More stalking (From The Billboard, May 11, 1946, page 91).
This one says:
WANTED—People in all lines for free platform Med. Show. Change for 2 weeks. Play big towns. Novelty teams, hillbillies, singles and doubles. Tell all in first letter. No time to dicker. Drunks and chasers lay off. Chief Black Horse, Route No. 5, Upper Sandusky, Ohio.
Oh, how I wonder what happened to those letters!
Well, that was unexpected.
The September 6, 1947 issue of Billboard magazine has a notice (in the Pipes for Pitchmen section:
ORVILLE CHANDLER … known in pitch circles as Chief Black Horse, is seriously ill in Creel Hospital, Cleveland, following an operation in which one of his lungs was removed. He’d like to read letters from friends in the business.
Unfortunately, this notice came too late. Orville, my father’s uncle, died on 3 September 1947.
Now… who was the Native American grandmother?
My contact in Bucyrus sent along a packet of papers that had been written by my great-uncle. It consists of family history that apparently was gathered in the 1930’s but not written down until 1968, and then retyped in 1976.
It is the source of the assertion that Eliza was a Chandler before she married Hurd. It also talks a little bit about Melinda Wright’s antecedents, which are completely different from what I had surmised. So I’ll be working through it, trying to figure out what sources Uncle Willis was using beyond “letters in my possession,” since I have no idea where these letters may be, 40 years after the fact.
Willis was a lawyer, and moved several times during his life. I don’t know if he was married or had children, though, and 20th century people are surprisingly difficult to track. But, more clues!
I didn’t need copies of every deed I looked up (some was just for curiosity’s sake), so here are my notes. All are from the Crawford County Ohio Recorder’s Office (i.e. place where the Deed records are kept). I didn’t get every bit of information, so I apologize in advance if you’ve come here from a Google search hoping for more…
Deed Book Vol 1, page 223
Deed Book Vol 1, page 224
(John made a great deal, I’d guess!)
Deed Book Vol 3, page 337
Deed Book Vol 13, page 665
I’m not sure why I didn’t find out more about this one. I think it’s because I didn’t realize I could at the time. This is before Josiah removed to Wyandot County. I don’t know how he got the land, because it’s before his father’s death in 1852.
Today I had a surprisingly long day of library research, with a side trip of wet feet.
I started at the Rutherford B Hayes Presidential Center Library where I looked through the correspondence between Orville Hurd and Thaddeus Hurd regarding the ancestral line of Zadok Hurd. Orville is more closely related to me than Thaddeus; Orville’s great-grandfather was Lyman Chandler Hurd, who was the brother of my great-great-grandmother Nancy Melissa Hurd Chandler. (I include the Nancy because he did — I haven’t seen any paperwork with this name, only Melissa.)
Unfortunately, Orville got his information from another relation who did not include any sources. So I’m just as far along with Eliza Hurd (Melissa’s mother) as ever. There is more of the putative “David & Hannah Chandler” line in the correspondence, so I’ll see if I can find out more. These letters were exchanged from 1961-1964, so there may be some progress now that I have some names and dates.
While I was there at the RB Hayes center, I browsed through many of their county books. They had a good selection of Crawford county books (not too surprising — it’s nearby), where I happened across a list of all the cemeteries in Crawford. Not expecting much, I flipped to the index and saw Joseph Chandler and Melinda Chandler! I also saw Darius Wright — but I believe this is Melinda’s brother, not her father.
So I drove to the cemetery and traipsed around in the damp grass looking for the headstones (they are all three buried in the same cemetery). I found the cemetery, but didn’t know where to look for the stones. There is a row of really old stones at the West End of the cemetery — all unreadable. I think these are the markers of my people. It wasn’t until I looked in Volume 1 of the Cemeteries of Crawford County Ohio (after the cemetery visit; while at the Bucyrus public library) that I realized the original readings gave the row/stone number. That’s ok, though. Given the disrepair of the stones — weathered, sunken, broken… I don’t think I would be able to be sure I counted them correctly.
After the cemetery (which is behind a house that used to be the church), I drove into Bucyrus to visit the public library. This is a very nice-looking place, a mix of old and new that has recently (within the last 10-15 years, I’d guess) been renovated. I had the genealogy section to myself (not unusual), where they had a nice selection of microfilms.
One of their indexes was of “Pioneer Families of Crawford County” — this is a club of people who can prove their ancestors were in Crawford prior to 1830. I thought to myself, “Joseph Chandler was here in 1820. I wonder if anyone has been looking for him?” And you know what? Someone was. The library has microfilms of the supporting documentation for the Pioneer Families, so I was able to look at the documents Mr Chandler used to support his claim. Our common ancestor is Joseph — my line then goes through his son Josiah, while Mr Chandler’s goes through Josiah’s brother John. However, there was a family bible (not Joseph’s, because there’s no background information about Melinda, but possibly John’s) that listed Josiah’s birthdate — which matches the one I have (July 11, 1824).
Then I spent a good deal of time looking at the Tax Duplicates — I watched Joseph Chandler go from having 4 cattle and no horses to owning 42 acres of land. Unfortunately, I lost track of Darius Wright in the Tax records. He had been appearing (owing Personal Property Tax) pretty regularly, but fell off the rolls well before his death in 1850. Not quite sure what was going on there. I might find something in the court records tomorrow, but I’m not holding my breath.
The only thing I expect to be able to find tomorrow is the estate administration file of Joseph Chandler. I know it’s there; I’ve seen bits and pieces of it on various microfilms. It’ll be nice to see the whole, real thing. I’ll also look over the land records, to see who Joseph bought his land from. I wish I could say I’d find things out about Melinda, but I think she died too early for county records. We’ll see. And if I could find Joseph’s father? That would be fabulous.
Starting from this clue:
June 3, 1841, Mr. Cunning was united in marriage to Ruth Chandler, a daughter of Joseph and Malinda (Wright) Chandler, natives of Vermont. 1
I found this image (sourced from “Vermont, Vital Records, 1760-1954” at Familysearch.com):
This index card says the groom was “Chandler, Joseph” the bride was “Malinda Wright” the groom’s residence was “Crosby Mass” and their marriage date was “Mch 1-1813” at “Cornith Vt.” Leaving aside for the moment the fact that I cannot find “Crosby Mass” anywhere on the web, there’s a clue or two.
A second item I saw at Family Search is a marriage record (but no image) from “Vermont Marriages, 1791-1974” for “Molindia Wright” who married “Joseph Jr. Chandler” on 01 March 1813 at Corinth, Orange, Vermont. This seems to be an alternate record of the first one, perhaps it’s the index card for the bride?
[A note on the index cards: apparently in the 1920’s town clerks went through the old records and created index cards for each Vital Record. The image certainly looks much more modern that one would expect for even the 1800s.]
So, I have four transcriptions of the same one record. No, that’s not right. I have two transcriptions of the same record (presumably in a ledger in the Town Clerk’s office in Corinth, Vermont) that was made ca. 1920. with a modern transcription of each (likely due to LDS volunteers) probably done after 2000. But, I at least have some circumstantial evidence that a marriage between Malinda and Joseph took place in Vermont in 1813.
So far so good.
The next item I found at Family Search is a record from “Vermont Births and Christenings, 1765-1908” that says Melinda Wright was born 07 Nov 1771, Bradford Twp, Orange, Vermont, the daughter of Derias Wright & Lois ______. There is no image of this record I can find online.
Say what? If she was born in 1771, she would have been 42 when she married Joseph, and then had a bunch of kids (more on that in another post).
Then I searched for “Derias Wright and Lois Vermont” and Google very kindly corrected Derias to Darius and gave me a genealogy.com forum page that says:
The History of Northfield, MA by J.H. Temple & George Sheldon list Darius Wright, bapt. July 27, 1760 m. 1790 Lois Lee (Northampton, MA town records indicate that they were married there, and that Darius was of Hinsdale). Darius was son of Aaron & Anna (Graves) Wright. Aaron had removed to Hinsdale from Northfield.
A second source (also transcribed recently from a transcription) supports the marriage date.
Oh hey. Wait a minute. If Darius was born around 1760, he couldn’t have had a daughter at age 11. I don’t care how precocious he might have been. If you google “Darius Aaron Wright northfield ma” you see the book the poster was talking about A history of the town of Northfield, Massachusetts: for 150 years, with an account of the prior occupation of the territory by the Squakheags : and with family genealogies, and find on page 571 Darius, his wife Lois Lee, and his parents Aaron and Anna. Unfortunately, Temple & Sheldon did not carry through the next generation, so I don’t know for sure who their children were, but I do suspect that Malinda was one of them.
But what about that 1771 birth year? Until I can see the record for myself, I’m assigning that as a transcription error for 1791. At the moment, it’s the only thing that makes sense, assuming that the rest of the documents are coherent.
There is a ton of stuff out there about the earliest European (read: English & white) settlers of North America. Loads of genealogies, lots of “History of the town of [x] and it’s earliest settlers” — Americans have been trying to find connection to those pioneers for centuries now. I personally don’t care if my people were pioneers (tho they were) — I just want to finish this project: Trace my ancestry to the edge of the continent.
Fortunately, if you can manage to link to one of these existing genealogies, you have ready-made several generations of Puritans or whomever to plop into your genealogy program. Unfortunately, general interest in the earliest families stops just before I have been able to reliably link certain parts of my people to these (very inbred) families.
For instance, I have a potential ancestor, Darius Wright. His father, Aaron, and all of his forefathers are pretty well known back to the Great Migration. However, I cannot find a single listing of his children. I think his daughter married a Chandler, but I don’t know if it’s the right Melinda/Malinda Wright and the right Joseph Chandler. The early 19th century records are scarce on the web, so it may mean some more travel, possibly to Vermont…
Yesterday I travelled to Bowling Green State University to visit their Center for Archival Collections. It was a pleasant drive, not too long (just over an hour) and not to difficult (freeway the whole way).
The CAC is located in the main library. Among other tasks, it is a secondary repository for Ohio archives from the Ohio Historical Society that relate to NW Ohio. I figured that if I could find what I wanted there, then I could save some courthouse trips.
Their website serves as their “catalog,” and it is one of the most difficult to parse that I’ve seen for a long time. I was hoping they had something better organized there at the CAC. They don’t. Their website is what they have. So I wasn’t quite as prepared as I could have been.
The second surprise is that their stacks are completely and totally closed, even for microfilm. I think this is a “this is our system because this is our system” thing. I can certainly understand original materials being difficult to access, but microfilm? [Oh, and no cameras or personal scanners, at all — you either print from microfilm, or ask for a photocopy.]
I spent about 4 hours total there, 3 hours looking at microfilm. I finally found a little bit of info on Joseph Chandler, who I think might be my great-great-greatgrandfather. It seems he died in the first quarter of 1852, since his estate was administrated starting April 12, 1852. Unfortunately, I still didn’t find proof that Josiah was his son.
Then to get my photocopies I had to go to the first floor circulation desk (from the 5th floor) with a slip of paper, pay for the photocopies, then take the receipt back to the 5th floor. Not difficult, but I’m glad I left time for “cleaning up.” If I’d been in more of a hurry with the parking meter, I would have been very upset.
Anyway, one thing I learned without question is that I don’t need to revisit BGSU for this project. Other genealogists might find it useful if they have many NW Ohio counties to research, but for only one or two you’ll be better off going directly to the courthouse.
One of my great-great-grandmothers was named Eliza (something) Hurd. All I know for sure about her is that she has a gravestone in Wyandot County saying she died Oct 22, 1866 aged 79Y 6M. I’m reasonably sure she was the mother of my great-grandmother, and I’m reasonably sure she was the wife of Zadok Hurd.
A man who was very interested in the Hurd genealogy (Thaddeus Hurd, a 3rd-ish cousin) noted that Eliza was Eliza Chandler prior to her marriage to Zadok Hurd. He got this information from a cousin, Orville B Hurd in 1961, but there’s no indication of Orville’s source. Then somebody (either Orville or Thaddeus) claimed Eliza to be the daughter of David Chandler and Hannah Peabody. However, none the published genealogies I can find for this couple include a daughter named Eliza.
Eliza’s eldest son was Emi Peabody Hurd. One of her other sons was Lyman Chandler Hurd. It makes sense that Eliza wanted to commemorate her antecedents in her children’s names. How did Thaddeus or Orville decide that “Chandler” was the correct maiden name for Eliza? What if it was Miss Chandler and Mr Peabody who created Eliza?