Friday, September 21, 2012

The Deans of Orangeburg & Muses Mill

I found my Dean ancestors in the rural spots of Orangeburg and Muses Mill,  in Kentucky, because of the information provided by my great grandfather, John Dean, on his and Nellie’s marriage record.

I located his parents, my 2nd great grandparents, Elisha and Elizabeth (Betsey) Dean, in the 1870 Census.  John, however, listed his mother's name as Betsy Jacobs, and for a long time I was unable to find any information on her.  As I prepared to post this chapter here on the blog and include it in the book manuscript for printing, I finally gave in and changed Betsey's last name to "Jenkins," the name that kept popping up and which I repeatedly ignored.  After all, John may have told the court clerk Jenkins, and the clerk heard Jacobs.  Just goes to say, you have to dig deep in genealogy.  

No sooner than I changed the name, and I got a hit.  The best hit, Betsey's parents.  And Betsey is really Sarah Elizabeth Jenkins.  

As John’s marriage information states, his parents resided in Mason County, Kentucky.  The town, it turns out, was Orangeburg, at least when I first found them.  Later I'd clear up the issue of people by the same name appearing in Muses Mill, Flemming County, Kentucky, which I'd also repeatedly ignored.    

I also turned up sublings for my great grandfather John, though their parentage is split between different fathers, an issue that drove me almost insane for over a year.  The above pedigree chart shows John's brothers, Daniel, James, and Leander, and a daughter Mary Dean.  

On the 1860 census for Morgan County, Orangeburg, Daniel and Mary are identified with the last name, Martin.  Elisha, my great grandfather, is the only Dean besides his mother Elizabeth.  Two additional residents of the 1860 home include Elizabeth "Leakins" age 30, and James N. Leakins, age 9.  Another Ancestry member changed the last name of these two to "Jenkins."  All future records reflect Jenkins.

1860 United States Federal Census about Elizabeth Dean

Name:Elizabeth Dean
Age in 1860:80
Birth Year:abt 1780
Home in 1860:Division 2, Morgan, Kentucky
Post Office:West Liberty
Value of real estate:View image
Household Members:
Elisha Dean35
Elizabeth Dean80
Daniel Martin45
Mary L Martin7
Elizabeth Leakins30
James N Leakins9

Elizabeth Leakins, or Jenkins as it should be, is eventually shown on further records as Elizabeth, or Betsey, Dean, wife of Elisha.  James N. Leakins (Jenkins), it can be concluded was born to Elizabeth and given her maiden name.  Is Elisha the father?  It looks likely, since Elizabeth and the child are living with Elisha along with his mother and brother.

James eventually becomes James Newton Dean, identified trough multiple other Ancestry family trees.

James Newton Jenkins Dean,
prior to his death on July 26, 1927,
in Kankakee, Illinois

The Martin children of Elizabeth Dean are later also identified as Deans, though Daniel, in the 1850 census bore the last name Dean.  Here in 1860, he is Daniel Martin, and in 1870 he is still Martin, age 55, as head of household, still residing in Orangeburg, listed right above Elisha and Elizabeth Dean.  The Martins and the Deans stayed together throughout most all census records.

1870 United States Federal Census about Daniel Martin

Name:Daniel Martin
Age in 1870:55
Birth Year:abt 1815
Home in 1870:Orangeburg, Mason, Kentucky
Post Office:Orangeburg
Value of real estate:View image
Household Members:
Daniel Martin55
Jane Martin26
Hartle Martin4
Wolford Martin3
Ariary Martin2

Jane is identified as Daniel's wife in a later census, though on this one for 1870, I was unsure because of her young age.  In the 1880 census, Daniel's birthplace is listed as Kentucky, but I've found that a lot of residents  list the state they're living in at the time as their birthplace, or they are not sure, and the census taker lists the state for them.  Every other record for Daniel states Tennessee as his birthplace.

Daniel's wife Jane is actually Jane Jenkins, Sara Elizabeth's sister.  I finally discovered this from another Ancestry member who is researching the Martins.  

My Ancestry friend claims Mary L. Martin, seen above in the 1860 census, is the daughter of Daniel.  This makes sense because on that census Mary age 7, is listed right below Daniel, age 45.  

The two brothers, Elisha and Daniel, and both their children are living together, along with the children's grandmother, Elizabeth, and Elisha's child's mother, Sarah Elizabeth Jenkins.  But there are several listings of Mary Dean and/or Mary Martin, and I wonder if they are all one and the same girl.  

  • The first occurrence of Mary is in 1860, identified as Mary L. Martin, born in 1853, age 7 
  • The next census, 1870, lists a Mary Dean, born in 1854, age now 16
  • The 1880 census lists E. Mary Dean, born in 1860, age 20

 It's confusing, to say the least, and therein lies the challenge of genealogy.  I will at some point combine the three Marys and see where that leads, but for now I'll leave it as is.

The 1880 census shows James N. Dean living in Fleming County, Muses Mill, married to Sarah Dean and a son, Elisha, age two, most likely named after his grandfather Elisha Dean, even if James started out being a Martin.  The adult James lists Elisha as his father until his death (although it appears as "Elijah" one time).  

Young Elisha, born in 1878, probably in Muses Mill, appears in later census records including his obituary on September 18, 1958:

Elisha, Sr., had a son, Elisha Edward Dean, Jr., who died this year.  I wish I'd discovered this lineage before so I could have known him.
Elisha Edward Dean, Jr.
1933 - 2012
Brooksburg, Jefferson County, Indiana

Elisha and Betsey
My Grandfather Frank Dean's Grandparents

Elisha and Betsy Dean were the parents of James, Mary, and my great grandfather John.  Elisha was born about 1827 in Tennessee, where I now live.  I like that.

I know that Elisha Dean served in the Civil War.

Name:Elisha Dean
Residence:Sub DistrictKentucky
Congressional District:9th
Age on 1 July 1863:40
Estimated Birth Year:abt 1823
Place of Birth:Kentucky

View original image

My 2nd Great Grandfather's mother always listed her name on census records as Elizabeth Dean, though one record shows Elisha giving her the name Elizabeth Martin.  He does not specify his father's name, nor have I been able to pin it down.  As already discussed, the Martin family boasts of many members and were closely connected to the Deans all through the 1800s.   The families appear on records living together or in the dwelling next door or a few doors away.  

What exactly the connection to the Martins is can only be completely solved by discovering the person Elizabeth Dean married before calling herself a Dean and giving birth to a Dean child.  

She was born in Virginia about 1780 and gave birth to children in Tennessee, and then moved to Kentucky.  I've been unable to locate a for-sure husband in any of those states.  

The name Willis Dean keeps popping up on Ancestry, and who indeed takes up a lot of genealogical geography on the internet.  Many of his ancestors still reside in Tennessee, in cities and towns rather close to me.  I wish I could prove relationship to this large family, but so far I've not been successful.

I did finally discover, just recently, 2nd Great Grandmother Betsey Jenkins' parents, Solomon Jenkins and Laney Ellis.  Solomon was born in 1796 in in North Carolina, and died in 1870 in Morgan County, Kentucky.  Laney Ellis, daughter of Willis Ellis, and Elizabeth, was born in 1799, in North Carolina, and also died in 1870, like her husband, in Morgan County.  Eventually, armed with these facts, I may be able to delve further back in history and discover new ancestors.

Perhaps more research eventually will carry me back to some exciting bygone era, but for now I’m ready to publish what I have managed to excavate out of a very large genealogical mountain.

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