Saturday, July 31, 2010


NOTE: For those of you that like to solve puzzles . . . read on. For those that are bored . . . go to the end of this post and tell me why you are bored! See bottom of this post for an addendum.

This research was inspired by several of the scanned photos provided by a Stewart Cousin in Hebron, Illinois. One had “Grandma Marshall” written on it, two others had “The Twins”, written on them and a third had “Janet Marshal” on it. The research process is given here as an example of the large amount of data contained in the Census Records and how to extract it.
I had in my Reunion database, a Helen Marshall, married to Charles Warren Ehle, the grandson of John A. Ehle, and son of Henry G. Ehle.
John and Wm H. Stewart, my Great Grand Uncles, married sisters, Harriet and Marrietta Ehle, daughters of John A. Ehle. Charles and Helen had six children, one of whom was named Archibald Marshall Ehle. One of the reasons why I did this research.
I searched the 1860, 1870 and 1880 Hebron Census’ for Marshalls and others, using the Surprise Library Heritage Quest online site at home. This is a service given to each of the Library Card holders. Further research on is available on the Library computers.
There were no other Marshall families or individuals than this group in McHenry County in this time frame. The following is the Marshall family as I found them, birthdays calculated from census dates and ages given.
All of them born in Scotland.
Andrew Marshall b: 1808
Jane Archibald b: 1800

    1. James           b: 1831
    2. Marion        b: 1832

    3. Helen b: 1838      Twin      (Cemetery records and Obit: 13 Jan 1838)
    4. Janet            b: 1838      Twin
    5. John            b: 1839
    6. Mary b: 1843
    7. Archibald b: 1844
From Archibald’s age, the earliest they could have left Scotland was 1844-5. I will have to search 1850 Census for them, but they were all here in 1860. Heritage Quest does not have the 1850 Census on line. I do not know where in Scotland they came from. They may have come through Northern Ireland at the time of the Potato famine in 1845. Both the Ehles and the Stewarts had German and Irish farm laborers and domestics in the 1850’s and 1860’s. The Ehles are of German origin. Since this family were all born in Scotland the timing is not right for the Northern Ireland part. I imagine the effect of the potato famine was also felt in Scotland. The clips below are from Micro Film copies of the Census Records downloaded from the Heritage Quest web site.

The “Twins” would be Jennette “Janet” and Helen. “Grandma Marshall” would be their mother Jane. She may have died by 1880, as she was not on Saml Archibald’s 1880 Census. (See below) She would have been 80 then. 

I am 95% sure of my research here as being “on the money,” for this family. Here are the steps I took to build this family. First I looked at the James A. Ehle family in 1860, in Hebron, IL. There are 18 people in this one residence. Son Henry G and his family are all listed. Two of his sons were born in NY and are "farm laborers," as are two hired men from Germany. The entry of interest is Helen Marshall, 21 years of age, a domestic, born in Scotland. Charles was 19, any reason why he would not be interested in a young, beautiful woman of 21 who was making his meals and perhaps his bed? They were married two years after this census.


It is also of interest to note below Helen, is Ann Van Alstine, who is the sister of John A. Ehle's wife, Catherine Van Alstine. Below her is the mother of Henry G. Ehle's wife, Rowena Holmes, Charlotte Hunt Holmes. There are many pieces of information to be found in the Census' after 1840. Bits like this fill in some of the blanks. Conclusion: read all the names listed in the census!

Next I looked at the 1860 census for Hebron again, this time for John Stewart. Along with his growing family, I find two farm laborers from Germany and Ireland; and Marion Marshall, age 21 years, domestic born in Scotland. Then another look at an 1860 census, this time for Robert W. Stewart I. Wow, another big family, remember this was even before the Stewart Homestead house was built in 1866. Robert had six hired farm laborers from Scotland, IL, NY, Germany and Ireland. The last person on the list is Mary Marshall, age 21 years, a Domestic born in Scotland. Seems like there must have been communication between US and Scotland!

One more from the 1860 census in Woodstock. Andrew, Jane and Archibald Marshall.

 Then I found John Marshall in the 1870 census, age 30 years, born in Scotland, as a farm laborer in the Josiah Walknife household.

James Marshall was found in the 1870 census in Grafton Township.

Jane is found in 1870 census in Hebron Township in the Samuel Archibald household. Archibald would presumably her maiden name. Samuel would probably be her nephew.

John is found last in 1880 census in Nunda (Woodstock) Township.

And thus is the roundup of the Marshall family in McHenry County, Illinois complete. It isn't of any great break through, but is gives more body to the Stewart family. More connections could be made through other Court House records, newspapers, etc. This just gives a glimpse into the sometimes tedious, but always exciting family research.
ADDENDUM - August 1, 2010
I have re-read this blog again from a readers point of view and find there is an obvious lack of explanation of the format of the census clips presented here.
Starting at the left side: Printed row numbers. 1st Column is the number of the house visited in that report. 2nd Column is the number of households visited. (both are consecutive numbering) 3rd Column is last name, first name of person. 4th Column - age. 5th Column - sex. 6th Column - race. 7th Column - Occupation/Gen. Info. 8th Column - (Head of household only) Value of Real Estate. 9th Column - Value of personal estate. 10th Column - Place of birth. There are more columns in the report, but do not contain important information for this study.

Saturday, July 17, 2010


Actually the solution I found was to delete, eliminate, get rid of, flush away all extraneous things I thought I had to do. One of them was this blog. I like to put on line thoughtful, good looking, well formatted writing. That is, expressing what is on my mind in an organized manner. Sort of like using this as a journal?
For the last month I have been working daily on completing my research on my extended family. For example for my book it was necessary to concentrate on the 'direct' Stewart line or I would still be working on it for years to come. Perhaps a look into some facets of genealogy research would help to explain the time involved in the 'how to' and the results that can find more information on individuals and even add names to the tree!
This must be kept simple or I will lose most everyone in the first paragraph, including me. The item I choose is the Federal Census. A very simple record that every ones ancestors should be found in, but somehow there is doubt until additional facts are added. There is much info that can be found here, but there is a strict legal limitation of which records are open for viewing. Only census records that are seventy-two years old or more are open for public viewing. So, that means no one could find me in any record until 2002, when the 1930 census was released.
What have I been doing for the last month? Searching the census records on line. Our library in Surprise subscribes to Ancestry Library and Heritage Quest online. The Ancestry Library can only be accessed in the library on their computers, but Heritage Quest is available from my home computer.
First, a quick history of the Federal Census. The first official census was taken in 1790. It was a simple listing of heads of household and the number of folks in the household by age brackets. This format was continued and amplified until 1850, when they started listing everyone in the household by name and age. In 1860 they listed the month and year of birth of everyone, that was the only time. Some states also took census for a time, on the fifth year instead of the tenth year. This gave information of everyone (in those states) every five years.
Back to my Stewart ancestor, Robert, who came to the US from Scotland in 1786. I found him in the 1790 census. To prove it was really him, a description of the format used then, is needed. There were six columns used to list every thing about everyone in each household. This is taken from the original census, remember this was all hand written!
Col. 1:  Name of Head of Families. Col. 2:  Free white males of 16 years and upwards, including heads of Families. Col. 3:  Free white males under 16 years. Col. 4:  Free white females including heads of families. Col. 5:  All other free persons. Col. 6:  Slaves. Below is a copy of the top of the page found showing Robert Stewart is in the Caughnawaga Township (an Indian name later changed to Johnstown), Montgomery County (later part split off as Fulton Co.) in the the state of New York.

How to prove this is really my Robert? In the second column is Robert himself. I go to my data base and  there is no other male over the age of 16 likely in his family in 1790 since he was married in 1778. The next column lists all the boys under 16. Again from the data base, I have Alexander age 11, John Robert age 10, James age 4 (my ancestor) and Charles age 3. Column 4 poses a little problem, first of course, is Jane, Robert's wife. Then again to the data base and there are two girls born before 1790, Catherine age 10 and Christian age 2.
By this time I am 99+% sure this is really Robert Stewart, my ancestor from Scotland. Can you  see this would be hard to prove when the substantiating data, such as children's ages, is not available? Most of the time there are duplicates names in the villages and towns; for example there were four Stewart families or lines in Johnstown that arrived from Scotland within ten years of each other. Two were Robert's half brothers (not proven yet) and the fourth was from Northern Ireland. This is further complicated by inter-marriages in the family. Robert had three girls, they all married Stewarts, and John Robert  married a Grace Stewart.
I was going to go on with more on census records and how much more can be found and how to do it, but this is enough if you can digest it.