Church Record Sunday: The Johns Family of Indiana

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William H. JOHNS and family listed in the Raysville-Knightstown Monthly Meeting Records, Henry County, Indiana, in “Abstracts of the Records of the Society of Friends in Indiana,” Births, Vol. 7, Part 4, page 449.

Roberts Family, Murrell Family (Click for Family Tree)

Last week we posted about a surprising find- that Matthias/Matthew Johns was buried in a Friends (Quaker) cemetery in Wilkinson, Hancock County, Indiana. It made us wonder who else in the family had become Quakers, with a special interest in Matthew’s father, Henry Honts, who is our direct ancestor.

Even though Quakers kept very good records, they have not all survived, or they may be in library collections that are only accessible in person. Apparently, as the number of Quakers decreased after the Civil War, and the population continued to move west, Monthly Meetings (MM) got smaller and were combined with others in the area.  Wilkinson MM seems to be one of these, so records are a bit more challenging to find. We finally did find some with the Johns name, attached to the Raysville-Knightstown MM.

The names shown above, however, were not familiar, as the Johns family has not been a research focus except for Henry Honts, who changed the family name to Johns. so some collateral research was in order, to find out who these folks were, and how they were related. It made sense to start with Matthew’s family, but he did not have a son named William H. Johns. So research on his sons was next, and amazingly, Henry Johns (1844-1895), the first son, was the connection. (Of course, I had started with the youngest son instead…)

Henry Johns married Sarah J. Coon/Kuhn (1849-1903) and of the seven children found in that family, William H. Johns was the second-born, on 1 July 1869 in Wilkinson, Hancock County, Indiana. He was found in the 1870 and 1880 US Federal Censuses there with his parents and siblings. Some Ancestry.com trees state he married first Mary J. Henshaw in 1891 (Marriage Book 3, page 522 in Hancock Co., IN), then Florence Walker (Marriage Book C8, page 406) in 1892; getting copies of these marriage licenses could be a next step. The marriage we do have more sources for is to Bertha Corbin, as shown above. The 1900 US Federal Census has them listed together with their 3 year old daughter Mamie Esther Johns, and states they have been married for 3 years, thus married about 1897. It also states this was his second marriage.

In 1900 William H. was working as an engineer in a sawmill, and he had been employed all of the previous 12 months. They rented their home. Ten years later, William H. was listed as a machinist, and Bertha was working as a washerwoman. Their daughter Mamie Esther was listed with them, but no daughter named Martha Carol Johns- perhaps she died young?

By 1920, William and Bertha owned their home, mortgage-free, and he was working still as a machinist. Their daughter M. Esther was living with them, along with her husband, Walter Winn, and their daughter, Martha V. Winn. Walter was also a machinist, and worked at a “bottle house.”

Bertha passed away on 30 Aug 1925, and William was listed as widowed and a laborer in the “thresherman” industry in the 1930 census. He had not worked the previous day, however, and was listed on the unemployed schedule. He was 61. In 1940, he was still living on his own at age 71, and was not employed.

William died 11 May 1953 in Wilkinson, where he is also buried, alongside his wife Bertha in McCray Cemetery. The plaque in the cemetery states that a Baptist Church was first built on that spot, then later First Christian Church. It thus appears this is not a Friends cemetery, so had William abandoned the Quaker faith, had his children, or was it just more convenient to be buried with family nearby?

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. How are we related? If you are a descendant of Edith (Roberts) [McMurray] Luck, her great-grandparents were Mary M. Honts and Wiley A. Murrell. Mary’s father was Henry Honts, who changed his name to Johns when he left his first wife and Mary in Virginia and moved to Tennessee. Matthew Johns was the son of Henry and his second wife, Elizabeth (Firestone) [Lampert] Johns, so Mary’s half-brother.
  2. “Abstracts of the Records of the Society of Friends in Indiana,” Births, Vol. 7, Part 4, available from FamilySearch– https://dcms.lds.org/delivery/DeliveryManagerServlet?dps_pid=IE190486
  3. Johns family members buried in McCray Cemetery, Wilkinson, Hancock County, Indiana– https://www.findagrave.com/cemetery/85847/memorial-search?firstName=&lastName=Johns&page=2#sr-28834638
  4. McCray Cemetery History- see plaque in images– https://www.findagrave.com/cemetery/85847/mccray-cemetery
  5. See also cemetery image for “The Elopement Girl” and the beginnings of the cemetery- so sad.

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We would love to read your thoughts and comments about this post (see form below), and thank you for your time! All comments are moderated, however, due to the high intelligence and persistence of spammers/hackers who really should be putting their smarts to use for the public good instead of spamming our little blog.
 

Original content copyright 2013-2017 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

Family history is meant to be shared, but the original content of this site may NOT be used for any commercial purposes unless explicit written permission is received from both the blog owner and author. Blogs or websites with ads and/or any income-generating components are included under “commercial purposes,” as are the large genealogy database websites. Sites that republish original HeritageRamblings.net content as their own are in violation of copyright as well, and use of full content is not permitted. 
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Tuesday’s Tip: Researching Matthew Johns and his Second Wife

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Sugar Grove Conservative Friends Meeting House, built 1870 in Hendricks Co., Indiana, with an openable partition between male and female sections. Image by Jonathunder, via Wikipedia, GFDL 1.2. (This is not where the Johns family worshipped- just an example of what a friends meeting House looked like.)

Murrell Family, Roberts Family (Click for Family Tree)

Tuesday’s Tip: Research organizations to which your ancestor belonged, whether religious, fraternal, military veteran, club, or ?? They may provide answers to questions that will help flesh out your family history.

Finding out that the funeral service of Matthew Johns took place at the Friends Church in Wilkinson, Indiana, was quite a surprise- we had no idea he belonged to the Religious Society of Friends, also known as Quakers. The fact that he had a second wife was a surprise as well. We do have other Quaker ancestors, such as Lewis Walker of Chester, Pennsylvania, so learning a bit more about Quakerism seemed in order, and might help us to learn more details about this family’s life.

One of our research goals is to learn the name of Matthew’s second wife, and another is to learn the date of their marriage. We started with the hypothesis that the date was after Matthew’s first wife, Ellen (Maggard) Johns passed away in 1886. A search in Indiana marriage records, however, came up empty.

Our additional research into the Quakers in Indiana gave a clue as to a possible reason for us being unable to find a marriage record. The Indiana Historical Society has a wonderful website that includes an “Introduction to the Quaker Records Project.” This document should be required reading for anyone researching Quakers.

The Intro explains that Quakers (AKA “Friends”) did not believe in being married by a “hireling priest” or a civil servant- Friends married themselves. They also monitored themselves to ensure proper behavior. One of the Quaker church gatherings was called a “Monthly Meeting” (MM), and at that meeting, the couple would announce their intention to marry- similar to the marriage banns required by the Catholic church and other religions. After the intention was announced, the MM would appoint a committee to investigate and make sure the bride and groom were both “clear of engagements,” i.e., not married or promised to another. If the individuals were, indeed, free of others per the committee’s report at the next MM, the couple would be declared “at liberty to accomplish the marriage.” Of course, a committee would be appointed to attend the marriage to ensure that “good order was preserved.” Sometimes a special meeting was called to include the marriage, and in earliest Quaker marriages, the ceremony would take place at the next midweek worship meeting. After the mid-1800s, which was when Matthew would have married a second time, the marriage took place on First-day. (First-day was Sunday, and meetings occurred on this day. The Quakers used a “plain calendar” which used numbers for days of the week and the months- they did not want to use names derived from pagan deities, like Saturday, named after Saturn, an ancient Roman god of time, agriculture, plenty, or January, named after the Roman god Janus, the god of beginnings and endings, passages and duality, etc.)

Detailed records were kept of the business of the Monthly Meeting, so if they survive for the Wilkinson Church, we should be able to learn the name of Matthew’s second wife, when they married, and even her parent’s names and residences of all involved.

Understanding the process of marriage within a religion is always insightful, but why does this have importance in our research? The Indiana History website tells us:

“The laws of Indiana, until the 1920s, exempted Friends from the legal requirement to obtain a civil marriage license. Thus marriages performed under the care of a monthly meeting will not be found in courthouse records.”

Looking at the historical timeline of an organization and their rules/dogma may give us more clues to help our research:

“Disownment for marrying a non-Friend or for marrying by civil ceremony had been abandoned by the 1860s. The member concerned had only to indicate that he wished to retain his membership. By the 1880s the whole matter was ignored. Some Friends churches had paid preachers, and the marriage form was soon fashioned after other Protestant ceremonies.”

So yes, we will still look further for this marriage information within civil records, since they likely married in the mid-1880s. But we now know that we may only find the information within the records of a Monthly Meeting, especially if this more-rural church maintained a more traditional point of view.

Knowing this information, we have another clue into Matthew’s life: his second wife may have been Quaker, since we have not yet found a marriage record, but his first wife may not have been when they married, since we do have a record of their marriage. Of course, this is hypothesis, and more research into the Quaker records of this area may give us the answers we desire.

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. Introduction to the Quaker Records Project– http://www.indianahistory.org/our-services/books-publications/magazines/online-connections/quaker-records/introquakerrecords.pdf
  2.  Image from Wikipedia, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:SugarGroveFriendsDivision.jpg 
  3. GFDL 1.2 for image– https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:GNU_Free_Documentation_License,_version_1.2
  4. FamilySearch Wiki articles on Quakers– https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/Society_of_Friends_(Quakers)_in_the_United_States   and https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/U.S._Quaker_Research_(Society_of_Friends)
  5. Wilkinson Meetings are listed under the Knightstown meeting (formerly Raysville), located in Henry County, Indiana– https://quakermeetings.com/Plone/meeting_view?anID=514 and the Shirley meeting, located in Hancock County, Indiana– https://quakermeetings.com/Plone/meeting_view?anID=815. Unfortunately none of the links worked for websites with the records.

 

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We would love to read your thoughts and comments about this post (see form below), and thank you for your time! All comments are moderated, however, due to the high intelligence and persistence of spammers/hackers who really should be putting their smarts to use for the public good instead of spamming our little blog.
 

Original content copyright 2013-2017 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

Family history is meant to be shared, but the original content of this site may NOT be used for any commercial purposes unless explicit written permission is received from both the blog owner and author. Blogs or websites with ads and/or any income-generating components are included under “commercial purposes,” as are the large genealogy database websites. Sites that republish original HeritageRamblings.net content as their own are in violation of copyright as well, and use of full content is not permitted. 
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Sunday’s Obituary: Matthew Johns (1817-1899)

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Matthew JOHNS, obituary. Indianapolis Journal, March 5, 1899, part 1, page 7, column 5, via ChroniclingAmerica.LOC.gov.

ROBERTS Family, HONTS Family (Click for Family Tree)

 

If you are a descendant of Edith (ROBERTS) [McMURRAY] LUCK, or of Mary Magdalene “Polly” HONTS or her father, Henry HONTS/JOHNS, then you are related to Matthew. Matthew was the half-brother of Mary, who was the great-grandmother of Edith on the side of her father, George A. ROBERTS.

Matthew was the second known child of Henry Honts/Johns and his mistress, Elizabeth FIRESTONE LAMPERT. Henry and Elizabeth did eventually marry and have more children, but theirs is another story that is soon to come on this blog. In the meantime, we know that Matthew lived a good, respectable life as a blacksmith and farmer, and raised 10 children with his wife Elizabeth MAGGART/MAGGARD.

The obituary tells us a few things we did not know. Only one son and four daughters survived him- just half of his children. Additionally, we did not know of a second marriage- the obituary states his second wife survived him. We do know that first wife Elizabeth died in 1886, so a second marriage is very possible, however we have not found a record of that marriage or her name. The name of his second wife would have been listed on the 1890 US Federal Census, but that did not survive for us to view today. There are a number of women with the surname Johns listed in Hancock County, Indiana, in the 1900 US Federal Census, and at least 1 is listed as a widow, but that research is for another cousin who is more closely related to complete.

One very interesting part of the obituary is that his memorial service was held at the Friends Church in Wilkinson, Indiana. That tells us that Matthew had become a Quaker. Was that something that happened after he married his second wife, or was Elizabeth also a Quaker and they practiced the faith throughout their married life? Or had Matthew become a Quaker on his own as an adult, or possibly as a child? We have seen nothing about Matthew’s parents being Quakers, but that would be very interesting, due to their past “indiscretions” and flaunting of society’s morals. The Quakers were forgiving people, however, so it might be possible.

This obituary provides us with one more avenue of research, important since Matthew’s father, Henry Honts/Johns, is one of our direct ancestors. The Quakers kept very good records and although there is no longer a Friends church in Wilkinson, there are two Friends churches within about 10 miles today, and they may have the records of Matthew’s family. One more item for the To-Do List now…

 

More to come on the Honts/Johns family…

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. Matthew JOHNS, obituary. Indianapolis Journal, March 5, 1899, part 1, page 7, column 5, via ChroniclingAmerica.LOC.gov.

 

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We would love to read your thoughts and comments about this post (see form below), and thank you for your time! All comments are moderated, however, due to the high intelligence and persistence of spammers/hackers who really should be putting their smarts to use for the public good instead of spamming our little blog.
 

Original content copyright 2013-2017 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

Family history is meant to be shared, but the original content of this site may NOT be used for any commercial purposes unless explicit written permission is received from both the blog owner and author. Blogs or websites with ads and/or any income-generating components are included under “commercial purposes,” as are the large genealogy database websites. Sites that republish original HeritageRamblings.net content as their own are in violation of copyright as well, and use of full content is not permitted. 
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Sorting Saturday: Origins of the Broida Family Name, Part 2

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Ships “Britannic” and “Germanic,” both White Star Mail Steam Ships. John Zelig Karklinsky Broida may have crossed the ocean in about 1875 on a similar ship. Public domain, via Wikipedia.

Broida Family (Click for Family Tree)

Last week we posted the 1991 note from Hilda Fish Broida, in which she told the family legend of how the Karklinskys became Broidas once they got to America. Cousin Mitch added some good comments to the blog, including one on John Zelig Broida being long gone, and since he likely was the first immigrant, we cannot know why the name was changed. I wanted to add a version of the family legend that was told to me.

John Zelig Broida’s granddaughter, Gertrude Belle (Broida) Cooper, told me many years ago (probably early 1980s) that she did not know for sure why the Broida name was chosen, but she believed it was to honor a rabbi from the Old Country (Lithuania).

Simcha Mordechai Ziskind Broida (his birth name) was a Lithuanian rabbi who lived in the northwest part of Lithuania. The Karklinskys were in the southeast, but word of the Rabbi’s Talmud Torah would have spread far and wide.

Known in later years as Simcha Zissel Ziv, he was a student of Yisrael Lipkin Salanter, a proponent of Musar, or Jewish ethical considerations, including moral conduct and discipline. Salter had set up a school in Vilna, which was near the ghetto of Eishyshok (now known as EišiškėsLithuania), around the 1840s, when John Broida’s father was a young man. A traditional yeshiva focused on studies of the Torah exclusively, but Rabbi Salanter added in Muser studies and even non-Jewish courses to help encourage students from drifting away from Orthodox Judaism. When Salanter left Vilna in 1848, his students, including Simcha Zessel Ziv, carried on with schools of their own.

After the death of Simcha Zissel Ziv, his brother and son, both also named Broida, continued the movement to change education.

Since John Zelig Karklinsky Broida was born in 1857, and immigrated to the US in 1874 or 1875, the time frame and place does fit for them to know about Rabbi Broida. Perhaps someone in the Karklinsky family, such as John’s father, even attended Rabbi Ziv’s school.

So we have established that John Zelig Broida, our ancestor and the first Karklinsky immigrant, could have known about Rabbi Broida and his progressive school.

The idea that names were changed by the workers at Ellis Island is a false one, and probably so at Castle Garden as well. (John’s immigration was before Ellis Island opened, but we have not found him in the records of Castle Garden, so he likely disembarked at another port.) Ellis Island employed workers of many nationalities who could speak the language of the immigrants who did not know English. They were able to spell names and places correctly because they were so familiar with the language. This may not have been the case at all other ports, thus possibly Hilda’s statement about John being given the name Broida as it was the name of the Irishman in front of him could be true. As Cousin Mitch stated in one of his comments last week, however, there really are no Broidas in Ireland, and we would find Irish Broidas in America if that man in front of John was truly named Broida. (We have not found any Irish Broidas in the US.)

Instead, consider the number of Irish persons named “Broidy” or “Broda”- definitely similar to “Broida” depending on the pronunciation. So it is possible that there was an Irishman in front of John Zelig Karklinski whose name was Broidy or Broda, and the government employee gave that name to John as well. Another possibility was that when John heard the man in front of him give the name Broidy or Broda, he thought of the Rabbi back home named Broida. Then, when asked his name, he gave the name “Broida” instead of “Karklinsky” to honor the work of the Rabbi, and perhaps, give him one tie to his former home that was then so far away.

As Mitch said, we will never know this answer for sure, but there are definitely a few possible pathways that the name “Broida” became the surname for so many persons now living in the United States.

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. Simcha Zissel Ziv– https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simcha_Zissel_Ziv
  2. Helm Talmud Torah– https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kelm_Talmud_Torah
  3. Musar movement– https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Musar_movement
  4. History of Eishyshok–   https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shtetl/

 

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We would love to read your thoughts and comments about this post (see form below), and thank you for your time! All comments are moderated, however, due to the high intelligence and persistence of spammers/hackers who really should be putting their smarts to use for the public good instead of spamming our little blog.
 

Original content copyright 2013-2017 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

Family history is meant to be shared, but the original content of this site may NOT be used for any commercial purposes unless explicit written permission is received from both the blog owner and author. Blogs or websites with ads and/or any income-generating components are included under “commercial purposes,” as are the large genealogy database websites. Sites that republish original HeritageRamblings.net content as their own are in violation of copyright as well, and use of full content is not permitted. 
Descendants and researchers MAY download images and posts to share with their families, and use the information on their family trees or in family history books with a small number of reprints. Please make sure to credit and cite the information properly.
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Tombstone Tuesday: Sarah (McClure) Roberts of Ripley County, Indiana

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Headstone of Sarah McClure Roberts in Old Hopewell Cemetery, Ripley County, Indiana, via Find A Grave with kind permission of the photographer.

Roberts Family (Click for Family Tree)

This very hard-to-read headstone is in Old Hopewell Cemetery, a Baptist cemetery in Ripley County, Indiana. From the picture, it seems the marker reads:

SARAH

wife of Dr. J.  Roberts

DIED

Feb. 26 1872

AGE(D?)

24 (remaining is illegible from photo, but is likely “yrs, 3 mos., 8 days”)

Sarah (McClure) Roberts **may** be the daughter of Samuel B. McClure (1810-1898) and Kesiah “Cassy” Rees (1812-1883) per many Ancestry trees, but this does need to be verified. Census entries through 1870 exist for this couple showing a Sarah McClure as a child and about the correct age and in the expected place, however no marriage record has been found, nor mention of her parents in a biography of her husband.

If this is the correct family, it suggests that Sarah and “Doc” (Jeremiah “Jerry” Roberts) married sometime after the 1870 US Federal Census was taken (the date on the census page is 16 July 1870) and Sarah’s young death on 26 Feb 1872.

More research on this family is needed.

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 10 January 2018), memorial page for Sarah Roberts (18 Nov 1847–26 Feb 1872), Find A Grave Memorial no. 45207748, citing Old Hopewell Cemetery, Ripley County, Indiana, USA ; Maintained by Mike Porter (contributor 46953542) . Mike gave us his generous permission to use this photo and others from Old Hopewell.

 

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We would love to read your thoughts and comments about this post (see form below), and thank you for your time! All comments are moderated, however, due to the high intelligence and persistence of spammers/hackers who really should be putting their smarts to use for the public good instead of spamming our little blog.
 

Original content copyright 2013-2017 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

Family history is meant to be shared, but the original content of this site may NOT be used for any commercial purposes unless explicit written permission is received from both the blog owner and author. Blogs or websites with ads and/or any income-generating components are included under “commercial purposes,” as are the large genealogy database websites. Sites that republish original HeritageRamblings.net content as their own are in violation of copyright as well, and use of full content is not permitted. 
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