Sunday, December 18, 2011
The Steeles of Ohio
Reeves Cemetery in Brown County, Indiana.
Our local genealogy society recently had a program on researching Ohio ancestors. Before the program I thought I would revisit the four family lines I had that came from Ohio. Of the four I had more interest on finding more on my Steele family. They ended up in the county I now live in, Brown County, Indiana. I no more to go on from the time they spent in Ohio, though. All I had been able to gather on this family so far had been just census records.
Of this family that came to Indiana was a daughter, Eunice Steele, that had married William Reeves. In the 1870 census in Brown County the family consisted of: William Reeves age 49, Eunice age 46, Rebecca age 15, Harriet age 8, William age 6, Elihue age 3, all born Ohio. By the 1880 census all the same people were listed in this family with the addition of one other person, Mary Steel age 72. So what I needed to do next was go back to Ohio to see if I could find anything new on their life there and find out who was her father. Not being able to travel there I have had to rely on whatever was on the internet to find something on this family.
From all my previous searches I had never been able to find a marriage record of Eunice to William Reeves. The Reeves family being a well researched family on William's side it was known they were all from Belmont and Monroe County, Ohio. No marriage record was found in either county.
Tracing William and Eunice Reeves back to Ohio they were found in Washington County, Ohio in 1850 and 1860. This helped to find two other children in the family - Lydia and David. With the family being there in 1850 it was impossible to find Eunice as a Steele. It had appeared that she had married before the 1850 census going by the ages of the children. But looking at the 1850 census there was a Steele family living right next to them - Henry and Mary Steele. This had to be Eunice's parents. The Mary fit the right age bracket as the one in the 1880 census.
Now it was time to check any new resources that might be on the internet. I rechecked all the census records on Ancestry to see if I had overlooked any other Steele families nearby. Nothing new appeared except a couple lone children in other families. I need to research them when I get time. Next I did a new search for that missing marriage records. I checked all the resources I could think of - Ancestry, USGenweb sites for the 3 counties in Ohio, and even did a Google search. One last thing, let's check Family Search since they have a lot of new stuff on their website. And there it was - the marriage record for William Reeves to Eunice Steele in Washington county, Ohio on 29 September 1844. It does help to revisit resources over time.
One other thing I always check for new information is Findagrave.com. New burial data is being input daily. Checking several spellings I was able to find Henry Steele buried in Washington County, Ohio in the Lawrence Baptist Cemetery. From the data on his memorial page he had died Aug. 11, 1871. This fits in with the time Mary Steele appeared living with William and Eunice Reeves by the 1880 census. This was a good step forward in proving Eunice's parents were Henry and Mary Steele. I think my step will be to order some microfilm from Family Search to look for a possible probate record or any deeds. One clue that jumped out from the census was that Henry Steele owned land. That will be my next step forward.
Thanks go to all those volunteers that are inputing new data every day. Thanks to Family Search I finally found their marriage record. And thanks to Findagrave volunteers for inputing all the new cemetery information. It really helps those of us that can't travel to the places of our ancestral homeland. I try to help others who have family here in Brown County, Indiana. If I can I try to give back in my own way. Researching my Ohio families I've found many other families that migrated here from these very same counties in Ohio. Anyone that needs help here in Brown County, Indiana let me know.