Category Archives: family

The Irish Connection: John Henderson

John Henderson (1747-1814)

John Henderson Tombstone

John Henderson tombstone in Taggerts Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Lafferty, Ohio

Note: I frequently warn that genealogical research is a work in progress.  Here is an example. No sooner did I hit publish on this post than I found more information that threw things into doubt. Most particularly, I am now not at all certain that John Henderson was born in Ireland. Like all these Scots Irish ancestors, it is really hard to determine how many generations moved from Scotland to Ireland.  It looks like it may be a long slog to find out just which John Henderson we are dealing with in order to pinpoint his father and siblings. 

The tombstone provides death and through age at death, birth year information. It also claims he is a Revolutionary War veteran.  However, it is obvious that this stone is not from the actual time of his death, so who put it up? Did they have the correct information?

I am confident that I have the right John Henderson that connects to the will–but even there, I can add to what I wrote. I found more information–which I will share as soon as I get a readable image or a good transcription.  Turns out that Ancestry was holding out on me, publishing only the will.  The probate file also includes a list of money’s owed and collectible and the home and farm inventory.  Because this was supposed to be a quick post, I did not search Family Search.org, which I will now do.  If they don’t have a digital copy, the information is copied on another Ancestry.com users page.

I should say, John Henderson provides one of the Irish Connections, since on my maternal grandmother’s side, once I start digging into her ancestors, the Irish roots show up consistently.  I always knew that on my maternal grandfathers side, the Andersons, we have plenty of Scots Irish.  So far, it looks like those on the Anderson line came from Scotland rather than Ireland, but the McCabes and Fifes and perhaps Thompsons are proving rather elusive.

Until recently, I had overlooked the fact that my maternal grandmother’s line also yielded Irish blood. The Irish roots show up in the Cochrans, for instance. When my grandmother’s grandfather married Emmeline Cochran, however, it led me back to not only Cochrans but also Hendersons and even an Adams that seem to all come from Ireland.

Irish Cultural Center

Irish Cultural Center, Phoenix

So why this sudden fascination with Irish ancestors?  I recently learned about a very special Irish Cultural Center and library in Phoenix, Arizona–just a two-hour drive from where I live.  Next week I’m going to visit there, and if I decided to track my Irish or Scots Irish ancestors, I can return to their library on a day when they have helpers available.  I’m excited about the trip, and so I started looking at the Cochrans and stumbled upon the fact that John Henderson, my fifth great-grandfather is from County Down in Ireland.

I have not had time to get an enormous amount of information about John and his wife Martha and their enormous family of ten children–but I did find his will, and figured I might as well share it.  Just to show that wills can be marvelous starting points for research.

John lived in Pennsylvania for a time and his oldest son, William was born there, but he moved to Belmont County, Ohio.

{plain]Note that Belmont County sits next door to Guernsey County where my Stout ancestors lived.  I have written about my great-grandfather Stout’s family quite frequently, starting with his father Isaiah.  I also wrote about Emmeline Cochran Stout, who leads me to HER great-grandfather, John Henderson.[/plain]

THE WILL of JOHN HENDERSON, May 1814

John Henderson Will

John Henderson Will 1814

[I have separated parts of the will into paragraphs and added some punctuation to aid clarity. I also put the family names, in one mention, in bold, for clarity. It appears that the will was written by a clerk, including the signatures, so I am not showing the signature for Henderson.]

Whereas I, John Henderson of Belmont County, State of Ohio, being weak in body but of sound mind and memory, do make this my last will and testament in the manner and form following, viz. First, I give and bequeath to my beloved wife Martha Henderson the third part of the rents and profits at the middle third piece of land I now live on with the privilege of living in one-half of my dwelling house during her widowhood, viz. also sixty dollars to be paid out of the money due to my estates and her choice of one Cow out of my stock, her bedstead bed and bedding, a spinning wheel, bureau, a walnut table, corner cupboard and all the furniture usually kept in the same and her saddle.

I do also give and bequeath to my sons William, Thomas and John, one dollar each. 

I give and bequeath to my son Robert his heirs and assigns the south third of my land where he has improved and he is to pay one hundred and ninety dollars in two years after my decease for the use of my daughters.

I also will and bequeath to my son David his heirs and assigns the north third part of my land where he has made an improvement. He is also to pay one hundred & thirty dollars two years after my decease for the use of my daughters.

I likewise will and bequeath to my son Andrew, the middle third part of my land and his heirs and assigns forever. The lines of each of the above mentioned places to stay as they are now run except two acres that is to (sic) much in my son David part which is to be taken from that part and given my son Andrew to be taken below the sugar crop across the bottom and I wish my son Andrew to work the 3rd part now given to him. For to enable him to do it he shall have the two horses and two pairs of gears and all other articles necessary for plowing.  One ax and one grubing (sic) hoe, two hilling hoes and he is to have the young bay mare, two years old this spring. And give up the other two when he comes of age which is to be sold and divided as the other moveable property and if he works the place he shall have the two thirds of the profit, the other two thirds to be equally divided between my beloved wife and my daughter Martha while Martha remain single. If she marries it shall be given to her mother and the said Andrew is to pay one hundred and ninety dollars three years after he comes of age for the use of my daughters.

I do also will and bequeath to my daughters Agnes, Sarah, Martha, and Margaret all the money due and owing to my estate that is not herein otherwise disposed of together with the five hundred and ten dollars to be paid by my three sons.  My daughters all to be made equal counting what they have got that is charged to them in the papers enclosed with what may be charged to them before my decease.

I do further devise that my moveable property not herein otherwise disposed to be sold by my executors and the third part thereof I give and bequeath to my beloved wife and the other two-thirds to be equally divided among y four daughters.

And lastly I do hereby appoint my beloved wife, my son Robert and David Wallace to be my sole Executors of this, my last will and testament hereby revoking all former wills and testaments any time heretofore made or executed hereby declaring ratifying and confirming this to be my last will and testament to intents and purposes.

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this twenty-seventh day of May Eighteen hundred and fourteen.

Signed, John Henderson

[witnesses]

William C. Theakes

John Campbell

INFORMATION GAINED

With this will, we learn the approximate date of his death, his location–county and state– the first names of his wife, six sons and four daughters. We learn that Andrew is the youngest son.  Since he mentions that Martha will get XXX until she marries, I might assume that his other daughters are married, but that is not made certain as it is in some wills where the women’s married names are used.  He does not mention any grand children, which could mean he doesn’t have any, but likely means that none of his children died before him, leaving “issue.”

Find a Grave and an application for the Sons of the American Revolution indicate he was born in 1747, so he is about 67 years old when he writes his will.  His wife Martha is 55.  I can speculate that he was married when Martha was 18 to 20, so they have been married 38-40 years and his oldest son, William (usually the children are listed in order of age) is about 40 years old in 1814. In fact, other sources say William was born in 1774 and Andrew in .

The will is only a starting point, and much more evidence is needed, but it gives plenty of clues for the search.

How I am Related

  • Vera Marie (Kaser) Badertscher is the daughter of
  • Harriette (Anderson) Kaser, who is the daughter of
  • Vera (Stout) Anderson, who is the daughter of
  • William Cochran Stout, who is the son of
  • Emmeline (Cochran) Stout, who is the daughter of
  • Martha (Henderson) Cochran, who is the daughter of
  • William T. Henderson who is the son of
  • John Henderson from Ireland

A Note on Sources

Ohio, Wills and Probate Records, 1786-1998, Accessed at Ancestry.com. From Will Records, 1804-1919 ; General Index to Estates, 1801-1935; Author: Ohio. Probate Court (Belmont County); Probate Place: Belmont, Ohio Will Records, Vol A, 1804-1816

Find a Grave. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/70178975 There is quite a bit of information on John Henderson and his wife, without documentation. I have written to the poster to ask for more detail.

U.S., Sons of the American Revolution Membership Applications, 1889-1970 accessed at Ancestry.com  While some applications for Sons of the American Revolution can be valuable, this one appears to have skipped a generation after John Henderson’s son. With an obvious error in another generation, the information on John and Martha cannot be taken as proof.

The following records indicate a John Henderson, and are consistent as well as located in Belmont County, Ohio, however I need more data to be sure they apply to the correct John Henderson.

Ohio Tax List 1809, John Henderson, Belmont County, Oxford Township. From Ohio, Compiled Census and Census Substitutes Index, 1790-1890 at Ancestry.com

Ohio Tax List 1806, John Henderson, Belmont County, no township listed. From Ohio, Compiled Census and Census Substitutes Index, 1790-1890 at Ancestry.com

U.S., Indexed Early Land Ownership and Township Plats, 1785-1898, Plat map with John Henderson’s name in two places, accessed at Ancestry.com. From National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.; Township Plats of Selected States; Series #: T1234; Roll: 51

Random Ancestors: Annie Morgan, The Traveler

This ancestor caught my eye because of the passport application. Annie Morgan,lived life her own way, traveled to Europe when many of my ancestors never traveled out of state.

The Traveling Cousin

Anna Isabel Annie Morgan (1856-1948), second cousin two times removed.

Anna Isabel Morgan

Annie Morgan in her 1922 passport photo. A nice looking lady at 65.

This is the Morgan line of my traveling great-grandfather Jesse Morgan. Anna/Annie Morgan ‘s grandfather was George Morgan, brother of my 2x great grandfather, Jesse Morgan. If you haven’t read his story and his letters, I encourage you to put Jesse’s  name in the search bar. He is the most interesting character by far of all my relatives. His letters to my great-great grandmother were written while he was trading horses around the Midwest. Yep, that would be the one who left my 2x great grandmother behind when he went on the California gold rush without telling her, and got himself shot and killed on the streets in California.

But the inclination to wander perhaps spread throughout the Morgan family.  I found a DNA match with a Morgan, and in trying to figure out if it was Jesse’s family, I checked out Jesse’s nieces and nephews.  That led me to the interesting Anna or Annie as she was called.

Born in Indiana, she died in Los Angeles. And she may have never married. However her life was well documented, including a passport application in February 1922 when she was 65 years old.

I know from census records, a Morgan history, and the passport application that her father was Abel Leeds Morgan, son of George Morgan. Anna Isabel Morgan was born in Lexington Indiana and living there with her family in 1860 and 1870. Her brothers and sisters were Rosalie (Manasse) (  1844- After 1915), Melvin (b. 1847), Fairfield (1849-1916), Adeline (Woods) (1851-bef. 1915), and Ada (Smith) (1856- bef. 1915)

The family’s father died in March 1880 and later that year when the census taker arrived, Annie Morgan, now 23 and once again listed as single, was living with her mother and grand- mother in Lexington.

Of course the 1890 census is not available. I also have not located her on the 1910 and 1920 census records. So at first I thought that the next time she surfaces, she is living in Chicago and preparing to take a tour of Europe in 1922.

I want to say thanks to a fellow user of Genealogy, Just Ask! on Facebook for explaining to me that looking at passport records can be confusing, because Ancestry shows the front page of the application on the right hand side of the page, and a picture of the previous person listed shows up on the left.  I spent some time trying to understand how Annie could be a male before I got the hint that I needed to go to the next page’s image for the back of Annie’s application and her picture.

passport application

Annie Morgan passport, 1st image. Front of her passport application on right, another application on left.

passport application

2nd image. Back of Annie’s passport application is on the left.

Confused yet?  I surely was until someone straightened me out.

This definitely is the right Annie, because it has her father’s name, exact date of birth that corresponds with a death record, and the fact that she now lived in Chicago.  (At this point I still didn’t know why she lived in Chicago anyhow.

So what did I learn besides the fact that by 1922 she had moved to Chicago? At 65 years old, she is still single, stands 5’8″ tall and has blue eyes and gray hair and fair complexion.

Two other important things stand out that are more puzzles than information.

  1. In her reasons for travel Annie Morgan listed going to France to visit family. Additionally she would be traveling to Switzerland, British Isles, Italy and Gibralter–a wonderful Grand Tour.

Since the Morgans come from Wales, I am still curious as to what family was in France in 1922.  And sadly, she seemed to have no close friends or relatives in Chicago.  Her witness was her optometrist and she put down his address for her passport to be sent to.  (Perhaps she was traveling to see family in the U.S. before leaving on her European tour and would not be in Chicago to receive the passport.) And incidentally, how could she afford a trip to Europe? Did she travel alone?  It seems unlikely.

2.  Why does she have the name of an optometrist in the witness section and an optometrist’ address for return of the passport? Did she have no friends?

Then in 1948, a death notice appears in California.  According to the California record, Anna Isabel Morgan, daughter of Abel Leeds Morgan, died in Los Angles. Another puzzle. Why did she move to L.A.?

After I thought I was finished with this report on Annie Morgan, I decided to scan a couple of her siblings to see if I could pick up any more information.  I hit gold.

Her brother Fairfield, an optometrist (AHA! that explains the witness and address for her passport), had moved to Chicago in 1868 according to the Cook County voter records. Because of his occupation, he was easy to find in city directories, and his listings helped me locate his sister Annie . Following this additional source–city directories–It turns out Annie Morgan did have an occupation after all. She was an elocutionist at the Chicago Conservatory as early as 1888. (An elocutionist teaches proper speech to public speakers and actors) And she did have family living in Chicago.

Note:  Looking through newspaper articles with Anna Morgan in them, I found a bridal notice in a 1928 Chicago Newspaper saying the bride attended the Anna Morgan Studio of Dramatic Art.  This surely is Annie Morgan, elocutionist.  But then look what I found.  The address matches that in the 1905 Chicago city directory–The Fine Arts Building, Chicago.

Ad for Anna Morgan Studio

Daily Northwestern, Oshkosh Wisconsin, September 17, 1902.

I found Fairfield Morgan’s will, filed in 1916. (He died on August 11, 1916).  He had no wife, and outlived most of his siblings. His surviving older sister Rosalie Morgan Manasse, lived in Chicago in 1916, and he leaves her just $50.  He did, however have two nieces, daughters of his deceased sisters Adeline and Ada. Both of them lived in Los Angeles when he wrote the will, and he left each of them a hefty $6,000. He also designated to “My sister Annie I Morgan, now residing in Rockford Illinois all the rest and residue of my estate both real and personal.” Additionally, Annie was entrusted with the task of being executrix of the will.

Another Aha!  So the aging Annie, European adventures behind her, moved to Los Angeles to be near her nieces, perhaps the only close relatives she had. Or perhaps, like my great-great grandfather, Jesse, her great-uncle, she just wanted one more adventure and set off for California..

As with Jesse Morgan, I have not answered all the questions about Annie Morgan, but I have found enough evidence to suggest she was a very interesting lady. I probably will return again and again to the Abel Leeds Morgan family because I am still intrigued with those questions. Perhaps more DNA matches will help put a broader picture in focus.

Random Ancestors: Susan Kaser, The Wild One

Try as I might to stay on track, I am easily distracted from my planned research path.  For instance, right now, I am trying to stick to the difficult tracing of the Smith family of Knox County, Ohio–family of a paternal great grandmother. One problem is Susan Kaser.

At the same time, however, I am trying to keep track of new DNA matches as they show up, and figure out how it is that I match them.  In order to find out how I match someone when Ancestry only gives me the vague 4th-6th cousin, high probability, or perhaps Ancestry gives me a list of names that match with the other person. Inevitably that includes a Smith, but some times it includes a list of eight different names, all of whom might be possibilities, so I have to track those families on my tree and on the tree of the person with whom I have a match.

Notice I said “I have to”.  That compulsion is not written in stone, but I simply can’t resist. This week I write about a couple of the people I chased through the forest of family trees.

The Wild One

Susan Kaser (also known as Susannah) 1st cousin 3x removed. Married (or maybe not) to a Lauer or Lower with whom she had a daughter named Rebecca and perhaps five other children. On Ancestry, I discovered a picture of Rebecca, the daughter (or one of the children) of Susan Kaser.

Rebecca Kaser Zaugg

Picture of Rebecca Kaser/Lauer Zaugg posted on Ancestry.com by pbeecy.

Before a DNA match showed up on Ancestry, I only had an intriguing note in the Kaser History that indicated that Susannah Kaser (1824-1907) had 6 or 7  children but had never married!  She was born in Holmes County Ohio and her parents  were Jonathan Kaser and Mary Stahler.

I learned that my DNA match, Barbara, was related to Susan Kaser. Barbara’s great- grandmother Rebecca Kaser/Lauer 1847-1928, married John Zaugg.  Rebecca was the daughter of Susan Kaser Lauer/Lower, according to the Barbara’s family. Records show her as either Rebecca Kaser or Rebecca Lauer or Lower.  This seems pretty conclusive, since Barbara had been told the family history by her grandmother. But more concretely, an 1880 census gives evidence that Rebecca Lauer was living with one of the Kaser families. Unfortunately, Rebecca’s family did not know the first name of Rebecca’s father. I dug more deeply into Susan Kaser’s history.

But which Susan Kaser?  I found a bewildering array of Susan (or Susannah) Kasers A few could be eliminated fairly easily because I could trace their life and they did not have a daughter named Rebecca or lived at the wrong time.

Susan Kaser note

Note about Susan Kaser from Barbara  her great-grand daughter. Written by Barbara’s aunt.

A note in Barbara’s trove of family pictures (above) said, “Rebecca’s mother raised by Indians.”  I really don’t take that literally for several reasons.  Mainly, Susan would have been born long after the American Indians had left Ohio.  I had heard that phrase many times when I was growing up in Ohio, and it meant something like “This kid is uncivilized (wild) and wasn’t raised properly.” A slur on both the American Indian and on the child (and the child’s parents.)

In the 1850 census “Susan Cacer” is listed at 25 years old as the (probable) oldest of the children of Jonathan “Cacer,” who is 45 years old and is a carpenter  the same as his father, my 3x great grandfather, Joseph Kaser (1776-1842). The 1850 and 1860 census reports do not indicate relationship to head of household, but applying logic to the ages of the children, place of residence and place of birth often will indicate the relationship. However, if this is the mother of Rebecca, who would have been three years old in 1850, where is the child? I have not found Rebecca in 1850.

Susan apparently moved on and left her daughter Rebecca behind, because in 1860, when she was 13, a Rebecca Lauer was living with Edward Kaser, presumably her uncle .  However, it looks as though when Susan needed a home, Rebecca Lauer Zaugg took in her mother. In 1880, Susan Kaser is shown in the home of Rebecca and her husband as “mother-in-law”. Oddly, her occupation is listed as “servant.”  Note she is still called Kaser which means either she never married the Lauer who was Rebecca’s father, or she reverted to her maiden name.

According to the Kaser History, Susan died in 1907, so I should be able to find her in a 1900 census, but no luck.

Beyond that, I’m still trying to track Susan, including a possible marriage to a man name Sheneman, with whom she might have had five children. I found probate papers for Susan Lower, Wayne County, Ohio, that named those Sheneman children, but did not name Rebecca.  (An addenda included a letter from a Rebecca Miller claiming kinship–wrong last name.)  That legal filing would explain the Kaser History assertion that she had 6 or 7 children–Rebecca plus five. Perhaps the author of the Kaser History saw those probate papers?  If true, that would have been very handy, however it just did not work when I looked at the individual Sheneman family members. Census reports for 1860 and 1870 showed that the Susan married to a Sheneman in Holmes County Ohio was not the right age.

So Susan, for the moment at least, I’m left with the Zaugg family opinion of you–” she was a character … and she even smoked a pipe.”

With all these loose ends, I fully expect to be returning to Susan Kaser some time in the future.