Friday, December 19, 2014

Ida May Brown, the Clarks, Kendalls and Morris County Kansas (52 Ancestors #50)

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

Joseph Clark was two years old in the 1850 census[1] enumerated in Franklin Township, Adams County, Ohio.  He lived with his parents, Benjamin Daniel Clark and Hannah Carrigan Clark and seven older brothers and sisters.  He married Anna Maria [Mariah] Smart in 1868 in Highland County, Ohio.[2]  They had two children, Cora Blanche Clark and Ottie Claud Clark.

For 20+ years, the family lived in the Ohio townships of Franklin and Bratton where Joseph was a farmer.  Then, in 1900[3], I found Joseph, Ann [Anna Maria] and Ottie living in Ohio Township, Morris County, Kansas. 


My Kendall family lived in Morris County, Kansas.

Did my Kendall’s and my Clark’s know each other?

Yes they did.  And there’s more.

Let me rewind and tell the story from the beginning.

While researching the 1880 census for Benjamin Daniel Clark, too many results came back even in the same county.  Solution – search only for Clark, 1880 census and Adams County, Ohio.  Perfect - only eight results – much more manageable.

Found him!  Daniel Clark, as he was recorded, lived in Bratton Township, Adams, Ohio.  Hmm, why move after living in Franklin Township, Adams County, Ohio for so long?  Did other Clarks live in Bratton?  I looked again at the eight names on the results list and selected Joseph Clark, head of household, because Daniel had a son named Joseph born in 1848.

In 1880, Joseph Clerk [Clark], age 31, lived in Bratton Township, Adams County, Ohio.  He was a farmer and his wife Mariah A., age 31, kept house.  They and their parents were born in Ohio.  They had one child, a daughter, Cora Blanch, age 2, born in Ohio.  I was certain he was Daniel’s son based on proximity to Daniel, year of birth and one particular member of the family.

I gasped out loud when I saw her name!

Ida M. Brown, niece, age 10, born in Maryland. 

I couldn't believe my eyes.  Joseph’s niece lived with them.  My great-grandmother.  My mystery woman.

1880 U.S. Federal Census excerpt of Joseph Clark Family with Ida M. Brown
(click images to enlarge)

I've been looking high and low for any paper trail for Ida May Brown prior to her marriage in 1887 to Henry Martin Kendall.  To date, “sideways” searching for her was fruitless but finally, a major crumble in my brick wall for her.  Of course, it didn't help that her birthplace in the 1880 census record was incorrectly transcribed as Maryland instead of Missouri.  Well, the digitized image of the census page wasn't exactly clear but it sure looked more like “MO” than Md” to me.  Her birth date was off by one year, 1870 instead of 1869 but not really a big deal.

As to the previous question – did my Kendall’s and my Clark’s know each other?  Yes, they were neighbors in the 1895, 1900 and 1910 censuses.  In the 1900 census, the Kendall family was Dwelling #25 and the Clark family was Dwelling #32, digital page 3 and page 4.  Joseph Clark, brother of Jane Clark Brown, my second great-grandmother, was a long-time neighbor of James W. Kendall, brother of Henry Martin Kendall, Ida May Brown’s husband and my great-grandfather.


1895 Kansas State Census excerpt showing Kendall and Clark Families
1910 U.S. Federal Census excerpt showing Kendall and Clark Families

More research awaits me as these revelations sink in.  For now I’m thinking of the lessons learned from my new discoveries:
  • Use simple Internet searches; less is more
  • Look on the page before and after the census page on which your ancestor appeared
  • Search sideways – children and siblings of your direct ancestor

Gotta go now, it’s time for my Happy Dance.

Future Research
Pending, too busy dancing…


[1] Year: 1850; Census Place: Franklin, Adams, Ohio; Roll: M432_657; Page: 20A; Image: 44.  Source Information:
[2] Jordan Dodd, Liahona Research. Ohio, Marriages, 1803-1900. 
[3] Year: 1900; Census Place: Ohio, Morris, Kansas; Roll: 491; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 0107; FHL microfilm: 1240491. Also see James W Kendall on digitized image page 3, Dwelling number 25, Family number 26.

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