My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Sunday, August 5, 2012

My Family - 150 Years ago

I think the reason I enjoy history is because I already know how the story ends. Life... while you're living it... is filled with lots of twists and turns and unexpected roadblocks (an unintentional sabbatical, for example). History gives us a lot more information than gazing into the crystal ball of the future. I've been working on this genealogical project for several months, not long relative to how long it takes most people to complete their family tree, however, I do have the benefit of the internet and some handy dandy tools like I thought it would be fun to jump back in time 150 years and see where my ancestors, at least some of them, were living... and, just to warn you, it took me about six hours to put this blog entry together so it may take a little longer to read than my usual posts.

In 1862...
Elias Gant, my great-great-grandfather, was 19 years old and most likely living in Ocean County, New Jersey (since that is where he lived and died). Yes, we are Jersey Shore people, at least we were at that time. He would have been 19 years old and could have still been living with his parents, Esek and Deborah, who were 53 and 46 years old. Elias received a Civil War pension so we know he fought in the war and may have been serving at this time. His grandmother (my 4x great-grandmother) Rebecca Johnson Clayton, would die the following year at the age of 81.

His wife - or future wife - Mary Hannah Harvey was 18 at the time. Her parents John and Mary (29 and 32, my great-great-great-grandparents) were either living in Ocean County or Monmouth County, New Jersey, so whether or not young Mary Hannah was married at that time, she was almost certainly living near her parents. John and Mary were living in Atlantic City, New Jersey in 1901 - 126 N. Ohio Avenue - just a few blocks from the beach and right in the shadow of Trump Plaza and all those fabulous casinos.

Mary Hannah had two grandparents (again, my 4x great-grandparents) Hannah Johnson Harvey (59) and John T Van Note (75) were still living in 1862. Hannah Harvey was living in Brick, New Jersey - as was John T Van Note, who died in with "erysipelas" (cellulitis) in 1870.

My 3x great-grandfather, John Ely Shafto  was also living in that same part of the country in 1862. He was 34 and his wife, the former Sarah Frances Allaire, was 26. They lived in the town of Shrewsbury, New Jersey and would have had - at that time - four daughters, ages 7, 5, 3 and 1. My great-great-grandfather would be their sixth child and first son. There is evidence that John Shafto registered for the draft but none that he fought in the war. They may have been Southern sympathizers as they had a child born in 1869 who they named "Atlanta".

John's mother (my 4x great grandmother) Mary Ely Shafto (54) was still alive in 1862. Sarah's parents Throckmorton Allaire (53) and Sarah Lounsbury Allaire (46) were living in Howell, New Jersey. Allaire State Park  replicates the life of Throckmorton's father (my 5x great-grandfather) James Peter Allaire (who died in 1858). Sarah Lounsbury Allaire's father, Jeremiah Lounsbury (another 5x great-grandfather) was 74 years old and still living in 1862, he died two years later.

My 3x great grandparents George P. Donahay, 29,  and his wife, the former Eleanor P. Luker, 25 were probably living in New Jersey in 1862 as well. Both the 1860 and 1870 census records show them living in Howell, New Jersey. Their parents, my 4x great-grandparents, were also alive and living in the same county: James Donahay & Jane Haviland Donahay,(both 49)  James Luker & Mary Ann Anderson Luker (73 & 68) seem to have lived there entire lives in the same general area.

Far away in geography and possibly in ideals, my great-great grandparents William Cleaveland Ward, 29 and his wife Rosa Bertha Hawes Ward, 20 were probably living in Washington, Georgia in 1862. The 1860 census listed William Ward as a merchant there in Washington, living with Rosa and their three month old son, George. By the 1870 census they were living in Lincolnton, Georgia with four sons, including my great-grandfather, Charles Pelham Ward, who was four months old at the time of that census.

Rosa's parents, Mosely Peyton Hawes and Jane Dallis Hawes, would have been celebrating their 22nd wedding anniversary in 1862. I'm not sure if they were people of means, however, in 1865, Mosely paid a total of $4 in taxes for owning a piano and a carriage, so it's safe to assume they were at least middle class, if there was such a thing at that time in rural Georgia.

William's mother had passed away in 1836, but his father, Comfort Ingraham Ward was still alive in 1862. I have been unable to locate him on census records so I'm not sure where he was living. His birthplace is listed as Monson, Massachusetts.

Thirteen year old George W. Bullock of Buena Vista, Georgia had not yet married Estell Maddux, also 13, in 1862, but they likely knew each other as their families were listed on the same census form in 1860. His parents, Cordy Bullock and Jane Richardson Bullock, both 52 at the time, were living in 1862, although Cordy died just three years later. The Bullock and Maddux families were still neighbors at the time of the 1870 census. Estell is still living at home at this point but George is not. Estell's parents, David Neal Maddux and Sarah Elizabeth Glaze Maddux were 49 and 36 in 1862. He listed "high sheriff" as his occupation. It's unclear to me what role, if any, these family members played in the Civil War, but I would imagine they couldn't have escaped some impact.

My Missouri ancestors were likely less impacted by the war. Great-great-grandfather John Pennington was only five years old in 1862. His future bride, Louisa McCubbin, was seven. John's father Samuel Pennington registered for the draft in Miller, Missouri in 1863, but it is unknown to me if he ever saw action.  He was 35 in 1862 and wife Martha Patsy Walls was 29.  Zachariah McCubbin would have been 48 in 1862 and his wife, the former Susannah DeGraffenreid about 35. I don't show Zachariah as having registered for the draft.

Great-great-grandfather Ezra Clow was born in Canada, yet registered for the draft in New Hartford, Minnesota in 1863. He listed himself as 23 and married, so he would have been 22 in 1862. The Clow family seems to have settled in Minnesota, at least for a time, as Ezra's parents, Abraham Henry Clow and Lydia Mott Clow, as well as his grandparents, Peter Clow and Hannah Potter Clow, were all residents there. I have been unable to find proof of Abraham and Lydia in the 1860 census but Peter Clow was listed as living in Winona, Minnesota then.

Ezra Clow's future bride, Lydia Worden, would have been just ten at the time Ezra registered for the draft, so it's possible he was married prior to marrying my great-great-grandmother. Lydia's family was listed in Pleasant Valley, Pennsylvania in the 1860 census, her father, William Worden, passed away in 1864 at the age of 40, I assume this was related to military service. Lydia's mother, the former Susannah Peet, was in Beetown, Wisconsin by the time of the 1870 census.

William Worden's father, Gilbert Worden was still alive in 1862 - 59 years old at the time - but I am unsure where he lived. He was born in New York and died in Iowa, I suppose he was somewhere in between. Susannah Peet's mother, Sarah Moorehouse Peet, (my 4x great-grandmother) was 80 years old in 1862, living in Eulalia, Pennsylvania.

Samuel David Jackson would have been just 8 years old in 1862. We have not been able to verify the names of his parents but I believe he would have been living in Mississippi, near the Alabama border, during the Civil War. Susan Nazary was about the same age and lived in Central Mississippi. Her father, John Nazary was 47 in 1862, her mother Catherine Sarah Wright Nazary, was 36. There is a 70 year old Catherine M. Wright listed with the family in the 1860 census, I believe this was Catherine Nazary's mother, although I don't know if she was still living in 1862.

Thomas Alexander Ray was ten years old in 1862 and living in Attala County, Mississippi with his father William Guy Ray. His mother died two years earlier. William's mother, Ellender Roach Ray was still living at the ripe old age of in Attala County in 1862. She lived to be 94. Thomas married Mary Jane Alderman, daughter of Daniel Alderman and Sarah Newton. All three were living in 1862, probably in Mississippi.

These are my direct ancestors who were living in 1862. It's hard to believe how diverse we were in geography, although probably less diverse than some families. They were all living in America. History is finite but our interpretation and information can sometimes change. The last entry I wrote about our Pennington family was a completely different family than my relatives. I'm learning to write my entries in pencil, not ink (or type, as the case would be) and I'm learning to check and recheck my data. At the very least, even when I venture down the wrong road, I'm still finding out a lot about history and that's exciting.

I have a second interview tomorrow with an agency not too far from here and depending on how long that meeting takes, I'm going back to make more paper dolls. Hope you're having a great weekend!


Unknown said...

Fun fact: I believe your 3rd great grandfather, John Ely Shafto, had a brother named
Anthony Shafto.
Anthony was the father of my husbands 2nd great grandmothers 'illegitimate' son,
named John Arthur Hurley.

Monmouth county archives has a file of records called the Bastardy files, where I learned this.
Interesting stuff. Unwed mothers were not as uncommon as most people think. And from these files you can see the children were not kept secret. The fathers even paid child support.