06 December 2014

Surname Saturday: Sorting through the Van Horn Surname Folder

Each family I research has their own "Surname Folder." In it resembles that drawer we all have in the kitchen that everything ends up in! Seriously though, if I come across something about a Van Horn who I cannot immediately place or do not have time to get lost on that track at the moment, it lands in my Van Horn Surname Folder. Once every so often I sort through the folder and put people where they belong, so to speak. Sometimes, papers remain there if I still cannot place them.

One such paper is a copy of the Schedule 3 for Buckingham Township, Bucks County, PA.  The Schedule lists those who died during the year ending 1 June 1860. Line three lists a Martha Vanhorn. She was age 80 and single. She died in December from “Suicide by Landanum.” I cannot fit her into the family yet. I do have an Aunt Martha but she was a Van Horn by birth. She married a Robert Newsman. She was also born in 1845. Martha went back in the folder for a future rainy day. 

On a handwritten note, I have written:
C.R. 2 August 1940 obit – George W. Van Horn  (CR = Coatesville Record)
well known farmer.
East Fallowfield near Mortonville.
D. 1 August 1940 in 74th year.
Survived by daughter Mrs. Roy Lilley of Ducannanon. Wife passed years ago.
Bur. Doe Run.

My Stills are from the Mortonville area but my Sarah Jennie Van Horn only came to the area when she married Franklin Still. However a “quick” search on Ancestry.com revealed George’s parents were Fred and Mattie Van Horn. All three were born in Delaware. George’s wife Katie preceded him in death. George, according to his death certificate, was born 13 August 1866 and died 1 August 1940. The informant on the death certificate is not a Mrs. Roy Lilley but rather a Mrs. Still of Mortonville. It also notes that George is to be buried in the Old Doe Run Cemetery in Chester County. So perhaps there is a connection but for now – sadly – George returns to the surname folder.

The Delaware kind of throws me too. Then I came across another paper – the 1870 Census – for Sarah J Van Horn. She is six years old here. Here being Solebury Township, Bucks County, PA. The post office there is New Hope. Her parents are Chrispin and Mary. She is my great great grandmother!  The census shows she and her parents were all born in Pennsylvania but it shows her brother Thomas A. and her sister Mary A. were born in Delaware! Maybe that George (up above) can be connected at some point. For now though, this page goes in Sarah Jennie Van Horn Still’s folder.

Another note reads:
L. 30 January 1917
In Mortonville
Thomas A Van Horn
D 30 January 1917 in 51st year
Sister is Mrs. Frank Still
Intern @ Doe Run

Finally one I know I can put in the claim pile! Ironically, I just updated a note in his file earlier today.

The Surname Folder has many random papers I have found through the years and to be honest I have not even made a dent today. So I would like to close with a group of papers that focus on Benjamin Franklin Van Horn.

He was the brother of my 2x great grandfather, Chrispin. The first page is from the Civil War Pension Index. It confirms that he fought with the 11th and the 90th PA Infantry. He applied for his pension on 24 April 1882 in California. The next page is a printout from Ancestry.com. The database is Civil War Prisoner of War Records, 1861-1865. Benjamin is listed as “Vanhorn, B.” The last page is a copy of the 1880 Census for Milpitas Township, Santa Barbara County, California. He was a farmer there. Living with him is his wife and their six children. They did actually have eight children in total but two were born after this census.

Oh and just to end on an awesome note … when I put Benjamin’s papers in his folder, I “found” information from one of his great great grandchildren which included family photos (print outs of them) and her address!
Surname Saturday is a genealogy prompt of GeneaBloggers.

Locations listed are located in Pennsylvania (USA), unless otherwise noted in post.