52 Ancestors 52 Weeks: Week 26 Bennett Strait

The latest post in a series in the challenge of posting about 52 ancestors in 52 weeks by Amy Johnson Crow

Bennett Strait, my 2nd great grandfather, was born on July 19, 1826, in Brown County, Ohio as the fourth of eleven children to James and Parthena (Hayes) Strait. Of the eleven children, ten lived to adulthood. Bennett’s parents were born in Virginia, married in Ohio and all of the children were born in Ohio. I don’t have much information about his early life but on April 14, 1850 he married Mary Catherine Oyler in Wabash County, Indiana.

1850 US Census Bennett and Mary Strait

1850 US Census Bennett and Mary Strait

In the September 1850 US Census for the Waltz Township of Wabash County, Indiana, Bennett and Mary were farmers with Mary’s older brother John V. Oyler living with them as a laborer. They lived next to Bennett’s father James and older brother Hayes, who also farmed. Bennett’s first child, Zenah Ann (my great grandmother) was born on March 15, 1851. In February of 1854 Bennett wrote a very interesting letter to Mary’s older brother Henry Oyler who lived in Iowa.

1854 Letter from Bennett Strait to Henry Oyler part 1

1854 Letter from Bennett Strait to Henry Oyler part 1

At first he dates the letter as February 19, 1854 and apologizes for not writing earlier and talks about the mild winter they have experienced in Indiana. Later he comments that “last fall” (1853) he sold his farm and is going to wait until the fall of 1855 to move west. Bennett says his plan is to move as far west as somewhere in Nebraska but he figures he’ll “as like as not” pass through the area in which Henry lives.

1854 Letter from Bennett Strait to Henry Oyler part 2

1854 Letter from Bennett Strait to Henry Oyler part 2

Later in the letter he really starts asking about the country where Henry lives and wants to know about the rivers, springs and wooded areas. Bennett specifically mentions the West and East Nodaway rivers; the East Nodaway River originates in Adams County, Iowa.

1854 letter from Bennett Strait to Henry Oyler part 3

1854 letter from Bennett Strait to Henry Oyler part 3

I can’t be sure exactly when Bennett left Indiana, but it was sometime between when his second daughter died in Indiana (Ester Jane August 25, 1853 – May 17, 1854) and when his son James Lewis was born on April 25, 1855 in Adams County, Iowa. The 1856 Iowa State Census lists Bennett, Mary, Zenah and Lewis living in Quincy Township, Adams County, Iowa. A neighbor in the township is Henry Oyler. A second son, Warren, was born in Harrison County, Missouri on July 16, 1858 and his mother Mary died there on August 11, 1858.

1860 US Census Bennett and James Strait

1860 US Census Bennett and James Strait

Bennett Strait never made it to Nebraska to live. The 1860 US Census shows him, Lewis and Warren living with Bennett’s father James in Harrison County, Missouri. Zenah is with her aunt Sarah Strait Pottarf on a neighboring farm. On February 17, 1861 he married Louisa Elizabeth Springer and they had five daughters, three of whom lived to adulthood.  In 1863 Bennett and his brothers Pilson and Elmus registered for duty in the Civil War.  Pilson served as a private but I’m not sure if Elmus or Bennett ever served.

The 1870 US Census shows Bennett with his surviving family back together again. He was living in Sugar Creek Township in Harrison County with his wife Louisa and children Zenah, James and Warren (from wife Mary) and his four young daughters Charlotte, Mary, Vesta and Amy. In 1877 tragedy once again struck the Bennett Strait family. Daughter Amy, born in 1867, died on September 19 and daughter Bessie, born in 1873, died on October 9.

1880 US Census Bennett and Louisa Strait

1880 US Census Bennett and Louisa Strait

The 1880 US Census lists a reduced family; it shows Bennett, Louisa, James, Charlotte, Mary and Vesta. Bennett continued to live in Harrison County and the 1910 US Census shows him and Louisa in the city of Bethany with Merritt and Zenah Walton as members of the household. I’ve already discussed the presence of Merritt and Zenah in an earlier post. Bennett Strait died on August 28, 1911 in Bethany and is buried in Fairview Cemetery on State Highway A in Harrison County.

Sources:

Source Citation: Wabash County, Indiana; Marriage Records 1835 – 1854 Pt. I : 1835-1840 Pt., Compiled by Wabash County Historical Musuem; Book: A; Page: 157. Source Information: Ancestry.com. Indiana, Marriage Collection, 1800-1941 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005. Original data: Works Progress Administration, comp. Index to Marriage Records Indiana: Indiana Works Progress Administration, 1938-1940. Jordan Dodd, Liahona Research, comp. Electronic transcription of marriage records held by the individual counties in Indiana. Many of these records are on microfilm at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Source Citation: Year: 1850; Census Place: Waltz, Wabash, Indiana; Roll: M432_178; Page: 364B; Image: 141. Source Information: Ancestry.com. 1850 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by Family Search. Original data: Seventh Census of the United States, 1850; (National Archives Microfilm Publication M432, 1009 rolls); Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29; National Archives, Washington, D.C.

Hand written letter from Bennett and James Strait to Henry Oyler, February 19, 1854.

Source Information: Ancestry.com. Iowa, State Census Collection, 1836-1925 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007. Original data: Microfilm of Iowa State Censuses, 1856, 1885, 1895, 1905, 1915, 1925 as well various special censuses from 1836-1897 obtained from the State Historical Society of Iowa via Heritage Quest.

Source Citation: Year: 1860; Census Place: Sugar Creek, Harrison, Missouri; Roll: M653_622; Page: 720; Image: 234; Family History Library Film: 803622. Source Information: Ancestry.com. 1860 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch. Original data: 1860 U.S. census, population schedule. NARA microfilm publication M653, 1,438 rolls. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.

Source Citation: Year: 1870; Census Place: Sugar Creek, Harrison, Missouri; Roll: M593_778; Page: 141A; Image: 288; Family History Library Film: 552277. Source Information: Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch. Original data: 1870 U.S. census, population schedules. NARA microfilm publication M593, 1,761 rolls. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.

Source Citation: Year: 1880; Census Place: Sherman, Harrison, Missouri; Roll: 689; Family History Film: 1254689; Page: 112C; Enumeration District: 296; Image: 0099. Source Information: Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2010. 1880 U.S. Census Index provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints © Copyright 1999 Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved. All use is subject to the limited use license and other terms and conditions applicable to this site. Original data: Tenth Census of the United States, 1880. (NARA microfilm publication T9, 1,454 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C.

Source Citation: Year: 1910; Census Place: Bethany Ward 2, Harrison, Missouri; Roll: T624_778; Page: 14A; Enumeration District: 0095; FHL microfilm: 1374791. Source Information: Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006. Original data: Thirteenth Census of the United States, 1910 (NARA microfilm publication T624, 1,178 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C. For details on the contents of the film numbers, visit the following NARA web page: NARA

Source Information: Ancestry.com. Web: Missouri, Find A Grave Index, 1812-2012 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012. Original data: Find A Grave. Find A Grave. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi: accessed 18 January 2013.

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About larrytom2

Older guy interested in genealogy and family issues.
This entry was posted in 52 Ancestors, Ancestry Information and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to 52 Ancestors 52 Weeks: Week 26 Bennett Strait

  1. Wonderful to have a letter written 160 years ago by your 2nd great-grandfather! I’m jealous.

  2. And it such good shape. Mine from the civil war era are fading. I too am Jealous.

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