Progress Report: Adna Arnold, January 4-10

[This is a report on the research I did during the first week of work on my 2021 genealogy project Descendants of Spencer and Martha Pease Arnold. I’ll move on to work on his brother Joseph during the second week of January 2021, his brother Miles during the third week of January, and his sister Rosetta during the fourth week of January. I’ll be back to Adna the first week of February.]

Adna Arnold (1823-1898) is my 2nd great-uncle, younger brother to my 2nd great-grandfather Miles Arnold.  He was born in Maine and moved to Ohio with his parents and siblings in 1930 or so.

Adna Arnold (1823-1898) married three time.

With his first wife, Rebecca Hamilton (1831-1921) he had six children – Martha “Mattie” Arnold (1848-1932), Rosaltha Jane (Rosa) Arnold 1851-1919), Thomas Jefferson (Tommy) Arnold (1853-1925, Mary Arnold (1856-1909), Lilly Arnold (1858-1862), and James Lewis Arnold (1858-1911).

His children were all born before we signed up to serve in the Civil War, where he served along with Miles in the 76th Ohio regiment.

Adna and Rebecca divorced in 1877.  I don’t know why.

Adna remarried in 1879, to Hannah Hoskins.  Her first husband, James K. Wood, had died in 1870, leaving her with a large number of small children.  The 1880 census shows Adna living with Hannah and her three youngest sons, age 16, 12, and 10.

Adna and Hannah divorced in 1892.  The newspaper article about their divorce gives “willful absence” as the cause.  Adna married a third time later in 1892, to a woman named Helen Parsons.  Adna died in 1898.

Here’s what I know about his children:

  • Mattie (1848-1932) and her husband Thomas Greenwood had 5 children between 1869 and 1882:  Lillie, Thomas, Rosa, Alpha, and Robert.  They moved to Iowa.
    • I don’t know anything about Lillie’s marriage or family.
    • Thomas married Elizabeth Sorenson and they had  8 children between 1891 and 1910.  They moved to Iowa.
    • Rosa married Bert Bryant and they had 8 children between 1895 and 1917.  They moved to Iowa.
    • Alpha married Lodella Ellen Barrick and they had 2 children in 1905 and 1912.  They moved to Iowa.
    • Robert married Louella Myers and they had three children between 1907 and 1913.  They moved to Mississippi.
  • Tommy (1853-1925) and his wife Frances Ella George had four children between 1891 and 1905:  Walter, Frank, Charles, and Sarah.  They stayed in Ohio.
    • Walter married Mary Beeman and they had one child, Francis Joseph in 1917.  They stayed in Ohio. 
    • Frank married Eda Budd and they had 7 children between 1921 and 1931.  They stayed in Ohio.
    • Charles died at the age of 13
    • Sarah married Ennice Howard Shepard and they had 2 children between 1925 and 1929.  They stayed in Ohio.
  • Rosa (1851-1919) married Timothy Jewette Clayton and they had 10 children between 1871 and 1896:  Allena, Virgil, Bergey, Emery, Ethel, Otis, Laverne, Florence, Josie, and William.  They lived their entire lives in Licking County, Ohio.
    • Allena married William Parker and they had 2 children in 1894 and 1896.  They stayed in Ohio.
    • Virgil married Nellie Viola Longshore and they had seven children.  They stayed in Ohio.
    • Bergey died at the age of 5
    • Emery married Bessie Mae Cantleberry and they had six children between 1904 and 1911.  They stayed in Ohio.
    • Ethel died young
    • Otis married Bertha Frances Cantelberry (Bessie Mae’s sister?) and they had five children between 1915 and 19. They stayed in Ohio
    • Laverne apparently died young. 
    • Florence married Jacob Chase and they had 13 children.  They stayed in Ohio.
    • Josie married Verne Grandstaff and they did not have children.  They stayed in Ohio.
    • William married Eulalia Margaret Ross and they had two children in 1920 and 1922.  They stayed in Ohio.
  • Mary married Charles Bell and they had three children between 1876 and 1883:  Charles, Arthur, and Asa.  They stayed in Ohio.
    • Charles married Gertrude Wooles and they had one child in 1899.  They stayed in Ohio.
    • Arthur died when he was 1 month old
    • Asa married twice.  I don’t know much about him.
  • James Lewis (I think he went by Lewis) married Mary Bowers and they had four children between 1883 and 1889 :  Calvin, Hattie, Wilbur, and Otto.  Then he married Rebecca Perkins and they had five children between 1891 and 1907:  Daisy, John, Beatrice, Clyde, and Forrest.  They stayed in Ohio.
    • Calvin married Minnie May Messick and they had four children between 1909 and1916.  They stayed in Ohio.
    • Hattie married three times:  to H. J. Bell, William E. Priest, and Judd Bending.  I don’t think she had any children, although Judd had a child whom she raised as a stepchild.  I think.   She died in Michigan, although I’m not sure how long she lived there.
    • Wilbur married Bertha (or Beatrice) Knapp and they had two children in 1914 and 1916.  He stayed in Ohio.
    • Otto married Bernadine Noffs and they had four children between 1917 and 1925.  This family lived in Michigan.
    • Daisy married Jesse James Cole and they had four children between 1910 and 1918.  They stayed in Ohio.
    • John died at the age of 21.
    • Beatrice married William R. McMurtry and they had two children in 1918 and 1923.  They stayed in Ohio.
    • Clyde married twice – to Bertha Stevens and Alice Fraley.  They did not have any children.  They stayed in Ohio
    • Forrest married Laura Walters and they had one child in 1928.

To sum up: 

    • He had six children, five of whom lived to adulthood.
    • Four of his adult children spent their entire lives in Ohio; one relocated to Iowa. These are my great-grandfather’s first cousins (descendants of their common ancestor, their grandfather Spencer Arnold), making them my 1st cousins 3x removed.
    • His 26 grandchildren were born between 1869 and 1905.  Two of them relocated to Iowa and two to Michigan.  One went to Mississippi. The rest stayed in Ohio. These are my grandfather’s second cousins (descendants of their common ancestor, their great-grandfather Spencer Arnold), making them my 2nd cousins 2x removed.
    • His 86 great-grandchildren were born between 1891 and 1932. These are my fathers’ third cousins (descendants of their common ancestor, their 2nd great-grandfather Spencer Arnold), making them my 3rd cousins 1x removed. I haven’t documented their marriages, children, or locations yet.

Next steps:

  • Clean up hints on what you have so far
  • Documents marriages, children, and locations of great-grandchildren.

Plan of Work

As I began to work on this project, the first step in the process was to build out the list of the descendants of Spencer and Martha, so that I could get an idea of what I was going to have to do in the next year.  To accomplish this step, I simply utilized the family tree hints on Ancestry to quickly generate lists of children for each descendant I came across.  I know that I would build in errors by doing this, but I was willing to deal with that later in exchange for getting a quick feel for how big this was going to be I quickly realized that it was going to be a big project.  I had created a new tree on Ancestry just for the descendants of Spencer and Martha, so it wasn’t hard to figure out what I was going to be facing.  My initial tree contained over 750 direct descendants.  I realized that organization was an immediate and pressing need.

Here’s what I decided to do.

Spencer and Martha had four children who had children  – Adna, Joseph, Miles, and Rosetta.  Their youngest daughter, Matilda, married but did not have children before she died at age 35.  Using this as a basis, I began to fiddle with ways of organizing my research, and I decided to spend one week at a time on each of Spencer’s children.  Adna gets the first week of each month, Joseph the second, Miles the third, and Rosetta the fourth.  I’ll spend any leftover days any way I wanted.  My thinking went this way:  by spending an uninterrupted week on each of Spencer’s children, I’ll be able to dig into the “shape” of the family – where they lived, how many children they had, what resources I could access – without getting bored.  By the time I circle back to that set of descendants four weeks later, I’ll be in a position to look at then with fresh eyes.  So here’s what this plan look like:

With this schedule in place, I can begin to work on this project now – in the last week of December – by continuing to scope out the work, identify resources, and so forth.

I’m not sure what the product of this research will look like.  Right now, I’m thinking of an annotated Anhentafel (ancestor table).  I can create this table through the Family Tree Maker software by uploading my GEDCOM and asking the program to create the descendants table.  It downloads it as a PDF, but I can export the PDF to Microsoft Word to make it editable. 

Here’s how this will work.  What follows is a part of the 32-page Ahnentafel generated by Family Tree Maker, focusing on my 2nd great-grandfather Miles Arnold (2812-1899). I want you to note — I didn’t have to type any of this. It was created by FTM and all I did was export it to Word.

Miles Arnold was born in 1821 in Thomaston, Knox, Maine, USA and died in 1899 in Ferris, Hancock, Illinois. He married Vandia Orilla Brown on Mar. 21, 1844 in Fredonia, Licking, Ohio, USA. Vandia Orilla was born in 1825 in Fredonia, Licking County, Ohio, United States of America and died in 1900 in Ferris, Hancock, Illinois, USA.  
Children of Miles Arnold and Vandia Orilla Brown
8.             Oscar Eugene Arnold was born on Oct. 16, 1845 in Fredonia, Licking, Ohio, USA and died on Jul. 26, 1847 in Fredonia, Licking, Ohio, USA.
9.             Elizabeth Victory Arnold was born on Jul. 22, 1847 in Fredonia, Licking, Ohio, USA and died on Nov. 17, 1847 in Fredonia, Licking, Ohio, USA.
10.          Joseph Spencer Arnold was born on Jul. 8, 1849 in Fredonia, Licking, Ohio, United States and died on Jun. 30, 1903 in Hamilton, Hancock, Illinois, United States.
11.          Roseanna Jane Arnold was born on Apr. 5, 1851 in Fredonia, Licking, Ohio, USA and died on May 17, 1936 in Summitville, Lee, Iowa, USA.
12.          George Washington Arnold was born on Mar. 14, 1854 in Fredonia, Licking, Ohio, USA and died on Sep. 10, 1855 in Fredonia, Licking, Ohio, USA.
13.          Warner Lismond Arnold was born on Mar. 22, 1856 in McKean, Licking, Ohio, United States and died on Jun. 29, 1938 in Jacksonville, Morgan, Illinois, USA.
14.          Nelson Franklin Arnold was born on Jan. 8, 1859 in Fredonia, Licking, Ohio, USA and died on Feb. 10, 1888 in Quincy, Adams, Illinois, USA.
15.          Miles Arnold was born on Jun. 8, 1861 in Fredonia, Licking, Ohio, United States and died on Aug. 10, 1934 in Keokuk Township, Wapello, Iowa, USA.
16.          Charles Miller Arnold was born on Aug. 23, 1864 in Fredonia, Licking, Ohio, USA and died on Sep. 17, 1865 in Fredonia, Licking, Ohio, USA.
17.          Lucy Gilman Arnold was born on Aug. 4, 1866 in Bloomington, McLean, Illinois, USA and died on Mar. 13, 1930 in Keokuk, Lee, Iowa, USA.
18.          Emma Violette Arnold was born on Nov. 4, 1869 in Fredonia, Licking, Ohio, USA and died in 1969 in La Harpe, Hancock, Illinois, USA.  

One thing I know about Miles which is not captured in this table is his experience in the Civil War.  I can edit the Ahnentafel to include this.  It looks like this once it’s edited.  I added the part in italics, based on what I have learned from researching this family.

Miles Arnold was born in 1821 in Thomaston, Knox, Maine, USA and died in 1899 in Ferris, Hancock, Illinois. He married Vandia Orilla Brown on Mar. 21, 1844 in Fredonia, Licking, Ohio, USA. Vandia Orilla was born in 1825 in Fredonia, Licking County, Ohio, United States of America and died in 1900 in Ferris, Hancock, Illinois, USA.
Miles and his brother Adna served in the 76th Ohio Regiment, which participated in engagements across the South, culminating in the Battle of Atlanta in April 1864.  Miles was wounded and left for dead on the battlefield, but he was retrieved the following day and patched up sufficiently to go home to Ohio.  He and Rilla had three more children after his Civil War service.  Over the next ten years they moved around a lot – from Ohio, to Illinois, back to Ohio, to Kansas, and then finally to Hancock County, Illinois, where they settled and lived the rest of their lives. I am descended from their 6th child (only the 3rd child to live past infancy) Warner Lismond Arnold, #13 on the list below.
Children of Miles Arnold and Vandia Orilla Brown
8.             Oscar Eugene Arnold was born on Oct. 16, 1845 in Fredonia, Licking, Ohio, USA and died on Jul. 26, 1847 in Fredonia, Licking, Ohio, USA.
9.             Elizabeth Victory Arnold was born on Jul. 22, 1847 in Fredonia, Licking, Ohio, USA and died on Nov. 17, 1847 in Fredonia, Licking, Ohio, USA.
10.          Joseph Spencer Arnold was born on Jul. 8, 1849 in Fredonia, Licking, Ohio, United States and died on Jun. 30, 1903 in Hamilton, Hancock, Illinois, United States.
11.          Roseanna Jane Arnold was born on Apr. 5, 1851 in Fredonia, Licking, Ohio, USA and died on May 17, 1936 in Summitville, Lee, Iowa, USA.
12.          George Washington Arnold was born on Mar. 14, 1854 in Fredonia, Licking, Ohio, USA and died on Sep. 10, 1855 in Fredonia, Licking, Ohio, USA.
13.          Warner Lismond Arnold was born on Mar. 22, 1856 in McKean, Licking, Ohio, United States and died on Jun. 29, 1938 in Jacksonville, Morgan, Illinois, USA.
14.          Nelson Franklin Arnold was born on Jan. 8, 1859 in Fredonia, Licking, Ohio, USA and died on Feb. 10, 1888 in Quincy, Adams, Illinois, USA.
15.          Miles Arnold was born on Jun. 8, 1861 in Fredonia, Licking, Ohio, United States and died on Aug. 10, 1934 in Keokuk Township, Wapello, Iowa, USA.
16.          Charles Miller Arnold was born on Aug. 23, 1864 in Fredonia, Licking, Ohio, USA and died on Sep. 17, 1865 in Fredonia, Licking, Ohio, USA.
17.          Lucy Gilman Arnold was born on Aug. 4, 1866 in Bloomington, McLean, Illinois, USA and died on Mar. 13, 1930 in Keokuk, Lee, Iowa, USA.
18.          Emma Violette Arnold was born on Nov. 4, 1869 in Fredonia, Licking, Ohio, USA and died in 1969 in La Harpe, Hancock, Illinois, USA.  

I intend to use the Ahnentafel this way, adding to and supplementing the information as I find it.  Each descendant has his or her own entry in the Ahnentafel, with space to add information I have found.  I can’t add everything I have been able to find out about each of these descendants of Spencer and Martha, but I can add interesting bits – who served in wars, the jobs or public positions people held, anecdotes about their lives. 

I’m looking forward to seeing how this works.

Introduction

I am beginning a new project, as described below. Enjoy this with me for the next few months.

My birth name is Arnold, and for most of my childhood my friends and classmates connected me with the most famous person with that surname in American history – the Revolutionary War soldier-turned-traitor Benedict Arnold.  My father did some preliminary genealogy research in the 1970s and 1980s, and his entire purpose was to prove that we were descended from Benedict Arnold.  He was a bit perverse that way.  He never succeeded, however.

I haven’t succeeded in that quest, either.  “My” Arnold family appears to have come from England after the middle of the 18th century, whereas Benedict’s family was in Rhode Island by 1637.  But the Arnold connection has made me particularly attuned to the Arnold line in my family tree.  It was through the Arnold line that I discovered my first connections to the Pease family of early colonial New England.  This family was in Martha’s Vineyard by the 1640s, and, oddly enough, probably knew of Benedict Arnold, the grandfather of the “traitor” Benedict and Governor of the neighboring colony of Rhode Island at the time.

The first “Arnold” in my line that I have good information about is Spencer Arnold, who was born in the 1790s in Maine (part of Massachusetts at the time).  Spencer married Martha Pease in Maine in 1817, and my father’s family is the product of this union. 

In the course of pursuing several genealogy research projects over the years, I have developed portions of the line that connects me to Spencer and Martha.  I wanted to reverse the process and write, not about my direct ancestors, but about their direct descendants.  This is called descendancy research, and I decided I wanted to build up my genealogy research toolkit by figuring out how to do this.

Descendancy research projects can help answer a number of questions that are not necessarily the focus of a traditional genealogy or family tree project.  By undertaking a descendancy research project, a researcher can:

  1. Build out ancestors’ families to better understand kinship networks and generational relationships.
  2. Participate in a family association or study project that aims to identify all the descendants of one individual or a group of individuals.
  3. Better understand DNA matches or test out a paper-trail hypothesis by locating a potential cousin to test against.
  4. Determine and locate next-of-kin in matters of heirship and inheritance.
  5. Connect with previously unknown cousins to compare research notes, exchange photos, and swap stories.
  6. Break down brick walls by getting a new perspective on your family.

I am most interested items 1, 3, 5, and 6 on this list. 

  1. I’m hopeful that by building out and analyzing the descendants of Spencer and Martha, I can understand more about this family’s migration patterns.  Spencer and Martha were born and married in Maine, and that’s where their children were born.  However, they moved to Ohio in the 1820s (with a lot of their family members).  Most of the family stayed in Ohio after that, but some lines – including my line, descended from Spencer and Martha’s oldest son, Miles – moved on, to Illinois and other states.
  2. Knowing more about their descendants will help me make sense of the DNA matches I am presented with through Ancestry.com and other sites.  I hope to begin to recognize some of the surnames and be able to sort my Arnold family matches from my other family lines.
  3. I would like to connect to living cousins to work on our research together and to share our appreciation of our ancestors.  Several of Spencer and Martha’s sons served in the American Civil War – including Miles, whom I mentioned above – and I would like to jointly commemorate their service with their other descendants.  In particular, 2021 marks the 200th anniversary of Miles’s birth.  Miles served in the 76th Ohio regiment, and was wounded and left for dead at the 1864 Battle of Atlanta.  He was removed from the battlefield – alive! – the next day, patched up, and sent home to recuperate.  He lived another 35 years and had more children.  I would love to sponsor a family reunion of as many of Miles’s descendants as I can in the spring of 2021.  There is a problem of course; in the spring of 2021 the world is just beginning to recover from the global COVID-19 pandemic, and we may have to put that event off for a year.
  4. I have one major brick wall on the Arnold side of my family – I can’t prove a couple of very important marriages.  Although joining lineage societies is not very high on my priority list, I am eligible for membership in both the Mayflower Society and the Daughters of the American Revolution through my Arnold family.  Both societies require proof of birth and marriage to establish the desired connections, and unless I break down these walls I won’t be able to prove the connections to the standard these societies require.

Doing descendancy research involves consulting many of the same repositories and resources as used in traditional genealogy. Vital records, land records, census records, city directories, church records, and cemetery records all play an important role in descendancy research. Just like in traditional genealogy, descendancy research aims to use records to document each generation, but the goal is to bring the line closer to the present day rather than further back in time.

Understanding research strategies, standards, resources, and record types for traditional genealogy is an important part of successfully doing descendancy research.  In particular, probate records, newspapers (including obituaries),  US Public Records databases, directories and new online “people finders,” property Assessor and Tax Assessor’s Records, and Social Media can all be very useful in conducting descendancy research.  These are resources that I don’t have much experience or expertise in, and I hope that by doing this project I will acquire new skills that will help me in my more traditional genealogy research as well.