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I’m My Own Grandpa

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marriage of E Croy and J HustonA helpful reminder right up front: When researching women who seem to fall off the edge of the world, always check for marriages using their married name. Most often subsequent marriages after a spouse’s death are recorded under the woman’s married name, not her maiden name.

Because my fiction series, The Maggie Chronicles, is lifted, much altered, from my genealogy research, I find I often dig deep and discover details that help break down a brick wall or two. Such was the case as I research the fourth of my Maggie Chronicles (number three—The Legacy of Payne—comes out next year).

The ancestor in question is Duncan Croy, first-born son of Andrew Croy and Susannah Oswalt Croy—birth year approximately 1804.[i] He is brother to Jacob Croy, my great-great-grandfather. Until recently, I knew only that he married in 1827[ii]to Sally Morrison, had a boy and girl under five by 1830,[iii] was living in 1840 with Andrew Croy in White Eyes Township, Coshocton County, Ohio.[iv] From this information, I reasoned that Sally Morrison had died. The fact that he remarried in 1840 to Elizabeth Chipliver[v] confirmed this assumption.

But by 1850, Duncan Croy had disappeared, as had Elizabeth. Andrew and Susannah had two young children living with them, Susannah, age 11, and Margaret, age 5. David Croy, Duncan’s brother, had a boy named Andrew residing with him, age 19, too old to be one of David’s children. It seemed likely Duncan had died. Yet, looking back on the 1830 and 1840 census, these records account for only some of his children. What happened to the rest? And what happened to Elizabeth, his second wife.

Remember the hint at the beginning of the blog? I applied it and looked for Elizabeth CROY. Sure enough, a marriage record showed up. And what a surprise! Hence, the title of this blog: I’m My Own Grandpa. It was one of my father’s favorite songs. After a convoluted and humorous explanation, it concludes: “It seems funny I know, but it really is so, I’m my own Grandpa.”

So follow along—and I won’t try to confuse this with references, all of which can be found on Ancestry. Duncan’s mother was Susannah OSWALT before marrying Andrew Croy; Susannah’s mother was Sarah HUSTON who had a brother David HUSTON who married Susannah’s sister Rebecca OSWALT; David and Rebecca had, among other children, a son named John HUSTON. Elizabeth Chipliver Croy married him after Duncan died. The 1850 census for Elizabeth and John lists more of Duncan’s children by her and Sally. Look below for an accounting.[vi] I’ll update the family sheet later.

Hang in there—because I’m not done yet. Elizabeth died before 1860 and who should John marry?[vii] Susannah Croy, Duncan’s child by Sally Morrison, who cared for the children John had with Elizabeth, along with four more of her own. In other words, John married his nephew’s daughter, taking after his father, who had married his niece.

I’ve often mentioned the close connections between the Croy, Oswalt, and Huston families. They were very close! As an aside, I discovered the name of another of Duncan’s children by Sally: the older boy, Samuel. And he married David Huston’s daughter Margaret.

I will confuse no further. I’ve delved deeper into each of Duncan’s children and those of John Huston. If you are interested, I’d love to hear from you.

A graphic for your pleasure:Alexander Huston Mary Ann Johnson

[i]based on the Federal Census for 1830, Rose Township, Carroll County, Ohio, marriage certificate, Carroll County, and Federal Census for 1840, White Eyes, Coshocton County, Ohio including that of mother, Susannah’s birth date
[ii]14 September 1827 based on Carroll County, Ohio marriage records,
[iii]Federal Census 1830, Rose Township, Stark County, Ohio for Duncan Croy
[iv]Federal Census 1840, White Eyes Township, Coshocton, Ohio—also, through deduction, I determined a boy, born 1830-1835, and two girls, born 1835-1840.
[v]18 October 1840, based on Coshocton County, Ohio marriage records,
[vi]Children of Duncan (about 1804-1845) and Sally Morrison(about 1807-1839): Unknown female, Samuel, Andrew, Susannah
Children of Duncan and Elizabeth Chipliver (about 1812-1857): Eliza, Catherine, Margaret.
[vii]17 June 1858 based on Coshocton County, Ohio marriage records,

Solving Family Mysteries

While not positive, a likely picture of Gillie V. Morriss Ison, Gabriel Ison, and their child, Bea?

While not positive, a likely picture of Gillie V. Morriss Ison, Gabriel Ison, and their child, Bea?

For me, solving a mystery provides a little rush of excitement and an almost embarrassing sense of accomplishment. As with my last post, I have uncovered a new link to the past and a better understanding of our nation’s history. I now know more about the parents of Gillian Virginia Morriss Ison, my great, great grandmother. I have also uncovered details regarding their children and their background. I’ll get back to that in a moment but first, the process…which is the fun part.

There are numerous suggestions on information byways regarding how to break through genealogical brick walls. Still, it seems, humans (at least this one) learn best through the trials of self discovery. From my recent detective work, I offer these three take-aways.  1. Find kindred spirits in your extended family. 2. Sometimes going through a backdoor takes you to the right room.  3. Place matters! Here is my “Gillie” example.

First, my dear “cousin-in-law” sent a disc including all the pages from a beautiful family history album she created. Included among many treasures that I plan to share at a later date, I found a page from the Ison bible.  bible isonThat led me to where, with birth dates, I filled in some holes in the information about Gillie and Gabriel Ison’s children. It also started me wondering. I had previously research Gillie, born in 1860, with no luck. I wasn’t even sure of her name. Vital records recorded Gillie’s name variously as Gillia Ann Morrison, Gillie V. Morris, and, in an obituary posted on, Gillie V. Morrison. As an aside, the obituary also mentioned that she was born in Rothville, Chariton County, Missouri where a sister and two brothers still resided at that time (no names given.) In a middle of the night epithany, I decided to search Rothville census information narrowing in on the time period she was there, using only the last name Morrison which I was convinced was her maiden name because of the obituary and marriage record. No luck until I tried Morris and searched every variation for 1860, no luck, and 1870…pay dirt! (See how excited I get!) “Gilian Morriss,” daughter of Peter P. Morriss and Eliza E. lived in Chariton County in 1870. The 1860 record listed her as Julie!  In those times it seems that if you couldn’t read or write that you were at the mercy of the hearing and spelling skills of whoever recorded the information. Thus Gillian Virginia Morriss’ name altered into so many different versions over time, even unto her death.

So now we know that Gillian Virginia Morriss, nickname Gillie with a soft “g” sound, was fathered by Peter Philader Morriss (1831-1916) born in Virginia and Elizabeth “Eliza” Ely (1836-1928) born in Kentucky. They married in 1855 at Rothville and had 5 children. I also am researching their parents’ and their children’s history. I will post that information after I exhaust my research which won’t happen until after our Pennsylvania trip coming up next week. Meanwhile,  it may be interesting to note that this is the first of our family that held slaves and had family members that fought on the Confederate side and believed in that cause. Kansas and Missouri were infamous for the “border wars” of the 1860’s and our family would have been either involved or caught up in the events of that time. Check out the two sites below to learn more about that place in time…it matters.

via Chariton County, Missouri – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Chariton County was settled primarily from the states of the Upper South, especially Kentucky and Tennessee. They brought slaves and slaveholding traditions with them, and quickly started cultivating crops similar to those in Middle Tennessee and Kentucky: hemp and tobacco. Chariton was one of several counties settled mostly by Southerners to the north and south of the Missouri River. Given their culture and traditions, this area became known as Little Dixie and Chariton County was at its heart. It was heavily pro-Confederate during the American Civil War.[3]

About Us. Bates County Archaeology regarding Kansas-Missouri Border Wars