Tuesday, February 23, 2016

William and Elizabeth (Blauser) Bly Family

While researching Sophia for my Tombstone Tuesday post today, this family reveals a very sad story. William and Elizabeth had 10 Children and only three survived their childhood. In 1850 William and Elizabeth are in Ohio living with the first two of their 10 children, Caroline(1847) and Abraham(1850). Sally Ann is born in Fairfield Ohio in 1852. Between 1852 and 1854, William and his family have moved from Ohio to the Zanesville, Indiana area where Nancy Isobella is born in 1854 followed by Phebe Elizabeth in 1857 and Lafayette Valentine in 1859.

The 1860 Federal Census, shows Caroline, Abraham,Sally, Nancy, Phoebe, Lafayette. In 1861 Noah William is born. In 1863 Phoebe Elizabeth dies on Mar 14, 1865 and Lafayette Valentine dies a few months later on March 9, 1863. Noah William is born in January of 1861 but dies four years later on September 27, 1865. Noah was never recorded on a Federal Census. Sophia is born on March 14, 1865.
Mary Elizabeth Bly and Nancy Bly

In the 1870 Federal Census, it lists Wm, Mary, Abraham, Sally, Nancy, and Mary Rebecca. There is no sign of Sophia Eliz. Makes me wonder if she is already sick and in a hospital somewhere. By the Federal Census of 1880, Elizabeth who is now divorced is shown with Abraham, Nancy, Mary Rebecca. She is living next to her brother Noah Blauser and his family. 

Divorce was pretty unusual in 1880. It usually happen when a family was abandoned. According to a Newspaper article in the Fort Wayne Weekly Sentinel dated July 16, 1879, Elizabeth Bly has requested a divorce after William Bly due to his refusal to support her and the children. The case will be brought before Judge O'Rourke. On August 6, 1879, there is a Notice in the Fort Wayne Sentinel, issued by the Allen County Circuit Court Elizabeth Bly vs William Bly requesting that he appear in court to determine his whereabouts and to settle his case with Elizabeth. He has apparently been missing and is no longer in the state of Indiana. I did not see any further newspaper article so it seems that the divorce was indeed awarded to Elizabeth.

William Bly  and Mary Rebecca (Bly) Smith
This photo posted by a Bly Family researcher seems to indicate that William spent the remainder of his day with his daughter Mary Rebecca Bly Smith in Kansas City.  His Obit seems to indicate that he was a boarder on Tayler Street in Fort Wayne at the time of his death.  I never did find his actual Obit. Over a fifteen year span, illness ravaged this poor family killing seven of the ten children. You cant help but wonder if this contributed to the break down of this family.

Happy Hunting,


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