Sometimes when you are looking for your ancestors, a unique given name can help you track a family with a common surname like Smith. Early in my search, I found a clue that James and Susannah may have come from Darke County because of a unique given name. Her name was Kisiah Smith and she married Daniel Overly in Darke County. Daniel is Susannah’s brother. Kisiah was not married to Daniel very long. I made an assumption that she died (maybe in child birth which was more common then) but I couldn’t be sure of that. I had first found James and Susannah in Allen County Indiana and I knew that they were the parents to James W, who was the father of Alvin, who was the father of Everett, my Grandfather. I knew they were from Ohio which lead me to search for a Marriage record for James Smith and Susannah whose last name was unknown. With that search I found the marriage record for James Smith and Susannah Overly. It was the only marriage record for a James Smith and Susannah. So with that information I decided to take a close look at the Overly family. As luck would have it they had been well researched and there was quite a lot of data on them.
When I searched on the Overly name, I found the marriage record for Daniel Overly and Kisiah Smith on October 12, 1824. The name Kisiah jumped off the page at me. James and Susannah had a daughter named Kisiah and it made me wonder if they were related. Did James have a sister Kisiah? Daniel Overly had two sons in the 1830 Federal Census, one under 3 and one between 5<10 and there are two women in the household between 20 <30. I assumed that this was Kisiah and maybe a sister of hers or of Daniel’s. Later I would find a marriage record which would indicate that Daniel had married Mary Ann Glasgow by 1840. They would have Samuel, their first son in 1840. They settled in Miami County, Indiana by the 1860 Federal Census. Mary Ann has died by the 1870 Census.
I would later find a Kesiah Overly living with Henry Smith in Darke County, Ohio in the 1870 Federal Census. Are Henry and Kesiah are siblings? Is the spelling different because the census taker wrote it wrong? Could this be the first wife of Daniel Overly? Kesiah is ten years older than Henry; she is listed as 70 in the census. If this is her, where has she been for the 1850 and 1860 census? What happened to the children listed in the 1830 Census? I find a William Overly living in Pleasant township, Allen County, Indiana near the other Overly families in the Nine Mile area. He was born in 1825. This could be Kisiah and Daniel’s child? My Smith family traveled in family groups when they moved from Ohio to Indiana. Siblings and their families moved together settling in close proximity of each other and in some cases on the same plot of land which they would develp together. Nephews are found working with Uncles.
I have spent many nights trying to answer these questions. So far I do not know. Hopefully with continued research someday I’ll find this “needle in the haystack”. So much for thinking a unique given name would help me with a common surname.