Providing practical, down-to-earth advice for family historians since 1995, online since 1985.
A Major Brick Wall
From: Susan Axley
ITEM: The complete (not selected) US Civil War Pension file will have a required form where the serviceman must list family members including wives & children with birth and death dates. If there was a divorce, it must be listed with date and locality. If she outlives the pensioner, look for the widow's pension where she lists WHEN and WHERE she was married to the soldier. What you are looking for is the marriage record itself (in case it lists parents) and to learn which localities to begin searching through more diligently.
ITEM: You'll also turn to church records of:
Even if you have to order the microfilm from every church in the town! You ARE desperate to know the answer, so let's do it!
ITEM: You haven't mentioned reviewing the probate docket for ANYONE named Vores/Voris in the counties in question.
ITEM: Do a broad "all US" search for your ancestors in online census image indexes at both Ancestry.com and HeritageQuestOnline. Remember that the 1880 index is free at: http://www.familysearch.org
Then painstakingly go through each entry, to draw assumptions about OTHER localities where your family could have lived. Then search those courthouse records for probate, marriage, land records, etc. Broaden your search to include churches in each area looking for the christening, marriage & burial.
ITEM: By the way, a search of the 1880 US Federal
Census at FamilySearch.org for:
ITEM: Try modifying your checklist when searching ANY index to include at LEAST these additional spellings of the surname. Then try each search without the given name. With a name like "James" its entirely possible he "went by" another name.
A refined search of the 1880 US Federal Census at
Returned the following entry:
Name Relation Marital Status Gender Race Age
Birthplace Occupation Father's Birthplace Mother's Birthplace
HERITAGEQUESTONLINE CENSUS INDEX:
-- 1850 US Federal Census (look for 12 year old James in Franklin County, PA.) -- Not available
-- 1860 US Federal Census (expect him to be
22 years old) we find in a search for all US From:
HeritageQuestOnline through Godfrey.org:
I think the James P could easily be your James H, with just a transcription error.
-- 1870 US Federal Census (expect him to be
32 years old) we find in a search for all US From: HeritageQuestOnline through
-- 1900 US Federal Census (expect him to be 72 years old) we find in a search for all US From: HeritageQuestOnline through Godfrey.org:
-- VORIS JAMES 29 M W IN IN DELAWARE MONROE TWP
The ONLY likely fellow by this spelling would be the 75 year old James of 3rd Ward, Dayton, Ohio, who is reported to have been born in Ohio.
Having said all of this, ol' Myrt here believes the COMPLETE pension file will be your best guide. WHY? Just because the 1880 Census says he was born in PA, doesn't mean it's true. We are not sure who provides the information on a census record. But we know James had to sign the forms for his pension application, and subsequent forms for changing his rate. In those forms, as mentioned, he must list his birth date and place as he knew it. You can work the locality records from that point.
Happy family tree climbing!