Rewriting the Biography: A Darling Little Boy

Rewriting the Biography has become a catch-all for not only the biography of my 5th great-grandfather James SIMS (1754-1845) but also his children and their descendants. I took a break from working on this series after doing the census work and posts for his sixteen children.

While I was working on these last year, Patricia Simms Williams shared this lovely tribute written by her grandfather following the death of one of his children. The Genealogy Sketch box puts this family in perspective to James SIMS, Patricia, and myself.

Genealogy Sketch

Name: Charles Edward SIMMS
Parents: William Thomas SIMS and Mary Catherine WILLIAMS
Spouse: Lydia Ellen WILLIAMS and Cora Estella HURLEY (*)
Children: Ophelia Virginia, Chusvert, Laura, Cecil James, Charles Erman, Carman, Claude, and Cluster Erwin
Whereabouts: West Virginia counties: Fayette, Nicholas, Braxton, and Greenbrier
Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: 3rd cousin 3 times removed

1. James SIMS and his wife Phebe
2. Martin SIMS and Susannah JOHNSON
3. Nelson SIMS and Nancy JONES
4. William Thomas SIMS and Mary Catherine WILLIAMS
5. Charles Edward SIMMS and Cora Estella HURLEY
6. Charles Erman SIMMS and Nina Mae MILES
7. Patricia Ann SIMMS

Charles Edward SIMMS was born in 1866 to William Thomas SIMS and Mary Catherine WILLIAMS. His father died in 1870 and his mother remarried in 1872. He had two siblings and 5 half-siblings.

Charles married his first wife Lydia Ellen WILLIAMS in 1887. She gave him two sons and a daughter before her death. Charles married again in 1896 to Cora Estella HURLEY.

By 1900 the two sons from his first marriage had died and his household included his wife Cora, his daughters Ophelia from his first marriage and Laura B. from his second marriage. Cora was listed as the mother of two children, one living. This would mean Charles had lost three children by 1900.

In 1902 a son was born to Charles and Cora. No record of birth has been found for him nor a record of his death in September 1905. His name and years of birth and death have been passed down in the family history. Cecil James SIMMS died after his father came in contact with measles while stopping off at a neighbor’s house.

This is his recollection and tribute to his son. The scans of the pages with the handwritten poem did not include a title. I’ve taken the liberty to give it this title.

A Darling Little Boy

Returning once unto my home
Along a muddy way
The path that through the fields did come
I took that fatal day.

Near by a neighbor farmhouse stood
I, weary, sad, thought best
to stop with them partake of food
and gain a little rest.

Fate lays her hand in silent state
Unwarned on all of earth
Regardless of the small or great,
Or those of noble birth

Fate, silent stroke here fell on me
I, measles did inhale,
The bellows of life troubled sea
Rose by the stirring gale.

There was a flower in my home,
A darling little boy;
No dearer object there could come,
This precious little toy.

I used to take my darling son
When near the close of day
The busy cares then being done
And sing in joyful lay.

“I never will cease to love him
My, Jimmy, my Jimmy!
I will never cease to love him
He’s done so much for me.”

But when the sickness seized this flower,
It drooping, withered, died
We strove to save it from that power;
It perished by our side.

We sadly laid him in the grave
To wait that coming day;
And trusting Jesus power to save,
Our heats will ever say:

One by one the Savior gathers,
choicest flowers rich, and rare,
He’ll transplant them in his garden,
They will bloom forever there.

Charles Edward Simms (1866-1936)

This poem conveys Charles’ feelings, his love for his son Jimmy, and the sadness of losing him. It was written like a hymn which is not unusual as Charles was a preacher and teacher. In the years which followed Charles was also a manager for Singer sewing machines as well as a jewelry shop owner.

Following the death of his only living son in 1905, Charles’ wife Cora gave him four more sons. Charles, Carman, Claude, and Cluster. Claude died of influenza in 1918 during the epidemic at the age of 4 years and 15 days. Charles and Cora’s daughter Laura had died the previous year. Patricia wrote:

Laura was not married to Joseph Edward Bruffey, the father of her son Joseph Eugene Bruffey. For some reason, Laura’s mother Cora didn’t want her to get married. Laura had polio as a child, childbirth was hard for her and she died the following day after giving birth to Joseph Eugene. The Bruffey’s wanted to raise the baby but grandma Cora refused to let them.

After all of these losses in Charles’ family, his children Ophelia, Charles, Carman, and Cluster lived long lives. Ophelia lived to be 82, Charles 69, Carman 70, and Cluster 93.

When Patricia shared the scans of the poem with me, she wrote:

It should be shared with someone who will take care of it after I’m gone.
By featuring it here, I hope it will not be lost to future generations interested in our SIMS ancestry.
© 2019, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

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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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: #26 William CLONCH abt. 1807-1863

“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 #26 in Amy Johnson Crow’s Challenge: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. It’s hard to believe the first half of this wonderful challenge is ending this week.

Note: As of 13 January 2019, this post has been updated with sources and images. 

52 Ancestors: #26 William CLONCH abt. 1807-1863

On the 17th of January 1863, my 3rd great-grandfather William CLONCH wrote his Last Will and Testament.1

January the 17th 1863
This is my Last Will and testimony wherein I do wish to will my Land to Mary Doss and her Children John William Doss, Alexander Doss, Loving Ann Doss, Elizabeth Jane Doss, Thomas Eli Doss, Joel Doss and Charles Henry Doss and my wish is that the said Mary Doss and her said heirs shall hold the percession of said Land and to work it at their option untill the said Mary Dosses Death and then to be Equally Divided between said Children and that the said Land shall not be transfered out of the family if it is that the said transfer shall not stand and I do will Mariah Jane Petterson three Dollars and I do will John William Doss one horse and Alexander Doss one young mare and Loving Ann one 2 year old Colt and my tools and implements stay on the farm of all kinds to stay on the farm for the use of the family and I have made this my will and do acknowledge the same to be my volunter act and have this the day above written caused my name to be written and have fixed my mark and seal to be made.
William -his mark- Clonch
Attest
Matthias Long
Mary Ellen -her mark- Doss
Sarah Jane -her mark- Doss
in addition to the foregoing will it is my will that Thomas Doss Has My Big Gun.

Mary E. DOSS and William CLONCH were never married and the children mentioned are “theirs.” The five boys and Elizabeth Jane used the CLONCH surname following William’s death. Only “Loving Ann” used the DOSS surname when she married a year later in 1863.

I believe there is a reason why William and Mary never married. The reason being Ann Eliza HILL, the woman he married in 1832. She was the mother of Mariah Jane mentioned in the will. This is a complicated story which I will get to as we go back in time.

After drawing up his will, William CLONCH died three days later on 20 January 1863 in Mason County, (West) Virginia, of typhoid fever. His occupation was listed as a gunsmith. The informant was Mary CLONCH, his widow. His widow? They lived together for over 20 years and had 8 children together, does this make her his widow?

Was this Mary CLONCH the same person as Mary E. DOSS seen in his will? I would say yes as she was seen with him in the 1860 census as Mary CLONCH and in the 1850 census as Polly DOSS.

Two months later William’s will was presented at a court held for the county of Mason at the courthouse:2

At a Court held for the County of Mason at the courthouse therof on Monday the 2nd day of March 1863.
A writing purporting to be the last Will and testament of William Clonch deceased, was this day produced in Court and proven by the oaths of Matthias Long, Mary Ellen Doss, and Sarah Jane Doss, the subscribing Witnesses thereto, who made oath that said writing was signed and acknowledged by the said William Clonch by his marking his mark thereto, and at the same time acknowledging the same as and for his last Will and Testament in their presence and at his request and in his presence and in the presence of each other, they signed their names as witnesses thereto, and that the said Testator was of sound mind and disposing memory to the best of their knowledge, and belief. Whereupon it is ordered that said writing be recorded and admitted to probate, as and for the last Will and Testament of the said William Clonch decd.
Copy Teste James H. Holloway Clk.

Mariah Jane and her husband John PATTERSON also tried to present a writing they purported to be the last will and testament of William CLONCH after the first had been applied.3

John Patterson and Maria Jane Pattersons Children and heirs at law of William Clonch deceased having come into court after the application had been made to Submit a certain writing purporting to be the last Will and testament of said Clonch to probate moved the court to recind their Judgement on said Application. And thereupon the Court having condisered thereof doth reconsider the same, and doth continue the further hearing of the same to the next term of this court.
Copy Teste James H. Holloway Clk.

A month later at the next term of court, the hearing was continued and a decision was made concerning which writing was his last will and testament:4

At a court held for the County of Mason, at the Courthouse thereof on Monday the 6th day of April 1863.
A writing purporting to be the last Will and Testament of William Clonch deceased, bearing date on the 17th day of January 1863 was this day again produced in Court by Mary Doss and other legatees named in said will, in order to be proved: and John Patterson and Maria Jane Patterson his wife appeared by Charles P. T. Moore Esq. their Attorney and opposed the proof of the said Will. Whereupon divers Witnesses were sworn and examined and the parties aforesaid, by their counsel fully hears; on consideration whereof it is the opinion of the court, that the said William Clonch deceased, at the time of executing the writing dated on the 17th day of January 1863 was of sound and disposing Mind and Memory, and that he was under no influence, And Matthias Long, Mary Ellen Doss, and Sarah Jane Doss, subscribing witnesses to the said writing, having testified in court, that the said William Clonch signed and published the same in their presence as and for his last Will and Testament, that they subscribe their names as witnesses thereto in the presence of the said Testador, and in the presence of each other, and at his request, and that the said Testador was of sound mind and memory as far as they knew or believed; it is ordered that the said writing bearing date as aforesaid, be recorded as and for the last Will and Testament of the said William Clonch, deceased, Except the memorandum thereto annexed, and that same be also admitted to probate. And it further ordered by the court, that the said John Patterson, and Maria Janes Patterson, pay to the said Mary Doss and other legatees in said Will their costs by them in this behalf expensed.
Copy Teste James H. Holloway Clk.

John and Mariah Jane PATTERSON were ordered to pay the expenses of Mary DOSS and the other legatees in the will. Did Mariah Jane’s $3 inheritance cover the costs?

The land left to Mary E. DOSS and her children by William was sold by his heirs in 1892 to Louvenia PATTERSON, seen as Loving Ann DOSS in the will:

In Mason County deed book 53, page 202, dated 29 April 1892, John W. and wife Mary E. Clonch, Alexander and wife Bertha (sic, Tobitha), Charles and wife Mary, Thomas and wife Missouri, Joel and wife Betsy, heirs of William Clonch to Louvenia Patterson all of the Mason County, West Virginia, property in Clendenin District, Mason County, West Virginia. According to these records, William Clonch is the father of the Doss children. Note: I don’t have images of or a true transcript of this record. A look-up would be appreciated. 

UPDATE: add the link to post when it is published!

Moving Backwards

With his last will and testament out of the way, I can continue back through the years and hopefully answer some of the questions about the relationship William CLONCH had with Mary DOSS.

1860censusclonch
1860 Census listing for William Claunch and family

William was last seen in the 1860 census5, his surname spelled CLAUNCH, with his “wife” Mary and their children John W., Alex, Luvina, Elizabeth, Thos. E., Joel, and Charles H. Also in his household was John W. CLARK age 64. Unfortunately prior to 1880 the relationship to a head of household was not noted on the census.

1850censusclonch
1850 Census listing for William Clonch and family

In 1850 William CLONCH  is seen with Polly DOSS and four DOSS children.6 Three of these are the same as seen in 1860 but with the CLAUNCH name. The fourth DOSS child, Jeremiah age 2, is believed to have died before the 1860 census as he is not listed in that census or mentioned in the will. Jeremiah was the name of William’s grandfather.

Now that we’ve seen the 1850 and 1860 census, here is a complete list of Willliam’s children that he had with Mary E. “Polly” DOSS:

  • John William CLONCH (1840-1919) born in December 1840
  • Alexander CLONCH (1842-1910) born on 2 March 1842, husband of Tabitha Ann “Tobitha” COOLEY
  • Lavina Ann DOSS (1846-1945) born about 18 March 1846
  • Jeremiah DOSS (1847-1850) born abt. 1847 and died bet. 1850-1860
  • Elizabeth Jane “Betsy” CLONCH (1851-1899) born abt. 1851
  • Joel CLONCH (1852-1910) born abt. January 1852
  • Thomas Eli CLONCH (1852-1913) born in November 1852
  • Charles Henry CLONCH (1855-1925) born 10 November 1855
MRIN00536 1945 Lavina Patterson death announcement
Charleston Daily Mail, August 3, 1945

Lavina Ann and Jeremiah never used the CLONCH or CLAUNCH surnames. In 1945 Lavina, the last surviving child of William CLONCH, died. The informant on her death certificate did not know who her father was. Polly DOSS was listed as the mother. Her relatives boasted that she was 109 years old when she died. Her age on her death certificate was 106 yrs 4 mos 18 days. She was actually 10 years younger than the age in this clipping7 — but still nearly 100!

In the Beginning

My 3rd great-grandfather William CLONCH was the son of Dennis CLONCH and Nancy BEASLEY. They were married on 8 November 1803 in Mecklenburg County, Virginia. They moved to Kanawha County, Virginia [now West Virginia],  about 1806 as Dennis was on the tax lists of Mecklenburg County in 1805 and of Kanawha County in 1806 and 1809. He was on the 1810 Kanawha County census with his wife and three children: William and his older sister Elizabeth and another female who remains unidentified. Dennis died during the 1810s as his wife Nancy was the head of household in 1820 through 1840 in Mason County.

William had 3 known siblings:

  • Sib 1: [–?–] CLONCH, born bet. 1805-1809 in Kanawha County. This sister remains unidentified.
  • Sib 2: Elizabeth CLONCH, born bet. 1805-1809 in Kanawha County. She married Meridith PARSONS (1805- ) on 26 February 1825 in Mason County, (West) Virginia. She died before 1840.
  • William CLONCH was born about 1807 in Kanawha County.
  • Sib 3: John CLONCH was born about 1810 in Kanawha County. He married Elizabeth DOSS (1817-1880) on 15 September 1842 in Gallia County, Ohio. He died between 1844-1847 most likely in Mason County.
  • Sib 4: Sarah CLONCH was born about 1811 in Kanawha County. 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).

The Years in Between

William CLONCH of Mason County, Virginia, married Ann Eliza HILL (1812-1895) of Gallia County, Ohio, on 20 August 1832 in Gallia County, Ohio.8

claunchhillmarriage
1832 Marriage record of William Claunch and Ann Eliza Hill

By 1840 William and Ann Eliza were living in separate households in two states.

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

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

William did not have children in his 1850 household who would be old enough to also be seen in 1840. So what are we seeing in these listings? Apparently, William and Ann Eliza broke up and William took Mariah Jane who was born about the time that her parents married. Mary E. DOSS may be the woman living in William’s household as she would be giving birth to their first child John William CLONCH in December 1840. But who are the young boys seen with “Eliza CLAUNCH” in Gallia County?

When researching our family history we never know what bones we may dig up that might have best been kept buried. This lady intrigued me enough to search further. As far as I could tell most CLONCH researchers believed that Ann Eliza HILL died or divorced William CLONCH however no record of divorce was found.

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.9

1842marriage1
1842 Marriage Return for Andrew Gause and Anna Eliza Claunch (part 1)
1842marriage2
1842 Marriage Return for Andrew Gause and Anna Eliza Claunch (part 1)

Could this be a coincidence or was this the same lady who married William in 1832? Ann Eliza HILL’s husband William CLAUNCH (later seen as CLONCH) did not die between the time of the 1840 census and her remarriage on 26 March 1842. Why did she give this false statement? When William made his will in 1862 he mentioned only his daughter Mariah Jane from his marriage to Ms. HILL – no sons!

Mariah Jane CLONCH (1831-1863) born bet. 1831-1833 in Mason County, (West) Virginia, married John PATTERSON (1814-1863) during the year before the 1850 census. Mariah Jane and her husband John were last seen in April 1863 when her father’s will was recorded in court and they were ordered to pay expenses. They have not been located in the 1870 census. Four of their five children and one child from John’s previous marriage were located. It has been assumed that Mariah Jane and John died bet. 1863-1870.

What about the boys seen with Ann Eliza in the 1840 census? Since the pre-1850 censuses name only the head of household, we cannot be sure that the boys were even related to Ann Eliza. But what if they were her children? The older boy, or one of about the same age, was found with her in 1850 along with her new husband and younger children. The youngest of the two boys was not with her in 1850. Her story does not end here as I followed her until her death. It will be saved for another day.

In 1850 John W. CLARK, who was seen with the William CLONCH family in 1860, had his own household.10 In this household were only Nancy CLONCH age 75 and Dennis CLONCH age 12. How is Dennis related to William CLONCH? Could he be Ann Eliza’s younger son?

1850censusclark
1850 census listing for John W. Clark with Nancy Clonch and Dennis Clonch

The young boy named Dennis CLONCH seen in the 1850 census appears to be a grandson of Nancy BEASLEY and DENNIS CLONCH. But who was his father? Earlier researchers believed him to be the son of William’s brother John CLONCH. John did not have his own household in 1840 and may have been in his mother’s household. He married in 1842 and died between 1844-1847; his widow remarried in 1847. Since John died before the 1850 census it was believed that Dennis was his son as he was living with Nancy CLONCH.

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. Was Dennis the result of an extramarital relationship that caused the breakup of their marriage?

Dennis (1838-1893) was born 8 March 1838 in (West) Virginia. Dennis CLONCH 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 was 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.

Postscript I:

Over a dozen years ago when Ralph Hayes shared his research and the scandalous happenings in the CLONCH family, he wrote, “Now wasn’t that a little Peyton’s Place.” Last December I used his phrase as the title of two blog posts about the “scandals”:
A Little “Peyton Place” (Part I) and A Little “Peyton Place (Part II).

Postscript II:

I thought this would be an easy write-up. Writing in chronological order didn’t work as I kept getting hung up on the wife’s part in the story. But the wife was not my ancestor. I wanted Polly to have a larger part in William’s story than his wife had. How did I do?

Mary E. “Polly” DOSS, my 3rd great-grandmother, will be the star of next week’s 52 Ancestors installment.

Genealogy Sketch

Name: Wiliam CLONCH
Parents: Dennis CLONCH and Nandy BEASLEY
Spouse: Ann Eliza HILL, non-spouse Mary E. “Polly” DOSS
Children: Mariah Jane, John W., Alexander, Lavinia Ann, Jeremiah, Elizabeth Jane, Joel, Thomas Eli, Charles Henry
Whereabouts: Mason County, West Virginia
Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: 3rd great-grandfather

1. William CLONCH
2. Alexander CLONCH
3. Rebecca Jane CLONCH
4. Myrtle Hazel ROOP
5. Fred Roosevelt DEMPSEY
6. Cathy Meder-Dempsey

© 2014, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.


  1.  “West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971” (database with images), <i>FamilySearch</i> (digital images of originals housed at local county courthouse in West Virginia), FHL Film #567420, Item 2; DGS 4715359; Mason Will book, v. 01A 1833-1875, image 104 of 165, page 166-167. Last will and testament of William Clonch. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1-18256-40179-14?cc=1909099&wc=10916722 : accessed 12 January 2019). Transcribed by Cathy Meder-Dempsey, 25 September 2011. 
  2. Idem., presentation of will to the court. 
  3. Idem., presentation of another will to the court. 
  4. Idem., decision of the court concerning the wills. 
  5.  1860 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Eighth Census of the United States, 1860 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M653, 1,438 rolls, Roll: M653_1361; FHL Film: 805361; Virginia, Mason County, District 2, image 25 of 68; Page No. 46, Lines 21-30, HH #345-316, Wm Claunch household. “.” (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 13 January 2019). 
  6.  1850 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Seventh Census of the United States, 1850 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration,Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M432, 1009 rolls, Roll: M432_959; Image 371; Virginia, Mason, District 38, image 121 of 165, Sheet No. 422A, Lines -23, HH #842-853, William Clonch household. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 13 January 2019). 
  7. Charleston Daily Mail, August 3, 1945, “Woman, 109, Succumbs”(http://access.newspaperarchive.com/ : accessed 30 March 2014) 
  8. “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33SQ-GRMD-S2C5?cc=1614804&wc=Q6SP-7GH%3A121350101%2C121422401 : 15 July 2014), Gallia > Marriage records 1803-1843 vol 1 > image 118 of 240; county courthouses, Ohio. 
  9.  West Virginia Vital Research Records Project (database and images), West Virginia Division of Culture and History (A collaborative venture between the West Virginia State Archives and the Genealogical Society of Utah to place vital records online via the West Virginia Archives and History Web site accessible at http://www.wvculture.org/vrr), FHL Film number 521719; Digital GS number: 4226396; West Virginia Marriages 1853-1970. 1842 Marriage Return for Andrew Gause and Anna Eliza Claunch. (http://www.wvculture.org/vrr/va_view.aspx?Id=12568001&Type=Marriage : accessed 13 January 2019). 
  10.  1850 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Seventh Census of the United States, 1850 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration,Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M432, 1009 rolls, Roll: M432_959; Image 297; Virginia, Mason, District 38, image 47 of 165, Sheet No. 385A, Lines 28-30, HH #333-334, John W. Clark household. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 13 January 2019).