William Holmes #52Ancestors

William Holmes

William Holmes

WILLIAM HOLMES is my 3x great grandfather on my maternal side. He was born 25 April 1810, in Carroll County, Ohio. William was the oldest son of Obadiah and Rebecca (Thomas) Holmes, who both came from Virginia.

As one of Obadiah and Rebecca’s eight children he married Margaret Jenkins (Junkins) on 2 September 1830 in Tuscarawas County, OH. While living in Tuscarawas County located in eastern Ohio, William and Margaret had nine children. Their second child, daughter Rebecca (Holmes Williams) is my 2x great grandmother.

William farmed pretty much his entire life. By the early 1860s he and nearly his entire family moved to Allen County, Ohio. This exodus west across the state included several of his older children, already married besides the kids still at home. At least two of Williams’ siblings made the move and his parents Obadiah and Rebecca. I find this astonishing because both Obadiah and Rebecca had to be around 82 or 83 years old when they moved. Obviously no one was left in Tuscarawas County to care for the old folks so they had to move too. Accompanying the Holmes family in the great move was the Williams family. Two of William Holmes daughters, my 2x great grandmother Rebecca and Hannah (Anna) married into the Williams family.

Holmes Land Liberty Township Hardin County Ohio

Holmes Land Liberty Township Hardin County Ohio

This great migration is going to be the focus of my genealogy research. Two dozen families from infants to 80 year olds moved 175 miles across Ohio. Why? Better farm land? Was there an epidemic? Did the Civil War have anything to do with it? It’s time I do a little research to find out!

William and Margaret lived in Allen County until 1874, when they moved to Liberty Township in Hardin County, OH just a few miles east. I found where William and Margaret lived in Hardin County on an 1870s plat map. My genea-sister and I made the 30 minute drive and wandered the area where they lived. I am very fortunate to be able to walk in my ancestors footsteps almost whenever I want.

William Holmes Property in Hardin County Ohio

William Holmes Property in Hardin County Ohio

According to the History of Hardin County, William and Margaret were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, which he had attended since 1829. He was a Class Leader for twenty-five years and was Steward and Trustee. William Holmes, three sons, six sons-in-law and seven grandsons were all Republicans.(1)

William died at the age of 82 on December 22, 1892 in Allen County, Ohio.

Thanks for reading about my 3x great grandfather William Holmes. If you have a Holmes in your family tree email me at cindy@genealogycircledotcom. Let’s share info. I’d love to hear from you!

William Holmes Property/Cemetery

There’s a cemetery on William Holmes’ property

(1)The History of Hardin County, Ohio: Containing a History of the County, Its Townships, Towns, Churches, Schools, Etc., General and Local Statistics, Military Record, Portraits of Early Settlers and Prominent Men, History of the Northwest Territory, History of Ohio, Miscellaneous Matters, Etc., Chicago: Warner, Beers & Co. 1883, online, Google Books, http://books.google.com/books?id=aNQ4AQAAMAAJ pg 1005, 27 March 2012

Margaret Junkins is Not Getting the Love #52Ancestors

Margaret Junkins Holmes

Margaret Junkins Holmes

Yeah that’s my first thought about my chosen ancestor for this week’s #52 Ancestors. I’m staying with honoring my female ancestors during March’s Women’s History Month theme and chose my 3x great grandmother Margaret Junkins (Jenkins) to write about this week.

What I know about Margaret will keep this a short post. She was born 25 October 1810 to Joseph Junkins (Jenkins) and Elizabeth Walker somewhere in Pennsylvania. She was almost 20 when she married William Holmes 2 September 1830 in Tuscarawas County, Ohio. In a county biography about her husband William, I’ve found that her father was a farmer and the family moved to Ohio when she was six years old. (1)

Margaret and William were a prolific couple with nine children. My 2x great grandmother Rebecca Holmes was their second child. Now this mammoth group of people were the folks I referred to last week that caravaned from Tuscarawas County to Allen County, Ohio in the early 1860s. In fact that county biography says about William (and family), “In 1862, he was in Allen County, where he remained until 1874, when he came to this county and settled on Section 7, Liberty Township,” Hardin County, Ohio. Continue reading

Rebecca Holmes Williams Had Moxie #52Ancestors

Rebecca Holmes Williams and Family

Rebecca Holmes Williams and Family

Since March is Women’s History Month and I lucked into writing about a female ancestor last week I’m going to continue through the month honoring my female ancestors. This week I want to tell you about another of my great great grandmothers Rebecca Holmes.

Rebecca Holmes is a direct branch on my maternal side. She’s my mother’s, mother’s, mother’s, mother and in my mind she is a symbol of strength. Let me tell you why.

Rebecca was born 14 August 1833 to Margaret Junkins and William Holmes in Tuscarawas County, Ohio. She grew up in eastern Ohio and married Isaac Williams in 1853 when she was 20 years old.

Fast forward a couple years to 1860, Rebecca is the mother of two girls, her third child, a son lives only ten months. Add to that Rebecca’s fourth child another son lives just nine months before passing away. Rebecca has a fifth child yet another baby boy and is pregnant again when the family decides to move from Tuscarawas County to Allen County, Ohio. It’s not just this small family that makes the move. There is a passel of people that make this journey.

Rebecca Holmes Williams

Rebecca Holmes Williams

Along with Rebecca and Isaac on this migration are her parents, eight siblings many with families and her grandparents. Also included in the move are several of Isaac’s brothers and their families. It had to have been an event to remember with the number of people involved.

Finally in Allen and neighboring Harding County the families settle down. Most continue farming. It’s at this point I realize that Rebecca would have moved across the state knowing she’d never visit the final resting place of her two sons again. Buried in a small church cemetery in Tuscarawas County I can only imagine her final farewell and heavy heart. Continue reading

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – If you could have lunch with any female family member who would it be?

Rebecca Holmes Williams

Rebecca Holmes Williams – photo in author’s possession

I read Randy Seaver’s prompt for Saturday Night Genealogy Fun and immediately thought I’m in on this one! Randy takes a cue from Lisa Alzo and her blog’s inspiring Women’s History month. Here’s our question:

If you could have lunch with any female family member (living or dead), or any famous female, who would it be and why? Where would you go? What would you eat?

Short of having lunch with every one of my female ancestors I’ve narrowed it down to two. Either my grandmother Flora Nantz Frueh who died when my dad was just a 17-year-old. So little is known about her or my gggrandmother Rebecca Holmes Williams. After much deliberation I went with Rebcca Holmes Williams.

I’d like to have a cup of coffee with Rebecca at her house early in 1872. My ggrandmother, her youngest child, would be an infant in a nearby crib. We could keep an eye on baby Mollie (Mary Ellen Williams Marshall) as we talked. By this time Rebecca has lived through enough for three lifetimes. I’m sure life’s wisdom is apparent in her.

Rebecca was born in 1833 in Tuscarawas County, Ohio. She married Isaac Williams there in Tuscarawas County in 1853. They were the parents of seven children but all four of their sons died either in infancy or as toddlers. The devastation this young couple must have felt Continue reading

Foil vs Chalk – and you can always use the leftovers fixing dinner!

Reading a Headstone

Reading a Headstone

Somewhere I’ve read that foil was another option when trying to read a deteriorating headstone.
I bought the cheapest foil I could find. Cheap = thin. As you can see in the first photo it worked pretty well but that headstone wasn’t badly worn.
The inscription on the second headstone was worse at the top and we couldn’t get a good read on it. We did get some words toward the bottom but not the entire inscription.
Overall I was very happy with the outcome. It was cool to bring the rubbings home and transcribe them.

So you might consider a cheap roll of foil as another tool to add to your cemetery kit. I’ll continue using it. You know I’ve always been leery chalking a headstone.

with the help of foil

with the help of foil

By the way, the two headstones are for the infant sons of my g-g-grandmother, Rebecca Holmes Williams. She had seven children. Four boys and three girls. All four boys died at a very young age. Not one lived into their teenage years. Her daughters all lived to adulthood, married and had children, yet Rebecca outlived two of the three girls.
She must have been one strong lady to have buried six of her seven children.