. Greer gave his age as 18. All death, census, and supporting data show his age to be sixteen at the time.[i] Robert, who would muster out as corporal, now had three children between the ages of six and two.

Now imagine these two are your brothers who are joining with another brother already serving in this historic conflict. Do you stay behind? You are young, idealistic, and you are family. William Croy, aged 25, enlisted with the same company in the 92nd only four days later, August 9, 1862. Like brothers Robert and Greer, he would muster out as a corporal. David Croy joined, at 20 years of age, on August 15, 1862. Within a ten-day period, they had all joined the war. Now only Calvin and Nathan stayed home to help their parents and watch after the families of William and Robert. [ii]

The 92nd proceeded to Gallipolis, Ohio for training with Austrian rifled muskets. By October they moved into the Kanawha Valley and into the brigade of General George Crook. With him was Greer Croy, serving in the 36th OVI.

Now the story of five brothers joins, briefly and dramatically. All five brothers now were serving in the war under the same General but in different regiments. They were dispatched by Ohio River transport to Nashville, Tennessee and then on to Carthage. In the two months spent in Carthage, they buried more than 90 men to disease.

In June they headed through endless rain to Big Springs, Tennessee. Here General John Turchin took command. A colorful and portly immigrant from Hungary, he would lead the brothers successfully through the next infamous campaign. First, though he would secure “green corn, blackberries, and fresh vegetables, speedily [eradicate] all traces of scurvy and disease contracted at Carthage…” [iii] His wife, Nadine, who followed him in battle, supported his efforts.

by Alfred Edwards Mathews

by Alfred Edwards Mathews

By September of 1863 the Army of the Cumberland had arrived in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The battles along the Georgia/Tennessee line loomed before them, ones that would tip the scale of the war.

Note: Copyright free photos from Library of Congress Prints and Photographs www.loc.gov/pictures

Next: the 36th OVI and the 92nd OVI in the Battle of Chickamauga and Missionary Ridge.

[i] 1860 U.S. census, Fairfield, Washington, Ohio; Roll: M653_1048; Page: 124 Image: 251; Family History Library Film: 805048 from NARA microfilm publication accessed through ancestry.com also 1850, 1870, 1880, 1900. 1910, and death cert.
[ii] Roster Commission by authority of General Assembly, Official roster of the soldiers of the state of Ohio in the War of the Rebellion, 1861-1866, Volume 9 (Cincinnati: The Ohio Valley Pub. & Mfg. Co., 141 and 143 Race St., 1886) Books. Google.com
[iii] Martin R. Andrews, edited and compiled, History of Marietta and Washington county, Ohio and representative citizens, Vol. 1 (Biographical Pub. Co., Chicago, 1902) pg 692 https://openlibrary.org/books/OL6573096M
Includes interesting accounts of each Ohio regiments service from the perspective of the late 1800’s.

“The family became widely scattered.” Part 5

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The Huston Sisters’ Journey: Rachel and Sarah [i]

Rose Township, Section 17, Site of Morges, Ohio

Rose Township, Section 17, Site of Morges, Ohio from US Indexed Early Land Ownership and Township Plats

As I mentioned in the previous post, by 1800 three Huston sisters had migrated with their husbands to what would be Rose Township, Stark County, Ohio. Mary and Rachel would lean heavily on Sarah when, within a ten year period, they both lost their husbands.  One remarried and the other maintained her independence, but both would need a comforting hand and thoughtful heart. Mary’s husband, Jacob Croy died soon after recording his land grant at the Stubenville Land Office on August 2, 1805. He may have made the trip to Stubenville once again, this time with Sarah’s husband, Jacob Oswalt. Their friendship had flourished in Pennsylvania, and their families were close, very close. Perhaps their adult sons, Andrew Croy, young Jacob Croy, and Samuel Oswalt, joined them on the fifty-mile journey. For sure though, Jacob laid claim to Section 12, Township 16, Range 7 in Stubenville on September 24, 1805, barely two months after Jacob Croy. [ii] Meanwhile, Rachel’s husband, Isaiah McClish, never appears on any records for Rose Township. He, like Jacob Croy, died early, before 1818. [iii] By 1820 Rachael McClish appears independently on the census records, a sure indication that she was widowed or abandoned. The US census only began recording the names of women and children in 1850. She was still widowed and living in Rose Township in 1840, not far from Sarah. Andrew Croy, son of Sarah’s sister Mary, had married Sarah’s daughter Susanna and stayed close to the family. He purchased the southeast quarter of section 17, Township 16, Range 7 on April 2, 1829.[iv] By this time, Jacob and Sarah Oswalt were over sixty years of age.[v] They began thinking of their families’ futures. Meanwhile, the American Dream dangled before every eye. Land was plentiful, undeveloped, and in demand. The new settlers both required goods and longed to profit from producing, selling, and transporting them. The canal system connecting the Great Lakes was conceived as the two Jacobs registered their land grants. By 1817 construction on the Erie Canal began and was completed in 1825. Ohio men of vision, including Jacob Oswalt’s brother Michael[vi], began planning canals to connect the Erie and the Ohio River. Towns sprang up everywhere out of both necessity and hope. The town of Morges in Rose Township grew from the dreams of Samuel Oswalt and John Wagonner.[vii]  By 1828 Wagonner had purchase Jacob Oswalt’s section, the one he claimed in 1805. The funds from that purchase probably financed the Oswalt portion of the gamble called Morges, platted in 1831. The two men relied heavily on family to further the project, but the direction of commerce can shine or tarnish a dream.  Ohio’s star would shine elsewhere in the state.Morges Marker

References:

[i] Direct Ancestors: Jacob Oswalt and Sarah Huston Oswalt (child- Susanna), 7th gen. Jacob Croy and Mary Huston Croy (child-Andrew), 7th gen. Andrew Croy and Susanna Oswalt Croy 6th gen.
[ii] National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.; Township Plats of Selected States; Series#; T1234; Roll: 50 from Public Land Survey Township Plats, compiled 1789-1946 Records of Bureau of Land Management (Ancestry. Com. U.S., Indexed Early Land Ownership and Township Plats, 1785-1898 (database on-line). Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.)
[iii] Will and Probate Dispute ADD
[iv] Ancestry.com U.S. General Land Office Records, 1796-1907[database on-line] Provo, UT, USA:Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2008 Original data: United States. Bureau of Land Management, General Land Office Records. Automated Records Project: Federal Land Patents, State Volumes. http://www.glorecords.blm.gov/ Springfield, Virginia: Bureau of Land Management, Eastern States, 2007
[v] 1830 US Census: Census Place: Rose, Stark, Ohio: Page: 206; NARA Series: M19; Roll Number: 140; Family History Film: 0337951 Source Info: Ancestry.com 1830 United States Federal  Census NOTE: by error recorded as Lexington Township.
[vi] Letter to Thomas Rotch from Michael Oswalt dated Jan. 9, 1818 re: canal connecting the Eerie to “the hed waters of the Tuscaraurs branch of muskingum River…” Archive # B-133-1, records of P McHenry, private holding
[vii] Karen Gray, Rose Township, Carroll county, Ohio (September 2008) pg. 4, http://www.carollcountyohio.com/history/townships/Rose/Final%20Rose%20History.pdf

“The family became widely scattered.” Part 4

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The grave of Mary Huston

The grave of Mary Huston

The Huston Sisters’ Journeys: Mary Huston

For twenty-eight years Mary Huston Croy called the enclave at Will’s Creek home. Now, in 1789, her husband Jacob packed up his family and moved on. Did the politics of the day play a part? The new Constitution, Bill of Rights, and President Washington’s election put the new nation on the beginnings of stable footing. Was it simple wanderlust and a sense of adventure? Jacob had served the local militia for nearly ten years and likely enjoyed the regular scouting missions. Did the need to provide for a growing family make the difference? By 1789 Mary was likely pregnant with their sixth child, and no evidence exists of any attempt by Jacob to warrant their Londonderry home. Only Jacob, and maybe Mary, can know; but after 1789 the family disappears from the records of Londonderry Township.

They probably moved to the Raystown Branch of the Juniata River in what would be part of Hopewell Township in Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania. There, on February 10, 1794, Jacob applied jointly for 100 acres of land with his father-in-law, Alexander Huston. It was his first land warrant and indicated improvements and “Interest to commence from the first day of March 1775,” an indication of its use for 19 years before applying for the warrant.[i]

I postulate that the family, with Alexander’s support, moved to the waters of the Raystown Branch to run a saw or gristmill. The profession seems to have run in the family. Brother Mathias Croy operated a saw and gristmill in Londonderry Township in 1792.[ii] Jacob’s son Andrew, no more than six when they likely moved to the Raystown Branch property, owned a saw and gristmill in Ohio as an adult, and Andrew’s son took over his business.[iii]

The whole Raystown experiment lasted, at most, 10 years. No doubt Mary was lonely. Part of a family of twelve children, the first five no more than five years apart, she would likely yearn for companionship. Perhaps Jacob was restless. Regardless, by 1800, their family, which now included eight children between twenty and three years of age, packed up for the Northwest Territory. Included in the procession were the families of Mary’s sisters, Rachel McClish and Sarah Oswalt, and her brother, David Huston who had married Rebecca Oswalt.iii At least 25 men, women, and children, together or in small family groups, made the journey.

Did they wander for a while looking for a likely home; one abundant with cool, flowing water for mills, livestock, and farming; one with hardwood forests giving off the musky scent of home? Likely. Certainly, during the time it took to finalize surveys, name Ohio the 17th state in the Union (1803,) and designate, the land in which they settled as Columbiana County, Jacob and Mary had created a home.

On a muggy day on August 2nd of 1805, Jacob walked into the Stubenville Land Office to claim Section 29 (a section set aside for Revolutionary War Veterans,) Township 9, Range 8 as his own.[iv] By the time he registered the warrant for his 160 acre plot, part of what would one day be Pike Township, Stark County, Ohio, a great deal had happened in his and Mary’s life. Little David (named after David Huston?) and Margaret were born; his two first-born sons had married and given them their first grandchildren. Their life together, I imagine, bore a joy that only comes from such an increase.

Then, sometime between 1805 and about 1810, Jacob died. Whether it was from the yellow fever that ran rampant at the time, an accident in a harsh land, or a hard life early taken, we can never know. But Mary, left with at least 6 children in her care, needed to stand strong and, in these times, required a man’s help. She soon married a George D. Roberts. No record of him exists beyond the court records filed after alexander Huston’s death in 1814, and, by 1820, she was living independently with her two youngest children in Darby Township, Union County, Ohio, far from the land Jacob had claimed.

From my perspective, there is no evidence of warmth in the brief union of George Roberts and Mary Croy. The boys in the family found solace and support in the families of their spouses. Jacob Croy connected with the Stoner family and, even after his wife died in 1825, joined with Rachael Croy Stoner and John Stoner in Indiana.[v] Richard Croy found work in the burgeoning canal economy of Portage County and moved away completely.[vi] Mathias went with brother Andrew to joined Jacob Oswalt and their Aunt, Rebecca Huston Oswalt, in Rose Township, Stark County.iii This was a logical move since Andrew had married Susannah Oswalt, his “kissing cousin,” and my 3x great grandmother.

Meanwhile the youngest children and Elizabeth, her oldest daughter, rallied round their mother in Union County. They made the county their home and lived by her until she died on August 9, 1824, [vii]19 years and 6 days after Jacob walked into the Stubenville Land Office to make his claim. My her request or from their own understanding, they had these words carved into her gravestone, “In Memory of Mary Croy, Wife of Jacob Croy, Forever in Our Hearts.”

[i] Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Land Warrants and Applications, 1733-1952 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.Original data: Warrant Applications, 1733-1952. Harrisburg, PA: Pennsylvania State Archives. Land Warrants. Pennsylvania State Archives, Harrisburg, PA.
[ii] Londonderry Township Tax Record, 1792 Bedford County Historical Society, Pioneer Library, 6441 Lincoln Highway, Bedford, PA 15522, (814)623-2011.
[iii] Additional information and documentation to follow in a later post.
[iv]Ancestry.com. Early Ohioans’ residences from the land grant records [database on-line]. Provo, UT: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005. Original data: Riegel, Mayburt Stephenson,. Early Ohioans’ residences from the land grant records. Mansfield, Ohio: Ohio Genealogical Society, 1976.
[v] Find A Grave. Find A Grave. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi. Eagle Cemetery, LaGrange County, Indiana and Pleasant Hill Cemetery, Marion County, Ohio
[vi] Chancery Records Alexander Huston wills Ancestry.com. 1840, 1850 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.Original data: Sixth Census of the United States, 1840. (NARA microfilm publication M704, 580 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C.
[vii] Find A Grave. Find A Grave. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi. Plain City Cemetery, Union County, Ohio

The Maine Family Felch

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Maine LOC 1798 copy

SW corner of Maine, 1798. I’ve underlined key places. A. Where Jonathan and Sarah were married. B. Where Jonathan lived first. C. Where his brother, Abijah, lived. D. Where Jonathan moved in 1799 and where Zerah Payne and Amy Felch Payne married. Find full map at Library of Congress here.

I had to say STOP. With the launch of The Scattering of Stones complete, the “final” edit of book two, The Forging of Frost, nearly finished, my third book’s characters screaming their story in my ear, I turned to my heritage. I’m so glad I did.

Enter the Felch family, particularly Amy Felch. I’ve long avoided tackling the ancestry of Amy (Amey) Felch (Feltch), wife of Zerah Payne.[i] I knew she married him[ii] but had no definitive documentation of her parentage. Still, while researching book number three, a fictionalized account of Samuel Payne and wife, Abigail Graham (Grimes) Payne in Bennington County, Vermont, she kept popping to mind. So I dove in.

While the genealogy research adage—work your way back—is true, sometimes you must succumb—and work your way forward. The Memorial History of the Felch Family in America and Wales, written in 1881 by W. Farrand Felch of Columbus, Ohio, it is a wonderful, well-researched read. Find it here. (I’m a history/genealogy nerd so consider the source.)

He gives us this abbreviated tree where I’ve underlined the key ancestry.memorialhistoryo00felc_0071 chart

Amy Felch isn’t listed in the book, but one comment stood out. It was a reference to the offspring of Nathaniel Felch (Henry, Henry Jr., John) and Mary Hanks.

“Nathaniel [Jr.] had a son born at Reading (Jonathan) April 2 1762, exactly one year after his marriage, and he soon afterwards removed to Maine, where all trace is lost of his descendants; a tradition says that he settled in the center of Maine where his stalwart descendants still reside, ‘all six-footers.’”[iii]

Since Zerah Payne married Abigail Felch in Hallowell, Kennebec, Maine, I thought I should investigate. From my search, I think I can, with some confidence, trace Abigail’s family history.

A tree and family sheet for Amy Felch Paynes family is in the works. Until then, I’ve expanded W. Farrand Payne’s tree, as follows:new felch tree

My rational:

  • No record of Nathaniel Felch and Molly Hammond Felch[iv] in Maine (so far) indicating they may have died before 1790 or did not make the trip to Maine. However
  • A search for Jonathan Felch shows his marriage to Sarah Appelby (Appleby, Applebee) 28 January 1784 by Matthew Merriam, pastor of the 2nd Church of Berwick, Maine. At the time he lived at Shapleigh, then Hubbardstown Plantation, Maine[v]
  • The 1790 Federal Census shows a Jona Felsh (male over 16) living in Shapleigh, York, Maine with 2 males under 16 and 3 females (one likely Sarah, the others—children Betsey and Amy). They lived next door to Hannah Felsh. (could this be the second wife widow of Nathaniel?)
  • The Maine 1799 early census index shows a Jonathan Felch in Pittston, Kennebec County, ME in 1799
  • The 1800 Federal Census shows a Jonathan Feltch (male 26-44) living in Shapleigh, York, Maine with 2 Males under 10, 2 Females under 10, 1 Female 10-15, 1 Female 16-25. (Was this Sarah? Indicating her age at marriage as 15. Jonathan would have been 38. Or, more likely a female child—see 1790—indicating Sarah’s death by 1800.) They lived next to a Samuel Feltch, see below.
  • Samuel Felch married Salley (Sarah) Bracket, both of Shapleigh 21 December 1800. (possible brother or step-brother of Jonathan—Find-a-Grave stone gives death 23 September 1836, calculated birth 1777.)
  • Jonathan Felch, residence, Pittston, was a defendant in a case of debt at the Kennebec County Supreme Judicial Court in June 1802
  • A Betsey Felch married Seth Lamb in Hallowell, Kennebec, Maine on 8 November 1807
  • Zerah W. Payne and Amy Felch marry in Hallowell, Kennebec, Maine on 3 May
  • The 1810 Federal Census shows a Jonathan Felch, over 45, in Hallowell, Kennebec, Maine with 1 Male under 10, 1 Male 10-15, 2 Males 16-25, 2 Females 10-15, and a Female over 45. (This accounts for all but one male child from earlier accounts and all females but the two oldest, by then married. Note: the 1800 census does not account for 2 males. More research is needed to determine Jonathan and Sarah’s progeny.
  • By 1810 Amy Felch Payne (the subject of this research) and Zerah Payne had disappeared from Maine, though their first born Samuel Felch Payne lists Massachusetts as his birth place.[vi] Their next know residence is implied by an advertisement of a Zerah Payne’s shoe business placed in the Zanesville Express and Republican Standard, 14 February 1814—not quite 8 years after their marriage.

If anyone has more information, I would love to hear from you!

[i] She bore Sephronia Payne, who married Henry Smith, and bore Sarah Angelina Smith Croy (my great-grandmother and wife of Calvin Croy). Evidence listed in other posts.
[ii] Zerah W. Payne m. Amey Felch 30 May 1808 in Hallowell, Kennebec, Maine. Maine Marriage Records, 1713-1922. Augusta, Maine: Maine State Archives. Ancestry.com [accessed 14 March 2018]
[iii] pg 26 of Felch book
[iv] Nathaniel Felch of Weston m Molly Hammond, 2 April 1761. Town and City Clerks of Massachusetts. Massachusetts Vital and Town Records. Provo, UT: Holbrook Research Institute. Ancestry.com. [accessed 14 March 2018]
[v] New England Historic Genealogical Society. The England Historical and Genealogical Register. Boston Ancestry.com [accessed 14 March 2018} and Maine Marriage Records, 1713-1922. Augusta, Maine: Maine State Archives. Ancestry.com [accessed 14 March 2018]
[vi] Maine was part of Massachusetts in 1810, his calculated date of birth: 1860 census for Vincennes, Knox, Indiana