Saturday, July 30, 2011

Surname Saturday - HUNTOON / HUNTORN

I've written about my great grandmother, Mary R. Huntoon here and also here.

I try to revisit her every so often. I'm not sure why, but the thought occurred to me that the woman with whom she is living in 1870, Mary Taylor, might not be her mother-in-law, but her mother.

Looking at Mary Taylor again with this in mind, I find that she was born in Pennsylvania, which is where in 1880 Mary Huntoon Porter states her mother was born. I had already found her date of death, but had not looked at her death certificate, so I obtained a copy from It states that her father's name was David Stagers. On Mary's son, John James Taylor's death certificate, Mary is listed as Mary Stiggers. As mentioned in one of the previous posts I've seen the surname Stiger or some variation of it on several Ancestry family trees pertaining to this family. I then obtained a copy of Mary Taylor's obituary. It states that she was born in Green [Greene] County, Pennsylvania. Already known facts are that she married Burgess Taylor and was survived by her son, John J. Taylor. In the 1900 federal census both Burgess and Mary Taylor state that they had been married 39 years, putting their marriage date at about 1860-1861. Their son, John, according to his death certificate was born in November 1861. My Great Grandmother, Mary Huntoon Porter, was born about 1853. So for Mary Taylor to be Mary Huntoon Porter's mother, the marriage to Burgess would have had to have been a second marriage. Looking through my book on Knox County marriages between 1808 to 1875, I could not find a marriage record in Knox County for Mary Staggers and Burgess Taylor. However, I did find a marriage record for Mary Staggers and Owen/Oren Huntorn!

So it appears that my hunch was right. The Mary Taylor with whom my Great Grandmother, Mary Huntoon Porter, is indeed my Great, Great Grandmother. The other thing that gives some support to this is a paragraph printed just before Mary Taylor's obituary: "George Mohr of Gambier [Knox County, O], Arthur Porter, Joshua Taylor, Bertie Lybarger and Mrs. Ida Worman [Warman] of Knox county, attended the funeral of Mrs. Mary Taylor on Wednesday of last week." Arthur Porter, Bertie Lybarger and Ida Warman are Leander and Mary Huntoon Porter's children. Several times in the local paper "Richwood Gazette" [Union County, Ohio] Mrs. Mary Taylor is mentioned as having returned from visiting relatives in Knox County.

I cannot find anything more on Owen/Oren Huntorn. The surname Huntorn is seen some in census records, but not in Knox County/Union County areas. It's possible that the surname is not Huntorn, but Huntoon/Hontoon. I'm sure that all were illiterate so the surname was written as it sounded. I will of course keep looking for my newly-found 2nd Great Grandfather.

So as of today I have definitely verified the story that my Great Grandmother's last name was Huntoon (or something that sounded very similar). What I have not verified is if Mary's father was Native American. A DNA test might help determine if there is Native American blood in our ancestry. I have most likely identified my 2nd Great Grandparents, Owen/Oren Huntorn/Huntoon and Mary Staggers.

I now have to find more supporting evidence, but I feel confident that I have again taken a chunk out of my brick wall, Mary Huntoon Porter.

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