Sunday, February 22, 2015

Introducing Louisa Whittemore

This post places Louisa Whittemore back on the family tree.  You will also see an example of why it is so important to research each of the siblings of your direct line ancestors.

Sabra stated in her War of 1812 pension application of 1879 that she had a daughter named Louisa, born 18--, who married a man by the name of Leavitt, now a widow residing in Cleveland.  Not much to go on, but with, searching for Leavitt's in Cleveland is a simple task.

Using the search terms "Leavitt" in soundex mode, living in Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, the 1860 census has nine hits, including this family group of four:
This looks like a good match for our Louisa.  According to this record, Louisa was born circa 1816 in New York, which would make her a pretty good match for our Louisa, and it's the only record that seems to be even close to a match.

I broadened the search terms to include all of Cuyahoga County, Ohio, and found the record below for the 1850 Federal Census.  This record made me fall out of my chair!
This family is for a William and Anna Leavitt living in in Brooklyn Township, Cuyahoga County, Ohio.  I think that even though J. W. Leavitt has aged 20 years between 1850 and 1860, the 1850 family is a match for the 1860 family.  But what really makes this census record "worth" the effort, is that a "Jane Whittemon" who is 18, is living in William an Anna's household.  Jane Whittemon is a perfect match, other than her place of birth, for my second great grandmother, Sarah Jane Whittemore.  What is exciting about this is that I have never been able to locate Sarah Jane in the 1850 Federal Census.  This is a great example of why it is so worth the extra effort to hunt down all siblings of your direct line ancestors.  

The 1850 census record also explains why I never could locate Jane in 1850, Whittemore and Whittemon soundex differently, so most searches would never have turned her up.  Add to that, that her place of birth is listed as Connecticut rather than New York, and a brick wall is born!  

So this is what I have penciled in for Louisa:

J. William Leavitt b. sometime between 1790 and 1810 marries Anna Louisa (or perhaps Louisa Anna) Whittemore b. circa 1816 (though this is more likely 1813) and the couple have the following children, Ellen Leavitt b. circa 1843 in Ohio and Ophelia Leavitt, born 1847 in Ohio.  

1870 Federal Census was a little more challenging to find.  Using the Leavitt and Cuyahoga County filters turned up nothing.  I know that Louisa is living in Cleveland in 1879, so I redid the search using Louisa as a first name, her date of birth as 1816 +-5 years, and Cuyahoga County and found the family living in Rockland Township.
This time the family is enumerated a Leverett, and Louisa is listed as being born circa 1813, which is more in line with her actual age.  Ophelia is out of the house but Hellen S. is still living at home.

1880 Finds Louisa Leveritt living with her daughter Ellen in Cleveland and Louisa is listed as a widow.
The only problem is that Louisa actually dropped two years in age from her 1870 census record!  I still feel this is the correct family, even if the ages do not match exactly - you know what they say, "never ask a lady her age..."

1900 Finds Louisa an inmate in the Cleveland Home for aged women.  She is listed as born circa 1812 in Connecticut.
Louisa is listed as the mother of 4 children with only 1 child alive in 1900.  

Let's see what we can find out about Louisa and J. William Leavitt....



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