How five generations of my family mostly managed to avoid vital record registration
This blog entry is a redux of information compiled for another project. I'm adding the content here, because it provides insight into the record circumstance influencing research about which I often blog.
Some of my ancestors were pioneer settlers in the area of Columbiana County, Ohio. These ancestors came to Ohio between about 1800 and 1810, when land there became available for purchase and settlement. They came from New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Maryland; the men were farmers and probably traders. The known surnames are Carle, Low(e), Firestone, Miller and Kimmerling.
Columbiana County began recording marriages in 1803, but the practice there of recording births and deaths didn't begin until 1851. http://www.familyhistory101.com/county/oh-county-columbiana.html
Other than the "names the same," the marriage records I work with from Columbiana County don't contain the kind of identifying information by which I could relate them more directly to a birth record (even if such a record existed). The early marriage records I work with from Ohio usually contain the bride/groom names, date of marriage, who performed ceremony, and date and place the marriage was recorded. An example of one marriage record is below.
For the most part, two generations of my family's births and deaths occurred at Columbiana County for which no vital record ever existed.
Moving down the road. Almost 20 years before Columbiana County began to report births and deaths, the third generation of my Ohio based ancestors, those who married at Columbiana County, had moved on. They moved to Richland and then Williams County, Ohio, as land in the more northwestern part of the state opened up. Both Richland and Williams counties didn't begin to record births and deaths until about 1867.
Another group of my ancestors were pioneer settlers in the western part of Ohio. John Butler was an Irish immigrant. He settled at northwest Ohio after his service in the Revolution, via Pennsylvania and Michigan. About 1812-1814, two brothers, reportedly soldiers and traders, arrived from New Hampshire via a route we haven't yet learned. The brothers were in Miami County, Ohio, long enough for one to marry in 1814.
Like Williams County, Miami didn't start to record births and deaths until 1867.
From Miami County, the brothers migrated to Fort Defiance, say 1815-1816. They are considered the first settlers of that place. It became part of Williams County when the latter was formed in 1820. Still later, the same place became part of Defiance County, but I digress.
By the time Williams County was formed, one of the New Hampshire brothers had died. No vital record exists about his death, and his children's births were not recorded, either. The older brother, my ancestor, became the first sheriff of Williams County. He married in 1820, probably at Defiance, then part of Williams County. Williams County didn't have a place to keep records until 1824, so his marriage was not recorded for six months. Even then, it was written into the books of Wood County--two Ohio counties to the east.
Many children were born to the Sheriff and his wife, but there are no vital records about those births.
It's finally 1850--Columbiana County will soon start recording births and deaths. Time for the next generation of my family to migrate out of Ohio via the Oregon Trail, headed for the California gold rush. :) These fine folk will eventually settle at Deer Lodge County, Montana. Deer Lodge didn't start recording births until 1907; they started recording deaths in 1895. :)