Friday, October 31, 2008

The family history has expanded

Just this week, when I thought I had found all I could find on the nine children of Francis Sr and Charity Banta Montfort, a sudden whim took me to Heritage Quest online through my local library. Browsing the 1840 census for Indiana, I located the daughter I thought had died soon after her marriage. Now the challenge will be to find names for those children listed with her on that head of household names only census. Life as a family historian has been vastly simplified with more credible information being posted online.

My goal for the past year has been to trace down each of the nine children of Francis and Charity as far as possible and locating descendants who may be starting to search their own family history. I am glad to share via email or through this blog and a website as well as on rootsweb, what I've found in over 55 years of asking questions and searching courthouses and libraries.

The nine children are :

Rachel and Catherine who married the Voris brothers, John and Francis

Marya who married Stephen Terhune

Charity who married Cornelius Luyster/Lyster

Henry who married his first cousin Catherine Montfort and moved to Ohio

John Calvin who married Nancy Agnes Mitchell and then Ruth Gess

Francis Jr who was married to his cousin Polly Banta [and my line of interest]

Jacob who married his cousin Margaret/Peggy Banta then Nancy Lineback

Sarah or Sallie who never married.

John Calvins line pretty much stayed in Kentucky and were fairly easy to trace. Several of his descendants have also been actively working on this line and shared their work with me. Catherine's line was simplified in recent communications with some of her descendants both in Indiana and in Kentucky. Though a slow bit of work at first, I've been able to locate descendants of Marya Montfort Terhune as they moved into Indiana and then westward. Henry was a bit more of a challenge as he married and moved to Ohio with his cousin/bride and till I located online Ohio information, that line had come to a standstill till recently.

Those that went to the Shakers in the early 1800's were complicated at first but access to the original Shaker journals at the Filson Historical Society in Louisville, Kentucky helped with the lines of Rachel Voris and her children, Jacob and his interesting association with the Shakers, Francis Jr and the youngest daughter Sarah. Once the children of these four left the Shakers, I then had to resort to the usual means of investigation; courthouses, libraries and census records but while some of them were a challenge, I've not only found most all of their descendants but found several descendants interested in their family history.

My own line through Francis Jr was easy once I got beyond his joining the Shakers. His brother Jacob led an interesting life with the Shakers and his expulsion in 1836 led me to Indiana and finally at least one descendant who is interested in the familyhistory.

That left Charity who married Cornelius Luyster and moved to Indiana...till this week. I now have her living till sometime in the 1840's as she is no longer living in the 1850 census. She had moved to Jackson County, Indiana and I believe soon I'll be able to figure out who the children are as they are only listed by age in that particular census. At least I know now she did have children and there are descendants still to locate.

This week after I found the information I had been seeking on Charity Montfort Lyster, I received emails from a Montfort descendant in California on a line I've been bringing down to the current generation. From my beginnings in the 1950's when it seemed NO one was looking into this family, suddenly the interest has become a groundswell and I'm happy to share what I have with any and all.

All of that came on the heels of locating the three daughters of my grandmothers Uncle James Montfort, who had gone to Texas. My grandmother started all this by telling me the names of her aunts and uncles and what little details she had of each but this particular uncle was never mentioned. I was able to locate him through a census showing him to be the eldest son in the family and shortly after that he married and moved south, then west to Texas where he disappeared for a time. My grandmother was very young when she lost both her parents and was shuttled back and forth between kith and kin till old enough to live and care for her older brothers till she married. I find it amazing to know the stories and names she was able to tell me have all been proven, even the one where she missed out on a large inheritance because she had moved to Indiana and couldn't be located.

A recent addition to research came across in a message posted on the Dutch-Colonies discussion group about 6 weeks ago....and I finally had an opportunity to try it out this past week. WOW, what a boost to genealogy. I was able through this search program locate those three daughters of James Francis Montfort who went to Texas...found his death certificate as well as that of his second wife, one of the daughters and several grandchildren. It also will pull up fairly easy to read census records and is constantly adding more information to the search engine.

The site I am praising is at
I think there might be an easier way to find it but that is how its listed on my favorites.

That is all for this post, I may come back and edit or add more later as my mind recalls something specific I want to note here.

Barbara Whiteside
Oct 31, 2008