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Posts Tagged ‘Ogan’

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AJohnHollisterHouseGlastonburyCT.png

The John Hollister House in Glastonbury, Connecticut was built about 1649 according to “The HIstorical Society of Glastonbury” (Architecture page). It is located at 14 Tryon Street. This was the ancestral home for the Hollister family for many generations.  Lieutenant John Hollister was born in 1612 in England and came to America around 1642 (1). Lt. Hollister married Joanna Treat, daughter of Richard and Joanna Treat, and eight children were born to this union: Elizabeth, John Jr, Thomas, Joseph, Lazarus, Mary, Sarah, and Stephen. Hollister Sr. died after April 3. 1665 and left a will naming his widow and living children and the children of daughter, Elizabeth. His burial location is unknown.

John and Joanna Hollister are my 8th great-grandparents through their son, John Jr. He married Sarah Goodrich and through their son Thomas who married Dorothy Hills. Their daughter, Hannah Hollister, married William House and through their son, my 4th great-grandfather, Lazarus House. He married Rebecca Risley and their son, Allen House, married Editha Bigelow. Their son, Florus Allen House, married Julia Ann Lewis, and their son, James Emory House, was the father of my paternal grandmother, Ella Maria House, with his second wife, Frances Virginia Ogan.

My House and Hollister ancestors all lived in Hartford, Connecticut since the mid-1600’s. They were founders of Wethersfield and many are buried in the Ancient Burying Ground in Hartford county. I would like to visit the area to walk the same places they did; view the historical John Hollister House; and pay my respects to all my many times great-grandparents in the cemeteries there.

 

(1). The Hollister Family of America: Lieut. John Hollister, of Wethersfield, Conn., and His Descendants; Case, Lafayette Wallace; 1886; Fergus Printing Company; p 19; Digitzed 19 Sep 2006; American Libraries; Internet Archive.

 

(Photo credt: Connecticut Historical Society)

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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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Randy Seaver (who is lacking a good internet connection now – he’s having to pay a horrible price for just a little bit of connection time) has still posted the Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Ahnentafel Roulette on his blog, Genea-Musings.

1. How old is my father: 88

2. Divide that number by 4: 22

3. The person on my Ahnentafel chart that is #22 is: Evan Ogan (my note: Oh, of all the people!!!)

4. Three facts about that person:

  1. Evan, born 1785 in Culpepper County, Virginia, is the foster father of my paternal g-grandmother, Frances V. (Ogan) House. 
  2. He married Susannah Fritter in 1807.
  3. He is found living in Rich Hill, Muskingum County, Ohio in the 1850 Census; in Spencer, Guernsey County, Ohio in the 1860 Census; living with his son, Lot, in Meigs Twp, Muskingum County, Ohio in the 1870 Census.
  4. Evan died when he was 88 (abt. 1879) at the home of his youngest son in Meigs Twp, Muskingum County, Ohio (presumably that son was Lot) – cause of death was paralysis (according to his obituary).

So I listed 4 facts.  My great-grandmother, Frances Ogan, lived with Evan and Susannah since the 1850 Census – she was listed as Frances Foster.  I may never know whether or not Frances was related to them, if they knew her parents, or if the family lore is accurate: that she was left on a doorstep.

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Stories have filtered down through the family that my great-grandmother, Frances, was left on a doorstep as a baby. Her maiden name has been reported as Ogan – according to her husband’s, James House’s, application for invalid pension and her obituary – and Ogelvey – according to my dad and her son, (Alva) Lester House. Where did Frances come from? Obviously she wasn’t dropped to earth by the proverbial aliens! Was she left on a doorstep? Or did she get “farmed” out as so many children did back in the mid to late 1800’s due to financial reasons? Another theory leans to the fact that one of her parents died (or both) and she was brought up by relatives, god-parents, or neighbors.
Born on November 29, 1846, her obituary states that Frances was born in Guernsey, Ohio so that is where the census search began. She was found in the 1850 Census in Richhill Township, Muskingum County, Ohio living in the Evan & Susannah Ogan household at age 3 – her name is listed as Francis Foster. In the 1860 Guernsey census, Frances Foster (female), age 13, was living in the home of Evan and Susannah Ogan – both in their 70’s. In 1870, Frances Ogan, age 23, was living at a local hotel as a cook. After that she is found living in the House home. It is still unknown if the Frances in either of the 1850 or 1860 censuses is the woman being searched for – although her age matches with what is known. Evan and Susannah Ogan may have been related to Frances or another thought is she married their son or grandson before 1870 and he either died or the marriage ended. It has also been reported that she went by “Frankie” and her middle name was Virginia. Except for the census reports, most of these theories are conjecture and not to be taken as documented proof.

Frances daughter, Ella (my paternal grandmother), had auburn hair and since her father, James E. House, had dark hair and a dark complexion, it is possible that Frances had either auburn hair or was brunette with auburn undertones.  Ella is the only one documented to have auburn hair until her great-granddaughter (my niece) came along.

Frances’ son, Lester House, wrote a letter to my aunt detailing what he could about his mother’s mysterious origins.  It reads in part, “My mother was born some place near Cambridge, Ohio, her name was Frances Oglevey. As to her parents I don’t know much about. She was raised all around the County. She had to go out and work when she was only a child. The last place she worked over there was with people by the name of Blackson.”

In her adult years, there is more that is known.  When my grandfather’s first wife, Barbara Shyrock, died leaving him with three little ones under the age of six, he employed Frances as his housekeeper and possible nanny to the children while he worked.  Nine months after Barbara died, Frances and James had their first son.  One month later, they were married.  I often wonder what their explanation for that could have been!  I also wonder how long James had known Frances before Barbara died.  It isn’t known how Barbara died – whether she’d been ill for awhile or if it was sudden.  Possibly if she had been unable to tend the home, James may have employed Frances prior to his wife’s death. 

The couple went on to have seven more children.  One son, Elmer, died at the age of four.  Another son, Charles, died at age 12 in a farm accident.  One daughter, Julia, died during childbirth at age 27.  Frances had to endure so many losses – not only those of her children, but of her foster parents, Evan and Susannah.  She had to sit by while her oldest son, Florus (named after James’ father), had symptoms of “lung fever” at age 15, was hurt in a mining accident a few years later, and was sent to serve during the Spanish-American War in 1898.

Did she ever wonder about her parents or did she accept the life she had been given?

Her obituary claims that she was a well known woman throughout the city of Coshocton and that her death brought much sorrow to many hearts.

Perhaps my great-grandmother’s origins will never be solved but then again, she may be just waiting to be found.  It’s just a matter of time.

(Left: Gravestone of James E. and Frances V. House, Prairie Chapel Cemetery, Coshocton County, Ohio)

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