Inspirational Message

Inspirational Message

Sunday, February 23, 2014

52 Ancestors: #8 Sara Frances Conover

Sara Frances Conover

1848 - 1924

My Conover line is one of which I have conducted no research.  None.

So, perhaps it is time that I did.  Her husband, Henry Clay Paris, I have written about.  I do know that Sara's parents were Peter and Melinda Pierce Conover both died in Kansas around 1900.   Sara was living in Menard County, IL when she married Henry Clay Paris.   Sara named her children thus: Volney Peter, Decatur Ray, Joseph B., Ernest Claude, Arthur Henry, Mary E and Myrtle Mae.

Using the 1870 U.S. Federal Census I find Peter and Malinda Conover in Township 17 Range 7 West, Menard County, Illinois enumerated on the 7th day of June.
Here is the household:

Household                                  Gender                   Age                          Birthplace
Peter Conover                               M                        45                            Kentucky
Malinda Conover                           F                         43                            Illinois
Mary Conover                               F                         18                            Illinois
Cyntha Conover                            F                         15                             Illinois
Charles Conover                           M                         13                            Illinois
George Conover                           M                          9                             Illinois
Hattie Conover                              F                          3                              Illinois
Mary Pierce                                  F                          80                            Tennessee
George Conover                           M                         24                            Illinois
No relationships are given in this census.  Mary Pierce is most likely the mother of Malinda. George could be a son but more likely a nephew since he is not listed among the minor children.

Out of this household, only the name Peter and Mary are in common with the names Sara gave to her children.  Volney and Decatur are unusual names, are they clues to grandfathers or uncles close to either Sara or Henry?  

Going back 20 more years to the U.S. Federal Census for 1850 to look for Peter and Malinda Conover; they are in Mason County, IL; they have two children in the household, Sarah F age 4 and Martha Jane age 2.  Living with them are Jonathan C. age 53 who was born in KY.  This could be Peter's father.  Viola Conover age 14 is listed after Johnathan.  This could be Peter's younger sister.  Perhaps Peter's mother died in 1850. I searched by last name only and found Mary Conover, age 62, a married women who died of Pleurisy in Menard County, IL in the 1850 Mortality Schedule for persons who died before the 1st of June.

This could  be a clue or just a coincidence.
When I checked the Pre-1916 Death Index in Illinois for the surname Conover, the earliest year of death shown is 1880. This is not helpful for finding the name of Jonathan's deceased wife.

I checked the marriage index for a groom named Conover and a bride named Pierce:
Home • Departments • Archives • Databases • Illinois Statewide Marriage Index


Illinois Statewide Marriage Index

Search Criteria: Conover and Pierce
Groom                             Bride                            Date                 Volume Page Lic No. County
CONOVER, ABEL S      PIERCE, MARY L      1855-05-30      II           8     3175     PEORIA
CONOVER, WILLIAM  PIERCE, LOUISA       1845-08-28                                       SANGAMON

I see two Conover males did in fact marry a Pierce female.  Neither marriage is early enough to help me find the parents of Peter Conover.  
Interestingly, I didn't find the marriage of Peter and Malinda Pierce in the database I searched, they were reportedly married in 1845 or 1846.

I need to Google and find a website on Conover Genealogy and see if I can find some more clues.  Here I found Peter Conover and Malinda Pierce.  A pop-up pedigree shows Peter's father as Jonathan Coombs Conover and Martha D Bergen.  This website chronicles my Conover line. I now need to prove what I see.
Peter Conover
b. circa May 1822
d. 1900
Jonathan Coombs Cownover
b. 15 Apr 1797
d. 16 Sep 1856
Peter Cownover
b. 9 Feb 1769
d. 15 May 1835
Hannah Coombs
b. 5 Jun 1770
d. 15 Oct 1846
Martha D. Bergen
b. 14 Jun 1801
d. 9 Sep 1839
George I. Bergen
b. 16 Jun 1764
d. Feb 1825
Rebecca Coombs
b. circa 1772
d. 1846
Research never ends when the topic is genealogy.  I created a research log in Excel and filled one out for Peter Conover.  As I find new information I can add it to my log.  I have a lot of research to complete on this line. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Wordless Wednesday - Graves Homestead

It all began with a dugout in the bank of Camp Creek, then a cedar log cabin was added to the front side.  Three more additions were added in 1907, 1934 and 1948.  In 1963 the house minus the cabin was moved to town where it still stands.

Monday, February 17, 2014

52 Ancestors: #7 Jared Hoag

Jared B. Hoag


Jared B. Hoag was my maternal great grandfather, born in McLean County, Illinois two days before Christmas in 1857, and lived a tragic life.  He was born to a physician, William Cushing Hoag, and his wife Electa Ann Mitchell.  Jared attended the College of Commerce in Bloomington, Illinois and was active in the theater.  He kept a scrapbook, which I have in my possession, filled with clipped articles from the local newspaper.  He loved poetry and clipped out printed poems to add to his scrapbook as well. One article in the scrapbook, date unknown, states "The Literary Society- The meeting of this well known organization, last Friday evening, was one of unusual interest.  The attendance, order, and program were all that could be desired.  The retiring president, Mr. A. P. Cory, gave an appropriate valedictory address, while his successor to the chair, Mr. Jared Hoag, fairly outdid himself.  His remarks were well timed and full of sound advice. The program for the evening embraced the following exercises, viz: Declamation, Agnes Cory: vocal duet, Miss Kate Rowell and Mr. A. J. Abbott; recitation, Mess Cora Vance; solo, Miss C. A. Longley; oration, M. C. C. Rowell; declamation, Mr. Ed. Bourquin; duett, Miss C. A. Longley and Mr. A. J. Abbott. Resolved, that the rebel private soldier should be pensioned, was the subject of the debate; affirmative, Messrs. A. J. Abbott and J. R. Morrison; negative, Messrs. W. C. Hoag and P. H. Vance.  The new male quartette, consisting of Messrs. Bud Johnson, A. J. Abbott, Jud B. Vance and Jared Hoag, rendered two jubilee songs, which fairly brought down the house.  The society starts out for the winter with brighter prospects for good work than ever before."   After college, Jared traveled to Iowa, as stated in a newspaper article found in the Medicine Lodge Cresset, Medicine Lodge, Kansas; before traveling on to Kansas.  His many exploits are chronicled in the Cresset between the years 1888 and 1899.  

The marriage announcement of Jared was clipped and pasted into his scrapbook:  "Hoag-Graves. At the residence of the bride's parents, on Bitter creek, west of this city, Jared Hoag was married to Miss Florence Graves, by Probate Judge, H. H. Hardy, on yesterday (Wednesday) January 25th.  Jared is one of our most prosperous farmers and ranchmen and is a young mad of good character and resources.  His bride is the handsome, bright daughter of Mr. and Mrs. G. A. Gaves, well known and respected in this city.  may they live long and prosper is the wish of the Cresset.  We presume they will at once go to housekeeping on Mr. Hoag's splendid ranch near Mingona.  LATEST-We have just received a box of lucious, soul-inspiring cake, brought in by the Hon. Probate Judge, with the compliments of Mr. and Mrs. Hoag.  The boys in the office say this is the second couple that has been legally married in this county in the past two years, on account of this being only the second time we have received cake in that length of time." 

The first article I found while reading the microfilmed version of the Cresset was the October 1888 issue that states "Hoag vs. Co. Commissioners.  Petition in error sustained and order of County Commissioners reversed." Most of the articles I found with regard to the county commissioners was for road variances. From April 5, 1888, "The Jud Hoag farm near Mingona, the Carter ranch, near Lake City, the Staubus farm on Cedar creek and many others deserving of mention but were crowded out of this issue.  The individuals mentioned above are all from Illinois and are among our best and most influential citizens."  Jared "Jud" Hoag owned a fine horse named Turk described as "Grey Eagle and Hambletonian; color: bay; age 7; weight 1,050" in the January 7, 1889 edition.  I previously posted a photo of Jared with Turk harnessed to a buggy on the main street of Medicine Lodge. From January 9, 1890 is the birth announcement for his first born son, Mitchell William Hoag.  "Born to Mr. and Mrs. Jared Hoag, a big, handsome male baby.  This occurred on the second day of the current decade. Dr. Kociell."  Jared hauled cattle to the Kansas City beef market for George Hendrickson in February of 1890.  

In the September 26, 1889, edition of the Cresset is where I first read of a Breach of Promise suit brought against my great grandfather.  "Since our last issue the case of Schoenbeck v. Hoag has been on trial. Yesterday (Wednesday) morning the jury found a verdict for the fair plaintiff for $2,200 - she sued for $5,000.  This is a case that proves letter writing to be a bad thing.  Mr. Hoag pays $2,200 for a brief but interesting correspondence."  This article led me to the Barber County Courthouse where I looked up and obtained copies of the case. Lina Schoenbeck, from his hometown in Illinois, brought suit after Jared married Florence Graves in Barber County, Kansas.  The letters referred to in the article were not a part of the file. They were in the possession of the plaintiff's attorney.  One wonders if Jared had obtained the services of a better attorney the case may have turned out differently.  The result of the suit was the complete sell out of livestock owned by Jared. It was sold at auction by the Sheriff's office. I haven't looked at the land records to see when he sold his ranch, but many years ago my mother and I traveled to the location where we believed the home stood.  Jared built a magnificent barn which my mother recalls seeing when her father, Mitchell, took them on a tour of the area. 

Jared and Florence had two more children, Elsie and Ray.  In the November 1897 edition of the Cresset is the obituary of Florence Hoag.  Jared cut it out and pasted it into his scrapbook. It reads, "Florence Hoag, wife of Jared Hoag, of Mingona township, and daughter to Mr. and Mrs. Graves, died at her home on Tuesday night, Nov. 30th, of consumption.  She was laid to rest in the cemetery near this city, on Thursday, Dec. 2nd.  Mrs. Hoag was about 28 years of age.  She leaves a husband and three small children, her father and mother and a brother, besides a wide circle of friends to mourn her loss.  She was taken to the mountains of colorado last summer in hopes that the disease would be stayed, but as winter drew near she became worse and returned to her home in this county a short time since.  Mrs. Hoag was a good woman. Her death so early in life is to be greatly deplored, and the sorrowing husband and motherless children have the sympathy of all."  "Mr. and Mrs. G. A. Graves expect to go to their farm in Oklahoma this week and take with them their little grandchildren- the three children of J. Hoag."

I don't know how many trips Jared made to Oklahoma to see his children, for he remained in Barber County.  Mitchell made a trip back at the age of 16 to find his dad.  I believe this was the first of many trips. Jared did sell his farm and moved in and worked as a hired hand for Thomas Parr.  He is listed as boarder in the 1900 U.S. Federal Census.  In the Kansas State Census of 1905, Jared is living with J. B. and Alice Gano and remained with them at least through the 1930 U.S. Federal Census.   J B Gano died before that census and Alice was the manager of a hotel in Belvidere, Kansas. A handwritten letter in the back of his scrapbook, " 6 27 31 Mr. Hoag no doubt you were surprise when Mr. Young came in after you but no more surprise when he got home with out you  Mrs Young came over & toled us Mrs Seams wouldn't let you come I thought this to be a mistake. Been waiting to hear from you telling all about the reasin you didnt come & if you were gitting along well.  Has Mitchel & Ray been back yet. A G."  The letter was from Alice Gano, and eludes to the fact that Jared was not living with her at this time.  I don't have knowledge of  the Young or Seams families. Jared did buy some lots in Belvidere as contained in the  "Memorandum of Agreement between William Mitchell Hoag of Mutual, Oklahoma and Robbins Ranch, a partnership composed of Edward C. Robbins and Richard W. Robbins of Belvidere, Kansas selling lots five (5), six (6), and seven (7) of Block  eighteen (18) in the Town of Belvidere" for $1,050 dated the 20th day of February in 1943.

This photo was taken on the porch of the hotel where Jared lived until he became ill in 1938.  His son, Mitchell, came from Oklahoma and took him home with him. Mitchell's wife, Mary, was known for taking care of ill family members.  Jared died at the home of his on the 18th of June in 1938 at the age of 81 years, 5 months and 24 days.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

52 Ancestors: #6 Henry Clay Paris/Parris/Parish

Henry Clay Paris


I have come to the conclusion that some surnames are easier to research than others.  Paris is not so easy since many towns are named Paris. I found the digital image of a Civil War Pension Index card on Since it showed he served from the State of Illinois, I went to the Illinois State Archives website and searched for Henry in their Illinois Civil War Muster and Descriptive Rolls database. 
Illinois Civil War Detail Report
Rank: PVT
Company: B
Unit: 30 IL US INF
Personal Characteristics
Residence: ROCK CREEK, IL
Age: 21
Height: 5' 4 1/2
Eyes: BLUE
Complexion: LIGHT
Marital Status:
Occupation: FARMER
Nativity: KY
Service Record:
Joined When: OCT 1, 1864
Joined Where MT STERLING, IL
Joined By Whom
Period 1 YR
Muster In OCT 1, 1864
Muster In Where MT STERLING, IL
Muster In By Whom
Muster Out JUN 4, 1865
Muster Out Where WASHINGTON, DC
Muster Out By Whom LT NOYES
The Illinois Civil War Muster and Descriptive Rolls database is a transcription of each soldier's entry in the record series, Muster and Descriptive Rolls (RS 301.020). The database contains information about over 285,000 soldiers from Illinois who served in the Union Army during the War of the Rebellion. Each entry includes all of the information that was recorded by the Illinois Adjutant General in the original Muster and Descriptive Rolls. Entries for each roll include soldier's name; rank; age; height; colors of eyes, hair, and complexion; occupation; marital status; birthplace; residence; date, place, and term of enrollment; name; name of mustering officer; date and place of muster out; name of mustering-out officer; and remarks concerning transfers, promotions, injuries, or special duty.
Fred Delap of Kansas, Illinois, a volunteer with the Edgar County Genealogical Society, entered the information found in this database from microfilm of the 89 volumes of original Muster and Descriptive Rolls provided by the Illinois State Archives. Delap discovered that the published Adjutant General's Reports included soldiers that were not included in the original Muster and Descriptive Rolls. To make the database as comprehensive as possible, he also extracted the information from the first eight volumes of the nine volume publication, Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Illinois. (The ninth volume lists veterans of Black Hawk, Mexican, and Spanish-American Wars.)
I had forgotten about the document shown below and until I was organizing my many binders of genealogical data accumulated over the past thirty years.  This document was among my grandmother's belongings at the time of her death and it was passed along to my father.  About seven or eight years ago, it was given to me.
I was fortunate to receive this original certified pension approval document.
While still on the Illinois State Archives website, I conducted further searches for Henry Clay Paris using all variations of his name.  I found his marriage to Frances Conover in the Illinois Statewide Marriage Index.
Illinois Statewide Marriage Index

Date: 1869-09-12
Volume: A
Page: 365
Lic No.: 2526
County: MENARD
 Unfortunately, Menard county marriages are not indexed in the Illinois Marriages database on  To obtain a copy of their marriage record, I need to contact either the county clerk or IRAD.
From the Illinois State Archives website: 
Copies of marriage records included in the Statewide Marriage Index may be obtained from the Illinois Regional Archives Depository System if IRAD holds marriage records for that county or from the county clerk in the county in which the marriage occurred.
  • Request a Marriage Record from IRAD — Illinois Regional Archives Depositories (IRAD) hold original marriage records or microfilm copies for many Illinois counties. The IRAD holdings include marriage records for over seventy of the 102 counties in Illinois. Consult the Local Governmental Records Holdings Database to see if IRAD has marriage records for the county and date of the marriage you are requesting. Type the search term MARRIAGE in the title field to return all marriage records in the IRAD holdings. If IRAD does have marriage records for the county you are searching and for the pertinent time period, write the appropriate IRAD depository and include in your letter all of the information on the marriage given in the Illinois Statewide Marriage Index. The addresses and telephone numbers of the Illinois Regional Archives Depositories are listed in the IRAD section. Marriage record searches are free, but a small copy fee will be billed for records found. IRAD provides uncertified copies only. Certified copies must be requested from the county clerk.
  • Request a Marriage Record from a County Clerk — County clerks are the official custodians of all marriage records recorded in Illinois counties. To obtain copies of marriages found in the Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, write the appropriate county clerk and include in your letter all of the information on the marriage given in the Illinois Statewide Marriage Index. Only county clerks may issue certified copies of marriage records. Search and copy fees will vary from one county to another.
  • Copies of marriage records are not available from the Reference Unit of the Illinois State Archives in Springfield.
This is on my to-do list.

In trying to research in Kentucky where Henry was born, it got a little trickier.  There is a Paris, Kentucky so doing a Google search was fruitless.  I also tried USGenWeb and too many hits for the name Paris that referred to Paris, Kentucky proved frustrating.  I think perhaps, a trip to Madison county Kentucky might be added to my to-do list.

The 1870 Federal Census shows Henry and Frances living in Township 14 Range 4 West in Menard county. The post office is listed as Sallula.  Living with them is a young man, Alvin Martin, age 12.  Their relationship is unknown to me, at this time.  Jump ahead ten years and they are living in Elk county, Kansas at the time of the 1880 Federal Census.  Frances is enumerated as Sarah F. and they have three sons, Volna P. age 7, Decatur R. age 5, and   Claudie E age 1.  According to this document, the first two sons were born in Missouri.  This gives me another clue to find records in the State of Missouri.  I preliminary search on Missouri Digital Archives didn't yield any relevant results.  I have two ways to search for the location in Missouri, I can find death certificates for the two boys or I could put together a possible route they would take from Menard county to Missouri using the trails available in 1872.  Death certificates take time so in the meantime I will search to find a route they may have taken from Illinois. Using I created a map from Petersburgh, IL to Elk, KS.  This is roughly a 500+ mile journey.  To narrow down the route they might have taken around 1872 to Missouri, I would need to locate historical maps showing where covered wagons would travel.  I would then be able to narrow down my search to a specific county or counties. This is another addition to my to-do list.

Here is a modern map:
Volney Peter Paris was born in December 1873, I don't have a death date for him.  Decatur Paris was born in August 1874.  Neither of these men are listed in the SSDI, but I do know that both lived in Oklahoma.

Henry Clay Paris moved his family to Oklahoma by the 1900 Federal Census.  It is possible he would have gotten a homestead through the Federal Government.  I have been trying for a couple of days to get General Land Office Records to load in my browser without success.  A disclaimer appears as a tooltip when you hover on the link to Land Records that states the contents of this system are not fully 508 compliant.  It gives a phone number to call for assistance.  This is definitely a bummer!  I have used this site often to find land patents for my ancestors.  I should be able to find Henry's homestead papers in the county courthouse where he resided.  One more item added to my to-do list.

Henry died in 1918 in Chester, Major County, Oklahoma and his widow Frances filed for a widow's pension.  This pension is another on my to-do list.  Sarah died in February 1924 in the same location.

As you can see, my to-do list is quite extensive for this line.  On a Facebook group, a member submitted a spreadsheet that she created to track her research.  I took the pdf version she posted and re-created it in Excel and added an area to track state census records in addition to federal census records.  Having a research log is vital, and an electronic version is awesome!  

Saturday, February 1, 2014

52 Ancestors: #5 Electa Ann Mitchell

Electa Ann Mitchell

1836 - 1878

Electa Ann Mitchell was born in Rutland, Meigs County, Ohio to the Reverend James Gibson Mitchell and Sophia Williams on the 8th of November in 1836.  Her parents were natives of Pennsylvania and Ohio, respectively.  Her father proclaimed the Gospel in Ohio and Illinois as a minister of the Christian Church. She was married to William Cushing Hoag, a physician, on the 19th of April in 1855.  The ceremony was performed by her father.

Mary had three brothers, Benjamin, Rodney J and Byron Selah. and a sister, Phebe Elizabeth.  
Byron was a Civil War soldier and died at New Orleans
Tombstone in Glenwood Cemetery, Mackinaw, Tazewell County, IL

  Phebe died in Meigs County the 3rd of February 1853. Benjamin only lived a few months.

Electa and her husband move to Tazewell County, Illinois where they are enumerated in the 1860 census.
Within five years, they moved to the neighboring county, Mclean, living in the town of Danvers.  I always knew that they had two children, then on Find-a-grave, I find a tombstone for a Mary S Hoag.  It states daughter of W.C. and E. A. Hoag.  The stone has lichens on it so it is really hard read the lettering. The memorial states she died on the 21st of May in 1865.  Since this child was not enumerated with them in the 1860 census, I have to assume she was born between 1860 and 1865.  They could have had other children, but without death records, it is difficult to prove.  This child was not recorded in the Bible which leads me to believe that the entry for Jennie Hoag was added by my great grandfather, Jared.  Both entries for W. C. Hoag and Jennie Hoag appears to be in the same handwriting.  I don't have the Bible, just the Marriages, Births and Deaths pages from it.

William C Hoag's spinster sister, Abigail, lived with him until her death.  She was called "Aunt Nabby" by her nephew, Jared.  William set up his practice here and they reared two children, Jared and Jane Phoebe (Jennie). The children attended school in Danvers, Jared graduated from the School of Commerce.  His yearbook is was in excellent condition the last time I saw it.  My aunt in Oklahoma has it in her possession.

Between 1870 and 1880, her mother, Sophia Mitchell, came to live with them and stayed until her death on the 3rd of February in 1881. I found two memorials on Find-a-grave, one for Sophia and one for James C Mitchell.  I sent an edit request since the memorial ties the two together.  The stone for James looks like it could be a C or a G.  I sent a message to find out if the two stones are side-by-side.

Electa died of consumption on the12th of November is 1878  at the age of 42  years and 4 days.

William C Hoag died on the 23rd day of August in 1886 in his office.  They are both buried in the Glenwood Cemetery in Tazewell County.

I was able to get a copy of both death records from the McLean County Museum of History.  I haven't been successful in finding Jane's death record; the Mitchell family Bible records her death date at the 3rd of July in 1876.  I did find a memorial for her on Find-a-grave.  I have requested a photo.

The story of Mary Mitchell's father is written in the book, Early History of The Disciples in the Western Reserve, Ohio with Biographical Sketches of the Principal Agents in their Religious Movement by A. S. Hayden, Cincinnati: Chase & Hall, Publishers, 1875.  I downloaded  a digital copy of this book many years ago. Another book Reminiscences and Incidents in the Life and Travels of a Pioneer Preacher of the "Ancient" Gospel: With a Few Characteristic Discources: by Nathan J. Mitchell, Cincinnati: Chase and Hall, Publishers, No. 180 Elm Street, 1877 is  written by James G. Mitchell's brother.  The book tells the story of Nathan and his son, John Packer Mitchell. I have an original copy of the second book, although it lost its cover long before it fell into my hands.

I haven't connected with any Mitchell cousins.  Perhaps this blog will find some of them!