Thursday, March 3, 2011

Introducing the Porter Family of Knox County, Ohio

I am descended from four generations of Porters in Knox County, Ohio. Though I personally never lived in Knox County, it feels like a second home to me now. My father never talked a lot about his family. And what little he did say did not make me want to know more, so I came to this investigation of my Porter family with a fairly blank slate.

I grew up knowing only the name of my grandfather, Harry Leslie Porter. He died when my older brother, Pat, was 6 months old. I've never seen a picture of Grandpa Harry. The names of my great-grandfather, Leander Porter, and my 2nd great-grandfather, William Porter, became known to me only after I started my family history research in 2007.

The one thing that was said about Dad's family was that his grandmother or great grandmother was an American Indian, from an Ohio tribe, and her last name was Huntoon. I haven't been able to verify that at all; matter of fact I found that the surname Huntoon is actually Scottish. My great grandmother, Mary, is one of my brick walls. I've seen her listed as Mary Taylor, Mary Hepner, Mary Montoon, Mary Huntoon, and Mary Sparks. None of these surnames have led me to her true identity.

I know a little more about my 2nd great grandmother, Catherine, though her maiden name is another brick wall. Her story is very interesting and will be a subject of an upcoming blog.

I have no brick walls with my great grandfather, Leander. The only thing missing from his file is where he was when the 1870 federal census was taken. Leander was the only son of my 2nd great grandparents, William and Catherine Porter. Both William and Catherine had been previously married, and both had children from those previous unions.

William is another brick wall. He appears in three federal census: 1840, 1850, and 1860 in Knox County, Ohio. In the 1850 federal census it is listed that he was born in Connecticut. In the 1860 federal census it is listed that he was born in New York. I have found one son from a previous marriage, Orrin Clinton Porter, and in all found documents it states that he was born in New York. It is possible that William was born in Connecticut and moved to New York as a child or young man. With a very common name of William Porter, it is no easy task to find him in New York or Connecticut before 1840. His date of death is unknown at this time also.

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