One Name Place Study: That's Everyone Now What?


For about two years, I have been on the hunt to crack through the brick wall of my ancestor William James Townsend. I've previously shared information from his Civil War pension file. I learned many details from the documents in the file but I still had questions left unanswered.

What I know about William James Townsend (b 1842 - d 1889) was detailed in a previous post. In the 1880 Census, I found William but one of his daughters, Ida, was not in his home when she wasn't yet married. The discovery of Ida in the home of another person named Townsend led me to ask the question, who else is in Franklin County, Ohio in the 1880 census with the last name Townsend?

There were around 50 persons named Townsend in the 1880 Census with 15 of those as either heads of the house. My quest launched a monthly series throughout 2015 to analyze the records pertaining to these specific Townsend families and individuals.

Of the Townsends listed, these are the ones that could possibly be related to William.

Truro, Franklin, Ohio:
  • John Townsend b. 1814 in Maryland (parents born in MD)
    • Could be related, possibly a father, uncle, or other older relative  (28 year age difference between William and John)
Columbus, Franklin, Ohio:
  • James Townsend b 1828 in Ohio (carpenter, married, parents born in Ohio, in  Insane Asylum)
    • Could be cousins (14 year age difference between William and James)
  • Robert Townsend b 1842 in Ohio (38, boarder, single, Brick Moulder, parents from OH & PA)
    • Could be related (William and Robert are the same age)
  • Fred W Townsend b. 1847 in Ohio (33, boarder, single, Marble Cutter, parents from OH)
    • insufficient additional information to analyze relationship (possibly related to Robert Townsend listed above)

Groveport, Franklin, Ohio:
  • Jno Towsend B 1836 in Ohio (parents from Maryland; Farm Laborer)
    • This is likely William's older brother. (Jno is living next to Edward in the 1880 US Census)
  • Edward Townsend b 1855 in Ohio (parents from Maryland, Farming)
    • This is likely William's younger brother (William's daughter is living with him in 1880)
  • Perry Townsend b 1855 in Ohio (25, farmer, parents from Ohio)
    • This is likely William's younger brother and (clues point to likely sister as well)
  • Elisabeth Townsend b 1867 in Ohio (13, servant, parents from Ohio, in the home of Wm and Ruth Wildersmith)
    • This is William's Daughter! She's in a separate home, just like her sister Ida

To state all of this in a different manner, I discovered a daughter hiding in the census record, and three likely brothers and thus one likely sister. There are other potential relatives but more digging is necessary to prove these relationships. In researching the three likely brothers, one of their death records provided a name of William as the father. I'll add a question mark after that name as it's still very, very, very suspect. Here is what I believe to be William's childhood family.

William Townsend (b. Maryland or Ohio)
  1. John H Townsend, m, (1836 - 1883)
  2. William J Townsend, m,  (1842 - 1889)
  3. Milby Townsend, f,  (1844 - 1908)
  4. Edward J Townsend, m, (1846 - 1923)
  5. Perry Townsend, m, (1855 - )

So the big question is, now what? Well, I need to comb through all records pertaining to these individuals. I need to look for relatively exhaustive evidence to prove or disprove this theory. These records are in the realm of inferential genealogy as direct evidence is not likely to be in existence and have enough evidence to prove this theory.

My greatest wish is for a Townsend of Franklin County, Ohio to discover this analysis and help me piece together more about these Townsends. There are others listed towards the beginning of this post and perhaps a thorough researching of their names would be helpful. However, I want to stay focused, especially since the Townsends aren't the only relatives beckoning me to seek after their stories.


Previous Posts:
William Townsend's Pension File
What I Know about William James Townsend
Where's Ida in the 1880 US Census?

How to write a Marriage Record Reason Statement

After reading the plea to fill in the reason statement box and reviewing some basic tips for what to put in the box, do you still need a more concrete examples. Well, you're in luck. I will be sharing various examples of reason statements that I have left behind. Use these as idea generators for how you will write your statements.

"Indiana Marriages, 1811-2007," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:V5PS-RRL), Henry H Banta and Hazel E Byers, ; citing , county clerk offices, Indiana; FHL microfilm 1,665,896.

I found a marriage record for Henry Horace Banta to Hazel E Byers and I want to attach the record to the FamilySearch Family Tree.  I want to provide as much information that I can remember why I attached this record, including as many of my 5 Dos for writing a statement as possible.

Joseph Geissler: An American Father

Naturalization of Joseph Geissler


When we left off, Joseph and Caroline had married and purchased property in Prairie Township in 1856. Their land neighbored James Kinnaird and Caroline's father Heinirch Mack. Additional neighbors included the Puseckers, Strunkenbergs, and Tinappels, all from the Mack's village in Hanover.

After over year and a half of marriage, Joseph and Caroline welcomed their first of four children to their family.  Charles “Carl” Gei├čler was born  17 November 1857, mostly likely in their home in Prairie Township.  Joseph was 21 years of age while Caroline was 19.

What was the origin of this child's name?  In jumping ahead, we discover that the couple's second son would appear to honor Caroline's father and Joseph, himself. Their first daughter's name origin is uncertain but has the same middle name of Caroline's step-mother. Was she thus named in honor of the mother that immigrated with Caroline? Finally, the fourth child bares the of Caroline. With this tradition of honoring their after family members, who was Karl named after?

Wanting Wednesday: Can You Help Find the David Kinnaird Diary?

In the post Joseph Geissler: Planting Roots in Prairie, I mentioned that my 3rd great-grandfather, along with two other families purchased property from James Kinnaird of Prairie Township, Franklin County, Ohio in 1856.

In researching James Kinnaird, I learned that he was born 10 August 1825 in Ohio, United States. I find that he marries Melissa Deans on 13 June 1849 in Franklin County, Ohio. In 1853, James Kinnaird marries Jenny Gray on the 27th of October in nearby Fairfield County.ii At the time of the home purchase, James and Jenny would be the likely inhabitants of the Prairie property, which is confirmed by the 1860 US Census record.iii James would remain in Prairie the remainder of his life.

Easter- 80s Style

Circle tag - Connie Prince, Happy Home Body; Word Art - ABC Do The Bunny Hop; blue papers (altered)- Triple J Designs, Sun Kissed;
white paper - Lyllah Raven - Refreshing; Buckle - Hummie's World - Course 2 Lesson 31; Ribbion - Sheila Reid - That Teenage Life
(Sorry the journaling is so blurry. I'll see what I can do when I share a future post)

For my mother, Easter was a very big deal. She loved buying my brother and I new clothes and Easter baskets when we were younger. As we grew up and times got tough, the new clothes and baskets were no longer part of our yearly bounty. Even though I wasn't a girl who loved dresses, I loved this adorable dress with bonnet and matching person. I always felt so pretty in this dress and really missed it when I grew out of it.

These 80s era photos were a challenge to scrapbook because I had poorly cut two of the photos. So, I matted those photos and chose a layout that intentionally shifts your eyes. You have to work hard to notice the poorly cut photos, and that was by design.

pastel with pop 80s color scheme for scrapbooking
Pastel with pop 80s color palette

I chose papers that matched my pastel 80s color palette and matched my dress, but relied heavily on the dress for color choices.

I have rarely used a buckle on my layouts but a scrapbooking skills challenge from a Facebook group I belong to prompted me to follow the steps of a Hummie's World tutorial. I love the way Hummie makes learning PhotoShop Elements so easy. Once I saw the challenge and the tutorial, I knew I had to use a ribbon and buckle on this layout. There's a buckle on my purse and the element seemed to fit.

This was a fun layout for my personal heritage scrapbook and the overall design compliments the challenges of the photo and helps me remember one of my favorite dresses. That's a win-win.

What memories do you have Easter when you were a child? Do you have photos that show case those memories?

Turn your memories and photos into a scrapbook page and then share a link to your designs in the comment section. If you finish your layout before this Easter, you could print out a single page and frame it to display at this year's Easter celebration. Think of the conversations you'll have with your family about the holiday from this fun task.

Further Reading:
Choosing the Right 80s Color Scheme
That 70s Scrapbook
Use Busy Patterns to Hide Flaws
It's Okay to Fail
Collage With  a Purpose

5 Dos and 5 Don'ts of Writing Reason Statements

How to Write Genealogy Reason Statements
Reasons statements may seem burdensome and overwhelming at first. Having attempted to teach this to new users of FamilySearch, I know that it's painstaking. However, it's crucial to building one accurate family tree.

With that said, here are a few 5 Dos and 5 Don'ts for Writing a Reason Statement.

How far can you go back?

How far back can you trace your family tree


Oh how I love folks who are trying to engage me in conversation. They overhear me talking about family history and are bursting to join in. They have been bitten by the bug and they think they've discovered a kindred spirit. They gush as they excitedly ask, "How far have you gotten back?"

Yep. That's the first question out of their mouths.

That first question tells me nearly everything I need to know about the person and their passion in family history. Please forgive the judgement, but I have yet to be proven wrong in my analysis. The people who eagerly ask this question are name gatherers. The people who ask causally are trying to make polite conversation. Passionate family historians and genealogists ask a variety of other questions.

Then, the name gatherers display great disappointment when I say, "Oh, only about the 1850s in Ohio and a little further back in Canada."

They sigh and say, "That's too bad." Then they rapidly launch into, "I have my lines back to the 1500s and into royalty."

Yep. Name gatherers.
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