Saturday, May 18, 2013

Crawford Ritchey: was he a twin?

On my visit to the College City (Colusa County) Cemetery, I found Rebecca Freeman (nee Ritchie, m1 Dolbow) buried in a family plot of seven persons named Ritchey, her maiden name.

Beside Rebecca were Silas Ritchey 1871-1949, Priscilla E. Ritchey 1834-1919, Crawford Ritchey 1819-1881, Lizzie Ritchey, born May 31, 1874 died age 4, and twin Thomas Ritchey, d Nov 1, 1874 at 5 months, and JJames Ritchey, died Oct 15, 1867, age 7.

Needless to say, I was surprised to find them, and delighted to think Rebecca did not die, as I had always supposed, widowed and penniless, far from her daughter Emily in California. They had evidently moved here together.

But who are these people Rebecca is buried with? My working hypothesis is that Crawford is a sibling, possibly even a twin, of Rebecca, due to their same birth year. So far, the census has not helped me much, even though it told me a great deal about Crawford and his immediate family. It even supplied a possible birth family-- for him!

Since Cranford was still alive in 1880, that's the first record I sought:

1880 Federal Census: Spring Valley, Colusa Co, California
Richey Crawford W M 62   Farmer     b OH; Fb US; Mb US
   Prescilla    W     F     55 keep house  b KY; Fb MD; Mb KY
   Erastus   W  M 16 son Farm Laborer b OR; Fb OH, Mb KY
   James   W    M 10 son                        b CA; Fb OH; Mb KY
   Viola     W    F    3 daughter               b CA; Fb OH; Mb KY
   James    W    M 57 brother                 b OH; Fb OH; Mb KY
I was glad his brother James was included- this will be helpful to know. I got all excited when I saw that James, if not Crawford, had parent's birth states recorded. Then I realized they were the same states recorded as for the children above him, so that may or may not mean James' and Crawford's mother was born in Kentucky!

1870 Federal Census: Spring Valley, Colusa Co, California
James Richie          38    M    Farmer    b OH (single line)-- lives alone
Thomas Chambers 72    M    Farmer    b PA   (Single line)--lives alone
Crawford Richie     49    M    Farmer    b OH
Percilla    "             36    F keep house   b KY
James       "       10/12    M                     b CA
Lewis, Mary           13    F                      b IA
  "        Rastus          6    M                      b OR
Graham, Walter      80    M    Laborer    b Scotland
McGonigle, William 40 M    Laborer    b TN

1860 Federal Census: Twnshp 3 (Auburn), Placer Co, California
Crawford Ritchey    43    M (Drayman?) b OH
    Manerva     "         37    F                      b IN
    Crawford "             6    M                      b UT
    Jas        "               33    M (Drayman?) b OH
Thos Chambers        67    M    Miner        b PA

Was I ever glad James was with Crawford in 1860. Note Thomas Chambers, too: he and James are living separately from Crawford and each other in 1870. But the important part, here, is that Crawford's wife's name is different-- and sure enough, one of Priscilla's descendents tells me she married Crawford Ritchey in 1869. No idea what happened to the child named Crawford, but I suspect he will be found in the Auburn Cemetery with Minerva.

But here is the exciting find: three families right next to one another:

1850 Federal Census: Jasper, Crawford Co, Arkansas
William Richie    56    M Farmer  b OH
    Sarah    "          41    F                b TN
    Mary    "           11    F                b AR
    Catharine "        4    F                 b AR
Eliza Waldroup    21    F                b IN
James Richie        21    M Laborer b OH
Robert Richie    23    M Laborer b OH
    Anna    "        25    F                    b Indian Nation not known
    James    "    6/12   M                    b AR
Crawford Richie    30    M Farmer b OH
    Minerva    "        26    F               b IN
    Sarah         "       15    F                b OH

Note James' location: in the family of William Richie. He's about ten years younger than Crawford, as before. New working hypothesis is that William Richie is their father. Robert, next door with his young family, is a probable brother. Sarah in the household of Crawford and Minerva appears to be too old to be a child of theirs and is probably Crawford's younger sister.

The names listed in the 1850 census gave me the idea of reconstructing what this family would look like in the 1840 census. If this snapshot is correct, it might be possible to identify which of the William Ritchey families in Ohio in 1840 was the birth family of Crawford (and hopefully, of Rebecca as well). James is the problem here: according to his age stated in the four censuses above he was born in (pick one!) 1823, 1832, 1827, or 1829! So in 1840 James might be either 8, 11, 13, or 17, falling into one of three categories for children: 5-9, 10-14, or 15-19.

1840 reconstruction of the hypothetical William Ritchey family:
William Richey   (8 total)   
M 10-14       1 (James, poss 5-9 or even 15-29)
M 20-29       1 (Crawford)
M 40-49       1 (William)
F under 5     1 (Mary)
F 5-10          1 (Sarah)
F 10-14        1 (Eliza)
F 20-29        1 (Rebecca)
F 30-39        1 (Sarah)

James is the problem here: according to his age stated in the four censuses here he was born in (pick one!) 1823, 1832, 1827, or 1829! So in 1840 James might be either 8, 11, 13, or 17, falling into one of three categories for children: 5-9, 10-14, or 15-19.

Stay tuned!-- And not a second too soon! I just posted this a couple of hours ago, and realized a fatal flaw in my reasoning. I will never, EVER find this family in Ohio in 1840. Look at daughter Mary's age-- and place of birth. That's right: Arkansas. That's the advantage of reading-- and rereading your work.

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