Sunday, February 16, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks (4) Hannah Marshall

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Ancestor 4

I was starting to dabble in genealogy research while I was living in West Lafayette and attending Purdue University in the 1970's.  But most of my free time was spent socializing with my friends.  One couple I knew lived in Pine Village, Indiana and driving over to spend time with them was one of my favorite activities.  I felt so comfortable there.  It wasn't just their generous hospitality but a feeling of peace being in Pine Village, a place I hadn't even heard of until they moved there.  Little did I know I was spending time near where my third great grandmother Hannah Marshall Townsley had spent the last years of her life.

Wallace Marshall published "A History of the Marshall and Related Families" (now available on OpenLibrary here) in 1922.   Mr. Marshall made efforts to contact descendants of the families, so the book is full of descriptive stories as well as references to source records.  Mrs. Olive Wade Fenton had this to say about her grandmother: "She was a large woman, of strong character; she was quite religious; for some time before her death she was crippled, having broken her hip by a fall."  Mr. Marshall had this to add: "Some of our ultra-fashionable ladies of today smoke cigarettes, and doubtless think they are pioneering.  They are not.  Aunt Hannah and most of others of her day, smoked a pipe.  Many times she would hunt and hunt for her pipe, and finally find it - in her mouth."   Hmmm, like I hunt and hunt for my sunglasses that are on my head?  Or my keys that are in my other hand?

Hannah Marshall was born in Frederick County, Virginia 24 January 1793, to William Marshall and Elisabeth Cole.   By 1812 Hannah was in Greene County, Ohio where as recorded in Greene County, Ohio Marriage Record Book A on the 16th of January she was married to John Townsley:

The John Townsley Junior family found in the 1820 census in Greene County, Ohio is likely John and Hannah and their 3 male & 1 female children under age 10; George born 1816, Caroline born 1817 and my 2nd great grandfather William Townsley born 1819.  I do not have the name of the third male child and don't see him in later censuses.   I haven't yet found the family in 1830 or 1840. I do have a record of three more children; James born 1826, Julia born 1828 and Robert born 1830.  

In 1850 Hannah is living in Clark County with her daughter Julia and son-in-law John Wade.  I have seen an unsubstantiated death date for John Townsley of 1832.  Several of the DAR applications on his father John Townsley Sr.'s Revolutionary War service come through John and Hannah, but none list a death date for John Jr., leading me to believe that the 1832 is just a guess based on the birth date of the youngest child.

Hannah continues to live with Julia and John Wade the rest of her life.  In 1860 they are still in Clark County, but shortly after that move to Indiana.  They settled in Pine Village and that is where Hannah Marshall Townsley died.  Wallace Marshall, in the book cited above, gives her death date as 5 July 1867 and her place of burial as Carbondale Cemetery.  There an entry on Find-A-Grave with that same information.  Mr. Marshall had visited the cemetery and not found a stone for Hannah even at that time, and mentioned that some stones had been vandalized.

Wallace Marshall lived in Lafayette, Indiana.  He, too, was surprised to find Hannah Marshall so geographically close.  He states:  "I am sure none of us children ever heard of a relative so close as first cousin to father, living at that place.  In fact, I never knew it, until within the present month."  A later insert: "Since writing the above, I have learned that Uncle William attended his Aunt Hannah's funeral, so they were known to be there by the older people."

I shared your surprise, Mr. Marshall.


  1. Thanks for sharing your Marshall sister :)

  2. It was funny, Nellie. I couldn't figure out who to write about last week so I just picked a number. It happened to be Hannah!