Friday, November 14, 2008

A Brick Wall Knocked Down? Not.

The other day I was tired of scanning so I spent a few hours cruising the Internet looking for information about Peter Wise of Wayne County, Ohio whom I am pretty sure is my 4th great grandfather. I found a few interesting things. . .

A transcription of a land record led me to the website of fellow genea-blogger, Lori Thornton! Her ancestor Christian Lantz sold 76 acres to a Peter Wise in Wayne County, Ohio on August 22, 1829. That land was located in the SW corner of the SE ¼ of Section 21 Township 17 Range 12.

My Peter Wise owned 152 acres in the NE 1/4 of Section 1 Township 22 Range 15. I don't have a record of when he purchased that land, but he and his wife "Christiania" sold it on October 7, 1853 prior to their move to Miami County, Indiana.

I was quite excited when I found this article on the Wise Family of Washington County, Pennsylvania. It tells of Adam Wise, a native of Rhenish Hesse, a province of Hesse Darmstadt, who lived near the river Rhine where his ancestors carried on the business of milling and the distillation of wine. He first settled on Pipe Creek, in Carroll county, Md., at or near the site of Frederick City, where he lived about twenty-two years. Then, about 1770 he moved to western Pennsylvania settling near the junction of Ten Mile creek and the Monongahela river.

When Adam Wise died on June 9, 1781, in his sixty-third year, he left a large estate and also a large family of thirteen children, by two wives: Andrew, Peter, Frederick, Henry, Adam Jr., Jacob, Daniel, Abraham, Tobias, Mary, Mary Ann, Ulian and Judith.

A little information is given on some of the sons, but the line that really caught my attention was that about 1818, the son Peter sold the family homestead and moved to near Canton, Ohio, which is in Stark County, which is bordered by Wayne County on the west. I realized right off that this Peter was born too early to be "my" Peter, but perhaps he had a son named Peter.

In the census for 1820 Plain Township, Stark County there is a Peter Wise Sr. and Peter Wise Jr., along with Tobias, Adam, and Elizabeth. In 1830 and 1840 there is Peter, Peter M., and Tobias. So did Peter Jr. add the "M" or is he another Peter altogether? Peter Sr. wasn't found in the 1850 census in Stark County, but Peter M. Wise is still living in Plain Township.

In 1850, my Peter Wise (53 years old, born about 1797) was living in Chester Township, Wayne County, Ohio. Peter M. Wise, in Plain Township, Stark County was 56 years old (born about 1794). Both were born in Pennsylvania.

In Wayne County, Ohio in 1820 there were two Wise families listed in ancestry's index: Henry and John, both in Chippewa Township.

By 1830, there are 11 Wise families in Wayne County. Two Daniels', two Frederick's, one Jacob, two John's, and three Peter's! Each of those with the same first name are located in different townships.

In Chippewa township there is Abraham, Jacob, and John.
In Franklin and Mount Eaton township there is a Daniel.
In Perry township and in Chester township we find a Frederick.
In Green township there is a John and a Peter.
In Congress township and Jackson township there is a Peter.

The 1840 census index shows Daniel, Frederick, two George's, three Jacob's, two John's, Michael, Peter, and Susan.

Frederick and Peter are both in Perry township. The other two Peter's are not in the index. Perry township, Wayne county became part of Ashland County when it was formed in 1846.

In 1850, "my" Peter is in Chester township, Wayne County while Frederick is still in Perry township which was now in Ashland County. Peter was 53 years old and Frederick was 67 years old. Both were born in Pennsylvania and both had wives named Christena! Obviously, Frederick is not old enough to be Peter's father, but what is the likelihood that they are brothers? Or not related at all?

So, by evaluating just the census records, I've come to the preliminary conclusion that the Adam Wise family of Washington Couny, Pennsylvania isn't mine. That would have been too easy.

Obviously, additional research needs to be done in Stark, Wayne, and Ashland counties. Land records, estates, etc. I have other families in that area also including Dunfee, Stem, and Hazlett. I'll check the LDS catalog to see what records they have microfilmed, but perhaps a research trip is in order. . . I did the "grand tour" of Ohio counties back in the late 1980's which included Champaign, Delaware, Perry, Fairfield, Portage, Columbiana, Carroll and Holmes as well as Stark, Wayne and Ashland counties. But I know a little more about the families now and about doing onsite research than I did then, so I think it might be worthwhile to revisit some of those places!


Lori Thornton said...

Thanks for the mention. It might be interesting for you to know that Christian's son Levi ended up in Howard County, Indiana (near the Miami County line) by about 1864 and was there into the early 1870s. The Lantzes lived in northwestern Ohio before going to McLean County, Illinois and then Levi went to Howard County. His son Abraham stayed in McLean County.

Charley "Apple" Grabowski said...

I wouldn't be surprised at all if the two Peter's turn out to be cousins. I wish you good luck untangling the relationships!