Henry Horton died twice? Ohio or Michigan?

+9 votes
I have two different death places for my ancestor Henry Horton.

A posting on Rootsweb, citing the Widow's Petition filed by his second wife Rhoda, says that he died in Ottawa, Ohio, on 6 March 1882. (Either Ottawa County, or Ottawa in Putnam County?)

A 1912 genealogy, The Descendents of Thomas Horton, says that he "was struck by a railroad engine and killed instantly at Grand Rapids, Michigan." No date is given; no sources are given, and I have found other errors in this book.

I assume that someone was killed by a train, but  it may not have been my ancestor. Can anyone find a newspaper account of this accident? Can anyone find a death record in either Ohio or Michigan? If he was hit by a train in Grand Rapids, it is possible that the death was recorded in the nearby county of Ottawa, Michigan (which would make Ottawa, Ohio a clerical error). There are other possibilities--the only impossibility is that someone died in two different places. Thanks for any help.
in Genealogy Help by Joyce Vander Bogart G2G6 Pilot (142k points)
Do you have a profile for him?
No, I do not have a profile for him. Sorry.

2 Answers

+5 votes

I think there may be some potential issues with that Henry Horton. As Marion noted, if you have a profile for him on WikiTree that we can look at, it will let us make sure we're talking about the correct person.

As to the Austin Horton book, The Descendants of Thomas Horton, it's on page 93 where the mention is made of a Henry Horton being killed by a train in Grand Rapids, Michigan. However, the book notes his being the second husband of Anna Horton, daughter of David Horton and Susanna Barden. The description of Henry is this: "Anna [Horton] Hatch married 2nd, Henry Horton, an adopted son of some Horton, name unknown and date of his birth unknown."

I can't find the actual Civil War pension papers for Henry; the only thing I located was the index card to his pension, filed by his widow Rhoda M.: https://www.ancestry.com/sharing/23222970?h=fdc3df.  That indicates Company A of the 94th Infantry, the same as does the Austin Horton book.

Searching Fold3 ended up finding only one muster record for a Henry Horton in Company A of the 94th. A note on that record says "also known as Henry J." He mustered in 5 Feb 1862 and was discharged 10 Mar 1863 at Bell Plain, Virginia. But these almost certainly are not the same man. The muster roll shows a 44-year-old soldier, and the marriage record to the filer of the Civil War pension shows that Henry was 59 when they married 10 Dec 1863.

At his marriage to his second wife, Rhoda, Henry (assuming it's the same Henry), gave his father's name as Stephen Horton and his mother's as Anna (https://www.ancestry.com/sharing/23223074?h=d616e2; item #68 on the page). I don't know how this Stephen might connect to David Horton and his daughter Anna, and we know that cousin marriages weren't out of the question. But superficially this would seem to support the Austin Horton book's claim that Henry was adopted...again assuming we're looking at the right guy and that his first wife was, indeed, Anna Horton.

After all that: sorry. No, at a quick search I can't find any substantial citation to Henry Horton's death in 1882 in Ohio or Michigan. I checked Ancestry and Newspapers.com. The closest I found was the death of a 1-year-old infant named Henry H. Horton in Aug 1883, Hamilton County, Ohio.

P.S. If you like, you can place the Horton Name Study sticker on the profiles of your Horton ancestors so we can better keep track of them: https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Space:Horton_Name_Study.

by Edison Williams G2G6 Pilot (335k points)
Oh, my, Edison, you've done so much research, and so quickly! Thank you! Thank you!

Maybe I should have given you more information before I got you started, but Henry is a confusing person and I did not want to overwhelm you with information. It took me a long time to sort out his birth. See my answer to this week's "Multiple" challenge question. Also see his Familysearch entry, K84C-M89.

The only thing I am sure of, is his marriage record to his second wife, Rhoda Shepherd (my ancestor) which gives his place of birth as New Lebanon, New York, and his parents as Stephen and Anna. A Rootsweb post summarized the information in his Invalid's Petition, giving his military service in New York 94th, Company A, which matches the information in the Horton Genealogy. (I can't find the Rootsweb item online just now, but I put a copy onto Henry's Familysearch entry.) Other information on Rootsweb indicated that after Henry and his first wife, Anna, were divorced, that Anna and her family had moved to Michigan.

If Rhoda's Henry died in Ohio, and Anna's Henry died in Michigan, then they are must be two different people? That seemed like the obvious explanation, until a genetic report from 23andme turned up a third cousin in Michigan who was descended from Henry and Anna.

(I am still untangling all this!) There were 2 people named Henry Horton who were born in New Lebanon, New York, married someone named Rhoda, and moved to Michigan. My Henry was born in 1804 (I think). Henry Augustus Horton was born in 1823 and married his first cousin Rhoda Pratt. And their second cousin was Anna Horton who married my Henry Horton. Are you confused yet? In the 1880 census, Henry Augustus Horton and his wife Rhoda were living in Robinson, OTTAWA county, Michigan. But he wasn't the one killed by a train, because he died in 1898.

So who was killed by a train?

Thanks again for all your help.

As for your assumption that Henry, age 58, could not be the person who enlisted at age 45:

Recruits were supposed to be between the ages of 18 and 45, but, without photo ID's or birth certificates, the recruiter had to take a person's word. More than one person lied. See this article. 

I am happy to find someone who is interested in all this. Thanks again.

+4 votes

Hello Joyce.

"Ottawa, Ohio" is a clerical error.

Henry and Rhonda Horton had a daughter named Annise (Annis, Annie, etc.). She was born ab. 1854 in NY.

The family in 1855:

Household Role Sex Age
Henry A Horton Head M 52 < 32 (see the original document) *
Rhoda A Horton Wife F 20
Dubell Horton Son M 3
Annise Horton Daughter F 1

* (There is a genalogy page claming Henry was 30 years older than Rhoda because of this record. Don't beleave in everything you see on the internet)

Citing this Record
"New York State Census, 1855," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K636-5M1 : 3 March 2021), Annise Horton in household of Henry A Horton, Leon, Cattaraugus, New York, United States; citing p. 227, line #1, family #129, county clerk offices, New York; FHL microfilm 583,831.

The family moved to MI. Annise married Daniel Marsac 10 Jan 1870.

Name: Daniel Marsac
Event Type: Marriage
Event Date: 10 Jan 1870
Event Place: Hersey, Osceola, Michigan
Sex: Male
Age: 19y
Birthplace: Michigan
Spouse's Name: Annie A. Horton
Spouse's Sex: Female
Spouse's Age: 16y
Spouse's Birthplace: New York
Citing this Record
"Michigan Marriages, 1868-1925," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:N3ZR-1PF : 18 February 2021), Daniel Marsac and Annie A. Horton, 10 Jan 1870; citing Marriage, Hersey, Osceola, Michigan, , Citing Secretary of State, Department of Vital Records, Lansing; FHL microfilm 4208213.

Daniel Marsac and Annise stayed to live with Henry and Rhoda:

Event Type: Census
Event Date: 1870
Event Place: Hersey, Osceola, Michigan, United States

Household Role Sex Age Birthplace
Henry Horton M 47 New York
Rhoda Horton F 36 New York
Daniel Marsac M 19 Michigan
Annis Marsac F 16 New York

Citing this Record
"United States Census, 1870", database with images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MHC8-7ML : 3 January 2021), Henry Horton, 1870.

Henry and Rhoda Horton kept on living in MI. They were living in Robinson, Ottawa Co. in 1880:

Household Role Sex Age Birthplace
Henry A Horton Self M 56 New York, United States
Rhoda Horton Wife F 46 New York, United States

Citing this Record
"United States Census, 1880," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MW34-JYW : 19 February 2021), Henry A Horton, Robinson, Ottawa, Michigan, United States; citing enumeration district ED 239, sheet 402C, NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), FHL microfilm 1,254,601.

I hope the records above may be of help in your search.

by Rubén Hernández G2G6 Pilot (735k points)
Thanks, Ruben, for looking this up for me. It is, alas, not the right Henry Horton. See my reply to Edison Williams, above, and my post to this week's "Multiples" challenge. I still want to know who got killed by a train? But I am happy to know that people are interested in my confusing ancestor. Thanks again.

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