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!
3 hours ago