Why we don’t publish

Harold Henderson in his blog post Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog asks this question, “Why don’t We Write”. Frankly, I write. And write and write! What I don’t do is publish. In fact, I have fears of publishing anywhere but here. I know that I need to publish. I am well aware that, well, with no pretensions of Louis-esque grandeur, après moi, le déluge. Okay, maybe not chaos, but I have no delusions that my children will care one whit about the research into our family. Pretty sure that, after I am gone, the research will be gone, too. I need to publish so that what I know is not lost. In addition to publishing, I need to share. Publishing solely in a paper based fashion without the ability to share research with the wider world, either via film or other shareable means, renders the research as inaccessible as if it were still in my basement, stacked in boxes, just waiting to become so much papier-mâché. Sharing only on my blog will eventually be just as temporary as an obscure family history tucked away in an unreachable library. For my research to survive a generation, I must publish and share.

Yet, I fear publishing because my research isn’t done. I know, I know, nobody’s research ever is. I get it, genealogy is a fool’s errand, once you find one person, you are on the search for at least two more. But, when the search is begun with the question “Who are those two people?” and, after a year of searching with no answer to that question, and piles of information which is leading you no further than you began, you start to have a feeling that there is nothing “worthy” of being published. Prior to this search, I have put together a proof which was built on “preponderance of the evidence”. In those cases, there was a bit more evidence to er, preponder. In my current genealogical idée fixe, the Joshua Case family of Randolph County, Illinois, things are a bit more stubborn. The Cases are an ordinary Midwestern family of six people, Joshua, his wife Catharine, their children Charlotte, Olive, Independence and Andrew Jackson. They don’t seem to have been high on the “Case Family Radar” for anyone other than their descendants. Even for us, some of what we thought we knew turned out to be inaccurate. For example, until finding his will, his name was thought to be Jonathan, based on the 1830 census wherein he is enumerated as such[1]. After finding his will, we now know his name is Joshua[2]. Other than in the census, he is not called Jonathan in any official record found to date. Question one answered, who are the parents of Independence Case Lindsey Lemarr. Joshua Case. Leading to two  more questions. Question two: “Who could Joshua’s family be?” Question three: “What is Catharine’s maiden name?”

DNA evidence of a descendant of Andrew Jackson places him in the Case family of Connecticut and New York[3]. But to which Case family does he belong? There is no one else in Randolph County, IL of the same surname. He is not likely a brother to the Coe Wisner, sometimes spelled Weasner, Case of the neighboring St. Clair county and his brother, Jonathan Wood Case in Wabash County, IL. Coe Weasner Case and Jonathan and other sons are named in the will of their father, Daniel of Minisink, Orange, New York[4]. There is no Joshua among them. According to the Popenoe, Popnoe, Poppino & Allied Families[5], and Dlouhy Family Ties websites the children named in the will are Jonathan, Coe Wisner, Daniel, David, John Elizabeth, and Julianna. Another daughter, Maria, was born after Daniel’s death[6]. Comparing the number of males in Daniel’s family in census records, 5 in 1800 and 5 in 1810, to the  number of sons as named in the will, suggests that Joshua was not a previously settled upon and therefore unnamed son. However, I want to examine the will or a transcription of it before ruling them out, completely. Especially since Independence places Joshua’s birthplace in New York and Catharine’s in Indiana in both the 1880 census[7] and 1900 census[8]. If this is accurate, he might be a cousin or some other relation to Coe Weasner and Jonathan Case brothers of Illinois as they were born in Orange, New York. However, Olive states nothing for his birthplace in the 1880[9] census and Ohio in the 1900[10] census. Jackson states both of his parents were born in Iowa[11] in 1880 and in Massachusetts in 1900[12]. I could try searching New York, having searched the deeds and wills of relevant and possibly connected families of Randolph County, Illinois. How many Case families could there be in 1830, right? Turns out, a bunch. In 1830, there are 354 families named Case found in Ancestry.com’s index. I could start in Orange County, where the pool narrows substantially, to fifteen, or even narrow it to Minisink, where the pool drops sharply to four, three if Daniel is not considered. Even so, if this Joshua is not named in a will, then I am back to square one. Frankly, a Joshua named in a will would tell me next to nothing if there were no supporting details to tell me that that Joshua was my Joshua.

Joshua witnessed a deed in 1829 in Randolph County,[13] between Charles S. Guthrie, James S. Guthrie, Samuel S. Guthrie, Joseph S. Guthrie, and Cathrine S. Guthrie, and John S. and Polly S. Guthrie[14]. He witnessed this deed with James Hathorne, sometimes spelled Hawthorne. I am currently digging through the films for more records involving this James. From the Probate records, all of the Guthrie’s were heirs of George and Nancy Guthrie.[15] James Hathorne was likely the son of a Samuel Hathorne, whose minor children were Elizabeth, AKA Betsey, Hathorne, James  M. Hathorne, John Hathorne, David  Hathorne, and Saira, I’m guessing that’s Sarah, Hathorne. James Hathorne and Samuel Hathorne were appointed guardians of the minor children of Samuel Hathorne[16].

In 1830, Joshua bought his land from the heirs of William Peach[17]. These heirs are named in the deed: William Peach and Priscilla, his wife, Levi Simmons and Lois, his wife, William Simmons and Mary his wife, and Charles Darrow and Sally, his wife. Lois, Sally and Mary are the daughters of William, that is they are, Lois Peach Simmons[18], Sally Peach Darrow and Mary Peach Simmons. Additionally, Priscilla Peach was a Simmons[19]. Clearly, there is a heavy association between the Peaches and the Simmons. I searched the deeds and wills and probate records on film for Randolph County, Illinois to learn more about the Peach family and the Simmons families. William Peach died intestate sometime before 30 Nov 1824. Sarah Peach, presumably his wife and not his daughter, and William Peach received letters of administration for his estate[20]. A little online research revealed that my assumption that she was his wife was correct as Sarah Pearce  and William Peach married 22 January 1800 in Marblehead, Massachusetts[21]. Other heirs unnamed in the deed who were minors at the time of the death of William Peach, were Samuel Peach, John Peach and Eliza Ann Peach[22]. The Peach family of Randolph County, IL has origins with the Puritans of Marblehead, Massachusetts[23]. The Case family was Puritan when they arrived on the shores of America, they settled in Connecticut and Long Island[24].

In 1833, Joshua’s will was witnessed by Luther Simmons and John C. Crozier[25]. Luther Simmons married Nancy Crozier, sister of John C. Crozier[26]. John C. Crozier married Mary “Polly” Lindsay.[27] This may be significant, as Independence Case married a Beverly Lindsey, 16 Apr 1840[28]. Joseph H. Orr was appointed guardian of Olive, Independence and Andrew Jackson; Charlotte chose John C. Crozier as she was over fourteen[29].

So there it is. The entire incomplete little tome. It seems that I can find the marriage records and families of everyone’s marriage record except Joshua and Catharine. Where to go from here? Here is a list of what my choices appear to be. First search all the films for Randolph County, Illinois, read every deed between 1820 and 1844. Then search the available films of Indiana marriages on the off chance they married there, or maybe they married in Arkansas, so search those, too, or maybe the JP lost the crumpled piece of paper with their marriage record on it, in which case you have wasted a lot of money, time and vision. Then search all the wills in New York on the chance that there is a Joshua named therein who can’t be tied to a family or who is obviously “mine”.

Gee, I wish I could get my hands on a film of the St. Clair gazette from 1833-1834.


[1] 1830 US Census; Census Place: Randolph, Illinois; Page:  156; NARA Series:  M19; Roll Number:  22; Family History Film:  0007647

[2] Randolph County, IL, Probate records, 1809-1849, Film number 974986, Salt Lake City, Utah : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1975

[3] Case Family (including Cass/Casse) – Y-DNA Colorized Chart, http://www.familytreedna.com/public/CaseProject/default.aspx?section=ycolorized

[4] Dean, Troy. The David Dean Project: Index to Troy Dean’s Family References, “William Denn A weaver who witnessed will of Daniel Case of Goshen in 1760 Early Orange County Wills, two volumes in One, 1731-1830,” Orange County Genealogical Society, Goshen, NY; LDS Fiche 6117875, p.9″  http://webspace.webring.com/people/wo/ohhitroy/dean/ref/NYordean.htm

[5] Daniel Case millwright of Minisink, Liber A, p 214, abstract in Early Orange Co Wills, part 2 , p18 as cited in Popenoe, Popnoe, Poppino & Allied Families, http://www.popenoe.com/Wood.html, “Deborah Wood, 7 Oct 1777, living in Minisink 1832, m Daniel Case, ca 1771 – 19 Mar 1809.  His will cited children: Jonathan Case, Coe Wisner Case, m Mary Wood, Daniel Case, David Case, John Case, Elizabeth Case,Julianna Case”

[6] Dlouhy, David P. Dlouhy Family Ties, http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=dbdvcw-1&id=I004835.  Daniel Case’s will is listed in Wills from Orange Co., NY: Daniel Case — Minisink, (Millwright). Liber D pg. 203; will 8 “Mar 1809; proved 28 Mar. 1809; wife-Deborah Case; dau-Elisabeth, Julianna (minors); Sons -Jonathan, Coe, Daniel, David, John (minor); Exec-Deborah Case, Wilmott Moore, James Little; Wit-Charles Wood, John Cavanaugh, Samuel Tooker..pg. 9 9. NOTE: Wilmot Moore is the son of David Moore, Jr. & Mary Mapes. There was a daughter Maria, born after Daniel’s death, who married Charles Hunter. (Data from Margaret Wien)”

[7] Year: 1880; Census Place:  Jefferson Newton Arkansas; Roll:  52; Family History Film:  1254052; Page:  635A; Enumeration District:  117; Image:  0575.

[8] Year: 1900; Census Place:  Murray Newton Arkansas; Roll:  70; Page:  15B; Enumeration District:  90; FHL microfilm:  1240070.

[9] Year: 1880; Census Place:  Clay Clark Missouri; Roll:  681; Family History Film:  1254681; Page:  114A; Enumeration District:  035; Image:  0232.

[10] Year: 1900; Census Place:  Clay Clark Missouri; Roll:  848; Page:  2A; Enumeration District:  18; FHL microfilm:  1240848.

[11] Year: 1880; Census Place:  Jefferson Newton Arkansas; Roll:  52; Family History Film:  1254052; Page:  637A; Enumeration District:  117; Image:  0579.

[12] Year: 1900; Census Place:  Boston Newton Arkansas; Roll:  70; Page:  3A; Enumeration District:  92; FHL microfilm:  1240070.

[13] Randolph County, IL, Deeds v. O 1822-1834, Film number 956818, Salt Lake City, Utah : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1975

[14] Her name is rendered as Catharine in the Probate record.

[15] Randolph County, IL, Probate records, 1809-1849, Film number 974986, Salt Lake City, Utah : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1975

[16] Randolph County, IL, Probate records, 1809-1849, Film number 974986, Salt Lake City, Utah : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1975

[17] Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, 1763-1900

[18] Marriage records, Randolph County, Illinois, 1809 to 1870, Married: 29 Nov 1824 in ,Randolph, Illinois, USA, as accessed on Bourdon, Claudia: Claudia’s Families.

[20] Randolph County, IL, Probate records, 1809-1849, Film number 974986, Salt Lake City, Utah : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1975

[21] Ancestry.com. Massachusetts, Town Vital Collections, 1620-1988 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011. Original data: Town and City Clerks of Massachusetts. Massachusetts Vital and Town Records. Provo, UT: Holbrook Research Institute (Jay and Delene Holbrook).

[22] Randolph County, IL, Probate records, 1809-1849, Film number 974986, Salt Lake City, Utah : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1975

[23] Gordon, Carin, The First Family Chronicles The Peaches. Marblehead Magazine, accessed 2011

[24] McCracken, George H. The Case Family of Connecticut and Long Island, 1958. The American Genealogist, 34

[25] Randolph County, IL, Probate records, 1809-1849, Film number 974986, Salt Lake City, Utah : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1975

[26] Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, 1763-1900

[27] Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, 1763-1900

[28] Marriage records, Randolph County, Illinois, 1809 to 1870, film

[29] Randolph County, IL, Probate records, 1809-1849, Film number 974986, Salt Lake City, Utah : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1975

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