Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Search for Rachel Fisher

The only information provided by the Phend-Fisher Family History for Rachel, daughter of Michael and Christenia Houck Fisher, was that she married John Harvey.

Twelve year old Rachel Fisher was enumerated with her mother and several other siblings in the 1850 census in Scott Township, Kosciusko County, Indiana. A Soundex search of the 1860 census for 22 year old Rachel Fisher in Indiana provided 11 results, but no matches. There was a Rachel Fischer born in 1839 in Indianapolis but she was born in Germany and married to George Fischer. There was also a Rachel A. Fisher listed in Delaware, Hamilton County but she was born in Indiana and is listed in the household of John and Mary Fisher.

Five results were returned in an "exact" search for Rachel Harvey in Indiana. Three of the listings were for children under the age of ten. There was a 20 year old born about 1840 in Indiana. She was listed in Boon, Cass County in the household of Morris and Elizabeth Harvey. The 21 year old, born about 1839 in Ohio listed in Rochester, Fulton County looked promising. I'm not absolutely positive that this is the "right" Rachel, but it sure makes sense that she would be in Rochester, Fulton County, Indiana since that is also where her younger sister, Leah, was living in 1860.

1860 Fulton County, Indiana - Rochester page 671
John Harvey, 29, male, cooper, personal estate valued at $100, born Scotland
Rachel, 21, female, born Ohio
William G., 1, male, born Indiana

Jesse Cook, 21, male, cooper, born Pennsylvania

Rachel and John Harvey were not found in Fulton County or Indiana in 1870 so the search was expanded to the entire United States. The search for Rachel Harvey born 1838 +/- 5 years returned six hits. One of the results could be a match but the family is in Washington Township, Wapello County, Iowa which is in the south-east portion of Iowa, near the Illinois and Missouri borders. Is this the same family as in the 1860 census for Fulton County? I think it is.

1870 Wapello County, Iowa - Washington Township page 291
John Harvey, 39, male, white, Teamster, personal estate valued at 500, born Scotland
Rachel, 32, female, white, Keeping house, born Ohio
William, 11, male, white, born Indiana
Emma, 9, female, white, born Indiana

Lillian, 7, female, white, born Indiana

Guess what? The family is not in Wapello County or the state of Iowa in 1880. Searched again for Rachel Harvey born 1838 +/- 5 years in all states. Six results, but only one born about 1839 in Ohio with a husband named John.

The names of the first three children listed below match the family in 1870 in Wapello County, Iowa. Notice the names of two of the children, Samuel and Lydia, which are the same as two of Rachel Fisher's siblings. Cowley County is in the south-east portion or Kansas, bordering Kay and Osage counties in Oklahoma.

1880 Cowley County, Kansas - Harvey Township page 508
John Harvey, white, male, 49, Husband, Farmer, born Scotland, parents born Scotland
Rachel, white, female, 41, wife, keeping house, born Ohio, father's place of birth not legible, mother born Germany
Wm E., white, male, 21, son, working on farm, born Indiana
Emma, white, female, 19, daughter, born Indiana
Lillian, white, female, 17, daughter, born Indiana
John W., white, male, 9, son, born Kansas
Samuel F., white, male, 9, son, born Kansas
Lydia, white, female, 7, daughter, born Kansas

Alpha, white, male, 5, son, born Kansas

Neither John and Rachel nor their children have yet been located in the 1900 Federal Census. They were not found in various searches in Cowley County, Kansas. There were only 14 pages of the 1900 Cowley County census so I looked at all the pages. They are not there.

Now What? I checked out the Cowley County, Kansas GenWeb but didn't find anything on John and Rachel Harvey.

So, I then did a search on WorldConnect for John Harvey with wife Rachel, which returned 29 results. There was a John Harvey born in Scotland about 1831 with wife Rachel Unknown. Bingo! Guess I should have checked WorldConnect first. . .

I've left a "Post-Em" on Rachel's page and have sent an email to the person who posted the database. I still don't know for sure that this Rachel is Rachel Fisher and I'm not sure that there is really any way of "proving" it. I haven't found a marriage record for Rachel and John Harvey in the online indexes for Kosciusko, Elkhart or Fulton counties so really don't know if her maiden name is Fisher. All I have to go on is a statement in family records that Rachel married John Harvey. That's all. This is the only John Harvey with a wife Rachel, that "fits" the facts of her year of birth and nativity. Is there really enough evidence in these census records to lead to the conclusion that this Rachel is the daughter of Michael and Christenia Fisher? What do you think?


Apple said...

For me, this would be enough for me to attach / link the information on the family to Rachel's file / pedigree with notes stating what you haven't found just as you have done here.

The rootsweb tree you linked to has some of the family in Elk Co, KS in 1900. They also have a child named Homer b 1883. On the Elk Co genweb page there is a guardianship file referenced for Homer in 1899. Maybe that file would have more information on Rachel. The page does not tell you how to request the file or where it is currently located.

Becky said...

Thanks for the tip Apple! A search on Ancestry for Homer Harvey turned up a couple of things: The Leavenworth County, Kansas, Marriage Index has an entry for Homer H. Harvey and Joel Mann on April 13, 1912; there is a World War I Draft Registration Card for Homer Howard Harvey of the right age, from Kansas; and the California Death Index has a record for Homer H Harvey born 18 Mar 1883 Kansas and died 8 Aug 1970 in Los Angeles, but the maiden name of mother was blank.

I'm really hoping that the person that posted the database will respond to my post-em and the email I sent.