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 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, 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.
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 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.
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.
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