Strode DNA Match

A descendant of Martha (Strode) Bryan, I have an autosomal x-chromosome match with a descendant of Edward Strode, who with his wife died at sea en route to America. This individual descends from a younger Edward Strode, through his daughter Letitia.
Note that fewer ancestors contribute to the x-chromosome, yet following my ancestry and the ancestry of the DNA match the best place for our lines to cross is with Strodes.
Does anyone else have Strode DNA matches?

G– G–‘s line goes through Minnie Evelyn Fagg, Mary Ann Miller, James W Miller, Sarah Garrard, and Susannah Van Meter, to Letitia Strode.

Published in: on March 18, 2015 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  

August 1969

Starting point for any genealogist
Starting point for any genealogist: three generations

The photo was taken in August 1969 when I received an MA from the University of Oklahoma. Pictured are, left to right, Mansel Grant Armstrong (1897-1977), Edward Arthur Alvis (1926-2003), Evelynne (Armstrong) Alvis (born 1926), Kathy (Alvis) Patterson (born 1947), Malcolm Howie Patterson (born 1941), George Orville Alvis (1901-1983); seated, Ethel (Light) Armstrong (1900-1991) and Mary (Pedigo) Alvis (1905-1982).

Published in: on April 26, 2009 at 12:41 pm  Comments (2)  

Fifth and Sixth Generations, with names of most of the Seventh Generation

16 William Henry Harrison ALVIS. Born on 11 Jan 1832 in Missouri. Married 14 Dec 1856, Madison Co IL. Died 17 Apr 1874 at Brighton, Macoupin Co IL. Listed in census as a teamster, died of cerebrospinal meningitis.

17 Frances BROOKS. Born on 17 Jan 1837 in Fosterburg, Madison Co IL. Married #2 Martin Harkey (ca 1803-1893), 5 Jul 1883, Nokomis Twp, Montgomery Co IL. Died 13 Jan 1917, Irving, Montgomery Co IL. Frances and William’s third child—after earlier twins—and first son was Edward Amandus Alvis, who lived in Dickinson Co KS, Custer Co OK, and Howell Co MO.

18 George EYSTER. Born on 18 Apr 1815 in Adams Co  PA. Married 22 Nov 1855, Carlisle, Cumberland Co PA. Died 10 Apr 1893, Abilene, Dickinson Co KS. Elder in the Brethren in Christ Church.

19 Margaret RAMP. Born on 24 Feb 1834 in Cumberland Co  PA. Died 26 May 1904, Thomas, Custer Co OK. She became ill on a train trip to California; the train stopped in a town where several of her children lived so she could get off to be with them, and she died there. She was buried beside her husband in Abilene, Dickinson Co KS. Margaret’s second child and second daughter was Anna Margaret Eyster, who moved with her family to Custer Co OK at the same time her brothers and others of the community did.

20 Berry Rowlett PEDIGO. Born on 12 Mar 1842 in Hart Co KY. Married 27 Jul 1866, Hart Co KY. Died 5 Apr 1923, Bridgeport,Caddo Co OK. He was hit by an unscheduled train. Minister, farmer, flour miller, hotel keeper. Pastor of Missionary Baptist Church of Hinton OK. Civil War 21st KY Cavalry, GAR 1861-1866.

21 Martha Jane GOSSETT. Born on 4 Jan 1846 in Barren Co KY. Died 29 Aug 1837, Bridgeport, Caddo Co OK. She was her husband’s first cousin once removed. Martha’s seventh child of 13 and fourth son was Joshua Abraham Lincoln Pedigo, who followed his parents to Oklahoma about 12 years later. Two of the children older than Lincoln died early as did three who followed him, so growing up he had one older sister, three older brothers, one younger brother and two younger sisters. All of Berry and Martha’s surviving children were in Oklahoma at least for a time.

22 William Rush ATWELL. Born on 15 Apr 1854 in Metcalfe Co KY. Married Susan M “Sudie” Nunn, 15 Dec 1876, Metcalfe Co KY. Married #2 Jane C “Jinny” Huff, 24 Dec 1882, Metcalfe Co KY. He was a bee keeper. Censuses always listed him as a farmer and manual farm laborer.

23 Jane C HUFF. Born in 1866 in Hart Co KY, called Jinney. Died between 1891 and 1893 in Horse Cave, Hart Co KY. When she married Rush Atwell, she became stepmother to a two-year-old and to a two-month old, both boys. She gave birth to four children, two boys and two girls, Lucy being her third child and second girl. Lucy was very close to her sister Mary for her entire life, perhaps because they lost their mother at such a young age.

24 John ARMSTRONG Jr. Born on 31 Dec 1819 in Livingston Co NY. He married Susannah Moran, in 1842 in Illinois. He married #2 Nancy Ann Morris, 15 Dec 1852, in Mason Co IL. He was a farmer and a Republican. He died 22 Jan 1890, Bethany, Harrison Co MO. 

25 Nancy Ann MORRIS. Born on 21 Sep 1829 in Adams Co OH. She died 27 Aug 1891 in Bethany, Harrison Co MO. Nancy’s third child and second son (her husband’s sixth child) was John Franklin Armstrong, who moved to the frontier in Oklahoma and lived in Foss, Washita Co; he died at the age of 85. Other than their daughter Jennie, who died at age 22, all of Nancy’s twelve children lived long lives, from one who died at 65, then another at 68, several who lived into their 70s, more living into the 80s, and at least three into their 90s. The daughters of John’s first wife lived to be 54, 60, and 72. 

26 Reuben Webster TURNER. Born on 1 Feb 1829 in Fayette Co IN. Married Margaret Ellen Parker, 20 Dec 1861, Vigo Co IN, and divorced 25 Oct 1883, Worth Co MO. He died 10 Nov 1905 or 1915 in Foss, Washita Co OK. He was an oculist and a merchant. He served in the Civil War in Capt. Wesley Sanders Company, Indiana Volunteers, Co G, 78th IN Infantry. After Margaret’s second divorce, they apparently shared a home, although no second marriage record has been found. One granddaughter wrote that they lived 7 miles or so apart.

27 Margaret Ellen PARKER. Born on 7 Nov 1843 in Vigo Co IN. She married #2 Stewart Benjamin McCord, 11 Mar 1893, Worth Co MO, and divorced 24 Seo 1901, Grant City MO. She died 27 Apr 1926, at Foss, Washita Co OK, just a month before she would have met her new great-granddaughter, Evelynne Maurine Armstrong. Margaret had eight children with her first husband and none with the second. The fourth child and third girl—the first boy died young—was Anna Samantha. There were four later children. In all, six of the children grew up and married. It has been stated that she must have loved flowers since her daughters were named Florence, Lillian, Samantha, Roza, and Violet. And Mable means “loveable.” Samantha may be related to the Hebrew name Samuel, but it more likely from the Greek word “antha,” meaning flower.

28 Oliver Perry LIGHT. Born on 7 Apr 1828 in Clermont Co OH. He married Nancy Jane Prather, 6 Sep 1853, Shelbyville, Shelby Co IL. Died 28 Mar 1904, Wymore, Gage Co NE. He was a Methodist minister and served as chaplain during the Civil War, in the 7th Minnesota Regiment from 1862 to 1864 and probably participated in the Oklahoma Land Run of 1889. He preached the first sermon in El Reno, Canadian Co OK, after the town was settled.

29 Nancy Jane PRATHER. Born on 12 Sep 1833 in Clark Co IN. Died 4 Aug 1895, Wymore, Gage Co NE. Before her marriage, she was a schoolteacher. As a minister’s wife, she was active in the Women’s Christian Temperance Union. Her fourth child, the second to survive infancy, was her first boy, William Russell Light. Her children were educated by her at home, and William attended Northwestern University, receiving both a BA and later an MA degree.

30 Augustus DORSEY. Born on 30 Dec 1841 in Somerset Co PA. Died 2 Jul 1924, Conway Springs, Sumner Co KS. He served in the Civil War, particpating in the Battle of Gettysburg on Co K 18th Regiment of the PA Cavalry. He was a prisoner at Andersonville. After the War, he moved west, marrying in Illinois, settling first in Nebraska, and then moving with his second wife and family to Kansas. He married first, Frances Minerva Shultz, on 22 Oct 1868, Dixon, Lee Co IL, and second, Ersula Frye, 3 Aug 1879 in Lincoln, Lancester Co Co NE.

31 Frances Minerva SHULTZ. Born on 1 Apr 1849 in Somerset Co PA. Died 8 Jun 1878 in Lincoln, Lancester Co NE. Her third child and second daughter was Mary Ellen, called Dolly. She died a few days after the birth and death of her fourth child. Died 8 Jun 1878 in Lincoln, Lancester Co NE.

32 James Woodson (or Woodford) ALVIS was born in 1808 in TN. He died, probably in Missouri between 1844 and 1850. Son of Shadrach and Nancy (Hail) Alvis.

33 Leatha/Luvina Merrick PULLIAM. Born in 1808 in TN. Died ater 1880. Daughter of Alsey and Frances (McClendon) Pulliam.

34 Asa BROOKS. Born in 1792 in Buffalo, area outside Ft Niagara, NY. Died 6 Feb 1849 in Fosterburg, Madison Co IL. Almost certainly son of Michael and Elizabeth (Boughton) Brooks.

35 Anna JOY. Born in 1795 in Putney, Windham Co VT. Died between 1845 and 1848 in Fosterburg, Madison Co IL. Daughter of David and Mary (Dickinson) Joy.

36 Jacob EYSTER. Born on 28 Nov 1789 in Hanover, York Co PA. Died 22 Oct 1839, Bendersville, Adams Co PA. Son of Daniel and Elizabeth (Reiff) Eyster.

37 Catherine [WENTZ]. Born on 9 Feb 1794 in PA. Died on 4 Jan 1855, Bendersville, Adams Co PA. Probably daughter of John Frederick (Jr) and Anna Maria Magdalena (–?–) Wentz.

38 Samuel RAMP. Born on 20 Sep 1793 in Berks Co PA. Died on 20 Apr 1868, Mifflin Township, Cumberland Co PA. Son of Philip and Elizabeth (Albrecht) Ramp.

39 Elizabeth WORST. Born on 3 Dec 1794 in Cumberland Co PA. Died on 23 Mar 1868, Mifflin Township, Cumberland Co PA. Daughter of Jacob Worst.

40 Elijah PEDIGO. Born on 3 May 1809 in Patrick Co VA. Died possibly 1906, Polk Co MO. Son of Levi and Mary Blakey (Edens) Pedigo.

41 Frances HARPER. Born before 1810 in Hart Co KY. Died between 1848 and 1850 in Hart Co KY. Probably daughter of Hance (Jr) and Nancy (–?–) Harper. Nancy may also have been called Rhoda.

42 Henry GOSSETT. Born on 4 Dec 1818 in Martinsville, Henry Co VA. Died 2 Jun 1912, Hart Co KY. Son of Cavin and Mary (Phifer) Gossett.

43 Elizabeth PEDIGO. Born on 23 Nov 1824 in Barren Co KY. Died 2 Mar 1861, Hart Co KY. Daughter of William and Elizabeth (Cliff) Pedigo.

44 Benjamin ATWELL. Born on 24 Nov 1807 in NC. Died 3 Feb 1895, Horse Cave, Hart Co KY. Son of John Atwell Jr and his first wife, who was possibly Anne Lewis.

45 Susan ERWIN. Born on 24 Jan 1815 in Green Co KY. Died 4 Aug 1893, Horse Cave, Hart Co KY. Daughter of William (Jr) and Sarah (Forbis) Erwin.

46 Lorenzo Dow HUFF. Born on 12 Oct 1839 in Wayne Co KY. Died 17 Dec 1912, Crail Hope, Hart Co KY. Son of George Washington and Malinda (Denton) Huff.

47 Laura Frances GENTRY. Born on 25 May 1844 in Hart Co KY. Died 13 Feb 1911, Green Co KY. Daughter of Benjamin and Emily (Martin) Gentry.

48 John ARMSTRONG Sr. Born after Feb 1787 [prob ca 1789] in NJ. Died 1852, Grand River, Ontario. Son of John Armstrong and Bathsheba (Coleman) Moore.

49 Mary BARRON. Born in 1801 in NY. Died 1879, Clayton Co IA. Daughter of William and Margery (Wilkinson) Barron; they were the latest of my ancestral lines to come to America, ca 1800.

50 George MORRIS. Born in 1790 in Lexington, Fayette Co KY. Died 1 Jun 1861, Mason Co IL. Possibly son of Thomas Morris and his first wife, Betsy Stephenson.

51 Elizabeth HURD. Born in 1807 in Adams Co OH. Died ca 1859, Mason Co IL. Probably daughter of Caleb and Martha (Oursler) Hurd. If Martha was a second wife, maybe Elizabeth was her stepdaughter.

52 Greenville Person TURNER. Born on 15 May 1797 in Franklin Co VA. Died 8 Oct 1877, Putnam Co IN. Son of Wilson (Sr) and Elizabeth (Doss) Turner.

53 Deborah WEBSTER. Born on 11 Jun 1796 in Franklin Co VA. Died 22 Nov 1836, Putnam Co IN. Daughter of Samuel and Susannah (Bagby) Webster.

54 Greenberry PARKER. Born in 1810/1815 in SC. Died between 1844 and 1850, Vigo Co IN. Possibly son of Isaac Parker of Sullivan Co IN.

55 Elizabeth WILLOUGHBY. Born in 1813 in TN, prob Greene Co TN. Died 1900, Worth Co MO. daughter of Elijah and Susannah (Leachman) Willoughby.

56 David LIGHT. Born on 5 Sep 1800 in Clermont Co OH. Died 16 Sep 1888, Edgar Co IL. Son of Jacob and Catherine (Harmon) Light.

57 Harriet DICKINSON. Born on 20 Nov 1802 in Wyoming, Ontario Co NY. Died 26 Jan 1873, Edgar Co IL. Daughter of David and Anna (Gilbert) Dickinson.

58 James Russell PRATHER. Born on 17 Nov 1807 in Clark Co IN. Died 25 Jan 1850, Jefferson Co IA. Son of Lloyd Benton and Nancy (Redman) Prather.

59 Louvica Caroline VEACH. Born in 1806/1810 in KY. Died 15 Jul 1841, Harrison Co IN. Daughter of Jacob and Mary (Hilton) Veach.

60 Lloyd DORSEY. Born on 12 Mar 1813 in Somerset Co PA. Died 3 Jun 1873, Somerset Co PA. Son of William Cumming and Mary (Black) Dorsey.

61 Sarah Ann MOSER. Born on 27 Mar 1813 in Berks Co PA. Died 8 Dec 1870, Somerset Co PA. Daughter of Michael (Jr) and Maria Magdalena (–?–) Moser.

62 Joseph SHULTZ. Born on 30 May 1819 in Somerset Co PA. Died 22 Aug 1902, Dixon Lee Co IL. Son of Conrad and Catherine (Kooser) Shultz.

63 Catherine HANNA. Born on 10 Nov 1819 or 13 Apr 1820 in Somerset Co PA. Died 24 Jun 1862, Somerset Co PA. Probably daughter of Alexander and Julianna (Berkey) Hanna.

64 Shadrach Alvis. Born ca 1788 in Goochland Co VA. He died after 1860 in Jefferson Co IL. Son of Ashley and Elizabeth (Knollings/Nowlin) Alvis.

Published in: on April 26, 2009 at 12:35 pm  Leave a Comment  

Rev. Oliver Perry Light Documents

Family Charts and Other Historical and Genealogical Records of Rev. Oliver Perry Light (1828-1904)

 By Kathy Alvis Patterson

April 2008

Part I: Introduction to the O. P. Light family charts

Oliver Perry Light was born 27 April 1828 in Clermont Co OH, and became a Methodist minister, serving in Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma Territory until his death in 1904.[1] In 1853 he met and married Miss Nancy Jane Prather (1833-1895).[2] He was Chaplain of the 7th Minnesota Regiment from 1862 to 1864[3] and probably participated in the Oklahoma Land Run of 1889.[4] More details of his life follow in Part V of this monograph.

The grandmother of the present writer was his granddaughter, Ethel Marguerite (Light) Armstrong (11 Dec 1900-7 Jan 1991). Although she had no clear memory of her grandfather, she did possess a great deal of pride in his career and knowledge of his life and work. She frequently wrote summaries of his life and gave presentations throughout western Oklahoma, especially in Methodist churches. O. P. Light baptized all of his ten grandchildren, except the youngest Evelyn Frances (Light) Eichor, who was born 5 Jun 1904 in Oklahoma City, a few months after his death.

In 1966, when I began family research, my grandmother obtained from her sister Evelyn Eichor a stack of papers that had belonged to Rev. Light. I spent a day copying everything possible; as a well-behaved teenager, but only a beginning genealogist, I conscientiously, but unfortunately, returned the papers to my grandmother, who gave them back to Mrs. Eichor, and they were never seen again by anyone with an interest in family history.

Of particular importance were a set of family pages, written in pencil, detailing the ancestry and cousins of Oliver Perry Light’s Light family, and in less detail, his wife Nancy Jane’s parents, her brother and sisters and their children, her Prather grandparents, their children, one uncle’s children, and her Veach grandparents and their children. I do not know if the Lights kept up with family births and deaths by mail or by visits. His pocket-sized notebook does include expenses from 1899 for a trip to Illinois; by this date his son was a Rock Island employee, and he may have traveled frequently by train.[5]

This monograph is an effort to publish and establish the facts of Rev. Light’s notes, many of which are not known to exist in any other location. Their genealogical importance is not limited to my ancestry but to many Prather and Veach descendants. Since 1966, I have kept these notes separate from other research and not “contaminated” Rev. Light’s charts. His charts are printed here exactly as I received them. Internal evidence suggests they were completed after 6 Apr 1902, and before his death on 28 March 1904.

It has been possible to confirm from other sources the accuracy of some of Rev. Light’s charts. Recently published studies, census entries, wills and books not available to him at any time in his life have shown him to be almost always accurate. I have received letters from other researchers that Rev. Light’s lists confirm what they have postulated but been unable to prove.

It is my thesis that these documents are accurate and reliable as genealogical evidence.

Although except for the copies I made in 1966, O. P Light’s original family charts have been lost, a copy of the Light family data written by his daughter after his death, does exist. These are almost the same as the Light portion of what I saw in 1966, with some newer dates, minus the notes Rev. Light had added on younger family members. Rev. Light’s charts had each family on a separate sheet of paper, yet his daughter copied everything onto four pages; she did not list families before Jacob and Caty (Harmon) Light. It is possible that Harriet (Light) Vance did not copy her father’s papers, but that she had access to a family Bible, since her data are grouped in births, marriages and deaths, where his were arranged by families, with names and notes about children of the youngest generation. The Prather and Veach families were not included in her record.[6]

Part II: Verification of the Accuracy of the O. P. Light family charts

The Light family has more records in print than the branches of the other surnames, Prather and Veach, mentioned in O. P. Light’s family charts. They comprise pages 1-4 of my printed lists. John Light was O. P.’s great-grandfather, and O. P. listed seven children for him: Peter, Barbara, Jacob, Benjamin, Daniel, Samuel, and Marten. The will of John’s brother Jacob Light, Jr.,[7] establishes John’s children as Peter, Daniel, Jacob and Barbara. In addition, childless Jacob had previously adopted John’s youngest sons Samuel and Martin. The only divergence from O. P.’s list is the son Daniel, who is not mentioned in the will. At the time Rev. Light was making his lists, a contemporary Light researcher in Pennsylvania placed the Jacob who adopted his brother’s sons, Samuel and Martin, as a member of a different family. Moses Light wrote in 1896, concerning two brothers John and Jacob, “John was rich in sons; Jacob was rich in this world’s goods, but childless, so he adopted the two youngest of his brother’s children, Samuel and Martin.”[8] This means that my great-great-grandfather Oliver Perry Light, writing in the 1890s, still had family records that showed the brothers Samuel and Martin to be children of our John, not the John Light of Moses Light’s book, and more accurate than the man who still lived in Pennsylvania.

            O. P. Light’s grandfather was Jacob Light of Clermont Co OH. The 1880 History of Clermont County Ohio published by the Louis H Everts Co has biographical and family information about this Jacob Light, enough to confirm the essential accuracy of O. P. Light’s data, but enough variation to rule out Light’s having copied from this book. According to this book, Jacob had brothers David, Daniel, Peter, and a sister Barbara Robb. David and Daniel were not in the elder Jacob’s 1808 will, and David was not in O. P. Light’s list.

            Jacob and Catherine (Harmon) Light had 11 children, according to O. P. Light. The Everts book agrees with “seven sons and four daughters,” but only names John, Daniel, Jacob, David, Peter and Benjamin. There is agreement that Jacob’s brother Daniel had eleven children, including John, Martin, Abel, James, Daniel, Betsy, Katie and Susan.[9]

            Daniel’s son John had 13 children, according to Rev. Light. This John Light was Oliver’s first cousin, and both were ministers in Iowa, which may account for O.P.’s knowing John’s children’s names, but not their birthdates. In his 1860 census, John Light was listed as a farmer, with his wife and six children. The oldest child at home was Joseph D., suggesting that O. P. Light listed Joseph and Daniel as two sons instead of one, followed by James A., Charlotte, John H., George H, and Mary Minerva, on the next page. Elvira and Marion H. are missing, as are four older daughters.[10] In 1850 two of the older daughters, Ann and Emily, were in the household, in addition to the same younger children, except Mary Minerva, who wasn’t born yet. Urana and Jane appear to be living next door.[11] (Frank Light lists Charlotte Elvira as one girl.)

            Frank Light, a descendant of both Jacob Light and his brother Daniel, has compiled many Light family records, including the story of Barbara (Light) (Williamson) Robb, by a granddaughter. This lady’s list of her grandmother’s children is similar, but not identical to O. P. Light’s.[12]

            Frank Light also collected records of Peter Light, a brother of Jacob Light’s who bought and sold land in several locations and three states. Where O. P. Light stated this man, his father’s uncle, had four children, Frank Light lists only three.[13]

            I have census records that confirm the accuracy of the families of O. P.’s brothers and sisters.

            David and Harriet’s oldest child was Charlotte (Light) Scott. Her family’s 1870 census reveals a youngest son her brother must have forgotten or not known about, Samuel, age 4. The oldest daughter was probably already married; otherwise, the remaining children are exactly as O. P. Light listed them, with the interesting addition of a middle name for Nancy C. and a question why the mother was listed at the end of the household. Even the birthdates match for precise ages on June 10th of that year.[14]

            Reuben S Light’s family was also still in Edgar Co IL. His second wife and the three surviving daughters of his first wife are listed, as well as baby Harriet, who O. P. Light believed had died in 1869. All the ages correspond with O. P. Light’s charts.[15]

            Brothers Samuel Henry, called Henry, and William are on the same page of the 1870 census as their parents, David and Harriet Light. Henry’s family has a few minor differences from O. P. Light’s charts; sons William M and Charles K had not had their birthdays yet, but are a year older than the charts would indicate, and the youngest child Hattie must have died. Everyone in William’s family matches the charts exactly.[16]

            Andrew and Catherine (Light) Wheeler were also in Edgar Co IL in 1870. The three children in their household match O. P. Light’s charts exactly, but daughter Alice, 17, was already married and living with her husband a few pages away.[17]

            Benjamin and Florella Light had moved to Barton Co MO. O. P. Light had the names and ages of their three surviving, unmarried children exactly correct.[18]

I have shown that Oliver Perry Light was meticulously accurate in his Light family charts that can be confirmed from other sources. Only mistakes occur, but not very often. It should follow that if he wrote only what he was confident about as far as his own family, he would do the same with his wife’s parents’ families, the Prathers and the Veaches.

I will conclude by saying that I wish Rev. Light had included his mother’s family, the Dickinsons, in his charts. I have had the challenge of finding the Dickinsons without the help of Harriet (Dickinson) Light’s son.[19] His grandmother’s family, the Harmons, would have been nice too.

Part III: The Accuracy of O. P. Light’s charts of the Prather family

In 1853, Nancy Jane Prather was an orphan, having lost her mother in 1841 and her father on 25 Jan 1850. Three versions of her obituary name her parents.[20] Although her grandparents, uncles and aunts and brothers and sisters were all in the 1850 census in Jefferson Co IA, she was living with the Aaron Edwards family from New York State who were not related.[21] Her stepmother and half-brother and sisters had returned to Indiana; their census has not been located.

For each of her siblings, I attach a copy of his or her 1850 census, plus a later census showing the accuracy of O. P. Light’s lists of their children.

The oldest of James and Louvica’s six daughters and one son was Mary Elizabeth, 18, living in the home of David Beach of Connecticut.[22] By 1870, she and her husband, William Hamilton, and their family were living in Marin Co CA; their youngest son Charles, 4, whose name was known to O. P. Light, was the first of the family born in California.[23]

While the daughters, as will be seen, were living with neighbors, probably working, the only son, 14-year-old Enoch, was with his uncle, next door to his grandparents. In addition to Enoch, his census page had Lloyd and Nancy, their sons Thomas H. and his family and Reason Prather and family; Reason’s wife, Sally Ann (Veach), was a sister of James Russell Prather’s first wife.[24] The pages left by Rev. Light did not include a list of the children of Enoch Prather. In 1870, he was still living in Liberty Township, Jefferson Co IA, near his aunt Elizabeth Jane (Prather) Schwartz, and married to Ann with a baby. [25] O. P. Light said his wife was Mary, and a descendant with whom I corresponded states that his wife was Mary Ann Walmer.[26]

Sarah Ann, 12, was living in 1850 with the William Donaldson family from Kentucky.[27] Her four children with husband Ben “Evens” in 1870 were Ann, Ellen, Jane and William. The three girls do not match the “Evans” daughters named on O. P. Light’s chart: Louvica (Sarah Ann’s mother’s name) Will, Margaret and Martha, although if census listings by middle names can be considered, they might fit.[28] Sarah Ann had died by 1880 as Ben “Evins” had a new wife and four young children.[29]

Indiann, Sarah Ann’s twin, was living with the Hiram Case family from Ohio in 1850, on the same page as one John L. Prather, a nephew of Lloyd Benton Prather, who had moved to Iowa in 1846.[30] In 1870, Henry and Indiann Grammer’s three children are the same as on O. P. Light’s list, but the first and last names are spelled differently.[31]

In 1850 Elvira was listed as a boy, Alvin, 11, with the Hiram Smith family from Ohio. She was one page after the one where her grandparents, two uncles and their families and her brother Enoch were listed, just two households away from one of the uncles, above. In 1870, the William and Elvira Smith family is identical to the four children on Rev. Light’s list, although in different order, and there is a fifth baby, William.[32]

In 1850 Louvica Caroline, 9, was with the Iowa-native Carlisle Smith family.[33] A gedcom at identifies Carlisle as the brother of Hiram Smith, with whom Elvira was residing, probably half-brothers of Elvira’s eventual husband, William H Smith. She married Anson C. Jones. In 1870 her family was in Jasper Co IA with three children, named the same as the oldest three of four in O. P. Light’s list.[34]

Oliver P. Light’s knowledge of his wife’s brothers and sisters and their families was not as complete as his awareness of his own nieces and nephews, but still shows that he and his wife, Nancy Jane, did keep in touch, even through the years when a few of the nieces and nephews were marrying, mostly those still in Jefferson Co IA.

The case was different with Nancy Jane’s half-brother and sisters. I corresponded in the 1980s with Becky Van Vliet, of Muncie IN, a descendant of Marion Washington Prather. She sent me, among other information, a Bible record and a copy of the second marriage license of James Russell Prather’s second wife, Elizabeth Jane (Jamison) Prather. The Bible record had a date of birth for Marion W. Prather two days difference from O. P. Light’s chart.[35] It appears that after the death of James Russell Prather in 1850 there was no further contact between the children of his first marriage and the widow or her children.

The only known evidence specifically naming the children of Lloyd Benton and Nancy (Redman) Prather is O. P. Light’s list; other than that, the geographic proximity of the families is the clearest evidence. And four of the seven children of Lloyd’s have independent proof of their parentage.

Lloyd Benton Prather was a son of Basil Prather, DAR Patriot Ancestor and early settler of Clark Co IN.[36] His census record exactly matches the sons named by O. P. Light, although there was apparently one more daughter than remembered by Nancy Jane or recorded by her husband. The biggest mistake in dates in all of O. P. Light’s pages was the age of Elizabeth Prather; he said she was born in 1824, when census information throughout her life indicates a date closer to 1810. In 1820 Clark Co IN, Lloyd’s family was comprised of one male 0-10 (Reason, 8), 3 females 0-10 (Elizabeth, 10, Cena Lillis, 7, Mary Ellen, 3), two males 10-16 (Thomas, 15, James, 13), one male 26-45 (Lloyd, 38) and one female (26-45) Nancy, 38.[37]

By 1830, the youngest sons had been born, Lillis had probably died (she is not in O. P. Light’s lists), and the oldest three children were married. Lloyd’s entry was two males 5-10 (William, 10, Jonathan, 7), one female 10-15 (Mary Ellen, 13), one male 15-20 (Reason, 18), one male 40-50 (Lloyd, 48), and one female 40-50 (Nancy, 48).[38] Elizabeth and Abraham Schwartz andJames R and his wife are at the bottom of the page previous to Lloyd, whose name is first on the page; they were consecutive households.[39] The eldest son, Thomas Helms Prather, was higher on page 56, closer to uncles Aaron and Thomas. Aaron Prather had a son Thomas, still at home; Thomas, the uncle, had one son also named Thomas, but he was married with a son William by 1830. So, this is “our” Thomas.

By 1840, Lloyd and his family with the three older sons and their families had all moved to Blue River Township, Harrison Co IN; they were the only Prathers in the county.[40] Still at home with Lloyd and Nancy were Jonathan, 17, William, 20, and Mary Ellen, 23. Thomas H. Prather had five children, James’s first four daughters and a son were with him and his wife, and Reason and his wife had two small children.[41] The next year, James’s first wife died, and he married again while in Harrison Co IN.

In 1850, the children of Lloyd Prather were all in Jefferson Co IA, as noted above, with these exceptions: James had died and his children by his first wife were living with different families in the same county as their grandparents; Mary Ellen and her husband Campbell Rankin, and her brothers William and Jonathan and their wives were in Lucas Co IA.[42]

Through census records we know that Lloyd and these seven next generation Prathers, and no others, moved together twice; this confirms O. P. Light’s Prather family lists. Further confirmation, and the only additional Prather evidence located in Jefferson Co IA comes from voting lists from 1850, where Lloyd, four of his sons, and two of his sons in-law are listed.[43]

In 1973 I wrote to Mr. Clare Prather of Tulsa, sharing O. P. Light’s family charts. Mr. Prather’s response is attached. “You cannot begin to know the pleasure that your letter gave me when I received it today.” He had been trying to establish the children of Lloyd Benton and Nancy (Redman) Prather “for many years.”[44] Mr. Prather’s assumptions were in almost complete agreement with O. P. Light.

In 1987, I copied several pages from Marriage Records of People Named Prather, Prater, Prator, Praytor at the NSDAR Library in Washington, D. C. I do not have all the pages for Lloyd’s children, but those I do have (James Russell, Jonathan C., and Elizabeth) reveal that Cartlidge connected the dots and assigned the sons and daughter to the same parents as O. P. Light wrote down based on personal knowledge.[45]

These are the children Clare Prather, O. P. Light, Miss Anna Cartlidge, census data, and other sources agree are the children of Lloyd Benton and Nancy (Redman) Prather:

1.     Thomas Helms Prather,[46] the eldest was a Methodist minister, as was Oliver Perry Light. Perhaps because of this connection and the fact that both families left Jefferson Co IA and spent time in Kansas, among other places, Rev. Light had more information about the children of Thomas than for any other of the siblings of his wife. O. P. Light knew that one of Thomas’s daughters married a Mr. Gilliland; this couple’s son Willie was buried, long with Thomas and his parents, in the same cemetery in Douglas Co KS.[47]

2.     James Russell Prather, my ancestor.

3.     Elizabeth Prather, who married Abram or Abraham Schwartz. Portrait and Biographical Album of Jefferson and Van Buren Counties, Iowa, 1890, names her parents specifically, although misstating their ancestry as German and Scottish.[48]

4.     Reason Benjamin (or Reason Redman) Prather. [49] Nancy Redman had a brother Reason Redman (or Rezin Redman), for whom this son was named; her father was Benjamin Redman, so conceivably he could have been named Reason Benjamin Redman Prather. He married a sister-in-law of brother James Russell’s and by 1860 was living in Lucas Co IA. I am attempting to communicate with a DAR member who descends from Reason and Sally Ann, whose line is proven; this evidence is available, just not necessarily speedily.

5.     Cena Lillis Prather. Clare Prather wrote in the letter cited above: “Mrs. Ruth Van Tries, a daughter of Cena Lillis (Prather) Pearson, a daughter of Thomas Helms Prather, says that her mother told her on several occasions that she was named Cena Lillis for her father’s sister.” He proposed that the daughter who was present in the 1820 census, but not seen later was named Cena Lillis.

6.     Mary Ellen Prather. O. P. Light’s identification of her husband as Campbell Rankin was not known to Clare Prather. Mary Ellen Rankin can be traced with her husband from their marriage in 1840 in Harrison Co IN to 1850 and 1860 in Lucas Co IA through 1870 and 1880 in Smithland Twp, Livingston Co KY. It is difficult to identify their children in census or other online records other than when living with the parents, in spite of some fairly unusual given names. A source I cannot locate at this time gave their death dates as 23 Apr 1881 for the husband and 28 May 1899 for Mary Ellen; probably the same source quoted her obituary as saying, “She was a niece of Rev. William Redman, a pioneer Methodist preacher, and her brother, Rev. Thomas H. Prather, was an able and devoted missionary to the Indians prior to the admission of Kansas into the Union.”

7.     William W. Redman Prather was in Lucas Co IA in 1850, Sioux City Township, Woodbury Co IA in 1860, Shirley Township, Cloud Co IA in 1870 and North Longton Township, Elk Co KS in 1880. His children’s names, as first noted by Clare Prather, point toward his being the son of Lloyd and Nancy:  Lewis Cass, Nancy E., Lloyd B., Martha E., William, Mary A., James R., Loretta Vergeia, and Charles B.

8.     Jonathan Cass Prather. I disagree with Clare Prather when he identified this man as the same Jonathan Prather listed as a settler in 1855 in Kansas; for this to be so, he would have to have abandoned his wife and two children, who were listed under Elizabeth’s name in 1860 in Lucas Co IA. There were five Jonathan Prathers in the U. S. census in 1850, and five again in 1860, but one was a 7-year-old boy. Only this Jonathan is missing.

Every one of Lloyd and Nancy’s children had a daughter named Nancy, usually Nancy Elizabeth, except for the Rankins.

Part IV: The Accuracy of O. P. Light’s charts of the Veach family

In addition to her own mother, Louvica Caroline (Veach) Prather, who died when Nancy was seven, Nancy Jane (Prather) Light also knew her aunt Sally Ann (Veach) Prather, who was married to an uncle and lived in Jefferson Co IA, and another aunt, Frances Maude (Veach) Porter, at whose home in Shelbyville IL Nancy was visiting that summer of 1853 when she met and married O. P. Light.[50] She probably also personally knew Elvira (Veach) Smith in Shelbyville, since this aunt was there in the 1860 census. She knew the names of other aunts, and that there was a brother Milton, possibly because her aunt Frances’s oldest child was a namesake named Milton Porter, but no facts about the brother beyond his name were recorded by O. P. Light.

O. P. Light made very few notes about the Veach family. What he knew was that his mother-in-law, whom he never met, was a daughter of Jacob and Mary (Hilton) Veach. Actually Jacob didn’t spell the name the way some earlier families did: Veatch. In this document I have kept O. P.’s spelling, that is apparently Jacob’s spelling, but as I turn to other sources, which I will spell the name as it appears.

Rev. Light also knew that there were at least six daughters and one son, and he knew the names of some of the daughter’s husbands, although imperfectly. Lucinda, the youngest child, was married to Hiram Porter, not Jonathan. Hiram was a nephew of Frances (Veach) Porter’s husband Zephaniah.

I will analyze Jacob Veach’s census record, as Clare Prather did with Lloyd Prather’s. In 1820, he was in Clark Co IN, p 14, with this family: 010010/42010/01.[51] The six daughters named by O. P. Light were Louvica Caroline, Frances Maude (“Fanny”), Elvira, Rachel, Lucinda, and Sarah Ann (“Sally Ann”). Their ages were not known, but additional sources identified other daughters as Hannah and Mary Ann.[52] The son would have been Milton.

On the same page in 1820 were Basil R. Prather and his son John.

In 1830, Jacob’s family was comprised of 0000101…/1221101….[53] The seventh and youngest daughter has been born. There is still only one son. Again there are Prathers on the same page, plus John C. Redman, a double first cousin of Nancy Redman’s.

In 1840 in Johnson Co IN, Jacob’s family was: 100000001/00101001. On the same page were two daughters and their husbands, Moses Holeman and Francis K Porter. The daughters living with their parents were Lucinda, unmarried, and Elvira, whose husband had died, apparently leaving her with one son under five.[54] Milton Veach was still in Clark Co IN.[55]

From the 1850 census it is possible to calculate the order of the children’s births. Louvica Caroline did not live until 1850, but might be the oldest child, since she was the first married of Jacob’s children’s. In Shelby Co IL, we learn that Frances (Veach) Porter was 42, born in Kentucky.[56] Milton (“M. W. Veach”) was in Clark Co IN, 40, born in Indiana.[57] Sally Ann (Veach) Prather’s 1850 census is given above, on page 10; she was 34. Elvira was married to Henry Eller, her second husband, by 1850, living in Shelby Co IL, 32; the child Harman Smith, 13, was the boy in Jacob’s 1840 census.[58] Mary (Veach) Holeman, 30, and Rachel (Veach) Admire, 28, were on the same page in Johnson Co IN, both born in Indiana.[59]

Finding evidence to link the children named by O. P. Light to Jacob Veach begins with the Light lists. The fact of Rev. Light’s knowing these names was used in 1974 by the Veatch Family Association, when they sponsored a 913-page compilation of all known Veatches.[60]

Two of Jacob and Polly (Hilton) Veach’s children are named in American Guthrie,[61] Milton “Veatch” and Rachel (“Veatch”) Admire are named, which means that with Mary Ann (Veach) Holeman, three of Jacob’s children are independently confirmed. Rachel and her husband both died of typhoid fever in 1861 in Warrick Co IN, although Guthrie gives the date 1860. His information is different from O.P. Light’s, but agrees with it.

Jacob Veach and Polly Hilton, named by O. P. Light, were married in Jessamine Co KY in 1805.[62] James Hilton was surety, and her father “Freeman” Hilton was named.

While a college student and beginning family researcher, I copied all I could find about ancestors at my university library. I found Virkus’ The Compendium of American Genealogy, but not my Veach or Prather families, as far as I could tell. What I did find of interest was in a volume entitled Territorial Papers of Indiana, various petitions dated 1809-1816, which I copied, keeping spelling and capitalization as it appeared. And I only copied the names which I knew at that time to be ancestors’ names.[63]  The significance of these documents is the close and early connections found among these families, in the community of early Clark Co IN.

·         Clark Co IN petition, dated 12 Dec 1809, included: truman hilton, James Hilton, Joshua W redman, Lloyd Prather, Benjamin Redman, Basil R Prather, Aaron Prather, Roger Redman, Jacob Veatch, Wm Prather.

·         Another peition from 1809 included: Wm Prather, Truman Hilton, James Hilton, John Prather, Basil R Prather, Aaron Prather, Lloyd Prather.

·         A territorial memorial signed 31 Dec 1810 included Aaron Prather and Jacob Veatch.

·         A territorial petition, 11 Dec 1811, had: Aaron Prather, James Hilton, Basil Prather, Wm Prather, Basil R Prather.

·         Clark Co IN petition, dated 16 Dec 1813, included: Aaron Prather, Samuel Prather, Basil Prather, Loyd Prather.

·         Clark Co IN Memorial, 15 Oct 1812: Rezin Redman, Commandant of a Detachment from Clark.

·         Territory Memorial, 1 Feb 1815: Basil Prather. A footnote mentons Basil Prather, a native of Maryland and postmaster in 1816 at Salem. 17 April 1816: a note from the Postmaster General to Basil Prather.

In 1820, there were Veach families in four counties in Indiana.[64] Guthrie identifies the four families in Harrison County as sons of Nathan and Elizabeth (Craig) Veach, who moved there from Knoxville TN.[65] Benjamin in Orange Co IN was probably a brother of my Jacob.[66]  The Fayette County Veaches were distant cousins from a branch which originated in Frederick Co MD; they were in Harrison Co KY in 1810.[67]

All families in the 1820 census were spelled Veach; by 1830 both Veach and Veatch appear with no distinction.[68] All of the nine names in the 1820 Indiana census are repeated in 1830, plus a Thomas in Henry County and two younger men in Fayette County; two of the Harrison County Veatches have moved, one to Spencer County and the other to Greene County. Benjamin in Orange County has now been joined by another brother Asa. Jacob is still the only Veach or Veatch in Clark Co IN. And the Veaches identified by O. P. Light were all married in Clark County until after 1830, and in Johnson Co IN after 1835.[69]

While there is still uncertainty about the parentage of Jacob Veach, there is no doubt about his wife’s family. Truman Hilton and his wife, Christena Patrick, were part of a large number of Marylanders who went first to Rowan or Iredell Counties in North Carolina, tthen to Kentucky and finally just across the Ohio River to Clark County.[70] There were numerous intermarriages among this group. In 1850 in that county, there were 115 people born before 1810 who claimed to have been born in Maryland, out of a population of 2499 in that age group, or about 22%.[71]

These marriages are known to have taken place in Clark County between Veach, Hilton, Holeman (or Holman, as it is often written), Prather, Patrick, and Jacobs individuals:

HOLEMAN, —            m            JACOBS, THOMAS             Clark, 5-22-1809

HILTON, LETHA            m            HOLMAN, AARON            Clark, 8-6-1813

HOLMAN, MOSES            m            PATRICK, REBECCA            Clark, 8-23-1814

PRATHER, ARY            m            HILTON, JAMES            Clark, 3-30-1815

PRATHER, WILLIAM JR            m            HILTON, SARAH            Clark, 10-25-1816

HOLEMAN, CATHERINE            m            PATRICK, JEREMIAH            Clark, 11-4-1819

PRATHER, AARON J            m            PATRICK, ELIZABETH            Clark, 6-5-1820

PATRICK, WILLIAM            m            DAVIS, NANCY            Clark, 8-17-1820

PRATHER, JOHN JR            m            PATRICK, MARY            Clark, 8-29-1820

HOLEMAN, MATILDA            m            PATRICK, JOHN            Clark, 3-30-1822

HILTON, WILLIAM            m            JACOBS, REBECCA D.            Clark, 9-28-1828

HILTON, PRESSHA            m            PORTER, FRANCIS K.            Clark, 6-7-1829

PRATHER, JAMES R            m            VEACH, LAVICY            Clark, 2-11-1830

PORTER, ZEPHANIAH K            m            VEACH, FRANCES M            Clark, 6-3-1831

PRATHER, SAMANTHA            m            JACOBS, JEREMIAH            Clark, 4-6-1833

VEATCH, MILTON            m            NEELY, ELIZABETH            Clark, 11-30-1834

PRATHER, THOMAS F            m            JACOBS, CATHARINE            Clark, 12-6-1838

PRATHER, THOMAS F            m            PATRICK, MAHALA            Clark, 11-4-1842

PRATHER, JOSEPH A            m            PATRICK, SARAH ANN            Clark, 11-28-1844

PRATHER, MARGARET ANN            m            PATRICK, LEWIS R            Clark, 11-6-1845

Letha (or Aletha), William, Pressha, Sarah and James are all children of Truman and Christena (Patrick) Hilton. I have located ten probable children of this couple. My ancestor, Mary or Polly, was possibly the oldest child, married in Jessamine Co KY before the family moved to Clark Co IN. Louvica Veach was a granddaughter.

The nine Patricks are five children of Christena (Patrick) Hilton’s brother William Jr. and his wife Rebecca Jacobs, plus William’s own second marriage in 1820; Sarah and Lewis are two of the four children from the second marriage. Mahala Patrick was a widow when she married a Prather.


Part V: Additional documents relating to Oliver Perry Light

Oliver Perry Light was the third surviving child of David and Harriet (Dickinson) Light. In 1837, the family moved to Edgar Co IL, where David and Harriet lived for the rest of their lives.[72] In the 1850 census Oliver P. Light was listed as a schoolteacher,[73] and he is recorded in that year as a student at Georgetown Seminary, in nearby Vermillion Co IL.[74] According to Methodist Church records, he was “ordained a deacon and given full connection in 1854,”[75] after having begun serving as in 1852 in the first of many churches and circuits, moving from Williamsburg and other districts in Illinois to Dayton and Crow River, Minnesota,[76] in 1856 to Blue Grass District in Iowa in 1867 to Wymore, Nebraska, in 1884 to the Washington circuit in Kansas in 1888 and ending his career in 1889 in El Reno, Oklahoma, where he preached the first sermon. In 1853, he had met and married a schoolteacher, Miss Nancy Jane Prather (12 Sep 1833-4 Aug 1895),[77] whom he reportedly had known for only two weeks. Rev. Light served as a chaplain during the Civil War, enlisting 8 Aug 1862 in Co. H, 6th Regiment of Minnesota Volunteers, later serving as Chaplain of the 7th Minnesota, resigning 27 May 1864, due to disability.[78] A letter from O. P. Light, dated 14 May 1864, to the Governor of MN is included in “Reports and Correspondence—Minnesota in the Civil and Indian War,” p 495.[79] It also appears he took part in the famed Oklahoma Land Run, 22 Apr 1889.[80] Rev. Light died on 28 Mar 1904 in Wymore, Gage Co NE, where he is buried next to his wife.[81]

Since 1966, I have not seen any of O. P. Light’s family charts or many of the other papers I copied that day. I did, however, inherit some documents and typed pages when my grandmother died in 1990. Among these are:

·  A booklet from 1934 celebrating the 45th Anniversary of the First Methodist Episcopal Church in El Reno OK.[82]

·  A sample of her presentations from 1982.[83]

·  My grandmother’s typed copies of Rev. Light’s diary and lists of marriages he performed. I am attaching all of these that I have, for their genealogical value.[84]

·  A typed extract from O. P. Light’s notebook. These are the first four pages and reveal the variety if dates and infmration contained in the pocketbook,

·  Historical Review and Directory: Commemorating the 45th Anniversary of The First Methodist Church, 1889-1934, 24 Jun 1934, unnumbered page. “History of the First United Methodist Church of El Reno (OK)” written by either Ethel Armstrong or Evelyn Eichor.

O. P. Light’s original notes and documents, which have been lost, included a list of the churches he served,[85] which were confirmed as I followed up with the Methodist State Archives, locating whenever possible the town or village, and finding contemporary records to his being in those places. His pension papers also follow his many moves. Sources not copied here include: History of the United Methodist Church at Anoka (MN), 1854-1979. Original pages of the Historical Record of the Stockton Circuit Church for 1855, in O. P. Light’s handwriting. Ephraim H.Waring, History of the Iowa Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1909, p. 206. History of the First United Methodist Church of Wymore NE. “The United Methodist Church, Union City OK, 1890-1990.” 1870, 1880, 1900 FC. 1885 Iowa State census. Obituary, Weekly Wymorean, Wymore NE, 31 Mar 1904, p. 1.

[1] History of Edgar Co IL, William LeBaron Co, 1879, p. 687.

[2] Shelby Co IL Marriage Book. Proceedings of the Iowa Conference, 1895, pp. 260-261.

[3] Pension file, Oliver P. Light, no. 134,865. He continued deaf in his right ear for the rest of his life. Attached here are two of approximately 100 pages of pension documents.

[4] Smith’s First Directory of O. T. Homesteaders in Run of 1889, p 281 “Oliver P Light, n w 21 12 7” (; photocopy of original.

[5] Oliver Perry Light, notebook, in possession of Kathy Alvis Patterson, containing Biblical texts from which he preached with dates and places, several church lists and detailed expesnse acccounts; 28 Jun 1889 to 11 March 1897, not written in chronological order.

[6] “Geneology [sic] of the Grand Parents and their Children— some of them,” copied after 4 Jul 1906 by Harriet (Light) Vance.

[7] Lancaster Co PA Will Book K, Vol. 1, p. 23, Jacob Light Jr, 11 Nov 1808. Berkeley Co VA Will Book 4, p. 408, Peter Light, dated 9 Sep 1807.

[8] Moses Light, The Light Genealogy in America, “published for the author,” 1896, pp. 7-8, 10. A history of the Light family from the “Old Country.” Moses’s John Light settled in (then called) Lebanon Township, Lancaster Co Pa., now Lebanon Co Pa., and secured a tract of land, now a part of the city of Lebanon, patent dated April 2, 1742. Our John Light was from Caernarvon Township.

[9] History of Clermont Co OH, Louis H. Everts Co, 1880, p. 400.

[10] Year: 1860; Census Place: Charleston, Lee, Iowa; Roll: M653_330; Page: 65; Image: 471.

[11] Year: 1850; Census Place: Lick Creek, Van Buren, Iowa; Roll: M432_189; Pages: 343-344; Images: 199-200.

[12]Jane Warren Archaud, “My Grandmother and her Family: Barbara Light Williamson Robb,” sent to me by Frank L. Light, 27 Feb 2003.

[13] Frank L. Light, “Peter Light, Son of John,” posted online at, See also Mary Kemmerle, Jacob Light of Caernarvon Township and Some of his Descendants, 1986.

[14] Year: 1870; Census Place: Prairie, Edgar, Illinois; Roll: M593_218; Page: 212; Image: 426.

[15] Year: 1870; Census Place: Prairie, Edgar, Illinois; Roll: M593_218; Page: 211; Image: 425.

[16] Year: 1870; Census Place: Broullitts Creek, Edgar, Illinois; Roll: M593_218; Page: 13; Image: 25.

[17] Year: 1870; Census Place: Broullitts Creek, Edgar, Illinois; Roll: M593_218; Page: 11; Image: 23.

[18] Year: 1870; Census Place: Lamar, Barton, Missouri; Roll: M593_757; Page: 821; Image: 351.

[19] This may be because Harriet had died in 1873, and Oliver did not remember her family from Clermont Co OH, which he left in 1837, at the age of nine or so. He did not obtain the data while she was living. None of her brothers and sisters is known to have come to Illinois.

[20] Obituary, Wymore News, Wymore NE, 8 Aug 1895. A seccond, unidentified obituary; internal evidence suggests this obituary was from a Wymore NE newspaper. Portions of three additional, unidentified, obituaries, each with slightly different wording.

[21] Year: 1850; Census Place: Des Moines, Jefferson, Iowa; Roll: M432_185; Page: 94; Image: 189. Contrary to her obituary, at this date almost a year after her father’s death, she was not “with an uncle in that county, near Fairfield,” but with a family recently arrived in Iowa from New York, not known to be related.

[22] Year: 1850; Census Place: Des Moines, Jefferson, Iowa; Roll: M432_185; Page: 95; Image: 191.

[23] Year: 1870; Census Place: Tomales, Marin, California; Roll: M593_74; Page: 83; Image: 166.

[24] Year: 1850; Census Place: Liberty, Jefferson, Iowa; Roll: M432_185; Pages: 88-88; Images: 177-178.

[25] Year: 1870; Census Place: Liberty, Jefferson, Iowa; Roll: M593_399; Page: 123; Image: 246.

[26] Ruby M Johnson, 11056 8th NE, Seattle WA, undated Family Group Sheet.

[27] Year: 1850; Census Place: Liberty, Jefferson, Iowa; Roll: M432_185; Page: 82; Image: 164.

[28] Year: 1870; Census Place: Liberty, Jefferson, Iowa; Roll: M593_399; Page: 125; Image: 250.

[29] Year: 1880; Census Place: Des Moines, Jefferson, Iowa; Roll: T9_347; Family History Film: 1254347; Page: 432.2000; Enumeration District: 83; Image: 0286.

[30] Year: 1850; Census Place: Liberty, Jefferson, Iowa; Roll: M432_185; Page: 83; Image: 167.

[31] Year: 1870; Census Place: Liberty, Jefferson, Iowa; Roll: M593_399; Page: 115; Image: 230.

[32] Year: 1870; Census Place: Des Moines, Jefferson, Iowa; Roll: M593_399; Page: 52; Image: 105.

[33] Year: 1850; Census Place: Liberty, Jefferson, Iowa; Roll: M432_185; Page: 79; Image: 159.

[34] Year: 1870; Census Place: Fairview, Jasper, Iowa; Roll: M593_398; Page: 262; Image: 162.

[35] Letter from Becky Van Vliet, Muncie IN, 18 Apr 1988, to Kathy Patterson. Bible record of the family of Marion W Prather and wife Nancy J Smith, at that time in the possession of Becky’s grandmother Nancy Jane (Taylor) Thomas. Marriage license, Harrison Co IN, 1 Jan 1857, Job Clark and Elizabeth Jane Praitor [sic].

[36] Lewis C. Baird, Baird’s History of Clark Co IN, B. F. Bowen, 1909, page 54. No title page. Also, A roster of Revolutionary ancestors of the Indiana Daughters of the American Revolution: commemoration of the United States of [database on-line]. Provo, UT: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005. Original data: A roster of Revolutionary ancestors of the Indiana Daughters of the American Revolution: commemoration of the United States of America bicentennial, July 4, 1976. Evansville, Ind.: Unigraphic, 1976, pp. 517-518.

[37] Year: 1820; Census Place: Jeffersonville, Clark, Indiana; Roll: M33_13; Page: 49; Image: 58. Census analysis of the family of Lloyd and Nancy Prather provided to me in 1973 by Clare Prather.

[38] Year: 1830; Census Place: Charlestown, Clark, Indiana; Roll: 28; Page: 57.

[39] Year: 1830; Census Place: Charlestown, Clark, Indiana; Roll: 28; Page: 56.

[40] Year: 1840; Census Place: Harrison, Indiana; Roll: 82; Pages: 311317. Also Search Results for Prather in Harrison Co IN, 1840.

[41] Reason Prather married Sarah Ann Veach, a sister of James’s first wife, Louvica Caroline Veach.

[42] Year: 1850; Census Place: District 13, Lucas, Iowa; Roll: M432_187; Pages: 131, 132; Image: 128, 129

[43] Charles J. Fulton, History of Jefferson County, Iowa, Chicago: S. J. Clarke, 1914, pp. 245, 246.

[44] Letter from Mr. Clare Prather, 21 Aug 1973, to Kathy Patterson, accompanied by Family Groups Sheets.

[45] Miss Anna M. Cartlidge, Marriage Records of People Named Prather, Prater, Prator, Praytor, Baltimore MD, 1976.

[46] NSDAR Descedants Database Search, Dorothy Calmback Goodrich, Nat’l #581627, Ancestor #A092400, is descended from Thomas Helms Prather.

[47] “Pioneer cemetery, Baldwin City, Kansas, Palmyra Township,” page 265 of an unidentified book. Also Thomas’s obituary, Baldwin Ledger, Baldwin KS, 14 Dec 1888.

[48] Portrait and Biographical Album of Jefferson and Van Buren Counties, Iowa, Chicago: Lake City Publishing, 1890, page 296.

[49] NSDAR Descendants Database Search: Carolyn Kay McAlister Madsen, Nat’l #825227,   Ancestor #A092400, is descended from Jonathan C. Prather. I am trying to communicate with her.

[50] This is a statement made to me by my grandmother in 1966. It is a valid explanation for why Nancy Jane was found in Illinois that summer. See the Zephaniah Porter household in 1850, below, for confirmation of the family’s being in that area.

     My grandmother’s statement is also a measure of how strongly treasured any family traditions were among the Light and Prather descendants. Ethel Armstrong had no interest in tracing ancestors beyone her grandparents and no access to census records or other means of knowing family members were in Shelbyville IL.

[51] Year: 1820; Census Place: Jeffersonville, Clark, Indiana; Roll: M33_13; Page: 14; Image: 23.

[52] Damaris Knobe, The ancestry of Grafton Johnson: with its four branches, the Johnson, the Holman, the Keen, the Morris: the history and genealogy of paternal progenitors, as confined to the United States, of the second Grafton Johnson of Greenwood, Indiana, great-great-grandson of the first Isaac Johnson, who reverts to the middle of the eighteenth century in Virginia, Indianapolis: Hollenbeck Press, 1924, page 110. HeritageQuest Online.

[53] Year: 1830; Census Place: Jeffersonville, Clark, Indiana; Roll: 28; Page: 41.

[54] Year: 1840; Census Place: Johnson, Indiana; Roll: 84; Page: 307.

[55] Year: 1840; Census Place: Clark, Indiana; Roll: 75; Page: 304.

[56] Year: 1850; Census Place: Becks Creek, Shelby, Illinois; Roll: M432_128; Page: 151; Image: 573.

[57] Year: 1850; Census Place: Jeffersonville, Clark, Indiana; Roll: M432_138; Page: 163, 164; Image: 330, 331.

[58] Year: 1850; Census Place: Becks Creek, Shelby, Illinois; Roll: M432_128; Page: 153; Image: 578.

[59] Year: 1850; Census Place: Hensley, Johnson, Indiana; Roll: M432_155; Page: 124; Image: 553

[60] Wanda Veatch Clark, ed., We Veitches, Veatches, Veaches, Veeches, Redmond OR; Midstate Publishing, 1974, pp. 704-705.

[61] Laurence R. Guthrie, American Guthrie and Allied Families, Chambersburg PA: Kerr Printing Co., ca 1933, p. 612.

[62] Marriage record, Dec 18 1805, Jessamine Co KY, “James Hilton, surety. Consent for daughter to marry given by treaman hilton. Jacob Veach resident of Woodford Co KY.” Jessamine Co KY Marriage Licenses, 1749-1867. NSDAR Library. Also at

[63] Territorial Papers of Indiana, various petitions dated 1809-1816, from University of South Dakota Library, copied 1967, spelling as published. This researcher will be very happy when Indiana posts these records online, since I didn’t have access to a copier in 1967.

[64] Search Results: Veach in Indiana 1820. No Veatch.

[65] Guthrie 612.

[66] Guthrie 704.

[67] Guthrie 218.

[68] Search Results: Veach and Veatch in Indiana 1830.

[69] IN State Library
Genealogy Database:
Marriages through 1850, in_marriages_1850/marriages_search.asp. For some reason, none of our Johnson Co IN marriages, except the second marriage of Jesse Woollard are in this database.

[70] Gravestones, New Chapel United Methodist Church, Clark Co IN.

[71] Search Results: born in Maryland 1770-1810, in Clark Co IN.

[72] History of Edgar Co IL, above.

[73] Year: 1850; Census Place: District 19, Edgar, Illinois; Roll: M432_105; Page: 170; Image: 343. All censuses here are from, database online.

[74] B. F. Henderson, “History of the Georgetown Seminary—Part I,” The Heritage (Spring 1967), pp. 15-17, and “Part II,” (Summer 1967), pp. 7-8, 10. Letter, 3 Jan 1967, from B. F. Henderson, Georgetown IL, to Kathy Alvis.

[75] Letter, 5 Jan 1988, from Catharine W. Knight, Archivist, Central Illinois Conference, the United Methodist church, Commission on archives and History, to Kathy Patterson.

[76] Letter, 18 Aug 1987, from Thelma Boeder, Archivist, Minnesota Annual Conference, The United Methodist Church, to Kathy Patterson, including Oliver Perry Light’s service record and a page from the Centennial History of the Elk River (MN) United Methodist Church, 1975.

[77] Shelby Co IL Marriage Book. Proceedings of the Iowa Conference, 1895, pp. 260-261. Both are given above.

[78] Pension file, Oliver P. Light, no. 134,865. See above.

[79] “Reports and Correspondence—Minnesota in the Civil and Indian War,” p 495, in Ramona Armstrong Duff, Armstrong Album and Light Lines, p. 33.

[80] Smith’s First Directory of O. T. Homesteaders in Run of 1889, p 281, above. Also included with notes are extracted 1890 Territorial Census, page 827, and the 1890 Veterans census.

[81] Light grave stone, Wymore Methodist Church Cemetery, Gage Co NE, visited and photographed Nov 1988. The exact dates of the births and deaths of Rev. and Mrs. Light are in family and Methodist church records. Proceedings of the Iowa Conference, 1895, 260-261.

[82] Historical Review and Directory Commemorating the 45th Anniversary of the First Methodist Episcopal Church, 1889-1934, published 24 Jun 1934, no page numbers,

[83] Presentation given in 1982, beginning “In the Contact Bishop Hardt exprssed a desire to of the vital part of methodism in the diamond anniversary of Statement….” I can recognize my grandmother’s antique typewriter and typing style. She later purchased a tiny portable, and I know pages from that machine as well.

[84] Five pages, including “Record of Marriages,” “Charter members of the First M. E. Church, El Reno,” salaries and collections, and committee for college funds.

[85] Some of the original notes I took in 1966 with a typed copy of the churches.




Published in: on March 28, 2009 at 5:59 pm  Comments (3)  

Bible of Elijah and Susannah (Leachman) Willoughby

Pages from a Bible previously owned by Della Melissa (Hutson) Norwood, restored and preserved for Michelle Pierce, 2005 by Bob Inge, Lake City Co, who reported: “many tears, pieces missing, holes, much information missing or faded.”


[Page one:] This book was purchased Anno Domini 180–

            By David Rice   Greene [County, Tennessee]


Job Comes T Willou… born Dec the 18th 1847

Job Comes Willoughby w… the 18th 1847 1847

Job C. T. Willoughby was born December the 18th 1847


[Page two: The first column is almost totally destroyed. The name Willoughby can be read four or five times plus the years 1840, 1842, [illegible], 14th day of [missing month, known from another page to have been February] 1846.


The second column was probably written first and contains numbered births, as follows:

Missing, a few letters only visible]

–) Elijah Berryman Willoughby was born June the 4th 1832

3) Mary-ann Elizabeth Willoughby was born March 15th 1834

4) Margaret Eeveline Willoughby was born April [xx][xx] 1836. [This is a different ink, smeared and faded, but possibly says the 21st or 23rd.]

5) Benjamin Franklin Willoughby, Born January 31st 1838 ~ 1838


[Page three: written in a more modern hand, possibly in pencil:]


Job Combs Willoughby Dec 18, 1847.

Mary Jane Florence Smith March 22, 1858.

John Wesley Hutson Oct 2, 1869.

Edith Melissa WilloughbyAug 10, 1880.

Leslie Willoughby Hutson May 15, 1905

Otto Albert Hutson April 21, 1913.



Job Combs Willoughby and Mary Jane Florence Smith were married Aug 22 ‘79

John Wesley Hutson and Edith Melissa Willoughby were married October 11, 1896.



Job Combs Willoughby July 24, 1886.

Mary Jane Florence Willoughby (Reeves) March 13, 1905.


[Page four: This appears to be practice writing similar to page one. There are also drawings of two women or dolls, one large and one small.]

Job Comes tomas was born J. Combs the 18th  1847

Willoughby Emily Willoughby


J[illegible] Sister

Job Combs


Benjamin Franklin Jeffers[off page]

Willoughby was born January the 31st day Adomin 1838


[Page five:] Nelson M Brown and Sarah J Willoughby was maried Dec the 29 1859


[Page six, the first column has:]

Benjamin Jefferson Willoughby son of Elijah Willoughby was born December 7th 1810

Katharine Rusel [sic = Russell] James daughter of Berryman James was born Dec 22nd 1810

Benjamin Willoughby and Katharine James was married October 15th 1829

— — — —

Nelson M Brown and Sarah J Willoughby was Maried Dec the [illeg.] 185[?]

Nelson Brown son of [illegible] Brown was Born February the 11 183[?]


[Second column]

Benjamin Willoughby

 — — — —

Robert Parker and Polly Richey was married Decr 31st 1836

Samuel M Stewart and Elizabeth See W[as married?] March 24, 1850[1]

— — — —

William P Willoughby and Nancy Howard was married December the 30th 1852 = 1805 a 1852

Robert Sarchet and Margaret Willoughby was married April the 8th 1855 = 1855


[Page seven:]

David Rice born September the 1st Anno Domini 1775[2]  [This birth is in a very different hand from the rest of these notes.


At least half of the page with two columns headed Births is missing. The second column starts:]

5 Susannah Willoughby was born Jan 31th anno domin 1798

6 Sarah Willoughby was born Sep the 15 Anno Domini 1800

7 Elijah Willoughby was born March 12th ano domin 1802

8 George Willoughby [the rest of the page is missing, except a fragment along the right margin, probably George’s birth year —04 or —06 and —hby De <end of line> thirty first –ear of his age —ty seven. Did George die in 1837, when he was 31?]


[Page eight starts with more practice writing in the first column:] Benjamin [next line] Biermann

Elijah Willoughby and Susanna Leachman was Maried Oct[o]ber the 23 day anno domini 1787   1787 [The writer copied over some of the words, possibly helping to preserve them, There is no “h” on Susannah, and “Anno Domini” is not copied over, but very faint.]

Enoch Willoughby [remainder of this marriage record is missing. Very large writing.


Second column, more practice words:] Mary

Martha Willoughby [This is written in large, dark letters, almost over the faint record below.

Very faint:] Rhoda Willoughby and Moreland was married Sep 4 Anno Domine 1804.

Polly Willoughby and James Richey was married May the 20 Anno Dom…


[Page nine, across the top of the page:] The war for the [Come   enas — commenced?  —Comberland?] in the year Eighteen and Sisety 1860 and they are still fiting yet and this is the years 1865

[Along the side of the page:] 1860 Abraham Lincoln President


[Page ten, hand-drawn lines on an originally blank page. At the bottom of the page are initials, MW:]


9 Benjamin Jefferson Willoughby was born December the 7 – 1810

Elijah Beneman Willoughby son of Benjamin J Willoughby was born June the 4 1839

Martha E Willoughby was born February the 14 1846



Benjamin Jeffers Willoughby died August 30th 184[? Probably 9]

Elijah Berman Willoughby died June the 6 1846


[There are also two pages of a Clay Co IN deed, apparently made in 1830,  between Berryman James and Benjamin Willoughby. It is only in occasional spots where the reader can distinguish a few words, conventional language for a deed. James’s daughter married Willoughby’s son.]


Internal evidence suggests the Bible was purchased before 1810 by David Rice of Greene Co TN. At some time the Bible was acquired by the Willoughby family.

The earliest Wiloughby notations were made in now-faded ink of events from 1787 through the death of a 31-year-old in 1837. Many portions of this record are missing, including the exact birth dates for the first four children, including my ancestor, Elizabeth, ca 1813.

Possibly after the marriage of Benjamin Jefferson Willoughby and Katharine James in 1829, a new hand wrote the family events, including the children of Benjamin and Katharine.

The latest event in this hand is the birth of Martha Willoughby 14 Feb 1846. A child or young woman, probably Martha, used the Bible for copying. She particularly enjoyed making copies of her younger brother Job Combs Thomas Willoughby’s birth record; it is only from this writing that we know he had a third given name. Martha died in 1927 in Walla Walla WA. There are no records in the Bible after 1860. It is tempting to think she was married then and left the Bible at home.

The Bible must have passed to Job’s family, since a new hand, possibly using a pencil, wrote the events in the life of Job and his wife, through 21 April 1913. This was probably Edith Melissa (Willoughby) Hutson, since her mother’s death is recorded here, and she likely wrote all entries at one time.

Della Melissa (Hutson) Norwood was the granddaughter of Edith Melissa (Willoughy) Hutson. After her death in 1991, the Bible was given to Michelle Pierce of Lake City CO, who writes,  “It was in a paper grocery bag and smelled very musty. It had no binder and the pages were very water damaged. It didn’t take long to figure out what a treasure I had. Although I was broken hearted to see what was lost on torn and missing pages, I was thrilled by the remaining information.”

[1] “Rootsweb Tree Zimmerman” at identifies her as a daughter of George and Sarah (Willoughby) See.

[2] “East Tennessee Hicks, Bowmans and Cooks” at has a David Wilson Rice born in Bedford Co VA this exact day and died in Greene Co TN in 1864, having outlived three of his four wives. He was in Greene Co TN, the same county as the Willoughbys, which makes me guess the Bible was acquired second hand by the Willoughby family.

Published in: on December 6, 2008 at 1:33 am  Comments (9)  

The Smith family of Northampton Co MA in 1850

Northampton, Hampshire Co MA, 1850, p 115

David L Smith, 31

Mary L Smith, 32

Eliza G Smith, 9

Adell Smith, 7

Juliaette Smith, 5

Ellen A Smith, 3


Milo J Smith, 41

Sally Smith, 42

Milo J Smith, 18

J L Smith, 17

Josephine Smith, 12


Chester Smith, 59

Clara Smith, 52

Chester W Smith, 29

Theodotia Smith, 27

Eliza Smith, 19


Harvy Smith, 52

Lucy Smith, 46

Everline F Smith, 18

Catharine A Smith, 16

John Smith, 14

Emmerson Smith, 12     [other census implies Jerome Emerson or Emerson A]

Gertrude Smith, 8         [the John I’m looking for had a daughter Gertrude]

George Smith, 4

Marion Smith, 2            [the John I’m looking for had a daughter Marian]

Charles H Smith, 39

Sophia Smith, 34

Martha Smith, 12

Clementine Smith, 9


Lewis Smith, 18

Wells Smith, 14


Hervey had an older daughter, Eunice J, b 28 Sep 1825, Northampton MA, m 1845 Henry Hamilton Wilcox, d aft 1900 Adrian, Lewanee Co MI.

Published in: on November 7, 2008 at 6:42 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Children of Elizabeth (Sprague) (Doyle) Wilson

Several of Elizabeth (Sprague) (Doyle) Wilson’s descendants were in Putney, Windham County, Vermont, in the 1770s and after. Elizabeth’s only child by her first husband, Bartholomew Doyle, was Elizabeth, married 26 Mar 1749, Rehoboth, Bristol County, Massachusetts, to Obadiah Joy.[1] They had a large family, and together with most of their children, they moved to Putney VT before 1777. An individual — Joy, no first name given, died there in 1777, possibly Elizabeth. Obadiah Joy, “of Putney,” was married 31 Oct 1798, Marlboro, Windham Co VT, to Molly Park.[2]

Sometime after the death of Bartholomew Doyle and the death of the first wife of Benjamin Wilson, the mother of Elizabeth (Doyle) Joy, Elizabeth (Sprague) Doyle, married Benjamin Wilson or Willson, Sr. There is confusion in the records concerning events which should have followed clearly in sequence, but as recorded, did not.

·      Elizabeth, the first wife of Benjamin Wilson, died in Rehoboth MA, 10 Jul 1731.[3]

·      Benjamin Willson “of England” married Elizabeth “Sprague” 15 Dec 1730,[4] that is, before the death of the first wife.

·      The first child of Benjamin and Elizabeth (Sprague) (Doyle) Wilson was Nathaniel, who died in West Stockbridge, MA, 21 Apr 1821, “in his 89th yr.” His birth is thus between 22 Apr 1731 and 21 Apr 1732; since James Blanding’s Rehoboth records say Nathaniel was born 10 Jun 1733, it has been posited that his most likely date of birth was 10 Jun 1731,[5] also before the death of the first wife.

·      The next child of Benjamin and his second wife Elizabeth was John, born 29 Oct 1733 in Rehoboth.

·      The couple also had six additional children, born regularly from 1735 to 1746.

·      Reports to the Wilson Association, USA, published in 1866, states on page 24 that Elizabeth Sprague Darryl [sic] married, as his second wife, Benjamin Willson, and had seven sons and one daughter: Nathaniel, John, Lucas, Ammi, Benjamin, Jonathan, Ezekiel, and Chloe. This book affirms that he married the Widow Darril, whose maiden name was Sprague. Genealogists in Massachusetts, in cooperation with Dr. William Alexander McAuslan, Historian General of Mayflower Society apparently in the 1930s, accepted this Benjamin Willson and Elizabeth Sprague Darril (or Doyle) Willson as the parents of Benjamin Willson, born Rehoboth, MA, 11 Apr 1739, married 1762 Sarah Saben. But the General Society of Mayflower Descendants has since rejected the Willson children as line carriers, while accepting Elizabeth’s daughter from her first marriage, Elizabeth (Doyle) Joy.[6]

The problem with acceptance of the lineage of descendants of Benjamin Wilson (or Willson) and Elizabeth (Sprague) (Doyle) Wilson lies in the faulty chronology of the vital records of Rehoboth, Bristol Co MA, along with the fact that some records were added decades later than the events.

Theory that makes Nathaniel a son of the first wife

Ken Stevens, Wilsons From New England, Vol “J” Descendants of John Wilson of Woburn, Massachusetts, n.d.[7], states on page 44 that Nathaniel was the last child of Benjamin’s first wife, born probably 10 Jun 1731, a month before that lady’s death on 10 Jul 1731. Stevens passes over the errors in Benjamin’s second marriage record: Benjamin was from Woburn not England, and the second Elizabeth was the widow Doyle, no longer Elizabeth Sprague. So it appears to be of no moment when he transfers the year of the marriage from 1730, when the first wife was still living, to Dec 1731 or 1732.

Stevens’s rationale is that the second marriage and the birth of Nathaniel were added to the other Willson records in Rehoboth after Mar 1812, almost a century after the events. This town clerk was Josiah Blanding, a nephew of Lucy Blanding, the wife of Jonathan Wilson, one of Benjamin and the second Elizabeth’s sons. At the instigation of Jonathan, these delayed entries changed Benjamin’s origin to England. The reason was an attempt to acquire a potential British fortune.[8] [9]

Theory that there were four couples named Benjamin and Elizabeth

In The New England Historical and Genealogical Record, Vol 135, p 302, Kenneth C Stevens continues his discussion of the issue in an article entitled “Must the Circle Stay Unbroken [sic]? Three Benjamin Wilsons of Rehoboth MA.” Here Stevens starts with the clear facts that a marriage existed between Benjamin Willson and Elizabeth, a descendant of Richard Warren of the Mayflower, and that this marriage produced seven or eight children. Stevens previously adjusted facts until they fit an acceptable pattern; this time, the same writer accepts each fact as written and allows no mistakes in the records; enough characters and marriages must be created to cover all events.

Stevens lists four women named Elizabeth in Rehoboth who were married to men named Benjamin Wilson.

1.      Benjamin Wilson Sr (1670-1750) is buried in Ashford CT where he died. He married Elizabeth, ca 1693, who died in Ashford in 1766. This couple moved from Woburn to Rehoboth ca 1697, and there joined his brother Francis. He moved to Connecticut about 1733.

2.      This couple’s son Benjamin Jr (1695-living 1772) had a first wife Elizabeth, possibly Ross or Roff, with whom he lived some years in Woodbridge, Middlesex Co NJ. They move to Putney by 1727, and Elizabeth died there by 10 Jul 1731, after having at least one child, Sarah.

3.      A different Benjamin Wilson “of England” married an Elizabeth Sprague. They became the parents of Nathaniel on 10 Jun 1733. But the dates show they could not have been the parents of  John Willson born 29 Oct 1733.

4.      Since Stevens requires another Benjamin and Elizabeth to be the parents of seven additional children born in Rehoboth, he accepted Ebenezer J Ormsbee’s family records, published in H. O. Smith’s Reports to the Wilson Association, USA, 1866, and states straightforwardly that Benjamin Wilson had a first wife, Elizabeth [Roff?] by whom he had three sons in NJ, then he married the widow Darril, maiden name Sprague, by who he had seven sons and one daughter.

       Stevens admitted that his two theories cannot both be true. Either the town records or the family records, kept carefully somewhere, possibly in a Bible, were mistaken.[10]

Theory that Benjamin Wilson had two families at the same time

In another article a few years later, “Benjamin Wilson of Rehoboth: Further Clues,” in NEHGR Vol 140, p 264, the same Kenneth C Stevens cites Robert S Trim of Rehoboth, who brought forth the facts that James Blanding, the town clerk who recorded the two questionable facts, Benjamin’s second marriage, and son Nathanial’s birth, would not have had any personal evidence when he inserted the missing dates into the Vital Records. Prior to Blanding’s term in office, the records contained only the death of the first wife, 10 Jul 1731, and the births of all the children of Benjamin and the second Elizabeth which took place after 1733, sufficient time since the death of the first wife as to appear respectable. Fueled by tales of English wealth, Jonathan Wilson and his nephew Blanding added a marriage date and birth date for the first child. Doubtless, Benjamin and his second Elizabeth did not marry in Dec 1730; that would have been bigamy. But when their first boy Nathaniel made his appearance in Jun 1731, a wedding in the previous year must have become part of the “Established Wilson Family Tradition.” This is only guessing, but Blanding wrote “of England” to tie Benjamin to the treasure, he wrote “Sprague” instead of Doyle to seem more British and less Irish, and he added two years to Nathaniel’s birthday, since 1733 might make things look even better.

Mayflower Families Reasons for Rejecting the Willsons

Mayflower Families, Vol 18: 2, the Richard Warren volume, with descendants of his daughter, Mary Bartlett, concluded: “The data on the purported marriage [of Elizabeth (Sprague) Doyle] to Benjamin Wilson is so flawed it cannot be accepted as proof.”

I claim that the problem, as stated earlier, is really how to place Nathaniel. Robert S Wakefield posits that either

·      Nathaniel was a son of the first wife.

·      Nathaniel was an illegitimate child of Benjamin Wilson and Elizabeth Doyle.[11]

·      Or, the death date of the first wife is wrong by a year or more.

Given the evidence I will present of continuing relationships between some of the children of Elizabeth’s Joy and Wilson descendants, I see no reason to continue denying Mayflower Society membership to the seven younger children of Benjamin and Elizabeth.

First, the family of Elizabeth Sprague’s first daughter, Elizabeth Doyle and her husband Obadiah Joy—documented descendants eligible for the Mayflower Society— was:

1. Obadiah JOY was born on 18 Jan 1726/1727 in Rehoboth, Bristol Co MA. Obadiah died in Chautauqua Co NY, in 1816. On 26 Mar 1749 when Obadiah was 23, he first married Elizabeth DOYLE, daughter of Bartholomew DOYLE & Elizabeth SPRAGUE, in Rehoboth MA, Born ca 1730 in Rehoboth, Bristol Co MA, Elizabeth died probably about 1777, possibly in Putney VT. On 31 Oct 1798 when Obadiah was 72, he second married Mary PARK in Marlboro, Windham Co VT. 1790 census: Windham Co CT, Putney, p 53, Obediah Joy: 1/0/2. They had the following children:

                         i.    Major Moses (1749-1816)

                        ii.  Huldah (1751-1813)

                        iii.  Relief (1753-1832)

                        iv.   Joshua (1755-)

                        v.   Joseph (1757-1837)

                        vi.   Mary (1759-)

                        vii.   Capt Amos (1761-1837)

                        viii.    Betsey (1763-1855)

                        ix.  David (<1764-1844)

                        x.    Obadiah Jr (1767-1846)

Second Generation

2. Major Moses JOY. Born in Dec 1749 in Rehoboth, Bristol Co MA, Moses died in Putney, Windham Co VT, on 30 Nov 1816. On 23 Nov 1775, he first married Lydia BURR in Rehoboth. She was born on 24 Jun 1754 in Rehoboth. On 9 Feb 1790, Moses second married Hannah TAFT in Putney, Windham Co VT.  1790 census: Windham Co CT, Putney, p 53, Moses Joy: 3/4/4.  Moses and Lydia had the following children:

                        i.  Cromwell (1778-)

                        ii.   Joshua (1782-)

                        iii.  Moses (1787-)

Moses and Hannah had one child:

                        i.  Lydia Burr (1791-)

3. Huldah JOY was born in 1751 in Rehoboth, Bristol Co MA. She died in Putney, Windham Co VT, on 13 Mar 1813. On 27 Mar 1773, Huldah married Abiah FULLER in Rehoboth, who was born there on 11 Jan 1748/9.  1790, Rehoboth, Bristol Co MA, p 508: 1/3/4. They had the following children:

                        i.  Bethiah (1774-)

                        ii.  Abiah (1775-)

                        iii. Susannah (1776-)

                        iv.  Sally (1780-)

                        v.  Abel (1783-)

                        vi.  Joshua (1785-)

                        vii.  Nancy (1787-)

4. Relief JOY was born in 1753 in Rehoboth, Bristol Co MA. Relief died in Royalston, Worcester Co MA, on 7 Aug 1832. Relief married Daniel PECK. Born on 17 May 1741 in Rehoboth, Bristol Co MA, Daniel died in Royalston, on 27 Nov 1814. 1790, Royalston, Worcester Co MA, p 497:  3/3/5. They had the following children:

                        i.  Daniel (1772-)

                        ii.   Ichabod (1774-)

                        iii.   Sally (1775-<1781)

                        iv.  Solomon (1776-)

                        v.  Royal (1778-)

                        vi.  Calvin (1779-)

                        vii.  Sally (1781-)

                        viii.  Moses (1783-)

                        ix.  Rebekah (1785-)

                        x.   Charlotte (1787-)

                        xi.   Lydia Burr (1789-)

                        xii.  Leaffee (1792-)

                        xiii.  Huldah (1794-)

5. Joshua JOY. Born in 1755, on 9 Sep 1786, he married Sarah SMITH in Rehoboth, Bristol Co MA. She was born on 22 Dec 1760 in Rehoboth. They have not been located in the 1790 census.

6. Joseph JOY. Born in 1757 in Rehoboth, Bristol Co MA, Joseph died in Putney, Windham Co VT, on 28 May 1837. In Mar 1779 when Joseph was 22, he first married Millicent CLAY in Putney. Going against his father’s Toryist views, he was an officer in the Revolutionary War.[12] 1810, Putney, Windham Co VT, p 453, Joseph Joy: 02101/01201. On 15 May 1781 Joseph second married Hepsibah DICKINSON, daughter of Azariah DICKINSON & Temperance SHIPMAN, in Putney, Windham Co VT. She was born on 25 Jun 1760 in Westminster, Windham Co VT. On 11 Mar 1819, he third married Lucinda DUTTON in Dummerston, Windham Co VT. Joseph and Millicent had the following children:

                        i.  David (1778-)

                        ii.  Polly (1780-)

Joseph and Hepsibah had the following children:

                        i.  Huldah (1788-)

                        ii. Joseph (1794-)

                        iii. Temperance (1797-1886)

7. Mary JOY was born in 1759. In Apr 1778 when Mary was 19, she married Richard HARDEN (also written Harding) in Putney, Windham Co VT. 1790, Putney, Windham Co VT, Richard Harden: 1/1/6. Born in say 1750s, Richard was from Topsham, Orange Co VT.

8. Capt Amos JOY. Born on 27 May 1761 in Rehoboth, Bristol Co MA, Amos died in Putney, Windham Co VT, on 14 Jun 1837. 1790 census: Windham Co CT, Putney, p 53, Amos Joy Jun: 1/3/2. On 16 Apr 1787 when Amos was 25, he married Rachel FLETCHER in Putney, Windham Co VT. She was born on 28 Oct 1765 in Dunstable, Middlesex Co MA. They had the following children:

                        i.  Wilder (1789-)

                        ii.  Francis Fletcher (1791-)

                        iii.   Rachel (1793-<1807)

                        iv.  Elizabeth (1795-)

                        v.   Lucinda (1797-)

                        vi.  Martha (1799-)

                        vii.  Rebecca S (1800-)

                        viii.  Nathaniel Cummings (1803-)

                        ix.  Thomas (1804-)

                        x.  Rachel (1807-)

                        xi.  Amariah (1809-)

9. Elizabeth JOY. Born on 29 Nov 1763 in Rehoboth, Bristol Co MA, Betsey died in Deruyter, Madison Co NY, on 20 Mar 1855. On 2 Sep 1777 when Betsey was 13, she married Charles JONES in Putney, Windham Co VT. 1790, Putney, Windham Co VT, p 110: 1/4/2.

10. David JOY. Born before 1 Apr 1764 in Rehoboth, Bristol Co MA, David died in Cass Co MI, on 1 Apr 1844; he was 80. On 25 Apr 1785 when David was 21, he married Mary DICKINSON, daughter of Azariah DICKINSON & Temperance SHIPMAN, in Putney, Windham Co VT. Born on 14 Dec 1761 in Westminster, Windham Co VT, Mary died in Chautauqua Co NY, on 1 Jun 1831. 1790 census: Windham Co VT, Putney, p 53: 1/2/3. 1800 census: Windham Co VT, Putney. David Joy: 22011/11110. 1810 census: Windham Co VT, Putney. David Joy: 11211/01001/40/50. 1820 census: Chautauqua Co NY, Portland Twp, p 125. David Joy, 110011/00011/01. 1830 census: Chautauqua Co NY, Portland Twp, p 430. Moses Joy: 210102001/31010001. 1840 census: Cass Co MI, p 223. Moses Joy, 01210011001/101101. They had the following children:

                        i.   Isaac (1786-1850)

                        ii.  Moses (1793-1854)

                        iii.  Ezra (1787-)

                        iv.  Dorrill (1790-)

                        v.  Polly (1774-)

                        vi.  Roxalana (<1790-1867)

                        vii. Anna (1795-1845)

                        viii.  Obadiah (1803-)

11. Obadiah JOY Jr. Born in 1767 in Rehoboth, Bristol Co MA, Obadiah died in Putney, Windham Co VT, on 11 Dec 1846. On 21 Sep 1788[13] Obadiah married Content HOVEY in Putney VT. Born on 10 Mar 1772 in Oxford, Worcester Co MA. Content died in Putney, Windham Co VT, on 15 Jan 1841. 1790 census: Windham Co CT, Putney, p 53, Obediah Joy Jun: 1/1/1. They had the following children:

                        i.  Comfort (1788-)

                        ii.  Daniel (<1799-)

                        iii.  Waterman (<1799-)

                        iv.  Abigail (<1799-)

                        v.   Solomon (1799-)

                        vi.  Angelina (1803-)

                        vii.  Joshua (ca1805-)

                        viii.  Royal Dire (ca1807-)

                        ix.  Sabra (ca1810-)

                         x.  Lura (ca1815-)

The grandmother of this Joy family was Elizabeth SPRAGUE, born on 15 Aug 1704 in Hingham, Plymouth Co MA. Elizabeth died after 9 Nov 1772. On 1 Jan 1727/8 Elizabeth first married Bartholomew DOYLE in Hingham. Bartholomew died in Hingham, about 1730. They had one child, Elizabeth (ca1730-ca1776). On 15 Dec 1730 when Elizabeth was 26, she second married Benjamin WILSON (often spelled Willson) in Rehoboth MA.[14] Born on 21 Nov 1695 in Woburn, Middlesex Co MA, Benjamin died in Rehoboth, Bristol Co MA, after 9 Nov 1772. They had the following children:

                        i.  Nathaniel (ca1731-1821), probably

                        ii.  John (1733-1826)

                        iii.  Lucas (1735-1818)

                        iv.  Ammi (1737-1812)

                        v.   Benjamin (ca1739-1821)

                        vi.  Jonathan (1741-1830)

                        vii. Ezekiel (1744-1830)

                        viii.  Chloe (1746->1801)

The children of Elizabeth (Sprague) (Doyle) Wilson and her second husband Benjamin Wilson, that is, the younger half-brothers and sisters of Elizabeth (Doyle) Joy had the following families:

1, probably. Nathaniel WILSON. He was born ca 10 Jun 1731 in Rehoboth, Bristol Co MA, that is, one month before the death of his father’s first wife. Nathaniel died in West Stockbridge, Bristol Co MA, on 21 Apr 1821. He married first Jemima Turner, 10 Jun 1756, Rehoboth MA; and second Mehitable Cone, about 1775, Rehoboth MA. Jemima was the aunt of Thomas and Sarah Turner; she was a daughter of David and Sarah (Howard) Turner, who were the parents of Thomas Turner Sr. 1790, West Stockbridge, Bristol Co MA, p 699, Nathaniel Willson: 3/4/3. He had eight children with his first wife and two with the second; one of his sons was named Fairing, born 28 Feb 1768 in Rehoboth.[15]

2. John WILSON. Born on 29 Oct 1733 in Rehoboth, Bristol Co MA. John died in Rehoboth, Bristol Co MA, in Oct 1826. 1790, Rehoboth, Bristol Co MA, p 506, John Wilson: 1/1/2.

3. Lucas WILSON. Born on 10 Aug 1735 in Rehoboth, Bristol Co MA. Lucas died in Putney, Windham Co VT, in 1818. On 29 Mar 1759 Lucas married Sarah CORBIN in Rehoboth, Bristol Co MA. Born before 28 Jun 1741 in Woodstock, Windham Co CT. 1790, Putney, Windham Co VT, p 111, Lucas Wilson: 2/1/5. In addition to an infant who died in Mar 1779 and another infant who also died in 1779, they had the following children:

                        i. Lydia (1760-)

                        ii.  John (1762-)

                        iii. Sarah (1764-)

                        iv.  Lucas Jr (1767-)

4. Ammi WILSON. Born on 26 Apr 1737 in Rehoboth, Bristol Co MA, Ammi died in Windsor, Windsor Co VT, in Aug 1812. 1790, Windsor, Windsor Co VT, p 62, Ami Wilson: 2/2/5. He married Anna MUNRO, ca 1771; children born in Sullivan Co NH:

                       i.  Joseph, 10 Aug 1772

                      ii. Chloe, 16 Jun 1777

                      iii. Sarah, 6 Apr 1779.

5. Benjamin WILSON was born ca 11 Apr 1739 in Rehoboth, Bristol Co MA. Benjamin died in Oshawa, Durham Co, Ontario, on 5 Mar 1821. Occupation: Surveyor of highways, Putney VT. Benjamin married Sarah SABIN. Born ca 1740, Sarah died in Putney, Windham Co VT, on 12 Aug 1803. He was on a 1771 census in Putney, but not found in later census records in that town.[16] In 1785 Benjamin had problems with the town fathers, when he left his wife and children and ran away with a prostitute; they immediately “took into custody” all his estate for the support of his family. Benjamin and Sarah had these children, all recorded in Putney VT:

                       i.  Abigail, born 12 Dec 1762, Putney VT.

                       ii.  Moses, born 14 Oct 1764, Putney VT.

                       iii.  Benjamin, born 27 Feb 1767, Putney VT.

                      iv.  Sarah, born 7 Mar 1770, Putney VT.

                      v.  Joseph, born 29 Feb 1772, Putney VT.

                      vi.   Moly, born 14 Mar 1774, Putney VT.

                      vii.  Chloe, born 15 Sep 1776, Putney VT.

                      viii. Otis, born 16 Nov 1784

6. Jonathan WILSON. Born on 7 Apr 1741 in Rehoboth, Bristol Co MA, Jonathan died in Shoreham, Addison Co VT, on 9 Apr 1830. He married Lucy BLANDING, 29 Nov 1764, Rehoboth MA. Son Jonathan born 8 Feb 1766 Rehoboth, died 26 Aug 1838. 1790, Shoreham, Addison Co VT, Jonath: Wilson: 1/0/1.

7. Ezekiel WILSON was born on 11 May 1744 in Rehoboth, Bristol Co MA. Ezekiel died in Putney, Windham Co VT, on 6 Jun 1830. He was a soldier in the Revolutionary War and married Sarah TURNER, daughter of Thomas and Hannah (Wheaton) Turner, sister of Thomas Turner who married Ezekiel’s sister Chloe. 1790, Putney, Windham Co VT, p 111, Ezek’l Wilson: 2/5/5. They had nine children, including Fairing, born 9 Feb 1772.[17]

8. Chloe WILSON. Born on 23 Jun 1746 in Rehoboth, Bristol Co MA, Chloe died in Rehoboth, Bristol Co MA, after 1801. She married Thomas TURNER, son of Thomas and Hannah (Wheaton) Turner, sister of Sarah Turner who married Ezekiel Wilson. They were possibly in Freetown, Bristol Co MA in 1790, 1/0/3.

        Two of Obadiah and Elizabeth (Doyle) Joy’s sons married sisters: Joseph married as his second wife, Hepsibah Dickinson 15 May 1781, in Putney, Windham Co VT, and David married Mary “Moly” Dickinson 25 Apr 1785, in Putney. Hepsibah and Mary were daughters of Azariah Dickinson and his wife Temperance Shipman. Another daughter, Lucy Dickinson, married Lucas Wilson Jr, 15 Nov 1787, Windham Co VT, a son of one of Elizabeth Sprague’s children from her second marriage to Benjamin Wilson.[18] Thus, the three sisters married two brothers and a cousin once removed.

       Of Benjamin and Elizabeth (Sprague) (Doyle) Wilson’s children, it appears that Lucas, Benjamin, and Ezekiel went with their older half-sister to Putney VT. Although the families may not have actually traveled together, they did end up living in the same town and having dealings together. Other sons, Ammi and Jonathan, went to other parts of Vermont.

        At a town meeting Putney VT, 13 May 1777, Lucas Willson[19] was named one of the Commissioners of Highways and Moses Joy was named one of the Surveyors of Highways. Lt. Lucas Willson was also named to both the County Committee and the Town Committee. On 12 May 1778, Obadiah Joy was named a Surveyor of the Highways. A list of freemen who took an oath “In the State of Vermont” is on pages 461 and following of the “Book of Putney,” and while the date or dates the oath was given are not given, it clearly includes the names, in the order listed, Lucas Willson, Moses Joy, Richard Harding, “Obediah” Joy, Ezekiel Willson, Joseph Joy, Thomas Turner, Charles Jones, David Joy, Lucas Wilson Jr, and Obediah Joy Jr.

         On 27 Dec 1785, an indenture was drawn between Lewis Allyn of Putney and Moses Joy of Putney. For 40 pounds Allyn conveyed to Moses Joy “all that parcel of land” which he owned in north Putney. Witnesses were Lucas Willson and David Joy.[20]

         The continuing relationship between Willsons and Joys in Putney VT reinforce the vital records of Rehoboth which show kinship since the 1730s when the widow Elizabeth (Sprague) Doyle probably married the widower Benjamin Wilson. They may have had a child before an actual marriage took place, if it ever did. But by far the most obvious conclusion is that all of Benjamin Wilson’s children born after Sarah in early 1730 were children of his second wife, they were half-brothers and a half-sister of Elizabeth (Doyle) Joy, and they were grandchildren of Elizabeth (Fearing) Sprague.

         Doubt about Nathaniel’s parentage may still exist, but this should not cloud the parentage of the other sons and daughter.

© 2008, Kathy Alvis Patterson

[1] Rehoboth VR.

[2] Possibly a daughter of Amariah and Mary (Brigham) Park, who were resident in Marlboro when their son Josiah was born Mar 1781. They had a daughter Mary born 23 Aug 1765 in Grafton, Worcester Co MA.

[3] Rehoboth VR, 801.

[4] Rehoboth VR, 406. This record was added by Town Clerk, James Blanding, between Mar 1812 and Mar 1836.

[5] According to the Rehoboth VR, 783, he was born 10 Jun 1733.

[6] Lineage application of Katherine Alvis Patterson, national no. 60585, Society of Mayflower Descendants, approved 1994.

[7] But probably before 1984 when his first comments appeared in NEHGR.

[8] Stevens also discounts the existence of the three sons of the first marriage. Wife #1 had Sarah and Nathaniel. Wife #2 had six sons and a daughter.

[9] Stevens ignored the fact that Nathanial and his brother, or half-brother, Ezekiel each named a son Fairing, an obvious reference to the second wife, Elizabeth (Sprague) (Doyle) Willson;s mother, Elizabeth (Fearing) Sprague.

[10] As an English teacher, I have striven to understand Stevens’s title. We cannot adequately connect the dots, or tie the threads, that link this family together. According to his metaphor, we have an “unbroken circle” which we must strive to untangle. What will we get then? Loose threads? A broken circle? Don’t we actually have a broken circle now which we would like to be able to tie up neatly, with all the threads in place? The goal is an unbroken family circle.

[11] This could explain why he was not originally listed with the other children’s births and also show that Nathaniel named a son Fairing for his grandmother, Elizabeth (Fearing) Sprague.

[12] Joseph Joy, MA, NY, Sea Service Private, Sergeant, Lieutenant. 7 Aug 1832, Windham County, VT, Anthony Mason, guardian for Joseph Joy, resident of Putney, non compos, at age 76. …In 2nd year of the Revolutionary War Joseph in May or June at Rehoboth MA enlisted under Capt. Bliss, for 6 months, “and this while a minor and contrary to the wishes of his father, who at that time was infected with Toryism, but he knows of no living witness by whom he can prove said service, excepting Obadiah Joy, whose affidavit is herewith transmitted. … approx. September of 1777 or 1778 he enlisted as a sergeant for 3 months under Capt. David Hill. …The said Joseph Joy in the year 1780 [very poorly written or overwritten] in the town now called Putney…mid June of that year and mustered at Brattleboro, to Fort Stanwix, then Fort Hunter, discharged in November and returned home. 2 Aug 1832, affidavit of Obadiah Joy of Putney, age 64. In the 2nd year of the Revolutionary War he and Joseph Joy now of Putney lived at Rehoboth, Mass., and in May or June Joseph enlisted as a private…”The company commander I think was Capt. Bliss,” and marched to Roxbury and Dorchester and served 6 months, that his father was inclined to be a Tory and opposed the said Joseph Joy going into the army and particularly did not like him to go under Capt. Bliss. …About the middle of June 1780 Joseph went from Windham County, Vermont into the service as a lieutenant and mustered at Col. John Sargent’s horse in Brattleboro…Captain’s name was Blakeley… Lieutenant commission for Joseph Joy, State of New York, appointed 1 Jul 1780, recorded 11 Sep 1780.

[13] This Obadiah Joy cannot be the man who married Molly Park in 1798, as he had a living wife.

[14] As noted above, the dates of the second marriage, Benjamin’s first wife’s death, and son Nathaniel’s birth are in conflict.

[15] If Nathaniel’s mother was Elizabeth (Sprague) (Doyle) Wilson, as his birth record in Rehoboth states, Fairing was probably have been named for his maternal great-grandmother, Elizabeth (Fearing) Sprague.

[16] See John Duffy, ed., Early Vermont Braodsides, University Press of New England, 1975, p 37, where Benjamin Willson of Putney is described as refusing the muster call of the Governor of New York. Nearly 100 men of Putney tried to hide their cows and some emigrated to Canada. This is probably why Obadiah Joy was accused of being a Toryist. In a deed dated 2 Feb 1789, for a consideration of £100 he quitclaimed all land in Putney. Putney Deeds, 2:145. Note that after his wife’s death, Benjamin did move to Canada where he died.

[17] See note 14, above.

[18] All in Putney VR.

[19] In these records the family name is always spelled Willson.

[20] Putney, Windham Co VT Land Records, 1770-1805, Vol 1, pp 270-271. Also, Vol. 3, p 103: Lucas Willson to Moses Joy; Vol 4, p 358, Lucas Willson to Lucas Willson Jr.


Published in: on October 17, 2008 at 5:42 pm  Comments (6)  

My Dorsey Research

My grandmother remembered well her grandfather, Augustus Dorsey, of Conway Springs KS. If you’ve ever driven up I-35 from Oklahoma toward Wichita, you were about a mile from his farmhouse and the cemetery where he’s buried, near the first Kansas Turnpike tollbooth. My grandmother gave me copies of his obituary, proud facts about his Civil war service, including Andersonville Prison, and the knowledge that he was a native of Somerset Co PA. I wrote her uncle, a son of Augustus’s second marriage, and he filled in small details, such as descendants, and what looked like great information, but which I now know to be incorrect, that Augustus’s father was named Patrick Dorsey.

So I wrote the Somerset Co PA Genealogy Society and asked about Augustus, son of Patrick. Their longtime head genealogist, Eber Cockley, mailed me a list of Dorsey data, which later appeared in a 1971 article in exactly the same words, in the Laurel Messenger, their genealogy society newsletter. I was pleased to see confirmation that there was a Pat Dorsey and he had a son Augustus. It took me about 20 years and a lot of genealogy experience to realize that Mr Cockley had used me as his source for that relationship. I spent that 20 years searching for Pat.

By the late 1980s, I knew Augustus’s father was more likely a member of William C Dorsey’s family, and I was concentrating on finding out who this man was. In 1987 I found Augustus’s second marriage license which showed his parents as Loyd Dorsey and Sarah (Moser) Dorsey.

The Dorsey Dreams newsletter published by Lois Bennington, mentioned in one issue several Hancock Co OH Dorseys, whose names corresponded to some of the children of William C Dorsey. The Genealogy Society there forwarded my letter to Kim Carles-Hammer. This gave the names of all of William C’s children, and his wife as Mary Black.

The NSDAR Library in DC has a chart put together by Montgomery Cumming ca 1900 and a typed manuscript by Edith L Burrell of Findlay OH. The chart is similar to what Edith used in her book. Kim also had access to a notebook, which shows that Loyd and Lloyd Dorsey are the same, and that Augustus and his father Lloyd were son and grandson of William Cumming and Mary (Black) Dorsey.

I have not been able to obtain a copy of the entire notebook or a statement from Tom Dorsey, who has the notebook, giving its provenance. 

Edith Burrell corresponded with Montgomery Cumming and Jean Muir Dorsey, who wrote a large book in 1947 about the Maryland Dorsey family. Too bad Mr Cumming wasn’t more specific about his sources; no one apparently has ever been able to find them.

Jean Dorsey’s letter to Edith was dated after the publication of her book and contradicts people who say “she didn’t extend the line of Edward and Sarah (Cumming) Dorsey; therefore, she must have agreed they had no children.” 

Recently DNA studies of descendants of William C Dorsey and of his brother Richard Dorsey of Washington Co KY demonstrate that they were members of the Maryland family.

© Kathy Alvis Patterson  2008

Published in: on August 21, 2008 at 11:22 am  Comments (5)  

The Atwell Family in early North Carolina Censuses

Most of what I know about John Atwell of Green Co KY comes from his census record. His son, my ancestor, Benjamin Atwell, consistently gave his birth as 1807 in NC.

Census History of John ATWELL Jr:

  •      1810 Caswell Co NC, page 461: 31010/20010
  •      1820 Green Co KY, page 061: 320101/10210
  •      1830 Green Co KY, page 047: 01111001/0001001  [son Thomas Atwell was in Hart Co]
  •      1840 his widow Sally, Green Co KY, p 169: 00011/0001001 [same page as a young Richard Atwell]

Compare the census history of John’s brother Richard Atwell:

  •      1810 [not found]
  •      1820 Hart Co KY, p 152: 421111/21011
  •      1830 Barren Co KY: 0111001/0001001;  same page as William Atwell
  •      1840 Barren Co KY, Richard Atwell Sr: 00010001/01000001 [also in the area, Benjamin, Ignatius, John T, Richard H, William; at least one of these is John’s son, not Richard’s]
  •      1850 Barren Co, p 440, Richard and wife Sarah, both 67, with others

I’ll list this the other way around, by years, for Atwells who stayed in NC:

  • 1790 Sampson Co NC, Fayette Dist, p 51. John Atwell, 1/2/1/0/1
  •      also Sampson Co NC, Benjamin Atwell: 2/2/1/1 slave
  • 1800 Person Co NC, p 210, John Atwell: 10010/10200
  •      Eliphalet Atwell (00100/00100) in Bladen Co 
  •      Benjamin Atwell (2001/4001) in Pendleton Dist SC [6 children under 10!]
  • 1810 Bladen Co NC, Eliphalet: 10100/51100
  •      Person Co NC, p 419, John Atwell: 11010/01010
  •      Guilford Co NC, p 969: J Atwell, 10010/11010
  • Caswell Co NC, all p 463:
  •      John Atwell Sr: 00001/00110
  •      John Atwell Jr: 31010/20010
  •      Lock Atwell: 20110/00100
  • 1820 Sampson Co NC, p 282 Benjamin Atwell: 011001/00010
  •      Sampson Co NC, p 312, James Atwell: 000100/10100
  •      Iredell Co NC, p 247, John Atwell: 200010/20010
  •      Rowan Co NC, p 264: Lock Atwell: 320011/10020
Published in: on August 21, 2008 at 11:05 am  Comments (1)  

Evidence and Errors in Light Family Research

There are at least five constantly recurring errors in my branch of the Light family, that is, the New Richmond, Ohio, family. I would like to call attention to each of these, present evidence to settle the issues and bury the mistakes. 

Before looking at these mistakes, we should distinguish the Caernarvon Twp., Lancaster Co PA-New Richmond OH Light family from another Light family living at the same time in Lebanon Twp., Lancaster Co, later Lebanon Co PA. This other family was the object of Moses Light’s 1896 book The Light Family in America and the recent publication of an updated manuscript by the late Rev. J. G. Francis, History and Genealogy of Early Pioneer Families of Lebanon Co PA.

These are the errors commonly found or repeated in the New Richmond branch of the Light family. 

1) That the wife of our John Light (1724-1822) was Marget.

2) That our family is closely connected or even the same as the Lebanon Co PA Light family. Confusion exists over which Jacob Light adopted two sons of his brother John Light, over the parentage of the various John and Jacob Lights, and over which John or Jacob was in which PA county at what time.

3) That Catherine Britzius was the wife of either John Light (1724-1822) or his son Jacob Light (1757-1831).

4) That a Sir Henry Light of German origin was the immigrant ancestor of this whole family.

5) That Mrs Susannah Ashburn was a sister of Jacob Light.


I will discuss these issues one by one.

1) According to Mary Kemmerle’s 1986 book Jacob Light of Caernarvon Township and Some of His Descendants, p 7, the identification of Marget Light (see a photo of her headstone in SearchLight, IV-4, p 2) as the wife of our John Light was made in 1930 by the above mentioned Rev. J. G. Francis in his “Light Family History.” Mary writes: “Rev. Francis, while writing the history, investigated other Light families and apparently was trying to establish whether there was any relationship between the families. In his book (p. 508), he included some information which he attributed to the Caernarvon Twp. family of [our] history. Although no source or proof was given, this information has been generally accepted as fact by others researching this family. This information has now been proven incorrect. Rev. Francis stated that John lived in the vicinity of Valley Forge and helped gather supplies for the Army during their encampment there. He went on to say that John’s wife, Marget, died while they were living there, and that she was buried at the Coventry Brethren Church cemetery. Marget Light’s head-stone, still in good condition in 1983, shows that she died 4 May 1787. A recently discovered deed, dated 1773, shows that John’s wife was Catharine—not Marget. A John Light, born in New York State and later a resident of Lancaster Co PA was very active in military service during the Revolution, and was probably the one noted at Valley Forge.” See #3 below for more on this NY John Light.

No one has yet determined where this Marget Light fits into any Light family. 

The reference for the deed mentioned by Mrs Kemmerle is Chester Co PA deeds, Vol B-2, p 308, Apr 28 1773, when John and Catherine sold land. They went immediately to Berkeley Co VA and purchased land there on Jun 30 of the same year. See Mrs Kemmerle’s book and SearchLight, V-4, p 2, for evidence that this is the same John Light (1724-1822). 

2) SearchLight, IV-4, p 3, corrects the error made by Moses Light in 1896, concerning two brothers John and Jacob. John was rich in sons; Jacob was rich in this world’s goods, but childless, so he adopted the two youngest of his brother’s children, Samuel and Martin. My great-great-grandfather Oliver Perry Light, writing in the 1890s, still had family records which showed the brothers Samuel and Martin to be children of our John, not the John Light of Lebanon Twp (SearchLight, pp 242-243).

Moses Light’s John Light was the 1738 immigrant on the Winter Galley, the builder of the “Old Fort,” and the father of sons John, Martin, Jacob and Henry, plus a daughter Anna. There are various mistakes in the Moses Light book, including the date of immigration and the identification of several men with the same names. Some of these mistakes have been cleared up in different issues of SearchLight.

3) There was indeed a John Light who married a Catherine Britzius. As with everything else I am writing here, the facts have already appeared in SearchLight, but have been ignored by some researchers. Their marriage record is given on p 235: Dec 2 1782, in Lancaster PA. His Revolutionary War pension papers are copied on the same page. These demonstrate that he was born on Dec 25 1754 in Westchester Co NY and died Jul 2 1834. Catherine Britzius (at times written Bridges) Light died on Jan 27 1846 leaving one surviving daughter, Mrs Sarah Adams. SearchLight on p 254 gives added information about this family, namely their 1790 census in Lancaster PA, with neighbors named Britzius, and data from the will of Isaac Britzius mentioning his sister Catherine, the wife of John Light. They always lived from the time of their marriage in Lancaster PA. This was the John Light at Valley Forge.

Obviously, this cannot be Catherine, the wife of our John Light (1724-1822), or the wife of his son Jacob (1757-1831), whose wife Catherine Harmon was born in 1764 and died in 1833. The mistake was perpetuated by a DAR marker in the Ohio cemetery where John was buried, stating his wife was Catherine Britzius. An earlier DAR Patriot Index, p 415, has Catherine Britzius as the wife of our Jacob Light. 

Catherine Britzius has no part in our ancestry, except for a footnote and an explanation of why she shows up so often. 

4) One of the most common errors in genealogy is the assumption that if “it’s the same name, it must be the same man.” The most common occurrences of this tendency in our Light family have to do with Catherine Britzius, who without doubt did marry a John Light (see above), but another example may be found on the page 459 of SearchLight; What is there to prove that the John Light who lived in Montgomery Co PA was the same John Light whose son Jacob married Catherine Harmon? Our John can be followed pretty well throughout his entire life, and I do not see him ever in Montgomery Co. The submission on p 393 gives an accurate example of comparing two men with the same name in the same place, but not considering them the same man.

An example of the extremes caused by this kind of mistake may be seen on p 408 of SearchLight, where Catherine Britzius is stated to have been born in 1763, married in 1782 and the mother of Peter, born in 1746. All this because more than one man was named John Light, and the submitter assumed they were one man. 

This page also gives our John and Catherine (—) Light a son David and no son Martin. David is questionable, as is a son Benjamin, but neither is mentioned in their uncle Jacob’s 1808 will. There was certainly a son Martin.

The excerpts entitled “Going Over the Mountain” on pages 445, 459, and 460 of SearchLight have two major problems that I can see: first, it is not clear which portions of the data given were compiled by S H Light of Ansonia OH in 1911, and which were added in 1991 by William Charles Light of Greenville OH, and what sources were used for the newer data. Did S H Light believe, as shown at the bottom of the first column on p 459, that our John’s wife was Catherine Britzius, or did William Charles Light find that mistake on p 201 of  SearchLight (see reference given) and add it as though proven? Keeping track of sources is the first step for all genealogy; combining two men’s records and forgetting who said what first should not be done.

Second, what are the sources for the families given? This article gives three German brothers: William, Benjamin and Sir Henry (How would a German say “Sir Henry” anyway?); second generation, Henry Jr; third generation, John, Martin, Benjamin and Jacob; fourth generation, Jacob, Daniel, Peter, David and Barbara; fifth generation, the proven children of our Jacob Light (1757-1831). What are the sources for this data?

By contrast, in SearchLight, V-2, p 7, we can see references to original documents demonstrating that our Jacob Light Sr (d ca 1763) had the following children: Jacob, John, Peter, Benjamin, Christian, Elizabeth, Barbara and Ann. The children of the second generation John Light (1724-1822) are given in a 1808 will (SearchLight, IV-4, p 7; V-2, p 7): Peter, Daniel, Jacob, Barbara, Samuel and Martin. As stated above, there may have been a David and a Benjamin. 

John, the father of our Jacob Light, had the brothers and sisters given in the 1763 deed and the 1808 will, and was the son of Jacob Light. It has yet to be proven if two Henry Lights fit into this family. Evidence from the 1700s has not been shown to prove these Henrys existed.


5)  Early sources do not mention a relationship between the two founders of New Richmond, Jacob Light and Thomas Ashburn. See History of Clermont Co OH, Louis H Everts (1880), pp 406 and 407; and an article in the Clermont Sun, Jun 30 1966. The families appear totally separate. A reference to Jacob Light’s nephew (unidentified, possibly a son of his brother Daniel) in Everts may be the origin of this mistake.

The source of the claim that Mrs Thomas Ashburn was a sister of Jacob Light’s seems to be a 1975 article in the Cincinnati News (SearchLight, I-2, p 5). I have not seen this claim made before 1975 and I have seen it made several times since, probably referring back to the Cincinnati article.

Jacob Light did have a daughter Susanna, who married Timothy Conner. The children of Jacob’s father John Light are given above; there was no known daughter Susannah. 


Newsletters like SearchLight reprint articles and data submitted by others. The mistakes belong to the submitters, not to the editor. Note that true facts for all of the above have appeared in SearchLight and all that needs to be done is study the material printed using some basic criteria: who says so? how does he know? is that really the same man? are the dates consistent? The articles to follow are those which refer to contemporary documents, and which answer the above questions.

What is known about our branch of the Light family is due to the painstaking efforts of Bertha Minnick, Mary Kemmerle and Betty Light Behr. Thanks to the three of you for hours and years of pleasant reading.

© Kathy Alvis Patterson  2008

Published in: on August 21, 2008 at 10:57 am  Comments (2)  

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