I think I’ve come to the realization that people just sold or gave away their bounty land warrants to just any old person. There was no need for a relationship between the two people other than money changing hands. It is a very disappointing thing, as I was really hoping to discover some new relative or significant person in the family. I suppose it is not to be. Apparently, Richard Pinkham had another 160 acres of bounty land that he sold or gave to someone named Joseph Vila, Junior, for some land in Harrison County, Iowa.
So I have given up that line of inquiry for now.
Instead, I have been busy trying to puzzle out the family relationships between the McCabes and the Sloweys. Census records, BMD records, land records, and any other records I could get my eyeballs on was fair game. Remember all the craziness I went through trying to figure out who Anton Heerdink was? This was pretty much the same thing … except with more common names (hooray).
The first thing I did was make sure I had accounted for the entire Patrick Slowey/Catherine McCabe family unit on all applicable census records. Using this handy-dandy form, I was able to visualize the flow of all the children into and out of the household.
Here’s the part where I hang my head in shame …
In the process of reviewing all the information I had for this family, I discovered that I already had a death certificate for Bernard Slowey that named his mother as Katherine McCabe AND I already had a death certificate for John Charles Slowey that named his mother as Catherine McCabe. I simply had not added them to my database yet. So … lesson learned. Probably best not to dwell.
I actually learned a few (other) things from this exercise:
1. A second look never hurts.
2. I will probably not be using census records to determine Patrick’s birth date. He just doesn’t age normally.
3. I’m growing increasingly more confident that the Ellen Slowey found in the 1880 census with Mary and John McCabe is the daughter of Patrick and Catherine.
This means that John, Mary Jr., and Ellen McCabe are likely Catherine’s siblings and Mary Sr. is likely her mother. Now I just have to piece together their family. I’ll start with the census records and see what happens.
This family apparently spent very little time living in the same house at the same time. I found Catherine in 1850 enumerated with her brother John and apparently two other brothers, Hugh and Barney, in the household of Hugh and Ellen Lavis in New Diggings, Wisconsin. The brothers all had an occupation of “smelter.” So I did a little ‘digging’ of my own (ha … see what I did there?) and discovered that New Diggings was an old lead mining town. So their occupation makes sense. However, their ages make no sense. Hugh is 27, John is 21, and Catherine and Barney are both 20. Maybe it was common for men to puff up their age in order to find work during the 1850s? If so, that would make sense. Catherine’s parents – Charles and Mary – were living in Benton, Wisconsin in 1850 with another brother Terrence (also age 20) and sister Mary (age 13).
The 1860 census shows Mary (probably a widow by this time as I never see Charles in a census again after 1850), with John (age 25) and Bernard Slowey (age 7) living in Benton, Wiscsonsin. No idea WHY Bernard is living with his uncle and grandmother, when the rest of his family is living together in Kendall, Wisconsin. Daughter Ellen (age 18) is enumerated in Benton, but as a domestic in a hotel. I cannot locate daughter Mary in 1860. By this time, son Hugh has married a woman named Jane and has three children; and daughter Catherine has married Patrick Slowey. There are many Terrences and Barneys in the 1860 census, and I haven’t narrowed those down yet.
In 1870, we find Mary, John, daughter Mary, and daughter Ellen living in Seymore, Wisconsin. They are all still living together in 1880, but in Yankton, Dakota Territory, and granddaughter Ellen is enumerated with them. I’m having a hard time locating any of them in 1900 census – I’m pretty sure Mary Sr. is deceased by then; and Mary and Ellen are either married or have moved away from Wisconsin and could be pretty much anywhere. John is likely still in South Dakota, but there are a lot of John McCabes – and (so far) none with a Mary and an Ellen living with him.
I will probably need to see if any probate records exist for Mary Sr., and/or for Charles and work from there to determine where everyone ended up.
Another task for another day …