Saturday, April 17, 2021

The Rinehart Brick Wall on Hubby's Tree


One big brick wall is going further back on my husband's family tree beyond great-great-grandfather Joseph Rinehart (1806-1888), who was born in Pennsylvania.

 By 1850, he is farming in Crawford County, Ohio, shown in the U.S. Census (above) with his wife Margaret Shank Rinehart (1807-1873) and their children. We know who they are--they were named by my husband's grandfather as ancestors, and the paper trail of genealogical evidence confirms this.

Looking at the household on this Census page, the final name listed is "Elizabeth Rinehart," age 76, born in PA. 

Is Elizabeth my husband's 3d great-grandma?

My working hypothesis (not a great leap) is that Elizabeth is Joseph's mother, living with him after being widowed. There is an Elizabeth Rinehart buried in Oceola #2 Cemetery, Crawford County, Ohio (where others from the same family are buried). She died on June 15, 1850, at the age of 74 years (and some months/days). 

Knowing that ages recorded in the Census aren't always accurate, and knowing how many other descendants are buried in this same cemetery, I'm strongly leaning toward accepting Elizabeth as Joseph's mother--making her my hubby's great-great-great grandmother. As of now, I have no clue about the name or dates for hubby's great-great-great grandfather, who left Elizabeth widowed.

Did Elizabeth die before being listed in the Census?

Note that the 1850 U.S. Census was taken "as of" June 1. However, the actual date on the excerpt above is November 5. Yet the Elizabeth in the local cemetery died in mid-June. Did the Census enumerator include her in Joseph's household anyway, because she was alive as of June 1? As wonderful reader Linda correctly notes, the enumerator was supposed to include her even if she died after June 1. Or is it possible that these two Elizabeth Rineharts are different people?

The Elizabeth in the Oceola Cemetery died on June 15, which means she will not be included in the Census Mortality Schedule covering the year June 1, 1849-May 31, 1850. 

Despite contacting the local historical society and the local town clerk, I was unable to locate any death certificate from Crawford County, Ohio to get more information about Elizabeth. No local news reports, no compiled obits. I doubt she had a will. It's more likely that her late husband left any property or valuables to their children.

In another attempt to pierce this brick wall, I'm going down the list of possible data sources in the Family Search wiki page for Crawford County, hoping to spot something I haven't yet searched or browsed.


"Brick wall" is this week's prompt for the #52Ancestors challenge!

1 comment:

  1. If the census taker followed directions,Elizabeth who died in mid-June should be enumerated because she was alive on 1 June.