Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Phoeba C Simmons

Phoeba C. Simmons is the daughter of Sally Ann Porter and Ziba (asa Zeba) Simmons. She was born in Chautauqua County, NY. Her year of birth is given as 1847 in the 1850, 1860, and 1870 federal census records, and the 1875 New York State Census record. Starting with the 1880 Federal Census her birth year became 1851 with the 1900 Federal Census listing her date of birth as Oct 1851.

She married James Hiram Lyon about 1867. The location of the marriage is unknown at this time. It could be Missouri where their only child, Darwin Ziba Lyon was born abt 1868. James lists his occupation as Insurance Agent in the 1870 federal census when they are living in Nauvoo, Hancock, Illinois. Five years later James and Phoeba are back in New York, living in Charlotte, Chautauqua County. James disappears from census records after the 1875 New York State Census.

Phoeba and her son, Darwin, are next found in 1880 living in Bradford, McKean, Pennsylvania with Phoeba's second husband, Herman Eugene Burnham. In the 1900 and 1910 Federal Censuses it gives their marriage date as 1877. It is unknown at this time if they married in New York or Pennsylvania. Given that Herman was himself a native of Chautauqua County, New York the marriage most likely occurred in New York. Herman was born about 1854, though later records give an earlier year of birth. He most likely was the son of Sidney and Louisa Burnham of Arkwright, Chautauqua, New York.

In 1900 Phoeba and Herman are living in Post Falls, Kootenai, Idaho. Living with them are Phoeba's son, Darwin, and his new bride, Ora May Gill.

Between 1900 and 1910 Phoeba and Herman move to Tacoma, Pierce, Washington where she dies 26 Jul 1911. In the 1910 Federal Census Phoeba is now listed as Ida C. Burnham, and that is the name on her Washington State death certificate. Herman remarries, but his second wife, Martha, dies two years later. It's assumed since there is no death record for Herman in the state of Washington that Herman moved back to Rathdrum, Kootenai, Idaho to live with his stepson, Darwin Z. Lyon. Memorial # 13648582 on the Find A Grave website gives a date of death for Herman as 5 Apr 1924.

Both Phoeba and Herman are believed to be buried in the Pine Grove Cemetery, Rathdrum, Kootenai, Idaho where Darwin Z. Lyon is also buried.

I believe that Herman Burnham was about seven years younger than Phoeba Simmons Lyon, and it must have been something which made either Herman, Phoeba, or both feel uncomfortable. That would explain the sudden change in date of birth for both Phoeba and Herman. She becomes younger and he becomes older to make up for the difference.

Why did Phoeba suddenly become Ida? It might have been a nickname that was never used on official records until 1910. The death certificate of Ida C. Burnham lists her father as Zeba Simmons and that she was born in New York. It can be assumed that this is indeed Phoeba C. Simmons Lyon Burnham.

Phoeba's son, Darwin Ziba Lyon must have had a good relationship with his step-father as he names his first born Herman Burnham Lyon. He and his wife, Ora May Gill, were married 28 Feb 1900 in Rathdrum, Kootenai, Idaho. They had in addition to their son Herman at least seven more children: Hildore Curtis Lyon, Arva Marian Lyon, Harold I. Lyon, Thelma C. Lyon, Harry Darwin Lyon, Herbert Elsworth Lyon, and Hallie Zollie Lyon. Darwin died 6 Mar 1931 in Rathdrum, and Ora died 17 Jan 1959 in Rathdrum. Both are buried in Pine Grove Cemetery in Rathdrum, Kootenai, Idaho.

Phoeba (Ida) C. Simmons Lyon Burnham is a granddaughter of my 2nd great grandfather, William Porter, making her my half 1st cousin twice removed.

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