Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Handwritten Notes and the Wise Family - Part 4

Part 1 of this series discusses the possible family of Peter and Christina Wise of Wayne County, Ohio and Miami County, Indiana.

Part 2 includes scanned images of two handwritten notes made by my grandmother that shed some light on two of the probable children of Peter and Christina, those being John Wise and Eliza Wise Hoffman. That post dealt primarily with the search for Eliza.

Part 3 revealed the information that was found on the children and grandchildren of Eliza Jane Wise and Anthony Hoffman.

This will be the final post in this series, at least for now and until additional information is discovered. It will discuss what has been found on the family of John Wise, which isn't much!

A look back at the transcription and scanned images of the notes in Part 2 will show that only one surname group remains, as the others (Huffman/Hoffman, Wertenberger, Fluke, and Gidley) were covered in the posts on Eliza's family.

So, for now, we'll assume that the Murry's are the grandchildren of John Wise, as my grandmother's note states.
Jenny Murry
Guy Murry - Mansfield - children of Jenny Murry
Robert Murry (Ashland)
Mrs. Macy Hart - sister of Guy Murry - Ashland, Ohio
John Wise was listed as a 19 year old born in Ohio in the 1850 census of Wayne County, Ohio (Chester Township page 348) with Peter and Christina Wise. There is a record in Miami County, Indiana for the marriage of a John S. Wise to Setha Cummar on May 14, 1854 (Book C-2 p227) that was found online but I don't know if it is for the same John Wise. John may not have come to Indiana with Peter and Christina.

It is possible that John remained in Wayne County, Ohio or he may have moved to nearby Ashland County, or elsewhere. According to grandma's note, the Murry's lived in Ashland, Ohio. Also, Eliza's oldest daughter, Minnie Hoffman Fluke, was residing in Orange Township, Ashland County, Ohio by 1900. It appears that her husband, Perry M. Fluke, had been born there. The question that arises is why did Minnie move to Ohio? Did she perhaps meet her future husband, Perry Fluke, there while visiting her cousins?

Back to John. Based on his age in the 1850 census, John Wise would have been born about 1830-31, making him about 29-30 years old in 1860. In the census index online at for 1860, there are three John Wise's listed in Wayne County. None are close to the right age. The closest to his age in Ashland County is a 26 year old.

A search for Guy Murry/Murray brings up a family in Ashland County, Ohio (Orange Township page 24d) in 1880: Hugh Murray is a farmer and the 45 year old head of household, he was born in Ohio and his parents were born in Pennsylvania. His wife is Jane A., age 34, born in Ohio and her parents were born in Pennsylvania. Listed with them is a son Guy, age 11 or 17; a son Fay whose age can't be deciphered; Mary, Hugh's 79 year old mother. There is a female aged 26 whose last name is Wagner. Her first name could be Annie or maybe Jennie and her occupation is not legible. A 19 year old male, Frederick Householde [?] is also included; he is a farm laborer.

Could Jane A. Murray be the "Jenny" Murry in grandma's note? I haven't found Hugh, Jane, Guy, or Fay in any other census records using the ancestry search capabilities.

The only other item that I found is an Ohio Death Record on ancestry for Macy M. Hart who was born about 1884 and died July 3, 1965 in Ashland, Ohio. Her marital status was widowed. Names of parents are not in the record on ancestry. FamilySearch Labs only has Ohio Death Records online from 1908-1953 so this one wouldn't be included. Without more information, I can't determine if this is the same Macy Hart in grandma's note. My gut feeling is that it isn't, as I think this Macy was born too late. I may write to see if I can get the obituary, which will hopefully include the names of her parents and/or siblings.

Basically, I've come up cold on John Wise and his possible "Murry" grandchildren. There really isn't enough information to pursue them at this time. His name is too common for conjecture without having a better idea of where he lived. Did John come to Indiana or did he remain in Ohio? Who were his children, how many did he have, who did they marry and where did they live? The best I can hope for now is that someone researching John Wise in Wayne County, Ohio or the Murry/Murray family in Ohio will see this and contact me.

Thus far, other than my grandmother's note and the census records, there is really nothing that makes the connection between Eliza Jane Wise Hoffman and her possible parents Peter and Christina Wise. I have no concrete evidence that my 3rd great grandfather, Jacob Wise, is a brother of Eliza - nothing, that is, except those notes from my grandmother. I have no "proof" that Jacob is a son of Peter and Christina. The only thing that I have that links them is the fact that they were both in Wayne County, Ohio and another statement by my grandmother that Jacob's first child was born in Miami County, Indiana (where Peter and Christina were living at the time).

The first step toward gathering more evidence would be to obtain the death record and/or obituary notice for Eliza Jane Wise Hoffman. Based on census records, previously discussed, she probably died between 1920 and 1930 and most likely in Wabash County. If I get lucky, perhaps someone still knew the names of her parents when she passed away and that information is recorded in her death record or obituary.

In addition to Eliza's death rcord, other research that needs to be done to make the possible connection to Peter and Christina Wise includes obtaining the following records:
  • Land transactions for Peter Wise in Miami County, Indiana. These may tell us where he came from. If the land was sold after he passed away, it could provide the names of some of his children.
  • A will or estate settlement for Peter and/or Christina Wise, also in Miami County. He died in January 1875 and she in April 1884.
Other research, depending upon what was found in Eliza's death record and obituary notice:
  • Death records, obituaries, cemetery records for descendants of Eliza Hoffman in Wabash County, Indiana and Ashland County, Ohio.
  • Marriage records, where appropriate.
  • Additional searching in online databases. I've barely scratched the surface with searches at, the GenWeb sites for Ashland County, Ohio and Miami and Wabash counties, Indiana,, and WorldConnect.
However, I think, before putting more time and energy into searching for more information on Eliza and her descendants, I somehow need to determine if she is the daughter of Peter and Christina Wise. And that is going to mean on-site researching. What I need won'tl be found on the internet! Fortunately, I live only an hour or so away from Miami and Wabash counties.

I also would like to delve into more research on Peter Wise in Ohio, but again, I wonder if the information I have is sufficient to say that he is my ancestor, the father of Jacob Wise, who is my 3rd great grandfather.

Searching for Wise, and variations thereof, in Ohio in the early 1800s is going to be challenging, like looking for Smith or Jones. More research needs to be done - in land and court records on-site in Wayne County, Ohio.

In 1840, there were 12 Wise families in Wayne County, Ohio. Peter Wise was in Perry Township, as was a Frederick Wise. He had 1 male 5-9, 2 males 10-14, 1 male 20-29, 1 male 60-69, 2 females 5-9, 1 female 10-14, 1 female 15-19, and 1 female 50-59. Given the age of the eldest male, he could be the father of Peter Wise. Purely speculation.

In 1830, of the 11 Wise families, only Frederick was in Perry Township. There was Abraham, 2 Daniel's, 2 Frederick's, a Jacob, 2 John's, and 3 Peter's. None of the "duplicates" were in the same township, which is good, I guess, but still, how are ya gonna tell them all apart?

When you get back to 1820, there are only 2 Wise families in Wayne County, Henry and John, and both are in Chippewa township.

I think I need to stick with finding my link to Peter and Christina before venturing elsewhere!

After all this, I'm not real sure what my point was with this exercise, except maybe that you shouldn't discount scraps of paper with notes scribbled on them. I've come to realize I have a love-hate relationship with online census indices. And it takes a lot of time to really review and analyze information. And I love the search far more than the analysis. But then, I already knew that.

1 comment:

Charley "Apple" Grabowski said...

Great series! These scraps contained very little but led to to a wealth of information. At least now you have a direction to look. I found some very extensive notes of my grandfather's that helped me greatly, even though he got some of it wrong.