Friday, November 7, 2014

Martin Bashor, why did you move so much? (52 Ancestors #39)

This is another article for the series "52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks", a challenge by Amy Johnson Crow on No Story Too Small.

My second great-grandfather, Martin Bashor, was born in Virginia, married in Tennessee where seven children were born, lived in Missouri where three more children were born then moved to California, and died in Colorado. 

Martin Bashor and Susannah Sherfy Bashor
Source: Hibsch Family Collection
What happened during his 92 years, 6 months, 22 days?[1]  Historical events during his life time were many:  James Monroe became the 5th U.S. President in the year Martin was born and 20 more would follow; he lived through cholera, typhoid and other epidemics; the Civil War; and saw the invention of the railroad, telegraph, telephone, electric light bulb, automobile and airplane.[2]

And, the man got around.

The Tennessee Years

Washington County, Tennessee circled in red
Source: (click to enlarge images)

Martin Bashor was born in Virginia in May 1817[3]; [4] He married Susannah Sherfy on 31 Aug 1843 in Washington County, Tennessee.[5]  He ran a tannery[6] with a reported value of $500, producing 200 hides annually.  The “kind of motive power, machinery, structure, or resource” was horse.[7]

What does a horse do at a tannery?

The Missouri Years

Andrew County, Missouri

Nearly two decades later, Martin, Susannah and their seven children moved to Empire Prairie, Andrew County, Missouri.  They were considered early settlers of this town, having arrived in 1859.[8] The 1860[9] and 1870[10] censuses placed them in nearby Platte Township in Andrew County, Post Office: Whitesville.  Martin was a farmer with a real estate value of $630 and personal estate value of $830.[11]  Ten years later, Martin reported his real estate value at $5,000 and personal estate at $1,965.[12]  What a nice return on investment or was the reporting inaccurate?   

Three more children were born in Missouri.  In all, Martin and Susannah had nine children:

Born in Tennessee
Amanda Bashor, about 1844
Alexander Washington Bashor, about 1845
Robert A. Bashor, about 1852
Margaret, about 1853
John S. Bashor, about 1855
Jacob C. Bashor, about 1857
Catherine, about 1859

Born in Missouri
Rebecca Bashor, about 1862
Martha Bashor, about 1864 (my great-grandmother)
Cordelia Bashor, about 1865

California Here We Come
The California Voter Registration records were very helpful in placing Martin in Covina, Los Angeles County, California from 1888 - 1896.[13]  He, Susannah and three daughters, Rebecca, Martha and Cordelia, came to sunny southern California.  Our family story was that the girls could not remain in Missouri alone because they were unmarried.  Martin was 70 years old and a farmer when he first arrived in Covina. 

The 1892 and 1896 Voter Registration records provided bonus details - physical characteristics.  Martin 5’8”, dark complexion, brown eyes, black hair (reported as iron gray in 1896), and had a mole on left side of his nose.  He was also able to read the constitution in English and write his name.

Martin and Susannah Bashor residence
Covina, California (Source:
Martin was affiliated with the Brethren Church of Covina having been a charter member of the first church in southern California beginning in 1885.  A newspaper account in the                            Covina Argus identified his house in Covina as the site of initial gatherings until a Brethren meeting house was built.  Martin and Susannah lived at the corner of Citrus and Puente Streets in Covina.

Off to Colorado
Martin and Susannah’s last place of residence was Longmont Town, Boulder County, Colorado.[14] They lived on Collyer Street next door to Jacob and Ida Bashor.  Martin was 83 now and had been married for 56 years.  Susannah died in December 1900.  Martin died ten years later. 

His obituary appeared in the Longmont Ledger (Longmont, Boulder County, Colorado) on 21 Jan 1910.  It was transcribed and posted on his memorial page on[15]

BASHOR--At the home of his son, J. K. Bashor, Wednesday, January 19, 1910, of senility, Martin Bashor, aged 92 years, 6 months and 22 days.
   Mr. Bashor has been confined to the house for several years. He has long outlived the three-score and ten allotted to human age.
   Martin Bashor was born in Shenandoah Co., Va., July 27, 1817, and was the youngest of fifteen children and was the last survivor, twelve of them having an average life of 50 years.
   Interment takes place at Hygiene cemetery today.

The website covers Bashor family history and reunions. The last reunion was held 16 August 2014 in Longmont, Colorado.  I’ve tried to encourage my Rocky Mountain Cousin to attend but no such luck….

Future Research
  • Obtain records for marriage, land and church
  • Determine possible reasons for moving to Missouri, California and Colorado
  • Learn more about tanneries in Tennessee

[1] Find-a-Grave – Martin Bashor Memorial #30528831
[3] Year: 1900; Census Place: Precinct 1, Boulder, Colorado; Roll: 121; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 0157;
[4]See footnote #1
[5] Tennessee State Marriages, 1780-2002.
[6] From 1850 to 1870, the manufacturers schedule was called the “industry schedule.” The purpose was to collect information about manufacturing, mining, fishing, and mercantile, commercial, and trading businesses with an annual gross product of $500 or more. For each census year ending on 1 June, the enumerators recorded the name of the company or the owner; the kind of business; the amount of capital invested; and the quantity and value of materials, labor, machinery, and products.  Szucs, Loretto Dennis., and Sandra Hargreaves. Luebking. The Source: A Guidebook to American Genealogy. 3rd ed. Provo, UT: Ancestry, 2006. Online.
[7] 1850 U.S. Federal Census Non-Population Schedule, Washington, Tennessee;
[9] Year: 1860; Census Place: Platte, Andrew, Missouri; Roll: M653_605; Page: 340; Image: 344; Line 2.
[10] Year: 1870; Census Place: Platte, Andrew, Missouri; Roll: M593_755; Page: 307B; Image: 622; Line 23.
[11] See footnote #9
[12] See footnote #10
[13] California State Library, California History Section; Great Registers, 1866-1898; Collection Number: 4 - 2A; CSL Roll Number: 20;
[14]See footnote #3
[15] See footnote #1

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