ASHBAUGH(ASHBOUGH)'S Clifton, Pierce
Co., WI 1850-1900+
From: Dawn Tedder <
Thank you so much for your columns. I am very new to family research and already
I have hit a major stumbling block. I am making all those newbie mistakes too!
Disorganized -- not recording who I've contacted (making a pest of myself),
jumping up lines based on family trees, etc. I know this is very long but you
did ask for details.
My stumbling block is my grandmother's mother's family. In 1900 they are in
Clifton, WI. Father Wm.(census is hard to read, maybe written over?) b.
<1855>, wife Emma b.<1855> and kids Frank C. b. 1881, Chas. Archie
b. 1883, Myrtle(my ggrandmother) b. 1886, Cliffton(Clifton) W. b. 1889,
Luelen(Llewellen) G. b. 1894 and Earl H. b. 1897. I am sure this is my
family because I have a family photo that says "Grandma and Grandpa
Ashbaugh, and names the children. 2 families with that naming pattern for the
children would be unusual and rare I think. Census taker list Wm's birthplace as
WI and his father and mother's birthplace as Ohio. I noticed census taker had
also made errors in birthplaces from top of census.
I began working backwards to 1880 and found Wm and Emma in Clifton, WI with son
Oscar b.<1875>. 1900 census does show 8 births and only 6 living children.
This could account for Oscar not being in 1900 census. This time census show
Wm's b 1855 birthplace still as WI but father's is now Penn. and Wm's mothers is
New York. Wm and Emma are on page 13 of census. On page 14 there are two more
Ashbaugh(Ashbough) families. Robert b.<1810> in PA and Marian
b.<1812> in NY. Next door to
them is James Ashbaugh b.<1847> in Ohio (his parents birthplaces are
PA/NY, like Robert and Marian's), his wife Mary and sons John b. 1876 and Robert
1870 census-Clifton, Pierce, WI Now it really starts to get confusing! In 1870
we find Robert Ashbaugh b. <1810> in PA, Mirian b. <1812> in NY and
son James b.<1849>, daughter Martha B. <b.1852> and son ROBERT W.
b<1855> in WI. Not William but Robert W! I checked two databases
repeatedly with multiple spellings and sounded and could not come up with a
second male Ashbaugh or the like birth in 1955! The closest I could get to
Ashbaugh 1855 male birth is Allabaugh in Bloom, Co., WI
There is a Barth. Ashbaugh b. <1834>, wife Catherine and their son Joseph
1. All on pg. 11 of the Clifton, WI census. No mention of a Robert W. in the
1900 Clifton, WI census.
On to 1860 census- We find Robert Ashbough(Ashbaugh) with wife Mary ages and
birthplaces hold true to 1870 and 1880 censuses. Robert and Mary's children are
James, 13, Sarah, 11, Martha, 9, and WILLIAM again(not Robert W.) born in 1855
in WI! Very confusing!!! Databases still only show 1 real viable candidate for
1855 WI birth.
I then investigated various family trees and found a Robert W. Ashbaugh family
tree for Robert and Mary(Marian) Ashbough's son born 1855 in Pierce Co. WI The
parties who posted the tree don't cite sources or documentation for their
assertions or if they do cite a source it is a source that refuses to cite
I did notice in 1900 that the neighborhood Wm and Emma Ashbaugh is living in is
filled with immigrant or seemingly new families. It is not like a neighborhood
that has been established for a time with people of similar cultures, etc. I
think this is significant also. While checking neighbors I found 3 families of
Schofields on pages A-5 and A-6 of the census while Wm and Emma are on B-6
(definitely neighbors). Those 3 Schofield families have 13 children of which 5
names are in common with the names of the Ashbaugh children, Charles, Myrtle,
Frank, Earl and Glenn which is Llewellen's middle name. Coincidence?? I kind of
doubt it. Another issue is that the Robert Ashbaugh families of 1860, 1870 and
1880 have all left the area (went to MN) including a Robert W. Ashbaugh dies in
MN years later! Why did Wm and Emma not go if they were part of the family?
My conclusions are this 1. the Robert Ashbaugh line that moved on to MN may be
related. Robert Ashbaugh is from PA as are Emma and the eldest Schofield (4
years older than Emma). If you can believe a census that you noticed errors on
from the beginning. Either Emma and Wm are not related or something prevented
them from leaving with the others(the
loss of Oscar, disease?) or there was a falling out. The Schofields settled the
area between 1880 and 1900. Based on the uncanny naming patterns of the
Schofield children and the Ashbaugh children they are related as well. The
Schofield heads of families are the age to be her brothers. Have I found her
maiden name and family????!!!!! Apparently there were two Wm Ashbaughs born in
Wisconsin in 1855 but either mine was missed or the spelling was so garbled that
even wild combinations
of Ashbaugh spellings and Soundex couldn't find a match.
Am I on the right track? Am I doing this right? Have I overlooked something
really vital or attached to much significance to something? Is this how it
supposed to be analyzed? What conclusions would you have drawn from this case?
Even though I lack documentation do my conclusions make sense? Right now I
really wish I could afford to hire a genealogist to talk this through with!
Hopefully I will hear from you. I could really use some input from a
professional. Myrtle, Genealogy is like a treasure hunt for me and a huge jigsaw
puzzle rolled into one. The thrill of finding a missing piece or making contact
with someone researching your lines from different angles has an adrenaline rush
all it own!! If you could spare me the time I
really need your advice! Thank you so much, Dawn Tedder.
You've done your "precursory" research (namely online census records
& databases.) While you didn't specify the databases, I would bet they are
the free ones at this point. You are right to question the lack of source
documentation -- trees without roots don't withstand the test, do they?
You are right to question the census, particularly since we're usually viewing a
microfilm of the copy made for the federal government, stored at the National
Archives. How are you at copying 1,500 pages of names, dates, and place
abbreviations on people you don't know, using only single line entries?
One clearly upsetting assumption about "finding her maiden name" is
that the naming of children would be the same on both the male and female
ancestral lines. This isn't going to be a truism. Naming patterns honor
ancestors. While there are sometimes intermarriages, it is seldom that both
sides of a marriage would have the exact same given names to honor.
SO, what to do next?
LOOK AT OTHER ORIGINAL RECORDS, often on microfilm:
-- obituaries (Remember that the surviving spouse or a child usually provides
the info, and there could be errors here as well.)
-- cemeteries (Sometimes tombstones list birthplace in addition to date of
-- death certificates
-- church records (The pastor or priest may know the
-- probate records (See if money was left to people on HER side of the family,
or if HER side is represented as a witness, etc.)
LIKELY SOURCES INCLUDE:
-- USGenWeb http://www.usgenweb.com
-- FAMILY HISTORY LIBRARY CATALOG http://www.familysearch.org/Eng/Library/FHLC/frameset_fhlc.asp
(look under "place" search for the localities in question.)
-- WISCONSIN STATE LIBRARY & Local libraries http://www.libdex.com
-- MEMBERSHIP DATABASES (I think of them as indices.)
With all that the internet has to offer, its still not
possible to compile a family history without turning to courthouse and church
records, in addition to other traditional resources. For more ideas see the free
online edition of Val Greenwoods RESEARCHERS GUIDE TO AMERICAN GENEALOGY,
offered by http://www.genealogical.com
. The publisher describes it as arguably the best book ever written on American
genealogy, it is the text of choice in colleges and universities or wherever
courses in American genealogy are taught.
Happy family tree climbing!
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