Friday, April 12, 2013

From River Town to Appalachia and Back

Covered Bridge in Fleming County
Courtesy of

1880 Fleming County  

Elisha and Betsey have moved again, to Fleming County, the small town of Muses Mill, once again in Appalachia. As before, I still assume this move was because of the opportunity for better land.,_Kentucky

Mason County, where they'd moved from, though only one county away, isn't considered part of Appalachia, while Morgan and Fleming Counties both are.  I think I can safely say my Dean family was Appalachian, coming from Rockingham, Virginia, Wilkes County, North Carolina, and Eastern Tennessee and Kentucky.  During all of these moves, they would have traveled by horse and covered wagon, or ox or mule and wagon, transporting what meager possessions they were able to take with them.    

On the Muses Mill farm, John, now 18, is helping his father tend the fields.  His sister, Mary, is age 20 and still living at home.  Older brother James, 27, is now head of his own household, living either next-door or in a different dwelling on the same farm, with his wife Sarah and their two-year-old son, Elisha, most certainly named after his grandfather.

Not surprisingly, one of the Martin families lives next door to the Deans in Muses Mill.   B. William Martin, age 45, wife Jane, 38, and children, Rebecca, Nancy, and Mary.  I am obsessed with finding the Martin - Dean connection.  I know there's one there, and I'm betting it's Elisha's mother, Elizabeth. 

An additional family member, Leander Dean, is living with Elisha and Betsey now and is listed as their “son.” However, I found him on the 1850 Census for Maury County, Tennessee when he was two months old, living with his parents, Josiah and Siann Dean. I know this is the same Leander because Josiah and Siann are living next door to “Green” Dean, good old Greenberry who we've come across earlier.  

Both Green and Josiah were born in Maury County, and I'm wondering if Elisha was born there as well.  Are they brothers?  If they are, then Leander is Elisha's nephew, and I can see where he might be staying there in Muses Mill, maybe helping to work the farm.  I believe they are all related.

20 Years Later: Back in Mason County

Most of Kentucky's 1890 census records were destroyed in a fire, so I was unable to track the location of Elisha and Betsey and their family during this time.  At least for now.

Elisha is now 75 years old and widowed, though I don't know when Betsey died, and he lives back in Mason County, Magisterial District Eight, which is Orangeburg, again.  He's living with son, James, and daughter-in-law Sarah, or "Sadie, and they now have two more children, Sudie, age 12, and David, age 5. Elisha, who would now be 22, is not present in the home. I found him in 1910 in Chicago with his wife Agnes and three children, Daisy, Beatrice, and Violette.  He moved from Illinois to Madison, Indiana, later, where he died on September 18, 1958.

Elisha Edward Dean, Chicago, Illinois
1879 Kentucky -1958 Indiana
My 1st Cousin, Twice Removed

Also missing from the family now is John, my great grandfather, who I found moved to Cincinnati about this same time.  He probably wasn't cut out to be a farmer.

After 1900, there are no records for the senior Elisha, including death information. I assume he and Betsey are laid to rest in Orangeburg, or somewhere else in Mason County. 

Over the last year, I've met online some of the descendants of the grandson Elisha (pictured above), and we compare notes to try to climb farther up the family tree. 

I’ve also communicated with some Martins and Jenkins “cousins,” trying to solve some of the mysteries.

I see a Volume 2 possibly in my future. 

For now, though,  I’m ready to publish what I have managed to excavate out of a very large genealogical mountain.

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