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Blanchard DeHoff Orr Family Mysteries

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Location: Emmit County, Michiganmap
Surnames/tags: Blanchard DeHoff Orr
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Here are open questions mainly surrounding Susanna (DeHoff) Blanchard and her marriages. In particular, the marriage to Joseph Orr which was very brief and we understand ended in divorce.

The main questions are:

  1. Is Joseph Orr the biological father of Martha Orr Blanchard?
  2. Why is Joseph Orr listed as single on his Civil War draft registration card?
  3. Why is Joseph Orr not mentioned in his father's will?
  4. Why is his Joseph's daughter Martha also not mentioned?
  5. When and Where did Joseph Orr die?

The information below also touches on the complex relationships that were formed due to the later marriages of Susanna into the family of her daughter Martha's husband.

Please feel free to edit text, upload unidentified pictures, add your questions to the bulletin board, post fuzzy memories you want to clear up, etc.

The information below doesn't imply "facts". We are only trying to answer the questions to the best of our ability by sourcing what we can.


Text conversation from Charles "Chuck" Ivins to his cousin, Anne Dale

( Charles to Anne on 21 Jan 2018)

Just emailed you a link to Joseph Orr and Susan Dayhuff marriage return.

The 1850 census record for Joseph Orr and Susanna DeHoff has always puzzled me. Joseph Orr is enumerated with his parents and no one else in the household [1]; he was listed as married within the year. (Note from Anne Dale 22 Jan 2018: In the census record, it shows both Joseph Orr and his father as being farmers but only Joseph at 23 years of age as having real property, rather than his parents owning the property. The amount is somewhat illegible but it appears to be a value of $2500.)

Susan Orr (presumably his wife) was enumerated as living next door, with the family of George B. Orr (Joseph's brother) and his wife Harriet and family. She was also listed as having been married within the year. [2]

The marriage record says they were married 4 Jan 1850 [3] [4]; and the census indicted the households as of 7 Aug 1850.

Martha Ellen Orr, only known child of Joseph Orr and Susan Dayhuff was born 4 Feb 1852.

Per the 1860 census, Susan and Martha were living with Susan's widowed father Moses Dayhof in South Bend, Indiana, who was listed as a tailor but also had been a circuit riding preacher. I have have materials regarding Moses during this period. [5]

Also per the census, Joseph was enumerated with his parents in Ohio in 1860. So I assume the divorce would have been between 4 Jan 1850 and 1860.

It is entirely possible that Joseph wasn't necessarily Martha's father. In Joseph's 1863 Civil War draft registration he was listed as single. In 1880 census he was listed as divorced. I have never found Joseph in the 1870 census. I don't even know when or where he died, but do know where he was buried.

The gravestone gives no birth or death dates only that he served in the Civil War. The death certificate for Martha (Orr) Blanchard does list her father as Joseph Orr, so she at least believed or thought or she was told that was the case.

It is possible I think, that maybe none of Joseph Orr's DNA has come down to us. But he would still be our ancestor. We can determine that by filling in all the DNA Painter slots and see if anything is left or not.

Email between Charles Ivins and Maurice Eby dated 01 Sep 2013.

(From Charles to Maurice)

I recently exchanged email with ____________ (living person's email address I do not have permission to post Dale-2134 19:02, 22 January 2018 (EST)) through the ancestry.com contact system, regarding the Blanchard-Moser-Dehoff families. She stated that you are her cousin, and suggested that I contact you.

My mother is Emma L. (Blanchard) Ivins; her mother was Edith (Hollinger) Blanchard; daughter of John Hollinger and Ida S. (Blanchard) Hollinger. Ida was the daughter of Peter and Artimetia Blanchard. I have seen that at least some of these names are in your Ancestry tree.

It gets complicated: My grandmother, Edith (Hollinger) Blanchard married her first cousin, William H. Blanchard; his parents were William E. Blanchard and Martha Orr.

Martha Orr was the daughter of Joseph Orr and Susannah Dehoff.

As I understand it, Joseph Orr and Susannah Dehoff were divorced after a brief marriage. Susannah later married Seneca Talladay, and they had Susie Grace Talladay.

It appears that Seneca then died, and Susannah then married Jarvis Blanchard, who was the brother of Peter Blanchard (above). Peter was the father-in-law of Susannah's daughter, Martha (Orr) Blanchard. So Jarvis became Susie Grace Talladay's step father, and also Martha (Orr) Blanchard's uncle-by-marriage and step-father.

I hope this is correct, and makes sense. I'll have to create a chart to see it more clearly. I don't know where you fit in the equation but I suspect you and I are related in several ways.

Another interesting relationship is that Eugene Moser, who married Susie Grace Talladay, was the brother of Harvey Moser who married Rinnie Blanchard, daughter of William E. Blanchard and Martha Orr.

So Eugene was Rinnie's brother-in-law and half-uncle by marriage since Susie Grace Talladay Moser was Rinnie's half-aunt.

If you don't already have it, I have a copy of the Epsilon Methodist Episcopal Church commemorative edition booklet. I'll have to search for it amongst my files. It includes old photos of the Blanchards, Mosers, and others that may be of interest to you.

(Maurice's reply to Charles on 01 Sep 2013)

Hi; My head is also spinning from your family tree. [Anne edit: snipped out personal information from the email about living person] I believe that we did communicate once in the past. It was about Joe and Susannah Orr. I added your family to my tree on ancestry.com. I see that you are slightly involved in findagrave. I spend a lot of time adding material to it. My wife is also a descendent of the Mayflower through her father Paul Burrows. Her Puritan was William Brewster. Our common ancestor is Susannah DeHoff Orr Talladay Blanchard. WHOA, while writing this, I went back to look at Joe and Susan Orr. I had missed that in the 1850 census, they are listed in different households (probably a mistake as they both stated that they had married in the past year.) No need to send pamphlet or pictures. The Johnson-Moser family was good at keeping stuff. Later, Maurice Eby

Text conversation between Anne Dale and her cousin, Charles "Chuck" Ivins.

(From Anne to Charles on 21 Jan 2018)

Is it possible that the Joseph Orr of the 1880 census is not our Joseph Orr? The parents are listed as having been born in Scotland. Why would he hide Ireland and Virginia? Also, the 1860 census shows him at 30 y.o., instead of the 33 he should be with a birthday in 1827.

I saw your note regarding hypertrophy of the heart. If that is him, and he was indeed discharged because of it, he might very well have died on his way home and somehow his paperwork was taken from him (implying he could not be identified).

(Charles to Anne)
We do know there is a head stone for our Joseph Orr in same cemetery as his parents, but with no dates. Maybe you're right, maybe there isn't a body there, just a marker? I could contact the cemetery and see if they have info. Don't know why I haven't yet.

I don't know if you've discovered wills yet but they can be so interesting and revealing! Here is a transcription of the will of Thomas Orr. What is especially interesting is what he does NOT say: he doesn't mention but a couple of his kids/or grandkids; no mention of Joseph, or Joseph's daughter:

(I received a reply from the letter I wrote (see under Martha Orr) to Jean Berlecamp in April, 2001, via US mail, including lots of great information. She sent me a copy of the handwritten will of Thomas Orr. I've transcribed it, under Thomas Orr's section in this tree.)

Will of Thomas Orr

Court House Tiffin Senca County, Ohio
Will/Case 1929
In the name of the benevolent father of all I Thomas Orr of Fostoria Seneca County Ohio do make and publish this my last will and testament
Item 1st I give and devise to my wife Sarah Orr in lien of her ______ a mortgage note or notes against Jacob Kridler for property lately sold to him amounting to seven hundred dollars with all interest accrued and to accrue to be held and enjoyed by her in her own right.
2. I give and devise to my son William Orr and to his heirs the sum of five hundred dollars to be paid to him by my executor after my decease also my trunk and all my wearing apparel.
3. I give and devise to my grand daughters Sarah Gilmer Catherine Gilmer and Mary Gilmer or their heirs the sum of one hundred dollars each to be paid them after my decease by my executor
4th I give and devise to my daughter Catherine Kridler the sum of two hundred dollars to be paid her or her heirs after my decease by my exr.
5th It is my request that all my funeral expenses by paid after my decease and that all my real estate and personal property be sold and that the above bequests be paid from the proceeds of same sale and from my monies and credits and if anything remains after paying said bequests my just debts and funeral expenses it is my request that the same be paid over by my executer to the proper authorities of the Village of Fostoria Ohio for the benefit of the poor of said village
I hereby revoke all former wills by me made
In testamony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 12th day of January AD 1871
Thomas Orr (signature)

(Anne to Charles)
So even if Joseph was dead by 1871, and I do suspect he was -- that his daughter Martha is not mentioned at all in the will is very odd indeed. Unless he felt Martha was not his grandchild.

On the other hand, he could have been bitter toward Susanna and cut her and her child completely out of the family. Perhaps their being divorced, which is of course anathema to the teachings of Christianity at that time, might have caused a complete break between him (Thomas) and all parties.


  1. "United States Census, 1850," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MX7Q-NXP : 12 April 2016), Joseph Orr in household of Thomas Orr, Ballville, Sandusky, Ohio, United States; citing family 652, NARA microfilm publication M432 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  2. "United States Census, 1850," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MX7Q-NX1 : 12 April 2016), Susan Orr in household of George B Orr, Ballville, Sandusky, Ohio, United States; citing family 653, NARA microfilm publication M432 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  3. "Ohio Marriages, 1800-1958," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XDV6-24R : 8 December 2014), Joseph Orr and Susan Dayhuff, 12 Feb 1850; citing Sandusky,Ohio, reference ; FHL microfilm 0506617 V. 9, A-E.
  4. "Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XZF7-VG8 : 10 December 2017), Joseph Orr and Susan Dayhuff, 12 Feb 1850; citing Sandusky, Ohio, United States, reference vol C p125; county courthouses, Ohio; FHL microfilm 506,617.
  5. "United States Census, 1860", database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M4N3-QM2 : 13 December 2017), Susan Orr in entry for Moses Dayhoof, 1860.

See Also

WikiTree Profiles or Collaborators mentioned in this Mystery Page

Find A Grave: Memorial #7804147

Find A Grave: Memorial #77425946

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Categories: Family Mysteries