Yes, it has been a very long time since I’ve written here, and I hope to start writing more regularly going forward! I am continuing with my never-ending “Family Census Project” – tracing each family in each census from 1850-1930. I always enjoy jumping ahead 10 years to find new children born to a family, or to discover a that widowed sister-in-law or mother has now taken up residence with a young family.
Having come from a long line of Lutheran (and, further back, Seventh-Day Baptist or Apostolic Christian) stock, however, it took me a little while to catch on to what I was seeing with my 4th cousin five times removed, John Gill Wilson, in the 1860 census. John’s great-great-grandfather, Joseph Willson, was the brother of our director ancestor, Samuel Willson, and I had been placidly tracing his descendants through the Ancestry.com census records. John was born 14 August 1829 in Green Township, Richland, Ohio, and in 1850 was still living at home with his parents in Decatur, Iowa. Tracing John forward to 1860, however, I found him in Ogden, Utah, 35 years old and farming, with a number of small children, but also with Lucy, age 30, born in Indiana, and Polly, age 21, born in Missouri.
It didn’t take much searching to locate a number of LDS family history sites, including The Life, Times & Family of Orson Pratt Brown, which confirmed that both Lucy and Polly were the wives of our relative John Gill Wilson. In 1860 the census taker listed all the children in order by age, but in 1870 each group of children is listed separately with their mother, making it easier to determine each child’s parentage. By 1880, the Wilson household consisted of 17 individuals. This is the sort of discovery that certainly adds a little color to census research!
June 5 1880 Hyrum Precinct Cache Utah Page 18 Enum 10
152 153 Wilson John W M 50 x [married] Farmer Ohio Vermont Penn
—Lucy W F 49 wife keeping house Ind. New York New York
—Elvira W F 39 wife keeping house Mo. New York New York
—Orson W M 21 Son x [single] Works on farm x [school] Utah New York Ind.
—Alma W M 21 Son x Works on farm Utah New York Mo.
—Ezra W M 19 Son x Works on farm Utah New York Ind.
—George W M 19 Son x Works on farm Utah New York Mo.
—Beletta W F 17 Daughter x At home Utah New York Ind.
—Emma W F 17 Daughter x At home Utah New York Mo.
—Charles W M 15 Son x Works on farm x Utah new York Ind.
—Adeline W F 14 Daughter x At home x Utah New York Mo.
—C. WIlliam W M 12 Son x At School x Utah New York Ind.
—Frank W M 12 Son x At School x Utah New York Mo.
—Joseph W M 9 Son x x Utah New York Mo.
—Alice W F 6 Daughter x Utah New York Mo.
—Lycurgus W M 3 Son x Utah New York Mo.
—Isaac W M 7/12 Oct Son x Utah New York Mo.