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

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Monday, April 22, 2013

"You Can't Beat It? Famous Last Words - I Just Beat It!!

On April 20, 2013 I wrote about the thrill of a long last find of the maiden name for the mother of Dennis Meech.  I was happy as could be, and felt that this alone might be my "find of the year".  So in an effort to find more to add to my book, Catherine's Children, I continued investigating details about the children in her life,  I am now working on her husband's children from his first wife.  After all, they ARE part of her family, even if they are not her biological children.

Because has published the Ohio Marriages database, I was in that wonderful treasure chest of records looking for the marriages of the lastest targets  of my research.   I was happily "humming" my way through the marriages when a new thought came charging into my mind.  What if the unknown Mr. Meech married a Catherine Huffman in Ohio?

I entered the last name Meach, with a spouse Huffman.  The second result I saw on my screen was "John Meach married Katherine Huffman on 16 May 1827 in Fairfield County, Ohio".  I can not describe the surprise and joy, but I can describe the little voice saying, "You did it, good job".  I know these ancestors so well I know when all is right with them.

This is almost exactly one year before Dennis Meech (their son) is born on 9 May 1828.  I immediately went to the 1830 New York Census and searched for a John Meach/Meech.  Sure enough -- he was there in Genesee County with a male under age 5; himself age 25-30; and two females age 20-30, one of whom is Katherine Huffman Meach.  Of course, I have searched the New York Census looking for a family that has a male under age 5 because Dennis is 2 in 1830.  But without a county, or a first name,  and not really knowing they are even in New York it was an impossible task.  But give me a name and I am off an running.  Genesee County is next door to Monroe County, New York where William Wallace Meech says he was born in 1834.

An interesting note is that Fairfield County,Ohio is next door to Franklin County. Also, on the death certificate of Henry Huffman, Jr  it says that his mother's maiden name is Katherine Huffman.  This is the only one of her children that says "K"atherine.  I suspect that Henry knew this from a family Bible because written records were so scarce in those days.  Remember, this is the death cetificate I disregarded as inaccurate infomation?  Oh my, does genealogy make a person humble.

So many more questions are open now.  Was Dennis born in Ohio or New York?  Censuses say sometimes Ohio and sometimes New York.  Was John Meach from New York originally and took his new bride home?  Was John Meach from Ohio originally and went to New York for work opportunites?  Who are his parents?  Who are Katherine Huffman's parents?  Is she related to her second husband, Henry Huffman?  Why were none of her young children sent to relatives in Fairfield County, Ohio after her death?  They were sent to Washington County, Pennsylvania the ancestral home of their father instead.
Those answers will all be revealed when they are ready, and in the meantime I just keep plugging along, enjoying every minute of the journey to find my ancestors.  Oh, also I love the fact that Fairfield County, Ohio is home to one of my heroes, William Tecumsah Sherman.  Patj

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