Elizabeth Barnes Salisbury Bevis

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!

Marriage register showing Ocean's mother cropped

From Jefferson County, Kentucky Reference Book 5, p. 153.

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.


Sources

  1. “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.
  2. 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.
  3. De La Montange, Marie. Letter to Sanford Wiseheart. 12 Feb. 1938. MS. New Albany, Indiana.
  4. “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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

Mary Wiseheart Jacobs and the Move to Illinois

According to family tradition, Price Jacobs died in Jefferson County, Kentucky sometime before 1850 and his widow and children moved to Illinois, where they had Wiseheart family.  I spent some time trying to track the family movements to see what might be true.  I’m hoping this will narrow down a death date and location for Price.

I began with 1840, since Price would have still been living then.  I found him in Jefferson County, Kentucky with a wife, four sons, and a daughter.  I also noticed that he was living near Harmon Wiseheart (and a few Gillilands) at this time.1

I couldn’t find Price or his family in Kentucky in 1850.  I did find Mary C. Jacobs, with children John A., James H., Ellen, Samuel, and Peter, living in Columbus, Adams County, Illinois.2  The ages are all correct to be the same family from 1840.  A James Wisehart is living several houses down from her.3

Mary married John Carson in 1852.4  In 1860, John Carson is living with Mary, Henry, and Rebecca in Columbus, Adams County, Illinois.5

In 1870, Mary Jacobs is living with Milton K. Johnson and family in Burton, Adams County, Illinois.6  Mary’s daughter, Ellen, married Milton K. Johnson in 1855.7  Presumably, John Carson died sometime between 1860 and 1870.

Mary is still living with Milton and Ellen in 1880 in Burton, Adams County, Illinois, where she is listed as mother-in-law of Milton.8

I couldn’t find any information for Mary after the 1880 Census, other than her FindAGrave memorial.  According to that, she died in 1887 in Adams County, Illinois.9

It’s entirely possible that she moved to Illinois to be near family, but it’s strange since she had family living much closer to her in Jefferson County, Kentucky.


Sources

  1. Ancestry.com. 1840 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.  Year: 1840; Census Place: Jefferson, Kentucky; Roll: 115; Page: 154; Image: 312; Family History Library Film: 0007828.
  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: Columbus, Adams, Illinois; Roll: M432_97; Page: 51B; Image: 108.
  3. 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: Columbus, Adams, Illinois; Roll: M432_97; Page: 50B; Image: 106.
  4. “Illinois, County Marriages, 1810-1934”, database, FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:X2T7-5QS : accessed 21 January 2016), John Carson and Mary Jacobs, 1852.
  5. 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: Columbus, Adams, Illinois; Roll: M653_155; Page: 607; Image: 263; Family History Library Film: 803155.
  6. Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.  Year: 1870; Census Place: Burton, Adams, Illinois; Roll: M593_186; Page: 16B; Image: 41; Family History Library Film: 545685.
  7. “Illinois, County Marriages, 1810-1934”, database, FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:X2T8-6HQ : accessed 21 January 2016), Milton K Johnson and Ellen Jacobs, 1855.
  8. Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census[database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2010. 1880 U.S. Census Index provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints © Copyright 1999 Intellectual Reserve, Inc.  Year: 1880; Census Place: Burton, Adams, Illinois; Roll: 174; Family History Film: 1254174; Page: 23B; Enumeration District: 002; Image: 0048.
  9. “Mary Catherine Wiseheart Jacobs (1808 – 1887).” Find A Grave. R. Dennis Jacobs, 21 May 2014. Web. 19 Jan. 2016. Find A Grave Memorial# 130137820.

 

George William Rakestraw: The One with the Confusing Timeline (52 Ancestors #13)

George William Rakestraw was the brother of my great great grandmother, Zerilda Rakestraw Springer.  Unlike his sister, he is very well documented.  Even so, I’ve had a difficult time researching him.  He had an uncle who was also named George William, so he went by William or Willie, but he also had a son named William, who seemed to go by Willie as a child.  Willie also had a son, Charles Marion and a cousin, Charles Marion.  I understand wanting to honor family members, but at some point, it’s just too much.  After hours upon hours of searching, deciphering, and some math, I have Willie mostly figured out.

George William Rakestraw, circa 1900.

George William Rakestraw, circa 1900.

George William “Willie” Rakestraw was born on August 20, 1873 in New Albany, Indiana, to parents Francis Marion and Mary Elizabeth (Gilliland) Rakestraw.  He had dark hair and blue eyes.  He was the baby of the family, as his sister was five years older.

An article appeared in the New Albany Evening Tribune, saying that Willie had married a Mamie Haine on February 2, 1891.

New Albany Evening Tribune, Tuesday, 3 February 1891, p. 4, column 3, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room

New Albany Evening Tribune, Tuesday, 3 February 1891, p. 4, column 3, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room

I could not find a marriage record for them in Floyd county, surrounding counties, or Illinois, where I though Mamie might be from.  Willie would’ve been seventeen at the time, so he also would’ve needed parental permission to marry.

I did find that Willie married Mamie Haney in Floyd County, Indiana on October 9, 1891.  It also appeared in the paper the following day.

Floyd County, Indiana Marriages, Vol. 10, p. 55, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room

Floyd County, Indiana Marriages, Vol. 10, p. 55, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room

New Albany Daily Ledger, Saturday, 10 October 1891, p. 4, column 3, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room

New Albany Daily Ledger, Saturday, 10 October 1891, p. 4, column 3, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room

It seems their honeymoon period was short-lived because the paper on October 24, 1891 reports that Mamie had filed suit against Willie for support.

New Albany Daily Ledger, Saturday, 24 October 1891, p. 8, columns 2-3, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room

New Albany Daily Ledger, Saturday, 24 October 1891, p. 8, columns 2-3, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room

I couldn’t find what became of that suit, but I believe that Mamie went to Illinois without Willie and was pregnant at the time.  I’ve looked at several family trees that say Mamie gave birth to Otto William Rakestraw in Mound City, Illinois on December 25, 1891.  I have a copy of a photo of Otto Rakestraw that I got from my grandfather, but I have no proof of his relationship.  I’ve sent letters out to try and obtain a copy of a birth record and I hope to hear from someone soon.  Willie is listed as being in New Albany in both the 1890 and 1892 Caron’s City Directories, which is how I know he didn’t go with Mamie.

Here is where the timeline gets messy.  That’s right, it wasn’t messy before.  On October 8, 1893, William W. Rakestraw was born, the son of Willie by Lillian Margaret Bennett.  At least, according to both of William W.’s marriage records (1917 and 1933).  The 1900 Census and the transcription of the Rakestraw Family Bible both give October 8, 1894.  I’m inclined to believe the marriage records, as Census are often wrong and I don’t have access to the original Rakestraw Family Bible to know if there were any transcription errors.  There is no birth record on file for him, and his death record gives his birth date as October 8, 1898 (I’m thinking this was written by the informant as 1893 and misread by the clerk as 1898).  I’m still holding out hope for a primary source to prove one or the other.

In those same family trees that mention Otto’s birth, it is written that Willie and Mamie were granted a divorce from Mound City on October 23, 1893.  I have inquiries out on this as well, but it seems logical to me that infidelity would cause Mamie to file for divorce.

Willie married Lillie Bennett on April 14, 1894 in Floyd County, Indiana.

Floyd County, Indiana Marriages, Vol. 10, p. 363, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room

Floyd County, Indiana Marriages, Vol. 10, p. 363, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room

There are articles (I’ll get to them in a bit) that give marriage dates of January and April 1893, but since Willie and Mamie were still married that wouldn’t be possible, or at least not legal.  I also couldn’t find any marriage records for Willie and Lillie on those dates.

Charles Marion Rakestraw was born on January 22, 1896 in New Albany, Indiana.  He is the second son of Willie and Lillie.

Things go downhill for Willie and Lillie the following year.  On April 9, 1897, Lillie filed suit against Willie for maintenance.  The suit was dismissed on June 11, 1897.

New Albany Weekly Tribune, Friday, 9 April 1897, p. 7, column 2, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room

New Albany Weekly Tribune, Friday, 9 April 1897, p. 7, column 2, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room

New Albany Weekly Tribune, Friday, 11 June 1897, p. 7, column 4, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room

New Albany Weekly Tribune, Friday, 11 June 1897, p. 7, column 4, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room

Lillie then filed for divorce on December 1, 1897.  This must have been a long process.  It was listed on the court docket on January 14, 1898 and then again on October 1, 1898 and still the divorce was not granted.

New Albany Daily Ledger, Wednesday, 1 December 1897, p. 4, column 4, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room

New Albany Daily Ledger, Wednesday, 1 December 1897, p. 4, column 4, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room

New Albany Weekly Tribune, Friday, 3 December 1897, p. 5, column 2, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room

New Albany Weekly Tribune, Friday, 3 December 1897, p. 5, column 2, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room

New Albany Weekly Tribune, Friday, 14 January 1898, p. 7, column 4, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room

New Albany Weekly Tribune, Friday, 14 January 1898, p. 7, column 4, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room

New Albany Daily Ledger, Saturday, 1 October 1898, p. 4, column 5, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room

New Albany Daily Ledger, Saturday, 1 October 1898, p. 4, column 5, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room

On February 20, 1899, Louise Rakestraw was born.  Three weeks later, Lillie petitioned to dismiss the divorce case.

New Albany Daily Ledger, Tuesday, 14 March 1899, p. 4, column 4, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room

New Albany Daily Ledger, Tuesday, 14 March 1899, p. 4, column 4, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room

On May 24, 1899, Willie filed for divorce and it was granted by the court on June 17, 1899.  He asked for and was granted custody of William and Charles.

New Albany Daily Ledger, Wednesday, 24 May 1899, p. 4, column 2, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room

New Albany Daily Ledger, Wednesday, 24 May 1899, p. 4, column 2, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room

New Albany Public Press, Wednesday, 31 May 1899, p. 4, column 3, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room

New Albany Public Press, Wednesday, 31 May 1899, p. 4, column 3, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room

New Albany Daily Ledger, Saturday, 17 June 1899, p. 4, column 1, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room

New Albany Daily Ledger, Saturday, 17 June 1899, p. 4, column 1, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room

Lillie and baby Louise went to live with Lillie’s mother.  Willie, William, and Charles moved in with Willie’s parents and his niece, Mildred Springer.

On June 5, 1902, Willie married Lorena Bender in Louisville, Kentucky.  By 1910, Willie and Lorena were living in Madison County, Illinois, but William and Charles were still living with Willie’s parents.  Charles did spend some time in Illinois with his dad, as this letter, dated December 15th, indicates.

Willie and Lorena moved to Louisville at some point after 1918 (Willie’s draft registration shows he was still in Illinois).  Willie and William ran a music store in Louisville until Willie’s death in 1935.

Tombstone, Cave Hill Cemetery, Louisville, Jefferson, Kentucky, George William Rakestraw, 1874-1935, photo courtesy of Rob M, Findagrave.com

Tombstone, Cave Hill Cemetery, Louisville, Jefferson, Kentucky, George William Rakestraw, 1874-1935, photo courtesy of Rob M, Findagrave.com

I still have to wonder about Otto and Louise.  Why did Willie not seek custody for either of them?  Why didn’t he even acknowledge them?  With all of my grandfather’s stories that had been passed down through the Rakestraw family, I had never heard of either one until I started researching Willie.  William’s obituary said that he was survived by a sister, Louise, so I suppose he must have had some contact with her.  I guess these are questions to which I may never know the answers.

Ossian Salisbury: An Ocean of Possibilities (52 Ancestors #03)

Ossian Salisbury has been a very tough woman to track down.  Part of the reason she’s been so tough to research is because she didn’t live very long.  She was born in 1835 and died sometime between 1860 and 1866.  The other reason she’s been so difficult is because her name is different on almost every record on which she appears.  I’ve come across Ossian Salisbury, Ocean Landsbury, Ocean Stansberry, Osia Ann Sausberry, Ocean Sauelsbury, and Oceanna Browning.  My grandmother told me before that she had also seen OssiAnn as a variant given name and Saulsberry and Lounsbury as variant surnames.  I have yet to find those.

I don’t know much about Ossian’s origins.  She was born in Illinois.  Her mother was Elizabeth Burns (or maybe Barnes).  She had a stepfather named Bevis.  I don’t know if Burns/Barnes was Elizabeth’s maiden name, or Bevis’ surname.  Or, Bevis could’ve been his surname and then I don’t know his given name.  I know nothing about Ossian’s birth father.

Here are the facts:

1.  Ocean Landsbury married Daniel Browning on June 30, 1852 in Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky.  She was seventeen and he was twenty one.  Ocean was born in Illinois.

Kentucky Marriages, 1852-1914, p.2, Ancestry.com

Kentucky Marriages, 1852-1914, p.2, Ancestry

2.  Ocean Stansberry married Daniel Browning on June 30, 1852 in Jefferson County, Kentucky.  Her mother was Elizabeth Burns.

Kentucky Marriages, 1785-1979, FamilySearch.org

Kentucky Marriages, 1785-1979, FamilySearch

3.  Mary Francis Browning was born on December 29, 1856 in Jefferson County, Kentucky to parents Daniel Browning and Osia Ann Sausberry.

Kentucky Births and Christenings, 1839-1960, FamilySearch.org

Kentucky Births and Christenings, 1839-1960, FamilySearch

4.  In 1860, Daniel (28) and Oceanna (25) Browning are living in 2nd District, Jefferson County, Kentucky with their children:  Harriet A. (7), Lydia F. (6), and Joseph (3).  Oceanna was born in Illinois.

1860 U.S. Federal Census, 2nd District, Jefferson, Kentucky, p.101, Ancestry.com

1860 U.S. Federal Census, 2nd District, Jefferson, Kentucky, p.101, Ancestry

5.  In 1870, D. (39) and Nancy C. (30) Browning are living in Boston, Jefferson County, Kentucky with their children:  George B. (3) and Mary C. (1), and his children from a previous marriage, Harriet A. (17), Lydia F. (16), Joseph (13), and Clara E. (9).

1870 U.S. Census, Boston, Jefferson, Kentucky, p.11, FamilySearch.org

1870 U.S. Census, Boston, Jefferson, Kentucky, p.11, FamilySearch

6.  Frances L. Wiseheart was born on June 14, 1853 to parents Daniel Browning and Ocean Sauelsbury.

Floyd, Indiana Deaths, CH-33, p.55, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room

Floyd, Indiana Deaths, CH-33, p.55, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room

7.  In a postcard to Sanford Wiseheart (Ossian’s grandson), Marie de la Montange says that his grandmother’s record needs to be corrected.  Her name is Ossian Salisbury.

Postcard from Marie de la Montange to Sanford Wesley Wiseheart, 12 Feb 1938

Postcard from Marie de la Montange to Sanford Wesley Wiseheart, 12 Feb 1938

8.  Clara Emma Browning was born on December 15, 1860 to parents Daniel Browning and __________ Salisbury.

Jefferson County, Kentucky Deaths, 1911-1961, Vol. 51, certificate 25121, Ancestry.com

Jefferson County, Kentucky Deaths, 1911-1961, Vol. 51, certificate 25121, Ancestry

Why did I choose Ossian Salisbury as the correct spelling of her name?  I’ll start with Salisbury.  I believe it is Salisbury because it appears that way in two documents, whereas every other spelling only occurs once.  In addition, Sauelsbury and Sausberry would both sound similar to Salisbury when spoken.  I can’t account for Stansberry without seeing the actual record, but I’d be wiling to bet this is a transcription error and that the name actually is Salisbury, Sauelsbury, or some similar sounding variant.  Landsbury is very different, however, I’ve examined a lot of early handwriting firsthand, and I can tell you that cursive capital “S” and “L” do look very similar.  I also believe that Marie de la Montange, who was a long time friend of the family, would be more likely to know the spelling of her name than any clerk would be able to guess from someone speaking it.

As for Ossian, Salisbury/Landsbury and Burns/Barnes are English or Scottish surnames.  Ossian (or Oisin) was a popular legend in both Scotland and Ireland.  Also, Ossian was born in Illinois.  Ossian M. Ross settled in Illinois in 1821 and founded Lewistown.  He was a Major in the War of 1812.  This name would’ve been popular in Illinois around the time of her birth.  I can’t account for why a female child was given a name that is traditionally male, but it isn’t unheard of for that to happen.  And, again, I do believe Marie de la Montange would’ve known.  The pronunciation of Ossian is similar enough to Ocean that it would be easily mistaken if it were only spoken and not written.

Of course, there are far too many variables in all of this for me to set anything in stone.  I just had to have something to call her in my pedigree chart and something to work with.  I continue, on a regular basis, to search for every variant of Ossian that I can think of with every combination of surnames sounding or looking similar to Salisbury or Landsbury that I can think of.  My greatest hope is to find her in the 1850 Census with her mother and stepfather.