A West Virginia Coal Miner’s Poetic Memories

My great-grandfather Walter Farmer ROOP (1883-1971) was a blacksmith, coal miner, artist, poet, photographer, and cartoonist. He was 17 years old when the 1900 census was taken and worked as a day laborer for six months during the previous year. He was living in the Cabin Creek District of Kanawha County in West Virginia in his father Gordon‘s household. When he married Rebecca Jane CLONCH on 12 July 1903 his occupation was listed as a miner. This is the profession he would engage in until his retirement.

Walter and Rebecca’s family was missed by the enumerator in 1910. On 12 September 1918 Walter was a mine blacksmith with the Gauley Mountain Coal Company of Ansted per his Draft Card. His place of employment was Jodie, Fayette County.

walter-farmer-roop-wwi-draft-card
Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918

Per the census, in 1920 and 1930 he was a miner in a coal mine and in 1940 a utility man in a coal mine. In 1939 he worked 44 weeks and received a private wage. The number of weeks he worked in 1939 appears to be the average for the miners in the community.

walter-f-roop-family-with-his-father-gordon-ca-1920-1921In 1942 the Registration Card (for men born on or after April 28, 1877, and on or before February 16, 1897), also known as the “old man’s registration,” has the Gauley Mountain Coal Company of Ansted as my great-grandfather’s employer.

walter-farmer-roop-wwii-card-front
Ancestry.com. U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942
walter-farmer-roop-wwii-card-back
Ancestry.com. U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942

The place of residence on the 1920, 1930, and 1940 census for the ROOP family was Jodie in Fayette County.

The community which would become Jodie was started up when the first houses were built by local logging companies in the late 1800s. The first post office was established in 1894 or 1896 (conflicting sources) when the town was named Imboden. The name of the town was changed to Jodie in 1910. In 1915, the Gauley Mountain Coal Company established Jodie as a coal town. The company utilized the existing lumber company houses and built additional ones. A company store, movie theater, and boarding house were also built but they are now long gone. The houses were sold off to residents in the mid-1940s, and the local mines closed less than ten years later. My great-grandfather very likely worked for the Gauley Mountain Coal Company from the time they established in Jodie until his retirement.

Christopher Taylor, a Shepherd University (Shepherdstown, WV) history major, kindly shared maps, photographs, and explanations to give me an idea of the geographical location of the mine Walter worked in.

1928-jodie-wv-usgs-map-fayetteville-quadrangle
Image and text courtesy of Christopher Taylor.

Here is Jodie as it appeared in a USGS topographical map from 1928. I added labels showing various locations and parts of town. The Buck Run Mine loaded coal into a tipple along the river. In later years as operations expanded southeasterly across the mountain, they discontinued the tipple on the river and sent the coal down to Rich Creek.

tipple
Photo and text courtesy of Christopher Taylor.

The Jodie Tipple on Rich Creek, c. 1940s. Coal from the left hillside came from the No. 1 (Buck Run) Mine, and across a conveyor into the tipple. Coal from the right side came from the No. 2 (Rich Creek) Mine.

My Great-grandfather’s Poetry

Walter’s poetry, written after the 1950 death of his wife Rebecca Jane CLONCH, has been passed down in the family. I have no idea if he wrote poems before my great-grandmother’s death. I think he may have discovered his love for expressing his feeling in poetry following his beloved’s death.

Although most were written for his darling wife, he also wrote two poems reflecting his love of mining. He wrote Buck Run after re-visiting the site of the old mine he spent so many years of toil and happy times.

buckrunbywalterfroop

Buck Run

Old Buck Run Mine has played its part
With vigor, zeal and zest;
Through two great wars that we have fought
She gave her very best.

We miss the rhythmic tramp of feet
Of those we used to know,
Who worked with us at Buck Run Mine
Some forty years ago.

I strolled alone the other day
To visit Buck Run Mine,
The scene of many years of toil
And many happy times.

The old landmarks had disappeared
And all was calm and still.
The only things familiar now
Are Buck Run’s brushy hills.

Old memories gathered thick and fast
Of pals who used to be;
Some rest perhaps on native hills
And some across the sea.

There crept upon my aged form
A feeling strange and cold;
I bowed my head and walked away;
I, too, am growing old.

— W. F. Roop, Jodie, W. Va.

What Remains of Rich Creek Mine No. 2

Similar to the stroll Walter took to visit Buck Run Mine, Christopher hiked up to the remains of Rich Creek Mine No. 2 in 2013. He took photos which he has kindly allowed me to use.

richcreekno2mine1richcreekno2mine2richcreekno2mine3

A Coal Miner Remembers

The second poem, When We Retire, describes what it was like to work in a mine. Clipped and dated January 1952, it was published in the United Mine Workers Journal.

mrin00030-1952-01-19-when-we-retire-by-walter-farmer-roop
“When We Retire,” a poem published in the United Mine Workers Journal, January 15, 1952, pg. 15

When We Retire

I’m just an Old Miner, retired from the mines,
Still I yearn for the days that are dead,
When we labored and toiled, in the dust and the grime,
While dangers lurked over our heads.

Though we pray and we pine till we’re weary and sick,
Fate never will answer our prayer;
To feel the old thrill, of the shovel and pick,
And to be with the gang that was there.

Where we labored and toiled in a world of our own,
By the gleam of a flickering light;
Where the change of the seasons is ever unknown,
And the day is eternally night.

Why we yearn to go back, I cannot understand,
For the dangers and hardships were great,
And many a miner who played a good hand
Has lost in the gamble with Fate.

— By Walter Farmer Roop, Belva W. Va.

Walter Farmer ROOP was an all around artistic talent. He left wonderful gifts for his children, grandchildren, and all later descendants. While re-reading his poems and reviewing his art I realized he left much more than photos, drawings, and words – he actually bequeathed us with parts of his own autobiography.

bestwishescathy1

© 2016, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

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Will DNA Help in Getting Around the Hill?

In the twenty-four years of doing genealogy I’ve learned to not take other researchers’ information for granted without retracing their work. I knew this fairly early on and when reviewing my database I still find branches of the family tree which need pruning and a bit or a lot of support.

For the CLONCH line I relied heavily on Ralph Hayes’ genealogy work as a guide. I gave him credit for information I quoted and was not able to corroborate through my own research. In time I was able to confirm much of his work but questions have remained.

One of these was the parentage of Dennis CLONCH, a twelve years old boy living in the same household as Nancy CLONCH, widow of Dennis CLAUNCH (spelling of the surname changed after his death). Someone at some time thought his parents were John CLONCH and Elizabeth DOSS. In a timeline frame this just didn’t work for me.

It is my belief he was the son of John’s brother William CLONCH and his wife Ann Eliza HILL. Dennis CLONCH aka Dennis HILL was not mentioned in the will of William CLONCH which may have lead an earlier researcher to assume he was the son of John CLONCH, John being the only other known male CLONCH in the area during this time period. The CLONCH families in Mason County, West Virginia, were all descendants of Dennis CLAUNCH and Nancy BEASLEY through their sons, William CLONCH and John CLONCH. They also had two daughters whose children passed on the husbands’ surnames, not the CLONCH name.

In my last two posts Difficulty Getting Around the Hill and Here We Go Dancing ’round the Hill I discussed the paper trail I found which supports my assumption that Dennis CLONCH and Dennis HILL were the same person.

When I shared Difficulty Getting Around the Hill with Ralph I wondered if he knew what I planned for this post when he replied:

Actually this Dennis was the son of the milkman.

How does DNA fit into the picture?

When I received the results of my brother’s DNA test at Ancestry I first looked at the closest matches. I searched for surname matches. Nothing new showed up so I began looking deeper into the more distant matches to help with some of my brick walls.

One of my brick walls is John COOLEY b. 1827 in Missouri. During this period of time ALL of my American ancestors were in Old Virginia. I searched for matches with ancestors in Missouri and found a match in the Distant Cousin range with the Missouri location but not for the COOLEY surname. You get the gist of this. I was all over the place, grasping at straws.

Although I wouldn’t suggest this method of searching through DNA results, it turned up, by accident or coincidence, a match with R.S., an Ancestry member with a small tree of 15 people. In the tree was R.S.’s great-grandfather Albert Henry HILL born 11 September 1876 in Missouri. He did not have parents but the year and place of birth was a match for Albert seen in Dennis HILL’s household in Saline County, Missouri, in 1880. This was before I began going over the HILL (line), before I wrote The Mysterious Ann Eliza HILL, wife of William CLONCH, and the two posts which followed.

rsfamilytreeIs the date of birth seen in the Dennis Hill family Bible enough proof?

If R.S.’s Albert Henry HILL was the son of Dennis HILL and Dennis was the son of my 3rd great-grandfather William CLONCH, then R.S. and my brother would be (half) 4th cousins (being descendants of William’s two relationships). The 6.5 cMs shared DNA (across 1 segment) fits in the relationship range fourth cousins once removed or third cousins three times removed. I know less than 7 cMs is not considered reliable – only about 5% of  matches in this area may have a common ancestor. R.S. has no shared matches with any of my brother’s matches. I was stumped until I learned Ancestry does not show shared matches for persons who share at the Distant Cousin level. They only show shared matches up to fourth cousins.

HillmatchMO

There are at least a dozen people who descend from Dennis CLAUNCH and Nancy BEASLEY who have tested and have matches with my brother. I need to:

  1. request access to their DNA results on Ancestry or
  2. ask them to check their matches for R.S. as a distant cousin or
  3. request they upload their results to GEDMatch for comparison.

When my brother’s DNA results came in I waited a few weeks before I began reaching out to his matches. R.S. quickly replied but was a bit wary of my theory pertaining to his Albert Henry HILL being the son of Dennis HILL aka Dennis CLONCH. I fully understood his hesitation to not accept everything I was telling him as fact. Our contact is touch and go. Ancestry messaging from the DNA page didn’t work. My email provider was blocked by his and I had to use a different email account. His computer was fried and had to be rebuilt.

While trying to keep in touch with R.S. I began checking out the CLONCH matches. Some I messaged back in June and others this past week. So far only one person has gotten back to me. Since I have done a lot of reverse genealogy for the CLONCH line I already had many of the matches’ lines at least partly documented. These are the ones who had trees or who I recognized.

DNAmatchesNow the waiting begins….

Since making contact with the matches is taking longer than I expected it may be a while before we can test Ralph’s (just joking) theory about Dennis being the son of the milkman. Or even begin thinking about DNA giving us proof Dennis HILL was the son of William CLONCH and Ann Eliza HILL or the son of Ann Eliza HILL and another man or the son of an unknown child of Dennis CLAUNCH and Nancy BEASLEY.

It’s a bit frustrating to have to wait but I’m going to look on the bright side. While working on the paper trail for Ann Eliza HILL and Dennis HILL, I found a bible transcription and an obituary, and located the married children of Dennis HILL. I don’t give up easily when doing genealogy research. In this case finding a living descendant of Dennis’ son Albert  – with a DNA match to my brother – pushed me find more or was it genetic memory?

Will DNA help in getting around the Hill? I’ll keep you posted on any new developments.

bestwishescathy1

© 2016, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

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Here We Go Dancing ’round the Hill

Last week I had a bit of Difficulty Getting Around the Hill. I wondered what became of several of Dennis HILL and Mary Ann BAKER’s children who seemed to disappear after 1880. Where else can information be found on this elusive family? The question led me to an amazing discover.

I was getting desperate to find information. Not only is HILL a common surname, it is also a word found in so many location names. I tried different internet search combinations. “Dennis Hill” + family + Saline pulled up first my GEDCOM and then two sites with “Dennis Hill Family Bible,” a combination I would never have thought to search. This led me to the MoSGA (Missouri State Genealogical Association) site with their Journal in PDF form – online and free.

Genealogy Happy Dance (1)

Have I mentioned lately that genealogy associations and societies have the best hidden genealogy treasures? Not everything is on the internet but some associations have begun to share their publications online.

I was doing the genealogy happy dance when I found MoSGA’s website which includes their Journal for the years 1985-2005 (more current issue are available in the Members Only section)  and their newsletter for the years 2011-2016. If you have families in Missouri don’t pass up the information you might find on them in the Journal or the newsletters.

The first article in the second issue of the Journal was a transcript of the marriage, birth, and death information found in the Dennis HILL family bible. A new key to open the door in this brick wall!

DSC_0008 1Genealogy Happy Dance (2)

Information found in the bible transcript (we’ll get it in a moment) led to a further online search which turned up another piece to the puzzle. I searched for “Timothy Hill” + Saline + 1900 and found this obituary cut from the Miami News and pasted into a scrapbook kept by Wilbert S. Myers (1871-1940) and now in the possession of The State Historical Society of Missouri.

ARTHUR TIMOTHY HILL
Died, at his home in Slater, Wednesday, March 28, 1900, at 3 o’clock a.m., at the age of nearly 22-years, Arthur Timothy Hill, after 2 1/2 weeks’ illness, the result of pneumonia.
The deceased was the son of Dennis and Mary Hill and was born in Chariton County, and for 8 years up to last May lived at Miami, when he moved to Slater, where he drove a dairy wagon for Claude Fields. He joined the Christian Church at this place in 1893, and was a consistent member.
Funeral services were conducted at the family residence in Slater by Elder Shelton, and the remains were interred at the Baptist cemetery at this place Thursday, Elder Prewitt officiating.

[Source: Miami News clipping, Wilbert S. Myers diaries and scrapbook, transcribed by Meredyth Lee (Myers) Devin, used with permission]

So much information in two short paragraphs. The HILL family lived in Chariton County until about 1881 when they went to Miami in Saline County. They lived in Miami until May 1899 when they moved to Slater. We are talking about the time period between the 1880 and 1900 census!! Missing years for so many of us. Mr. Myers diaries and scrapbooks may have some tidbits for others with ancestors living in Saline County during the period.

Welcome to a journey back in time….

I wrote to Meredyth Lee (Myers) Devin and she kindly gave me permission to quote the obituary I found on her site. Her grandfather kept diaries which “preserve a way of life in a little town that really doesn’t exist anymore…..just a post office and church among the farms.” Meredith also wrote, “Like you, there are many times when I wish that he (my grandfather) had written more about certain events and more about the people of Miami, but I guess we should be grateful for what we have.” Please take a moment to leaf through Mr. Myers’ diaries on the Rootsweb site Welcome to a journey back in time…. developed by his granddaughter Meredyth Lee (Myers) Devin.

Let’s discuss what I found in the bible transcription

ScreenClipForPermissionDennisHillBible
[Source: Missouri State Genealogical Association Journal, Vol. 1, No. 2, pg. 69, “Dennis Hill Family Bible” (http://www.mosga.org/upload/journal/Volume_1,_1981_edited.pdf : accessed 30 Jun 2016)] Thank you to Nancy Waller Thomas and Jenna Mills for their help in getting permission from the MoSGA to use this screenshot of the article from the Journal
The introduction to the bible transcription includes census information and the same assumptions I made about the family’s move to Missouri. The year of print of the bible places it’s purchase at 1890 or later. Which means the date of marriage and the dates of birth had to have been written down after the fact. Before I go into the ownership, let’s discuss what I found in the transcription:

    • 16 Nov 1858 – The date of marriage for Dennis HILL and Mary A. BAKER was a match with the marriage record found for Dennis CLAUNCH and Mary Ann BAKER in Gallia County, Ohio.
    • 8 Mar 1838 – The date of birth for Dennis matches what I calculated from the age at death on the cemetery record.
    • 1 Aug 1842 – The date of birth for Mary Ann BAKER – no record has be found to confirm this.
    • 18 Mar 1860 – The date of birth for John W. HILL was a match with the birth record found on WVCulture.org.
    • 4 Feb 1862 – The date of birth for Sarah E. was a match with the birth date calculated from age at death on the cemetery record.
    • 20 Jul 1864 – The date of birth for Anna was a match for day and month as seen on her death record. The year given on the death record was the same as the year of death, 1919 – an obvious mistake. Her age at death was 52 yrs 3 mos 3 dys on the death record, exactly 3 years less than age calculated from birth date in bible and death date on the death record.
    • 21 Mar 1867 – The date of birth for Ella was a match with Barbara Ellen’s birth record found on WVCulture.org.
    • 19 Apr 1871 – The date of birth for James Isaac was a match with the date seen on his death record.
    • 4 Apr 1873 – Date of birth for Ivonia – this “fits” for the child named Ida age 7 seen on the 1880.
    • 11 Sep 1876 – The date of birth for Henry A. was a match with the date seen on a descendant’s family tree on Ancestry for Albert Henry HILL.
    • 16 Jun 1878 – The date of birth for Arthur P. “fits” the child “Emety” a son age 2 years in 1880. Arthur P. in the bible entry may be a transcription error and should be Arthur T. as seen in the obituary found in Mr. Myers’ scrapbook (transcription).
    • 20 Sep 1881 – The date of birth of Zettie M. was an off-match with the date found on the grave marker (photo on FAG) of Zetta CAREY (Zettie M. HILL), exactly one year off.
    • 9 Feb 1861 – The date of death for John W. HILL was a match with the death record found on WVCulture.org.
    • 1 Jul 1892 – The date of death for Sarah E. was a match with the cemetery record.
    • 31 Jul 1893 – The date of death for Dennis matched the pension file and the cemetery record.
    • 12 Sep 1898 – Date of death for Ida V. appears to confirm Ida seen on 1880 census is the same child as Ivonia and Ida V.
    • 28 Mar 1900- The date of death for Timothy is a match with the obituary of Arthur Timothy.

The last date recorded in the bible was the death of the youngest son Timothy in 1900. At the time his mother Mary Ann, his sisters Anna Belle and Zettie May, and his brothers James Isaac and Albert Henry were still living. Four people, excluding Albert who was in Kansas as early as September 1899, could have been in possession of the bible at the time of Timothy’s death.

Last Known Owner of the Dennis Hill Family Bible

I researched Haddon HILL of Leawood, Kansas, the last known owner of the bible, to determine his relationship to the Dennis HILL family.

George Haddon HILL (1898-1980) lived in Jackson County, Missouri, in 1900 and 1910. By the time the WWI draft cards were filled out he was working on his father’s farm in Waldron, Platt County, Missouri, were he was also living in 1920. He was living in Jackson when he married Lena OBERDIEK from Platt in 1925. They lived in Kansas City in 1930 and 1940 and had two daughters.

In 1900 while Haddon was living with his parents Lee Jackson HILL (1862-1940) and Sarah Diana LUSEN (1864-1942) in Kansas City, Missouri, his grandfather Samuel Henry HILL (1817-1906), widower of Jamima WORSHAM (1864-1897), was living in Slater, Saline County, Missouri, with his son Samuel Henry Jr. and his family. The Samuel Henry Hill Sr. family came to Missouri from Lunenburg County, Virginia, after the 1880 census. Before living in Lunenburg they were in the adjoining county of Nottoway in 1850.

The history of Haddon’s family does not show a connection to Dennis HILL other than Haddon’s grandfather living in the same town as Timothy at the time of the later’s death. Interesting to note is that Algernon Archer HILL, Haddon’s uncle, also lived in Slater. He  had two sons, Sam and Claude, who owned the Hill Brothers Funeral Home from 1910-1958.

Was the family bible saved by a non-related HILL family? Following Haddon’s death, did it pass to one of his daughters or was it donated to The State Historical Society of Missouri or a similar association? Or, did Mr. Hill find a home for the bible with a descendant of Dennis HILL?

Updated List of Children of Dennis HILL and Mary Ann BAKER

  1. John William CLONCH b. 18 March 1860 and d. 9 February 1861
  2. Sarah E. HILL b. 4 February 1862 and d. 1 July 1892
  3. Anna Bell HILL b. 20 July 1864 and d. 23 October 1919
  4. Barbara Ellen “Ella” HILL b. 21 March 1867 and d. 14 March 1890
  5. James Isaac HILL b. 19 April 1871 and d. 11 February 1945
  6. Ida Vonia “Ivonia” HILL b. 4 April 1873 and d. 12 September 1898
  7. Albert Henry HILL b. 11 September 1876 and d. 12 Feb 1910
  8. Arthur Timothy HILL b. 16 Jun 1878 and d. 28 March 1900
  9. Zettie May HILL b. 20 September 1881 and d. 19 May 1967

Why Have I Gone Through This Exercise?

The main reason I wanted to learn as much as possible about Dennis HILL and his family was because I believe he may have been the oldest son of my third great-grandfather William CLONCH. Collateral lines are important to my genealogy research. You never know when you’ll find a distant cousin who has the answers to your questions.

childrenAfter the first of this series, The Mysterious Ann Eliza HILL, wife of William CLONCH, was posted Janet Webster Brown, creator of the Genealogy Bloggers group on Facebook, left this comment: “DNA testing might help resolve whether Anna Eliza was the same in both families, yes? no?” All I could say was, “I’m working on it!”

Will DNA help in getting around the hill? Join me next week when I take my first plunge into the genetic pool to figure out what I have and what I need to make DNA work.

bestwishescathy1

© 2016, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

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Difficulty Getting Around the Hill

In The Mysterious Ann Eliza HILL, wife of William CLONCH I brought up the question of  another child born to the marriage of my 3rd great-grandfather and his wife (not my ancestor) Ann Eliza. Their daughter Mariah Jane was mentioned in William’s last will and testament with “three dollars to Mariah Jane Patterson.” Mariah Jane and her husband John PATTERSON protested the will but were overruled.

My 3rd great-grandmother Mary E. “Polly” DOSS lived with William in what may have been considered a common-law marriage. She gave him eight children, seven who lived to adulthood and were named with their mother’s surname in William’s 1863 will.

Mariah Jane was the only child outside of his DOSS children who was acknowledged by him. No other child came forward to protest the will.

gettingaroundthehillHowever there remains the question of the parentage of a child named Dennis CLONCH found living with William CLONCH’s mother Nancy in 1850. He was likely a grandchild named after his grandfather Dennis CLAUNCH who died in the 1810s leaving Nancy to raise their four known children: Elizabeth, John, William, and Sarah. Before 1850 the surname was spelled CLAUNCH, both spellings were used interchangeably for a decade or two before the CLONCH spelling became common to most members of the family in West Virginia.

Who was Dennis CLONCH and What Became of Him?

The short story is:

Dennis CLONCH was born 8 March 1838 in (West) Virginia. He married Mary Ann BAKER on 16 November 1858 in Gallia County, Ohio. They had a son John William CLONCH born on 19 March 1860 and died on 9 February 1861. The first name given to the child may have caused an earlier researcher to assume Dennis was the son of William’s brother John. Dennis began using the HILL surname after the 1860 census and before 21 February 1862 when he enlisted in the Union Regular Army at Gallipolis, Ohio. Neither Dennis CLONCH nor Dennis HILL were mentioned in the will of William CLONCH in 1863. Dennis moved to Missouri about 1871 and died in Miami, Saline County, Missouri, on 31 July 1893.

It is my belief Dennis, who switched from using CLONCH to HILL as his surname, was the son of Ann Eliza HILL and may not have been acknowledged by her husband William CLONCH. Could this be the reason they parted ways?

And this is the long story:

Dennis CLONCH may be the male child aged under 5 in the 1840 census listing for Eliza CLAUNCH found in Gallia County, Ohio, across the river from Mason County, West Virginia.

1840 U.S. Federal Census
Gallia County, Ohio
Galliapolis
Eliza Claunch
1 male under 5 yo
1 male 5 & under 10 yo
1 female 20 & under 30 yo (Eliza)

  • No male child under the age of 5 was found in the household of William CLAUNCH (the assumed father)
  • No male child under the age of 5 was found in the household (of the assumed grandmother) Nancy CLAUNCH in 1840. John CLONCH was most likely still living at home with his mother Nancy in 1840 and represented by a tick on the census listing.
  • Elizabeth CLAUNCH, the oldest child of Dennis and Nancy, married Meredith PARSONS in 1825 and was likely deceased by 1840. Her widower did not have a male child under the age of 5 in his household in 1840.
  • Sarah CLAUNCH, the youngest child of Dennis and Nancy, married William WILLIAMS in 1832. Their children are accounted for in 1840.
  • Neither Elizabeth nor Sarah, sisters of my William, would have a son who carried their maiden name as they were married at the time of Dennis’ birth.
1850censusclaunch
1850 > VA > Mason >38th District > Sheet 385A > HH#333-334 > household of John W. Clark 56 with Nancy Clonch 75 and Dennis Clonch 12 (Ancestry)

In 1850 Dennis CLONCH was 12 years old and living in the same household as Nancy CLONCH.

1850 U.S. Federal Census
Mason County, (West) Virginia
The 38th District, Sheet No. 385A
Enumerated by me on the 14th day of August, 1850. C. B. Waggener, Ass’t Marshal.
HH #333-334
John W. Clarke 56 M Laborer Virginia cannot read & write
Nancy Clonch 75 F Virginia cannot read & write
Dennis Clonch 12 M Virginia

Note: The relationship between Dennis and Nancy is not mentioned on the census however the ages suggest a grandchild/grandparent relationship.

1858DennisClaunchmarriage
“Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-1994,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/XD4K-4LM : accessed 13 Jul 2013), Dennis Claunch and Mary Ann Baker, 1858.

On 16 November 1858 Dennis CLAUNCH, who was four months shy of 21,  and Mary Ann BAKER went across the Ohio River to Gallia County, Ohio, to marry. The record does not mention places of residence, names of parents, or places of birth. After their marriage they were found back in Mason County with their son John W. who was three months old.

1860 > (W)VA > Mason > District 2 > page 23 > HH#188-164 > household of Dennis Claunch (Ancestry)
1860 > (W)VA > Mason > District 2 > page 23 > HH#188-164 > household of Dennis Claunch (Ancestry)

1860 U.S. Federal Census
Mason County, (West) Virginia
Township: Murcers Bottom P.O. Page: 851
HH #188-164
Dennis Claunch 23 M Laborer 0 55
Mary A. Claunch 18 F
John W. Claunch 3/12 M

Their son’s birth and death were recorded in the registers of Mason County under the name CLONCH. His death was reported by his grandfather William BAKER on 9 February 1861. His age was erroneously listed as 9 yrs 9 months 20 days; he was only 10 months and 22 days.

On 21 February 1862 Dennis HILL, no longer going by CLONCH, enlisted in Gallipolis, Ohio, in the Regular Army 19th Infantry Regiment (Union). His rank at enlistment was Private. Born in Virginia, he was 23 years old, blue eyes, brown hair, light complexion, and 6 feet tall. He was given a disability discharge on 2 April 1862 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Following his discharge Dennis returned to Mason County to his wife and baby daughter Sarah who was born on 4 February 1862,  seventeen days before her father was recruited. In 1870 the family was living in Clendenin, Mason County, and had grown to include Dennis 28, Mary A. 26, Sarah C. 8, Mary E. 6, and Barbra 4. The image of the census page is very light still the surname HILL can be deciphered.

1870censushillwvmason
1870 > WV > Mason > Clenendin > page 42 > HH #305-307 > household of Dennis Hill (Ancestry)

The family likely moved to Missouri after the birth of son James Isaac on 19 April 1871 and before the birth of daughter Ida about 1873. In 1880 they were found in Chariton County.

1880 > MO > Chariton > Mendon > Sheet 600B > HH#14-14 > household of Dennis Hill (Ancestry)
1880 > MO > Chariton > Mendon > Sheet 600B > HH#14-14 > household of Dennis Hill (Ancestry)

1880 U.S. Federal Census
Chariton County, Missouri
Mendon, Sheet 600B
HH#14-14
Hill, Dennis W M 40 married WV VA VA
Hill, Mary A. W F 36 wife married WV VA VA
Hill, Sarah F. W F 18 daughter single at home WV WV WV
Hill, Amanda W F 16 daughter single at home WV WV WV
Hill, Barbara E. W F 13 daughter single at home WV WV WV
Hill, Isaac W M 9 son single WV WV WV
Hill, Ida W F 7 daughter single MO WV WV
Hill, Albert W M 4 son single MO WV WV
Hill, Emety W M 2 son single MO WV WV

MRIN00501 Hill, Dennis and Mary A.
Civil War Pension Index: General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934; Name: Dennis Hill; State Filed: Missouri; Widow: Mary A. Hill

In December 2009 I was contacted by a researcher about Dennis CLONCH and Mary Ann BAKER in my database. The couple had the same date of marriage as his daughter-in-law’s ancestors Dennis HILL and Mary Ann BAKER.

He’d obtained the Civil War Pension documents relating to Mary A. HILL’s application for a federal pension on her husband Dennis HILL’s service. The file included an affidavit from the attending physician relating the time and place of death, 31 July 1893 in Miami, Saline County, Missouri.

In the package was also a certified copy dated 1897 of the marriage record of Dennis HILL and Mary Ann BAKER for their marriage in Gallia County, Ohio, on 16 November 1858. When he found my information he thought it was a clerical error (on my part or the county clerk) and after checking with me he requested verification from the county. I never heard back from him. In the meantime I found the marriage record which confirmed the surname was CLAUNCH at the time of marriage and not HILL. I contacted him June 26 and am waiting for a response.

The date of death found in the pension file was confirmed by a cemetery reading of Miami Cemetery, Miami, Saline County, Missouri, compiled by Shirley Haynes & Avlyn Conley and available as a PDF online (page 37 of 92). My annotations to the information are in brackets.

  • Hill, Dennis d. 31 Jul 1893 Aged 55 yrs 4 mos 23 ds.
  • Hill, Sarah E., dau of D. & M. A., d. 1 Jul 1892 aged 30 yrs 4 mos 25 ds
  • Hill, Bernard W. b. 6 Aug 1906 d. 19 Jul 1915 [s/o James I.]
  • Hill, Etta B. 1874-1952 [wife of James I.]
  • Hill, James I. 1871-1945 [son of Dennis]

After Dennis HILL’s death I tried to follow his children. Some were not traceable while others led to some interesting finds.

  1. John William CLONCH 1860-1861. Died at less than a year of age.
  2. Sarah E. HILL 1862-1892. Seen as Sarah C. in 1870, Sarah F. in 1880, and Sarah E. on cemetery reading. Apparently never married.
  3. Anna Bell HILL 1865-1919. Seen as Mary E. in 1870, Amanda in 1880, and Annie in 1900. A death record confirmed her name was Anna Belle and daughter of John (sic) HILL and Mary BAKER. The first name of the father was not a match however she was found in the 1900 census, listed as Annie WANNAMAKER, a widow, and sister of head of household James Isaac HILL. She had a daughter Corinne, born in August 1895 per 1900, who married a widower and raised his daughter. Corinne and her husband did not have any children of their own.
  4. Barbara Ellen HILL 1867-?. Her birth on 21 March 1867 was recorded in Mason County, West Virginia. Seen as Barbra in 1870 and Barbara E. in 1880. No marriage or death record found.
  5. James Isaac HILL 1871-1945. He was found in 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, and 1940 census in Saline County, Missouri, where he married Etta Belle NICHOLS in 1903. His 1945 death record confirms he was the son of Dennis HILL. He had three sons with his wife, one is known to have died young.
  6. Ida HILL 1873-?. Seen only in the 1880 census. No marriage or death record found.
  7. Albert HILL 1876-1910. Seen as Albert in 1880. He married about 1898 Blanche FORQUER, whose parents had moved to Saline County, Missouri before 1900. No marriage record was found. Albert was in Bruno, Butler County, Kansas, in 1900 and in Sedgwick County, Kansas, for the 1905 state census. He died in Sedwick in 1909 or 1910 (discrepancy found, no death record), in any case, prior to the census. His widow was seen with four children in 1910, the youngest would die soon after (the 3rd of 3 to die bet. 1905-1910). By 1915 she’d married a widower Charles H. WAUGH and gave him a son in 1915. They were in Sedgwick for the 1920, 1925, and 1930 census. Albert and Blanche’s son, Robert A. went to California by 1928, was in Los Angeles in 1930. By 1940 his brother Clifton G. had joined him in Bernadino County. Robert died 1965 and Clifton in 1961 in Bernadino County. It is not known what happened to the oldest child, a daughter Bessie b. Sep 1899.
  8. Emety HILL 1878-?. Seen as Emety on the 1880 census. No marriage or death record found.
  9. Zettie May HILL 1882-1967. Born after the 1880 census she was found in 1900 with her brother Isaac and sister Annie. By 1904 she had traveled back to her parents’ home state and county and married in Mason County, West Virginia, Charles Franklin CHAPMAN. They were in Oklahoma for the birth of their first two children, New Mexico for the third, and Texas for the fourth. Following Frank’s death in the early 1930s (she was seen as a his widow in an OK city directory in 1935) Zettie May remarried in 1936 to an older man, Adolphus “Delphus” BOTCHLETT (1853-1945). After his death in 1945 she married Rufus CAREY in 1948.

As Dennis HILL’s wife tried to obtain a pension for his Civil War service we know she was living in 1897. She was not found in the 1900 census with three of her children who were living together in Saline County or with son Albert Henry living in Kansas. She appeared in the household of his son James Isaac HILL in 1920. I assumed she remained in Missouri but could she have gone back to West Virginia before 1900 or when Zettie May went there and married? I widened my search and found her living next door to Zettie May in New Mexico in 1910. How did I miss her?

Where was she in 1900? Was she with one of her other children? Where was she after the 1920 census? No record of death was found in Missouri (records are online). Did she go back to living near her youngest daughter Zettie May? Oklahoma, where Zettie May lived, does not have death records online. She was not found on Find A Grave in the area Zettie May lived nor in Saline County, Missouri.

Two of Dennis HILL and Mary Ann BAKER’s children are known to have died young. Four of their children married and had children yet three children were impossible to locate after 1880. What became of these children? Where else can information be found on this elusive family? The questions led me to an amazing discover. Join me in doing the genealogy happy dance next week, same time, same place.

bestwishescathy1

P.S. Of course I left a comment for Cheri Hudson Passey about my genealogy happy dance on her weekly post Celebration Sunday~Genealogy Happy Dance!

© 2016, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

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The Mysterious Ann Eliza HILL, wife of William CLONCH

My third great-grandfather William CLONCH (1807-1863) had eight known children with my third great-grandmother Mary “Polly” DOSS (1816-bef. 1892). They were never married. Seven of the children were named in William’s last will and testament – with DOSS as their surname. Five of the seven were boys and used the CLONCH surname for the rest of their lives passing it on to their children.

1863williamclonchwill
West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971; Mason Will book, v. 01A 1833-1875; Page 166-167 (image 104); online https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1-18256-40179-14?cc=1909099&wc=10916722

Also mentioned in the will was his daughter Mariah Jane PATTERSON, née CLONCH. She was a child from his marriage to Ann Eliza HILL (1812-1895). There are several mysteries surrounding this wife.

1863williamclonchwill2
West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971; Mason Will book, v. 01A 1833-1875; Page 166-167 (image 104); online https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1-18256-40179-14?cc=1909099&wc=10916722

In early records the CLONCH surname was spelled CLAUNCH. William CLAUNCH, as he was seen in this entry, of Mason County, Virginia, married Ann Eliza HILL of Gallia County, Ohio, on 20 August 1832 in Gallia County.

claunchhillmarriage
“Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-1994,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/XD4V-KPD : accessed 21 Jun 2014), William Clauseck (sic, Claunch) and Ann Eliza Hill, 20 Aug 1832; citing Gallia, Ohio, United States, reference p220; FHL microfilm 317652.

They had a daughter Mariah Jane who may have been born about the time of the marriage or soon after. William CLAUNCH was found in the 1840 census in Mason County with a young female 5 and under 10 years old, assumed (by me) to be his daughter Mariah Jane, and a woman 20 and under 30 years old. In my early years of researching this family, as far as I could tell, most CLONCH researchers believed Ann Eliza HILL died or divorced William CLONCH however no record of divorce has been found. I suspect there is none as you will see in a moment.

1840 U.S. Federal Census
Mason County, (West) Virginia
Page 214
Claunch, William
1 male 30 & under 40 yo (William)
1 female 5 & under 10 yo (Mariah J.)
1 female 20 & under 30 yo (wife or common-law wife)
3 persons in household
1 person engaged in agriculture

The daughter Mariah Jane was married by 1850 and was never seen by name with her father on a census. On the census, she was 19 in 1850 and 27 in 1860.

The woman seen with William in 1840 could not be his wife as Eliza CLAUNCH was found in the census of Gallia County, Ohio, with two young males in her household. William and Ann Eliza were living in separate households in two states.

1840 U.S. Federal Census
Gallia County, Ohio
Galliapolis
Eliza Claunch
1 male under 5 yo
1 male 5 & under 10 yo
1 female 20 & under 30 yo (Eliza)

Were they her sons and sons of William CLAUNCH? When William made his will in 1862 he mentioned only his daughter Mariah Jane from his marriage to Ms. HILL – no sons! If Eliza had her own household, are we seeing Polly DOSS in William’s household? She would give birth to William’s son John William in December.

For a better understanding of what was going on I needed to discover what happened to Eliza in later years.

The marriage between William and Eliza may have been in difficulties early on. Who was to blame, William or Eliza, or both parties? The short of it is we know William never married the mother of his DOSS (later known as CLONCH) children. Was this because he was never legally divorced from Eliza? His wife Eliza, however, remarried as a widow!

Imagine my surprise when I found a record for Anna Eliza CLAUNCH, widow of Wm. C. CLAUNCH, marrying Andrew GAUSE on 26 March 1842 in Kanawha County, Virginia.

1842marriage1
http://www.wvculture.org/vrr/va_view.aspx?Id=12568001&Type=Marriage
1842marriage2
http://www.wvculture.org/vrr/va_view.aspx?Id=12568001&Type=Marriage

Ann Eliza HILL’s husband William CLAUNCH did not die between the time of the 1840 census and her remarriage on 26 March 1842. Could the names be a coincidence? Who was this lady who married Andrew GAUSE?

Let’s continue looking for Ann Eliza CLAUNCH, now Mrs. GAUSE. I followed the lady and her second husband as well as their descendants. Would the children she had with her second husband have her maiden name on their death records?

In 1850 she was with Andrew GAUSE in Lawrence County, Ohio, with five children.

1850 U.S. Federal census
Lawrence County, Ohio
Upper Township, Sheet 449A
Enumerated by me on the 16th day of August, 1850.
HH #8-8
Andrew Gause 28 M Miner Pennsylvania cannot write
Eliza Gause 39 F New York cannot read & write
Thomas J. Gause 14 M Ohio cannot read
Elinor Gause 12 F Ohio
Francis E. Gause 6 M Ohio
Henry F. Gause 4 M Ohio
Mary A. Gause 1 F Ohio
Benj. Bosner 28 M England

It is not known if Thomas J. age 14 and Elinor age 12 are children of Andrew and/or Eliza or Andrew’s relations. Neither have been traced in later census or other records. The three younger children were born after the marriage took place in 1842.

In December 1855 another son was born into the family. By 1860 all children seen in 1850, except for Henry F., were missing in the household and the surname was now spelled GAUZE:

1860 U.S. Federal census
Gallia County, Ohio
Ohio Township, South New Castle
Andrew Gauze 38 Pennsylvania
Eliza Gauze 48 New York
Henry Gauze 14 Ohio
Alexander Gauze 5 Ohio
Cynthia Ross 27 Ohio
John Ross 4 Ohio
John Thompson 28 Ohio
Frederick Ginder 17 Germany

Andrew GAUZE and his wife Eliza’s little family included only sons Henry F. and Alexander. These would be the only two possibilities of finding death records with the maiden name of the child’s mother.

In 1870 Eliza did not appear on the census however her two sons were found. Henry F., the elder, was married with two children living in West Township, Columbiana County, Ohio. Alexander at age 15 was living with a Johnson family and working as a coal miner in Canton Township, Stark County, Ohio.

Eliza’s husband Andrew GAUZE remarried in 1862. Did Eliza die soon after the 1860 census?

1862GauzeClarkmarriage
Marriage Record Groom’s Name: Andrew Gauze Bride’s Name: Lovina Jane Clark Marriage Date: 08 May 1862 Marriage Place: Gallia,Ohio Indexing Project (Batch) Number: M51322-2 System Origin: Ohio-ODM Source Film Number: 317653 Collection: Ohio Marriages, 1800-1958 https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-22512-71913-67?cc=1614804

Andrew GAUZE and his new wife were found in the 1870 census, living in Rome Township, Lawrence County, Ohio.

1870 U.S. Federal Census
Lawrence County, Ohio
Rome Township, Page No. 16
Enumerated by me on 22nd the day of July, 1870. Wm H Sloan, Ass’t Marshal.
Bartramville Post Office
HH #120-115
Gauze, Andrew 48 M W Coal miner WV cannot write
Gauze, Lavina 30 F W Keeping house WV cannot write
Clarke, Geo. 15 M W Farm work WV attended school within year
Note: Lovina’s maiden name was Clark; George may be her relative.

Andrew and Lovina Jane were not found in 1880. On 27 March 1897 a 45 years old Levina GAUZE (was she Andrew’s widow?) was marrying the 70 years old Lem (Lemuel) BAILEY in Huntington, Cabell County, West Virginia. By 1900 the bride may have died as the groom is listed with his son on the Huntington census as widowed.

The search for Andrew GAUZE and his second wife Lovina Jane CLARK came to a dead end between 1870 and 1900. Or so I thought! I found Vina GAUZE (widow of Andrew) listed in the city directory of Huntington.What happened to Andrew and his second wife is not important to the continuation of Eliza’s story but I’d hope it would give me more clues.

What happened to Andrew and Eliza’s sons after 1870?

The older son Henry F. GAUZE was found in:

  • 1880: Shiawassee County, Michigan
  • 1890: Special Schedule (Stark County, Ohio)
  • 1895: Clay County, Indiana
  • 1900: missing; wife and children found in Saginaw County, Michigan
  • 1910: alone in Saginaw County, Michigan (wife died in 1912)
  • 1920: with another woman in Saginaw County, Michigan; he married her following the census in April and his parents were listed as father A. J. GAUZE, mother Eliza HILL.

The younger son Alexander GAUZE remained in Stark County, Ohio, and was found there at the time of the 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, and 1920 census. In 1880 his mother Eliza GAUZE was found with him and his family:

1880 U.S. Federal Census
Stark County, Ohio
Canton Township,  Page No. 24
Enumeration District No. 135, Sheet No. 300D
Enumerated by me on the 11th day of June, 1880. Henry R. Packer, Enumerator.
HH #200-208
Gauze, Alexander M W 25 married Miner unemployed 4 months during census year Ohio Virginia New York
Gauze, Sarah Jane F W 26 wife married Keeping House Ohio Pennsylvania Ohio
Gauze, Emery W. M W 4 son single Ohio Ohio Ohio
Gauze, Albert Byron M W 3 son single Ohio Ohio Ohio
Gauze, Howard Ellsworth M W 8/12 son single Ohio Ohio Ohio
Gauze, Eliza F W 68 Mother widowed New York New York New York

Eliza was listed as widowed even though her husband Andrew had remarried. Or did I follow the wrong Andrew GAUZE?

Finding her in the 1880 census with her son led to the death record of Ann Eliza GAUZE. She died in Howenstine, Pike Township, Stark County, Ohio, on 28 October 1895. Neither the names of her parents nor her maiden name were mentioned on the entry in the death register. New York was the place of birth, consistent with the 1850, 1860, and 1880 census.

1895annelizagauzedeath1
Left page of ledger
1895annelizagauzedeath2
Right page of ledger
[Source: “Ohio, County Death Records, 1840-2001,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:F665-HWB : 13 December 2014), Ann Eliza Gauze, 28 Oct 1895; citing Death, Howenstine, Pike Township, Stark, Ohio, United States, source ID v 3 p 184, County courthouses, Ohio; FHL microfilm 897,621.]

Per her Find A Grave memorial, cemetery records show she was buried in Melscheimer Cemetery in Canton. Her son Alexander as well as many of his descendants are also buried in the same cemetery.

I left the sons’ death records for last. Her younger son Alexander died 7 February 1920 in Stark County, Ohio. His death certificate names Eliza HILL as his mother. There is a discrepancy on the name of his father.

1920AlexanderGauzedeath
“Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:X8LF-4J9 : 8 December 2014), Alexander Gauze, 07 Feb 1920; citing Canton, Stark, Ohio, reference fn 16829; FHL microfilm 1,985,129.

Her older son Henry F. died a year later on 13 February 1921 in Danville, Vermilion County, Illinois. No image of the death certificate was found however the indexed information shows the mother’s maiden name was HILL and the father’s name as Andrew.

1921HenryFGauzedeath
https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NQFY-D5Z

Why did I spend so much time researching the GAUZE children of Ann Eliza HILL? First to prove the wife of my 3rd great-grandfather William CLONCH did not die. This may have been the reason he never married the mother of his children, my 3rd great-grandmother Mary E. “Polly” DOSS.

Secondly, I hoped it would lead me to more information on the children Eliza had with William CLONCH. Mariah Jane was the only child outside of his DOSS children he acknowledged in his will. She and her husband John PATTERSON protested the will in which he gave “three dollars to Mariah Jane Patterson.” The attorney they hired to represent them was not able to oppose the will and they had to pay the expenses of the court.

Is it possible Eliza and William had another child? I believe there is the likelihood of another child but who were his parents? Eliza and William, Eliza and another man, or William and another woman? Stay tuned for more to come.

bestwishescathy1

Genealogy Sketch

Name: Ann Eliza HILL
Parents: Unknown, per 1880 census born in New York
Spouse: William CLONCH(*) and Andrew J. GAUZE
Children: Mariah Jane CLONCH, Henry F. GAUZE, Alexander GAUZE
Whereabouts: Mason WV, Gallia OH, Lawrence OH, Stark OH
Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: wife of 3rd great-grandfather

  1. William CLONCH‘s wife Ann Eliza HILL
  2. Alexander CLONCH
  3. Rebecca Jane CLONCH
  4. Myrtle Hazel ROOP
  5. Fred Roosevelt DEMPSEY
  6. Cathy Meder-Dempsey

© 2016, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

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Look Who’s Using DNA for Genealogy Research

In mid-March I received this message from one of my siblings:

Just wanted to let you know that I ordered a DNA kit from ancestry.com. I will send you the results when I get them. Hopefully it will be useful in your research.

When his results came in late May he sent me this message and screenshot:

Hope this doesn’t mess up your research too much.

ethnicityI thought he was holding out on me, waiting to let me know only after he came to visit for Mom’s 80th birthday. But the results truly did not come in until early morning of the day he was to arrive in Luxembourg.

He turned administration over to me as he thought I would know better what to do with the test results as he does not do genealogy.

I haven’t done DNA testing but my second cousin Laura [daughter of Geraldine Dempsey Workman (1931-2007) – the first person I know of who worked on our family tree] shared her DNA page with me earlier this year. Since Laura and I share great-grandparents (William Henderson DEMPSEY and Laura Belle INGRAM) 3/4 of her matches did not have anything to do with our common line. It however helped me to get a feel for Ancestry’s DNA page before my brother’s results came in.

The ethnicity results (above) of 100% European were to be expected although it blew the theory of a Native American connection right out of the water. Or so I thought. Where do the 10% Italy/Greece fit into our family tree?

After a week or so of trying to figure out some kind of system to work through the matches on Ancestry I decided to download the raw DNA data and upload to GEDmatch. After the kit (A131214) was tokenized and while I was waiting for the batch processing to complete I did a heritage test.

Admix Results (sorted):

# Population Percent
1 Early Neolithic Farmer 43.00
2 Western European/Unknown Hunter-Gatherer 25.49
3 Ancestral South Eurasian 18.91
4 Caucas-Gedrosia 7.59
5 NearEast 1.65
6 Amerindian 1.43
7 Ancestral South Indian 1.20

1.43% Native American DNA for my brother. I understand he got about 50% of his DNA from our father and 50% from our mother (European). Family tradition is the NA connection is through our paternal grandmother Myrtle Hazel ROOP‘s mother Rebecca Jane CLONCH. If I keep doubling the percentage (which may not be scientifically correct) I get 91.52% at the 4th great-grandparent level. Dennis CLAUNCH and Nancy BEASLEY are the only known set. Another ancestor at this level was Levina DOSS who had her children with an unknown man. The unknowns are COOLEYs and TREADWAYs.

I admit this was just a game I was playing before I begin to get serious about using the DNA results for research purposes. But who knows, maybe I’m on the right track.

Oh yes, Laura and my brother are “predicted 2nd cousins” and share 381 centimorgans across 15 DNA segments.

bestwishescathy1

© 2016, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

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52 Ancestors: #52 Levina DOSS – Another Unmarried Mother and How She Helped Me Bring This Challenge Finale to an End with a Bang!

“The challenge: have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor.”

This is entry #52 in Amy Johnson Crow’s Challenge: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.

I’d apologize for the long title but I couldn’t resist! Thank you, Amy Johnson Crow, for a wonderful journey. To all my readers, thank you for coming back time and time again. After reading the last entry for this year, I’d appreciate it if you would please leave a comment letting me know what you liked, disliked, loved or even hated about this challenge. Thank you and Happy New Year!

52 Ancestors: #52 Levina DOSS – Another Unmarried Mother and
How She Helped Me Bring This Challenge Finale to an End with a Bang!

One unmarried mother in my family tree would be easy to take. But two is a bit harder especially since they were mother and daughter. In July I wrote about my 3rd great-grandmother Mary E. “Polly” DOSS being a single mother. Her mother, my 4th great-grandmother, Levina DOSS was also a single mother.

Vapittsylvania
This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license. Accessed online: https://familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/File:Vapittsylvania.jpg

The Doss family had strong roots in Halifax and Pittsylvania County, Virginia. In 1755 Levina’s grandfather James DOSS Sr. received a land grant for 272 acres in Halifax County, an area soon to become part of the newly created Pittsylvania County in 1767. This land grant was located adjacent to Beechtree Creek and Staunton River.

Pittsylvania County lies in south midland Virginia, bordering on the North Carolina line. Bordering counties are Bedford (northwest), Campbell (northeast), Halifax (east), Caswell in North Carolina (southeast), Rockingham in North Carolina (southwest), Henry (west/southwest), and Franklin (west/northwest).

Parents and Siblings of Levina DOSS

My 4th great-grandmother Levina DOSS was born between 1771-1775 in Pittsylvania County, Virginia, to James DOSS Jr. and his wife Elizabeth[1]. James was born about 1742 in Amelia County, he married Elizabeth about 1771 and died 1812 in Pittsylvania. Levina had 5 known siblings:

Sib 1: Elizabeth DOSS (1772-1830) born about 1772. Elizabeth DOSS married Ebenezer ANGEL (1769-1850) on 15 December 1794 in Pittsylvania County, Virginia. She died between 1830-1840.
Sib 2: Phillip Valorius DOSS (1775-1814) born about 1775. Phillip married Rhoda Elizabeth THURMAN (1787-1850) about 1804 in Pittsylvania County, Virginia. He died before 14 June 1814 (date that his widow Rhoda was mentioned in court records). Descendants of this line might be interested in some old photos that Vickie Beard Thompson posted on her blog I Dig My Roots and Branches.
Sib 3: Mary Ann DOSS (1780- ) born about 1780 [I am not very comfortable with this estimate considering her marriage in 1811]. She married(1) Preston DUDLEY (1773-1816) on 2 January 1811 in Pittsylvania County, Virginia. She may have married(2) James BELL about 1820.
Sib 4: William DOSS (1785-1820) born about 1785. William married Martha CREWS (1789- ) on 29 April 1812 in Pittsylvania County, Virginia.[1] He died before 1820.
Sib 5: Edward DOSS (1795-1850) born about 1795. Edward married Nancy MITCHELL (1803-1860) on 19 December 1822 in Pittsylvania County, Virginia. He died before 1850.

The 1790, 1800, and 1810 census of Pittsylvania County are lost but a substitute is available. The loss is unfortunate and the substitute is wonderful but doesn’t do for me what the 1810 census would have done. I was hoping to see what the household of James DOSS looked like in 1810 and if his daughter Levina had her own household or was living in her father’s home with her three children.

Levina’s father James DOSS Jr. died about 1812 in Pittsylvania County, Virginia.

Levina’s Life as a Mother

In 1820 Levina DOSS was living in Pittsylvania County most likely on or near the land granted to her grandfather in 1755. She was an unmarried mother and the head of a household that included her four sons, two daughters, and most likely her mother Elizabeth who was widowed about 1812.

1820censusdoss
1820 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Pittsylvania (ancestry.com)

1820 U.S. Federal Census
Pittsylvania County, Virginia
Enumeration Date: August 7, 1820
Levina Doss
Free White Persons – Males – Under 10: 2 (William b. abt. 1811 & Phillip b. abt. 1814)
Free White Persons – Males – 10 thru 15: 1 (unknown son b. bet. 1804-1810)
Note: no males 16-18 yo (therefore Thomas was 19 & under 26 yo)
Free White Persons – Males – 16 thru 25: 1 (Thomas b. abt. 1801)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 10: 1 (Mary E. b. abt. 1816)
Free White Persons – Females – 16 thru 25: 1 (unknown daughter born bet. 1795-1804)
Free White Persons – Females – 26 thru 44: 1 (Levina b. abt. 1775)
Free White Persons – Females – 45 and over : 1 (poss. mother Elizabeth b. abt. 1750)
Number of Persons – Engaged in Agriculture: 2
Free White Persons – Under 16: 4
Free White Persons – Over 25: 2
Total Free White Persons: 8
Total All Persons – White, Slaves, Colored, Other: 8

By 1830 Levina had given birth to another daughter she named after her mother. Young Elizabeth and my 3rd great-grandmother Mary E. were the only children still living at home. Next door was Levina’s son William with his wife and young son. Also next door was her brother-in-law Eben ANGEL, a Baptist minister, with his wife, Levina’s sister Elizabeth and their children.

1830censusdoss
1830 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Pittsylvania (ancestry.com)

1830 U.S. Federal Census
Pittsylvania County, Virginia
Page No. 348
Levina Doss
Free White Persons – Females – 5 thru 9: 1 (Elizabeth bet. 1821-1825)
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 14: 1 (Mary E. b. abt. 1816)
Free White Persons – Females – 50 thru 59: 1 (Levina, b. 1771-1775)
Free White Persons – Under 20: 2
Total Free White Persons: 3
Total – All Persons (Free White, Slaves, Free Colored): 3

As can be seen in the above listing Levina’s mother, or the older woman who had been seen in her household in 1820, was no longer with her. Let’s take a look at another person who was very close to Levina on this census.

1830doss
1830 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Pittsylvania (ancestry.com)

1830 United States Federal Census
Pittsylvania County, Virginia
Name: Bettsy Doss
Free White Persons – Females – Under 5: 2 (unknown)
Free White Persons – Females – 30 thru 39: 1 (unknown)
Free White Persons – Females – 70 thru 79: 1 (“Bettsy” widow of James DOSS)
Free White Persons – Under 20: 2
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 1
Total Free White Persons: 4

If the lady who was the head of household was also the older female then her age was 70 and under 80 years and could have been Levina’s widowed mother. Who was the younger lady living with Elizabeth in 1830? Was she a granddaughter with two small children? She couldn’t have been a daughter-in-law with such young children as Phillip and William died before 1820 and Edward was living in Campbell County.

Levina DOSS and her mother Elizabeth both died between 1830 and 1840.

Levina’s Children

In the 1830s Levina’s children Thomas, William, Polly, and Elizabeth moved to Mason County in what would later become West Virginia. The DOSS siblings were a tight bunch. It is not known if their mother Levina was still living and made the move with the group or if she had died before the children moved. Only her son Phillip remained in Pittsylvania County, Virginia.

The only documentation I have found for Levina are the two census listings in which she was named head of household. None of her children’s marriage records have the name of their mother listed. No death records were found for her children. All of her known children died after 1880 and before 1900.

Credits and a New Cousin

While preparing to write this last blogpost for the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge I learned that Libbie Griffin started up the Doss Family Association in 1994 for the purpose of sharing information among all Doss descendants. She should be credited for researching and compiling genealogical information that was published in their newsletter The Doss Connection. In our world of social media today it is so easy to find other researchers but what do you do when the person has “retired” her hobby? If I can find my ancestors shouldn’t I be able to find Libbie? In the days prior to Facebook, Twitter, etc. we used the messages boards and mailing lists. I searched through them until I found the most recent email address.

A Christmas Present and the Grand Finale

Saturday before Christmas I got an early present. Libbie replied to my email and told me about a bundle she found that included depositions that proved many connections in the Virginia Doss families.

“On one trip to Richmond for research I discovered that the information I needed to find the original papers was in Lynchburg, more than 100 miles away.  I went there and obtained the detailed title of the case and case number.  When I returned to Richmond the next day with that information I was handed a bundle of papers that had not been opened since a string was tied around them nearly 200 years earlier….I can’t tell you how excited I was!”

Reading this gave me goosebumps. Isn’t it the dream of all genealogists to find the mother lode? She told me that she had written an entire issue of The Doss Connection about the find with transcripts of the important documents. She offered to scan and email it to me. YES! Thank you very much! She also wrote, “It felt wonderful to be reminded of that ‘find’.”

ScreenClip
The Doss Connection, Vol. 2 No. 1 July 1996, bottom of page 2. Used with permission of Libbie Griffith.

What Libbie found was a bundle that has not been scanned and therefore is not available in the Library of Virginia‘s collection of Chancery Records that are online. The case details of the bundle are indexed online here. In the issue of the newsletter Libbie sent to me, pages 2-12, 17-18, and 22 were filled with information on the case and the families involved. A plat drawing of the land in question was included:

ScreenClip
The Doss Connection, Vol. 2 No. 1 July 1996, bottom of page 4. Used with permission of Libbie Griffith.

Although I would love to share all of the information found in this issue of The Doss Connection I have chosen to only share excerpts, with Libbie’s permission, concerning my 4th great-grandmother Levina Doss. First, the deposition given by Levina, spelled Lavina in this excerpt, and second, the deposition of her mother Elizabeth. Words in brackets are Libbie’s and some punctuation and spelling corrections were made for easier reading but doesn’t change the meaning:

The Testimony of Lavina Doss
Deposition taken in Pittsylvania Co., Va., 7 May 1817: Lavina Doss … deposeth and sayeth that in the last sickness of her Grandfather, James Doss Senr. & but a Short time before his death, he sent for her Father James Doss Junr to come & see him, accordingly he went & this deponant went with him & we both went together, into the room where my Grandfather lay alone. He spoke to my father & said I am glad to see you Jamey, I have been uneasy & have sent for you to have some talk with you about our affairs. I am about soon to leave you my son & want you to have your rite. I know that I am owing you money that ought to have been paid before now but it was not in my power to do it, but I have now directed my Ext [Executor] to pay you without putting you to any trouble about it. As to the land, it is yours. It was gave to you & I wish you to have it for you have an undoubted rite to it & cannot be kept out of it after my death, your uncle Edward Nicks, gave you the land by Deed of Gift & I have no Claim to it any longer than I live; altho I have directed the land to [defer?, unclear] other ways than I ought to have done, it is not intended to keep you out of your Rite, but only to try to keep peace a little longer over my old head, for I wish to leave my family in peace & I know you will get the land after my death — altho it may put you to the trouble of goin’ or sending for the deed of gift, which I did no want you to have the trouble of. But for the sake of peace in my family, I could not help doing as I have, you know when I agreed to give you up the land below the Shop branch, what an oneasiness [uneasiness] & interruptions it made in my family, till you consented for the business to rest as it was till my death.

This deponent further sayeth that in the life time of the said James Doss Senr. he frequently said that the land belonged to his son James Doss Junr. after his death, that it was gave to him by uncle Edward Nicks and that he held no claim to it any longer than life. This deponent further states that her grandfather James Doss senr. dec’d., put her father James Doss Junr. into possession of the said land below the Shope branch, as above mentioned, & her father began to run a fence on the said land, but was stopped at the request of his father, on account of the disturbance & uneasiness it made in his family, but told my father, James Doss Junr. he would get the whole of the said land after his death. [signed: Lavina (X) Doss, her mark]

Notes (by Libbie): We should keep in mind that Lavina had something of a vested interest in the outcome of this case, and might have stressed her father’s right in the land a bit overmuch. In addition to providing us with an account of James Sr.’s last day, and his love for and concern for his family, Lavina’s testimony also tells what we had previously suspected: that although Lavina had 5 or 6 children, she never married. More on her family appears later in this issue.”

The Testimony of Elizabeth Doss
“Pittsylvania County, 27 September, 1816 [omitting the beginning]…. the tract of land in the bill mentioned was in the possession of my husband James Doss Junr. at the time of his death but was afterward sold (sometime in the year of 1812) at publick sale to the hightest bidder, subject to my dower, by the defendant Samuel Pannill, under a deed of trust executed by my said husband James Doss Junr. to the said Samuel Pannill to secure the payment of a debt due from my husband….to David Pannill’s Estate … neither the said complainant [Nathan Thurman] nor any other person forbid the sale, but since the sale the said Complainant Nathan Thurmon [sic] hath applied to this Respondent to purchase the dower land she holds in her possession & having thus fully answered this Respondant prayes to be hence  dismissed with her Costs. [signed: Elizabeth (X) Doss, her mark]

Note (by Libbie): Elizabeth was taxed for 56 acres until 1827, when this land was taken by the county (see Pittsylvania Co. Deed Bk. 28, p. 121). She and her children and grandchildren may have continued to live there afterward.”

This post was ready for publication before I heard from Libbie. I did not want to change what was written and have added some remarks concerning things that I numbered.

[1] The wife of James DOSS Jr. is seen in many family trees as Elizabeth LESTER. Libbie Griffin gives strong evidence that she was the daughter of Thomas LESTER, however stressed that the maiden name is unproved. “Thomas LESTER purchased the land of George Wilcocks, adjacent to James Doss Sr., in 1779 (Pittsylvania Deed Bk. 5, p. 137). Lester was dead by March 1789 when his widow Lithe (probably Elizabeth’s step-mother) married John Ballinger. In 1824 Elizabeth Doss and John and Anna Lester sold what appears to be the same land to Asa Craddock (Pitts. Co. Deed Bk. 26, p. 224). This suggests that she was the sister of either John Lester or his wife Ann Minter Lester. Lester’s lived near (adjoining?) James Doss Jr.” [Source: Libbie Griffin, The Doss Connection, Vol. 2. No. 1, page 8]

[2] The death record of William DOSS’s daughter Sarah Jane NEVILLE shows that her mother was Elizabeth HENRY. Therefore all children seen with William and Elizabeth in 1850 were from his 2nd marriage except for sons John 22 and William 14.

[3] According to Libbie’s article, William DOSS died 21 November 1888. His death record names “Lavina” as his mother, father unknown, and indicates that he was born in 1812. [Source: Libbie Griffin, The Doss Connection, Vol. 2. No. 1, page 17]

[4] Libbie believed that Levina’s youngest daughter seen in the 1830 census may have died young. She may not have had all the information on marriages of DOSS individuals in Mason County, West Virginia, and Gallia County, Ohio, where many residents of Mason married. It is my belief that Elizabeth was this young daughter, named after her grandmother, and that she came to Mason County with her brothers and sister in the 1830s, most likely before December 1837 when brother William married Elizabeth HENRY.

I’m going to let Libbie have the final word.

“I’m sure you can imagine it how hard it was for me to keep from cheering loudly in the hushed halls of the Virginia State Library when I cut that string and read those old documents!  A similar experience led me to the answers I needed about my own Doss family.  It’s amazing what’s there to find if we look long enough.”

© 2014 Cathy Meder-Dempsey

Genealogy Sketch

Name: Levina DOSS
Parents: James DOSS Jr. and his wife Elizabeth
Spouse: not applicable
Children: Thomas, William, Phillip Valorius, Mary E. “Polly”, and Elizabeth “Betty”
Surnames: Doss, Clonch, Roop, Dempsey, Eads, Rodman, Barber, Bailess, Steed
Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey:
4th Great-grandmother

1. Levina DOSS
2. Mary E. “Polly” DOSS
3. Alexander CLONCH
4. Rebecca Jane CLONCH
5. Myrtle Hazel ROOP
6. Fred Roosevelt DEMPSEY
7. Cathy Meder-Dempsey

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52 Ancestors: #51 Nancy BEASLEY, wife of Dennis CLAUNCH or Dennis CLONCH

52ancestors“The challenge: have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor.”

This is entry #51 in Amy Johnson Crow’s Challenge: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.

We are nearly there! I’ve made it this far – didn’t miss a week – this one and then THE LAST!!!

52 Ancestors: #51 Nancy BEASLEY, wife of Dennis CLAUNCH or Dennis CLONCH

My 4th great-grandmother Nancy BEASLEY is another one of my brick walls. I have no idea who or from where her parents were. She was first seen in Mecklenburg County, Virginia, on 8 November 1803. On that day William JUSTICE was security on Nancy’s marriage to my 4th great-grandfather Dennis CLAUNCH.

Nancy was born in Virginia before the end of the American Revolutionary War (19 Apr 1775-14 Jan 1784). From early census listings I calculate her birth at about 1781-1784.

Year         Range            (Calculated)
1810       26 thru 44      (26 thru 29)
1820       26 thru 44      (36 thru 39)
1830       40 thru 49      (46 thru 49)
1840       50 thru 59       (56 thru 59)
1850            75                 (66 thru 69)

In 1850 she was listed as 75. This is not reliable as it doesn’t match the age range on the pre-1850 censuses which appear to be consistent. I took the 1840 range of 50 thru 59 and worked back; 1830 was 40 thru 49; 1820 would be 30 thru 39; 1810 would be 20 thru 29. Since the 1810 range was 26 thru 44, the range 20 thru 29 can be narrowed further to 26 to 29. Then I went forward added 10 years for each decade as seen in the parenthesis. The range 66 thru 69 for 1850 is off by 6-9 years compared to what is seen on the actual 1850 census. Could it be that the 1850 age of 75 was correct and the previous years were off?

Following their marriage, Nancy’s husband Dennis CLAUNCH was seen on the 1804 and 1805 tax lists of Mecklenburg County. By 1806 Nancy and Dennis had moved to Kanawha County in what would later become West Virginia. Her husband Dennis was on the 1810 census of that county with his name spelled CLOUNCH. Nancy had given birth to two girls and a boy by this time.

1810censusclounch
1810 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Kanawha (ancestry.com)

Following the 1810 census Dennis CLOUNCH, as he was last seen, disappears and it is believed that he died between 1811-1820 as Nancy is seen with her own household from 1820 until 1850. Nancy and Dennis’ children were most likely all born in Kanawha County:

  • Child 1: [–?–] CLONCH, born bet. 1805-1809. A tick for her is on the 1810 and 1820 census. This daughter remains unidentified.
  • Child 2: Elizabeth CLONCH, born bet. 1805-1809. She married Meridith PARSONS (1805- ) on 26 February 1825 in Mason County, (West) Virginia. She died before 1840.
  • Child 3: William CLONCH (1807-1863) was born about 1807. He married Ann Eliza HILL (1812-1895) on 20 August 1832 Gallia County, Ohio. They went separate ways and William had a relationship with Mary E. “Polly” DOSS with whom he had 8 children. He died 20 January 1863 in Mason County, (West) Virginia.
  • Child 4: John CLONCH was born about 1810. He married Elizabeth DOSS (1817-1880), sister of Mary E. “Polly” DOSS, on 15 September 1842 in Gallia County, Ohio. He died between 1844-1847 most likely in Mason County.
  • Child 5: Sarah CLONCH was born about 1811. She married William WILLIAMS (1808-1850s) on 4 January 1832 in Mason County. After his death and before 1860 she married James William GALLIWAY (1832-1880). She died after 1880.
1820claunch
1820 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Mason (ancestry.com)

1820 U.S. Federal Census
Mason County, (West) Virginia
Page 121
Name:     Nancy Claunch
Enumeration Date: August 7, 1820
Free White Persons – Males – Under 10: 2 (John and unknown b. bet. 1811-1815)
Free White Persons – Males – 10 thru 15: 1 (William)
Free White Persons – Males – 16 thru 25: 1 (John W. Clark? age 24-25)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 10: 1 (Sarah)
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 15: 2 (Elizabeth & unknown b. bet. 1805-1809)
Free White Persons – Females – 26 thru 44: 1 (Nancy)
Number of Persons – Engaged in Manufactures: 1
Free White Persons – Under 16: 6
Free White Persons – Over 25: 1
Total Free White Persons: 8
Total All Persons – White, Slaves, Colored, Other: 8

Nancy was engaged in some kind of manufacturing in 1820. She wasn’t engaged in agriculture or commerce. What was she doing to earn a living for her family? Who was the young man living in her household? Is the other unknown younger male seen in her household another son born between 1811-1815?

Nancy’s oldest known daughter Elizabeth married Meridith PARSONS (1805- ) on 26 February 1825 in Mason County.

1830claunch
1830 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Mason (ancestry.com)

1830 U.S. Federal Census
Mason County, (West) Virginia
Page 138
Name: Nancy Claunch
Free White Persons – Males – 15 thru 19: 2 (John and unknown b. bet. 1811-1815)
Free White Persons – Males – 20 thru 29: 1 (William)
Free White Persons – Males – 30 thru 39: 1 (John W. Clark? age 34-36)
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 14: 1 (unknown b. bet. 1816-1820)
Free White Persons – Females – 15 thru 19: 1 (Sarah)
Free White Persons – Females – 40 thru 49: 1 (Nancy)
Free White Persons – Under 20: 4
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 3
Total Free White Persons: 7
2 persons cannot read & write
Total – All Persons (Free White, Slaves, Free Colored): 7

By 1830 Nancy’s children William, John and Sarah are still at home. But, as in 1820, there are also other persons in the household who cannot be identified. I wonder if the age range for the girls is correct. Could the older girl be the unknown daughter and the younger girl Sarah? This census did not include the column for the occupation of the adults in the household. Was Nancy or the man living in her household still working in manufacturing or in agriculture as seen later in 1840?

Two of Nancy’s children married in 1832, her youngest daughter Sarah and her oldest son William. Her oldest known daughter Elizabeth died during the 1830s.

1840claunch
1840 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Mason (ancestry.com)

1840 U.S. Federal Census
Mason County, (West) Virginia
Page 219
Name: Claunch, Nancy
Free White Persons – Males – 20 thru 29: 1 (John)
Free White Persons – Males – 40 thru 49: 1 (John W. Clark? age 44-46)
Free White Persons – Females – 20 thru 29: 1 (unknown b. bet. 1816-1820)
Free White Persons – Females – 50 thru 59: 1 (Nancy)
Persons Employed in Agriculture: 1
No. White Persons over 20 Who Cannot Read and Write: 4
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 3
Total Free White Persons: 4
Total All Persons – Free White, Free Colored, Slaves: 4

In 1840 one person in Nancy’s household was engaged in agriculture. This was most likely the older man who was living in her household or perhaps her youngest son John who would be marrying in 1842. And who is this young lady b. bet. 1816-1820? Is it possible that I’ve gotten the family group wrong and Nancy had a daughter who was younger than Sarah and the older daughter was married by 1820?

Nancy’s son John CLONCH died bet. 1844-1847 most likely in Mason County, (West) Virginia. Her son William’s wife Ann Eliza left him leaving two children. William raised their daughter Mariah Jane but the “son” Dennis lived with his grandmother Nancy.

It is my belief that Dennis was the son of Ann Eliza HILL and may not have been acknowledged by her husband William CLONCH as his. Could this be the reason that they parted ways? Dennis CLONCH (1838-1893) was born 8 March 1838 in (West) Virginia. Dennis married Mary Ann BAKER (1842-1920) on 16 Nov 1858 in Gallia County, Ohio. They had a son named John William CLONCH born on 19 March 1860 and died on 9 February 1861. The first name given to the child may have been what caused an earlier researcher to assume that he was the son of John. Dennis began using the HILL surname on 21 February 1862 when he enlisted in the Union Regular Army at Gallipolis, Ohio. Neither Dennis CLONCH nor Dennis HILL were mentioned in the will of William CLONCH in 1863. He moved to Missouri about 1871 and died in Miami, Saline County, Missouri on 31 July 1893.

In 1850 John W. CLARK is the head of the household in which Nancy and Dennis are living in.

1850censusclaunch
1850 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Mason (ancestry.com)

1850 U.S. Federal Census
Mason County, (West) Virginia
The 38th District, Sheet No. 385A
Enumerated by me on the 14th day of August, 1850. C. B. Waggener, Ass’t Marshal.
HH #333-334
John W. Clark 56 M Laborer Virginia cannot read & write
Nancy Clonch 75 F Virginia cannot read & write
Dennis Clonch 12 M Virginia

Nancy BEASLEY died between 1850-1860 most likely in Mason County, (West) Virginia. Surviving were her son William, my 3rd great-grandfather, and her daughter Sarah. John W. CLARK must have had a close relationship with the CLONCH family as he was found in William’s household in 1860.

1860censusclaunch
1860 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Mason (ancestry.com)

As early as 1820 Nancy had a male in her household who was not a son. He consistently shows up in the later census listings until we see Nancy living in the household of John W. CLARK in the 1850 census. There are also a male and a female seen in 1820 and 1830 who could have been children of Nancy and her husband Dennis but I wonder if they could be children of John W. CLARK. The female is still living in Nancy’s household in 1840. Later in 1860, as seen above, John CLARK is seen living in the household of Nancy’s son William CLONCH. Who was John W. CLARK? Was he a widower with two small children hired by Nancy to help out? Was there a relationship between Mr. CLARK and Nancy? Was he a son-in-law? The husband of the unidentified daughter seen in 1810 and 1820 as born between 1805-1809? So many questions that need to be answered.

ღ ღ ღ ღ ღ

Last week I left you with a cliffhanger:

You might ask why I call my 4th great-grandfather Dennis CLONCH and not Dennis CLAUNCH as he was seen in all records except the 1810 census where his name was spelled CLOUNCH? I’ll tell you that story next week.

During the early years after Hieronymus GLANTZ came to America the surname evolved from Glantz to Glance to Glansh, Clansh, Clanch, Claunch, Clounch, Clonch. Dennis didn’t change his surname. After Nancy and Dennis died the children and grandchildren were seen with their surname spelled CLONCH. Dennis’ brothers who went to Kentucky had children who kept the spelling CLAUNCH. All of the names – Claunch, Clounch, and Clonch . were pronounced the same.

Now that I’ve re-evaluated all of the records available to me (I admit there weren’t many), I see that Dennis should be listed as Dennis CLAUNCH and the change in the spelling of the surname should only show up in the next generation. It was easier to think of him as Dennis CLONCH as his son, my 3rd great-grandfather, was William CLONCH but, to be consistent and avoid confusion, it is best to use the spelling seen in the records, Dennis CLAUNCH.

Sources:
[1] Stratton Nottingham, comp., The Marriage License Bonds of Mecklenburg County, Virginia from 1765 to1810, Onancock, VA, USA, 1928 (online http://books.google.lu/ : accessed 7 Dec 2014), pg. 10.

© 2014 Cathy Meder-Dempsey

52 Ancestors: #50 Dennis CLONCH a.k.a. Dennis CLAUNCH

52ancestors“The challenge: have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor.”

This is entry #50 in Amy Johnson Crow’s Challenge: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.

And the countdown continues. Two more to go!

52 Ancestors: #50 Dennis CLONCH a.k.a. Dennis CLAUNCH

“I have not made a positive connection from my earliest CLONCH ancestry (Dennis CLONCH of Kanawha County, (West) Virginia to the emigrant Hieronymus GLANTZ).” ~ Ralph L. Hayes

The late Madison Lockhart “Matt” Claunch of Brownsville, Texas, and Ralph L. Hayes of Alamo, Texas, are to be credited with the work done so far to connect Hieronymus GLANTZ (a.k.a. Jeremiah CLAUNCH) to my 4th great-grandfather Dennis CLAUNCH (a.k.a. Dennis CLONCH). Matt Claunch, in his 1985 manuscript The Family of MADISON LOVE CLAUNCH, SR., and Ralph Hayes used tithe lists, tax rolls and lists, levies, land records and surveys, debt collections, ordinary licenses, and court records. The surname spellings in these records varied: Glantz, Clonch, Claunch, Clansh, Clanch, Clounch.

The immigrant Hieronymus GLANTZ came to America in 1732 with his wife, a daughter and a son. On the ship list he was seen as Jerimy GLANCE age 29, his wife as Marrea Medl GLANCE age 30, his daugher as Anna Margreate GLANCE age 9 and Hance Michalle GLANCE age 4. He signed the Oath of Allegiance with the name he had used in the old country, not the name seen on the ship list.

glantzHis wife died soon after their arrival and Hieronymus married Erna Barbara MACK on 15 October 1733 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  It is very likely that Jeremiah and his bride Barbara knew each other from the old country. Her father Georg Michael MACK arrived in America on the Adventure, the same ship as Jeremiah, on 23 September 1732. Barbara arrived 10 days earlier on 13 September 1732 on the Pennsylvania Merchant. In 1750 through 1752 George MACK was seen in the household of his son-in-law Jeremiah CLAUNCH in Lunenburg County, Virginia.

I considered making a chronological chart of all of the information listed in Ralph L. Hayes’ 2004 post Chronology of the Early Glance/Glantz/Clonch/Claunch Family. However every time I looked through the list I saw a different possibility for the family configuration. I have not been able to look up all of the information and cannot vouch for accuracy and completeness. Perhaps others who study Ralph’s chronology will come up with a different scenario. But this is the short-short of what I think the connection is from the immigrant to my 4th great-grandfather Dennis CLONCH:

Hieronymus GLANTZ was known as Jeremiah CLAUNCH once he settled in Lunenburg County, Virginia. He may have married again as he is seen with a wife named Margaret in 1748 and 1758. Since his father-in-law was seen with him in 1750-1752 it is also possible that Erna Barbara used a different name (Margaret) once she came to America. Please remember that this is pure speculation on my part. Jeremiah may have had sons or grandsons named Jeremiah Jr., Edmund, Jacob, John, and Barnet/Barnaby. These names were found at the same time on the tax lists of Montgomery and Wythe counties. Jeremiah CLAUNCH Jr. seen in Montgomery and Wythe from 1783-1793 (and even later in Grayson – all due to the changing county lines) cannot be the Jeremiah CLAUNCH who was seen in Mecklenburg County, Virginia, from 1783 to 1799. Note that the use of Jr. was seen in the records and does not necessarily indicate that Jeremiah Jr. was the son of Jeremiah Sr. Conclusion: The correct relationship to the immigrant is not known. Sorry folks! If the records do not turn up, DNA testing may have to be done.

Vamontgomery
This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license. Accessed online: https://familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/File:Vamontgomery.jpg
Vamecklenburg
This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license. Accessed online: https://familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/File:Vamecklenburg.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Jeremiah CLAUNCH group in Mecklenburg County, Virginia

In 1783 Jeremiah CLAUNCH bought 60 acres of land from Joseph and Ann DECKER on North prong of Eastlands Branch in Mecklenburg County, Virginia [1, 2] and was seen twice that year on the county poll.[3]

Jeremiah was on the land tax records with his 60 acres in the Lower District of Mecklenburg County from 1789 to 1799. Images were found for the years 1789 and 1799:

There was no standard form and tax collectors had to drawn up their own forms with column headings: Name of individual charged with tax; Quantity of land; Rate of land per acre; Value of land; Amount of tax.

1789landclaunch
1789 Mecklenburg County Virginia, Land Tax : accessed 12 Dec 2014 http://www.binnsgenealogy.com/VirginiaTaxListCensuses/Mecklenburg/1789Land/07.jpg
1799landclaunch
1799 Mecklenburg County Virginia, Land Tax A : accessed 12 Dec 2014 http://www.binnsgenealogy.com/VirginiaTaxListCensuses/Mecklenburg/1799LandA/08.jpg

Jeremiah CLAUNCH was found on the Mecklenburg County personal property tax list from the time he bought land in that county until 1799:

  • 1782 Jeremiah CLAUNCH (with 6 whites in household)
  • 1784 Jeremiah CLAUNCH
  • 1787 Jeremiah CLAUNCH
  • 1790 Jeremiah CLAUNCH (image below)
  • 1794 Jeremiah CLAUNCH and son Matthew
  • 1795 Jeremiah CLAUNCH and son Matthew
  • 1796 Jeremiah CLAUNCH and sons Matthew and Dennis
  • 1797 Jeremiah CLAUNCH and son Dennis
  • 1798 Jeremiah CLAUNCH and son Dennis
  • 1799 Jeremiah CLAUNCH and son Jacob (image below)
  • 1799 Dennis CLAUNCH (image below)
  • 1799 Matthew CLAUNCH (image below)

In the above Jeremiah was seen alone on the tax lists in the earlier years and then sons’ names were included as they reached the age of 16.  Records between for 1791 to 1793 are not included above. This would be the period when son William may have shown up with Jeremiah. The order of birth of the sons was most likely: William, Matthew, Dennis, and Jacob.

Following the date and name of person taxable, the first column was the number of white male tithables over 16, 2nd column was the number of slaves above 16,  3rd column was number of slaves 12 to 16, and 4th column was horses, mares, colts and mules.

1790taxclaunch
1790 Mecklenburg County, Virginia Tax List B : accessed 12 Dec 2014 http://www.binnsgenealogy.com/VirginiaTaxListCensuses/Mecklenburg/1790PersonalB/12.jpg

Jeremiah’s oldest son William CLAUNCH married Betsy ALVIS on 5 August 1793 in Mecklenburg County, Virginia. William BLACKETTER was security. Notes were included from Jeremiah CLAUNCH, father of William, and David ALVIS, father of Betsey. Witness was Sherd HICKS. [4]

Although William was not found on the tax lists mentioned above, this marriage shows that he was the son of Jeremiah. He was not on the 1794 tax list. Could this mean that he moved to Mercer County, Kentucky following his marriage in 1793?

“Jeremh Clanch” was security at marriage of Peter Jones and Sarah Jackson on 11 December 1797 in Mecklenburg County, Virginia.[4]

Jeremiah CLAUNCH married Prudence JACKSON on 21 March 1799 with Sam’l ALLGOOD as security in Mecklenburg County, Virginia.[4] Prudence was most likely the sister of Sarah Jackson as both of these ladies were later mentioned in a chancery record concerning the land of Henry and Ann Jackson.

At first I thought that this marriage was for a son of Jeremiah. After studying the limited amount of tax records and the earliest census records I have come to the conclusion that Jeremiah who married Prudence must be the same person as Jeremiah seen on the tax lists above. This would mean that Jeremiah, father of William, Matthew, Dennis, and Jacob was widowed before 1799.

Matthew CLAUNCH married Elizabeth ALLGOOD on 29 August 1799 (Sam’l ALLGOOD, security) in Mecklenburg County, Virginia.[4]

Dennis and his brother Matthew were on the 1799 tax list:

1799taxclaunch
1799 Mecklenburg County, Virginia Personal Property Tax List B : accessed 12 Dec 2014 http://www.binnsgenealogy.com/VirginiaTaxListCensuses/Mecklenburg/1799PersonalB/14.jpg

Father Jeremiah was on the same tax list with their brother Jacob who was not yet 21 years of age in 1799.

1799Btaxclaunch
1799 Mecklenburg County, Virginia Personal Property Tax List B : accessed 12 Dec 2014 http://www.binnsgenealogy.com/VirginiaTaxListCensuses/Mecklenburg/1799PersonalB/13.jpg

From the tax records we know that Jeremiah was still living in 1799. His oldest son William was widowed and remarried in 1798 in Mercer County, Kentucky. This gives us a 1793-1798 window for his move to Kentucky which I believe can be narrowed to 1793-1794 as William was not seen in Mecklenburg tax lists. According to information supplied by Ralph L. Hayes, Jeremiah CLAUNCH sold livestock and household goods in Mecklenburg County in 1800. Was he preparing to move? Family tradition is that William, Matthew, and Jacob moved to Mercer County, Kentucky, in the late 1790’s – tax lists prove this wrong in the case of Matthew and Jacob! They left only after 1799.

Let’s see what’s going on in Mecklenburg County after 1800.

  • Dennis CLAUNCH and Nancy BEASLY were married 8 November 1803 (William JUSTICE as security) in Mecklenburg County, Virginia.[4]
  • Sally CLAUNCH married Allen CHAVOUS on 7 September 1804 (Drury JOHNSON, security) in Mecklenburg County, Virginia.[4]
  • Jinny CLAUNCH married Samuel ALLGOOD on 29 December 1804 (Matthew CLAUNCH, security) in Mecklenburg County, Virginia.[4]

There is no mention of their father Jeremiah in these marriage records. However we do see that Matthew was still in the area in December 1804 as he was security for his sister Jinny’s marriage. If he moved to Kentucky with his brother Jacob then the move took place in 1805 or early 1806 as we see Jacob CLAUNCH marrying Mary “Polly” GRAY on 26 June 1806 in Mercer County, Kentucky. Their sister Jinny and her husband Samuel ALLGOOD moved to Henderson County, Kentucky, sometime after their marriage and before 1820. There is no 1810 census for Kentucky.

Jeremiah CLAUNCH and his wife Prudence were mentioned in chancery records of Mecklenburg County dated 10 January 1809. The images are not online  and can only be viewed in original at the Library of Virginia. I will definitely be checking back from time to time to see if the images are available. I am hoping that they will include information about their location and status. In the meantime this is what another researcher found:

“On 10 January 1809 Ann Stewart was called “widow of John Stewart formerly Ann Jackson” in a Mecklenburg County chancery suit by which she and Patsy Jackson, Peter Jones and Sally his wife (formerly Sally Jackson), and Augustine Smith sued Isaac Jackson, Jeremiah Claunch and Prudence his wife (formerly Prudence Jackson), William Jones and his wife Charity (formerly Charity Jackson), to sell 296 acres which had belonged to Henry Jackson, deceased. The land was sold to Roderick Coleman who distributed 17 pounds, 14 shillings to each litigant on 11 July 1809 [Orders 1809-11, 5].”[5]

Dennis CLAUNCH

My 4th great-grandfather Dennis CLAUNCH was seen on the 1800, 1804, and 1805 tax lists of Mecklenburg County, Virginia. This means that he most likely moved from Mecklenburg County to Kanawha County in 1805-1806. This is the same time period as Jacob and Matthew’s move to Kentucky. Did they travel part of the way together?

I have one last record that I believe belongs to this family group. About 1791 a boy named Jeremiah CLAUNCH was born in Mecklenburg County.[6] This was before any of Jeremiah’s sons married therefore I believe that he may have been a son of Jeremiah – and his youngest child if he did not have children with Prudence.1812claunchMany of Jeremiah CLAUNCH’s children were born during the American Revolutionary War (19 Apr 1775-14 Jan 1784). Assuming that Jeremiah was 21 years of age when his oldest child was born, I estimate his birth at 1752 or earlier.

  1. William CLAUNCH (1773-aft 1820) abt. 1773. William married(1) Betsy ALVIS on 5 August 1793 in Mecklenburg County, Virginia.[4] He married(2) Rebecca BOTTOM on 14 June 1798 in Mercer County, Kentucky.
  2. Matthew CLAUNCH (1776-1846) born about 1776. Matthew married(1) Elizabeth ALLGOOD on 29 August 1799 in Mecklenburg County, Virginia.[4] He married(2) Mahala NICHOLS (1812- ) on 3 March 1843 in Mercer County, Kentucky. Mahala was 21 years of age. He died in 1846 in Mercer County, Kentucky.
  3. Dennis CLAUNCH (1779-aft. 1810) born about 1779. Dennis married Nancy BEASLEY on 8 November 1803 in Mecklenburg County, Virginia.[4] He died after 1810.
  4. Jacob CLAUNCH (1782-1843) born about 1782. Jacob married Mary “Polly” GRAY on 26 June 1806 in Mercer County, Kentucky. He died before 1843 in Mercer County, Kentucky.
  5. Sally CLAUNCH (1785- ) born about 1785*. Sally married Allen CHAVOUS on 7 September 1804 in Mecklenburg County, Virginia.[4] *No further information found. Estimated that she was close to 18 when she married.
  6. Jinny CLAUNCH (1785- ) born about 1785*. Jinny married Samuel ALLGOOD on 29 December 1804 in Mecklenburg County, Virginia.[4] *In the 1820 through 1840 census she was consistently seen in an age group which fits into the between 1780-1790 area. Assuming she was close to 18 when she married would put her closer to born between 1780-1786.
  7. Jeremiah CLAUNCH (1791-?) born about 1791 in Mecklenburg County, Virginia. He served during the War of 1812. No further information found.

Dennis is said to have been on the 1806 and 1809 tax list of Kanawha County. Years ago I requested a lookup of these lists but did not receive any replies.

In 1810 Dennis and his wife had three children under the age of 10 in their household, a boy and two girls.

1810censusclounch
1810 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Kanawha (ancestry.com)

1810 U.S. Federal Census
Kanawha, Kanawha County, (West) Virginia
Name: Denis Clounch
Free White Persons – Males – Under 10: 1 (William)
Free White Persons – Males – 26 thru 44: 1 (Dennis, b. 1784 or earlier)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 10: 2 (Elizabeth and unknown)
Free White Persons – Females – 26 thru 44: 1 (Nancy, most likely 26-30)
Number of Household Members Under 16: 3
Number of Household Members Over 25: 2
Number of Household Members: 5

Note: Dennis first showed up on the tax lists with his father in 1796 which would mean that he was over 16 at the time putting his year of birth at abt. 1779. By 1799 he was seen alone on the tax list which normally would mean that he was at least 21 putting his year of birth at abt. 1778. The age range for 1810 puts his birth at 1784 or earlier. Dennis most likely was born between 1778-1780, I’ll pick the middle value and say he was born about 1779.

As Dennis was in Kanawha in 1810 this would mean that he moved his family to Mason County following the census and before his death OR his widow Nancy moved to Mason County following his death as she was the head of a household in Mason in 1820. My 4th great-grandfather Dennis CLONCH died between 1811-1820. There is no family tradition concerning his death and no death record was found.

You might ask why I call my 4th great-grandfather Dennis CLONCH and not Dennis CLAUNCH as he was seen in all records except the 1810 census where his name was spelled CLOUNCH? I’ll tell you that story next week.

Sources:
[1] Mecklenburg County, Virginia Deeds, 1779-1786, T.L.C. Genealogy, PO Box 403369, Miami Beach, FL, pg. 58
[2] Mecklenburg County, Virginia, Deed Book 6, pg. 283
[3] Mecklenburg County, Virginia Deeds, 1779-1786, T.L.C. Genealogy, PO Box 403369, Miami Beach, FL, pgs. 113 and 116
[4] Stratton Nottingham, comp., The Marriage License Bonds of Mecklenburg County, Virginia from 1765 to1810, Onancock, VA, USA, 1928 (online http://books.google.lu/ : accessed 7 Dec 2014), pgs. 1, 9, 10, and 29.
[5] Paul Heinegg, Stewart Family, online http://www.freeafricanamericans.com/Stewart_Family.htm, accessed 10 July 2013 – a chapter in Mr. Heinegg’s book Free African Americans of North Carolina and Virginia
[6] Ancestry.com. U.S. Army, Register of Enlistments, 1798-1914 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007. Original data: Register of Enlistments in the U.S. Army, 1798-1914; (National Archives Microfilm Publication M233, 81 rolls); Records of the Adjutant General’s Office, 1780’s-1917, Record Group 94; National Archives, Washington, D.C.

© 2014 Cathy Meder-Dempsey

52 Ancestors: #29 Sarah Ann TREADWAY 1828-bet. 1900-1910

52ancestors“The challenge: have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor.”

This is entry #29 in Amy Johnson Crow’s Challenge: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.

52 Ancestors: #29 Sarah Ann TREADWAY 1828-aft. 1900

My 3rd great-grandmother married in 1851. In the Marriage Records of Meigs County, Ohio, the name of the groom, John COOLEY, and the name of the bride, Sarah A. TREADWELL were entered by the same person who made all other entries on the page. This was followed by:

“The State of Ohio Meigs County, ss. This is to certify that on the 9th day of September A. D. 1851 I joined in marriage John Cooley & Sarah Ann Treadwell by virtue of a license for that purpose (signed) H. S. Lawrence J.P.”

All of the entries on the page included “A true copy” except for this one. Does the original scrap of paper still exist? All entries for 1851 are in the same handwriting. I skipped back through the “Marriage records 1819-1852 vol 1” database at FamilySearch, 50 images at a time, and discovered that the entire volume appears to have been written by the same person, most likely at the same time. This would mean that it is a copy made at a later date. Is it a copy of the original book or a marriage record book made up from loose leaf papers found in the court house?

Did the clerk who copied the Justice of the Peace’s information make a mistake? Did H. S. Lawrence, J.P., make the error in his records? In all records produced after this event, my Sarah Ann’s maiden name was spelled TREADWAY.

TREADWELL or TREADWAY, that is the question!

  • Daughter Ida’s 1870 birth record has as mother Sarah Jane TREADWAY. [line 1515]
  • Children Calvin and Sally‘s death records have TREADWAY for the mother’s maiden name.
  • Finally, an unknown great-granddaughter of granddaughter Lorena Ellen CLONCH (md. 1st James Noyce SMITH, 2nd John TOMSHACK) has the family bible in which Sarah Ann is listed as TREADWAY. [For more than 10 years I haven’t been able to find out who the great-granddaughter of Lorena Ellen CLONCH is or where this statement came from. Maybe she will see this and get in touch.]

Why am I worrying about one record which may have the name wrong? Because I wonder if it’s possible that they (Justice of the Peace and the clerk) got it right on the marriage record and records produced later were in error.

To further complicate things, I don’t know who Sarah’s parents were. I have not been able to locate her in the 1850 census. I’ve tried all combinations of Treadway, Treadwell, and even Tracewell. In later census records she was listed as being born in Virginia and West Virginia. Her parents’ places of birth are also seen as Virginia or West Virginia. Since these are for the years 1860, 1870, 1880, and 1900 it is very likely that she/they was/were born in an area of Virginia that became part of West Virginia in 1863.

Opening a Little Door in a Brick Wall

As previously discussed in 52 Ancestors: #28 John COOLEY, Sarah was seen in the 1860, 1870, 1880 and 1900 census with her husband John COOLEY.

I dug a bit deeper on the 1900 census this week and made a wonderful discover!

1900censuscooley
1900 U.S. Federal Census > WV > Fayette > Falls > Belva [ancestry.com]
1900 U.S. Federal Census
Fayette County, West Virginia
Falls District, Belva Precinct
Enumerated on the 29th day of June 1900
HH #358-358
Cowley, John head W M Oct 1827 72 married 45 yrs MS MS MS day laborer
_____, Sarah wife W F Apr 1828 71 married 45 yrs mother of 12, 0 living WV WV WV
Wilson, George boarder W M Oct 1849 (sic) 50 widowed WV WV WV day laborer
_____, Jenett granddaughter W F Apr 1891 9 single WV WV WV

In my story about Sarah’s husband John, I wrote:

At first glance the census listing for 1900 was overlooked as the surname was misspelled and John and his parents’ places of birth were seen as Mississippi instead of Missouri. A marriage record for John’s youngest daughter Minnie O. COOLEY helped to make the connection. Minnie married George WILSON (1849-aft. 1900) on 8 March 1900. She did not live long enough to be enumerated on the 1900 census but her widowed husband and a daughter from a previous relationship are seen living with John and Sarah COOLEY (misspelled Cowley) in Belva.

It bothered me that George WILSON was listed as widowed and a boarder in 1900 as he had married the COOLEY’s daughter Minnie three months before the census was enumerated. Shouldn’t he be seen as son-in-law? When I first found the marriage record I noticed that under Remarks “mail Geo. Wilson” was written in on the register. When was it mailed in? Could the license have been dated 8 March 1900 but the marriage took place later? I dug deeper and found that George WILSON was not 50 years old as seen on the marriage and census entries. He was 12 years older, born about 1838 to John G. J. and Delilah WILSON of Wood County. This was the county where Sarah and John had lived when their first child was born. Could there be another connection?

What to do? Whenever I am at an impasse I look at the children. Sarah’s daughter Minnie O. was the mother of two illegitimate daughters.

The youngest was Ellen COOLEY whose 1894 birth record included the name of her father E. E. BAKER. Since she was not given the father’s surname I assume that her parents were not married. I found no trace of her after this.

The older daughter was Nettie COOLEY who was seen as Jenett in 1900 with her COOLEY grandparents. No birth record was found for her. Does the line on the census where the surname should be mean a repeat of the head of household’s surname or of the person enumerated just above her? Could George WILSON have been her father?

I followed Nettie through her marriage to Carl Iven GLENN in 1917 (no parents listed) and her death in 1926 (mother Minnie COOLEY, father not known). In the 1920 census Carl and Nettie were seen with her daughter Freda COOLEY age 8 and a brother-in-law (of the head of household) Charles E. HAYES age 8. As I had already laid Minnie to rest in 1900 I did not even consider that the HAYES boy could be a Nettie’s brother. Then I wondered if Nettie’s father might be a HAYES but without documentation this was only speculation.

Not considering ALL possibilities had been a big mistake! I checked the births in Mason County for the parents of Charles E. HAYES. Luckily Mason has a birth register that is typewritten and in alphabetical order – many children were recorded without their given names. In 1911 I found a male child born on 25 January 1911 to Ben and Minnie HAYSE (sic).

A quick search of the marriage records and I had Benjamin Sterrett HAYES Jr. age 60 marrying Minnie O. WILSON age 37 on 19 October 1910, three months before the birth of the child. A search for Benjamin HAYES in the 1910 census clinched it! Minnie, housekeeper, and her children Nettie and Ellen are in Benjamin’s household and listed with the BAKER surname. Why BAKER on the census when she used WILSON a few months later when she married? Where are Ben and Minnie in 1920? Why was Charles seen with his sister Nettie in 1920?

I knew that Nettie died in 1926 and that her widower had remarried. A search for Charles E. HAYES in the 1930 and 1940 census did not turn up any results. At FamilySearch.org using parents’ names to search I found Charles’ death certificate. He died in 1927, six months after his sister Nettie (both of tuberculosis), the informant was her widower Carl GLENN. Could this mean that Nettie raised her brother and her husband had taken over when she died?

FAG Angela Harkins  (#46845221) WV Mason Hambrick Cemetery Minnie O. Hayes
FAG Angela Harkins (#46845221) WV Mason Hambrick Cemetery Minnie O. Hayes, used with permission.

Time to check Find A Grave, usually one of the last places I look for information. I should have tried there first as several of my questions were answered.

Angela Harkins (FAG contributor #46845221) had photos of gravemarkers and information on Minnie and her daughter Ellen who married in 1912 and in 1915, had a son in 1916, and died a few days later. Her mother Minnie O. COOLEY died in 1919. There was no death records for either lady. However the mystery of Minnie O. Cooley’s whereabouts and death have now been solved.

Sarah’s Children

And now the information on the children of my third great-grandparents Sarah and John is more complete (47 grandchildren):

  • Ch 1: Calvin COOLEY (1853-1912) born 10 October 1853 in Parkersburg, Wood County, (West) Virginia. Calvin married Mary MacNeal CAMDEN (1855-1931) on 14 November 1872 in Cooper Township, Mason County, West Virginia. They had 10 children. Calvin died on 10 June 1912 in Columbus, Franklin County, Ohio. His widow never remarried.
  • Ch 2: Melissa F. “Lucy” COOLEY (1855-1898) born about 1855 in Cedarville, Ohio. Melissa married Henry Hartman BIRD (1833-1900) on 19 March 1871 in Meigs County, Ohio. Henry was a widower with 4 children. Melissa and Henry had 10 children. She died 23 March 1898 in Bashan, Meigs County, Ohio. Her widower is not known to have remarried.
  • Ch 3: Harrison COOLEY (1859-1870) born about 1859 in Missouri. Harrison died before the 1870 census.
  • Ch 4: Tabitha Ann “Tobitha” COOLEY (1861-1913) born 11 February 1861 in Ohio. Tobitha married Alexander CLONCH (1842-1910) on 19 August 1880 in Gallipolis, Gallia County, Ohio. Tobitha and Alex were the parents of 9 children. She was widowed in 1910 and died on 16 December 1913.
  • Ch 5: Sarah Ann “Sallie” COOLEY (1865-1939) born 25 June 1865 in West Virginia. Sallie married Joseph Riley WAUGH (1860-1921) on 14 March 1882 in Gallia County, Ohio. Sallie and Joseph had 10 children. She was widowed in the 1920s and died 7 December 1939 in Standard, Kanawha County, West Virginia.
  • Ch 6: Robert Ulysses S. Grant COOLEY (1868-1882) born about 1868 in Arbuckle District, Mason County, West Virginia. Robert died on 2 November 1882 in Arbuckle District, Mason County, West Virginia.
  • Ch 7: Ida COOLEY (1870- ) born 5 April 1870 in Letart Township, Meigs County, Ohio. No record has been found for her after the 1880 census. It is not known if she ever married or had children. She is the next mystery child who needs to be solved.
  • Ch 8: Minnie O. COOLEY (1873-1919) born 3 May 1873 in Arbuckle District, Mason County, West Virginia. Minnie had two illegitimate daughters, one with E. E. BAKER.  Minnie married(1) George WILSON (1838-1900?) on 8 March 1900 in Dixie, Fayette County, West Virginia. She married(2) Benjamin Sterrett HAYES (1850-aft. 1911) on 19 Oct 1910 in Mason County, West Virginia. They had one son. Minnie died on 21 December 1919.
  • Ch 9: Timothy COOLEY (1876-1913) born 6 June 1876 in Hannan District, Mason County, West Virginia. Timothy married Lilly E. CROOKSHANK (1879-1961) on 19 September 1897 in Clay County, West Virginia. They were the parents of five children. Timothy died in December 1912 or 1913 (not confirmed). His widow remarried, had two children with her 2nd husband, divorced, married again, divorced, and went back to using the COOLEY name until her death.

Sarah Ann TREADWAY died sometime after the 1900 census. No death record has been found for her or her husband John COOLEY. They were in their early 70s when the 1900 census was enumerated and it is likely that they died before the 1910 census. However, as there is still the possibility that they were missed in 1910 and died before 1920, I continue to list them as died after the 1900 census.

I hope that you’ve enjoyed reading about how I go about solving these little problems in my family tree. I didn’t mean for this to turn into a research lesson. What would you have done differently? Your comments may help me with Sarah’s daughter Ida COOLEY.

© 2014 Cathy Meder-Dempsey