Charlotte Poppa: Are You My Great Great Great Grandmother? (52 Ancestors #32)

Charlotte “Lottie” Poppa is one of the ancestors that I’ve always been curious about.  Most of what I “know” about her is unproven.  When my grandma gave me a copy of her pedigree chart, she pointed Lottie out to me and said, “I couldn’t read the writing on the record, so it could be Poppa, Pappa, or Puppa.”

I don’t know what record she was referring to, she never named it or showed it to me.  I’m hoping a copy is still somewhere in one of the many fruit boxes containing all of my grandparents’ research.  I have been trying to research Lottie on my own, and she’s proven to be very difficult to locate.  According to the chart, Lottie was the mother of Louise Reisenberg.  Since Reisenberg is misspelled in a plethora of different ways, soundex search doesn’t always work.

Again, according to grandma’s chart, Lottie was married to Friedrich Reisenberg.  She was born on November 4, 1823 in Germany and died on October 20, 1907.  Presumably, Grandma got this information from the document(s) she mentioned to me.  Since I try very hard to only chart information for which I have sources, and pedigree charts don’t count, I use this as a guide for my research rather than proven dates.

I entered Charlotte Poppa into the form on FamilySearch.org and retried the search with various pieces of information each time.  I thought maybe I would come across a marriage record.  Surprisingly, Lottie Riesenburg turned up in the 1900 Census in Steuben County, Indiana.  She was living with her son-in-law, Kasper Shotts, and daughter, Amelia Shotts.  Fred Riesenburg was also listed.

I was surprised by this because I had heard the story of how Louise had come to America on her own.  I had never heard that her parents came over.  I looked at the immigration column and Fred and Lottie arrived in 1883, about a year after Louise.  I also looked at Lottie’s birth information to try to verify her birth.  She was born in November of 1823 in Germany.  The only trouble I have with this census information is that it says she has only one child.  She is living with her daughter, Amelia, so how then could Louise be her daughter?  To add more confusion, Amelia had a daughter named Bertha, and Louise had a daughter named Bertha Amelia.  I have seen in the census before where a person gave the number of children living with them instead of her actual number of children.  Perhaps this is a similar scenario, or, perhaps I simply have the wrong branch attached to my family tree.

I tried looking for the passenger list, but the only information that seemed to match did not have an original image attached.  I don’t trust indexes.  I may eventually end up ordering the film for this one.

My next step was to continue looking for census records.  She came over after 1880, there is no 1890, and I have her in 1900, so I moved on to 1910.  I couldn’t find her, so I switched tactics and looked for Fred.  I found him with Casper and Amelia Schott in Ottawa County, Ohio.  He is widowed.  This doesn’t give me much useful information for Lottie, but I now know she died between 1900 and 1910, so 1907 does fit.

At this point, I had enough information to search on Find A Grave.  I know she died between 1900 and 1910 in either Indiana or Ohio, but I still had to check all possible spellings of Reisenberg.  I finally found Charlotte Risenberg buried in Harris-Elmore Union Cemetery in Elmore, Ottawa County, Ohio.  She is linked to Friedrich Risenberg and Amelia Schott, so I know this is the one I was looking for.  Unfortunately, there is no photo and no other information.  I put in a photo request, but since no dates are listed, I’m guessing there either isn’t a stone or the stone is unreadable.

I did a search on Ancestry.com for family trees and also checked with some distant cousins, but nobody seems to have any information on Louise’s parents.  I am fairly certain Lottie is the person I’m looking for because Grandma was pretty meticulous when it came to genealogy, though not meticulous enough to cite sources, but I will continue to search for the link between Lottie and Louise.  In the meantime, this search has yielded a confirmation of Lottie’s birth information, an immigration year, and a lead on her death information.  I still want to know more, but at least I know more than I did a week ago.

Leason Gilliland: The Elusive Leason (52 Ancestors #30)

The Elusive Leason.  It sounds like a magician’s stage name or something.  Perhaps he should have been a magician.  When I think of ancestors who have been a challenge to research, several names come to mind, but none have been more challenging than Leason Gilliland.  I mentioned him once before.  He is the ancestor that my grandpa had said worked on a steamboat and was away from home all the time.  I have little idea where he came from and no idea where he ended up.  He just disappeared.

In the beginning, all I had was a name on a pedigree chart.  My grandparents had done some research, but I had no idea what it was or where it was.  Honestly, I was a teenager at the time and really didn’t care very much.  I just wanted the names.  As I got older and worked with my grandparents more, I began to understand the importance of documents and researching things for oneself.  The first piece of documentation that I found for Leason was the 1840 Census.  Being a pre-1850 census, it didn’t yield very much information.  What it did yield was Leason Gilliland (age 20-30), presumably a wife (age 20-30), and presumably two sons (both under 5).  He was employed in agriculture and living in Hardin County, Kentucky.1

Agriculture to steamboating seems like a big leap to me, but I can’t totally discount it.  The story was told to my grandpa by Leason’s daughter, Mary Elizabeth.  It seems to me that if anyone knew what became of Leason, his wife or children would.  And it would go a long way to explaining why he just disappeared.  I discussed this with a co-worker and she suggested that perhaps steamboating was more lucrative than farming at this particular time and place.

I looked for Leason and his family members on the 1850 Census.  I found that Zerelda Gilliland (31) and her children, Daniel (12), William (10), Ezra (8), and Mary (1), were living with Asa and Maria Loundsbury in New Albany, Indiana.2  I could not find Leason.  I looked at the clues I had from this record.  If Zerelda was 31 in 1850, she would have been 21 in 1840.  If Daniel was 12 and William was 10 in 1850, they both would have been under 5 in 1840.  The other children would not have been born yet.  This all fit.  Also, Zerelda and all of the children except for Mary were born in Kentucky.2  I was left with two questions here.  How did the Gillilands know Asa Loundsbury?  Did Leason die before 1850?

I researched Asa Loundsbury a little but could not find any obvious connection, so I moved on.  I knew from other research that Serilda Gilliland married John Bridges in 1857.3  I looked for Leason in the 1860 Census anyway, just in case they got divorced.  No luck there.  John Bridges’ household included Zerilda Bridges (39), Daniel Gilliland (20), William Gilliland (18), Ezra Gilliland (16), Mary Gilliland (10), and Sarah Gilliland (6).4  This was a surprise.  If Sarah Gilliland was born circa 1854, then Leason did not die before the 1850 Census.  Why wasn’t he listed?  Maybe he did hop a steamboat.  He must have died before 1857 though, for Serilda to have remarried.

With all of this census research, I still didn’t have any real proof that Leason was the husband of Serilda or the father of her children.  All of this was based on what Mary Elizabeth Gilliland told my grandpa.  While I was doing some more research on Ezra Gilliland, I managed to find his death record.  His parents were listed as Leason Gilliland and Cerelda Lone.5  I re-checked Mary Elizabeth’s death record, but her parents names were unknown by the informant.  I have been unsuccessful in locating death records for any of the other children.

With nowhere else to go moving forward, I decided to move backward.  I really had no way of knowing who Leason’s father might be since I don’t know when or where he died to begin to look for death records, obituaries, church records, or the like.  I took a wild leap on my break last week and searched for all Gillilands in Hardin County, Kentucky on the 1820 Census when Leason, theoretically, would have still been living at home.

The only Gilliland in Hardin County in 1820 was James Gilliland (age 26-44), presumably a wife (age 26-44), what appears to be a mother or mother-in-law (age 45 and over), and children: one male 16-18 and two males under 10, and one female 10-15 and two females under 10.6  In 1820, Leason would have been under 10.  Not proof, but a good lead.

I pursued this lead and looked for James Gilliland on the 1850 Census to see who else might be listed in his household.  For some reason, James was enumerated twice in 1850, once in August and once in October, both in Hardin County.  I guess they moved between these months.  They are enumerated first as the 228th family visited and then as the 549th family visited.  The problem I have here is that some of the ages are vastly different in the span of just two months.  What I do gather from these records is that James’ wife was Mary and a son, Thomas, was living with him or next door.7,8  Averaging the two enumerations, Thomas would have been born circa 1819, which means he would have been under 10 on the 1820 Census.

I knew we had some Kentucky books at work, so I checked the shelf and found two marriage record books for Hardin County, Kentucky in the early 1800s.  I looked for James Gilliland and Thomas Gilliland.  I found that James married Polly Morrison on October 4, 1808 and Thomas married Elizabeth LeMaster on June 30, 1838.9,10  James Gilliland gave consent for Thomas to be married, which would put Thomas under 18 in 1838.10  If he had been born in 1820, he could have been under 10 on the 1820 Census, 17 and almost 18 at the time of his marriage, and 30 years old on the 1850 Census.

I went home and told my dad about the new lead and what I had discovered.  He called me back in the room a little bit later because he had done some searching with the new information and stumbled across Steven Butler’s website, which includes an interesting little history on the James Gilliland family.

According to this, James’ daughters were Letitia (1810) and Sarah (1811), which would put them in the under 10 category in 1820.11  This didn’t match what I found on the 1830 and 1840 Census for James Gilliland and family, so I set to work with a pile of census pages and copies from the Hardin County marriage books and filled in a Family Group Census Grid for James Gilliland.  Luckily for me, most of James’ children were under age at the time of their marriage, which gave me a good idea of approximate birth dates to compare with the census records.  After checking records, doing some math, re-checking records, and re-checking my math, I finally came up with what I believe is an accurate account of the Gilliland family movements.

James Gilliland Census Grid

What is really exciting to me is that Leason fits the unnamed son’s criteria!  I can find no other evidence of possible parents for Leason and I can find no other evidence of a different son for James and Polly.  It’s still not definitive proof, but it’s better than the thread I had in the beginning.  I may never find any more on Leason Gilliland or his possible connection to the James Gilliland family, but I look forward to trying!


Sources

1.  Ancestry.com. 1840 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010.   Year: 1840; Census Place: Hardin, Kentucky; Roll: 113; Page: 30; Image: 65; Family History Library Film:0007827.

2.  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: New Albany, Floyd, Indiana; Roll: M432_145; Page: 301A; Image: 14.

3.  Floyd County Clerk. Microfilm. Floyd County, Indiana Marriages Volume 4 (1857): p.485.  Accessed 09 Jan. 2015, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room.

4.  Ancestry.com. 1860 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.  Year: 1860; Census Place: New Albany Ward 6, Floyd, Indiana; Roll: M653_257; Page: 422; Image: 426; Family History Library Film: 803257.

5.  Floyd County Health Department. Microfilm. Floyd County, Indiana Deaths CH-33 (1920): p. 54, record 300.  Accessed 11 Feb. 2015, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room.

6.  Ancestry.com. 1820 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.  Year: 1820; Census Place: Philadelphia, Hardin, Kentucky; NARA Roll: M33_23; Page: 8; Image: 15.

7.  “United States Census, 1850,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M657-T64 : accessed 17 December 2014), James Gillilan, Hardin county, Hardin, Kentucky, United States; citing family 228, NARA microfilm publication M432 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).

8.  “United States Census, 1850,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M65W-7XK : accessed 17 December 2014), James Gillelund, Hardin county, Hardin, Kentucky, United States; citing family 549, NARA microfilm publication M432 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).

9.  Jones, Mary Josephine., comp. Hardin County, Kentucky Marriages 1793 to 1829. Vine Grove, KY: Ancestral Trails Historical Society, 1996. Print. p. 12.

10.  Jones, Mary Josephine., comp. Hardin County, Kentucky Marriages 1830 to 1850. Vine Grove, KY: Ancestral Trails Historical Society, 1996. Print. p. 24.

11.  Butler, Steven. “Biographies: James Gilliland.” Steven Butler’s Family History Website. N.p., 11 Feb. 2011. Web. 18 July 2015.

Mary Susan Henderson: Not Forgotten (52 Ancestors #26)

One of the things I find interesting about genealogy is how easy it is for me to develop tunnel vision.  I find that I focus so much on one person or one line that I forget one of the basic rules:  research your collaterals.  What is more discouraging for me is that I often forget to research my matrilineal ancestors.  A case in point is Mary Susan Henderson.

I don’t know why, but I’ve just never thought to myself, I need to research her.  She’s always just been on the periphery.  I have a tendency to think of her as Milton Rakestraw’s wife who remarried after he died, which is crazy.  She is my fourth great-grandmother by blood.  I have certainly researched more tenuous relations, why not her?

I had done a minimal amount of research on her that was required for the First Families project.  Once I had moved on to her son, the rest didn’t matter to me.  Until she came up again…

On May 25, 2015, my dad and I visited a few cemeteries for Memorial Day.  While at Fairview, Dad said he would like to find Mary Susan Rakestraw’s grave.  Knowing she had remarried to James Hand, I looked her up on the very handy (no pun intended) Find A Grave app on my phone.  Dad had a vague memory of where she was and the app confirmed the location.  Even so, we could not find her.  Perhaps the stone is no longer there, or perhaps we couldn’t find it because the rows aren’t clearly marked.  Either way, we left a little disappointed.

We next visited Mt. Tabor Cemetery.  I checked the app and saw an open photo request for a Jacob Stites Hand, so I filled it.  The requester contacted me, which sparked a conversation that caused me to finally realize that I had done almost no research on Susan after her first husband died.  At this point, I really felt as though Susan was saying to me, “Don’t forget me.”

On the way home from the cemeteries, I looked at the entry on the Find A Grave app again.  A partial transcription of her obituary was on her memorial page with the source citation NALS 28 Feb 1879 (Thanks, Sue!).  That citation might not mean anything to most people, but I happen to work at the library in which the microfilmed newspapers are housed.  The next time I had a break at work, I looked up the February 28, 1879 issue of the New Albany Ledger Standard and found her obituary.  I saved a copy to my flash drive to look at later.  I also saved a copy of the marriage record for James Hand and Mary Susan Rakestraw.

Then, as I prepared to write this post, I thought about what else I could possibly turn up on Susan.  Working backwards, as I was taught to do, I considered death records.  However, Susan died in 1879 and Indiana didn’t require death records until 1882.  There were a handful of records before that date, but none were Susan Hand.  I had her marriage records already, so I moved on to births.  She was born circa 1830 in Kentucky, and the earliest recorded Kentucky birth (according to FamilySearch.org) was in 1852.

I thought about census records.  The earliest I had for her was 1850.  I am unlikely to find any earlier without knowing her father’s name, since 1850 was the first year that recorded everyone living in a household and she was married by that time.  The latest I have is 1870 and she died in 1879.  It then occurred to me that I had not checked the Fairview Cemetery indexes.  I found her, though it yielded little new information.

As I read over all of my information to see how complete a story I had for her, I really focused on her obituary.  It broke my heart a little.

Susan Hand, Obituary, New Albany Ledger Standard, Friday, 28 February 1879, p. 3, column 4, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room

Susan Hand, Obituary, New Albany Ledger Standard, Friday, 28 February 1879, p. 3, column 4, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room

“A poor woman named Mrs. Hand.”  Did nobody know her given name?

I looked at her Fairview record.

Fairview Cemetery, Volume 2, p. 41.

Fairview Cemetery, Volume 2, p. 41.

She was buried by the county in a grave owned by her former father-in-law and former brother-in-law.  This all gave me the feeling that she was poor and friendless at the end of her life.  Although, one would think that since she had so many children that somebody would have taken care of her.  I’m sure there is much more to Susan’s story than I will ever know, but I’m glad I finally took the time to research her.

Mary Susan Henderson

Born circa 1830 in Kentucky.3,5,6

Married Milton Rakestraw on March 8, 1845 in Floyd County, Indiana.1,2

Children with Milton:  Francis Marion (1847), Charles H. (c.1848), and George William (c.1849).3

Married James Hand on April 16, 1857 in Floyd County, Indiana.4

Children with James:  Elza (c.1858), Alice (1860), Annie (c.1861), Julia (c.1864), and Mary (c.1869).5,6

Died on February 27, 1879 in New Albany, Floyd, Indiana of consumption.7

Buried at Fairview Cemetery in New Albany, Floyd, Indiana on March 1, 1879.8


Sources

1.  Floyd County Clerk. Microfilm. Floyd County, Indiana Marriages Volume B (1845): p.147.  Accessed 23 Sep. 2014, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room.

2.  “Matrimonial Matters” New Albany Public Press 01 March 1882, Wednesday ed.: 8. Print. column 3.  Accessed 12 Aug. 2014, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room.

3.  1850 United States Federal Census (database-online). Ancestry.com, 2009. Web. 12 Jun. 2011. Jeffersonville, Clark, Indiana. pp.313-314.

4.  Floyd County Clerk. Microfilm. Floyd County, Indiana Marriages Volume 4 (1857): p.340.  Accessed 09 Jun. 2015, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room.

5.  1860 United States Federal Census (database-online). Ancestry.com, 2009. Web. 16 Aug. 2014. New Albany, Floyd, Indiana. p.134.

6.  1870 United States Federal Census (database-online). Ancestry.com, 2009. Web. 15 Aug. 2014. New Albany, Floyd, Indiana. p.72.

7.  “Deaths (Obituaries)” New Albany Ledger Standard 28 February 1879, Friday ed.: 3. Print. column 4.  Accessed 09 Jun. 2015, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room.

8.  Clipp, Mary Cuzzort, Richard Clipp, Jackie Murray Nance, Wanda Perkins Stepp, and Shirley Wolf, comps. Fairview Cemetery, January 7, 1866 to December 31, 1880, New Albany, Floyd County. Vol. 2. New Albany, Indiana: Southern Indiana Genealogical Society, 1991. Print. The Indiana Southern Counties Collection. p.41.

Charles Rakestraw: Beginning Again (52 Ancestors #22)

Charles Rakestraw is my Floyd County, Indiana pioneer ancestor.  I registered for First Families of Floyd, Clark, and Harrison Counties through him last year.  This year, the Southern Indiana Genealogical Society asked me to talk about him at their July program, Stories of the First Families.  They also asked me to provide a photo of him or his tombstone for their display board.  I have no photo of him or his tombstone, which makes me wonder what I could give them instead.  The first family member of his for which I have those pictures is his grandson. I really want to represent him with a photo of some kind.  Since he was a ship carpenter, perhaps a New Albany steamboat that he could have worked on, or something to do with carpentry. Charles Rakestraw is an ancestor about whom I know a lot and nothing at the same time.  How is that possible?  He had a lot of new beginnings, but the details of his life after one beginning and before the next seem to be non-existent.

Birth – The Very Beginning

Charles was born circa 1800 in Pennsylvania to Joseph and Rebecca (Gilbert) Rakestraw.1,5,8  Joseph and Rebecca were Quakers, which ordinarily would mean that the Meeting minutes would have a record of Charles’ birth.  However, Joseph and Rebecca were also second cousins and were disowned by the Society of Friends for marrying a close relation. Currently, the chain of evidence I have that Charles was indeed the son of Joseph and Rebecca, and for his birth year and place, is:

  • Charles Rakestraw lived in New Albany, Indiana in 1840.  He was between the ages of 40 and 50.  There is a mark in the 30 to 40 column on the female side, which is presumably his wife.3
  • A 44-year-old “Sintha Rakestraw” appears on the 1850 Mortality Schedule.6  In 1850, Charles is living with a daughter and son-in-law.5
  • Charles Rakestraw married “Sinthy Irey” in Columbiana County, Ohio in 1821.7
  • Charles and Syntha are living in Hanover, Columbiana, Ohio in 1830.2
  • Most of Charles and Syntha’s children were born in Ohio; the others were born in New Albany.2,3,4,5
  • Rebecca Rakestraw’s last will and testament, dated July 5, 1841, lists a son Charles as an heir.8
  • Joseph and Rebecca moved to New Garden, Columbiana, Ohio before 1829.1
  • Rebecca gave birth to nine children in Northampton County, Pennsylvania and two children in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania sometime before she and Joseph moved to Ohio.1

It’s a work in progress, but I haven’t given up the search.

A Move to Ohio

Certainly, the Rakestraws were in Ohio by 1829 because Joseph died in the spring of 1829 and was buried in New Garden Friends Cemetery.1 According to William Walton, a cousin of Rebecca, Rebecca married Joseph in 1786.  They settled in Northampton County, where nine children were born to them.  At the least, they would have lived here seven years, if Rebecca would have had baby after baby.  More likely they were born every one or two years, so averaging that I’m using fourteen years, which brings us to 1800.  They then moved to Lancaster County, where they lived for about twenty years, which brings us to 1820.1 Depending on how long they actually did live in Northampton County, Charles would have been a teenager or young adult at the time of the move.

A Marriage

Assuming 1820 as the year for the Ohio move, Charles would not have been there long before his first marriage.  He married Syntha Irey on December 6, 1821.7

A Move to Indiana

Charles and his family moved to New Albany, Indiana sometime between 1835 and 1838.2,3,4,5  This is based on Lucinda, the youngest of the Ohio-born children, having been born circa 1835, and Elizabeth, the oldest of the Indiana-born children, having been born circa 1838.  They were most definitely here in 1840.3

A Death

Syntha died of consumption on December 11, 1849, which caused Charles to adjust his living situation.6  With three younger children, Charles needed to be sure they were taken care of.  His son William, age nine, was sent to live with an older brother, Milton.4  Charles and his two young daughters, Elizabeth and Minerva, went to live with his daughter Adeline and son-in-law, Henry Hardy.5

A Second Marriage

Charles wasn’t long in this situation before he re-married.  He married Dorothy Houston on October 19, 1850.9

The End, or Maybe Another Beginning

I lose Charles after his marriage to Dorothy.  He is not listed on the 1860 Census, which leads me to believe he died before this time.  I cannot find any obituaries or other records of death for him.  An obituary for Dorothy shows that she was still going by Dorothy Houston and does not mention Charles at all.10  There is a rumor that he was buried out at Fairview Cemetery in New Albany, but cemetery records have yielded no results and I can find no tombstone for him.


Sources

1.  Walton, William, and Frank H. Severance. “Memoirs of the Captives.” The Captivity and Sufferings of Benjamin Gilbert and His Family, 1780-83. Reprinted from the Original Edition of 1784. Cleveland: Burrows Brothers, 1904. 177-78. Print.

2.  1830 U.S. Federal Census, Hanover, Columbiana, Ohio, p. 486, Ancestry.com.

3.  1840 U.S. Federal Census, New Albany, Floyd, Indiana, p. 255, Ancestry.com.

4.  1850 U.S. Federal Census, Jeffersonville, Clark, Indiana, pp. 313-314, Ancestry.com.

5.  1850 U.S. Federal Census, New Albany, Floyd, Indiana, p. 421, Ancestry.com.

6.  1850 U.S. Federal Census Mortality Schedule, New Albany, Floyd, Indiana, p. 325, Ancestry.com.

7.  Columbiana County, Ohio Marriages, Volume 2, p. 103, FamilySearch.org.

8.  Last Will and Testament of Rebecca Gilbert Rakestraw, 5 July 1841.

9.  Floyd County, Indiana Marriages, Volume 3, p. 305, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room.

10.  Obituary, Dorothy Houston, New Albany Daily Standard, Wednesday 13 December 1871, p. 4, column 7, NewspaperArchive.com.

Phillip Irey: What’s in a Will (52 Ancestors #18)

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

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

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, 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

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!