I haven’t done much research on my Irey line. Syntha Irey is the only one I’ve thoroughly researched. This week’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks theme of “Where There’s a Will” prompted me to research Syntha’s father, Phillip Irey. I have a copy of his will from a probate record and I’ve never done anything with it other than to use it as one source for Syntha’s marriage to Charles Rakestraw. I began to follow the other clues in the will and was surprised at how much information I found in just a few hours.
The first thing I noted was that Phillip named children and grandchildren in his will, but not his wife. I surmise from this that she must have died prior to the writing of the will, which was on August 22, 1841. In the 1840 Census, Phillip was between the ages of 80 and 90. There was a tick mark in the corresponding column on the female side, which was presumably his wife. The 1840 Census enumeration began on June 1st, so it seems that Phillip’s wife died sometime between June 1, 1840 and August 22, 1841.
The next thing I noticed was a legal description for land in “Fort Wain,” Indiana. I’ve been working with deeds and abstracts a lot lately at work, so that just jumped right out at me. I did find a deed for Phillip Irey who purchased land matching that description in Fort Wayne, Indiana on August 20, 1838.
U.S. General Land Office Records, 1796-1907, deed for land in Fort Wayne, Allen, Indiana, Ancestry.com
I also found a deed for land that he had purchased in Bucyrus, Ohio on April 5, 1836.
U.S. General Land Office Records, 1796-1907, deed for land in Bucyrus, Crawford, Ohio, Ancestry.com
Next, I decided to run through the names of the children. All of his daughters were married by the time he wrote his will, so this gave me a bit more to go on, knowing their married names. I managed to find marriage records for all of his children (John, Isaac, Dawson, Sarah, Susannah, Jane, Eli, and Syntha) on FamilySearch.org.
Since Phillip bequeaths a portion of his estate to the children of Susannah and Jane, I am fairly certain that they had both died before August 22, 1841. It also appears from the language of the will that Dawson was not expected to live long.
The Quaker records pertaining to Jane and Eli were probably the most significant find of the night. Jane Irey married Joseph Paxson, and Eli Irey married Joseph’s sister, Rachel. Presumably, the Paxsons were Quakers, since they are the ones listed in the book and Jane and Eli show up merely as spouses. The Meeting records give lots of good information.
U.S. Quaker Meeting Records, 1681-1935, Exeter Monthly Meeting, Berks, Pennsylvania, p. 256, Ancestry.com
U.S. Quaker Meeting Records, 1681-1935, Wrightstown Monthly Meeting, Bucks, Pennsylvania, p. 108, Ancestry.com
The headers for the columns should read as follows: Name, Date of Birth, Date of Death, Place of Burial, Marriage, Spouse’s Name, Date of Birth, Date of Death, Place of Burial. In addition, they wrote in the names of parents where they could.
From this, I know that Phillip’s wife was Hannah Brown. Eli Irey was born January 1, 1800 and died in August of 1882 and is buried in Hartford County, Michigan. Not much can be learned about Jane Irey, other than she was the first wife of Joseph Paxson. This also gives a lot of information on Joseph Paxson, his siblings, his parents, and even the names of his grandparents. A fantastic find!