Saturday, April 16, 2011

Surname Saturday - HONTOON

I recently wrote about my great grandmother Mary. In that post I stated that the story handed down was that she was an American Indian from an Ohioan tribe with the surname HUNTOON. Research shows that name to be of Scottish origin. I really began to doubt that her name was anything close to HUNTOON. I was hoping the surname HEPNER, which is listed on her marriage certificate to my great grandfather, Leander PORTER, was at least close to her real surname. The thing that has bothered me all along has been the fact that she is listed as Mary TAYLOR on three of her children's birth records and a few other records.

She was rather young (age 18) when she married my great grandfather, Leander Porter, so I didn't think that she would have been married before him BUT it appears I was wrong. Today using Ancestry.Com I decided to do a search only on Mary R, born about 1853 in Ohio, living in Knox County, Ohio. I think I've done this search before, but nothing stood out in the results. However this time I noticed a Mary R Tylor, age 17 in 1870 (b. 1853) living in Pleasant Township, Knox, Ohio. Hmm, that was close enough to warrant further investigation.

At that time Mary R Tylor was living with a Burgess and Mary Tylor. Also listed in this household was John Tylor, age 9. What I noticed right away though was that Mary, age 17, was listed after John, age 9. That was odd. Usually the children are listed in age order. Of course the 1870 federal census does not include relationship to head of household so was she their daughter, niece?

I decided to look for Burgess and Mary Tylor in later census records. I found them in 1880 living in Union County, Ohio. The family consists of Burgess, Mary, and John TAYLOR. In 1900 I also find Burgess and Mary TAYLOR living in Union County, Ohio. John J. TAYLOR is living next door to them with his wife Ida V TAYLOR.

I did not find Burgess or Mary in the 1910 federal census. So I did a quick look at Find A Grave and found a memorial for both Burgess and Mary. From these memorials it appears that Burgess died in 1910 and Mary in 1907. However, it's just the opposite. Again using Ancestry I searched a Union County newspaper, the Richwood Gazette, and found a death notice for Burgess Taylor. He died 29 May 1907 in Taylor Township, Union, Ohio. Next I checked FamilySearch for Mary's death certificate. She died 28 Feb 1910 in Taylor Township, Union, Ohio. Her death certificate is signed by their son, John J. Taylor.

I wanted to obtain more proof that this was the same family found in Knox County, Ohio in the 1870 federal census, so I looked for John J. Taylor's death record. Using FamilySearch I found that John J. Taylor died 21 Mar 1941 in Taylor Township, Union, Ohio. His death certificate states that he was born in Knox County, Ohio.

Ok, so here's where it got confusing. Deciding that I wanted to see if I could obtain anymore information on Burgess Taylor I did a search using FamilySearch. What came back astounded me! There was a marriage record in Union County, Ohio, image included, of a Burgess M. Taylor and a Mary HONTOON! OMG! OMG! OMG! But wait! The date of marriage was 21 Jan 1868. WHAT???? Ok, was Burgess a polygamist and living with both his wives in 1870? I don't think so. Did he divorce his first wife, then marry Mary R, divorce her, and then marry another Mary? Since I don't think another wife would want an ex-wife living with them I had to forget about that one! Then it finally hit me! Burgess M. Taylor had a son named Burgess M. Taylor (Jr). He must have died soon after the marriage and Mary was living with her in-laws in 1870. Unfortunately the 1870 federal census does not include marriage status.

This needs sources, but at least I feel there is some truth to the story I heard as a child about my great grandmother. But was she an American Indian? The name is spelled HONTOON on the marriage certificate, not HUNTOON. Did she not know how to spell her surname so the clerk just spelled it as it sounded?

This is good too in that I know to also look in Union County for Mary R's roots.

It's funny too to find this connection to Union County, Ohio. My Mom and her father were both born very close to where the Taylors lived and died.

It's also makes me realize even more so now just how many things had to have fallen into place for me to have been born. If Burgess had not moved temporarily to Pleasant Township, Knox County, Mary R would never have met Leander and my grandfather would not have been born, and my father would not have been born, and I would not have been born.

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