Sunday, November 8, 2009

Hidden in plain view …

I have searched and I searched, I just can not find Susannah after 1870! In the federal census that year, she lived in Lafayette County with Joseph and Catherine, her children, Martha and John is listed with them too. Henry Charles is with William and Oella Smith, who live next door. While I was search for Susannah, I did find that Martha had married Henry Hause on June 14, 1874 though the name is spelled Hauss in the marriage records. She is 18 years old when she married. There is little information available about her because she is dead 3 short years later. I am looking for an Obit for her but so far I have not found one.

Margaret is also pretty elusive. Since Susannah counted all of her children in 1860, I spent years looking for Margaret in the decade of 1860-1870. Every Margaret in Allen and surrounding counties was a suspect but I just could not find her. During one of my visits to the Nine Mile area, I decided to check out two older cemeteries which were very close to the Nine Mile Church. It was out of curiosity more than anything that I chose to visit them. Maybe, just maybe, I would find Susannah buried there and if not her maybe someone else!

The first cemetery was West on Winter Rd. I found it the first time I visited Nine Mile because I turned left to find the church when I should have turned right. I had stopped and looked during my first visit but I had no idea who I was even looking for. The cemetery is called Albright Cemetery and has about 25 graves. The names are familiar and all of the people buried there are from early Allen County family names that I recognize from early census records.

The second cemetery was called Brenton Chapel Cemetery. It is located on Cloverdale Road, around the corner from the two cemeteries on Winter Road. Many of the names on the tombstones there are familiar old Allen County names too. I found that Letisha Davis was buried there. She is the wife of Benjamin C Davis and died on November 15, 1851. I recognize the “Davis” name because Benjamin was one of the founding members of the Nine Mile Church. And 1851 was about the time that they started the church, I had thought. I took a mental note to check this out when I got home.

When I arrived home, I went in search of Benjamin Davis. It took some time because he was not listed as Benjamin, eventually I found him listed as Ben C. Davis and he is remarried. His new wife is Margaret! “Could it be her?” I thought. With further research, I found that Margaret Smith had married Benjamin C. Davis in 1851, one year after the 1850 census and a few months after his first wife’s death. Benjamin and Latisha had 6 children and Margaret would be the one to finish raising them. Benjamin and Letisha’s children were; William (1831), Mahala (1832), Sarah Ann (1833), Adaline (1835), Columbus (1838), and Betsey( 1843).

Margaret would have her first son, James in 1853. Margaret and Benjamin would have six children in all: James (1853), Joseph H. (1856), Martha (1857), Mary Davis (1860), Lucinda Margaret (1863) and Elnora Davis (1866). It is no wonder that I could not find Margaret. First Susannah made me think that she had not gotten married until after 1860 and she appears to have died by 1867, I say “appears to have” because I can not find where she is buried either. Her last daughter Elnora was born and that is the “last known” event I can find in her life. I am thinking that she may have died giving birth to her. By the 1870 Federal Census, Benjamin is listed with his third wife Hannah E. Davis. Hannah would raise Margaret’s children and have a couple of her own.

After finding Margaret and her children, I was able to find that Martha Davis married William Putt. The Putt Family was three doors down from the Davis’s in the 1860 census. Martha, her husband and two of their children are buried in the Nine Mile Cemetery and the Putt family members were long standing members of the Nine Mile Church. Martha Putt and her children are named on the Quilt which hangs in the lower level of the Church.

I have spent time the last few days trying to find out where any of the Davis children were buried in Indiana assuming that Margaret would be with them but I still can not find her.

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