Birthdays…

In all the research I have done on my ancestors I have only run into one who shares the same October 31st birthday as me, Clayton Webb, my 4x great grandfather on my mother’s maternal side, born in 1779. The only other ancestor who comes close is my paternal grandfather Clarence John, he was born the 29th.

General Clayton Web has been written about by our Shaw relatives in their ancestor books and in the Riggs book put out by Alvy Ray Smith a few years ago, and I don’t really want to give a synopsis of his life – at least not at this time. I though I would just share his will, which I acquired earlier this year, and found a little different from the usual wills I have read from our ancestors:

Last Will and Testament of Clayton Webb
Filed April 22, 1850
Re-Recorded Vol. 1 Page 335

Be it remembered that I Clayton Webb of the County of Hamilton and State of Ohio being in the fifty third year of my age in perfect health and of sound mind and memory do make and publish this my last will and testament (any other I have not made)

1st I direct that my beloved wife Jane have the sole direction as to the place and manner in which my body shall be interred

2nd I direct that all my lawful debts should I leave any at the time of my decease be punctually paid, after which

3rd I give and bequeath all my estate both real and personal amounting by estimation to five thousand dollars to my beloved wife Jane, believing her fully as capable of acting with judgment and impartiality in the distribution thereof among our children as I am or would be should I survive her, I am led to this step from the following reasons —

1st I have full confidence and ever have had in her fidelity economy industry judgment and affection for our children
2nd It has been by her exertions as well as mine by laboring hard for thirty two years that we have acquired what little property we have, and I have always thought it a hardship where both have equally strove to obtain an independence so necessary in the decline of life that any distinction should be made on the death of either —
3rd From long experience in settling up estates and making divisions among the heirs I am led to believe that generally speaking there is not that ardent and lasting affection in children towards parents, that parents have towards their children. How often have I seen families of children go by the ears in presence of their widowed mother before the corpse had scarcely time to rest in the grave. How often have I seen mothers wheedled out of the small pittance allowed them by law and turned out of doors by unfeeling children; and although I now apprehend no such conduct from my children, I think it my absolute duty to remove the temptation.
4th I further will that should my wife Jane after my decease think proper to intermarry with any person (which I think very impobable) the person so intermarrying with shall have no control over nor inherit any part or parcel of the property herein bequeathed, and should there be any law or usage that would make such person’s claim paramount to this my last will and testament whereby he might inherit possess or control for any period of time the property herein bequeathed then this my last will and testament to be null and void to all intents and purposes

I also request my son-in-law John Magill to advise with and assist his mother-in-law in all matters and difficulties that may arise or grow out of the execution in this instrument of writing —

To the care and protection of his mother I comit our little son John now about ten years old the only one of our children who is not of age–

Written with my own hand without cosultation. In witness whrereof I Clayton Webb the testator have herunto set my hand and seal this eleventh day of January in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty two.

Signed sealed and acknowleged
in presence of us who have
subscribed in presence of each
other

J H Gerard
J M ?han [can’t read signature, too light on photocopy]
Henry Debott

Clayton Webb ss1

I was amused by his point in his 3rd reason for giving his wife Jane the power of monetary distribution. But I was especially please by the respect he had for, and the power he was willing to give to, his wife with no prejudice whatsoever regarding her sex. A very 21st century man.

Clayton died April 8, 1850 in Hamilton County, Ohio. After many years of faithful service to his country as a soldier, judge, county commissioner, and member of the Ohio legislature as Senator and Representative.

Building Clayton was conducting Ohio State business in, as a Senator and Representative in the 1820s.
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Picture proof…

Margaret Mobley married William Buchanan in Monroe County, Ohio about 1850. The reason I know her parent’s names is because, fortunately, they are listed on her death record in Jackson County, West Virginia, William and Sarah Mabley, now the last name is mangled, but that is nothing new in genealogical research. I used the parents names in a search of Ohio marriages because that is where Margaret and William lived before they moved to West Virginia, and found one for a William Mobley and Sarah Millison for 10 November 1825, in Belmont County, Ohio. This record fits nicely with Margaret’s birth which is about 1833.

The finding of this marriage record was pretty compelling, so I decided to pursue this line of research.

Like a large majority of genealogists my research tends to focus on our direct ancestors. In my case, I move on to siblings when I have run out of sources that will help me move further back, or forward depending on your point of view. In Margaret Mobley’s case I had no idea who her siblings were. One of the reasons is because only the 1850 census shows her parents, William and Sarah, with any of their likely children named. In this case the child is Silas about 12 or 13 years of age.

Well, it looks like Silas was my next victim. I decided to look at other genealogists family trees that include William and Sarah Mobley at ancestry.com and found one interesting entry. They had Silas listed, as a son of the same parents as Margaret, who married Rebecca Buchanan. Interesting coincidence, as William Buchanan had a sister named Rebecca. One of the daughters of Silas was named Sarah, and she is entered as having married a Bloom. Very interesting.

‘Why is this very interesting?’ you ask with baited breath. Because, I have a photograph in our family photo collection of a Sarah Mobley Bloom who married William, and it was addressed on the back to Jane Buchanan, who would be her cousin.

William Bloom, a handsome devil isn’t he, and his wife Sarah Mobley Bloom. She died young in her 30s or 40s I believe.
Gotcha! Proceed with celebratory fist bump. So without any actual documented proof, both the family tree entry I found and this picture pretty much confirm my theory of the parents of Margaret being William Mobley and Sarah Millison. I feel quite confident in proceeding with this line of inquiry. So it is off to the Millisons of Ohio and Pennsylvania.

A mystery possibly solved…

I don’t know if I can say enough times how important land records are in genealogical research.

Case in point.
I have been slowly transcribing the digital images I took of land records from my last trip to SLC. I am currently working on land deeds from Monroe County, Ohio. The surnames I am interested in are SMITH, MOBLY, MILLISON, BUCHANAN, and ATKINSON.
Monroe County, Ohio map 
Joseph Smith and his wife Catherine were the parents of Susannah who married Hartley Shepard. Rebecca Atkinson married William Buchanan.
I have never known the name of Catherine’s parents, it has never been stated in any of my research. However, it is possible that I have found it out.
One of the land records I transcribed for Joseph and his wife, spelled Katherine in this particular deed, indicated a tract or parcel in Section 7 of Township 4, Range 4, I believe it was the SW 1/4. Okay. Cool. I marked the position on my hard copy. Then, a while later, I am transcribing a land record for William Buchanan and Rebecca his wife, remember she is an Atkinson by birth. The tract or parcel described is the exact same one described in Joseph and Katherine’s deed, the Buchanan’s had acquired the property through the decease of Rebecca’s father James Atkinson. Both couples were selling the land to the same person, John Adams.
The property was described as some type of inheritance in Joseph’s deed, but James’ name wasn’t mentioned.
The only reason I could see for the property description to be the same, was if Katherine was a daughter of James and had inherited her portion of the estate. And if that isn’t interesting enough, there is a Jeremiah Smith who married an Atkinson girl living in the same area, and involved in land transactions related to the same Atkinson family.
My belief is that Jeremiah and Joseph are SMITH brothers, who married ATKINSON sisters. Of course, it is possible that I am wrong and Joseph is somehow related to James Atkinson, but I have my doubts, because he would have to be a pretty close relative to be inheriting part of the estate, when there are children and a wife getting their portions also.
Well, that’s my theory so far.

Dorm rooms ain’t what they use to be…

A short while ago I was perusing my flickr site to refresh my memory of the pictures I had uploaded a few years ago. I ran across a picture of a gentleman sitting in what looked like a college student’s bedroom.

Herbert Hatch in his bedroom
Herbert Hatch strumming a musical instrument.

There was a school pennant hanging from the bed canopy and the word Denison on a pillow. I was pretty sure that the image was from our Hatch side of the family, so I checked online for a Denison College in Ohio, assuming of course that that is where the Hatch family member would have gone to college.

There is a Denison College in Ohio. So I contacted the archivist there to see if they might have information on which Hatch son, Herbert or Harry, was in the picture.

This is the response I received:

Herbert attended Denison’s prep school (like a high school) called Doane Academy, then took 1 college math class here. So he’s not a Denison college grad. I can’t help you with the photo, as I have no photo of Hatch to compare it to.”

Who knew…a johnny reb wanna-be

Well it finally happened, something so unexpected I almost hate to share. It looks like we have ourselves a little confederate wanna-be in our family tree.

Fold3 is a great website for researching military history, and like other sites of the same nature they are always adding new content. So I was checking into a lesser researched ancestor by the name of Dallas Lemasters. This gentleman is of French Huguenot descent and married Mary Headlee in 1834, in West Virginia. Their daughter Lydia married Thomas R. Stackpole.

When the Civil War started in 1861 Dallas was in his 50s, so a little too old to be joining the ranks of soldiers to fight for his cause. Instead he and his brother Septimus along with Septimus’ son Jasper decided to join a party of civilian guerillas, whose intent was to fight the enemy, that being the Union Army, on their own. Unfortunately, for them, they were captured by the Union and imprisoned at Camp Chase in Ohio. At the time of their parole hearing, several citizens in the area Jasper was from recommended that Jasper stay imprisoned as they considered him a very dangerous man. Dallas and Septimus were released on their own recognizance in November 21, 1862 after signing an oath to protect and preserve the Union.

So far I haven’t been able to find out anything more about this turn of events, but I will keep on working at it.

Camp Chase in Ohio, Civil War prison camp for Confederates.

A little cemetery visit…

Seeing as it is close to Halloween, (my favorite holiday), I thought this bit of news was very appropriate to share.

I have been going over Shaw research the last week or so as you can tell from my previous post where I found Montral and Charlotte’s marriage record. So here is a little cemetery visit without having to leave the comfort of home.

Below is a link to the Shaw Cemetery on Jett Hill in Clemont County, Ohio. The local genealogical society has taken pics of all the headstones found in the cemetery along with a few landscape shots. This is where John and Idea (Webb) Shaw are buried, along with other related family members.

http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~ohclecgs/cemeteries/shaw/index.html

Courtesy of the Clermont County Genealogical Society

Back in the saddle again…

Well I took off a whole summer to rejuvenate and renew. That will be why you saw very few posts for the last few months.

But here I am back with a little tidbit. I have been doing a little housekeeping of my genealogy software starting with me and going back each generation. I am making sure that I actually have documents to back up my findings for me, my parents, my grandparents, etc. It’s easy to know the dates and places from such recent events, but in the process one has to still back all the information up with actual documents.

So here my first effort, a marriage record for Montral Goble Shaw and Charlotte Hatch, from Cayuhoga County, Ohio found online at Ancestry.com:

Montral G. Shaw and Charlotte Hatch marriage license

It is surprising how many documents one thinks one has when they are working with their more recent family history. Now is the time to rectify that situation.

Great expectations…

Well it finally arrived. The 1940 census, 72 years after the fact.

Day one of research – total server meltdown. After a few hours I just said fugetaboudit. Day two – better luck, I managed to acquire a couple of records. Day three – much better access, found a few more records and only a few more to go. By Friday I had pretty much found all the records I will be able to. The only missing one is of course, Fred Hamm, my wandering vagabond.

So for your viewing pleasure the 1940 census for Clarence and Mytle John:

This census shows Clarence, Myrtle, Claire, Victor and Carol all living in Laona, Wisconsin. My one hope for this record was to see if Clarence was listed as having worked for one of the Government programs like the WPA or CCC, unfortunately there is just a dash in the box. Clarence was also one of the two people on a page that were asked extra questions in this particular census. The only item of interest to me was his occupation was listed as forestry and government work. So maybe because he wasn’t one of the unemployed men working for the WPA or CCC, he isn’t listed as working for either program, even though he was but in a different capacity.

Next is William and Lois Shepard:

In this census you can see that Lois and William are living with William’s parent’s William and Rachel in Genoa Township, Delaware County, Ohio. This is just north of the Westerville area. None of the Shepard children are born yet, looks like we will have to wait another 10 years for the next census.

So I am pretty much done looking for relatives in this census. Carrie Cain is still around as is Eliza Hays. I even found Emil Hamm in Duluth, while looking for Carrie/Kari Amundson. Fred Hamm is my only fly in the ointment. I checked the complete census for Shawano County,Wisconsin as that was his last place of residence in the 1930 census, but that was a bust. No surprise there. Looks like I will have to wait for the indexing to be done.

Family stories…

I have been a busy little bee in my free time for the past month, filing, sorting, throwing, exclaiming, groaning – basically trying to get a better feel for what records I need to look for in my Shepard search. In the process I have run across a few piles of emails and photocopies that never got filed. Here is a transcription from Evelyn Mason regarding the 50th wedding anniversary announcement for John Shaw and Idea Webb. Enjoy…

GOLDEN WEDDING OF JOHN AND IDA WEBB SHAW, 1887

Married, at the residence of the brides parents near Newton, Hamilton County, Ohio January 29, 1837, Mr. John Shaw to Miss Ida Webb.

On Saturday January 29, 1887, a very respectable crowd of 40 or 50 of the friends and relatives of Mr. and Mrs. Shaw assembled at their old residence on the Hilltops to celebrate the 50th wedding anniversary day, and were welcomed and entertained by Mr. F. E. Bettle and excellent wife and daughters. About 11 o’clock the company had arrived and after friendly greetings and congratulations Professor J. K. Parker very kindly addressed them with a few pointed and appropriate remarks. Letters from Mr. Shaw’s sister, Mrs. Viola Magill, of Cincinnati, Mrs. Anna Rogers of Goshen, Ohio, Mrs. Jane Davis of Indiana, Miss Mary Eberesole of California, Ohio, Mrs. Sarah Webb of Minnesota, Mr. N. E. Armstrong of Iowa, Mr. James Ferguson of Indiana, Mr. Samuel Shaw of Cincinnati. Judge Edward Riley of Kentucky, Mr. and Mrs. Wright of Kentucky and Judge J.Q. Ashburn of Batavia, Ohio, life long friends of Mr. and Mrs. Shaw, sending their congratulations and regrets at not being able to attend in person, were read. Mr. T.P. Webb of Minnesota read an appropriate poem.
    The blushing bridegroom of 77 summers, one of the best known characters in Clermont Co., and a man of more than ordinary menta1 vigor, who has accumulated a vast store of knowledge and general information by thorough course of reading history ancient and modern, and research of the general literature of the day, being called upon read the following humorous account of his courtship, marriage and first years of his married life.
This the Story
    Since the subject of celebrating our golden wedding has been under family discussion a great many questions have been asked, particularly by our younger grand children, some of them wanting to know why grandpa and grandmother were never married before and wondering how grandpa ever found such a good grandmother for them. To gratify their curiosity I suppose I will have to tell them the story and as well as I now recollect here it is.
    About 52 or 53 years ago when the state of Ohio was 33 years of age and I was a few years younger, I became acquainted with a very pretty little girl living on the Little Miami, near Newton. Somehow or other I got to sidling down that way occasionally to see the folks and test my little girls cooking, I some times staid two or three days, and thus it ran on for a year or two when I discover that the exposure to bad weather or some other cause, there was getting something the matter with me, though my gernera1 health was good. Did not know exactly what ailed me at first, so I thought I would go down and tell my little girl about it, and after chalking on my hat “Barkis is Willin” and supposing that she was getting tired of boarding me so long for nothing, proposed that we get married and board ourselves.
    Well, after hemming and hawing awhile she thought may be, perhaps we had better. That little matter being settled the next thing in order was to hunt up the old folks and see what they thought about it. They did not seem to be much surprised and being of good old hard predestination faith I guess they thought that what was to be would be any how, gave their consent and the old lady thought that if we kept in the same mind we ought marry the following summer. Ida thought in the spring would be a nice time. Well that was some concession on their part, but did not satisfy me by any means and I proposed the fore part of the next week as the proper time. But after higling and jewing for some time the best that I could do was get them down to a month ahead, and we settled on the 29th of January 1837. Meaning business now, and to save another trip, I went to the clerks office and procured a license (marriage) of old General Harrison and put in my pocket, thinking now that I had a preemption right to my girl at least. I then felt in good humor and went around whistling “Yankee Doodle” and occasionally a bar of “Old Dan Tucker”, as if there was nothing the matter. After along month expired, I hastened down to finish the matter up, and be done with It. Found & nice crowd of friends there and among them good old Deacon Ferris, whose occupation was preaching the Gospel on Sunday and blacksmithing the balance of the week. Then we stood up and he struck a few sledge hammer blows while the iron was hot and made the weld, pronouncing us one bone and one beef, or something of that sort.
    Now skipping over an interval of ten days we found ourselves settled in our own log cabin, not exactly in the garden of Eden, but high up on Mt. Pisgah, over against Jerico, and south of Sweet Afton, where we spent the balance of our honeymoon, my wife cleaning the log house and I making rails, just as happy as couple kittens.
    When after a sojourn of 2 years in this happy land we concluded to migrate a little south and we pulled up stakes and came down off Mt Pisgah and crossed over the east fork, through the valley of Jehosaphat and up Ulrey’s run by way of Jerico, to the head waters of Twelve Mile, thence westerly through the land of Nod to the big woods. Here on the ground where we are now, we pitched our tent, under the shadow of a beach tree, which as a memorial stands unto the present day.
    Before we got fairly settled in our new abode there came an imperative necessity for a few yards of calico and some other small fixings, and in due time a bouncing little girl made her appearances and took her place as natural as life at the head of our tribe, which has now grown to what we now see here today} four of the first generation and 19 of the second, all standing fair and square on their pins, physically and mentally allright, apparently and if they continue to grow up making good, industrious and useful members of society then the way we look upon it, the country will be slightly in our debt. But if any of them should be so unfortunate in their growing up as to become dudes or drones or shams, or idle drones, then we would have to acknowledge ourselves indebted to the State for their room. Be that as it may we know that we love you all and hope for the best.
    Now, reserving the best of the wine for the last of the feast, we will proceed to business, which will be to step into the dining room and assault the turkey and enjoy ourselves the best we can.

Dont ignore your cousins…

One of the cardinal rules in genealogical research, is “Don’t ignore your cousins”. Too often family history researchers, especially newbies, tend to focus too much on their direct line during their research. Doing so can greatly decrease their chances of finding useful information that might help: knock down brick walls, find those missing pictures, get details on family they might otherwise never know.

Case in point.

It is very possible that I have found our mysterious Shepard progenitor. “How is this possible?”, you ask. Well I thank modern science and good old fashioned cousin searching.

Thanks to DNA we recently had a match between another Shepherd gentleman who is not a descendant of Hartley. This means that this Dr. John Shepherd and Grandfather are related very closely, genealogically speaking. But the question is, who is their common ancestor? Dr. John had in his research one generation further back than we did, to a John Shepherd born in New Jersey about 1783. Who was he in relation to Hartley? We didn’t know and further research hadn’t really turned up anything of use.

Cut to a different line. The Deem surname married into our Shepard line in West Virginia, there is a Deem Family site that I found last year, where I also found a picture purported to be of Susannah Smith Shepard, Hartley’s wife. On this site, Hartley and Susannah’s daughter, Sevilla, is listed because she married a gentleman by the name of Hiram Deem. Sevilla’s parents are listed, Hartley and Susannah, as are all four of her grandparents Henry Shepard and Huldah, and Joseph Smith and Catherine. I was curious how this person who put the information up on the Deem site knew who Hartley’s parents were, no one in our family had ever heard the names. When I tried to ask the poster where he got the information I received no response. So I gave up for a while.

Yesterday I had some time at work and decided to do a little Shepard research, as I do every couple of months. This time I decided to try the Henry and Huldah angle. Imagine my surprise when I got a hit. I had found a whole site uploaded by a Shepard descendant whose immigrant ancestor had started in Massachusetts. But in that data was a listing for Henry and Huldah Shepard along with his ancestors all the way back to merry old England. Not a mention of good ol’ Scotland.

Two items peaked my cautious interest in this site, after all this connection could be bogus. 1. There was mention of one generation where the children were split up due to the death of their father when they were very young. One child was sent to New Jersey – [hmmm – isn’t that where Dr. John’s ancestor was born?], the other was sent to Westfield, Massachusetts [our possible relations]. 2. Henry, while being born in Massachusetts, is said to have died in Ohio. I do know he was married in Ohio, I found a marriage notice for him and Huldah that was culled from the Marietta, Washington County, Ohio paper. Washington County is just below Monroe County, where Hartley is said to have been born.

So all in all very intriguing bits of information, that makes me smile in hopeful anticipation.

Of great interest, if true, is a link to the following site on Wikipedia: Gen. William Shepard this General, if a true connection, would be Hartley Shepard’s grandfather.

I have also found archival collections for this General Shepard at the Westfield Athenaeum Library. Unfortunately, we can’t get them to sent the collection here as we can with our Wisconsin Historical Society materials.

Yesterday I also finally made contact with Nick Deem, the gentleman who had the picture of Susannah Smith on his site along with the information on Hartley’s parents. According to Nick “The information and picture was handed down in my family. I am not sure which of my Mothers sisters or brothers had the picture. They have all passed on now.” But it seems that the information could very likely be correct, because there are no records in Ohio that can confirm this data and very little on Henry and Huldah to speak of, which makes it hard to imagine someone making the connection on a guess, or a whim.

So thanks to the help of cousins, we just might have found the break we were waiting for.

Now where is another Shepard cousin I can get some DNA from? More later…