4th great grandpa Adam Mayne, again…

Whilst researching info for the Leander Mayne bio, I found this Invaluable information…

This is a transcript from “The Centennial Celebration of Springfield Ohio, held August 4-10, 1901.”  The speaker is William M. Harris, the secretary of the Clark County Historical Society, my 1st cousin, 4x removed; the son of Lydia Mayne…

I was born in this city in 1832, and my earliest recollection is
that my father, William M. Harris, was running a sawmill about
four miles south of Springfield, on Mill Creek, about a half-mile
west of where Emory Church now stands. The family lived in a
log house that stood on the hill about half-way between the church
and sawmill.
In January, 1839, my father died. I went to live with my
grandfather, Adam Mayne, who came to this county from George
town, D. C, in 1825, and during the thirties kept a tavern on the
old stage road running from Cincinnati to Springfield. This tav
ern, called “Travelers’ Rest,” by A. Mayne, four and one-half
miles from Springfield, was run until the pike was built from Cin
cinnati via Dayton to Springfield, when the stage coaches and
travel mostly left the mud road. Did I say “mud road?” Well,
that word hardly fills the bill, for much of the year it was more
like a river of mud without any bottom, even after the corduroy
roads were built. They were too narrow for two teams to pass in
opposite directions, and woe to the team or teamster that had to
turn out into the ditch. It was never done without a great, big
kick, and sometimes blows ; and when the stage coach with the
United States mail came along, the other fellow had to give the
road. When the stage driver would meet any other team, he
would call out : “United States mail ! Turn out !” And turn out

he did, without a second invitation, for any person delaying the
United States mail was liable to arrest. Neil & Vorhees was the
name of the old stage line, and they had their troubles with these
new mud roads, for they drove all night, no matter how dark or
how hard it stormed. I saw one stage lying on its side near Mill
Creek, another astride a stump with the tongue broken, near where
Beattytown now is.
This tavern I spoke of was not only for people who
had their own conveyance, but the passengers on the stage
coach often took their meals there, and the stage company kept a
few extra horses in the barn. There was scarcely a day that some
of the horses were not disabled. No doubt some of the young
people wonder how the women did the work those days, and how
they did the cooking without stoves. Well, they did it, and did it
well. The bread and pies were mostly baked in a large brick oven
out of doors. I have often gone out to hunt for some old, dry and
broken fence rails to make bake-oven wood. Then the old kitchen
fireplace would take in four-foot wood, and the large crane would
hold quite a number of kettles at once. They had the large tin
reflector, the large waffle irons, with handles nearly four feet long,
and, last but not least, the Dutch oven. But the people had to be
careful and not let the fire go out, for that was before the day of
matches. I recollect when the neighbors came to our house to bor
row fire. I don’t think they ever returned it.
There was a boy, a near neighbor of ours, and about my age,
and he and I were nearly always together. This boy was after
ward Major Philip Kershner, of the Sixteenth Ohio Regiment.
The militia used to muster on Jacob Kershner’s (Philip’s father’s)
farm. That was what they called little muster. William Kershner
was the captain. He was afterward brigadier general of the Clark
County militia. Once a year all the militia in the county had
to turn out ; that was called the general, or big, muster. My uncle,
Benjamin F. Mayne, was an officer on the staff of the brigadier
general. At the little muster the people ate dinner in Kershner.s
barn. Some of the men took so much of something to keep them
cool that they got hot for a fight, and they had the fight in the
About 1838 I went with Philip out to the harvest field to see

the men reap. There were about twenty-five men cutting grain
with sickles. Philip took me to the shady side of a shock of wheat.
He put his hand between the sheaves and took something- out. I
said : ‘.What is that ?” He said : “That is whisky.” I said :
“What is it for?” “To drink,” said he. “What do they drink it
for?” I asked. He said: “To keep the men cool; they could not
harvest without whisky to keen them cool.” I thought that was
all right. He and I both tasted it. I thought it was real good, but
that is not all the story. That winter my father died, and as I said.
I went to live with my mother.s people. Early in the spring my
uncle, Benjamin Mayne, was sowing oats broadcast, and the
neighbor’s chickens would pick them up before they could be har
rowed under, so my uncle came to the house for me to keep the
chickens out ; but in a few hours the sun got very hot and I
started home. My uncle saw me going, and called : “Hey, there !
Where are you going?” I said : “Going home.” He said : “What
are you going home for?” “Oh, it’s too hot out here.” Uncle
laughed and said : “What will vou do when harvest comes ?”
“Oh,” I said, “we will have whisky then.” My uncle, while he
lived, took great pleasure in telling that story.
I recollect when the farmers went to wash their sheep in the
river, they took something to keep themselves from getting cold,
and I could never tell the difference between what they drank to
keep themselves cool when it was hot, and what they drank to keep
themselves warm when it was cold. It looked alike and tasted
alike, but I very soon learned that neither of them was good for
the purpose it was used.
This road by the tavern was a great thoroughfare for driving
fat hogs to market from the northern part of the State to Cincin
nati. It made a good home market for corn, for the farmers that
lived on the road. Our people sold nearly all their corn to the
drovers. Not only hogs, but some of the early settlers tell of large
droves of turkeys that were driven through to Cincinnati.
I think I could give the names from memory of nearly all the
people who lived on or near the road from Springfield to Yellow
Springs—that is, from 1836 to 1850; but will only mention a few
of them in addition to those already sooken of. In the first farm
house south of town lived William Huntington ; about three mile

out lived an old Revolutionary soldier, who was known by every
body as Grand-daddy Lane. About three and one-half miles out
was Mr. Reif. He was an all-.round mechanic ; he made nearly
all the grain cradles used in that part of the country ; that is, after
grain cradles came into fashion. I have already spoken of Jacob
Kershner. He was a soldier of the War of 1812. In early days
he ran a blacksmith shop, just a short distance north of where
Emory Church now stands. That was in the days when only char
coal was used ; no other kind could be had in this part of the
country. In the thirties a log’ schoolhouse stood in almost the
same place where Emory Church now stands. It was in the midst
of a thick wood ; it had two doors, one on each side ; a large
fireplace at each end. and a puncheon floor. Reuben Miller, for
merly of this city, taught school there, also Immanuel Mayne, the
oldest son of Adam Mayne, taught school there. Near by, a little
southeast, stood a log house in which lived “Granny” Layman, the
widow of a Revolutionary soldier. Six miles out there was an
other tavern and stage house, kept by Moses Mills, the father of
Jacob Mills, of this city.
Of one thing more I wish to speak ; that is, how the people
went to mill, market, and meeting. To church, if not too far away,
they walked ; if it was three to five miles, they went on horse
back, sometimes the wife sitting on the horse behind the husband,
carrying the baby in her arms. Later on the farmer would take
his whole family to church in the farm wagon. To market, they
went mostly on horseback, carrying the basket of butter and eggs
on the arm. Later they used the farm wagon for that, too.
Many times I went to the mill with corn in a bag, half in each –
end of the sack—that is, if it happened to be divided just right,
but sometimes there would be about five pecks in one end of the
sack and three pecks in the other ; then the bag would slip off, and
I would have to ride a long way to get some one to lift it on again.
My grandfather owned and used the only light vehicle in our
neighborhood for many years. It was called a carryall. It had
wooden springs, not leather thoroughbraces like the stage coach
or the large family carriages used in the city in those days. My
uncle, Gideon Mayne, had the first buggy with steel springs in our
neighborhood. That was about the year of 1844. It had a square

panel body and no top. There is an old gentleman here in this
city who borrowed that buggy in 1845 to R° to a wedding.

Grandpa Adam owned a Tavern!! and a farm!!  and a mill!!  And Uncle Gideon had a convertible!

Is this a clue to Adam’s occupation in D.C.?

I’d love to keep all this better organized, but you never know what is going to turn up…For instance, by studying up on the history of Springfield, Ohio, I recognized Many family names… That’s another post, as well…

Stay tuned…

Springfield Ohio 1830s

Springfield Ohio 1830s



Great-grandpa George Washington Eaton

My great-grandfather George W. was born in 1852 in Crawford County, IN, the sixth of eight children born to William and Margaret Osborn Eaton.  When he was 11, his brother Samuel died, a casualty of the Civil War.  Another brother, James, survived his four years in the Union Army.  A younger brother died at age 11 in 1870 when George was 18.

I can’t fill in much more between b. and d. for great-grandpa George.  I know that he lived in English, Crawford County, IN.  The town of Hartford that had been platted out in 1839 changed its name and incorporated as English in 1884, just after the Air Line Railroad came through town.  The railroad provided a much-needed outlet for timber, which became the county’s chief product.  The forests were decimated by the logging operations….  Today these lands have been re-forested by the USDA Forest Service and provide a lovely recreation area called Hoosier National Forest…  From their site:

Southern Indiana boasted some of the finest hardwoods in the world. With the advent of the sawmill in 1860, extensive commercial forest clearing operations began. During the period following the Civil War, thousands of sawmills operated in Indiana.

In 1899, Indiana led the nation in lumber production. Though most of the good farm land had been cleared and settled in the early 1800s, the steep hills and valleys which today make up most of the Hoosier National Forest, was harvested between 1870 and 1910. Cut over lands sold for approximately $1 per acre.horses in log_yard

The type of cutting that occurred in the late 1800’s had a profound effect on the composition of the present forest. The areas were often burned repeatedly to clear the brush.

Population during the 1800’s peaked in the 1890s, and then, in the Forest area, began to steadily decline as many farmers gave up…

small garden in the 1930s

Though some of my greats from English did work in the sawmills and logging,  not George.  He owned his farm and remained a farmer.

There was one other thing, a big thing according to my research, that occurred in Crawford County in those days.  I’m actually rather horrified by this history, but it would appear to be something that the county is “famous” for.

From Wikipedia:

White caps were groups involved in whitecapping who were operating in southern Indiana in the late 19th century. They engaged in vigilante justice and lynchings and in modern times are often viewed as engaging in terrorism. They became common in the state following the American Civil War and lasted until the turn of the 20th century. White caps were especially active in Crawford and neighboring counties in the late 1880s.  Between 1860 and 1910, at least 68 people were lynched; twenty were blacks and forty-eight were whites.

WTF?  What made people want to go around acting like that?

Moral police…

White caps groups began to spring up across the state over the next decade. The groups were most prevalent in the southern part of Indiana, and especially so in Harrison and Crawford Counties. Many of the groups started as enforcers of morality. They were known to target alcoholics, people believed to be idle, and men who did not provide for their families. Such people were often abducted and flogged.[3]

They soon began to target women who were not believed to be adequately caring for their home and children, children who were truant from school, and people who shirked from civic duty like working on road projects. By the late 1870s, the groups were beginning to target criminals for punishment, and continued to carry out sporadic lynchings.[3]

Whaa????   Targeting people believed to be idle??  Flogging?  Thankfully, I do not (yet) have any indication that my ancestors were involved in these activities, either lyncher or lynchee…  But ya gotta wonder…

Anyway, That’s the kind of world it was in Crawford County when 21-year-old George married 16-year-old Amanda Almeda Harris  in 1873.   They commenced to having children.  Amanda later states on a census that she had given birth to eight children, but I have found only five who survived:

William was born in 1876;  Lillie in 1878; Myrtle, 1881; Emma, 1886; and Clarence, my grandpa, in 1890.  The children attended school at the loghouse in English, all of them completing at least the 4th grade, able to read, write, cipher.

By 1900, Lillie and Myrtle had married and were living nearby.  Still left on the farm with George and Amanda were William, age 24; Emma, age 14; and Clarence, age 10.

Hard times…very hard times. were ahead…

On April 28, 1905  Emma died, age 18, of TB.    On July 16, 1905, George W. died of typhoid fever.  His death certificate says that it was of 16 days duration.

On August 18, 1905, Myrtle’s daughter died of gastroenteritis of 2 weeks duration.  She was 18 months old.

On June 24, 1906 Myrtle died, also of TB,  leaving no living children.

Lillie gave birth to a daughter, her fifth child,  on April 27, 1907.  Lillie died on June 2, 1907 ( of TB) and her little daughter died 12 days later, June 14, 1907..  Lillie was survived by her 3 sons, and a 4-year-old daughter, Rosa.

Doesn’t that just break your heart?  Tuburculosis was the leading cause of death in the United states in those years and so many families were affected.

George W. Eaton’s estate in 1905 was valued at $353, about $10,000 2019 money and Meadie stayed on.. The 1910 census shows Meada, her son, William (still single at 34), and Rosa, Lillie’s daughter, living on the farm.

My grandpa, Clarence Wordie Eaton, was 17, almost 18, by time all the dying ended…and that is where I lose him.

I catch up with Grandpa in 1915, and I’m still a little confused…

Stay tuned…



Crawford County Families

+++this is a rerun, edited in order to organize the blog.  Note that there are two pages listed above:  Mom’s Family and Dad’s Family.  There you will see my ancestry put in a more coherent order…Thanks for reading…+++

Crawford County is the petri dish of my mother’s DNA…  By the mid-19th century, most of my greats had converged in this one spot to mingle…

When  my 3rd-great-grandfather William R. Eaton was building up his homestead in the 1840’s, he would likely have known my 3rd-great-grandfather, James Goodson.  James was born in Crawford county in 1821, the oldest son of Thomas and Anna Goodson’s four children.  In 1840, he married Margaret Richey and together they had six children:  William, b 1841; Northumberland (my 2nd great-grandfather), b 1846; Thomas, born 1847; Margaret, born 1851; Celesta, born 1855; Sally, born 1859.  The Goodsons were also farmers.

As William R. settled in and became part of the larger community in the county, he would have known my 2nd-great-grandfather, Isaac Harris,  who bought his Crawford County homestead in 1853. The 1860 census shows them living right up the road from the Eatons.  Isaac and his wife, Matilda, had six children: Henry, only lived 3 years;  Amanda Almeda (my great-grandmother), born 1856; Madora, born 1857; Jacob, born 1860;  William, born 1861; John, born 1863.

There were some later arrivals, though.  Around the same time (1853) that the Harris Family was arriving in Crawford County, my 2nd great-grandfather, Nicholas Kirsch was just off the boat from Bodendorf, Germany.  Just 19 when he arrived in the port of New York City, he eventually found his way to a German community in Louisville, Kentucky, just across the Ohio River from southern Crawford County.   In 1864, he married another German immigrant, Caroline Rudi (or Rudd).  In 1870, the Kirsch Family, consisting of Nicholas, Caroline, Nicholas, Jr. (4) and John (2) settled into Leavenworth, Indiana, along the Ohio River border of Crawford County.  Nicholas was not a farmer, and he was educated, two things that set him apart from Mom’s other ancestors.  After settling in as a merchant in Leavenworth, the family expanded to include: Frederick, born 1871;  Christina (my great-grandmother), born 1874;  Peter, born 1875; Charles, born 1877; and Elizabeth, born 1879.

English, IN, around 1875

English, IN, around 1875

The Civil War was waged from 1860-1865.  That changed everything…for everybody… The years of the Civil War and its effect on All of my families is a subject for another Post or two.  I’d like to return to my Mayne ancestors, who we left behind in Ohio in 1850 or so,  and their experience in the War Between the States, as well.   Were we all on the Right side??

My favorite of the Crawford County group is my 2nd great-grandfather, North Goodson, and not just because of his cool name, so he deserves more words.  The German immigrant family of Christian Rudi, my 3rd great-grandfather,  is a good story, too.

Stay tuned…

William R. Eaton, 2nd great-grandfather

My 2nd-great grandfather, William R. Eaton, was born in 1819 to Samuel and Dicey Eaton.  Shortly after his birth, the family moved to Marion County, Indiana where they farmed.  In 1820, his brother Samuel was born, followed by his brother James in 1822.  I haven’t been able to find any more children born to Dicey and Sam and that’s usually a sad thing.  Dicey died in 1832 when her sons were 13, 12, and 10.

In 1838, at the ripe old age of 19,  2nd-great William R. married Margaret Elizabeth Osborn in Marion County, Indiana.  They started cranking out babies, using all the familiar names:  1840, Samuel; 1842, James Henry; 1843 Louisa; 1848, Nancy;  1850, Lurinda; 1852, George W. (my great-grandfather); John, 1857; William T., 1859.

Sometime around 1842, William R. moved his family, then consisting of Margaret, Samuel, and James, to Crawford County, Indiana, ostensibly to farm…

Why did William R. pick this particularly backward, poverty-stricken area?   For $50, a man could buy 40-acres of land there and build a homestead.  Most of the land was wooded, so trees could be cut for cabins and outbuildings, as well as to clear for corn and bean crops.  Most homesteads had several acres of pasture for dairy cows, goats, or sheep, but I discovered that the economy in Southeastern Indiana before the Civil War was driven by hogs.   With pork and corn, the pioneers could survive, or even thrive depending on their level of ambition.

The Civil War came along… William’s sent two of his sons to fight, but only one came back…Samuel died in 1863 of dysentery. In 1870, his youngest son, William T., died, age 11.

He died in 1871, aged 52 years. I do wish they’d kept better death records at that time, as there were so many ways to die back then..!  He is buried in Sulphur, Crawford County, IN.

He left to mourn his passing seven grown children and his widow, Margaret.

(Three years later, Margaret married a fella 18 years her junior, a Civil War vet named Isaac Gibson.  Weirdly, Isaac Gibson was a cousin of my great-grandmother Amanda Almeda Gibson..!   Margaret and Isaac had been married six years when shed died in 1880.)

Did my great-grandfather, George Washington Eaton, just 16 when his father died, stayed on the farm…?

Stay tuned…





Benjamin Franklin Mayne, 3rd great-grandfather

Benjamin was born in 1811 in Georgetown, D.C., the fourth child of Adam and Catherine Kemp Mayne.  During the War of 1812, while Adam was serving in the D.C. Militia, the British burnt the nearby President’s Palace, the Capitol, and just about any other building they could torch.  Catherine fled with her children, Emmanuel, 7; Lydia, 5; Elizabeth, 3; and Benjamin just 1,  across the Potomac River, probably to Frederick, MD, where their families resided.  Eventually the family was reunited and Benjamin grew up in Georgetown, D.C.

Around 1828, Adam and Catherine moved the family, now consisting of eight children ranging in age from 5 to 20,  to Springfield, Ohio and took up farming.  You can read about the accomplishments of Adam Here.  Benjamin was a farmer, like his dad, but this was a wealthy family even before they bought the Homestead.  He and his siblings went to school, and I’m assuming he went to college because I have records of his brothers attending.  The Methodist Church was the center of the family life and Sunday School and Bible teaching became second-nature to them all.  His brothers left Ohio for Iowa and Missouri sometime in the early 1850’s.

In 1836, B.F. married Sarah Ellis, b. 1818 in Pennsylvania.  They settled down on the farm and started churning out children.  Their first child, Tobias, was born in 1837, but died in 1839, right around the time their second son, Leander, was born.  Their third son, Emory,  arrived the following year, 1840, but he only lived until 1841.

A daughter, Ellen, was born in 1843, and sometime after that, Benjamin loaded up the wagons and took his family to Mt. Morris, Ogle County, Illinois where he had bought some land to homestead.  A second daughter, Mary Catherine, was born there in 1845, followed by a son,  Philander,  born in 1847.

I had only glanced at where the family had moved, assuming it was near the Southern Illinois haunts that I’m familiar with.  I realize now that Mt. Morris Ogle County is in Northern Illinois, about 100 miles from Chicago.  Huh.  That’s about 400 miles from Springfield, Ohio!   I don’t know what the big attraction was to lure them so far away.  I did read this from “History of Mt. Morris, IL”  which made me wonder….

The Rock River Seminary was founded in 1839 by a few public spirited settlers living in the Village. Mt. Morris enjoyed the distinction of being the literary center of the northwest, and was justly proud of Old Sandstone standing prominently on the college campus in the center of the dignified little Village. The first term of the Rock River Seminary commenced on the first Friday in November, 1840.

They didn’t stay long, though, and around 1850, the family moved back to Ohio to care for Adam and Catherine.  Their son, Clark, was born there in 1851.  They lost another baby in 1853, John, who lived about a month.  Their last child, Emma, was born in Ohio in 1854.

In 1857, at the age of 38, Sarah died.   She was buried in the Emery Chapel cemetery.  Her children were ages 18, 14, 12, 10, 6, and 3.

Benjamin’s father, Adam, also died in 1857, leaving B.F. to care for his invalid mother.   Shortly after Adam died, Benjamin married Elizabeth Kauffman Farrington, a widow with an 11-year-old son, D.O.

Elizabeth gave birth in 1860 to Sarah Frances (Fannie).  Sadly, Elizabeth died less than a year after her daughter’s birth.  She is buried in the Emery Chapel Cemetery.

Poor Benjamin! He wasn’t Adam’s oldest son, but he seemed to be the One who took responsibility for his mother and the Ohio Homestead.  Now here he was with eight motherless kids, as well.  He did have two sisters who lived within 50 miles, though, and I’ll bet they helped when they could.

In 1863, he married Frances Kauffman Tiffany, Elizabeth’s sister (that had me so confused!).  Frances was a widow with three children, ages 18, 14, and 7.   By this time, Benjamin’s kids were 24, 20, 18, 16, 14,12, 9, and 3.    Geesh, good thing they were rich.

The Civil War happened along,  In 1861,  B.F.’s oldest son, Leander enlisted in the 3rd Ohio Regiment and was gone for most of four years.  Shortly after the close of the war, Leander and his family, his sister and her husband, Kate and William Schmalhausen, moved about 100 miles to Lancaster Illinois.  Lancaster was just off the National Road.  There Leander started farming and the Schmalhausens opened a general store.

Benjamin stayed on the Ohio farm until his mother died in 1869.  Around 1871, he loaded up the wagons with family and furniture and followed Leander and Kate to Illinois.

Thank heaven that my grandparents kept programs and clipped obituaries…  This information is from Benjamin’s son Philander Mayne’s wedding anniversary program in 1930…

So Benjamin continued the Mayne/Mehn tradition of gifting your children with land.  I’m sure he had his own parcel, as well, since four children were still living with him.

Sadly, Benjamin outlived yet another wife:  Frances died in 1880.  This guy just kept on ticking, though, marrying Phoebe Goldburgh in 1881.

This is a picture you will be seeing again.  I’m still working on when this picture was taken, but I know this is B.F. and Phoebe with Leander’s family.

InkedBen L Mayne Family_LI

 Benjamin and Phoebe were married for 18 years and died 1 day apart in 1899…

To the end, B.F. outlived his wife!

Benjamin Franklin Mayne had quite a life and time.  I’m now entering into the era of research where feel like my greats are not that far in the past.

Leander S. Mayne, my 2nd great-grandfather, is a familiar person in my story, but I’ve still learned a few things I didn’t know.

Stay tuned…



Family in the War Between the States

Dad was obsessed with All things Civil War and President Lincoln.  We took Family Roadtrips to Civil War battlefields all over Kentucky and Tennessee, and visited Everyplace Lincoln lived in Illinois and Indiana.  He set up a mock battlefield on the ping-pong table, using matches labeled with general’s names, and would spend hours working out what flank was sweeping on which…or retreating or something.   With all the Civil War Enactments that go on these days, he doesn’t seem so weird to me now.  He read every book on every aspect of the War and Lincoln, and shared that enthusiasm with me and my brother and sister…. That infatuation with the battles was something I didn’t quite follow, though.. Looking at it through the lens of genealogy, it’s more interesting…

This post is for Dad and his Civil War Battle fixation… He would be thrilled to have all this information at his fingertips and would be familiar with every military move…  He would also be a little jealous that Mom’s family was just as involved in the War between the State as his was…

Civil War Battles summary: The Civil War consisted of nearly 10,500 battles, engagements, and other military actions including nearly 50 major battles and about 100 others that had major significance. The remainder were skirmishes, reconnaissances, naval engagements, sieges, bombardments, etc. The engagements were fought in 23 different states and resulted in a total of over 650,000 casualties.

I checked every family that I have researched so far and found the generation that was aged 20-35 in 1865, then looked for a military record.  Soon enough I had uncovered a nice squad of Civil War Veterans. I included uncles in my search because some of our direct grandfathers were too young or too old to serve. We had some casualties, too.  Two of the four soldiers from the Crawford County families died from disease; a Mayne died in battle.

All of our Vets fought for the Union Army.  I have identified eleven ancestors, in no particular order, as well as a link to a list of the battles in which their unit was involved.  They are wikipedia links, so there may be problems, but they will get you started if you’re interested.   It’s a work in progress, as many of these guys need their own bio post, but it helps me organize and work my way through the War years.

Alexander Kinkade, 2nd great-grandfather, was involved in battles in Arkansas and Missouri, while serving with the 13th Illinois Cavalry, Company H

Leander S. Mayne, 2nd great-grandfather, was all around Kentucky, Alabama, and Tennessee, most notably the battles at Perryville and Stone’s River  3rd Ohio Infantry Company D

Northumberland Goodson, 2nd great-grandfather, was not involved in any Battles that I can find, just skirmishes, but light artillery is kind of cool…13th Independent Battery Light Artillery 

Isaac Harris, 2nd great-grandfather, (Grandpa Eaton’s mom’s dad)  Corporal Harris died of dysentery while serving….58th Indiana Infantry Company E 

Nicholas Kirsch, 2nd great-grandfather, (Little Grandma’s father) Yes, there were Kentucky Union regiments, and the immigrant Nicolaus Kirsch was the Bugler!  This has tickled me!  I guess that’s where we get our musical talent.  Read about how important a Bugler was right here. and here...  He served with 4th Regiment Kentucky Cavalry

Thomas J. Hadden, 3rd great-grandfather, (Gainsey’s mother’s father) saw a lot of action in Tennessee, ending up in North Carolina … 124th Indiana Infantry Company E

—-William R. Eaton, 2nd great-grandfather was too old to serve, and his son, George W, my great-grandfather was too young.  William’s older sons, George’s brothers, were just the right age…

James H. Eaton, 2nd great-uncle, was at the Battle of Vicksburg, among other places,  49th Indiana Infantry

Samuel Eaton, 2nd great-uncle, was assigned to guard the confederates in the  infamous Alton Illinois Prison .  The prison was a hotbed of disease and he died there of smallpox.  I believe he was with the Indiana 66th Volunteer regiment, but I’ll check on that.

—The Scots-Irish clan of McWilliams, my 2nd great-grandmother Analiza’s family, was represented by two of her brothers:

Philip McWilliams, 3rd great-uncle, was in the Battle of Nashville, among other battles with 9th Illinois Cavalry

David McWilliams, 3rd great-uncle, served under then-Colonel U.S. Grant!  in the 21st Illinois Infantry Company K

One more Mayne, who I’ve mentioned before: Emanuel Mayne, 4th great-uncle (son of Adam), died at the Battle of Kirksville while serving in the 3rd Iowa Cavalry Company G 

I’ve found this research fascinating.  I think of those Family road trips to Civil War battlefields and I wish I’d paid more attention.  I remember Chickamauga and Chattanooga, Fort Donelson…  Where did we see the flying sandwiches?  I seem to remember Vicksburg—did we go to Vicksburg?  How about Shiloh? Did Dad ever get to see Gettysburg?  I wonder…

After watching Ken Burns’ “Civil War” documentary, I was horrified by the scenes of those battlefields, and haven’t thought about them much as a tourist attraction., but now I kinda want to plan some New Road Trips…

I’ll bring the sandwiches…








4th and 3rd great-grandfathers – Eaton

I have written before about the challenges of researching my Mom’s Dad’s family, the Eatons.  My 5th great-grandfather continues to elude me. I spotted a record of a William Eaton in the Maryland 4th Regiment who would have been the right age and in the right place.  Beyond that there were no dots to connect, hard as I tried.

Since I doubt I’m missing out on a line of royalty, I’m happy to be able to go as far as I have, 249 or so years ago.

My great-great-great-great-grandfather was William Eaton, born 1770-1773 in Maryland.  William’s early years are obscure, but what is certain is that he married Nancy Ann Bryan in 1793 in Frederick Maryland and in 1794 their first son, John was born there.  (Isn’t it odd that both Mayne and Eaton stories start out in Frederick, MD?)

By 1796, William, Nancy and John moved to Gallatin County, Kentucky, and bought some property to farm.   Gallatin County is in the northeast part of Kentucky, just across the Ohio River from Indiana north of Louisville, KY and south of Cincinnati, Ohio.

Nancy Ann was having babies every two years…  In addition to John, she and William had eight more children:  Samuel b 1796;  James b 1797; William, Jr born 1801; Nancy b 1804; Bluford b 1809; Milanda b 1811; Greenup b 1813; Joshua (Josiah) b 1814; and Charles b 1816….

She was one of the lucky ones and all of her children survived into adulthood.  William, however, up and died in 1817, leaving her with 9 children, from ages one to  twenty-three.   The work of raising that many children by yourself, in 1817, and taking care of a farm sounds impossible…  I guess that’s why she bought slaves…

Censuses back then gave you only numbers of free white males between certain ages, free white females between certain ages, and slaves.  In the 1810 census, when William was still alive, there were just free white people in his household.  In the 1820 census, Nancy Ann has 3 slaves.  This revelation made my stomach turn…

Having grown up hearing about ancestors who fought on the Union side of the Civil War, it hadn’t even dawned on me that one might have owned slaves at some point.  The facts are that it was just part of the culture, the status quo in the slave states, which included Kentucky.  The population of Gallatin County in 1800 was 1,291, according to the Second Census of Kentucky, composed of 960 whites, 329 slaves, and 2 “freemen of color”…  I’m so sorry.  I’ll just leave that there. 

Samuel, my great-great-great-grandfather, was 21 when his father died.  That same year, he married a local girl, Decy or Dicey Gibson..  The name is puzzling because of the bad handwriting/spelling of the census takers.  I think her name was most likely Daisy, and she was about 17 when she married Samuel.  Their first son, William R. was born in Kentucky in 1819.

Around 1820, Samuel, Daisy, and baby William R joined with his brothers, James and William jr and their families, along with Samuel’s mother, Nancy ,who had six children age 4-16 still at home, sold the farm in Kentucky and moved to Franklin Township, Marion County, Indiana.  That must have been quite a caravan of wagons and people!  Covered wagons traveled between 10 and 20 miles per day, so it may have taken them a couple of weeks to travel the 115 miles to their new home.

Marion County today is Indiana’s largest, most populated county. A web of interstates forms a circle around the  county seat that doubles as the state capital, Indianapolis.  It’s hard to picture that area as farms and forests, but Franklin Township has been the slowest to urbanize because of the many family farms that were there historically. When the Eatons arrived, the capital of Indiana was Corydon, a town 100+ miles south on the Ohio River near Louisville KY.  The Capital was not officially moved to Indy until 1825.

Indiana state motto: Crossroads of America, which is not a motto. or even a complete sentence.

The family bought land, expanding their property over time as Nancy’s children grew into adulthood.  Nancy remarried around 1830 and lived nearby.

Samuel and Daisy, meanwhile, were expanding their family.  In addition to William R., were born Samuel Jr. in 1820, James Henry, in 1822, and Mary in 1834.  The expanse of time between the births of those children would lead me to believe that Daisy lost a lot of babies between 1823 and 1834.  The tragedy of motherhood in those days is stark.  As my hairdresser said, Women’s lives were all birthing and mourning.  My 3rd great-grandmother Daisy died in 1836, in Marion, Indiana, age 36.

My 4th great-grandmother Nancy Ann, outlived her second husband and was living with her son James at the time of her death in 1850.

3rd great-grandfather Samuel was remarried to a lady named Nancy, just to confuse me. Two of his children, Sam Jr and Mary, died sometime before 1850.

Around 1843 his surviving sons, William and James, moved their families 120 miles south to Crawford County, Indiana.  Did he move with them?

I can’t say for sure because I haven’t got a clear record of him beyond 1840.  The records of his death seem to have been conflated with those of his brother, James, or maybe they really did both die on the same day,  November 3, 1865 in Marion County?  I tend to think that he died sometime before his sons left Marion County.  That would explain just why on earth they moved Again…

William R was my great-great grandfather and I will take up the story with him in the next post…

If you are confused by all the Williams and Samuels, you don’t know the half of it.  All five of Samuel’s brothers had a Samuel, William, and James, most born around the same time, same place…!

Stay tuned!