My great-great grandfather James Hayes Marshall Jr. is this week’s #52 Ancestor bio.
James was born 9 April 1823 to James Hayes Marshall Sr. and Nancy Jane Patterson. James Sr. was a War of 1812 veteran which would come to have an affect on Jr.’s adult life. James Jr. was one of seven children who all lived and farmed in Little Beaver Township, Lawrence County, Pennsylvania. He and his twin William were his parent’s fourth and fifth babies. As happened all too often during this time James’ mother Nancy died in 1829 the same year she gave birth to her seventh child. James was only six years old.
James Sr. remarried in 1834. With his new wife Mary Slaven they added three more children to the family. This same scenario would be replayed in James Jr.’s adult life as well.
My great-great grandfather James Jr. married Nancy Painter Steele on 22 January 1826 in Lawrence County, Pennsylvania. They had eight children. The first three were born in Lawrence County, PA. The family then moved to Vinton County, Ohio where two more children were born and the last three were born in Allen County, Ohio.
James Jr. and his wife Nancy purchased property in Vinton County along with James’s sister and brother-in-law. The Marshalls stayed in Vinton County long enough to produce two children. Father James Sr. had received land for his service in the War of 1812 and gave these parcels to his five sons. Which is how James Jr. and his family ended up in Allen County, Ohio.
James Jr. farmed and raised his family of eight in Allen County until tragedy struck in 1863 when his wife Nancy died. Just as his father before him James had a house full of children to raise without their mother and just as his father before him he remarried. Susannah Van Meter became his new wife on 15 January 1864 and brought her own son into their family as well as bearing four more children. My great grandfather George S Marshall was one of those last four children.
James Jr. continued to farm the rest of his life. He died 10 February 1888 at the age of 64 years old. He was buried in Rockport cemetery in Allen County, Ohio, next to his first wife Nancy.
Now this is pure speculation on my part but my sense is James Jr. and Susannah’s marriage was one of convenience. He needed a woman in his home for his children and Susannah had an out-of-wedlock child making her undesirable to most men. Susannah was 30 yrs old when she married James Jr. I think her prospects of marriage were dimming and she took what she could get. After James Jr.’s death the older children continued farming and Susannah left the family home and lived with my great grandfather George for almost the rest of her life. In many ways there seems to be a disconnect between the older and younger children of James Hayes Marshall Jr. but again that is a feeling I have and not proven fact, although it is something I will continue to research! It really doesn’t matter what I turn up. It’s a good thing James Jr. married Susannah. That union is vital for me being here today!
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