28 July 2010

Colegrove genealogy can Stump a Researcher

compiled by Teresa Martin Klaiber

One of my favorite people asked me to go over her limited Colegrove notes the other day. I am always glad to help her. She descends from Lydia Colegrove Vanover who died 16 February 1915 in Boyd County, Kentucky.

Lydia's death certificate is filed with Kentucky Vital Statistics and says that her father is J. D. "Coalgrove" and Elizabeth "Coalgrove." Said friend had no further information than the certificate that I had provided her but it did not take us long to ascertain through census records that J. D. was Jedediah D. Colegrove.

Armed with these pieces of evidence I decided to follow the trail after my friend left my office. It did not take long in our internet world to locate several full copies of The History and Genealogy of the Colegrove Family In America With Biographical Sketches, Portraits, Etc. by William Colegrove, DD, LL, D. published in 1894 by the author.

The publication [page 378] listed Jedediah Colegrove [s. Jeremiah...] of Lawrence County, KY; farmer; born November 2, 1811 d. July 29, 1882. M. 1833, Elizabeth STUMP b March 16, 1813, d. in 1891. The death is just three years prior to the publication of the Colegrove book.

Doing a typical search I found the information repeated and repeated on many sites. All stated that his wife was Elizabeth Stump. They also added the middle name of Darius to Jedediah.

These publications of the 1880's are wonderful sources and thousands were written during this time frame. I theorize that people began having a serious genealogy attraction during relative peace time in the United States. They were able to concentrate more on home and family. Most of the publications were based on oral information, bible notations [good evidence] and hand written letters around the country. Etiquette of the time would eliminate the author writing anything considered improper. All information was sorted and resorted and copied and recopied before publication. So while they are a wonderful valued tool they need to be documented with our newer technology and access to legal records.

Something just did not ring true and sent up my inner red flag about wife Elizabeth being a Stump. Why? Because the 1880 Federal Census of Lawrence County, Kentucky showed the Vanover's including Elizabeth born about 1813 in Kentucky with parents born in Pennsylvania and a mother-in-law named Catharine Elaxander age 87 also born in Pennsylvania.

By now I also had found a notation by late historian Evelyn Jackson saying that J. D. was [J.] Dyer Colegrove and that Elizabeth was Elizabeth Long. Tracking her notation I quickly found the 27 July 1833, Greenup County, Kentucky marriage of Dyer Colegrove to Elizabeth Long. The original Greenup records have been replaced with copied typed versions because of a lose of records in the clerks office. Maybe they misread the middle name Darias/Dyer? We will leave that for later scrutiny.

It was now time to track Catharine Elaxander aka Alexander and see where we wondered. I found her living with Alexanders in Perry Township, Lawrence County, Ohio in 1870. The census indicates that she is "infirm" along with a John Alexander aged 70, born in Kentucky still working on the farm.

In 1860 John and Catharine Alexander resided at Star Furnace, Carter County, Kentucky in the district next to where the Colegrove's are enumerated the same year. Tracking back, the family is in Greenup County in 1850 and among Alexander household members is also a William Long age 19 born in Kentucky.

Armed with basic census information I again reviewed Greenup County Marriages 1803-1853 published by the Hardiman's in 1980. John Alexander married Catharine Long 23 February 1838 in that county.

Since Elizabeth was born in 1813 in Kentucky it seemed plausible that I would locate a first marriage of Catharine as well. Utilizing the same resource I located the marriage of Henry Long 15 October 1813 to Catharine Stump the daughter of Christopher.

I had now resolved my original red flag issue. Catharine Long Alexander was nee Stump. Someone provided a complete birth date of 16 March 1813 for Elizabeth for the Colegrove genealogy publication. So now we have a new red flag. Who was the father of Elizabeth Stump Colegrove? When Elizabeth married she utilized the father's surname she had known since she was an infant: Long.

When Henry Long died he did not leave much. A sale bill was filed in Greenup Will book 3 page 137 dated 31 December 1836 and filed the following 6 March. The estate consisted of a sorrel horse, colt, corn, 5 head of hogs, 4 head of cattle, saddle and bridle. They were all purchased by John Long for a sum of $9.50.

This certainly did not leave much for Catharine Stump Long Alexander to exist on, even though her daughter Elizabeth was grown and already married to Jedediah Colegrove. She still had a son, William [b. 1831] living with her in 1850 from her marriage to Henry Long.

William Henry Long had a guardian filed in Will book 5 page 364 4 April 1859 in Greenup County, Kentucky. It states that Jacob Howe was appointed guardian of William Henry Long, infant heir of Henry Long, dec'd with Allen Myers as security "for the purpose of getting a land warrant from the Federal Government for services of Henry Long, dec'd in the War of 1812. The document states that Howe had tried but failed to get the Land warrant and had not received property of any kind whatever belonging to his ward, William Henry Long. Howe goes on to state that Henry Long had died insolvent.

I doubt Catharine's daughter,Elizabeth, had an easy life born under the cloud of unrest in 1812/13 and living through the period of strife of the Civil War. Her husband, Jedediah D. Colegrove, appears on the rolls of the 22nd Kentucky Infantry. He enrolled at Grayson October 1861 and gave his age as 44 years old. His papers are 11 pages long riddled with entries of illness. He was finally released from duty because he was weak and had not been with his unit much, at Memphis, Tennessee.

Jedediah certainly wanted to serve his country. He lied about his age because he was 50 at the time and the requirements said that anyone over 45 was to old to serve for the union. A graph on American Civil War Research shows many in this age group did the same thing. His discharge seems to prove that age did matter. It reads "I know of nothing of any particular disease affecting...the soldier...it is general debility rendering him to be weak and feeble for even the lightest duties of a soldier...I have known said soldier for the greater portion of 11 months during the greater portion of which time he has been sick either in the hospital or in quarters..."

In 1880, living in Lawrence County, Kentucky J. D. Colegrove gives his age as 73 with a very hard to read notation that appears to say he has palsey and can't work. Elizabeth gives her age as 64, which would place her birth in 1816 instead of the earlier cited 1813. If this is the case then she is Henry Long's daughter.

The 1820 Greenup census shows two females under 10 in Henry Long's house which does not resolve the question. When was Elizabeth born? This age group simply places her birth between 1810 and 1820.

Elizabeth was born seven months prior to her mother's marriage to Henry Long according to the cited full birth date. The author of the 1894 publication chose not to utilize the Long surname but does not give documentation to validate her having to use the Stump surname. The War of 1812 was underway and Henry Long could be her father. Elizabeth chose him as such when she utilized his surname at her own marriage in 1833.

While some of the vanity genealogies published in the 1880's were flowery giving detailed accounts of heroism, Colegrove's publication gives very little information on each individual but certainly provides us room to continue researching. Said friend now has a little more information to continue on her own journey about the Stumps and their several other marriages in the Colegrove family.

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