Mary L. Lindley: What Does the L. Stand For? (52 Ancestors #33)

Mary Lindley is another ancestor that has always fascinated me.  If I’m being honest, they all have, but I think everyone has a handful that are especially interesting for one reason or another.

Mary L. Lindley Springer, circa 1910. Photo courtesy of Susan Huber-Jourdan, FindAGrave.com

Mary L. Lindley Springer, circa 1910. Photo courtesy of Susan Huber-Jourdan, FindAGrave.com

Mary L. Lindley was born on March 13, 1839 in Paoli, Orange County, Indiana.1,2,3,4,5,6,8,9  Her parents were Samuel and Anna (Braxton) Lindley.8  She is descended from Jonathan Lindley, who founded Orange County in 1811.  He was her great great grandfather on her mother’s side and her great great great uncle on her father’s side.  It took me a minute, too.

Mary married John Alexander Springer on December 22, 1859 in Orange County.7  I believe they had eight children.  It’s hard to tell, as one census says she had seven children born to her with six still living and the next census says she had five or six children born to her with four still living.5,6  The named children I have come across are Anna L. (ca. 1864), Edward (ca. 1866), Mary E. (ca. 1867), Frank (ca. 1869), Charley (ca. 1873), Stella (ca. 1875), Mattie (ca. 1877), and John (ca. 1881).1,2,3,4,5,6,10,11  I do believe these are all of their children, based on census records, but also because Frank wrote about each one of his siblings at some time or another in letters to his wife and daughter.

Mary died of heart disease on January 18, 1916 in Paoli.8,9  This may be the end of her life, but it isn’t the end of the story.

Tombstone, John A. and Mary L. Springer, photo courtesy of Allen Helderman, 20 March 2015, FindAGrave.com.

Tombstone, John A. and Mary L. Springer, photo courtesy of Allen Helderman, 20 March 2015, FindAGrave.com.

As if the confusion over her bloodline and her children weren’t enough, there seems to be confusion over her middle name as well.  On the pedigree chart that my grandma gave to me years ago, she is written in as Mary Lumire Lindley.  Now, I’m what some people call a name nerd and unusual names are of great interest to me.  Why Lumire?  I looked into it and could not find a logical explanation.  I looked at other pedigree charts on several different genealogy websites and also found her middle name given as Lumiere, Lamira, and Lamiah.

Knowing that records were often written by other people listening to the pronunciation of a name, I can see how these could all sound the same with the regional accent.  The interesting thing is, I have yet to find her middle name on any official record.  She is always Mary or Mary L.  I began to look at the names on their own merit.  Lumire and Lumiere are not names that I’m familiar with, however, lumière does mean light in French.  I don’t believe the Lindleys have a French connection.  Lamiah (or Lamia) is from Greek mythology and would have been a possibility.  However, the Lindleys were Quakers and I don’t believe they would have used a name from Greek mythology.  This leaves me with Lamira.  Lamira was a name first used circa 1613 by John Fletcher in his play The Honest Man’s Fortune.  The name rose to popularity in New York in the 1780s and the popularity had probably spread west by the mid-1800s.12

In the absence of a document with a middle name on it, Lamira will be the name I pencil in on my charts.  As always, I’ll keep looking for proof.


Sources

  1.  1850 United States Federal Census. Ancestry.com, 2009. Web. 27 Dec. 2014. Paoli, Orange, Indiana. p.879. Family #324, lines 16-24.
  2. 1860 United States Federal Census. Ancestry.com, 2009. Web. 07 Mar. 2011. Paoli, Orange, Indiana. p.120. Family #921, lines 15-16.
  3. 1870 United States Federal Census. Ancestry.com, 2009. Web. 07 Mar. 2011. Paoli, Orange, Indiana. p.24. Family #176, lines 23-28.
  4. 1880 United States Federal Census. Ancestry.com, 2009. Web. 07 Mar. 2011. Paoli, Orange, Indiana. p.6B. Family #53, lines 17-25.
  5. 1900 United States Federal Census. Ancestry.com, 2009. Web. 27 Dec. 2014. Paoli, Orange, Indiana. pp.8A-8B. Family #165, lines 50-55.
  6. 1910 United States Federal Census. Ancestry.com, 2009. Web. 07 Mar. 2011. Paoli, Orange, Indiana. p.2A. Family #29, lines 24-27.
  7. “Indiana Marriages, 1811-2007,” database with images, FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KZCH-GFZ : accessed 15 August 2015), John A Springer and Mary Lindley, 22 Dec 1859; citing , Orange, Indiana, county clerk offices, Indiana; FHL microfilm 1,316,697.
  8. Orange County Health Department. Orange County, Indiana Deaths: book H-23, p.86. Issued 12 April 1979.
  9. “Deaths (Obituaries)” Paoli Republican 19 January 1916, Wednesday ed.: 6. Print. column 2.  Accessed 27 Dec. 2014, NewspaperArchive.com.
  10. Springer, Frank. “Various Letters.” Letter to Ella Rakestraw Springer. N.d. MS. In My Possession, New Albany, Indiana. Inclusive dates: 1892-1893.
  11. Springer, Frank. “Various Letters.” Letter to Mildred Springer Wiseheart. N.d. MS. In My Possession, New Albany, Indiana. Inclusive dates: 1905-1925.
  12. “Lamira.” Behind the Name: Meaning of Names, Baby Name Meanings. N.p., 03 July 2014. Web. 18 Aug. 2015.

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.

Edward Von Allmen: Dairy Farmer By Day, Accordion Player By Night (52 Ancestors #29)

I have attended Von Allmen family reunions almost every year for as long as I can remember.  Growing up, these always included polka music.  In the earlier years, my great uncle played the accordion.  In later years, we listened to polka on tape or CD.  A few more recent reunions did not include any polka at all.  Grandma told me that her grandfather, Edward Von Allmen, had also played the accordion.

Edward was born on May 6, 1878 in Wilderswil, Switzerland.1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8  He was the eleventh of sixteen children born to Friedrich and Susannah (Stähli) Von Allmen.1,2,10  He came to America with his parents and siblings in 1883 on the S.S. Canada.10  Ed lived and worked on his father’s dairy farm in Floyd County, Indiana, and then went to live with and work for his brother, Peter, in Louisville, Kentucky.2

Edward and Louise Von Allmen

Edward and Louise (Seewer) Von Allmen, 1902.

Ed married Louise Seewer on October 29, 1902 in Louisville, Kentucky.9  They continued to live in Jefferson County, Kentucky, where Ed had his own dairy farm.3  Ed and Lousie had eight children.3,4,5,6  They eventually all moved to a farm in Lafayette Township, Floyd County, Indiana.5,6

Edward Von Allmen was apparently a musical man.  One of the family’s neighbors told me of their parties and music.  I’ve told this story before, but I think it bears repeating here.

The Von Allmens… they used to live right here on the corner, you know.  They were such wonderful singers. They used to have parties on the 4th of July and they’d go all night. They really knew how to celebrate, I tell you. They’d sing and dance and Ed would play the… what’s that called you play and squeeze between your hands… the accordion. Ed used to play the accordion. He played so well, it was really beautiful. And they’d just go all night. One time, they had all the neighbors over for a dance. Can you imagine? They had a dance in their house and Ed played the accordion. You don’t see anyone play the accordion anymore.

Von Allmen Family Crest, courtesy of Shirley Wolf, Von Allmen Family File, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room

Von Allmen Family Crest, courtesy of Shirley Wolf, Von Allmen Family File, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room


Sources

1.  Floyd County Health Department. Microfilm. Floyd County, Indiana Deaths (1951-1959): book h-12, p.51. Retrieved 15 Jul 2015 from Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room.

2.  Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004.  Year: 1900; Census Place: Louisville Ward 12, Jefferson, Kentucky; Roll: 533; Page: 1A; Enumeration District:0141; FHL microfilm: 1240533.

3.  Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006.  Year: 1910; Census Place: Albermarle, Jefferson, Kentucky; Roll: T624_483; Page: 16A; Enumeration District: 0026; FHL microfilm: 1374496.

4.  Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2010. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.  Year: 1920; Census Place: New Albany, Floyd, Indiana; Roll: T625_429; Page: 5B; Enumeration District: 62; Image: 15.

5.  Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2002.  Year: 1930; Census Place: Lafayette, Floyd, Indiana; Roll: 587; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 0006; Image:626.0; FHL microfilm: 2340322.

6.  Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.  Year: 1940; Census Place: Lafayette, Floyd, Indiana; Roll: T627_1043; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 22-6.

7.  Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005.  Registration State: Indiana; Registration County: Floyd; Roll: 1503798.

8.  Ancestry.com. U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010.  The National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; State Headquarters: Indiana.

9.  “Kentucky Marriages, 1785-1979,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:F43W-8XC : accessed 15 July 2015), Edward Von Allmen and Louise Sewer, 29 Oct 1902; citing Louisville, Kentucky, reference ; FHL microfilm 826,072.

10.  Wolf, Shirley. “S.S. Canada Passenger List, March 1, 1883, LaHavre to New York.” Rpt. in Von Allmen Family File. Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room. Print.

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.