Thursday, December 16, 2010

Martha Ellsworth - early life and marriage

Martha Ann Ellsworth was born in about 1848 in either Wapello or Marion County, Iowa, the daughter of Simon Ellsworth and Sarah Ann Comptice. Her father was a farmer who came from Ohio, married in Indiana, then moved to Illinois, and finally to Iowa, arriving in about 1844 in Wapello County1. By 1850, the family was living on a farm about two miles east of Knoxville, Marion County, Iowa. The following image shows the location of the farm in 18752:

The following image is taken from the 1850 Census of Marion County and shows Martha living with her parents, Simon and Sarah Ann, two sisters, Mary Jane and Susan Elizabeth, and a brother, John Wesley3:

Martha's father, Simon died on August 4, 1855, when Martha was just 7 years old1. In 1856, her sister Mary Jane married James E. Whiteley, who was an Englishman and laborer on a neighboring farm, and Mary Jane moved to Wayne County, Iowa4. Martha continued to live with her mother, and is found in the 1856 Iowa State Census of Marion County with her mother and the remaining five siblings, Susan Elizabeth, John Wesley, Lydia Ellen, Charlotte Melvina, and Simon Edward5:

By 1860, Martha's sister Susan had moved to Wayne County with her oldest sister Mary Jane, and Martha is still living with her mother and four siblings in Marion County6:

In 1861, Abraham Lincoln took office, and the Civil War began. In 1862, Martha's younger sister Lydia died at the age of about 111, and her older brother John Wesley enlisted on August 6, 1862 in Company G of the Iowa 18th infantry and went off to war7. Martha's sister Susan married to William Hewitt on December 8, 18624 in Marion County. It is likely that Martha continued living at home with her mother and younger siblings Charlotte and Simon from 1862-1866. Her brother returned at the end of the war in July of 1865.

George Persons also returned from war in to Marion County in September of 1865, and on September 19, 1866, George E. Persons and Martha Ann Ellsworth were married in Marion County, Iowa4. I do not currently have the original marriage record, but I should be able to obtain it when I go to Knoxville next week (weather permitting).
1.Aylsworth, Homer E., Arthur Aylsworth and his descendants in America, 1887.
2.Atlas of Marion County Iowa, 1875, p. 21, Indexed County Land Ownership Maps, 1860-1918 ( : accessed 16 Dec 2010); citing Library of Congress microfilm G&M 3290, Roll 84.
3.1850 U.S. Census, Marion County, Iowa, population schedule, p. 276B, dwelling 666, family 720, Simon Ellsworth family, digital image, ( : accessed 16 Dec 2010); citing NARA microfilm publication M432, roll 187.
4.Index to Marion County Marriages, available online at, accessed 16 Dec 2010.
5.1856 Iowa Census, Marion County, Iowa, population schedule, Knoxville Township, p. 73, dwelling 670, family 503, Sarah Anne Elsworth family, digital image, ( : accessed 16 Dec 2010); citing State Historical Society of Iowa microfilm via HeritageQuest.
6.1860 U.S. Census, Marion County, Iowa, population schedule, Knoxville Township, p. 50, dwelling 368, family 139, Sarah Ellworth family, digital image, ( : accessed 16 Dec 2010); citing NARA microfilm publication M653, roll 335.
7.John W. Ellsworth, Historical Data Systems, comp. U.S. Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles[database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: ( : accessed 16 Dec 2010), 2009.

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