I'm sure a professional genealogist would run for the hills if they read what I am about to post but here goes anyway. I am convinced that a LOT of genealogy success is the result of dumb luck and gut instinct. Over the years, I have fallen into more finds just out of dumb luck or being in the right place at the right time or thumbing through just the right book. I also have had a lot of instances of having a gut instinct about something and sure enough, I find out it is true. Yesterday was an example of both of these occurrences.
I went to our local library to do some research for a friend. Our library has a rather extensive genealogy/local history section. This is the same library that was closed from last August 13 to sometime in December because of our 100 year flood, This was the first time I had been there since the flood and I was amazed to find that the underground parking garage and basement where all of the electrical, phone, etc. plus used bookstore, offices etc was still being worked on. And because of this, the library has no AC. The upstairs area where the main library is was not affected by the flood--thankfully. Anyway, I digress.
I did my research for Bob and as I was getting up to leave I noticed that right in front of me there were quite a few books on Monroe County, Ohio, I have done more research than I care to think about in and about this county. Unfortunately, it is one of the two counties I'm researching (Wabash County, Illinois being the other) where the courthouse was burned down in the 1800's. Well, in Wabash County's case, it was a tornado. Anyway, I noticed that there were a few books about Monroe County that I hadn't seen before. So, I sat down and started going through them.
I am looking for my g.g.grandfather, Isaac Pearce--not Pierce but Pearce, it seems. Isaac was born about 1780 supposedly in Delaware but it could have been Pennsylvania and died April 29, 1861 in Monroe Co., Ohio. My g.g.grandmother Mary (don't know her surname) died Jan. 15, 1846 in Monroe County. I got this date from the local Monroe County newspaper, The Spirit of Democracy. The article didn't give her birth date but said she was 50 making her born in 1796. Isaac remarried between 1846 and 1850 to a Lydia (didn't now her surname). Lydia had been previously married to a Mr. Agin.
A couple of items I found in one of the books yesterday were the following:
#1 Spirit of Democracy (newspaper from Monroe Co., Ohio) April 6, 1869 Vol 26 #6 "Legal Notice-Will of Isaac Pearce dec'd-destroyed by fire, copy admitted to record March 30, 1869"
#2 Spirit of Democracy Dec. 1, 1868 Vol 25 #40,"Settlement Accounts for Hearing Dec. 17, 1868 J.R. Pennington Executor for Isaac Pearce partial".
I was curious who this J.R. Pennington was and why he would be the executor of my g.g.grandfather's estate. So of course I started looking up the Penningtons. I found that J. R. was John R. Pennington, the son of Thomas Pennington and Sarah Randolph.
Then I found this:
Ancestors of Monroe County, Ohio
Thomas Pennington Jan 10, 1803-Nov 7, 1890 md Sarah Randolph born Nov 18, 1802-died July 1, 1871 or 1874
Their child: Maria Jane Pennington born May 13, 1839-died Dec. 8, 1901 Monroe Co., Ohio
Maria Jane Pennington married James Randolph Agin born Nov 22, 1835-died March 16, 1912 Crane Nest, Monroe co. Oh. They were married 1863 Crane Nest, Ohio
James Randolph Agin was the son of Jacob Agin born 1811-died Feb 16, 1876 and Phoebe born 1812-died Feb 1882.
So here was the link between the Penningtons, the Agins, and my g.g.grandfather, Isaac Pearce and step g.g.grandmother, Lydia.
When I got home, I started going through my old notes and found that Lydia was living with Thomas Pennington in 1880 and although his wife was dead, Lydia was listed as his sister in law.(And why didn't I catch this before?? Who knows!) So, I did some online research and found that Lydia was indeed the sister of Sarah Randolph Pennington and was born September 16, 1813 in Redstone, Fayette County, Pennsylvania. She was the daughter of Richard Fitz Randolph and Lydia Mackay. Richard and Lydia had 12 children, several of whom ended up in Monroe County, Ohio.
And guess what, their oldest daughter was named Mary and was born in 1796!! My g.g.grandmother, Mary, who died in 1846 was born in 1796 in Pennsylvania. I got that information from the 1880 census of my great grandmother--Isaac and Mary's daughter, Elizabeth D. Pearce Sayers.
OK, I don't have proof that my g.g.grandmother Mary was indeed Mary Randolph, especially since Mary Randolph supposedly married a Maxwell Edwards. Isaac Pearce and Mary did not marry until about 1821 when he was about 40 and she was about 25. I have been totally unable to find anything on a Maxwell Edwards from that time and place so there is every possibility that Maxwell died and Mary then married Isaac Pearce. And when she died, Isaac married her sister who just happened to be a widow.
Anyway, being in the right place and the right time and finding those books on Monroe County helped me to find the Agins, Penningtons and Randolphs. And, my gut instinct is working overtime telling me that my Mary was indeed Mary Randolph. Now, I just have to find out how Mary Randolph met Isaac Pearce and got married. Then I have to be in the right place at the right time and find out who Isaac's parents were.
Later: Well, shoot!!! I just did some more searching and found that Maxwell Edwards was the son of Thomas Edwards and--you guessed it--Mary Randolph. And they settled in Perry County, Ohio where Mary died in 1862!!! NOT my Mary! Oh well, so much for gut instinct. Back to the drawing board. BUT, I did find out who my step g.g.grandmother, Lydia, was at least.