Thursday, September 02, 2004

Having a Ball

I started out with the 1860 Bureau Co., IL Census:

Center Twp., Wyanett, Ills
Pg. 199/204
5 July 1860 by James S. Eckely
lne 26, 1446/1474 Daniel BALL 27 M do [Farm laborer] do [Ohio]
Mariah 26 F do [Ohio]
Laban 8/12 M Illinois
line 2, 1447/1475 Frisbe ANDERSON 42 M Farmer 3000/327 Maryland
Clarrissa 26 F Ohio
William A. 11 M do [Ohio]
Emmor 9 M do [Ohio]
Daniel 6 M Illinois
Eliza J. 5 F do [Illinois]
John W. 10/12 M do [Illinois]
Barbarie TRIPLETT 32 F Ohio
Arrilla 4 F Illinois
Daniel Ball is the brother of Clarissa Ball Anderson, next door, and their sister Celia Ann was married to Luther Triplett, but my question was, who is this Barbarie Triplett?

My first guess was that she was their sister Barbara Ball, although Barbara would have been 22, not 32. That didn't fuss me too much since census taking is a messy business, and I was really pleased to find a marriage record in Illinois for Barbary Ball and James Triplett in 1853, but then I found this biography of Charles Johnson written in 1915.

It was great, laying out Barbara's parents (Vachel and Fanny Bailey Ball), and her marriage date (1858) and their various moves in Illinois and Iowa, and listing their two children: Charles and Eugene. But it was the marriage date that proved problematic. She couldn't have been Barbary Triplett with a daughter in 1860 if she was busy being Mrs. Charles Johnson...

So now I'm thinking, aunt?

And I'm thinking I'd better set this aside. So I did.

Recently has added a partial index to the 1900 census (yeay!) and Iowa was one of the early accessible databases, so I started collecting the data. One of the useful questions they asked women in the 1900 census was how many children they had had and how many were still living. And I found Barbary and Charles in Audubon County, Iowa:

Melvill Township
S.D. 9, E.D. 30
Sheet No. 6A/320A
15 June 1900 by Walter F. Hoyt
line 4, 92/92 JOHNSON Charles Head WM Feb 1835 65 M 39 Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Farmer
Barbary Wife WF Sept 1837 62 M 39 6/3 Ohio Virginia Maryland
Monroe Brother WM Nov 1847 52 S New Jersey Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Farm
BROWN Jennie Servant June 1881 18 S Iowa Scotland Pennsylvania
Barbary had had 6 children, 3 of whom were still living.

All right now, hold the phone, that biography was very clear. She and Charles had two children. Okay, so maybe one of their children had died between 1900 and 1915 so that they weren't listed in the biography, but usually such a child would have been mentioned. So I thought, fine, I'll go find the happy couple in 1860.

I couldn't find them right off the bat, so I decided to collect their 1870 census record. No problem. They and their two sons were in Macon County, Illinois, as the biography had predicted. Er, told us they had been.

So back to the 1860.

Well, I found Charles right about where you'd expect him in Putnam County, Illinois (where they set up housekeeping after their marriage, as his biography described). But he was single. And there was no "Barbara Ball" to be found.

"No, really?" I thought, "back to Barbarie Triplett?!"

So I revisited the 1860 Bureau Co., IL census and saw, lo and behold, that the 32 was really a smudgey 22 and I checked the Illinois marriage records and found the marriage of the daughter Arilla Triplett:

Illinois Marriage Records online,
BARNES, William G m. TRIPLETT, Arilla Jane 07/22/1869 /00003763
Well, Sangamon County isn't very near to Macon County (the state capitol, Springfield, is in Sangamon), but how many Arilla's can there be?! So I started looking for William Barnes and wife Arilla in the 1870. And guess where I found them:

Hickory Point Township
Page No. 5/468A
11th July 1870 by Mad. S Collins
P.O. Decatur ILL, line 28
105/118 BARNS William G. 23 MW School Teacher Ohio
Rillis J. 16 FW Keeping House Illinois
line 30, 106/109 JOHNSON Charles 34 MW Farming /1000 Pennsylvania
Barbary 34 FW Keeping house Ohio
Charles 7 MW Illinois attended school
Eugene 3 MW Illinois
CAMPBELL John 27 MW Working on Farm Ohio

Right next door to Mom.

How fun is that? Oh, and married to the schoolteacher... Hmmmm. Wonder why they got married in Sangamon County? She would have been what, 15 when they got married? The same age her mother was at her first marriage.

So the marriage date listed in the biography had to be wrong. Good thing everything else was right. With a name like 'Johnson' it was very, very helpful to know where they had lived before. I suppose that Arilla wasn't mentioned in his biography because she wasn't his child.

I have not been able to find a marriage record for Barbary Triplett (as she would have been listed) and Charles Johnson. It appears that there are no Putnam County, Illinois marriage records for this period (although they said they were married in Bureau County). I can't find anyone mentioning it, but I'm afraid those records were destroyed. I've some other marriages that I'm missing from that area at that time.

I've got a bunch more on Vachel Ball's family on my website.