Consanguinity: (kŏn'săng-gwĭn'ĭtē) , relationship by blood, whether linear or collateral.

Primarily concentrating on my Browning family from Harrison County, Ohio (and their subsequent move to Crawford County, Illinois) but I've got Plymell, Crago, Eagleton, Garrard, McConnell, Nichols, Swan, Nevitt, Huls, Markee, Depperman, Papstein/Popstein and Hamilton in there too. And that's just the beginning......

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Rachel's Picture Found! Now Let's Date It!

I'm excited to report that this week I made contact with a McConnell family researcher through Find-A-Grave. He let me in on a few corrections to the family of John C. and Rachel (Browning) McConnell and we began talking more and more about the family and their children. While he was descended from John and his first wife Jane Boals/Boles, he knew an awful lot about John's second family because he'd been interested in genealogy from a young age and managed to talk to many of the 'old ones' before they passed on.

In the course of our converstions I mentioned that I had a picture of John C. McConnell given to me by a few surviving relations. He was curious about the photo, saying he had a few photos himself (a set of four consisting of a man and wife and two boys) that he'd always been suspicious were McConnell's but who weren't identified on the backs as such. He'd run into another McConnell descendant who'd owned the same set but his weren't identified either. I sent him the picture of John I had as a comparison, hoping that there would be a match. His next email was an excited YES! (truthfully, there were a lot of hallelulahs and praise Jesuses too!)

I was just as thrilled as he was, because as I said, he had a set! He had John......and RACHEL!

I haven't seen pictures of too many of Samuel and Margaret's children. I only have two: Ezra C. and John Wesley Francis. I also have pictures of the two girls, Laura and Mary, that Samuel had with his second wife Sarah (Bell) Gaddis Browning. Out of fifteen, I only have four. Rachel's picture makes it five. It's a very thrilling addition to the fold.

Once I received the photos I wanted to analyze them to establish a date range. John C. McConnell died in 1873 so that gave me a topmost range to work with.

First, the things that you can't see. This photo has been cropped; I know this because the sender told me. No worries, though, because I also have the photos of John C. and the two boys. The photos of the boys haven't been cropped and the sender told me that the pictures of Rachel and John are framed exactly like those of the boys. The boy's photos are all on thin paper stock and all have two golden double lines encircling them. The sender says there are no photographer's stamps or studio names on them at all.

The pattern on Rachel's dress is quite striking and she is wearing a matching cape. Her sleeves bell outwards between her elbows and shoulders but become less so at the wrist. Are they leg'o'mutton sleeves? I can't tell because of the way the cape covers her shoulders but I don't think they are. They seem more bishop style, tighter near the wrist with some sort of trimming near the cuff. I think I see just the barest hint of a small row of buttons down the front of her bodice -- perhaps a double row, hidden by the cape? -- and I'm questioning whether her skirt isn't of a split style, with some sort of pleated panel in the front and the pattern to each side. She has a simple but delicately scalloped wide white collar with a brooch or cameo in its center. Her hair is center parted and smoothed neatly behind her ears into a bun.

The boys are both wearing shawl collar vests that are higher up on their necks than the one John is wearing. The boy on the left, who I judge to be the elder by a few years, is holding a work or mechanic's hat. I can't tell whether John is wearing a bow tie or some sort of cravat tucked into his vest because of the length of his beard but both boys are wearing small bows tucked underneath their collars. Both boys have sack coats on -- the eldest's of tweed or patterned wool, the other's dark -- and the seams of each are falling off their natural shoulder. John's coat seems longer than the boys' coats but that might just be a trick of the edge of the photo. John sports a single button on one side. His is more fitted to his shoulders and it appears that part of his coat collar is made or trimmed in velvet. All three are wearing their hair parted to the side. The boys seem to have oiled their hair and pushed it up off their heads but John has a full length chin beard. His hair is thin and a little full at the sides.

Looking at the pictures as a whole, I would say that they were taken by the same photographer on the same day. All four appear to be seated on a simple wooden chair; the tip of it can be seen in Rachel's photo and its seat in the elder boy's. The background is the same in all the pictures, though in the pictures of John and the boys a white strip (perhaps a baseboard?) can be seen to their bottom right. I believe the fullness of Rachel's skirt is blocking the view of that strip in her photo.

It will help at this point to have some information about the McConnell family. Rachel was born in 1825 and John in 1807. Their eldest, Theodore, was born in January 1850 and their second son, John W., was born in December of 1853. I believe that Theo is the elder boy holding the hat. Does he look about 15-16 to you? He does to me. I think the other boy looks about 12-13. The elder boy has the look of Rachel in his nose and the set of his mouth while the younger has more the look of his father.

Now to the dating. It's important that we look at these pictures as a unit as well as individually where that's concerned. Rachel's wide white collar, the double row buttons, and the bishop style sleeves all point to a date of the early 1860's. The dress styles of both the boys and John look to be near the same dates but I think, given the style of ties the boys are sporting, might be more toward the middle of the decade. I would be content to think that Rachel, being a woman in or nearing her 40's, might wear styles a couple of years out of fashion. All in all, I would say this set of photos dates about 1865 or 1866.

But the real kicker is something I questioned about her photo the moment I saw it. Most of the dresses I've seen on women in this date range have skirts that are full and consistently patterned. Rachel's dress has a pleated middle section. Now it could be that she's simply a heavy-set woman, but is it possible that she's pregnant?

Rachel had children born in 1850, 1851, 1853, 1855, 1859, 1860, 1862, and 1864. She was also possibly pregnant one other time (either in 1857 or around 1866 -- but the child in this case was either stillborn or died as an infant (I say this because in the 1900 census Rachel stated she was the mother of nine children and I can only account for eight.) If she IS pregnant in this photo, it might date the image to around 1865 and it would match the ages of her sons Theo and John W. If this image is older (say, 1870-ish) it would still match the ages of her sons (though their identification as Theo and John would certainly be in question) but Rachel would not be pregnant, just heavy.

So what say you all? Is this c1865-6, or closer to 1870?

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Pt 7, cont (pt 2) -- the children of James Hoy and Margaret Browning

If you haven't been keeping up with this group of postings on James and Margaret (Browning) Hoy, catch up by reading the first post and the second post. This time, as promised, we'll be asking (and answering) some other questions to establish the identities of the children of James Hoy and Margaret Browning. I'll keep it simple here, and save their deeper stories for future posts.

According to the census records between 1850-1870 James Hoy and Margaret Browning had a total of nine children (Sarah, James, Susan, Emma, Edward, Jane, Victor, William and Zara.) The couple's bible records place the number at seven but leave off a last child, which if added would bring the total up to eight. There's an inconsistency here that needs to be examined in greater detail. So let's look at each child in detail.

(I've tried to list the children in their best guess birth order, excepting Sarah Ellen and James Franklin. The bible lists them as Sarah born 1851 and James born 1852 and as the rest of the bible listing appears correct for birth order, why not this? The state censuses can support both; the only one that makes any distinction is the 1860, where James is listed as older than Sarah. Further evidence also supporting James as eldest? -- Sarah was reported born in IL on the 1860 while James was listed born in OH. I don't have death certificates for either one. Lacking any firsthand evidence, I'll use the bible list even though my own belief is that James was older. I tend to use the bible birthdates for James and Sarah but switch their order.)

Sarah Ellen:

Sarah is shown in the family bible born 19 April 1851 and in the 1860 census at 7 years old, placing her birth closer to 1852-3. Other than the 1855 and 1865 censuses that show a female roughly her age in the Hoy household, there are two more censuses that she might be in, the 1870 and 1880 Crawford County censuses. In the 1870 census a Sarah HOY is listed with two other known children (William and Zera) in the poorhouse of William Beers in Hutsonville. This is by no means a certainty, though, because the Sarah listed here is 25! The drastic leap in age from the 1860 to the 1870 census is not believeable to me unless there was a transcription error somewhere. But where? The 1860 census would make more sense if one flipped the dates of birth for Sarah and her brother James F. but even if you don't do that, the age leap from 7 in 1860 to 25 in 1870 is just too great, not to mention the fact that her parents James and Margaret didn't even marry until 1850.

While the presence of both of the youngest sons of James and Margaret in the same poorhouse make a strong case for this unknown Sarah's relationship to them in some way, the age difference is pronounced and I have no idea exactly who this Sarah Hoy was. I've looked at all other possible Sarah Hoy connections (as in, did James have a brother who married a Sarah? Did James's brother John have a daughter named Sarah? etc.) and there are no other options for women with this name and in this age grouping. Now poorhouse records would have been wonderful and might've cleared everything up (and after 1874 poorhouses were required to keep them!) but I had my cousin Pat look into it and it doesn't appear that the poorhouse keepers in Crawford County maintained them (or if they did, the courthouse no longer has them) prior to the law of 1874 or even after. Bleh. Anyway, this unknown Sarah E. was located in 1880 living at another poorhouse run by James Boyd in Martin Twn. and this time says she is 38, born in Ohio, and both her parents were born in Illinois. The Sarah in 1880 was listed in the DDD schedule as a consumptive.

Could the census taker have made a mistake and she was really 15 instead of 25? Sure, it's definitely possible, and it might not even be the census taker's error. It could simply be a bad translation of his handwriting by the recopier. Did you know that the "original" census pages we see are actually copies? It's true. From 1790-1940, field census takers went door to door writing down the information in pencil. Then someone else transcribed the information in ink for the final version that was sent to Washington. A second copy was sent to each state. So were mistakes made, even with some basic issues like age and gender? You bet your booty!

But was this done in this case? I don't know. The Sarah E. in 1870 is 25, the Sarah E. in 1880 is 38. Unless the mis-transciption was two-fold and it was really supposed to be 15, and 28, then perhaps not. Ah, to be able to look at the Crawford County poorhouse records....*sigh* As it stands, I've had no luck finding any other record giving me clues to her whereabouts after the 1880 census.

James Franklin:

James, b. 19 Apr 1852 according to the bible but whose census records seem to place him closer to 1851, is almost a complete mystery to me. According to descendants of Edward J. Hoy (James F. Hoy's younger brother) James, approximately 15-18 yrs of age upon his father's death, took on responsibility for some of the younger children and moved to Cumberland County, Illinois. If this is true it occurred after the 1870 census but I have no way of verifying this information.

The bible record states he married a "Milly F." in 1870 but I'm not sure how much stock I put in this particular notation. If this bit of information is accurate, and they married in Cumberland Co., IL (where at least three of the Hoy children ended up by 1875-ish) then any record of it burned in the Cumberland County courthouse fire of 1885. I feel it more likely that when Ruhama (Cliff) Harris wrote the bible entry (in 1925) she blended the two James Hoy's, father and son, in her memory. Recall that after Margaret (Browning) Hoy's death, James Hoy married Amelia Funk. Milly is a very common nickname for Amelia. Therefore Milly and James as a 'couple' could easily have lodged itself in Ruhama's mind and she placed the Milly as the wife of the son and not of the father. A marriage license I have adds some credence to this argument. A "Mrs. Milly Hoy" married Alfred Marsden in Crawford Co., IL in November 1876. At that time Milly was 33 years old, making her birthdate 1843. It's possible she married James Franklin Hoy first in 1870 but he would have only been about 19 years old to her 26. It's possible but unlikely. I believe that this is James Hoy the elder's widow, Amelia Funk Hoy, instead. Amelia Funk Hoy was born in 1843.

I have another small clue to the actual identity of James F.'s, wife, taken from the recollections of Mildred Mae (Stepp) Maglothin, Edward Jasper Hoy's granddaughter. Mildred remembers her mother and stepmother (who were sisters) talking about their uncles. Mildred's recollections were that James married a woman named Caroline or Emmaline, moved to Colorado, and died in Boulder. I've never been able to verify this, I haven't found him on any other census, and I don't know anything else about him.


Susan was not mentioned in the bible record at all. She was mentioned in the 1860 census (where she is suddenly 9 years old and born in OH, placing her birth c1851 as well) but she's never been located anywhere else. She wasn't represented in the 1855 census or the 1865 so, if she was missed in that one, perhaps she died between 1880-1865. I don't know. I leave her name here because she was listed in the 1860 and for that reason alone. Perhaps someday I'll find some other clue.

Emma Alice:

The bible says Emma was born in January of 1854. Ruhama (Cliff) Harris was Emma's daughter and I believe this birthdate is an accurate date.

So how do we know that Emma was James and Margaret (Browning) Hoy's daughter, especially since she wasn't named on the 1860 census with them? We use other records, of course! In 1870 Emma was living in Washington township in Harrison County, OH, with John and Rachel (Browning) McConnell. Her relationship to the family is not given but surely there's some weight to the fact that Emma is found in that household, far away from Illinois? Rachel McConnell is inarguably one of Samuel and Margaret (Markee) Browning's children (and hence Margaret Browning's sister), a fact that is stated in Julia Ann Browning's witness testimony in her case against James Beck (see my sidebar, Browning V. Beck Pt. 1 for documentation.) Recall that later, Julia Ann married John Hoy! So while Emma's relationship in this regard is not definitive, it's certainly circumstantial.

But there's more. While I have no idea how long Emma stayed in Ohio, she was back in Illinois by 1879. She married Zeno Cliff, the son of Benjamin Cliff and Lydia Calvert, on 3 July 1879 in Effingham County, Illinois. According to her marriage certificate Emma, age 26, was born in Crawford County, Illinois, and was the daughter of James Hoy and Margaret Browning. This document, and her 1925 Los Angeles Co., CA death certificate (that lists her father as James Hoye but mother is blank) is also strong evidence that Emma was James and Margaret's daughter.

Emma and Zeno moved to Canon City in Fremont County, Colorado around 1890 or so. Zeno died in Canon City on 30 January 1912 and after his death, Emma moved along with her children to California and spent the remainder of her days there. She died on 17 September 1925 in Huntingdon Park in Los Angeles County, California.

Edward Jasper:

Edward is inferred on the 1855 and 1865 censuses and listed on the 1860 census outright as well as being listed in the Cliff family bible. I think that's pretty good evidence that he is James and Margaret's son. In the 1870 census he is 15 and is found enumerated with the family of Dr. Nathaniel Steele. The only connection I've found between Dr. Steele and Edward or his family is some records bunched in the probate and estate filings of Samuel J. Browning (Edward's uncle) who died in September of 1862. Dr. Steele was the physician that treated Samuel during his final illness as well as the illnesses of his wife Sarah and their infant son. It is unknown how long Edward stayed with the doctor, but it is not unreasonable to assume he lived there until his eighteenth year.

Some time between then and 1880 Edward moved to Cumberland County, where he married Harriet Rawlings on the 1st of January 1880. Harriet was the daughter of John Dennis Rawlings and Mary Feltner. Her father had been a 1st Lt. with Co. A of the 5th IL Cavalry out of Cumberland County. He had been in the same company and had fought side by side with Edward Hoy’s uncle Asbury Taylor Browning. Edward and Harriet settled in Greenup in Cumberland County. In March 1889 Edward signed some paperwork for Luthera (Gray) Reynolds, the widow of Samuel Reynolds. He attested to his knowledge that she was the person she claimed to be for the widow’s pension application she filed for her husband Samuel’s Civil War service.

Edward and Harriet lived in Cumberland County until Edward's death. The date of his death is not certain, for no death certificate or gravesite has been located, but a newspaper article written by his daughter Martha Elizabeth (born 27 Nov 1898 in Greenup, Cumberland Co., IL) states that her father Edward died when she was 11 months old. This places his death in the fall of 1899. His descendents say he died on Halloween.

I haven't found anything more about him in the actual records. Most of what I know about Edward comes from his descendants.


Jane is another of the Hoy children whose identity is in question. The bible record mentions a Mary Jane born in 1857. The 1860 census shows a 3-yr old Jane, so those two records certainly seem to coincide. In 1870 a Mary Hoy, age 13, is found living in the household of Thomas and Mary Corbin in Palestine, Crawford Co. IL. This also seems to match our Mary....or Jane.

The only other record other than the census I've been able to find that matches this girl in any way, shape or form, is a marriage license from Crawford County, IL. A Miss Mary Hoy from Palestine married Thomas Briggs on 4 Sept 1878. The license states specifically that she is the daughter of James Hoy and Margaret Browning. Forgetting the age difference (age 19 in Sept 1878 likely puts Mary born 1859, not 1857) her name on the license is clearly Mary F., not Mary J. You can see this most clearly by comparing the capital "F" from the groom's number of marriage to the full name of the bride on the second page of the document.

I've looked and looked and cannot find the source that gave me the middle name Frances. I seem to vaguely remember finding it on a courthouse document in Crawford County but if I did, the source is lost to me and I'm loathe to continue using it in lieu of not being able to refer to it directly. But even given the slight differences in names, it does seem to me that Jane, Mary Jane, and Mary F. are all the same person.

Be that as it may, I've never been able to find Thomas and Mary on any later censuses. I found a widowed Mrs. Mary Briggs living in Montrose in Effingham County, Illinois, in 1924 but whether this is Mary/Jane (Hoy) Briggs, I have no idea.

There is one other bible notation for Mary. It says, "d. 24 Feb ?" I've filed this information away but I certainly haven't placed it with any certainty.

Charles Victor:

This is the "Advickus" of the 1860 census. He was born on 13 December 1859 according to the bible record, a date that was tndependently authenticated by some of his descendents. He isn't found on the 1870 census at all and I couldn't locate him anywhere until he married Nancy Ellen Miller, the daughter of Brice Miller and Rebeckah Trader. His descendents say they married on 6 June 1882 in Cumberland County but I can't verify this due to the loss of the marriage records in the county prior to 1885.

I have much family history about Charles and Nancy and their children and what led up to Charles's death from typhoid fever in Paragould, Greene Co., AR on 31 Mar 1906, but it all comes to me from the mouths of descendents. What research I've done to locate firsthand records has been for naught, since Arkansas did not begin keeping death records until 1914. Nex stop for me is the newspapers. Perhaps I'll find something there!


William's birth is listed on 26 Nov 1860 according to the bible record. He isn't found on the 1860 but he's inferred on the 1865 census. He was also listed in the 1870 Crawford County census in Hutsonville Township, age 8, living in a poorhouse managed by a man named William Beers with Zera Hoy (a known child of James Hoy and Margaret Browning) and Sarah Hoy. His presence there definitely implies his close relationship with the Hoys he's with. Another "William" is also listed in the household of Roland and Elvira Fuson. This William is aged 9. I'm not sure if William got counted twice on the census, if he was actually living with the Fusons and was at the poorhouse visiting at the time of the census there, or if the older William is actually Edward or Charles Victor.

William is yet one more tricky cog in the Hoy wheel. Perhaps the trickiest of all! There wasn't much to go on with him at all. He apparently never married and loved to lie to census takers. Descendents of Edward Jasper Hoy had the best leads on him I was ever able to find when they told me that he ran afoul of the law by bootlegging whiskey to the Indians in Idaho and ended up in Ashton in Fremont County and was buried there. I started poking around and found an incredible story, one I'll have to share soon.

His census records definitely show his dislike of the law and (perhaps) his growing paranoia as the years went by. In 1910 he used his own name and approximate age and stated his correct state of birth and that of his father's. By 1920 he used his brother Jim's name instead, shaved 5 or 6 years off his age and gave a fake place of birth. In 1930 he expounded on the fake birthplaces even more, going so far as to state he was from Kentucky. I guess he didn't want anyone using anything against him.

He had an interesting life and an even more interesting death in 1936. I've got his death certificate but it doesn't help prove that he's James Hoy and Margaret Browning's son. The informant was a neighbor and knew nothing about him whatsoever. The only thing I have to connect this William Hoy with mine is the family stories of descendents. I suppose it has to be enough.


Zara is the last child of James and Margaret Hoy (b. c1862) and the only one that doesn't show up in the bible record. He's inferred on the 1865 census and is shown living in the poorhouse with William and Sarah Hoy, but other than that, how are we to know that Zara is James and Margaret's son?

Surprisingly, Zara is the one with the most records connecting him to James and Margaret. Even if that didn't exist, though, there is adequate circumstantial evidence pointing that direction. Just his name is one thing. Margaret Browning had a brother named Zera C. Browning. You don't find Zara's all over the place, you know!

Let's see....oh yes. Zara was married a number of times. The first time he married Lillie Brownfield in St. Marie, in Jasper County, Illinois on 27 Apr 1887. The marriage license lists him as the son of James Hoy and Millie Browning. I imagine Zara, never really knowing his mother Margaret, mixed up her last name with his father's second wife Amelia's. By March 1889 Zara had moved to Cumberland County as he (along with his brother Edward) signed paperwork for Luthera (Gray) Reynolds' widow's pension application.

When Zara married a second time on 3 June 1891 to Emma Ray in Greenup in Cumberland County, he also listed his parents as James Hoy and Margaret Browning. In addition, the man who married them was none other than John D. Rawlings, Edward Jasper Hoy's father-in-law. More circumstantial connections to help Zara's cause, and Edward's.

I'm pretty sure I've located Zara later in life, too, and that if I have he died in 1921, but that will have to wait for a further post! I need to order some documentation to make sure.

Wrapping up, I think it's safe to say that eight is the correct number of children born to James Hoy and Margaret Browning. The only maybe is Susan, a child only represented on one census (the 1860). I haven't removed her from the list of children because of her showing on the 1860. Until I can prove definitively otherwise I feel she should stay but as a general rule I don't think she's a separate individual. "Susan" is the same age, roughly, as Emma, the only child we know belonging to James and Margaret that wasn't shown on the 1860. Could this have been some odd sort of nickname for her? Could the census transcriber have accidentally written down a name from another place? Sure. Mistakes happen. I do know, however, that Emma belongs in this family. I don't know that Susan does.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Small Corrections to the Thomas N. Browning family!

I am currently out of pocket taking care of my mother, who's recovering from spinal surgery. I haven't had much time to spare to dedicate to genealogy (especially since I've no access to any of my databases and paperwork) but I did manage to find enough down time to locate a few obituaries via the Google News Archive Search.

If you've never used it, head on over there and try it out! There are a lot of newspapers and date ranges to pick from and I was lucky enough to find most issues of the weekly Robinson Constitution (Crawford Co., IL) available from 1877-1919. This newspaper has given me a number of obituaries and brief Browning mentions and I wanted to share a few of these. I've found I needed to do a few small corrections for the Thomas Newton Browning family I mentioned in my last post.

In the 27 December 1899 edition I found the obituary of Thomas Clifford Browning. I was reading through it and was surprised and chagrined to see that Cliff hadn't died where I always believed he had! The obituary stated he had "lung trouble" and had moved to San Antonio, TX to see if the climate would be of benefit to him. Obviously it didn't. His remains were shipped from San Antonio to the Crown Hill cemetery in Indianapolis for the burial on 24 December 1899. I got excited and boogied on over to FamilySearch's Texas Deaths 1890-1976 database hoping to find Cliff's death certificate but I wasn't able to locate it. Bleh!

In my original chronological post I'd mentioned that Cliff died in Indianapolis, IN. That was a guesstimate on my part and I willingly stand up and offer my back for the prerequisite 40 whacks! (In my defense, Cliff had been shown in an 1899 Indianapolis city directory and he'd been buried in Crown Hill in the city, so generally.....well, you know the rest.) Lesson definitely learned.

I also found his sister Leola (Browning) Paramore's obituary in the 17 October 1900 edition. She, too, died of lung trouble....consumption, or tuberculosis as it's called today. She died on 10 October 1900 in Indianapolis (this time the obituary and my records agree!) and was buried in the Crown Hill cemetery in Indianapolis on the 11th.

Add these two to the first of the Browning deaths out of infancy -- Iona Lee, in 1896. Iona's obituary states she died at age 19 after an extended illness...consumption.

I was glad to find these two obituaries but disturbed to notice the trend of deaths in Thomas and Sarah Ann (Huls) Browning's family. Of their seven children (Effy May, Ralph Hansen, Leola, Iona Lee, Thomas Clifford, Roscoe, and Alta Mearl) three of them died of lung troubles. Effy May and Roscoe died as infants. Only Ralph and Alta lived long enough to have children of their own and of those, only Ralph actually did.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Pt 7, cont (pt 1) -- the children of James Hoy and Margaret Browning

At the conclusion of my last post, James and Margaret (Browning) Hoy had both died by 1870 in Crawford County, Illinois. (At least that's my assumption - it's possible that James Hoy just left his wife and children - but barring any proof to the contrary I'll continue to operate on the presumption that he'd died.)

I mentioned the couple's crazy kids. Let me explain.

Pinning down exactly how many children James Hoy and Margaret Browning had and where they went after their parent’s deaths has been a real challenge for me. One source I have that helps with this family is a transcribed family bible record written in 1925 by Ruhama (Cliff) Harris, the daughter of Emma Alice Hoy. The bible is in the possession of Emma's descendants. A copy of this typed transcription is to the right. While I know that a few things in the bible are inaccurate, confused, or just plain missing (the date of James and Margaret's marriage is off by one year, a fact I checked with the transcriptioner to make sure it wasn't a transcription error) and I can guess that a few other things are, I feel the bible record is for the most part a good starting point and a fair account of Emma's sisters and brothers. I used it, along with the only census of this family with names (the 1860) and the other two censuses without names (the 1855 and 1865 IL census) to try and reconstruct their family.

Follow along with me, for here's where it gets fun. Ha!

According to the bible records, James and Margaret had a total of seven children: Sarah Ellen, James Franklin, Emma Alice, Edward J., Mary Jane, Charley, and William. But is this true?

Well, the 1855 IL census (taken in October) shows the couple with two boys under ten and two girls under ten. At the time of this census, these children from the bible record would fit:
22 May 1851 Sarah Ellen Hoy (age 4.5 yrs)
19 Apr 1852 James Franklin Hoy (age 3.5 yrs)
3 Jan 1854 Emma Alice Hoy (age 18 months)
1 Apr 1855 Edward Jasper Hoy (age 6 mos)

So far so good, right?

Fast forward five years later, to July of 1860. Here we find the couple living with their children, a family that has expanded to six children. But we see some new names here and a lot of jumping around in ages. Emma is missing completely. Sarah has suddenly lost two years and James has gained two years. Who is Susan and how did she suddenly become nine years old? Edward's age coincides just fine. We've added two more children, a girl named Jane and a son named "Advickus." The bible record calls this child Charley, which will make a lot more sense when we learn later that his full name was Charles Victor:
22 Jan 1857 Mary Jane Hoy (aged 3 yrs)
13 Dec 1859 Charley (aged 1 yr)

Before we take to analyzing the data, let's go on to the 1865 census, also taken in July. This is the last census we have to look at the James and Margaret (Browning) Hoy family as a whole. In this census, there are a total of ten people in the household. Subtracting the two adults, that meant eight children -- four males and two females 10 and younger, and one male and one female over ten and under twenty. From this census, we can attach the listed children from the bible like so:

over ten-under 20
22 May 1851 Sarah Ellen Hoy (age 14 yrs)
19 Apr 1852 James Franklin Hoy (age 13 yrs)

10 and under
3 Jan 1854 Emma Alice Hoy (age 11 yrs) -- doesn't quite fit
1 Apr 1855 Edward Jasper Hoy (age 10 yrs)
22 Jan 1857 Mary Jane Hoy (age 8 yrs)
13 Dec 1859 Charles Victor Hoy (age 5 yrs)
26 Nov 1860 William D. Hoy (age 4 yrs)
c1863 (Zara Hoy, aged appr. 2 yrs)

Ah, but we have one more census to look at -- the 1870. This census was taken after the deaths of both James and Margaret (Browning) Hoy. This is the point where I wish that I could find some sort of guardianship records. Their children were apparently scattered to the four winds and it has been extremely difficult to find all of them. I've only found a few:

Mary HOY, aged 13, b. IL, living w/Thomas and Martha (Botts) Corbin in Palestine, Crawford Co., IL (personal est. valued at $300)
Edward HOY, aged 15, b. IL, living w/Dr. Nathaniel and Hannah (Kitchell) Steele in Palestine, Crawford Co., IL
Emma A. HOY, aged 15, b. IL, living w/John & Rachel (Browning) McConnell in Washington Twn., Harrison Co., OH
William HOY, aged 9 b. IL, living w/Roland & Elvira (Allison) Fuson in Honey Creek Twn., Crawford Co., IL

I've found one more, I think:
Sarah E. HOY, age 25 b. IL, William HOY age 8 b. IL, and Zarah HOY age 6 b. IL, all listed as paupers and living in the poorhouse that William Beers ran in Hutsonville, Crawford Co., IL

I haven't been able to locate James, Susan, or Charles in the 1870 at all.

To wrap up today's post, the bible record seems to fit quite well with most of the census records. There are a few exceptions to this -- a) Emma's age is just so slightly off in the 1865, b) Susan Hoy (mentioned in the 1860) doesn't appear at all in the 1865, and c) the number of children listed in the bible is off by one because Zara isn't mentioned at all. All that aside, though, the bible record does seem to fit well overall and it makes me feel comfortable with it as a decent recollection of the Hoy family.

The 1870 census brings up a few more questions. Why is Sarah Ellen suddenly so old? Why is William Hoy listed twice? Where are Charles, and James, and Susan? Who are the people the kids are living with? How can we be sure that Zara Hoy is even James and Margaret's child?

For this, the census isn't enough. We need more proof, more records. And next time we'll start asking some other questions.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Browning Series -- Part Seven, or Margaret Browning and James Hoy

Samuel and Margaret Browning had thirteen children together and some of them are harder to find than others. I've spoken before about John Wesley Browning, perhaps the most elusive of the bunch, but today I feature the family of another of the Browning children: Margaret.

Margaret, Samuel and Margaret (Markee) Browning's seventh child, was born in Harrison County, Ohio around 1826. Margaret certainly met her husband James by the time she was 15 or 16; her older sister Julia had married James's older brother John Hoy in 1843. It took another seven years before James and Margaret finally decided to get married in Harrison County on 10 July 1850. Their marriage license is to the right.

(A quick note about John and James Hoy. The boys were from a family of eight children of Edward Hoy and his wife Elizabeth. The family immigrated to the United States from Elm in Cambridgeshire, England. On 17 August 1837 the Hoys (Edward and wife Elizabeth, William and wife Sarah, and sons John, James, Thomas, Solomon, Joel, Joseph and Benjamin) landed in the New York harbor after setting sail on the Ship Superior from Liverpool.)

Two months after their marriage in September of 1850 the young couple were living with John and Julia (Browning) Hoy and their three children, William, Samuel and Josephine, in Mill Township in Tuscarawas County, Ohio. John and James were laborers, living next door to a farmer named John Taggart whose farm was valued at $6000. I wonder if they were working on his farm? It's also interesting to note that neither Hoy could read or write.

By 1854 James and Margaret had moved to Crawford County, Illinois; their daughter Emma was born in Crawford County in April of that year. It isn't surprising that they chose to move there. Much of Margaret's family had already moved to the area -- Margaret's uncle James Markee and his sons (Margaret's cousins) had moved in the late 1840's, and Margaret's parents Samuel and Margaret (Markee) Browning had arrived in 1851 or early 1852. I've often thought that James and Margaret probably traveled to Crawford County with John and Julia Hoy.

Leaving aside their children for the moment (because there's enough confusion there to leave for another entire post!) let's explore what became of James and Margaret themselves.

Margaret was found on the 1860 Crawford County, Illinois census with her husband James and their family but by the time of the 1865 Illinois state census (taken in July) things had changed. Although this census doesn't list names, it does list age brackets; the age bracket of the elder female household member in 1865 (20-under 30) differs from that of Margaret's, which in 1865 would be the 30 - under 40.

I was tempted to think that they'd just made an error but I started poking around and found the following marriage in Vol. B., pg 169 in Crawford County, Illinois:

HOY, JAMES to FUNK, AMELIA E, 13 Nov 1864.

Amelia was the daughter of William M. Funk and Matilda Seaney. She was born around 1843 and fit perfectly into the 20-under 30 age bracket in the 1865 census. Hmmm......

I now had a pretty good idea that Margaret had died between 1860 and 1865. I wanted to narrow it down a little more so I first looked around at all the cemeteries in the area with no luck. Then I found that James Hoy had registered for the draft in Palestine, Crawford County, Illinois, in July of 1863. I hoped that it would list whether he was married or not (many of the registers do list this) but unfortunately, this one didn't. Rats! Well, I had one way to narrow her death down....the birth of her last son, Zera (who we will explore in further detail in my next post about this family) in either 1862 or 1863. So between 1862 and November 1864 is as as close as I've been able to come and it may just have to suffice.

As far as I can tell James and Amelia had no children of their own. I don't find James anywhere in the 1870 census. At the time of this census all of James and Margaret's children were parceled out amongst relatives and friends, and a few even lived in the Crawford County Poorhouse. Amelia was living with her brother Augustus C. Funk in Palestine. All this tells me that James Hoy had died between November 1864 and the June 1870 census. I have hopes that there are guardianship papers, perhaps a will....probate files.....anything. I've made cursory looks and have come up with nothing but I intend to look in more depth the next time I'm at the Crawford County courthouse.

Next time, their crazy kids!