Pulling the String – Ebenezer Russell and Malinda Hand

I may have misspoken when I stated in my previous post that Margaret came from an upstanding family.  No evidence to the contrary, but I did base my statement on her deeper heritage.  The deeper I dig into her parents, the more I regret being so bold in my assertion.  While I am confident that Ebenezer Russell and Malinda Hand of Paulding County, Ohio are Margaret’s parents, I just don’t have enough to really tell a complete story.

As I travel along through Margaret Russell Cobe’s life, I find that she shared a similar life experience with Eleanor Cobe (her granddaughter) and Luella DeJean (from our Aleck line).  The “a parent died young and turned their world upside-down” club.

We have nothing to specifically tell us that Margaret’s parents were Ebenezer Russell and Malinda Hand.  What we do have is an association to one of her sisters, family inferences through the 1860 household of Ebenezer Russell of Paulding County, and finally to the marriage record of Ebenezer to Malinda Hand which occurred in Paulding County.  There are only six households headed by a Russell family in Paulding County, and three lone Russell men.  

Since Margaret married Richard Cobe in Paulding County at such a young age in 1867, I felt her family would not be very far.   And they weren’t.  So, I did not eliminate Russell families beyond Paulding County.  

Of the families identified, only one had a girl named Margaret born in the target years; Margaret Russell, age 7 (b. abt 1853) in the household of Ebenezer Russell, his inferred wife, Malinda, and inferred children John W., Phebe (aka Phoebe), and Josephine.

It is assumed that Ebenezer died before the 1870 census as evidenced by Malinda Russell marrying again in 1867, a few months before Margaret married Richard Cobe.  No death or probate records have been found for Ebenezer to confirm this assumption.  No grave profiles have been uploaded to Find-a-Grave or Billiongraves.  He just vanishes.

With the disappearance of Ebenezer, a timeline of his family’s key activities is reviewed to look for any clues as follows:

29 June 1867Marriage of Mother: Malinda (Hand)
Russell to Abraham Latty
In Emerald Township, by Bennett Savage, J.P.
10 October 1867Marriage of Self: Margaret Russell
to Richard Cobe
In Emerald Township by Bennett Savage, J.P.
1870Mother Malinda is head of
household with one Latty child
and Martha Russell
Jackson Township, Paulding County, Ohio
1870Sister: 13-year-old Josephine is
in the household of her paternal
uncle, Rufus Russell
Jackson Township, Paulding County, Ohio
1870Self: Margaret in household of
Richard Cobe
Brown Township, Pauling County, Ohio
18 June 1871Marriage of Brother: John W. Russell
to Mary M. Ankney
He worked as a batman (military valet) and
died of consumption in 1873 in Emerald Township.
13 October 1872Marriage of Sister: Phebe Russell
to Adam Kimber
In Paulding County by John Anderson, J.P.  
Adam vouched for her age (18), but she may
have been 17. 
24 December 1873Marriage of Sister: Josephine Russell
to William H. Smith
In Paulding County by John Anderson, J.P.  
Richard Cobe vouched for her age (18), but
she was 16.

What really jumps out to me is that neither Ebenezer nor Malinda are named in their children’s marriage or death records.  This family appears to have just scattered after Ebenezer “disappears”.  Margaret married young. John is missing from his mother’s 1870 household and may be working for a military officer or in the military. Phebe is not readily found in 1870 households but marries as early as 17. Josephine is living with her uncle in 1870 and is married by the age of 16. Mildred remarries and is presumably widowed, separated, or divorced by 1870 and has her final 9 year old Russell daughter (Martha) in her household.

Ebenezer – abandoner or untimely demise?

I am still combing the un-indexed digital images available to see if I can find some evidence of what happened to Ebenezer between 1861 and 1867.  Indexes are proving to be disheartening.  Three probabilities emerge; 1) he ran away; 2) he did not have property to distribute; or 3) he died intestate and the family did not file for probate or administration.  The 1860 Census is blank for his real and personal property value and his occupation is “day labourer”, suggesting he may not have had property worth legally dispersing.

Ebenezer’s son, John W., does have an estate settled in probate (intestate), but there is no land to dispose of, so no lead with John W.

Without property, Ebenezer’s family and neighbors didn’t bother petitioning to assign guardians for his minor children.  Instead, it appears as though the daughters choose to marry as soon as possible.  Was this just young love run free without a father figure to rein them in or was Melinda eager to marry her daughters off to lighten her financial burden and improve her chance of securing her next marriage?

Malinda – unlucky in love or nepharious?

Perhaps my misanthropy clouds my perceptions, but Melinda is a suspicious woman to me.  Ebenezer disappears, and her children “flee” from her.  But curious events continue to surround her.  She marries a second time in 1867 and is living apart from husband #2 less than three years later – but had a child with him as late as 1874 – he lived until 1879 (probably).  She marries a third time in 1877 (before the death of husband #2) and he dies the following year (cause of death is blank).  She marries a fourth time in 1879! Perhaps she liked him better, as he lived until 1890.

Malinda died in 1913 as Malinda Stevenson at the Toledo State Hospital.  The informant on her death certificate was her attending physician, Mary Ketring.  She did have a daughter named Mary Latty…hmmm.  Such a common first name and no Mary Latty who married Ketring’s.  To bad.

To date, it appears as though Malinda outlived all but one child, her son from her second marriage.   Though I still have three children to track down.

Dr. Mary Ketring didn’t know much about Malinda Stevenson except that her usual residence was in Melrose, Paulding County, Ohio (where Emmett and Mary Stockford were living when Mary died in 1902).  Malinda’s remains were returned to Brown Township where she was buried in the Little Auglaize Cemetery near Melrose.  Her headstone reads: Sister, Malinda Stevenson, born June 10, 1831, died Dec. 15, 1913.  There are no other registered Hands or Russells buried in this cemetery.  

Malinda’s final mystery?  Who erected her headstone? 

Genealogical Summary for Ebenezer and Malinda

Ebenezer Russell (Jr) was born about 1829 probably in Cattaraugus County, New York to Ebenezer Russell (Sr) and Phoebe Freeman. He married Malinda Hand on 26 August 1851 in Allen County, Ohio. Ebenezer may have died sometime between 1861 and 1868 in Paulding County, Ohio.

Malinda Hand celebrated her birthday on 10 June and was born between 1830 and 1833 in Ohio. She married (2) Abraham Latty on 29 June 1867 in Emerald Township, Paulding County, Ohio. She married (3) Andrew Roush on 18 August 1877 in Paulding County, Ohio. She married (4) Isaac Stevenson on 15 April 1879 in Paulding County, Ohio. Melinda was a resident of Melrose Village in Brown Township, Paulding County, Ohio in 1813 before going to Toledo for treatment of an infected heart. She died at the State Hospital in Toledo, Ohio from her illness and was buried in the Little Auglaize Cemetery near Melrose, Ohio.

Ebenezer and Melinda were the parents of the following children:
1. John W. Russell was born 14 July 1850 probably in Richland Township, Allen County, Ohio. He married Mary Annoy on 18 June 1871 in Paulding County, Ohio and died 24 September1873 in Emerald Township, Paulding County, Ohio. He and Mary had one child, Eliza Russell in 1872.
2. Margaret Russell was born 8 March, probably in 1852, in Paulding County, Ohio. She married Richard Cobe on 10 October in Paulding County, Ohio. She died on 5 December 1888 in Melrose, Brown Township, Paulding County, Ohio. Margaret and Richard were the parents of five children, Hortense, Emmett, John W., Joseph, and Frederick.
3. Phoebe Russell was born about 1855 in Ohio. She married Adam Kimler/Kemler on 13 October 1872. Phoebe died sometime between 1876 and 1880. They had at least two children, Wesley Adam Kimler and Clyde B Kimler.
4. Josephine Russell was born about 1857 in Ohio. She married William H. Smith on 24 December 1873 in Paulding County, Ohio. Together they had at lease two children, Minard and Charles, who were both born in Van Wert County, Ohio.
5. Martha Russell was born about 1861 in Paulding County, Ohio. She may have married a man named Henry Roush and moved to Michigan.

Melinda and Abraham Latty were the parents of the following children:
1. Mary A. Latty (1868-??)
2. Lester Claud Latty (1874-1930). Lester took the surname of his 1st step-father, Andrew Roush.

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