Seeking info on William West, d. c1852 in Indiana

+3 votes
54 views

Hi, I'm having trouble identifying a William West, who apparently died in Bartholomew County, Indiana in the 1850s.

He has a memorial page on Find-A-Grave. He clearly died in Bartholomew County, Indiana and, based on the gravesite plaque, served in the War of 1812. The FAG page indicates that he was born in 1773 and died in Bartholomew County either in 1852 or 1857. (It includes both dates, but no source or rationale for either.)  But there are a number of problems with this memorial: First, there apparently is no actual headstone that includes a birth or death date. Second, it indicates that he was born in Ohio (in 1773!, long before "Ohio" existed), which is clearly wrong.

I have additional, unsourced information which indicates that William married a Sarah Powell on 16 March 1812 in Harrison County, (West) Virginia, no known children; and a Sarah Hardin or Harden, marriage date unknown, supposedly in Ohio.

I also believe that William had (at least) 3 children:
* (Ellen?) Martha West, b. 1808, Tuscawaras County, Ohio;
* (E)Squire West, b. 5 Jul 1809, Highland County, Ohio; and
* Lavinna Anna West, b. 5 Apr 1830, Ohio.

William and his children apparently all relocated to southern Indiana at some point. Martha married (and divorced) a Leonard C. Walters, then married a William McGaffick; Squire married a Hannah Lorena Mathis and had 12 children. I have no marriage information on Lavinna.

A William West living in Bartholomew County, Indiana does not show up in the 1850 US Census. There is a William West, b. 1772 in VA, that is living with a Maria West in Hendricks County, Indiana in that census. But my records don't show a wife named Maria for William. More significant, it's not obvious to me why someone living in Hendricks County, IN would be buried in Bartholomew County, IN. (There is a Wikitree profile for this "Virginia" William West, West-5629, and I am clear that this is not my William.)

There are about a half-dozen "William West"s on Wikitree that appear to have been born in the 1770s, but the death information provided does not align with my William. So I can't match my William to any of these profiles. Even so, I am loath to add to the problem by creating a new record for my William, with nothing more than a clearly erroneous FAG memorial page as my only source.

Any suggestions on finding and confirming my William West? Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

asked in Genealogy Help by Stuart Bechman G2G4 (4.3k points)

1 Answer

+2 votes

William West was born in 1773. 

From reading about Ohio County in Wikipedia, Mr. West could have been born in what was called Ohio County. 

The Ohio Country (sometimes called the Ohio Territory or Ohio Valley by the French) was the name used in the 18th century for the regions of North America west of the Appalachian Mountains and in the region of the upper Ohio River south of Lake Erie. This area was disputed in the mid-18th century by France and Great Britain. The eponymous name is based on a 1740 act of the colonial Virginia legislature when the colony claimed many of the trans-Allegheny territories and monied interests actively tried to encourage settlement west of the Ohio River hoping to gain that Ohio River watershed with enabling legislation forming the Ohio Company.

answered by Frank Gill G2G Astronaut (1.8m points)
By 1790, part of what became Tuscarawas County, was not part of the Virginia Military Reserve, which was further west and south in Ohio. There was a 1790 US Census in Ohio, which was before Ohio became a state.

Reference, "Map Guide to the U.S. Federal Censuses 1790-1920" by William Thorndale and William Dollarhide. Pages 267-274 indicate how counties in Ohio changes in size and shape over time. In 1790, what became Tuscarawas County was included in a very large Washington County.

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