Friday, January 25, 2008

Handwritten Notes and the Wise Family - Part 1

As stated in previous posts, ad nauseam perhaps, I'm in the process of reviewing the stacks and folders full of paper that have accumulated over the years. One small box includes some papers from my grandmother's files. There are many handwritten notes with no indication of where the information came from. As in the case of two notes found yesterday, it's almost like she was writing down things she remembered or was told or maybe while she was talking with someone. These notes shed some light on two of the siblings of my 3rd great-grandfather, Jacob Wise. I don't recall having seen this information before. If I did, I just didn't pursue it at that time. Those two notes will be included in the next post, but first, some background information on the research I did in the late 1990s attempting to construct the family that I believe to be Jacob's parents.

My grandmother, researching in the 1960s and 1970s, had not been able to discover who the parents of Jacob Wise were. But through information in Jacob's Civil War pension file I knew that Jacob and his wife Malissa Ann Stem had been married in Wayne County, Ohio. Another one of grandma's notes stated that their first son (my grandmother's grandfather) William Pythagrus Wise had been born in Miami County, Indiana in 1852.

With that information and by cranking through the microfilm, I found the family of a Peter and Christina Wise in the census records of Wayne County, Ohio.

1840 Perry Township, Wayne County, Ohio (page 25):
Peter Wise is listed as head of household with the following in residence.
1 male 5-9 [born 1831-1835]
2 males 10-14 [born 1826-1830]
1 male 20-29 [born 1811-1820]
1 male 40-49 [born 1791-1800]
2 females under 5 [born 1836-1840]
1 female 5-9 [born 1831-1835]
3 females 10-14 [born 1826-1830]
1 female 15-19 [born 1821-1825]
1 female 30-39 [born 1801-1810]

1850 Chester Township, Wayne County, Ohio (page 348): Peter Wise, 53, farmer, Real Estate $4000, born Pennsylvania. Included in the household were Christina, age 49 born Pennsylvania; Jacob, 24, born Ohio (as were the other young people); 19 year old John, 14 year old Elizabeth, 10 year old Eliza J., and 5 year old Elmira.
At that time, the late 1990s, I was pretty sure this was the "right" family as the male "child" Jacob was the right age. I also found Malissa's parents, Conrad and Indiana Stem in the same township. They were neighbors. There were other Wise families in Wayne County but this was the only one with a Jacob in the household. I realize that isn't proof, but it is evidence. Right? I took the short trip (an hour or so) to Miami County, Indiana (where Jacob's son was born) to visit the Peru Public Library. It provided cemetery records for a Peter and "C" Wise, which showed they were buried in Gilead Cemetery in Perry township.

Gilead Cemetery transcribed records show in Row Five in the North Section:
Peter Wise died January 29, 1875, age 77
C. Wise died April 25, 1884 aged 83y 1 m 24d

A little further down the same row are:
Newton O. Wise died December 10, 1874 aged 26y 11m 24d
Wealthy A. dau of W. & M.A. Wise died January 24, 1874 aged 21y 2m 20d
Mary Ann wife of Wm Wise died January 5, 1870 aged 43y 6m 27d

In Row 5 of the South Section is:
Elizabeth Wise died May 24, 1854 ae 17y 4m
Armed with the name of a township, I was able to locate them in the microfilm of the 1860 and 1870 census records.

1860 Gilead, Perry Twp, Miami Co., Indiana (page 194): Peter Wise was a 62 year old farmer and was born in Pennsylvania. Christena was 58 years old and also born in Pennsylvania. Listed with them were Hannah, 29; Eliza J., 19; and Emaline, 14. All born in Ohio. Note that 29 year old Hannah was not listed with Peter and Christina in 1850. And 14 year old Emaline is probably the 5 year old Elmira listed in 1850. Fairly confident that this is the same family that was in Wayne County, Ohio.

1870 Perry Twp, Miami Co., Indiana (page 40): Peter Wise was a 73 year old retired farmer. He owned real estate valued at $1000 and had a personal estate of $450. He had been born in Pennsylvania; his father was of foreign birth. Peter was a citizen of the United States. Christena was 71, keeping house, and had been born in Pennsylvania. Listed with them was Hannah, age 44 and born in Pennsylvania.

Also in Perry Township in 1870 (page 26) was the following family: William Wise, a 49 year old farmer with real estate valued at $5000 and a personal estate of $500. He was born in Pennsylvania and was a citizen of the U.S. Listed in his household were two females 17 year old Wealthy, 14 year old Emeline; and one male, 9 year old Cecillius. All three were born in Indiana. Also listed were James Faris, and 80 year old retired farmer that was born in Virginia and 65 year old Nancy Faris, also born in Virginia.
For whatever reason, I didn't pursue research on them any further. I didn't check for estate papers or land records for Peter and/or Christina in Miami County. I've now added that to my growing list of things that need to be done! Depending upon when and where Peter purchased his property in Miami County, Indiana the land records may show where Peter came from. A will or estate papers may provide a list of his living children.

Though she lived until 1884, Christina has not been located in the 1880 census. Yesterday, I found that William was living in Roann, Paw Paw Township, Wabash County, Indiana (page 44d) in 1880. William Wise was a 58 year old farmer. He was born in Pennsylvania as were his parents. Also listed with him was his (2nd) wife Nancy, 47 years old, born in Pennsylvania and his 19 year old son, Cicilius, who was a laborer, born in Indiana. Given the name of the son, this is the same William found in 1870 in Perry Twp., Miami County. Whether he is a son of Peter and Christina is still not known, but for the time being I am making the assumption that he is.

Also, assuming that the young people listed in the census records are their children, we can build the following possible family structure for Peter and Christina Wise. One thing to keep in mind is that since relationships are not noted in the census records prior to 1880, we can only surmise relationships.

Peter Wise
Born about 1797-98 in Pennsylvania.
Died January 29, 1875, age 77.
He would be the male age 40-49 in the 1840 census [born 1791-1800]. He was 53 in 1850, 62 in 1860, and 73 in 1870.

Christina Wise, wife of Peter, maiden name not known
Born March 1, 1801 in Pennsylvania (birth calculated from age at death).
Died April 25, 1884 aged 83y 1 m 24d.
She would be the female age 30-39 in 1840 [born 1801-1810]. She was 49 in 1850, 58 in 1860, and 71 in 1870.

Possible sons of Peter and Christina Wise:
Unknown. 10-14 in 1840, born 1826-1830
William. 20-29 in 1840, 49 in 1870, 58 in 1880, born 1821-22
Jacob. 10-14 in 1840, 24 in 1850, born 1826. Other records show he was born 08 Dec 1827
John. 5-9 in 1840, 19 in 1850, born 1831

Possible daughters of Peter and Christina Wise:
Unknown. 15-19 in 1840, born 1821-1825
Hannah. 10-14 in 1840, 29 in 1860, 44 in 1879, born 1826-1831
Unknown. 10-14 in 1840, born 1826-1830
Unknown. 10-14 in 1840, born 1826-1830
Unknown. 5-9 in 1840, born 1831-1835
Elizabeth, under 5 in 1840, 14 in 1850, born 1835-37. Died May 24, 1854 ae 17y 4m
Eliza J. under 5 in 1840, 10 in 1850, 19 in 1860, born 1840-41
Elmira or Emaline, Elmira was 5 in 1850, Emaline was 14 in 1860, born 1845-46

The information in grandma's notes will be revealed in part 2, and we'll see what was discovered.
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