Willian S. Skelton

March 13, 2020

Census Data for William S. Skelton, son of Jonathon Skelton and Elizabeth Cox

1850 Subdivision 18, Blount, Alabama
William Skelton 40 [1810, GA]
Catherine Skelton 34 [1816, SC]
John Skelton 13 [1837, AL]
Edward Skelton 11 [1839, AL]
Sarah Skelton 7 [1843, AL]
Washington Skelton 5 [1845, AL]
Greenberry Skelton 3 [1847, AL]
Lewis Skelton 1 [1849, AL]

1860 Division 1, Blount, Alabama
Wm Skelton 50 [1810, GA]
Charity Skelton 43 [1817, SC]
Jas Skelton 17 [1843, AL]
Wm Skelton 15 [1845, AL]
Lewis Skelton 13 [1847, AL]
Francis Skelton 11 [1849, AL]
Susan Skelton 9 [1851, AL]
Jonathan Skelton 6 [1854, AL]
Constantine Skelton 2 [1858, AL]
Mary Skelton 1 [1859, AL

JohnH. Skelton 24, AL adj to William [1836, AL]

Elizabeth Skelton 73, GA in HH275/275 page back [1787, GA]
with B. A. and Hattie G. Harbin

1870 Township 13 Range 1, Blount, Alabama
William Skelton 59 [1811, SC]
Catharine Skelton 52 [1818, SC]
Frances Skelton 20 [1850, AL]
Catharine Skelton 17 [1853, AL]
Lancer Skelton 12 [1858, AL]
Catharine Skelton 12 [1858, AL]

William remarried in 1876 to Elizabeth Hufstutler Reid (mar. 1868). Elizabeth was the daughter of Henry Hyfstutler and Delia Skelton. Delilia was the daughter of Standwick Skelton, b. 1887) anf Elizabeth Mullen [Dorothy Scarborough-ancestry.com] Hufstutlers were neighbors of William.

1880 Township 13 Range 1, Blount, Alabama
William Skelton 70, GA, GA, SC [1810]
Elizabeth 50, AL, TN, AL [1830]
Francis 11, AL, AL, AL [1869]

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Cox Surname BLM Land Grants, Warren Co., IN

February 14, 2019

COX, GIDEON 7/10/1832 IN 2nd PM 023N – 008W E½NE¼ 26 Warren
COX, GIDEON 7/10/1832 IN 2nd PM 023N – 008W W½NW¼ 22 Warren
COX, JOHN 3/15/1826 IN 2nd PM 022N – 007W E½SE¼ 21 Warren, from Montgomery Co., OH
COX, JOHN 3/15/1826 IN 2nd PM 022N – 007W NE¼ 27 Fountain, Warren, from Montgomery Co., OH
COX, JOHN 1/3/1828 IN 2nd PM 022N – 008W E½NW¼ 32 Warren, from Bartholomew, IN
COX, JOHN 11/2/1829 IN 2nd PM 023N – 008W W½NE¼ 34 Warren
COX, JOHN 9/26/1831 IN 2nd PM 023N – 008W E½NE¼ 34 Warren
COX, JOHN 7/10/1832 IN 2nd PM 022N – 007W NW¼ 21 Warren
COX, JONATHAN 3/15/1826 IN 2nd PM 022N – 007W W½SW¼ 22 Warren
COX, JONATHAN 9/1/1826 IN 2nd PM 022N – 007W E½NW¼ 28 Fountain, Warren
COX, JONATHAN 9/1/1826 IN 2nd PM 022N – 007W E½SW¼ 22 Warren
COX, JONATHAN 3/30/1837 IN 2nd PM 022N – 007W SE¼NE¼ 20 Warren
COX, JOSEPH 7/25/1826 IN 2nd PM 022N – 007W NE¼ 28 Fountain, Warren
COX, JOSEPH 1/30/1828 IN 2nd PM 021N – 008W SE¼NW¼ 23 Fountain, Warren

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Part 2 of A Weak Argument for the Parents of Camden District Dukes

February 11, 2019

In Part 1, I discussed Benjamin Duke and his wife Mary, the first Duke settlers of record in the Camden District along the Wateree River.

Part 2 ends the argument. I’ve combined it with a revised Part 1 to provide a complete document for my web page. The new document is called:

     Selected Families in the Camden District, SC with the Duke Surname.

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Part 1 of A Weak Argument for the Parents of Camden District Dukes

February 5, 2018

Genealogists have struggled unsuccessfully for over a century to prove the ancestors of several apparently interconnected families of the Duke-Dukes surname who lived between 1750 and 1850 along the Wateree River and two of its main tributaries, Sawney Creek and Twenty-Five Mile Creek. Their homesteads resided in the Camden District of the South Carolina Colony. Today the area is known as the counties of Lancaster, Kershaw, Fairfield, and Richland, South Carolina. As the Wateree flows through the area from north to south, it is known progressively as the Catawba River, Wateree River, and finally below Twenty-Five Mile Creek, as the Santee River. Also, later records will sometime refer to Twenty-Five Mile Creek as Rice Creek.

Now, in the waning years of my genealogy studies, I will add my name to the list of strugglers with my own weak argument of several parts, each one starting with some of the scant historical data. Scant is a good descriptive adjective to use considering the depredations of time and fire. Richland and Lancaster are considered ‘burnt’ counties.

I’ll present the historical data using links to pdf excerpts from my existing studies then follow it by ‘experience’-based interpretations and assumptions that present my Duke ancestor argument. This allows me to express my opinions while preserving the integrity of my earlier studies. My hope that is by doing so, my efforts will provide a starting point for future generations who will either prove or disprove them.

I will argue that Benjamin Duke, deceased before 1770, SC of the Wateree River, Lancaster County/Camden District, SC was the paternal ancestor of those Camden District Duke families.

Benjamin Duke of Camden District, SC

The 1778 lease and release conveyance of Benjamin Duke’s land from John Chesnut to James Perry give us the first name for Benjamin Duke‘s wife. Mary.

It’s hard to say definitively that Benjamin was deceased before 1770, but the dearth of deed transfer information in the colonial journals on his property makes me suspect that the transfer of ownership happened in a will. Official registration of deed transfers between family members was sometimes delayed for years, often until the land was transferred outside the family.

The succession of ownership listed in the 1778 conveyance leads me to suspect that Robert Humphries was a son-in-law of Benjamin Duke. The next owner, Nehemiah Joiner, Junior had an unusual given name, one present in this Duke family. Perhaps it is significant.

Robert Humphries also witnessed a lease and release between William Harrison with wife Ann/Nancy to John Dukes. The Harrison land that John Dukes bought in 1753 was on the Wateree River, the same side, and about 5 miles northwest of Benjamin Duke’s land.

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Still Looking for My Great-Granddaddy Cox

February 15, 2016

I’ve been on a genealogical hunt for my great grandfather Joseph Cox for fifty years. Not continuously, obviously, but in sprints where I search hard, get fraustrated then put it aside for other pasttimes. The aside intervals sometimes stretched over multiple years.

I’ve done the Y-DNA test with familytreedna.com and know who Joseph’s distant ancestors were, but I’ve been unable to follow the historical record trail to connect the dots to his father and to the grandfathers that stretch between him and our first US emmigrant ancestor Thomas Cox, vintner, born 1641 in England.

My Joseph Cox first appears in the historical records on the 1850 US Census for Joshua Township, Fulton County, IL. He is listed as a 14 year old in the household of Henry S. Marvial [sic. Marvel]. I’ve been unable to connect him genetically to the Marvel family or to their spouses’ families or to any Cox family listed on the 1850 Census. I’ve found no probate or land deed records in Fulton or surrounding IL counties that imply a connection to Joseph. The only result of my years of searching is an arguable link to a John Cox found on the 1840 US Census for that township. The argument rests weakly on two facts. The John Cox listing enumerates three males under the age of 5, born about 1836, Joseph could have been one of them. Also, many of the household names that closely bracket the 1840 John Cox listing can be found on the 1850 US Census closely bracketing the Marvel listing.

My study of the Marvel family indicates they arrived in the area circa 1845, living for a while at Rapatee, Knox Couny, IL before moving to Joshua, Fulton County, IL.

There was an additional Cox/Marvel connection found by Cathy Parsons, a Fulton County, IL genealogist. According to a Fulton County Marvel family history, a younger brother of the Henry Marvel mentioned above, Marmaduke Marvel, his wife, and newly born daughter in 1857 “with the brother Francis Marvel and a friend, Nathan Cox, started for the state of Texas.” In 1859, Marmaduke and family returned to Fulton County from Alvarado, Johnson County, TX. The 1860 US Census for Alvarado, Johnson County, TX lists a Nathan Cox, age 27, born in IL, a farm laborer living with the Richard Graves household. There are no other Cox listings for that county.

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Marvel Family Data, continued

July 6, 2014

From the Ancestry.com family trees, we learn that William Marvel‘s parents were Robert Marvel and Mary Smith. William had one known brother who died in Hendricks County, IN, 1889.

Robert Marvel, b. 1762, Sussex, DE, m(1). 1798 Sussex, DE, d. 1824, Sussex, DE
+Mary Smith

  • William Marvel, b. 1803, Sussex, DE, m. 1825, OH, d. 1852, Fulton, IL
    +Sarah Gregory Story
  • Robert Marvel, b. 1804, Sussex, DE, d. 1889, Hendricks, IN
    +Sarah Wilkins

According to the birth states of Robert Marvel‘s children listed on the Brown, Hendricks County, IN 1850 US Census, he had moved from OH to IN between 1834 and 1837. A matching Robert Marvel is listed on the 1840 census for Hendricks County, IN.

The father of William Marvel‘s wife Sarah was Marmaduke Story. Sarah had a brother, Marmaduke D. Story, who moved to Knox County, IL about the same time, or shortly after, the Marvels moved to Fulton County, IL. The families lived about 12 miles apart.

Marmaduke Story, b. 1772, Sussex, DE, m. 1797, Sussex, DE, d. 1856, Franklin, OH
+Rachel Baggs, 1768-1846

  • Sarah Gregory Story, 1805-1872
  • M. Henry Story, 1805-1857, OH
  • Joseph W Story, 1808-1891, OH
  • Marmaduke D Story, 1811-1897, Franklin, OH, Knox, IL (1850), Washington, IA

+Diana Ingram

  • Samuel C. Story, 1814-1899, Washington, IA

1850 US Census Township 9 N 3 E, Knox, Illinois
M D Story abt 1812 Delaware Male

  • Diana Story abt 1816 Virginia Female
  • Van Buren Story abt 1837 Ohio Male
  • Sarah E Story abt 1839 Ohio Female
  • Salathiel B Story abt 1841 Ohio Male
  • Hannah Story abt 1844 Ohio Female
  • Marmaduke D. Story abt 1847 Ohio Male
  • Geo C Story abt 1849 Illinois Male

Marmaduke D. Story, brother of Sarah Gregory (Story) Marvel, arrived in IL between 1847-1849 and settled in Knox co., IL. In 1850 M. D Story was listed in the IL township 9N, 3E. The Marvels lived within 12 miles south of them in the IL township 7N, 3E. Neither men can be found in the BLM land grant records.

The connections by marriage yield these surnames: Marvel, Story, Baggs, Ingram, Byers, and Creath. The search for a Cox marriage in OH, IN, IL using the surnames was negative.

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Marvel Family Data

December 13, 2012

Our Joseph Cox is listed on the Joshua Township, Fulton County, IL 1850 US Census in the Henry S. Marvel household.

William Marvel, living in Sussex County, Delaware by 1820, and likely of Quaker origins, the ages of their children listed on the US Census records show us the extended Marvel family, father William and sons William and Henry moved from Ohio, likely from Franklin County, to Joshua Township, Fulton County, Illinois after 1843 and prior to 1848.

1850 US Census for Joshua Township, Fulton County, IL, 16OCT1850
HH 88/90 William Marvial, age 22, M, Farmer, born in OH

  • Mary Ann, age 20, F, OH

HH 89/91 William Marvial, age 66, M, Farmer $2500, born in DE

  • Sarah, age 44, F, born in DE
  • Marmaduke, age 18, M, born in OH
  • Hestor, age 15, F, born in OH
  • Robert, age 14, M, born in OH
  • Rache, age 11, F, born in OH
  • Samule, age 8m M, born in OH
  • Frances, age 6, M, born in OH
  • Lewis C., age 2, born in IL

HH 90/92 Henry S. Marvial, age 25, M, Farmer, born in OH

  • Rachel, age 23, F, born in PA
  • Sarah, age 2, F, born in IL
  • Joseph Cox, age 14, M, born in IN

( From Ancestry.com Family Tree and others)
William Marvel b. 1803, Sussex, DE, m. 1825, Pickaway, OH, d. 1852, Fulton, IL
+Sarah Gregory Story, b. 1806, Sussex, DE

  • Henry Story Marvel, b. 1825, OH (Circleville–Franklin–Pickaway]
    +Rachael Byers, b. [abt. 1827, PA, d. after 1850]
    +Malinda Robinson
  • William Marvel, b. 1827, OH
    +Mary Ann Creath. b. 1830, OH

[Note: Birth year descrepancies with 1850 US Census. If the family tree data is correct, then a familial relation between Joseph Cox and the Marvels is not indicated. A connection through the Story, Byers, or Creath family has not been ruled out. Joseph Cox married after his 21st birthday. This argues for Joseph Cox being indentured to a member of the Marvel family.]

(From US Census)
William Marvel 1820 00210 31010 Broad Creek Hundred, Sussex, DE
William Marvel 1830 30001000000 1000200000000 Pleasant TWP, Franklin, OH
W. Marvel 1840 11210010000 1100010000000 Pleasant, Franklin, OH

[Note: In 1840, 1 male child under 5, probably Robert, b. abt. 1836)]

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John Cox, deceased 1838, IL; continued

March 16, 2012

According to probate papers, John Cox rented eight acres of Fulton County, Illinois land from James Cox. The BLM records list the following Cox land grants in the area:

Nathan Turner, SESW S32, 09N, 01E, 4 11/03/1840, KNOX, IL
Benjamin B. Cox, E2SE S33, 10N, 03E, 4 11/03/1840, KNOX, IL
James Cox, W2SW S33, 09N, 01E, 10/10/1840, KNOX, IL
Nathaniel Turner, NWSW S30, 03N, 02E, 11/03/1840, FULTON, IL
James Cox, NENE S08, 08N, 01E, 11/03/1840, FULTON, IL
Jesse Cox, SENE S29, 04N, 01E, 11/05/1843, FULTON, IL
Thomas S, Cox, NE S26 12N, 04E, 11/29/1817, KNOX, IL [warrant]
John Cox, NW S22, 08N, 01W, 09/19/1818, WARREN, IL [warrant]
Nathaniel D Cox, NW S23, 08N, 03E, 01/01/1818, FULTON, IL [warrant (Maine)]
Edward H. Cox, NW S23, 08N, 03E, 01/01/1818 FULTON, IL [father/heir of Nat.]
Abner Cox, W2SW S19, 06N, 03W, 10/10/1840, MCDONOUGH, IL
Abner Cox, W2NW S30, 06N, 03W, 10/10/1840, MCDONOUGH, IL
Covington Cox, S2NW S19, 07N 03W, 12/21/1850, MCDONOUGH, IL [warrant, *heir]
Covington Cox, N2SW S19, 07N, 03W, 12/21/1850, MCDONOUGH, IL [warrant, *heir]
John Cox, SE S19, 06N, 02W, 01/03/1818, MCDONOUGH, IL [warrant]
Phillip Cox, S2NW S19, 07N, 03W, 12/21/1850, MCDONOUGH, IL [warrant, *heir]
Phillip Cox, N2SW S18, 07N, 03W, 12/21/1850, MCDONOUGH, IL [warrant, *heir]
Robert Cox, SW S22, 04N, 02W, 02/14/1818, MCDONOUGH, IL [warrant
[Warrants for service in the War of 1812.

The bounty land warrants were for service in the War of 1812. John Cox (S22 08N 01W) served in Capt. Paige’s Company of the 13th Regiment. John Cox (S19 06N 02W) served in Romayne’s Company, Corps Artillery. Most of the warrants were for New England veterans. I haven’t succeeded in locating Captains Paige and Romaynes Companies.

The 1820 Illinois US Census, no Cox families were listed in the four county area

The 1830 Illinois US Census lists (only in the area):
James Cox 1830 0000100000000 0000100000000 Fulton Co., IL
Levi Cox 1830 0000100000000 0000000000000 Fulton Co., IL

The 1835 Illinois State Census lists:
Abner Cox 1835 0000100000 0000000000 Fulton Co., IL
James Cox 1835 0010000000 2010000000 Fulton Co., IL

And the 1840 Illinois US Census lists:
Caleb Cox 1840 0000200000000 0000100000000 4N1E, Vermont, Fulton Co., IL
David Cox 1840 0100100000000 2000100000000 7N5E, Fulton Co., IL
James Cox 1840 0000010000000 0200010000000 8N1E, St. Augustine, Fulton Co., IL
John Cox 1840 3000010000000 0110100000000 7N3E, Joshua, Fulton Co., IL
John Cox 1840 0110001000000 1011010000000 5N2E, Bernadotte, Fulton Co., IL
Jessee Cox 1840 0300010000000 1000100000000 4N1E, Vermont, Fulton Co., IL
John B. Cox 1840 0000100000000 1001000000000 9N?W, Warren Co., IL
Matthew I Cox 1840 0111100?00000 0100101000000 9N?W, Warren Co., IL
Peter Cox 1840 1121010000000 0110010000000 8N1W, Warren Co., IL
Benjamin Cox 1840 0101101000000 2212001000000 11N2E, Knox Co., IL
Nathan Turner 1840 1100010000000 0010010000000 Knox Co., IL
Andrew Cox 1840 0010201000000 1100110000000 McDonough Co., IL

According to the 1850 Census, the Vermont Township household heads were born in PA. Other records indicate the Vermont Township had a large number of Quaker settlers. St. Augustine is in the Union Township near the border between Knox County and Fulton County. Peter Cox is listed in the township where a John Cox was given a War of 1812 service land grant in 1818.

The 1850 US Census:
1850 US Census for Union, Fulton County, IL, 19AUG1850
HH 31/31 James Cox, age 42, M, born in KT
Elenor Cox, age 40, F, born in PA
Nancy Cox, age 18, F, born in IL
Lannis Cox, age 10, F, born in IL
James L. Cox, age 7, M, born in IL
Sarah Cox, age 4, F, born in IL

Indiana Marriage records list a James Cox who married Eleanor Babbitt, 15OCT1829 in Scott County, IN. This would be consistent with the Census records if they moved immediately to Illinois.

Also in the 1950 US Census for Fulton County Illinois:

1850 US Census for Canton, Fulton County, IL, 06SEP1850
HH 299/299 Nathan Turner, age 45, M, gunsmith, born in KT
Rachel Turner, age 44, F, born in OH
Robert Turner, age 21, M, born in OH
Moses Turner, age 11, M, born in IL
Christena Carey, age 3, F, born in IL

1850 US Census for Union, Fulton County, IL, 21AUG1850
HH 69/70 Joseph Cox, age 24, M, born in IN
Jane Cox, age 23, F, born in KT
John Cox, age 9/12, M, born in IL
Mary Jones, age 36, F, born in IN
Mary Jones, age 16, F, born in IN
Martha Jones, age 15, F, born in IL
John Jones, age 13, M, born in IL
Isaac Jones, age 10, M, born in IL
Harriet Jones, age 3, F, born in IL

Note Joseph has an infant son named John. I was lucky enough to find this:

1850 US Census for Nodeway Township, Andrews County, MO, 28SEP1850
HH324/323 James Hobson, age 24, M, born in IN
Kisiah Hobson, age 24, F, born in IN
Mary Cox, age 20, born in IN
Rebecca Cox, age 19, born in IN
James Laird, age 15, born unknown

I argue this is a listing for John’s daughter Kaziah and her two youngest sisters. That particular sequence of feminine names, ages, and birth states without a parent nearby is unlikely. The only other explanation would be the family of a close brother or cousin of John Cox, deceased 1838, IL. I agree more study is required to trace their path from IL to MO.

One household away, HH326/325, was John F Cox, age 52, born in KY, wife Matilda, age 48, born in KT with one child, John F., age 24 born in KT and next Eli, age 22, born in MO. The relationship, if any, is unknown. The enumerator is another Cox; S. L. Cox, a 44 year old doctor.

According to the Ancestry.com Public Family Trees, the parents of James Hobson were George Hobson, born 1790, Chatham, NC, married 1807, Henry, IN, died 1848, Andrew, MO and Sally Colburn, born 1789, died 1845. James and his siblings were born in Henry Co., IN.

George Hobson 1830 1110310000000 1120010000000 Henry Co., IN
George Hobson 1840 0111101000000 1111101000000 Henry Co., IN

Peter Cox, thought to be a close relative given his willingness to be a co-guardian of the Illinois orphans, was living several, less than 10, miles away from the John Cox family and is listed on the 1840 census, 30-40 years old, wife in the same age range, a boy less than 5, a boy less than 10, two boys less than 15, one less than 20, a girl less than 10, and a girl less than 15.

Peter Cox 1840 1121010000000 0110010000000 8N1W, Warren Co., IL

Ten years later we find:

1850 US Census for Marion County, Oregon Territory, 06FEB1850
HH 503/503, Peter Cox, , born in VA
Isabella Cox, , born in VA
Peter Cox, , born in IN
Francis, , born in IL
HH 505, 505, Elias Cox, , IN

Note the last entry, Francis, born in Illinois. Francis is listed on four more US census as F. M. or as Francis M. One census lists his birth state as Iowa; the rest list Illinois in 1840. Peter consistently lists his birth state as Virginia and in the year 1802 or 1803. The Ancestry.com public trees commonly list his birth date as 07MAY1803, birth place as Knox County, Kentucky despite the consistency of the US census listings. His marriages are listed as Jane Raines, 29JUN1820, Jackson, IN, Isabella Marlatt, 25DEC1834, FountainCity, Fountain, IN, and Emily DeHoney, 08JUN1854, Marion, Marion, OR. From the US census reports, we know Peter Cox was in Fountain County, IN by 1830 and that he’d moved on by 1840..

1830 US Census
Nancy Cox 1830 1200000000000 0010001000000 Fountain Co., IN
John Cox 1830 0010010000000 0101000000000 Fountain Co., IN
Joseph Cox 1830 0100010000000 2120010000000 Fountain Co., IN
Thomas Cox 1830 1101010000000 1130010000000 Fountain Co., IN
Gideon Cox 1830 1000100000000 1000100000000 Fountain Co., IN
Peter Cox 1830 2100100000000 1000100000000 Fountain Co., IN
Peter M Cox 1830 1000010000000 1001010000000 Fountain Co., IN
John Cox 1830 0100011000000 4000010000000 Bartholomew Co., IN
Samuel Cox 1830 0120001000000 2110010000000 Bartholomew Co., IN
John Cox 1830 0001001000000 1110010000000 Bartholomew Co., IN
John Cox 1830 1000010000000 2100100000000 Jackson Co., IN
Harmon Cox 1830 1020010000000 0020010000000 Jackson Co., IN

The 1830 Fountain Co., IN listing for John Cox is not a good match for John Cox deceased 1838, IL. The John Cox in Bartholomew Co. IL is a good maybe. He’s not there in 1840. The Peter Cox in Fountain Co., IN is a good match for the Peter Cox found on the 1840 US Census.for Warren Co., IL.

Peter Cox 1840 1121010000000 0110010000000 8N1W, Warren Co., IL

Fountain Co., IN Marriages

The marriage listing is a good match for the Peter Cox found in Oregon in 1850 with wife Isabella. Peter Cox is not found on the 1840 US Census for Fountain Co., IN. Nor is he with his brother Gideon in Platte Co., MO

1840 US Census
James Cox 1840 0002101100000 0030100000000 Cain, Fountain Co., IN
John B Cox 1840 2000010000000 1000100000000 Wabash, Fountain Co., IN
Joshua Cox 1840 1000100000000 0000100000000 Shawnee, Fountain Co., IN
Nancy Cox 1840 0001000000000 0001001000000 Troy, Fountain Co., IN
Gideon Cox 1840 0200010000000 3210010000000 Platte Co., MO
James Cox 1840 1100100000000 1001000000000 Platte Co., MO

Joseph, age 24, IN
Kiziah (Kaziah), age 24, IN
Mehetable (Hettie),
Elizabeth (Betsy),
Mary, age 20, IN
Rebecca, age 19, IN

In conclusion. This is not the family of my Joseph Cox, born about 1836. There may be a distant family connection, but it’s not made here. The data suggest a strong family connection between John Cox, deceased 1838, IL and Peter Cox, deceased 1876, OR. Peter Cox agreed to be the co-guardian of John’s seven minor children. This is a serious financial and moral commitment that usually indicates a close family tie. The co-guardianship argues for John Cox, deceased 1838, IL to be descended from Peter’s emigrant ancestor thought to be William Cox, deceased 1742, NC and Naomi Cantrell, deceased 1742.


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John Cox, deceased 1838, Fulton Co., IL

March 15, 2012

“A bill of Services for going to Lewiston to enter Into bonds for gardean [sic] also for binding Said Children or Six of them …” [transcript of an undated note found among the probate papers for a John Cox, deceased before 07MAY1838 in Fulton County, Illinois.]

I found the probate papers while searching for one of my ancestors, Joseph Cox, born about 1836 in Indiana, according to the 1850 US Census for Fulton County, Illinois. He was listed in the Henry S. Marvial [sic, Marvel] household. A census search yielded no suitable Cox family living nearby, so I searched the probate records for deceased possibilities.

A Joseph Cox was listed among the minors in the John Cox probate records. According to the undated guardianship bond, the seven minors were: Joseph, Kaziah, Hetty, Betsy, Mary, Rebecca, and Nathaniel. Nathan H. Turner and Peter Cox signed the bond as co-guardians. Both men were also listed on the 07MAY1838 Administrative Bond along with the administrator, Abel Chase. A receipt dated 03JUN1839 shows that Nathan H. Turner, as guardian, received $19.87 in part payment of the children’s share of the estate. Here the children are listed as Joseph, Kaziah, Rebecca, Elizabeth, Mary, Mehetable, and Nathaniel.

From my experience with similar documents, I knew that children’s names were likely listed in order of descending age. Joseph as the oldest of seven children would be too old to be my Joseph Cox born about 1836. The ‘about’ comes from the uncertainty of US Census records; for example, my Joseph was listed as aged 14, but had he already had his birthday for that year or would it occur later in the year, after the census enumeration? The genealogical convention is to say ‘about 14′, rather than ’14-15’.

I’ve found errors in probate records before. It was possible that the heirs were listed in reverse order, youngest first, or in a random order. Since this was the only possible Joseph Cox I’d found in years of searching, I decided to study the family further and make sure it was not mine.

Other information gleaned from the probate papers was the name of John’s wife, Rachel, and a James Cox, relationship unknown. James Cox possessed land. Receipts show that he rented John 8 acres on credit, apparently unbroken grassland because other receipts in the probate show that John owed Aaron Jenneny for breaking prairie sod, June, 1837 and William Ogden for hauling and stacking hay, August, 1837.

John M. Parkinson ran a school that had several of John and Rachel Cox’s children enrolled in it, 1837 and 1838. The earliest full date in the packet was 14JUN1837 and the latest one was 03JUN1839.

John or someone in his family apparently liked drinking whiskey. By my reckoning, his store receipt showed the purchase of 19 3/4 gallons of whiskey during the period between 09NOV1837 and 26MAR1838. John was also billed by the schoolmaster for another half gallon of whiskey, That’s well over a pint of whiskey consumed each day. Other items listed as purchased from the store include: 2 yards of calico, tobacco, slates and paper, coffee, sugar, shears, dishes, gun powder, and lead.

In summary, by June, 1837, John and Rachael Cox were living in northwestern Fulton County, Illinois with at least seven children: Joseph, Kaziah, Rebecca, Elizabeth (Betsy), Mary, Mehetable (Hetty), and Nathaniel, minors at the start of probate 07MAY1838. Two other Cox men also lived in the area. Peter, likely an adult son or more likely, John’s brother. James, possibly a relative. Because Nathan H. Turner assumed the primary guardianship of the children, he was either a close friend, a close relative or, more likely, he planned to marry the widow Rachael.

There is an open question on whether the binding of six children was to Nathan Turner as their legal guardian or to others outside the family. At the time, ‘Binding out’ children was a legal way of dealing with orphans. Children were considered orphans at the death of their father, even if their mother survived. A ‘bound out’ child would be an indentured servant or an apprentice until the age of 21 for males or the age of 18 for females.

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March 14, 2012

I’ve been ignoring this blog for three reasons. (1) I had a grand plan of converting the blog from WordPress to Drupal because I wanted to learn more about the inner-workings of Drupal, and (2) this was primarily a writing and genealogy blog. I’d taken a hiatus from writing. Writing was so much fun that I found myself neglecting other interests and in danger of becoming a couch potato. (3) I was in the midst of a distractingly painful recovery from a non-serious surgery.  I’m over that now. I still haven’t caught up on my other interests such as software, hardware, woodworking, gardening, yardwork, etc., but I’d like to start writing again and start posting some genealogy studies I’ve done.

I’ve given up on the conversion to Drupal for now. Last summer, I downloaded Drupal to the Ubuntu system I have upstairs. I got Drupal working with no difficulty. I built my child-theme and had it nearly done. Then one day the hard drive wouldn’t respond. It was dead, which wasn’t too surprising since I’d recycled it from an old well-used computer. I’d been careless with backups so all my Drupal work was gone. It wasn’t a total loss though. I had the knowledge I’d gained. My reason for converting no longer seemed worthwhile, so I made some cosmetic changes to my WordPress Azul child-theme. I think it is prettier.

What? Oh yes, the title of this post. The comments to the blog were badly spammed during my period of inattention. There were some really rough links to porn sites and a bunch of really stupid sales links in the spam. It took several hours to work through and delete them all.

For now, I’ve limited the ability to make comments and will be closely monitoring them from now on. I’d like to have a way to receive comments without becoming a major spam target. If you have suggestions, I’d like to hear them.

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