Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Ancestors in Hiding: The Crail Family

One of the great mysteries of my genealogical research is why James B. & Mary [Jones] Crail went into hiding every 10 years, you know, like 1840, 1850, 1860 & 1870.

Various sources identify the parents of Aaron, John & Sylvester Crail as James B. Crail & Mary A. Jones. James & Mary married in Ohio [probably] about 1834. Sylvester was born in Hamilton Co., OH in 1835 & John was born there two years later. Aaron was born in Marion Co., OH in 1839. [source for all three: Civil War service records]

The family was in Shelby Co., IN from at least 1851 [when Mary purchased lots in Marietta, Shelby, IN] & 1854 [when she & James sold the lots.] The three brothers married during the '50s & were easily tracked until their deaths.

James & Mary have yet to be located in any other records. I found a church contributors list in Cincinnati in 1836 & tax lists for 1838 that could have been the correct James B. Crail. Mary next appeared in the Indy city directories beginning in 1876 as a widow of James & generally residing with son John. She died in 1887. [Death certificate: born Kentucky, father - T. Jones] There is no record of James from 1854 until his death prior to 1876.

James was probably the son of James Berry Crail, Sr. The elder James & his family never show up with the younger James.

I have been in contact with another Crail researcher over the years who is a descendant of George Berry Crail purported to be the 4th son of James & Mary. Inconsistencies in research, misidentification of familial relationships & zero records placing George with the rest of the family have prevented me from fully accepting the connection. The supporting evidence FOR George is that he doesn't appear in the 1850-70 censuses either. His death certificate does name his parents as James B. Crail & Mary Jones.

I guess I'm bull-headed. Until I can find more supporting evidence, I just can't fully accept the story.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Gulley: Enoch vs. George

My Gulley line turned up an interesting brick wall. I had documentation that Richard & John Gulley saw Revolutionary War service, but my ancestor Enoch [their brother] did not. Then I came across a DAR submision for a George Gulley: b. 1750 England, d. 1828 Kentucky, m. Frances Franklin. George served with the Virginia troops during the Rev. War.

Enoch Gulley was born in 1750, but in Virginia [a family story had him born in Wales]. He died in Shelby Co., Idiana about 1829 & was married to Frances "Franky" Franklin.

Were Enoch & George one & the same? Nothing has turned up yet to prove or disprove it one way or the other.

Another mystery to be investigated!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Levin Hubbard's 2nd Wife

I'm back to the family mysteries.... One name on the family tree that has done a masterful job of eluding me is that of Levin Hubbard's 2nd wife & the mother of Sarah Hubbard. Levin was married three times. Of course, I have identified the 1st & 3rd wives [Lydia Marshall & Charlotte Adams], but the 2nd has proved elusive.

Lydia was the mother of six children born between 1795 & 1806. All births have been recorded in Dorchester Co., MD. Very little has been found on Lydia, however.

Charlotte's four youngsters have been identified thanks to the 1850 census for Clinton Co., Ohio. [Levin died there in 1849.]

The middle family has proven to be a somewhat more difficult project. Levin moved to Delaware either after his 1st wife died or he married for the 2nd time. Selah/Selia [born between 1810 & 1815], John [1816] & Nancy [c1817] were born either in Maryland or Delaware. Sarah [c1819] & Levin Jr. [c1822] were born in Delaware. Elizabeth [c1823] was Ohio born.

I tackled the "Hubbard Problem" in Salt Lake City back in 2009 & made very little headway. One hopeful note was that one Sarah's siblings died after death registrations were filed in Indiana. That fizzled. The father's name was incorrectly recorded & the mother listed as "unknown."

To make the story really interesting, Sarah Hubbard Wolary died between 1860 & 1863, leaving her husband William with three minor children. Sina, Sarah's younger half-sister, had a baby whose father was killed during the Civil War. William Wolary married Sina & adopted the baby. They also had a child of their own. 

My great-grandmother, Margaret Jane Wolary Prall was between 4 & 6 when her mother died, so was raised by Sina for most of her childhood..

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Getting the Place Right

When recording the places where your ancestors lived, make sure you are accurate for the period. In other words, record the county or other locale as it was when your ancestor lived there.

For example, my Faucett ancestors settled in Warren Co., Ohio. However, when John & his family arrived about 1797/8, Warren County had yet to be created. So from the time the Faucetts settled between the  Miami Rivers until 1804, they resided in Hamilton County. I have seen a ton of entries for the Faucett kids born before 1804 listed "b. Hamilton Co."

US GenWeb's State sites all have county formation charts. Thorndale & Dollarhide's "Map Guide to the U.S. Federal Censuses, 1790-1920" has state/territorial maps for each census year with county boundary changes. Other sites will give you county changes as well. RootsMagic has a wonderful feature that let's you know if the place you entered was accurate. You know immediately if you have erred on state vs. territory, county change, etc. I would imagine other programs have a similar feature.

Keeping the location accurate will help you track down land, vital & other records on your ancestors. They might have lived on the same tract of land for three generations, but their records could be in 4-5 different counties! The Berkmiers settled in Green Co. in 1750. Haverford Co. is carved from Green in 1770. Hill Co. is taken from Haverford in 1820. Yellow Creek Co. is taken from Hill in 1840.

The 1st family deed & two births are found in Green Co., a handful of vital records & a deed in Haverford,  more vital records in Hill Co. & the deed where the family sells that original tract is recorded in Yellow Creek Co. [but it does say "originally Green Co."]

Get the location right! It will help you tell the family story with more accuracy.

Also make sure you get things in order. City, town or township, county, state; City, province, country & so on. Recently I've seen entries for Leiden as South Holland, Leiden, Netherlands. It should be Leiden, Soouth Holland, The Netherlands.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Prall - Rhodes Mystery

The Rhodes family pops up again in the mystery category. One of the questions surrouding Isaac Rittenhouse Prall & Ann Bathia Rhodes is the exact date of death for the couple. A brief bio for one of their sons stated that Ann died in 1865 & Isaac in 1880.

Isaac sold his York Co., PA property in April of 1865. Ann was not mentioned in the deeds, so most likely died in early 1865. Isaac made the trip from Pennsylvania to Ohio & was residing with daughter Anne Elizabeth Kohler in Clinton Co., OH in 1870. Isaac did not appear in the 1880 census, nor was he located in the mortality schedule. Did he die in Clinton Co.? Putnam Co., OH where the Kohlers lived in 1880? Perhaps he decided to return home to York Co.?

To date - an unsolved mystery!