Joseph was born before 1801. The birthdate is uncertain, but he was baptized April 17, 1801 in Lebanon, York County, Maine. According to his gravestone, he died April 18, 1880. He is buried, together with his wife, Joanna Perkins, in Good Hope Cemetery, Silver Township, Cherokee County, Iowa. (1)
According to Our Iowa Ancestors: Joanna Perkins and Joseph P. Rankins: Joanna and Joseph Rankins and family, as well as other related families (some apparently only related through marriage though some of those may actually be related "by blood," also) came out to Iowa from Maine soon after the Civil War ended. At first at least some of them (possibly all) tried settling in Boone County, Iowa, in 1867 (about a year and a half after the railroad was completed at Boone).
By 1869, however, they had settled in Cherokee County, and that's where they stayed for the rest of their lives.
Joseph and Joanna were the senior members of the group who moved out from Maine to Iowa (Joseph was 68 years old in 1869, and Joanna was 71). Not all of their children came with them, but several did, along with husbands and wives and children of their own. Their son Thomas had left Maine long before to emigrate to Australia, where his descendants still live.''
Joseph and Joanna's daughter, Mary C. (Rankins) Whitehouse and her husband, Isaac Whitehouse, are buried nearby (as are several other members of the Whitehouse family), as well as Joseph and Joanna's daughter Ada H. (Rankins) Burgess and her husband John Louis Burgess (and other members of the Burgess family), and Joseph and Joanna's son Joseph P. Rankins, Jr. and his wife Abby, and other Rankinses who are probably related. Joseph and Joanna Rankins had nine children; their oldest child was Eleanor R. (middle name unknown, except for the first letter) Rankins, who married Robert Ellis. Robert and Eleanor Ellis' daughter Helen Ellis (born in Maine in 1855) married Stephen Goff (the one who built the log cabin in Cherokee) in Iowa in 1872.
One of Eleanor Rankins' brothers (Helen Ellis' uncle), Joseph P. Rankins, Jr., was Mayor of Cherokee for two terms: 1893-95 and 1896-1901.
Another of Eleanor's brothers, Thomas Rankins, born in 1829 in Maine, is the one mentioned above who emigrated to Australia, probably in the early 1850s from Maine; he married Emily Stanbury (born in Devonshire, England) in 1855 in Victoria, Australia, and he died in 1892 in Victoria. We have heard from one of Thomas' descendants living in Australia. (1)
Website accessed 1 Mar 2014. Harris-837 12:14, 1 March 2014 (EST)Need other sources for all this information.
1. Our Iowa Ancestors: Joanna Perkins and Joseph P. Rankins. http://www.elbel.org/family/goff/oif-files/perkins-rankins.htm. Accessed 1 Mar 2014.
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