Patricia Craig Johnson --- Searching for My Ancestors --- Sharing My Life Stories

Total Pageviews

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Spohn/Meech/Huffman A New Mystery To Work On

Another mystery to work on. For years I have worked, off and on, to solve the mystery of the parents of Dennis Meech . Years ago I found a marriage record for a Mrs C. Meach marrying Henry Huffman in January 1841 in Franklin Co Ohio. I saved that record thinking in my heart that it might be Dennis Meech's mother. Dennis Meech and his brother, William Wallace Meech were in Franklin County Ohio in 1850. Dennis was living very near Henry and Catherine Huffman and William was in nearby Columbus, Ohio. As usual, I moved on to other ancestors that were a bit more co-operative. Occassionally I would look at the Meech/Huffman file and then put it back on the shelf.

Early in December I accidentally found (on the Internet) a History of Franklin County Ohio and there was a biography of Henry Huffman, Jr, the son of Henry Huffman, Sr and Catherine Meach. I could barely believe my eyes when it said his mother was Mrs Catherine Meech and she had two children before she married his father!! Here was the first thing I had ever found that gave some credulence to my theory. Henry Jr also said his parents were both of Washington County Pennsylvania. Of course, this became my sole activity for several weeks.

I discovered that two children of Henry, Sr and Catherine Huffman lived until well past 1900. I found their death certificates were available at The Ohio State Archives and I sent for them on the slim chance that the informants would know the name of their mother. The oldest son Henry Huffman, Jr was a disappointment -- it simply said Catherine Huffman. But the younger son, George W Huffman's death certificate said his mother was Katherine Sponn. Here was a new avenue to pursue. Their death certificates are pictured above. Click on the images to enlarge them.

I found a Reverend John Spohn (of Washington County Pennsylvania) had a daughter named Catherine Huffman and one of her sons was named Louis. Henry, Sr and Catherine had a Louis. Reverend John left money to the heirs of his daughter, Catherine Huffman in 1857. Henry, Sr and Catherine both died in 1856. Things are looking good that I may have stumbled onto the right Catherine.

Questions I need work on:

1. Why didn't Rev John Spohn mention Catherine's Meech children in his will?
2. How did Catherine Spohn, as a young woman of 20 end up in New York where Dennis Meech was born in 1828?
3. Who is the mysterious Mr Meech and how and where did he meet Catherine Spohn?
4. Why did Dennis and William Meech migrate to Coles County Illinois about 1855? (This is where they married cousins, Margaret Pryor and Mary Gray and went to Kansas before it was a State)
5. Where in New York were Dennis and William Meech born? They consistently say they were born in New York on the censuses.
6. Is the fact that Dennis Meech named his first son Asa B Meech have any significance about his father's name? I have beaten that theory to death with no results.
7. Dennis Meech named none of his daughters Catherine. His second daughter was named Margaret B.

So many questions and so little time. A good half hour visit with them would sure be a great help! Stay tuned for the progress -- if there is any.

1 comment:

GenPatty said...

So many years later I am happy to correct the above post. The death certificate of Henry Huffman Jr was correct as I discoverd Katherine's maiden name was HUFFMAN. It took many years and a lot of research to come around to that fact. Finally I found her marriage to John Meech in 1826 in Fairfield Co Ohio. Everything fit after I did a lot of research. The final piece of the puzzle was a DAR application of Katherine's granddaughter that knew she had been married to a Meech and her maiden name was HUFFMAN. This shows you can not make rash decisions and call a case closed. You/I have to keep investigating and the truth finally comes to light. I wrote a book about Katherine's Children in 2013.