Tuesday, September 27, 2005

What is the ancestry of Thomas Bayles (1825-1901)?

Thomas Bayles, the father of Esther (Bayles) Mabry was born in 1825 in Virginia. We know that by 1849 he was living in Muskingum County, Ohio.

Who were his parents and how did he get to Ohio? The answers are mostly speculation at this point.

What we know:
• Thomas M. Bayles was born in February 1826 in either "Virginia" (most census listings) or "West Virginia" (death certificate).

It is possible that both birthplaces are accurate; West Virginia was founded in 1861, when the rest of the state of Virginia seceeded from the Union. So, Thomas may have been born in the state of Virginia, in one of the counties that later became part of West Virginia.

• Thomas Bayles married Leatha "Louisa" Shaffer on April 19, 1849 in Muskingum County, Ohio.

All we can learn from this is that Thomas was in Muskingum County by at least that date.

• Is Thomas the son of Aden Bayles?

When the 1840 Census was taken, an "Adin Bales" was living in Muskingum Township, Muskingum County (he is not found in the 1830 census). In the "Bales" household were 1 man age 60-69 (presumably Adin), 1 woman age 40-49 (probably his wife, possibly named Sarah). There were also 6 boys (one under age 5, two age 5-9, 1 age 10-14, 2 age 15-19) and one woman age 20-29.

The 20-29 year old woman has been identified as Aden's daughter, Ruhamah. Ruhamah (born 1818 in Frederick County, Virginia*) married David Gay Carter in Muskingum County in 1841.

I have not found any information regarding the boys in Aden's household. Our Thomas Bayles would have been 15 in 1840, so could have been one of Aden's older sons. Consistent with this idea, Thomas named one of his daughters Ruhama as well, a relatively uncommon name.

It is not clear what happened to Aden's family after 1840. Aden is not listed in the 1850 census of Muskingum County, and could have died before the census was taken. By that time Ruhamah and her husband had moved to Grant County, Indiana. Also living in Grant County were an Enoch Bayles (born 1823 in Virginia and living with Ruhamah's father-in-law) and Isaac Bayles (born about 1832 in Ohio). If Enoc h and Isaac were also sons of Aden, they would have been 17 and 8 when the 1840 census was taken; still consistent with a 15-year-old Thomas in that household.

Thomas and family are the only Bayles (Bails, Bales, etc) family in Muskingum County in 1850.

• Is there a relationship between Thomas and the Bayles family of Monongalia County, West Virginia?

There is a large Bayles family that originally settled in Long Island, New York, and later lived in Monongalia and Wetzel (formerly Tyler) counties in what is now West Virginia. A number of their descendants moved west to Ohio in the early 1800s.

There was an "Aden" (or "Hayden") Bayles in that family line that was born in 1766 in Virginia. He settled in what is now Wetzel county in 1796, where he was living as late as 1850, when he was 83. He and his wife, Peggy Ice, had at least two sons, Jesse and Aden. Jesse lived in Greene County, Pennsylvania. I haven't been able to find information about what happened to son Aden.

There were a number of Adens, Adins or Edens with the last name Bayles, Bails or Bales living in the US in the early and mid 19th century. I haven't been able to connect our Bayles family to any of them

The bottom line: I haven't found any information that connects Thomas or the Aden of Muskingum county to this or any other Bayles family.

I'm hoping that more research in Muskingum County will turn up more information about Thomas's relatives.

* Frederick County, Virginia borders on West Virginia.

Labels: , ,

Read the rest of this post.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Philip Shaffer, Early Settler of Muskingum County, Ohio

Philip Shaffer, father of Louisa (Shaffer) Bayles, was born in either Pennsylvania or New Jersey in about 1789. According to some genealogies, he married Suzanna Drake in 1810. The Shaffers lived in Pennsylvania, where their two oldest children, Stephen Drake and William H. Shaffer were born. At some time between 1814 and 1817 the Shaffers headed west, to Ohio.

Note that Shaffer (and its variants Shafer, Schafer, Schaefer, etc) is a very common surname. In some cases we don't know if the records list our Philip Shaffer or not.

The oldest of the Shaffer daughters, Laura Ann, was born in Ohio in October of 1817. It isn't known where the Shaffers were living at that time.

In the 1820 Census, there was a Philip Shaffer living in Hanover Township, Butler County, Ohio. In his household were one man and one woman age 26-45 (could be Philip and Suzanna), two boys and a girl under age 10 and one young man and one young woman age 16-26. Two in the household were involved in agriculture. Based on the known birthdays of the Shaffer children, the two boys would have been about 7 and 6, and there should be two girls, ages 2 and a few months. It's not clear why the youngest daughter would not have been counted. The identify of the 16-26 year-olds is also unclear - they could be relatives or hired help. This Philip was a distiller in Millville.

More research is needed to show that it was our Philip living in Butler County in 1820. (Note that there is a different Philip Shaffer living in Licking County, Ohio in 1820. The ages on that census entry do not appear to match our Shaffer family at all, however). No Philip Shaffer was listed in either Butler or Licking when the 1830 Census was taking.

Move to Muskingum, Ohio
It is not known when exactly the Shaffers moved to Muskingum County. In 1823, Philip Shaffer "of Muskingum" purchased land in nearby Knox County, so we know he had arrived by that time.

By 1830, Philip and his family were living near Frazeysburg, in Jackson Township. According to the Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Muskingum County, Ohio: Jackson Township:
The people of Jackson are healthy and contented; they love their fine sill-side scenery, and the traveler winding his way up the slopes in long stretches sees at each summit a new and pleasant landscape. The early settlers of this township were allured hither by the fertility of the lands in the valley of Wakatomaka Creek, like those who settled nearest to the valley of the Muskingum.
The 1830 Census lists Philip and his household as: one man and one woman age 30-40 (Philip and Suzanna), one boy under age 5 (John Calvin, newborn), one girl age 5-9 (Mahala 6), two girls age 10-14 (Laura 13, Elmira 10), and two boys age 15-19 (Stephen 17, William 16).

An 1832 Plat Map shows Philip's property northeast of Frazeysburg (in the upper right corner, in square labeled 9). You can see the same area on a present-day Mapquest Map.

Philip was an active member of the community.
Squire McCann recalls an old log shanty used for school, church, and singing, which stood two and a half miles from Frazeysburg. Philip Shaffer was an early singing teacher, having taught in 1831 and 1832.(Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Muskingum County, Ohio: Jackson Township)
Suzanna Shaffer died in 1837, two weeks after their youngest child, Simon, was born. Philip never remarried.

He continued living in Jackson Township for almost twenty more years. Then, at some time between 1850 and 1860, Phillip and his younger children, including his married daughter Louisa (Shaffer) Bayles followed the National Road west to Fayette County, Illinois. Louisa died in Howard's Point, near St. Elmo in 1864. Her older brother, John Calvin Shaffer, returned to Frazeysburg with his family.

It is not known if Philip lived the last years of his life in Illinois, or eventually returned to Ohio with his son. Hopefully, we'll be able to find that information.

Labels: , ,

Read the rest of this post.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Mini bio: Robert Neil Mabry

A brief Biography of R. Neil Mabry, to whom this blog is dedicated. This is intentionally very sketchy - I hope to fill in the details in future posts.

Neil was born on May 24, 1902 in St. Elmo in Fayette County, Illinois, to Isaac Paris "Pete" Mabry and Gertie Holben. When he was a young boy, the Mabry family moved to Pana in nearby Christian County. This is where he grew to adulthood.

In 1921 he joined the Army Air Corps as an "aero mechanic". (more posts on this at a later date).

After his discharge from the Army, in 1923, he bought a blacksmith shop west of Decatur in the area called Wyckles or Hank's Corner. By the time of his marriage in 1925, he was manager of the Silver Moon Garage in Decatur (this may actually be the shop in Wyckles).

On November 26, 1925, Neil married Esther Kraus in Columbia, Illinois. They returned to Decatur, where they lived until 1929, when they moved to St. Louis, Missouri.

In St. Louis, Neil helped organize the new airline Transcontinental Air Transport (TAT), which eventually became TWA. He and Esther also ran a small grocery store next to their house, where they lived with their two daughters, Nadine and Jacqueline.

In 1941 Neil went to work for the Civil Aeronautic Adminsitration (now the FAA), inspecting privately owned aircraft, first in Santa Monica, then in Oakland, California. This was short-lived, however. After the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in December of that year, Neil was drafted into the Air Force and stationed at Wright Field in Dayton, Ohio. There he supervised a number of men in outfitting bombers to fly overseas. After the war ended in 1946, he was discharged with the rank of Major, and returned to California with his family to his job at the Oakland Airport.

Neil retired in 1966, and continued to live in San Leandro, near Oakland, until his death in 1983. His ashes are interred at Chapel of the Chimes in Hayward, California.

Posts about R. Neil Mabry
Neil Mabry: Chief Mechanic at Lambert Field for TAT and TWA

Labels: , , ,

Read the rest of this post.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Braxton Mabry IV: Illinois and Missouri

Braxton Mabry and family did not settle in one place for long. The Mabrys and their three grown children left Tennessee for the west in about 1826, when Braxton was 76 . Their first stop was Chariton County, Missouri.

Chariton County, Missouri (1826-1829?)

According to Braxton Mabry's declaration in his Revolutionary War pension file, the first place the family settled after leaving Tennessee was Chariton County, in northern Missouri. They were apparently part of an early boom in the settlement of the area:
In 1820 the tide of migration was directed towards Chariton county and immigrants from the tobacco regions of Kentucky and Virginia came pouring in and other settlements rapidly followed. Farms were opened, mills and manufacturing establishments erected and the settlement of the county commenced in reality. Finding the soil and climate both well adapted to the grown of tobacco, it soon became the staple product and in fact still holds an important position in agriculture. (1896 history of Chariton County)
We know that the Mabrys stay in Chariton County was no more than a few years. By 1829 they had traved southeast, to Macoupin County, Illinois (northeast of St. Louis, Missouri).

Macoupin County, Illinois (1829-<1833)

In Macoupin County Braxton and Nancy, their sons Maximilian and James and daughter Sally (Mabry) Clevenger were founding members of the Concord Primitive Baptist Church in what is now Palmyra.
Pleasant View (formerly Concord) Church was organized June 13, 1829. Eight charter members came together, viz., Braxton Mabry, Christian Mabry, James Mabry, Maximilian Mabry, Nancy Mabry, Sally Mabry, Reuben Clevenger, and Sally Clevenger. Elders William Rodgers, Aaron Smith, and Thomas Lee formed the presbytery. The church was organized before the present town of Palmyra came into being; the town was surveyed and laid out in 1835 under the name of Newburg; the name was changed to Palmyra in 1855. (Primitive Baptist Churches of Macoupin County, Illinois)
The Mabrys were listed in the 1830 Census of the Otter Creek District of Macoupin County.

• "Joell Maybury" was listed as head of a household with one man and one woman age 18-20, and three boys, two under age 5 and one age 5-10.

• "Maxemillian Maybury" was listed as head of a household with one man and one woman age 30-40, one boy under age 5, two boys and three girls age 5-10, and two girls age 10-15.

• "James Maybery" was listed as head of a household with one man age 80-90, one woman age 60-70, one man and one woman age 30-40, and one girl age 5-10. The older couple are probably Braxton and Nancy.

• "Reuben Clevenger" was listed as head of a household with one man and one woman age 40-50, one boy and one girl under 5, one boy and one girl age 5-10, two boys age 10-15, one boy age 15-20, and one woman age 20-30.

Several of Braxton's grandchildren (or their husbands) also have households listed in the 1830 census of Macoupin county.

Reuben Clevenger purchased land in North Otter Township in 1833 and 1836 (T12N R7W Section 31). However, by that time Braxton had once again moved west, to Greene County in the southwestern corner of Missouri. (from the Illinois Public Land Sale Database)

1875 Map of Macoupin County (Reuben Clevenger's land was near the intersection of North and South Otter and North and South Palmyra districts).

Greene County, Missouri (1833-1836)

In his 1838 pension application, Braxton stated that he and his family had moved to Greene County in 1833, in the southwestern Missouri Ozarks. We find two of Braxton's sons on the 1833 Greene County Tax list:

• "James Mabery" had 4 cattle, 1 "poll".
• "Joel Maberry" had 1 cattle, 1 "poll".

Neither were taxed for slaves, horses or mules. Braxton, son Maximillian, and son-in-law Reuben Clevenger were not on this list.

Once again, they had settled in an "uncivilized" area with few resources:
Old timers have told me that one of the first tasks of the pioneer, after he had found a suitable place for a home, and had thrown together some sort of a rude shelter to protect his family from storm and cold, was to fashion a mortar wherein to reduce the grains of corn to particles small enough to serve as food. And this, we may be sure, was no small under-taking to a man whose only implement for the purpose was, in most cases his faithful axe. (Past and Present of Greene County, Missouri)
Taney County, Missouri (1836->1840)

In 1837 Greene County was split, with Taney County formed from the southern part that borders on Arkansas. Braxton Mabry applied for a pension for his service during the Revolutionary War in 1838 while living in Taney County. .

The 1840 census for Taney County places Braxton in Swan Township, living with his son James (see original census pages 115 and 115A and alternative transcription).

At that time, Maximillian Mabry was living in neighboring Barry County. Reuben Clevenger was living in Marion Township of Taney County.

It is not known when Braxton died. By 1840 he was almost 90 years old. When he submitted his pension application, he was infirm and blind. It is likely that he died in Taney County shortly after 1840. However, no record of his death has been found.

Note that I have seen no indication that Braxton even knew that his son from his first marriage, Robert S. Mabry, settled in Illinois in 1827. There was no apparent contact between Robert and Braxton's younger children.

1838 Map of Missouri (click to zoom)
Taney County Township Map (1990) (Taney County's current claim to fame is as the home of Branson, Missouri)

James, Maximillian and Joel

Maximillian Mabry eventually left Barry county (he may have lived breifly in Lawrence County and Jasper County), and joined his brothers in Taney county. Max, along with his brother James and Reuben Clevenger were all listed there in the 1850 census (Jasper and Swan townships).

James Mabry appears to have remained in Taney County until at least 1850. It is not known when he died. (Could he be the "Jimmie Maberry" who was a preacher in Marion County, Arkansas, just south of Taney County?)

Maximillian Mabry and family moved to Benton County, Arkansas during the Civil War. This was followed by several other moves, eventually ending up in Franklin County, Kansas. (read letters written during the 1860s for more of his family history)

Joel Mabry died in about 1846 (his estate was "issued to Maximillian Mabry" on 30 Mar 1846), probably in Taney County.

Reuben and Sally (Mabry) Clevenger continued living in Jasper Township in Taney County, until they both died, between 1860 and 1870. Their descendants lived in Taney County into the 20th century (and may still live there today).

Labels: , , ,

Read the rest of this post.