Monday, July 2, 2012

Joshua Medeley and Martha Sweeting of Philadelphia

Genealogists look at old stuff differently.  You know what I mean.  You are walking down the aisle of a thrift store, flea market, or antique shop and you spy the yellowish paper covered with handwriting.  I have to admit, it makes me come to a dead stop every time!

I always think of those documents as having a life of their own.  You know they must have been important to someone at sometime or they would long ago have disappeared into the trash or used as a fire starter.  And when I see a stack of documents related to the same family, I rarely can walk away without rescuing them.

This post was created from such a stack of family documents.  It makes you wonder how these family papers ended up in a thrift store?  Maybe it represents 'the end of the line' for a family descent.  Unfortunately, a stack of family documents quite often become scattered to the wind when they find their way into the thrift stores and the like.  Many collectors look for specific categories of documents and leave the others behind.  Such was the collection I purchased for the Madeley family.  By the time I came along, several of the documents had already been purchased and I rescued the rest.

So let's see what we can find out about the Madeley family.

Joshua Madelely married Martha Sweeting on 17 November 1859 at St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Philadelphia.  Witnesses to the marriage were Thomas Madeley and Emma Sweeting.

Joshua and Martha Medely (listed as Medly) are living in the household of Samuel and Laura Eckerly in the 1860 census for Philadelphia Ward 18.  I am pretty sure this is the same Joshua Medeley in the marriage record especially since Martha is there also.  They both are listed as being born in Lincolnshire, England.

1870 finds Joshua and Martha Medeley with a young family still living in Philadelphia.  Mary b. circa 1861 and Clara b. circa 1862 are also living in the house.  Joseph and William Sweeting are also living in this household.  They, almost certainly, are related to Joshua's wife, Martha Sweeting.

Joshua and Martha are living in Philadelphia in 1880 with their daughter Mary E. Medeley.
1900 has Martha Medeley, listed as a widow, living with her daughter Mary E. Reynolds.  Mary and her husband, John B. Reynolds have one child, Edith Reynolds b. 15 July 1886 (the census-taker was gracious enough to record everyone's birthday).  Martha Medeley also listed she was the mother of three children with only one child still living.
John B. and Mary E. Reynolds along with their daughter Edith are still living in Philadelphia in the 1910 census.
1920 has no change, John, Mary, and Edith Reynolds are still living in Philadelphia.
1930 finds John B. Reynolds, now a widower, and his daughter Edith still living in Philadelphia.
1940 finds Edith Reynolds living alone and unmarried at the age of 53.  It appears Edith Reynolds is the end of the line.  I would assume she was the owner of the documents I would purchase in 2012.

A quick Ancestry search for Joshua Medeley turns up several pertinent documents for this family, including the marriage record I copied above.

Joshua Medeley dies 02 May 1887 with the funeral services being conducted at St. Marks Episcopal Church in Philadelphia.  Martha Sweeting Medeley dies 15 Mar 1906.
Martha Sweeting and Joshua Medeley have four children:

  • Mary Elizabeth Medeley b. 16 Aug 1860
  • Clara Medeley b. 26 May 1862 d. 18 Mar 1871
  • William Medeley b. 1865 d. 26 Mar 1871
  • Anna Medeley b. 1869 d. 11 Aug 1869
I wonder if Martha misunderstood the census taker when they asked how many children she had because she said she was the mother of three with 1 child still living.  Maybe she thought the census taker asked how many children she had who were deceased which would have been 3 and 1 child living.  Notice she lost two children within 1 week of each other.  Imagine the sorrow which must have descended on this family late in March of 1871.

My next post will cover the family of Mary Elizabeth Medeley Reynolds...       



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