Monday, January 18, 2010

Ohio Research :: Joslin in Delaware County

In September 2009 I spent several days in Ohio. I didn't do hardly any new research, rather went mostly to cemeteries to obtain better photographs of my ancestor's gravesites, most which I had visited way back in 1986.

The first research stop in Ohio was on September 16th in Delaware (in Delaware County), to see what could be found on the Joslin family that I didn't already have. I really didn't think there would be anything new since my last visit in the late 1980s. At that time I had scoured the library and the courthouse. Cemetery records (yes). Land Records (yes). Estate Records (none). Way too early for death records. No church records.

I made it to the library shortly after they opened at 9 am. It didn't take long to look through their small collection of books. Nothing new, at least not related to the Joslins. But they did have microfilms of the newspapers, even those from the early 1800's. There were two items that had been abstracted and published previously (by Carol Willsey Bell in 1980 and Mary V. Reed in 1992) but I had never written to get the actual copies from the newspapers.

Printouts from the microfilms were terrible. Then I remembered a tip from Jasia about using your camera to photograph the microfilm reader screen. The results aren't great, but they are much better than the printed copies.

The first article was a notice by James Joslin in the Delaware Patron of Thursday July 13, 1826. The abstracts by Bell and Reed were slightly different but basically stated “Wife Abigail left my bed and board at Liberty township, will pay no debts.”

The actual article is a bit more verbose but does not really provide any additional information. From the Delaware Patron [Delaware County, Ohio] July 13, 1826:
Caution. Whereas my wife Abigail Joslin, has left my bed and board without just cause, therefore all persons are hereby, forewarned not to harbor or trust the said Abigail on my account as I am determined to pay no debts of her contracting after this date.
James Joslin.
Liberty, June 30th, 1826
Abigail would have been pregnant with her second child at the time. Their first child, Lysander (my 3rd great-grandfather), would have been 14 months old. I still haven't found a marriage record for James and Abigail (Goodrich) Joslin but apparently their separation wasn't too long. They would have four more children, but then James disappears after the 1850 census, so perhaps, all was not well between them.

The other article that was published in abstracts refers to the death of Ruth Dyer Joslin. Both abstracts stated that Mrs. Ruth Joslin died on 27th ult, age 59 years. But the abstract by Bell (correctly) stated that she was the wife of Jonas while the abstract by Reed said she was the wife of Johns Joslin.

The article, from the Ohio State Gazette and Delaware County Journal:
Obituary. Died - - In Liberty township on the 27th ult, Mrs. Ruth Joslin, aged 59 years, wife of Mr. Jonas Joslin.

The Delaware County Historical Society and the Genealogical Society have a combined Research Room that was open from 2-4 pm on the day I was there so I spent a pleasant two hours with them.

The Joslin Family cemetery had been destroyed when developers began constructing homes on the old farm. A few years ago, Jean Oldham Heuman had found the gravemarker for Ruth (Dyer) Joslin and donated it to the Historical Society. However, it is virtually impossible to get a good picture of the stone. It stands in the entryway of the museum along with several other stones. The light is poor and the space is dark. I tried with available light and with flash. Neither way really captured the inscription to my satisfaction.

On the right is the gravemarker for Ruth (Dyer) Joslin.

This is the best image I could capture of Ruth's gravemarker. It has been enhanced a bit with a little manipulation of the contrast and brightness. The inscription reads:
Ruth wife of Jonas
Joslin died Aug.
27, 1830 aged 59

Most of the records held by the society were much too late for my family. Jonas is presumed to have passed away between 1850 and 1860 (he is in the 1850 census but not in 1860) and my James and Abigail had moved to Whitley County, Indiana by 1838.

The society did have the papers submitted by Mrs. Oldham and another lady for Jonas Sr. and Jonas Jr. for First Families of Delaware County. I looked through them but found nothing that I didn't already have that pertained to Jonas Sr. They did have a copy of the booklet that Mrs. Oldham had published on the two Jonas' and they allowed me to scan it to pdf rather than make a copy of it (Jean had told me she didn't think she had any more copies). At 25 cents a page, I was grateful that they allowed me to scan it.

Even though I found nothing new in Delaware County, it was still a worthwhile stop on my journey as I was able to obtain copies of previously abstracted records and get a complete copy of Mrs. Oldham's manuscript.

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