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Locating the maiden name of my second great-grandmother has taken over ten years.  If I had been able to order film from my local Family History Center, it could have taken several years less. However, thanks to the digitized Ohio death and marriage records on Familysearch.org, I was able to put a surname to the woman who married Florus Allen House (born Jan 5, 1813 in Connecticut, died June 25, 1891 in Tuscarawas, Coshocton, Ohio) on April 14, 1836.

From the death record of their daughter, Nancy Elizabeth House (m. Oscar DeLong), the informant, Mabel Harding (her daughter), listed Nancy’s mother’s name as Julia Lewis. Another family member’s death certificate also listed the name Julia Lewis. When I looked up the marriage record, on the off chance it had been digitized by Familysearch.org, I looked for Michigan marriage records because the story had been passed around that Florus and Julia Ann were married in Michigan. I found the marriage record – but not in Michigan – in Muskingum County, Ohio. Florus House and Julia Ann Lewis were married in that county!

Upon picking apart the short marriage detail in the book, I saw that after Julia’s name it read: “from Falls Township, Muskingum County.” Since they were married in 1836, I realized I should look at Census records from 1820 (when Julia was about five years old) through 1830.  In the 1820 Census records from Fall Township, I found the household of Able Lewis that had 2 females under the age of 10. In the 1830 Census in Falls Township, there were 2 females 10-15 years old. Both records fit Julia’s age. So who was this Able Lewis? Who was his wife?

In the Muskingum County Rootsweb archives list, I found a query from Nan E. Sabulsky, who posted on August 9, 1998:

Searching for decendents of John LEWIS b.abt. 1810 Muskingum co., Ohio married Eliza MCVAY in abt.1835 in Cochocton Co. I believe they lived in Falls Township,Muskingum Co. John’s father was Able Lewis and mother was Nancy ROBINSON of Falls Twnshp., Muskingum Co. John had a brother George and brother Edwin. He also had a sister, however I do not have her name.

Could this be the same family that I was looking for?  In the 1860 Census of Falls Township, Muskingum County, I found a George Lewis who had an eight year old daughter named Julia Ann. Could this George be the same person Mrs. Sabulsky referenced in her post? If he was Julia Ann’s brother, then possibly he named his daughter after his sister.

Digging further into the Able Lewis and Nancy Robinson family, I discovered that the spellings of the first name could either be Able or Abel. I also noticed that Robinson was Nancy’s name after her first marriage – her maiden name was either Johnson or Johnston, and she either went by Ann or Nancy.

Mrs. Sabulsky also lists a first wife for Abel Lewis, along with three children born before 1810.  She lists Abel Lewis birth as before 1775 in Pennsylvania and his death after 1825 in Ohio.  In another article (Schneider, Norris F. “Lodge of Amity”. Soldier Ant. 2 May 2003. Web.) was this information:

Abel Lewis became a Mason in White Horse Lodge No. 50 in Pennsylvania and worked as a visitor at American Union Lodge before coming to Zanesville. He was the first clerk of the court of common pleas in Muskingum County and postmaster of Zanesville in 1805. He became insane in 1813 and was supported by his Masonic brethren in the county jail until he escaped in 1826. He was never heard from again.

In a digitized book accessed on Google Books (Parker, Leonard Fletcher. “History of Poweshiek County, Iowa: a record of settlement, organization, progress and achievement, Volume 2.” 1911. Published by The S. J. Clarke publishing co. Original held by New York Public Library. Digitized 24 January 2008. Web.) was this article about Judge W.R. Lewis, son of John Lewis and Louisa A. Ramey, grandson of Abel Lewis:

JUDGE W. R. LEWIS.

With the work of framing as well as interpreting the laws of Iowa Judge W. R. Lewis has been closely associated, serving at different times as a member of the upper house of the state legislature and as judge of the circuit and district courts. Aside from this he has won a wide and enviable reputation as a learned lawyer, seldom, if ever, at fault in the application of a legal principle. For more

 

than a half century he has been a resident of Poweshiek county, having come here in the days of his early manhood, his birth having occurred near Zanesville, Muskingum county, Ohio, on the 12th of October, 1835. He was, therefore, about twenty-two years of age when he arrived in Poweshiek county and nine years later was admitted to the bar.

He comes of Welsh and German ancestry. His father, John M. Lewis, was born in Muskingum county, Ohio, his natal year being 1811. He was a son of Abel Lewis, who was born near White Sulphur Springs, Virginia, and was a college graduate. In the latter part of the eighteenth century he removed to Ohio and became a government surveyor in Muskingum and Coshocton counties. He took part in several of the Indian wars and was closely associated with many of the events which led to the reclamation of Ohio for the purpose of civilization. Following his marriage he established his home in Zanesville and there served as clerk of the court for four years. He was also the author of some mathematical works. Entering a large tract of land, he became interested in agricultural pursuits, took up his abode on his farm and spent the residue of his days there. For many years he was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church and his entire life was the exemplification of his Christian belief.

John M. Lewis, the father of Judge Lewis, married Louisa A. Ramey and settled upon a part of the old homestead, five and a half miles from Zanesville. Subsequently he took up his abode at New Castle, Coshocton county, Ohio, and engaged in merchandising as a member of the firm of Thornhill, Berry & Lewis. The discovery of gold, however, attracted him,to, California in 1851, the journey to the coast being made by way of the’ jsthrmts of Panama. He spent two years in prospecting and mining, in whicline was cf afcljj successful. He then returned to New Castle and soon afterward retired from business. He, too, belonged to the Methodist Episcopal churclT,-<and,,hisj)Qliiical allegiance was given to the republican party. His wife was born”in Muskingum county, a daughter of Sanford Ramey, a native of Virginia and of German descent. He became one of the early settlers of Ohio and his daughter Louisa was born and reared in that state. Her death occurred in 1886.

Judge Lewis, the eldest in a family of ten children, spent the first ten years of his life in his native county and then removed with his parents to Coshocton county, Ohio. For four or five years he attended school during the winter months, the remainder of the year being spent in assisting his father in the store. He was also at intervals engaged in farm work and took up the study of surveying. He read law in New Castle and while thus engaged followed the profession of surveying for several years. In 1856 he took the first step in the removals which brought him eventually to Iowa. In that year he became a resident of Southport, Peoria county, Illinois, where he worked at the carpenter’s trade and also spent a month in farm labor. During the winter he taught school at Southport and in the spring of 1857 he came to Montezuma, then a little village of four or five hundred inhabitants. Since that time he has continuously resided in Poweshiek county and has made for himself a high and eviable position in the regard of his fellowmen. Through the summer months he worked at carpentering or at other employment which he could secure and his evening hours were devoted to the further study of law. He thus soon qualified for admission to the bar but he determined not to seek admission until he felt that he could give his entire attention to law practice. He recognized the fact that to do this he must have a certain amount of capital to tide him over that initial period in the life of every lawyer when he must spend some time in waiting for clients.

In the fall of 1857 Judge Lewis secured the position of principal of the public schools and did splendid works as one of the early educators of Poweshiek county. While active in that capacity he was largely instrumental in organizing the teachers’ institute and he also graded the schools of Montezuma. This work alone would entitle him to the lasting gratitude of his fellow townsmen. In 1862 he was elected county superintendent of schools and before the expiration of his term was chosen by popular suffrage for the office of clerk of the county and district courts. In the latter position he served acceptably for a term, after which he resigned to form a partnership with Hon. M. E. Cutts, former member of congress, to conduct a milling business, which was carried on successfully for a great period, after which he sold out. For a year he occupied the position of deputy treasurer and for two years as a member of the county board of supervisors served as its chairman. He has ever regarded a public office as a public trust and it is well known that no public trust reposed in Judge Lewis has ever been betrayed in the slightest degree. Capable, diligent and loyal, he won the confidence and good-will of the public through his devotion to duty in the offices which he was called upon to fill in the earlier years of his residence here.

At length, feeling that the time was ripe when he might give his attention to his profession, in 1866 he applied for and secured admission to the bar and entered upon active practice, being associated for a time with the Hon. D. H. Emery, while later he became a partner of C. R. Clark. He won success because he wisely and conscientiously used the talents with which nature endowed him. An analytical mind enabled him to bring a trend of reasoning to its logical conclusion and to accurately apply the principles of law to the points at issue. His successful handling of cases early in his legal career awakened public confidence and brought him an increased clientage. In the fall of 1880 he was honored with election to the circuit court bench for the district embracing Poweshiek. Jefferson, Washington, Keokuk, Mahaska, Marion and Jasper counties, becoming the second circuit judge, his predecessor having been Judge Blanchard. After filling the position for four years the district was divided and he was elected judge of the first circuit, which included Jefferson, Washington, Keokuk and Poweshiek counties. He continued upon that bench until 1886, when, upon the abolishment of the circuit court, he was made one of the three judges for the district. There was keen strife for the office and Judge Lewis was not renominated by his party at the time but in response to the unanimous wish of his constituents he permitted his name to be used as an independent candidate and was elected by a sweeping majority. There was a prevailing belief that his defeat in the convention was due to unfair means and this contributed to his success at the polls. He retired from the bench in 1890, after a judicial service of ten years, and resumed the practice of law in Montezuma. A contemporary biographer has said of him:

“He is a man of great legal ability and while on the bench was a warm friend of the young practitioner. He never permitted a young lawyer to sacrifice his client’s interest if a word or suggestion from the court could help him. His decisions were rarely reversed. No district or circuit judge has a better record in the supreme court than Judge Lewis. So unerring were his views, especially in equity cases, that the attorneys in his court learned it was next to useless to appeal as he was nearly always sustained. He was slow in deciding but his work never had to be done a second time. As special counsel for the county in the famous cases against the Rowes and against the bondsmen of the defaulting treasurer he earned new laurels.”

Following his retirement from the bench Judge Lewis during the year 1891 acted as general manager for the Hawkeye Electric Manufacturing Company, with headquarters at Davenport, but in the fall of 1891 again took up his abode in Montezuma and has since been actively associated with the work of the courts and at seventy-five years of age has a large and lucrative law practice, doing as much court work as he ever did in his younger days. In addition he has proved his worth in the management of commercial interests. He was one of the organizers of the Montezuma Electric Light & Power Company, superintended the construction of the plant and took up the management of the business. He also superintended the erection and installation of the electric light works at Bloomfield and at Sigourney and assisted in surveying the route for the Grinnell & Montezuma Railroad. He made and published the first map of Poweshiek county and at all times has been closely associated with the growth and progress of the county not alone by reason of his connection with industrial and commercial affairs or with the legal profession but also because he has been the champion of every project and measure which he deemed of value in the public life of the community. He was again called to office in the fall of 1897, when he was nominated by acclamation for the state senate at the republican convention of the twelfth senatorial district, comprising Poweshiek and Keokuk counties. The election showed that he was the popular candidate and for four years he remained a member of the upper house. He gave careful consideration to each question which came up for settlement and left the impress of his individuality and ability upon the laws enacted during that period.

In 1865, in Burlington, Vermont, Mr. Lewis was united in marriage to Miss Mary E. Cutts, a daughter of Edwin Cutts, of Brandon, Vermont, and a sister of M. E. Cutts, of Oskaloosa. The marriage relation between them was always of a most ideal character and the deepest grief in the life of Judge Lewis came to him in the death of his wife on the 10th of April, 1893.

Fraternally Judge Lewis is connected with Masonry as a Knight Templar and belongs also to the Iowa Legion, the Ancient Order of United Workmen and to the Iowa State Bar Association. He has never faltered in his stalwart support of the republican party and its principles and has served as chairman of the county central committee. He was a member of the first city council of Montezuma and while important political interests relative to the work of the courts and to the law-making body of the state have claimed his attention he has never considered himself above the duties connected with the management of local interests. A lifelong member of the Presbyterian church, he has served as elder and trustee and for a number of years was superintendent of the Sunday school, in which position he continued until his election to the bench. He is today one of the oldest residents of Montezuma in years of continuous connection with the city, and among the men of Poweshiek county who have been long in public service the record of none has been more constant in honor, fearless in conduct and stainless in reputation.

There is solid documentation that any of these people are the family of my Julia Ann Lewis. However, I have information that I can try to disprove now. The one thing I do know is that Julia Ann Lewis is my second great-grandmother – who her parents and siblings were is still up for debate until I find hard evidence.

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As I was going through the Ohio County Marriage Records on FamilySearch.org yesterday, I came across three listings for James E. House in Guernsey County, Ohio.  Two of them are known to me.  My great-grandfather, James Emory House, married Barbara Shryock on May 29, 1866.

 

They went on to have one son, Edward F. House, and two daughters – Belle Dora House and Lucina House.  Barbara (also called Barbary) died on July 10, 1872. 

Then the story goes that James had Frances Ogan keeping house for him – as told in a letter written by his youngest son, Alva Lester House, to my aunt Gertrude.

So Father got my mother to keep house for him after his wife died.  So him and Mother got married and they had 8 children.

James and Frances (Ogan) were married on May 26, 1873. 

Their first son, Florus Allen House (named after James’ father), was born a month prior to their marriage on April 21, 1873. 

And this is where it gets interesting.  When I clicked on the third entry for James E. House on the marriage records, it showed a marriage license issued on March 4, 1873, for James E. House and Elizabeth A. Meloy- it was never returned – and the couple didn’t get married. 

Curious!  In order to determine if this was my great-grandfather, I set about comparing signatures.

I looked at all three – since two of them were “documented” as true and correct (sources are the children of my great-grandfather and his two wives – Barbara and Frances) – then I needed to compare his signatures with the one on the license for Elizabet Meloy.

I looked at unique aspects – the curliques especially – to determine if the same person could have signed all three documents and voila!  It sure enough was!  So who was this Elizabeth Meloy?  How long had they known each other?  Did James even know that Frances was expecting his child very, very soon (within a month of the date of the license)?  Why didn’t he and Elizabeth get married? (On a personal note, I’m glad they didn’t or else I wouldn’t be here!) 

I set about trying to find out who this Elizabeth was.  It seemed that whomever wrote down the names on the licenses, didn’t check for spelling.  Either that or my great-grandfather was very bad at remembering spelling or names.  Instead of Barbara Shryock – she is listed as Barbary – which is what James wrote down on his pension application.  Instead of Frances or even “Frankie” – she is listed as Frank.  So that made me realize that Meloy could be a convoluted spelling for Malloy or Maloy.  After not finding any possible Meloy families in the census, I looked for Maloy families. 

James had grown up in Linton Township, Coshocton County, Ohio.  In the 1860 US Census, he is living with his parents (Florus and Julia House) in Linton Township, dwelling and family number 778.  Elizabeth Maloy, 9 years old, is living in the William and Louisa Maloy household in Linton Township, dwelling and family number 759.  In the 1870 US Census, Elizabeth is still living with her parents.  She is listed as age 18.  The family had moved to Monroe Township, Muskingum County, Ohio.  Since I have not been able to locate James and Barbara in the 1870 US Census, it is unknown where they were living.  What I do know is James’ parents, Florus and Julia, were married in Muskingum County – so perhaps Julia’s family still lived in the area and perhaps they visited them from time to time.  I would imagine that the families knew each other from some community function – church, school, or a social club.  Elizabeth was about 8 years younger than James.  She was three years younger than one of his sisters and two years older than another one. 

Further research on Elizabeth indicates that there was an Elizabeth Maloy who married James Parks on June 13, 1877 in Coshocton County, Ohio.  I can only assume that this is the same woman.

I’m still looking for more information.  Right now Elizabeth Meloy/Maloy is just as mysterious as she was when I found the marriage license!

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Today’s date marks the anniversary of the births of:

  • Silas Hills – 1739
  • Josiah House – 1814 (first cousin, 4 times removed)
  • John  H. Caylor – 1827 (2nd great grand uncle)
  • George K. Blazer – 1862 (first cousin, 4 times removed)
  • Florence Ethel Loveland – 1883 (fourth cousin, 1 time removed)
  • Berney Frank Rivers – 1883
  • Myron Ricker – 1907
  • Lannie O. Rhodes – 1908
  • Roger W. Gerwing – 1928
  • And 6 other people who are still living.

It is the anniversary of the death of 12 individuals:

  • James E. Davis - 1882 (2nd cousin 3 times removed)
  • Henry Goul – 1898 (3rd great grand uncle)
  • Jesse James Stern – 1935 (2nd cousin 3 times removed)
  • John W. Bushong – 1940 (4th cousin 4 times removed)
  • Joseph Napolean Wilt – 1944 (maternal great-grandfather)
  • Harry Martin Blazer – 1957 (2nd cousin 3 times removed)
  • Agnes E. Lynn – 1971
  • Harvey M. Macy – 1972
  • Jenny Elora Stephens – 1975
  • Albert Keeney – 1977 (7th cousin 1 time removed)
  • Mary Helen House – 1994 (first cousin 1 time removed)
  • Mary Arlene Amore – 1996 (2nd cousin)

Seven couples married on this date and one couple is still living.  The others are:

  • Austin Harvey and Anna Bushong, 1818 in Kentucky (wife is 3rd cousin 6 times removed)
  • Jehu Hendren and Elizabeth Combs, 1833 in Wilkes County, North Carolina
  • Earle Kinsey and Mary Shideler, 1835 in Preble County, Ohio (husband is 2nd cousin 5 times removed)
  • David B. Crawford and Elizabeth Ann Davis, 1907 in Logan, Cache County, Utah (wife is 7th cousin 1 time removed)
  • Grover Johnson and Esta Fern Rinker, 1907 in Perkinsville, Madison County, Indiana (husband is 2nd cousin 2 times removed)
  • Wilmer E. Keeney and Mabel Buell, 1914 in Manchester, Hartford County, Connecticut (husband is 6th cousin 2 times removed)

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Born on March 5th:

  1. Mercy WEBSTER - 1781 – Connecticut. Daughter of John Webster and Elizabeth House.  3rd Cousin 5 times removed.
  2. Susannah ROUDEBUSH – 1793 – York, Pennsylvania.  Daughter of Jacob Roudebush and Anna Rickstacker.  4th Gr-Grandmother.
  3. Peter B. BUSHONG – 1836 – Logan County, Ohio.  Son of John Bushong Jr. and Rachel Van Vooris.  3rd Cousin 5 times removed.  Samuel Colt manufactures the 1st pistol, a 34 Caliber “Texas” model.
  4. Cyrus Nathan NICHOLSON – 1862.  Son of Perry Nicholson and Dinah Coddington.  5th Cousin 3 times removed.  Union troops under the command of Brig. General Wright occupy Fernandida, Florida.
  5. William Lloyd AMORE – 1882 – Coshocton County, Ohio.  Son of William Henry Amore and Mary Angelina Werts.  Paternal Grandfather.
  6. Henry PETERSON – 1886 – Henry County, Ohio.  Son of Elias Peterson and Harriett Mary House.  4th Cousin once removed.
  7. Viola WILSON – 1887 – Thomas County, Kansas.  Daughter of Charles Bennet Wilson and Clarissa Nicholson.  6th Cousin twice removed.
  8. Marjorie Alice SOWERS – 1922 – Hamilton County, Indiana.  Daughter of Frank Sowers and Effie Wiles.  Wife of 4th Cousin once removed.  Berlin shows the premiere of “Nosferatu”.

Died on March 5th:

  1. John Flavel HOUSE – 1869 – Hartford County, Connecticut. Born May 1798.  Son of Matthew House and Lois Hubbard.  1st cousin 5 times removed.
  2. John S. RUEBUSH – 1914.  Born Oct. 1844. Son of George Ruebush and Mary Catherine Moyers. 3rd Cousin 4 times removed.
  3. Mary Jane WERTS – 1917 – Lucas County, Iowa.  Born Mar. 1835.  Daughter of George Peter Werts and Margaret Maple. 2nd Great-grandaunt.  Victor Records released first jazz recording on that label.
  4. Virginia “Jennie” MAPHIS – 1933 – Shenandoah County, Virginia. Born June 1845.  Daughter of  Joseph and Mariah Maphis. Wife of 2nd Cousin 5 times removed.   The Nazi party in Germany wins the majority in Parliament.
  5. Frances Elaine HUFFMAN - 1943.  Born Aug. 1909.  Daughter of William Emmet Huffman and Elizabeth Catherine Link.  5th Cousin twice removed.  Royal Air Force bombs Essen, Germany and there are anti-fascist strikes in Italy.
  6. George Harold STERN – 1950 – Washington.  Born Nov. 1911.  Son of George Earl Stern and Susie Irene Woodworth.  2nd Cousin once removed.
  7. Anna Elizabeth BUSHONG – 1966.  Born Apr. 1880.  Daughter of Andrew Jackson Bushong and Amanda Fultz.  4th Cousin 3 times removed.  The United States performs a nuclear test at the Nevada Test Site.

Married on March 5th:

  1. Zenus NICHOLSON and Mary FISHER – 1838.  Zenus – son of Jonathan Loveland Nicholson and Elizabeth Swingle.  4th Cousin 4 times removed.
  2. Samuel W. FELLER and Martha Ann BUSHONG – 1857.  Martha – daughter of Henry M. Bushong and Mary Ann Wendel.  2nd Cousin 5 times removed.

**Historic events from Scope Systems Anyday in History.

Boston Massacre: In 1770 British sentries who were guarding the Boston Customs House shot into a crowd and killed three people and injured eight. 
(Source: Library of Congress – Today in History)

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This is an update to my post from July 24, 2008, Elusive Great-Great-Aunt Rachel, where I listed information I knew and what I had found concerning my maternal great-grandmother’s sister, Rachel Blazer.  Rachel had married Maurice (or Morris – depending on the document) Given about 1897 according to the 1910 Census that lists them as married 13 years.

While I was researching one of my brick wall ancestors (Franklin Blazer – Rachel’s father – who I will post about soon!), I ran across the name “Rachel Blazer” in the Chicago Tribune for the June 20, 1897 edition.  Listed under “Marriage Licenses” that were issued the day prior, were the names Maurice Given, age 38, residence listed as Madison, Kansas and Rachel Blazer, age 29, residence listed as Anderson, Madison County, Indiana.  Ta-Da!

marlic

marlic2

This is what I consider Serendipity!  I was looking for something else – albeit Rachel’s father – and discovered more informaton on Elusive Great-Great-Aunt Rachel!

(Source: Chicago Daily Tribune (1872-1963); Chicago, Illinois;  20 Jun 1897)

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With the approaching Independence Day holiday, I found myself wondering how many folks in my family tree were married on July 4th or some other holiday.

CHRISTMAS DAY – 13

  • Georg Adams & Christine Werts – 1814
  • Eleazer House & Abigail Mosely – 1782
  • Ephraim Swingle & Dolly Nicholson – 1868
  • Percy Tuttle & Julia House – 1906
  • Evans Wortman & Laura House – 1888
  • Henry House & Lucy Woodford – 1860
  • Charles Duncan & Catherine Rice – 1876
  • Lindsey House & Mary Young – 1841
  • John Rivers & Rosa Hagerman – 1874
  • Leroy Snodgrass & Blanche Bookless – 1904
  • E. Lee Harnish & Blanche Hendricks – 1917
  • Conrad Miller & Maria Grim (1780)
  • Charles Reubush & Vada Henkle (1915)

NEW YEARS EVE/NEW YEARS DAY – 18

  • John W. & Mary F. [surnames with held for privacy] – 1983
  • Thomas Hollister & Abigail Talcott – about 1734/35
  • Ross Bookless & Estella Wiley – 1901
  • Alton Rose & Katherine Roberts – 1931
  • David Williams & Martha Ann Kinsey – 1839
  • Cyrellus Mackenzie & Cassandra Bushong – 1860
  • Beryl Goul & Freida Novak – 1927
  • Arza Young & Mary Guilkey – 1909
  • John ‘Jacob’ Bushong & Eva Catherina Bossert – 1784
  • Samuel Whiteman & Martha Goul – 1888
  • Charles Anderson & Rosa Johnson – 1888
  • Ralph Bushong & Ada Calhoun – 1927
  • Larry & Wilma [surnames with held for privacy] – 1983
  • John Alexander Bushong & Mattie Maxon – 1884
  • Eli Hendren & Elizabeth Gilreath – 1834
  • Evan Bell & Eliza Johnson – 1846
  • William F. Clawson & Martha Jane Stern – 1909
  • Clinton Dodd & Frances Huffman – 1938

Valentine’s Day – 15

  • John Canfield & Dorcas House – 1774
  • James Couts & Lorna Angle – 1948
  • Patrick & Marta [surnames with held for privacy] – 2003
  • Larry & Marilyn [surnames with held for privacy] – 1957
  • Samuel Hale & Sarah Smith – 1728/29
  • Donnie & Judith [surnames with held for privacy] 2002
  • William House & Judith Chapman – 1806
  • Richard Hendren & Harriet Agee – 1876
  • John Brown & Elizabeth “Betsy” Bushong – 1814
  • Philip Bushong & Elizabeth Brugh/Betsy Drew – 1815
  • Hughie Clark & Lieureta Stanley – 1853
  • Walter & Dorothy [surnames with held for privacy] – 1950
  • David & Sandra [surnames with held for privacy] – 1981
  • Francis & Lori [surnames with held for privacy] – 1986
  • Edward & Penny [surnames with held for privacy] – 1991

           (Siblings were married on the same day 12 years apart.)

 

4th of JULY – 9

  • Johnathon Loveland Nicholson & Elizabeth Swingle – 1804
  • Henry Goul & Mathilda Bates – 1894
  • Thomas Roudebush & Orpha Griffin – 1903
  • Henry Bushong & Isabelle Summers – 1791
  • Ezeckial A. Hendren & Miranda Wade – 1838
  • John Noonan & Martha Blazer – 1887
  • John Johnson & Katie Blazer – 1883
  • Harold & Doris [surnames with held for privacy] – 1953
  • David & Susan [surnames with held for privacy] – 1998

      (Sisters were married on the same date – 4 years apart.)

I’ve also found quite a few marriages close to Thanksgiving, Easter, Labor Day, and between Christmas and New Years.

Have you gone through your family file to see on what holidays were the most popular to be married?  What can be determined through this information?  Were there siblings who usually married on the same date as an older one?

 

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One of the earliest divorces I found – one that would also impact my life – was that of my great-grandparents.  Joseph Napolean Wilt and Martha Jane Stern were married in Delaware County, Indiana on September 10, 1890.  Six children were born to this family – one son was either stillborn or died shortly thereafter.  My grandmother, Vesta, was the fifth child (the fourth who lived) and first daughter.  By the time she was ten – in 1908 – her parents had separated.  I am unsure when the divorce actually took place but it was before December 1909.  Martha had to send at least one of her sons, to her husband’s sister’s home for awhile as she didn’t have the income or money to support all of her children.  On September 19, 1908 she appeared in Judge J.H. Leffler’s Delaware County Court to appeal for child support from her estranged husband.  The judge granted her support for her three youngest children, Vesta, and her sister, Nellie, and brother, Clifford.  The judge signed a bench warrant for the arrest of Joe Wilt for non-support of children under the age of 14.  Family stories indicate that Joe really never did much to support his children and drifted from one place to another and one job to another.  What is known is that my grandmother and her siblings went for a long time before ever seeing their father again.

Martha married her sister’s widower, William Frank Clawson, on December 31, 1909.  Frank and (Margaret) Ellen Stern had six children – four dying as infants.  Between Frank and Martha, they raised their combined families together.  My grandmother used to call her step-siblings, “double-cousins”, which was a misnomer.  They were first cousins who ended up becoming step-siblings due to Frank and Martha’s marriage. 

Joe went on to marry Anna Park on July 3, 1912 in Clark County, Indiana.  They spent most of their married life in Lexington, Scott County, Indiana as indicated by the 1920 and 1930 censuses.  I have not found either Joe or Martha in any of the 1910 censuses of Indiana.  Joe and Anna had one son, Albert, born in 1917.  My grandmother did meet her half-brother once but he died in 1933 at the age of 16.  Anna died about 1942.  Joe went on to marry one last time to a lady named Susie (as referenced in his obituary). 

When Joe Wilt died in early January 1944 he was alone.  Susie had been staying in Kentucky and it was thought that Joe died from a heart attack.  Even though he hadn’t had contact with his children for quite sometime, Vesta and possibly her brother Clarence (who also lived in Indiana) and other brother, Jesse (living in Ohio), were able to attend the funeral. 

Many years later after my parents divorced, my grandmother was like a kindred spirit as she told me that she had gone through the same thing when her parents split up.  She had experienced many of the same thoughts and emotions that I had.  Witnessing first hand all the triumphs over the stigma of divorce that she had accomplished, I knew that my future would be okay.  Without ever knowing my great-grandparents, their marriage and divorce, and the affect that had on their daughter, made a profound impact on my own life.

Picture 1: Martha and Joe Wilt, sons: John, Jesse (baby), Clarence
Picture 2: Frank and Martha Clawson
Picture 3: Joe and Anna Wilt

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Marital Longevity

In an earlier post, I wrote about How Many Times Have They Been Married.  This post will list some of the lengthy marriages I’ve discovered in my family tree.

Grandparents

  • Glen Johnson and Vesta Wilt - 67 years
  • Lloyd Amore and Ella House - 43 years.

Uncles and Aunts

  • Glen Johnson Jr. and Mary Van Tuyl - 61 years
  • Gail Amore and Margaret White - 40 years
  • Paul Amore and Dorothy (unknown) – about 50 years
  • Norman Amore and Mae Miller – 54 years
  • Bervil Amore and Eva Swigert – 45 years

First Cousins – since these couples are still living I will just list the years:

  • 57 years
  • 46 years
  • 45 years
  • 50 years
  • 43 years
  • 45 years
  • 26 years

My Great-Grandparents

  • John Johnson and Katie Blazer – 46 years
  • Henry Amore and Annie Werts – 62 years
  • James House and Frances Ogan – 42 years

Several of my great-aunts and great-uncles also had marriages that endured for a long time.  So even though there are quite a few couples whose marriages didn’t work for one reason or another, or they endured the death of a spouse, there are many examples of marital longevity in my family. 

Have you gone through your family tree and ancestors and discovered lengthy marriages or someone who has been married several times (for one reason or another)? 

 

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Thanks, Jessica & Randy, for the idea for this post!  Please go to Jessica’s Genejournal Blog and read How Many Times Have My Ancestors Been Married? to see what Jessica discovered or to Randy Seaver’s Genea-Musings Blog to read

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