30 November 2020

The Tale Of The Two Davids

 (File this under “Work In Progress”, as this is my research journal. A brain dump, if you will.)

So here’s the deal.  On my paternal grandmother’s side (Josephine Bodle, or Nanny), my 3rd great grandfather is David Bodle, born about 1773 in Ireland.  Other than he married Mary, last name unsure at this point, that’s about all I know about him.  Honestly, his name is about all I can be sure of, the rest is conjecture for now.

That’s not the issue here.  The issue is that he appears to have a son also named David.  And this David may have married a lady called Mary as well.  Her surname is also uncertain.

I do have a very high degree of confidence of my 2nd great grandparents, James Roland Bodle and Naomi “Oma” Gunsallus. They are listed on my great grandfather Jerome Bodle’s death certificate.  And I can find them together in the 1860 and 1870 census records.  Jerome’s wife, whom I have written about before, Elizabeth Eve Chapman, had something like 135 living descendants when she died in 1941.  Needless to say, this branch of the family tree is better documented than most.

I found this elder David via a FamilySearch tree.  Since this was a tree and not documentation I was looking at, I understood the risk that this may be the wrong person.  For that reason, the David and Mary I did import are marked as “Unverified” in the tree.  I added them simply, so I had a name to research.  I have since found many trees from Bodle cousins that at least have the same names, but maybe not the same person.  It was a start.

The biggest problem come from the fact that both “couples” have the same names.  David for the male and Mary for the female.  Two very common names, and when you toss in the surname of Brown for on of the Mary’s it gets even crazier.  I was finding records attached to the two David’s with the children on the incorrect generation.  Such as my 2x GGF, James Roland Bodle as a son to younger David.  Since this young David has a birth year of about 1805, and James Roland 1813, it seems rather unlikely.  I doubt that David the younger sired a child when he was about 7.  Not impossible, but highly improbable.  That’s just one example, there were plenty of others similar.

Here’s the cast of characters, with the FamilySearch ID, and dates that I have;

David the elder – LVD6-KGV (1773, Ireland – 1845, Spring, Centre, PA)

Mary Cook? – LRYP-ZFY (1780 - ?)

David the younger – LRYP-89F (1805, PA - ?)

Mary Brown? – GWSX – FSW  (1816. PA – 6 Sep 1880, PA)

This family had Mary Brown as the wife of the elder David when I imported the tree.  I know believe that Ms. Brown is in fact the wife of the younger David.  I’m not saying that this is, indeed, fact.  But with the records I have found since the import, some months ago, but the chances are higher now.

The elder David died about 1845, so census records are very helpful for him.  It wasn’t until the 1850 census that all the names of a household were enumerated. Before that it was just the head of the house listed.  I do have the younger David in the 1850 and 1860 census.  As par for the course, they raise even more questions. 

Let’s start with the 1850 census.  The family is in Howard Township, Clinton County, PA.  The family is split across two pages.  Usually not an issue. But something odd is going on. 

1850 U.S. Census for Howard, Clinton, PA. Roll 763, Page 178a

For David, Mary and eldest daughter Margaret, they are listed as house 91 and family 92 visited.  This is the order the enumerator visited the house it rarely corresponds with the address of the dwelling.

On the next page, the rest of the children are listed, as house 92 and family 93. 

1850 U.S. Census for Howard, Clinton, PA.  Roll 763, Page 178b

Two things are odd, other than the house and family numbers.  The oldest person in this dwelling is Jane Bodle, age 13!  Jane is not listed as being married or having a job of any kind.  Only the box for having attended school is checked.  The other odd thing is that the children’s surname is spelled Boadle.  The enumerator, John Irwin, visited both "houses" on the same day, 9 August 1850.  You would think that there wasn’t a break in between these two entries.  While there aren’t any addresses or house numbers that I have yet to determine for this family, they had to be close together.  Maybe he found the older members in the main house and the younger children in an out building, or some such thing. 

Other oddities with this census is the place of birth for David, Mary and Margaret, and David’s job.  Neither the occupation nor the place of birth boxes has obvious information.  For David’s occupation there appear to be common ditto marks, and two lines above “Labourer” has been entered for someone else.  Does that mean David was also a “Labouror”? 

Under “Place of Birth” is a very odd mark.  It looks nothing like the ditto mark on David’s occupation box. Does it indicate that his (and his wife and eldest child) were born in Pa?  It does look a bit like “Pa”.  Or does it mean that it’s the same as the line above?  In that case, the next entry above would be Ireland (same gentleman as marked as “Labourer”).  My current working theory is that only the elder David was born in Ireland.  But again, this is just a theory.  I will not lose any sleep if this theory proves to be wrong.

On the next page, with the rest of the children, Jane is marked as being born in Pennsylvania.  The state is spelled out, not abbreviated.  And that odd mark follows down the page for the rest of her siblings.  But if this mark is meant as a ditto mark, then why the common ditto mark in David’s occupation box? 

The 1860 census is a bit better except for one thing; there isn’t any “place of birth” entered for anyone in the family!  There aren’t any marks at all in the boxes.  This enumerator does use the standard ditto mark elsewhere, but not all the time. 

1860 U.S. Census for Beech Creek, Clinton, PA. Page 47

At least David is listed as a “Day Laborer” here, so the occupation in 1850 is probably correct.  Also notice the “American” spelling of labor versus the “British” spelling, labour in the previous record.

Census records are notorious for being inconsistent.  For example, in this 1860 census;

  • Where is Mary Ann in the 1850 census?  She should have been around 16 years old?
  • George is gone in 1860.  Would have been around 19, so might have moved out.
  • David is gone in 1860 as well.  Would have been around 13, so a little early to be on his own.  Or is this the senior and junior I found?

In the 1870 census I find Mary Bodle, age 54 (YOB ~1816, which is what I have), an invalid in the home of Thomas & Mary Long.  This is the home of her daughter Mary Ann and her husband and 2 houses away is Mary Ann’s sister Letty and her family.

And that’s where I am right now.  This is not marked as finished, or verified, or complete in any way, shape, or form.  Here is the tree as it stands starting with the elder David down through the young David, and my line to show the relationships.

SVG Family Tree TreeBodle_Only2

Generated by Parallax View's SVG Family-Tree Generator V5.3.3. See https://parallax-viewpoint.blogspot.com/2018/09/svg-family-tree-generator-v50.html Married on Thursday April 5, 1832 in Centre, Pennsylvania, United States. Married on Friday August 28, 1835. Married on Friday January 5, 1877 in Howard, Centre Co., PA. Married on Wednesday January 20, 1909 in Williamsport, Lycoming, Pennsylvania, United States. Married on Thursday February 7, 1946 in Rockville, Montgomery, Maryland, USA. Born on Tuesday November 25, 1958 in Miami, Dade Co., FL. Bruce L. Campbell (1958–) Born on Thursday March 28, 1912 in Milesburg, Centre, Pennsylvania, United States. Died on Tuesday February 19, 1985 in Miami, Dade Co., FL. Donald S. Campbell (1912–1985) Born on Sunday May 1, 1921 in Fork Dillon, South Carolina. Died on Friday November 23, 2001 in Columbia, Richland Co., SC. Geneva M. Hicks (1921-2001) Born on Monday March 31, 1884 in Howard, Centre County, Pennsylvania, United States of America. Died on Wednesday February 5, 1919 in McKeesport, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, United States of America. Herbert J Campbell (1884–1919) Born on Friday March 27, 1885 in Williamsport, Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, United States of America. Died on Monday July 21, 1975 in Miami, Dade Co., FL. Josephine M. Bodle (1885–1975) Born on Thursday July 16, 1857 in Helca Furnace, Centre County, Pennsylvania. Died on Tuesday December 11, 1923 in Flemington, Clinton, Pennsylvania, USA. Jerome Bodle (1857–1923) Born on Saturday March 10, 1860 in Hecla Furnace, Centre, Pennsylvania. Died on Friday April 4, 1941 in Lock Haven, Clinton County, Pennsylvania, United States of America. Elizabeth E. Chapman (1860–1941) Born in about 1813 in Centre County, Pennsylvania, United States of America. Died on Wednesday August 29, 1877 in Clinton County, Pennsylvania, United States of America. James R. Bodle (c1813–1877) Born in about 1816 in Centre County, Pennsylvania, United States of America. Died in about 1858 in Clinton County, Pennsylvania, United States of America. Naomi Gunsalus (c1816-c1858‐ ) Born in 1773 in Ireland. Died in about 1845 in Spring Township, Centre, Pennsylvania, United States. David Bodle (1773-c1845) Born in Pennsylvania, United States. Died in Centre, Pennsylvania, USA. Mary Cook (?–?) Born on Wednesday April 18, 1810 in Potter, Centre, Pennsylvania, USA. Died. Samuel Bodle (1810–?) Born on Saturday December 15, 1804 in Conestoga, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, United States. Died on Tuesday April 28, 1874 in Union Township, Centre, Pennsylvania, United States. John J. Bodle (1804–1874) Born in 1811 in Centre, Pennsylvania, United States. Died in about 1875 in Pennsylvania, United States. Sarah M. Bodle (1811-c1875) Born in about 1805 in Pennsylvania, United States. David Bodle (c1805–)


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