Friday, May 13, 2011

Weekly Roundup 13 May 2011

Being that it's gardening season and we have had the most wonderful weather this past week, not much was done in my family history research. But that's OK...just gives me more incentive to write more about what I did do!

I did receive two pension files. One was for my GG Grandma Catherine Porter, who filed on the service of one of her sons, William H. H. Davis. I blogged about one of the supporting documents included with the pension application earlier this week. From what I've found so far, Catherine had 4 sons with her first husband. Two of those were the famous dwarfs, Hiram and Barney Davis, otherwise known as "The Wild Men of Borneo". The other two, Esquire and William H. H. Davis, died in the Civil War. This William H. H. Davis was basically unknown to me until I found what appeared to be Catherine's name listed in the book "Index to Ohio pensioners of 1883" by W. Louis Phillips, which I obtained via interlibrary loan from The Ohio Genealogical Society. This listing stated that she had filed as a mother of a soldier. I already had the pension file for her son, Esquire Davis, so I knew that it wasn't that one. I then did a search of the pension file index on Ancestry and found one that appeared to be a match: Catherine Porter, mother of William H. H. Davis. William H. H. Davis is apparently the child living with William and Catherine in both the 1850 and 1860 federal censuses. In 1850 he is listed as David M. H. H. Porter, age 9, born in Ohio. In 1860 he is listed as Henry H. Porter, age 16, born in Ohio. All of the Davis boys were listed with the surname Porter in the census records in which they appeared. It's my feeling that William H. H. Davis was born about 1841, probably just before or after his father died. Maybe he took on the name William later as William Porter was the only father he had known? The other thing that was unexpected was the name of Catherine's first husband, the father of six of her children. In all documentation to date I had seen that his name was David Davis. In this pension application his name is given as Harrison Davis. Good to know when starting my research into the date and place of Catherine and his marriage. When mentioning Catherine's recently deceased husband, GG Grandpa William, it states in a couple places in the pension files that his name was William Lee Porter. So is the William Lee Porter, born 1821 in New York a Junior? Quite possibly, but more research is required for this.

The other pension file I received was for William Lee Porter, William Porter's 1st born son. I have not had a chance to look at this pension file so will blog about it next week.

I spent some time researching Truman Porter, a possible relative of GG Grandpa William. He appears to be found in the 1840 federal census living in Jefferson Township, Knox County, Ohio. But he disappears from Knox County after that. I found one Truman Porter living in Wood County, Ohio. I have sent for copies of obituaries for a Truman Porter, Sarah Porter, and Nelson Porter from the Wood County Genealogical Society. Hopefully that will help to determine if this is my Truman Porter.

Using the Newbury Library's "Atlas of Historical County Boundaries" which I found by reading Randy Seaver's post dated 10 May 2011, I printed out maps of New York counties for the years 1794, 1800, 1810, 1820, and 1830. I also started a couple spreadsheets to keep track of my research into GG Grandpa William Porter's place of birth. I've only used the census records for 1790, 1800, and 1810 so far, and am using a select portion of NY counties during my first sweep through the census records. What I'm tracking are families with surname Porter and who have a male child of the age of William. I'm not being too picky in this first sweep, but also am not using every family I come across with a child in the correct age range. Gut feeling tells me William is not the oldest male child so most families that have no other male children other than the one in William's age range have not been included at this stage in the research.

Edited 6/16/2011: Changed relationship of Truman Porter to possible relative, not son of William Porter.

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