Putnam/ Dougherty family genealogy

Archive for the ‘Holmes’ Category

Was Nimrod Holmes a nimrod?

This week #52 Ancestors prompted us with “favorite name”. This past week I was working on the Holmes line. That’s part of my paternal line and as you may already know if you have been following my blog that is the side that truly had very colorful people. While I love the colorful it may be where some of those questionable genes came from. This name I found while working on the Holmes line plays right into that.
Nimrod Holmes was born to Peter Holmes and Elizabeth Redman 08 March 1819 (wow almost 200 years ago) in Ohio. Probably Muskingum county. Nimrod was my 3x great grandmother’s (Susannah Holmes Francis) brother. Yes I do collateral relatives because I learned that when I’m “killing off” the relatives it may help establish further proof on the family line.

I came across the name and was commenting to my husband about the unusual name of Nimrod, and being the wordsmith that he is, he told me about the name. He said we use, “don’t be such a nimrod”, but it also means skilled hunter. Okay and how do you know all this I asked,  he shrugged his shoulders and turned to “google” to verify. And they did.

nim·rod

[ˈnimräd]

NOUN

nimrods (plural noun)
  1. literary
    a skillful hunter.
  2. N. AMER.
    informal
    an inept person.

On further investigation we learned Nimrod was in the Bible. I did not remember that. The online Webster dictionary defines

Nimrod: a descendant of Ham represented in Genesis as a mighty hunter and a king of Shinar;

My conclusion is that Peter and Elizabeth were using the bible as the source for baby names. Now that we know where the name comes from the question begs to be asked was Nimrod Holmes a nimrod?

1810 US Federal Census Fauquier Co., VA (Click on image to enlarge)

 

Born in Ohio after Peter and Elizabeth Holmes had moved out from Fauquier county Virginia some time after their son Joseph had been born in 1813. One of 13 children, Nimrod is somewhere in the middle. I have not yet established all birthdays or the birth order of the children. There is a 6 year gap between Joseph and Nimrod. Part of that could be accounted for while Peter was involved in the 1812 War.

 

 

1840 US Census Hopewell, Muskingum, Ohio

Nimrod first appears in the 1840 US census in Hopewell Muskingum county Ohio after his marriage that same year to Frances Ann Mauk  on 19 May in Muskingum County.

Through the US census we find Frances and Nimrod having 6 children, George W. born 1841, William H. born 1843, Melissa born about 1851,  Nimrod P. born about 1856, Fenrick born about 1857 and Martha born about 1863. Now I am thinking that Nimrod P. and Fenrick may be the same person. Fenrick  Nimrod is named as one of his children in Nimrod’s last will and testament found on Ancestry.com. But there is no Nimrod P. listed. And I do not see them in the same census together.

Nimrod was no slouch. In his will he leaves quite a bit of property to his wife Frances and the various children and one grand child.

1st. I give and devise to my beloved wife Frances Holmes in lieu of her dower the farm on which we now reside situated in Washington Township, Union Co., O. containing about 60 acres…………. Also my farm containing 160 acres situated in Washington County Kansas on which Fenrick N. Ho(l)mes now resides…… Also all of my real estate in Hilliard, Franklin County, Ohio. At the death of my said wife the real estate afore said I give and devise as follows.

2. I give and devise to my son William H. Holmes eighty acres on the east side of the said farm of one hundred and sixty acres in Washington Co, Kansas

3. I give and devise to my son Fenwick N. Holmes eighty acres on the west side of said farm in Washington Co. Kansas.

4. I give and devise to my daughters Melissa Leion and Martha Romack the said farm on which I now live in Washington Township Union Co, O, to be divided equally by running a line East and West. I desire that daughter Melissa Lion shall have the South half of said farm and my daughter Martha Romack shall have the North half during their natural lives, and at their death to go to their legal heirs.

5. I give and devise to my grandson W.H. Holmes one lot of land situated in the City of Columbus

6. I give and bequeath to Mary Super the west lot of my three town lots in Hilliard Station.

7. I desire that a monument costing four hundred dollars be erected at the graves of myself and wife the expense of which shall be borne by my four legal heirs equally, before they get possession of the land here by devised.

I desire that no appraisement and no sale of my personal property be made. ………………………….

So the answer is that Nimrod S. Holmes was no nimrod. I still have a few genealogical questions on Nimrods family to sort out but I just love reading these old wills. And now we all are asking “who is Mary Super?”

Leave a comment below prior to February 14 2018 and you will be entered in a drawing for a Surprise Gift.

 

 

 

 

 

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Susannah Holmes – Her mother-in law was also her aunt

It’s a new year and a fresh start.

Each year I renew a challenge to myself to continue with documenting the families that makeup who I am. Once again Amy Johnson Crow has thrown out the gauntlet and challenges us to develop the habit of writing/recording our family history discoveries and sharing them as 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. I hope you will enjoy these blogs on another 52 Ancestors.


The Holmes line starts in our family when William Henry Francis married Susannah Holmes 20 July 1826 in Zanesville, Ohio. William Henry Francis is my 3x great grandfather on my paternal side. Susannah Homes is the 2nd child of 14 children born to Peter and Elizabeth (Redman) Holmes 22 November 1806. Now Peter was the son of George and Anne (Hill) Holmes of Fauquier County Virginia. His sister was Sabitha (or Tabitha) who had married Joseph Francis in 1797, and their son William Henry was born in 1798, thus making William and Susannah first cousins and Sabitha is not only Susannah’s aunt she is her mother-in law.

Marriage to a first cousin may seem strange to some of us here in the United States but it is actually not unusual in many other countries. Here in the United States only 19 states actually have restrictions against first cousins marriage, and only 5 have it as a criminal offense. First cousin couples risk for birth defects are around 6% where non-related couples risk of birth defects stand about 3% as reported in the Independent. First cousin marriages are more common in the Middle East and it may be approximatly 10% of marriages worldwide are between first cousins.

So as we do our genealogy we should feel no need to raise an eyebrow over cousins marrying,  after all it may be better for some to marry the cousin they know than a stranger. 

Susannah Holmes was born in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia. Francis and Holmes appear both in Fauquier  County Virginia and Muskingum County Ohio. The two families are intertwined for generations in both Virginia and Ohio. So maybe it is not surprising that William Francis and Susannah Holmes are married in 1826 after both families had moved west to Zanesville, in Muskingum County Ohio. I want to explore this further, although they are not direct ancestors I have already noted several siblings that marry either another Holmes or a Francis.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Susannah Holmes marries her 1st cousin

holmes-branch-image-cropThere are lots of enhanced family stories that I recall from my childhood. One of them revolves around this family line. The Holmes family makes it’s first appearance in our tree when Susannah marries William Francis in Mt. Sterling, Ohio.
Apparently not only was grandma Dougherty one to embellish on the notoriety of a family name but so did the Francis’. Instead of just saying that “great grandma was a Holmes, you know like Oliver Wendell Holmes.” I was led to believe that “we are related to Oliver Wendell Holmes.”
Well, there has been no direct connection found to date, to prove any relationship to the “Oliver Wendell Holmes”. The Jurist Oliver was born in Boston to Oliver and Amelia (Jackson) Holmes in 1841. While Susannah Holmes was born 22 Nov, 1806 in the Shenandoah Valley , Virginia.

The Holmes name is a recurring surname on our tree. Susannah Holmes is the daughter of Peter and Elizabeth (Redman) Holmes. Peter’s sister Sabitha or Tabitha Holmes married Joseph Francis , Sabitha and Joseph have a son, William Henry Francis. William Henry married Susannah Holmes his first cousin on 29 July 1826. In my last blog I wrote about William Henry Francis.

I always thought that first cousins should not marry and have children, because those children are at a higher risk of being born with a birth defect. But looking into the genetics a little closer it appears that the increased risk is a very small percentage and the practice is less frowned upon then I had supposed and even some cultures encourage the practice. It might be prudent to have a clear understanding for all of us to know more about our own genetics if we want to have ” perfect children”. And now exactly what is “perfect”?  Who’s to say? William and Susan had 12 children? Were the odds against them having 12 perfect children? It was a hardship just physically for Susannah to give birth to that many children in the first half of the 1800’s. The likelihood that they would not survive their childhood was high. Infant mortality rates were not recorded in the 1800’s but looking at the statistics in our own family it appears that approximately two (2) out of ten (10) children did not make it to becoming adults. By 1930 in the United States the infant mortality was about 30 per 1,000 births and is now around 6 per 1,000.

In the 1830 US Census for Hopewell, Ohio we find Peter Holmes (Susannah’s brother) and his family living nextdoor to William Francis (Susannah’s husband) and their family.

1830 US census Hopewell, Muskingum, Ohio

1830 US census
Hopewell, Muskingum, Ohio

In looking at the specifics (click on image to enlarge) William Francis is head of household with 1 male less then 5 years of age, 1 male between the age of 5 & 10, one male age 30 to 40 (William), one female less then 5 years of age, and one female between 20 and 30 years of age (Susannah). Referring to the 1850 US census, where we have everyone in the household named, we find that the male 0-5 is most likely Simon and the male 5-10 may be Thomas, William’s son from his first wife, since William and Susannah have only been married for 4 years. The female 0 to 5 years of age would be Sabthia Ann.

1840 US Census Hopewell Ohio

1840 US Census Hopewell Ohio

Here in the 1840 US Census we see the family has grown, there are now 3 boys and 4 girls. In trying to put names to the tick marks in the census record, the boys,  Simon and Thomas may be the older children and George may be counted as younger then he was, otherwise Thomas may not be living at home and it is George and Simon as the older boys and perhaps another boy who did not survive to the 1850 census. The girls are straightforward; Susanna the youngest, Margaret and Mary next, then Sabitha Ann is about 12 in this census.

1850 US Census Hopewell Ohio

1850 US Census Hopewell Ohio

In the 1850 US Census we find that William is no longer with the family and at 44 Susannah has 10 children at home which includes twin boys 3 years of age, one of the twins (James) is listed as idiotic.

 

In 24 December 1851 Sabitha Ann is reported as dying.¹

 

1860 US Census Mt. Sterling Ohio

1860 US Census Mt. Sterling Ohio

By the 1860 US census Susannah has moved to her parents home which was near by. Susannah is 54 and her parent are 80 and 73.

The children living there are Simon(31 y) , Peter (22 y), Susanna (18 y), and James (12 y) who is now listed as “born blind”. Jesse is not listed in the house hold but is not reported¹ as dying until 1898. Mary Isabella is listed¹ as dying 7 October 1859. Mary is also noted as being blind in the Francis Family of Fauquier County, Virginia¹

In May of 1862 Susannah loses her son Andrew at Stoney Point Tennessee¹. There is an Andrew Francis buried at Shiloh National Cemetery who was a private in the 78th Ohio Infantry that fought at Shiloh 6 April 1862.

Susannah’s father Peter Holmes also died in 1862 and her mother died in 1869.

1870 US Census West Zanesville, Ohio

1870 US Census West Zanesville, Ohio

This census shows Susannah 64 with sons Peter and Jesse F. now Jesse is listed as Blind.

In the 1880 census Peter is listed as a Widow as is his mother Susannah. Jesse is listed as blind.

1880 US Census Mt. Sterling, Ohio

1880 US Census Mt. Sterling, Ohio

In 1882 her son Simon Henry dies. Simon had married an Emily Holmes (daughter of George Holmes and Alicinda Fry), not sure how close a relative she was.

In 1893 son Peter Gilmore dies in Visalia California. His tombstone indicates that he was in Co. H  113 Ohio during the Civil War.

In 1896 on 02 April, Susannah (Holmes) Francis dies. She is buried in the Mt. Sterling Cemetery, Muskingum county, Ohio.

There are lots of questions to be answered.

We still need:

  • The military records for Andrew and Peter to understand more their parts in the the American Civil War.
  • Peters marriage.
  • Jesse and James were they both blind, the same person, or when James died and why.
  • Death or Probate for Susannah

It appears we have only skimmed the surface on the Susannah story. With the large family she had and the challenges that Jesse and Mary had to face she must have lead a stressful life. Peter stayed with his mother until her death and then he travelled out to California where other family members had previously located.

¹The Francis family of Fauquier County, Virginia by Albert Oscar Felchlia, (out of print) available at the Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah and also available on microfilm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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