Friday, March 6, 2020

Doing the Numbers

In working through any pedigree chart, we start from our current era and record each preceding generation as we progress backwards in time. When the chain of names, dates, and events is broken by an unprecedented move—such as emigration from one's hometown to a new frontier—it can have a disrupting effect. A situation like that leaves us without any toehold to grasp and pull us farther into the deep recesses of our family's history.

Such is the case with my current situation. I'm still trying every which way I can to flush out clues on just who the parents might have been of my mother-in-law's third great-grandfather, Simon Rinehart from Greene County, Pennsylvania. Finding a relative in his new hometown of Perry County, Ohio, I've grabbed that clue as a possibility to lead me further backwards in the story of that Rinehart line. Yet, even there, this backwards direction is keeping me stumped for one specific reason: at first glance, the numbers don't seem to add up.

There is another direction that can be taken, however. Noticing that one Isaac Brown—the name which kept showing up in my mother-in-law's ancestors' wills—had married a woman from the extended Rinehart family in Perry County, we can follow that line backwards to see what can be found. After all, if the hint found in a Find A Grave memorial for Cassa Rinehart Brown is correct, we now know her parents were William Rinehart and Delilah Inghram. Perhaps tracing the connections with those two people can reveal a clue worth following.

Fortunately, William and Delilah have their names mentioned in some of the old biographical sketches and history books of the 1800s. Whether those recountings of pioneer families are entirely correct, I can't yet say, but we are about to take a look.

According to two different renderings of the family history in the Howard Leckey book, The Tenmile Country and Its Pioneer Families, Delilah Inghram was the daughter of Arthur Inghram and his wife, whose name was alternately spelled Olive or Allive Smith.

Fortunately, the Tenmile Country book spells out dates for Arthur Inghram and for the earliest of his children. Thus, we learn that Leckey identified Arthur's birth as some time in February of 1746, and his death, according to his headstone in the Inghram family cemetery, as October 28, 1834. We also can see that his oldest son, William, was born November 24, 1778, followed by daughter Margaret in 1780. After that, some of the subsequent children of are only mentioned by name, followed by a date of death, not birth.

By the time the Tenmile Country gets around to mentioning Arthur's eighth child—Delilah—Leckey only mentions her name and that of her husband, William Rinehart. All we can deduce is that Delilah must have been born after 1787, for that is when her next-oldest sister Cassandra arrived. Thankfully, we do have a cross-check on Delilah and William's marriage in the mention of her married name in her father's 1834 will.

Approaching this family tree from the opposite direction, we can glean a few numbers from the Tenmile Country accounting of the Rinehart family tree. William Rinehart was son of Thomas Rinehart and Hannah Inghram. If you begin to notice those same surnames swirling around in repeated manner, I warn you to get used to this: the Tenmile Rineharts and Inghrams intermarried on several counts throughout the generations.

William Rinehart's father Thomas was apparently a "junior." Leckey recounts that Thomas the son was born around 1746, and that he married Hannah—daughter of William Inghram, senior—around 1774. Thomas and Hannah's oldest, son John, was born in 1779, followed by son Thomas (the third) in 1783. By the time Leckey gets around to mentioning son number three—that would be our William—he runs out of dates. Leckey mentions only that William Rinehart married Delilah Inghram, daughter of "Arthur and Alive (Smith) Inghram."

Thus, our William Rinehart arrived in this world—somewhere in what was then Washington County, Pennsylvania, in its earliest, frontier years—after his brother's birth in 1783. Census records for the William Rinehart we found in Perry County, Ohio, for 1850 and 1860, estimate his birth in 1789 or 1785, respectively.

And then, we have Simon Rinehart. Where he fits in the Rinehart picture in Greene County, Pennsylvania, I still don't know. How he was related to the man he named as executor of his estate—Isaac Brown, William Rinehart's son-in-law—I also don't know. That Simon was born around 1774 is supported by the ages indicated in several census enumerations in both Greene County and Perry County, right up to the last one before his death.

From the proximity of their two properties in Perry County, or from the connection between William's son-in-law and Simon's relatives, you'd think it reasonable to assume that Simon and William might have been brothers. But if you were to rely on the genealogy published in the Leckey account of Tenmile Country, you'd be hard pressed to find a Simon Rinehart who fit the descriptions of those with the same name in Leckey's book.

Seems like we are just about to get up to head-banging time.


  1. Possibly you've already found this, but I'll offer it. A Woodsfield (Monroe Co.), Ohio, newspaper -- Spirit of Democracy -- carries a number of legal notices to Simon and Thomas Rinehart of Greene Co., Pa., in the 1840s. They are about a case in the Court of Common Pleas, and I see that the Monroe County Common Pleas Court records for those years are included in the FamilySearch catalog for the county. It might turn out to be an impersonal business case, but the records are digitized, so it should not be very time-consuming to invesstigate.

    1. Now, that's a thought, Marian! Thanks for mentioning that. I'll have to take a look and see if those are the right Simon and Thomas. The time period seems about right...

    2. There also seems to be an Arthur Inghram (or Ingraham) involved as well. A brother of Dalila?
      I see notices of the case around september 1846, and then again around may 1847.

      An 1844 case of Simon vs William McCarty where he tries to get a land transfer declared "fraudulent and void" seems to be related to this as well.

    3. Yes, Per, Delilah also had a brother named Arthur. Thanks for spotting that! I will need to take a close look at that item you mention about Simon, as there was more than one Simon Rinehart in the area then.

      In addition, with the murder of the original Simon Rinehart, back in the previous century, it seems there was never any settlement on the land he was in the process of acquiring when he was killed. Land troubles seemed to be part of this extended family's legacy.

  2. Duh. I should have mentioned that Spirit of Democracy is part of the collection offered in the Library of Congress web site,

    1. Oh, excellent, Marian! That will make the search much easier--and handle it from another angle.


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