Tuesday, February 4, 2014

52 Ancestors: #5 Elizabeth Manley Bixler Wolfington Moore, 1828 - 1913




Here I am typing away at the last minute again for my weekly submission to this week 52 Ancestors project as begun by Amy Johnson Crow of the No Story Too Small blog. However, this time I'm fairly certain that I will be too late so I'm not going to worry about it, and will likely just have two in the count for next week.

Last night I started out with the intention to write about my 3rd Great grandfather Abram Wolfington as he is currently the end of a branch, but as I always do before writing one of these I tried to see if I could find one more tidbit about him, and in so doing I started reviewing my great-grandmother's notes (Pearl Pauline Bailey Snyder, 1891-1978) again and doing searches on both Abram and his wife Elizabeth Manley Bixler (who I didn't have much on), including re-checking previously ignored hints. And, all of a sudden, things started falling into place for Elizabeth Manley Bixler, and...several hours after midnight, I had (the start of) a life for her and the beginnings of another generation beyond as well! And all due to great-grandmother's notes, which while not altogether right, assuredly helped me figure out what were the correct hints. Thank you, great-grandmother!

So, I thought this time that I would set out here a transcription of the pertinent parts of great-grandmother's notes on her grandmother (she mixes people together in writing about the family from one sentence to the next; these are the portions I used to help me with research on Elizabeth M.):

"My grandmother (Mama's mother) was a Methodist through and through - when she came to visit us she came alone clear from Kansas. She stayed with us a few years, then she got homesick for Kansas and went back alone. She was tall and stately. She acted the part. She was a real 'lady', in every  way. She had long, thick, medium brown hair and brown eyes. ....Grandma  married a man by name of Moore (Hanns). Mama's sister Anna married his (Moore's) son. ... Mama's sister Belle had three girls and one boy; I've forgotten who she married. Lydia never married; Ella had three girls: Grace, Bird & Fern.
"I have no idea where Papa met Mama, but she was born in Paola Indiana. She went (or started) with her parents to Kansas. She had one or two brothers. One named Clifford, other may have been Clarence. Mama's maiden name was Wolfington. ...Her mother's name was Bixler. They lived along the Maumee River close to  Ft. Meigs at Maumee OH. They lived a short while on Chamberlin Hill in Findlay Ohio. All this must have been before they started west because Mama's father died on the trip west. He died from pneumonia."

Elizabeth Manley Bixler was born in Ohio, in approximately 1828, to Abraham and Sarah Bixler (Manley appears to be a middle name). I don't know where in Ohio yet, and I don't know how long they lived there or Sarah's maiden name. Elizabeth's parent's were born in Virginia, and after living in Ohio for some time, moved the family to Indiana. By 1850 Elizabeth and her father were living in the home of her brother Levi, along with her brothers Jacob and Salothel, in Poesy, Washington County Indiana.

Climbing my Family Tree - 1850 Census: Elizabeth Manley Bixler
Click to make bigger

 On March 30, 1851, Elizabeth married Abram Wolfington, in Orange County, Indiana.  She was 22 and he was 41. He had several children already from a prior marriage that I haven't found yet: William (bn abt 1837), James (1839-1918), Marinda (bn about 1842), Eliza J (bn abt 1845), and Valentine (bn abt 1848).

Elizabeth and Abraham had several children over the years: Martha Emily (1852-1915, my 2nd great grandmother), Clarence (bn abt 1854), Isabel (bn abt 1856), Alfred (bn abt 1858), Annie (bn abt 1863), Emma (bn about 1863), Charles CR (bn abt 1867) and Clifford (bn abt 1867).

In 1860, Elizabeth and Abraham were sharing their home Paoli, Indiana, with William (23), Marinda (19), Valentine (12), Clarence (6), Isabel (4), and Alfred (2).   In 1870, Elizabeth and Abraham were still living in Paoli, Orange County, Indiana, with William (now 33), Martha Emily - called Emily (18), Clarence (16), Isabel - called Belle (14), Emma (7) and Charles CR (3). Apparently Annie wasn't home when the Census taker came through this time, unless she and Emma are the same person.

Abraham died before 1874. I don't know yet if it was on the road to Kansas as my great-grandmother said. I do know that she married Solomon Moore (1822-1898), a boyhood friend of her deceased husband, in about 1874. Solomon had been born in Orange County, Indiana, and in 1850 had lived just down the road from Elizabeth's former mother-in-law (Abraham's mother, Esther Wolfington). So he was someone Elizabeth likely knew well and trusted. His wife had died only 4 years before he married Elizabeth. Solomon would have been around 54 and Elizabeth about 46 years old. They both would have needed someone to help them raise their children.

In 1880, Elizabeth (52) and Solomon (60) were living and farming in Hayes, Kansas in Franklin County, with his son Hance (20, bn abt 1860), and her children Annie (17) and Clifton (13).  [Clifford and Clifton are probably the same person.]
Climbing my Family Tree: 1880 Census: Elizabeth M. Bixler Wolfington Moore
Click to make bigger
Elizabeth's daughter Annie did marry Solomon's son Hance, in approximately 1882 (it apparently worked since they were still together in 1930 in Chanute, Kansas).

By 1895, Solomon (73) had evidently retired, because when he and Elizabeth (68) were counted in the Kansas state census, he no longer described himself as a farmer. (She was now claiming to be two years older than she was.) They are living down the road from Solomon's second youngest son George (probable). Solomon died three years later on February 20, 1898, of Bright's Disease (acute kidney disease, per wikipedia).

Elizabeth outlived Solomon by 15 years, dying on July 25, 1913 at age 84. She is buried with Solomon in the High Prairie Cemetery in Altoona, Kansas.

So with Elizabeth living to 1913 and Pearl Pauline being born in 1891, Elizabeth would have been alive for my great-grandmother's first 22 years. She probably didn't come and stay "for years" while her husband was alive, so it was probably after 1898. I haven't found the trip back to Findlay, Ohio yet.

I also haven't found her early years in Ohio yet, other than her listing her birth state as Ohio on every census. I haven't found anyone near Ft. Meigs (that would be Perrysburg now). I did find her marriage  to my 3rd great grandfather and they were living in Paoli (not Paola), Indiana, when my 2nd great-grandmother was born, and continued to live there most of their married lives. I found her sons Clifford and Clarence, and daughters Anna and Belle, but  Lydia and Ella belong to Pearl Pauline's Bailey grandparents and not to the Wolfingtons (I double-checked the Baileys about Lydia and Ella).

 I haven't yet figured out the reason for the move to Kansas or whether it was with my 2nd great grandfather or later. She did marry "a man by the name of Moore" and her daughter Annie did marry his son (it was the son that was named Hance, though.)

Great-Grandma's notes are good clues but are mostly hearsay evidence. They make good starting or somewhat corroborating evidence but are not to be taken as gospel.

It will be interesting to see what else might fit with in her stories. Always more to find!

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[Great-grandmother's notes; Federal Census for 1830, 1850, 1870,  1880, and 1930 (for Abraham Bixler, Esther Wolfington, Abraham Wolfington, Abram Wolfington, Elizabeth Bixler Wolfington Moore, Solomon Moore, Hance Moore, Annie/Anna Wolfington Moore and Jane Wilson); Kansas Census for 1895; Kansas Findagrave.com Memorials #16972829 and #52136322; Orange County, Indiana, Index to Marriage Records 1826-1920.] 

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