Thursday, March 5, 2020

Looking that Gift Horse in the Mouth

It's all very well and good when we receive an unexpected gift of the names of a long-deceased relative's parents, but despite such serendipity, it's best to look that gift horse in the mouth. Unsourced recommendations can turn out to be not much more than hearsay.

So it is with the volunteer-added note on Cassa Rinehart Brown's Find A Grave memorial about the names of her parents. We originally stumbled upon Cassa's name, if you recall, by following up on a clue from the wills of two related men in Perry County, Ohio. That clue was the repeated appearance of the name Isaac Brown; as it turns out, his wife Cassa was a Rinehart, married in Perry County in 1837.

My first question, in making that discovery, was whether the stated parents—Cassa's parents were said to be "William and Lila Ingram Rinehart"—actually lived in Perry County, Ohio, at the time of Cassa's wedding. Being that the year of her marriage pre-dated the conveniently more-detailed census returns of 1850 and beyond, census records would not be entirely helpful, but it was reassuring to see that there was, indeed, a William Rinehart resident in Perry County at the time of the census immediately after her wedding.

The 1840 census showed this William living in Pike Township, which, if you recall, was the same location in which our main interest, Simon Rinehart, also owned property, as well as the Isaac Brown whose name kept appearing in my mother-in-law's ancestors' wills.

In addition, while William Rinehart could possibly be a common name—in other words, with the likelihood that there could be more than one person with that same name in the same region—one headstone in Perry County could very well be his. Situated at the First Methodist Church cemetery in New Lexington—not only county seat for Perry County, but also located in Pike Township—a burial for someone named William Rinehart was marked January 18, 1869. Though the Find A Grave memorial does not include a photograph of his headstone, a volunteer there noted that the marker was inscribed, "aged 82y 9m 12d."

Though that cemetery Find A Grave entry did not include a memorial for Delilah Inghram Rinehart, there was a memorial there for someone named Lucinda Rinehart, which, as the memorial noted, was inscribed at her 1844 death to say she was the daughter of "William and Delia Rinehart."

If this William were indeed one and the same as Cassa Rinehart Brown's father, we would be quite fortunate, for we should be able to find his entry in both the 1860 and 1850 census records. And sure enough, in that same Pike Township in 1860, there was a listing for a seventy-five-year-old farmer named William Rinehart—and in his household was a sixty-six-year-old woman named "Delila." Added bonus: both were born in Pennsylvania.

So, if the William we've found in those two references turns out to be the same as Cassa Rinehart Brown's father, that puts his own birth around 1785 or 1786. That, of course, is reasonable for a father's age at the time of Cassa's own birth in 1816. What doesn't work, in this massive relative-grab of nested family tree building, is William's birth in light of Simon Rinehart's own birth around 1774. Whatever the relationship between Isaac Brown, the man who served as Simon Rinehart's executor, and Simon himself, it wasn't so clear-cut as that of brothers-in-law—if, that is, we have the right names and dates for the Rinehart relatives we've already discovered.

The down side to all this is that I wasn't able to find William or Delilah in the census record for 1850 in Perry County, despite their presence there in Pike Township in both 1840 and 1860. Finding them in 1850 could possibly outline the names of other Rinehart relatives so that we could better identify this branch of the extended family. It seems the more we look, the more jumbled the record becomes.


  1. They are still in Pike, Perry Co., Ohio in 1850. Go to FamilySearch to look for them. I found them just looking for Delilahs in Perry County, and I did not have to look far (I love FamilySearch's search engine!). You will find her as Delilah Rhinehart. Little George Rhinehart age 9 is living with them and Sarah McCormick. Bonus - someone has added them to the one family tree.

    1. Thanks for pointing that out, kdduncan! Yes, using a second search engine can help. I had already tried searching for Delilah--even Delila and Delia--as well as just grunting through a visual check of the entire return for Pike Township in 1850, with no keepers. Now that I see the abysmal handwriting, I can understand why!

  2. Hello. I'm unsure of how to contact you aside from this comment option. I don't use this app and have no experience using it either. I actually came across your blog on my Google results because a friend of mine has came in possession of an AZo photo postcard with a picture of a baby but there's no writing whatsoever unfortunately.. the top arrows are up and the bottom arrows are down. She recently acquired a 1923 Webb City, MO highschool yearbook and this postcard happened to be inside. Since the child pictured is an infant and the yearbook is of teenagers, there's no way of matching photos by comparison. So we're trying to figure out how she might go about finding the owner or a relative of the owner so that she could perhaps return it to the family it should rightfully be with. If you can be of any help I'd greatly appreciate it. My email is .. I'm not sure how I would know if you replied to this comment seeing as how I dont use this app and had no knowledge it existed until stumbling across the link to your blog on my search results. Any help would be greatly appreciated. We're assuming it belongs to a family from Webb City MO back in the 1920s since it's with the 1923 yearbook.. perhaps they never got the chance to send it out? We have so many questions.. thank you for your time.. I hope to hear from you.

    1. Any info at all would be great.. we really enjoy learning

  3. Thanks for getting in touch, AmandaLauray! I just sent you an email. Here's hoping you find a way to get that photo back to family!


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