In "Hole in the Brick Wall, Part 1" I wrote about some of the things I've done to try to find my 2nd great grandfather, William Porter, before he came to Knox County, Ohio. I knew that his son from a previous marriage, Orrin Clinton Porter, was born in New York, and another suspected son, William Lee Porter, was also born in New York. I decided that was the place to start looking for him.
Having found a William Porter family living in Chautauqua County, New York in 1820 and 1830 that I could not eliminate I decided to see if I could find a little more information about this family. It should be known that all my research into this family so far has been online, primarily on Ancestry.Com, and not all information has been verified to my standards. Since I'm only gathering information for further research just in case this family turns out to be mine I don't feel the need to have original records at this point.
I found what appear to be two daughters of this William Porter. One, Sally Ann Porter, was born about 1818. She married Ziba Simmons on 4 Aug 1835 in Mayville, Chautauqua, New York. This couple is found in both the 1850 and 1860 census records in Chautauqua, New York. In 1870 Ziba Simmons is living with a new wife, Betsey. I do not see Sally Ann Simmons in the 1870 federal census, but she is found as a divorced woman in the 1880 federal census living in Chautauqua, Chautauqua, New York. Sally Ann and Ziba Simmons had at least the following children: Isaac Simmons, b. 1835; Obed/Obia, b. abt 1841; Lorenzo, b. abt 1839; Phoeba/Phebe, b. abt 1847.
The second woman, Phoeba Ann Porter, was born about 1820 in New York. She married Nelson Colmar Storrs 1 Sep 1938 in Ripley Township, Huron, Ohio. This couple is found in the 1880 census in Winterset, Madison, Iowa. Most of the children listed in this census were born in Ohio. Nelson was a sailor who gave up the sea to become a minister. They moved to Iowa in the early 1850s after having lived in Illinois and Ohio. They had at least three children: Melisa M. Storrs Wagor, b. 1841 Ohio; Miles L. Storrs; Eugene Storrs, b. 16 Nov 1844 Ripley Township, Huron, Ohio.
About three weeks ago I had ordered the complete Civil War service records from NARA for my William's son, Orrin Clinton Porter. I have Orrin fairly well documented but had not been able to obtain a county of birth in New York for him. Every document just said place of birth as "New York". Big state. It was time to start expanding my search on Orrin, so I ordered the service records, holding breath and crossing fingers that it would have his county of birth somewhere in the records.
Yesterday I received the CD containing Orrin's complete service records. Was I nervous? Yes, but I remained calm as I ripped the strip from the cardboard envelope. Loaded the CD. Yep, this was the record for Orrin Clinton Porter. Page 1, page 2, page 3, page 4, page 5, nothing new. Page 6 contained Orrin's re-enlistment papers that he signed while in Vicksburg, Mississippi, dated 10 Dec 1863. And it was there that I saw "I Orrin C Porter born in Chautauqua Co in the state of New York aged twenty five years..." Definitely a happy dance time!
Now I have a place to start some serious research for William Porter's New York family.