I finally decided to sit down and work with the clues I had for Ossian Salisbury. Just to recap, these clues are:
- First name appears variously as Ocean, Oceanna, Ossian, OssiaAnn, and Osia Ann.
- Surname appears variously as Salisbury, Saulsberry, Sauelsbury, Sausberry, Stansberry, Landsbury, Lounsbury, and Browning (her married name).
- She was born in Illinois.
- She married in 1852, at the age of 17 (which places her birth around 1835).
- She was married in Kentucky to Daniel Browning.
- Her mother was Elizabeth Burns or Barnes.
- Her step-father’s name was Bevis.
Since I have recently begun ordering film from FamilySearch.org, I thought I would start by ordering the film for the record that gives her mother’s name. When I put the film number in, the website informed me that there were already digital images online for that roll. I thought to myself, that’s funny, since there are no images attached to the record. So, I clicked the link provided for the digital images and searched for the page that the index had cited. There it was!
I looked first for Elizabeth’s name. It looks like Barnes to me, but I can see where someone could get Burns. In this record, Daniel Browning married Ocean Stansberry (or maybe Stausberry) on June 30, 1852. Her mother, Elizabeth Barnes, gave consent. Consent was proved by Lewis Browning (Daniel’s father).1
I looked for any records of an Elizabeth Barnes or Burns who married a Salisbury or a Stansberry, to no avail. I only knew that Elizabeth gave birth in Illinois in about 1835.2 Using those details, nothing turned up. It’s very possible, that they had been married much longer or in a different state or country. Or, maybe they were never married.
I shifted focus to the step-father. I had the name Bevis.3 Not knowing if this was a first name or surname, I tried both with Elizabeth Barnes, Burns, Salisbury, and Stansberry. I found that an Eli Bavis married an Elizabeth Saulsbury in Clark County, Illinois in 1838.4 Thank God for soundex! I kept searching on FamilySearch for Eli Bavis, but turned up nothing new, so I moved my search over to Ancestry.
Here, I found the same marriage citation, but when I clicked it, it suggested two census records for me to look at. The first showed Eli Bavis in Clark County, Illinois in 1840.5 It was just an index record, so I couldn’t see family members and age groups. The second was the 1850 Census. This one was taken in Jefferson County, Kentucky. Eli and Elizabeth Bevis lived here with their five small children, Lydia, Jane, Susan, Levi, and Bloony.6 Ossian wasn’t listed. Since this was two years before her wedding, she should have been about 15 and living at home. Perhaps she worked as a servant in another household, but I have been unable to find her thus far.
I wish I had turned up information on her father, but I’m satisfied for now to know who Bevis is and to confirm her mother’s name.
- “Kentucky Marriages, 1785-1979,” index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/F438-JWR : accessed 29 Nov 2014), Daniel Browning and Ocean Stansberry, 30 Jun 1852; citing Jefferson County, Kentucky, reference bk 5 p 153; FHL microfilm 482707.
- Ancestry.com. Kentucky, Marriage Records, 1852-1914 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007. Kentucky. Kentucky Birth, Marriage and Death Records – Microfilm (1852-1910). Microfilm rolls #994027-994058. Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives, Frankfort, Kentucky.
- De La Montange, Marie. Letter to Sanford Wiseheart. 12 Feb. 1938. MS. New Albany, Indiana.
- “Illinois, County Marriages, 1810-1934”, database, FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:X2P6-BQQ : accessed 24 January 2016), Eli Bavis and Elizabeth Saulsbury, 1838.
- Ancestry.com. Illinois, Compiled Census and Census Substitutes Index, 1810-1890 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 1999. Jackson, Ron V., Accelerated Indexing Systems, comp.. Illinois Census, 1810-1890. Compiled and digitized by Mr. Jackson and AIS from microfilmed schedules of the U.S. Federal Decennial Census, territorial/state censuses, and/or census substitutes.
- Ancestry.com. 1850 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch. Year: 1850; Census Place: District 1, Jefferson, Kentucky; Roll: M432_205; Page: 188B; Image: 381.