Saturday, October 20, 2012

Surname Saturday - Ancestor #31 - Rhoda Cary


One of my goals for 2012 is to use the Surname Saturday blogging prompt as a way to assure that I spend some time researching each of my family lines and that I have appropriate source citations for the genealogical facts related to my ancestors. I’ve decided to use my ahnentafel report and work back through the generations starting with my grandparents, writing a summary of each ancestor. If you discovered this post through a search engine and find one of your ancestors listed here, please leave a comment to let me know.

My maternal 2nd great-grandmother Rhoda Cary was born 9 January 1833[1] in Union County, Ohio, the seventh child of Ephraim and Matilda (Gandy) Cary.

On 11 July 1849, Rhoda married Joseph Franklin in Union County, Ohio.[2] The couple had five children who lived to adulthood:
  • Ruth Franklin (1851-1914)[3] – my great-grandmother
  • Nancy Franklin (1853[4]-1875[5])
  • Richard Franklin (1856[6]-after 1880[7])
  • Fannie Franklin (1859[8]-1904[9])
  • David Franklin (1865-1932)[10] 

On 21 May 1870, John B. Coats, Judge for the Probate Court of Union County, Ohio, signed an “Application for Admission” of Rhoda into the Central Lunatic Asylum in Columbus, Ohio.[11] On the same day, a “Medical Certificate” was signed by one Dr. Skidmore stating that Rhoda had been judged insane; he stated that she had been “insane for three weeks and ‘melancholic’ for five months.” The cause was specified as “probable affection [affliction?] of the lungs producing debility and loss of child producing melancholy.”[12] On 30 May 1870 Rhoda was admitted to the asylum located in Dayton, Ohio, having been taken there by Lory Ford.[13] She remained there for over two years, until she was returned to Taylor Township in Union County on 21 August 1872.[14]

Looking at the number of years between the births of Rhoda’s two youngest children, it appears that there could have been another child born between them and then one or more  children born after David. Certainly, recurrent stillbirths or children who died shortly after birth would have impacted Rhoda’s mental health. Was the lung condition possibly tuberculosis? Daughter Nancy died in 1875 from scrofula, which is defined as a tuberculosis infection the lymph nodes in the neck.[15]

Rhoda has not been found in any records after August 1872. Her husband Joseph remarried on 1 November 1877 in Marion County, Ohio.[16] It is unknown whether she died or whether they divorced. No burial location has been found. None of Rhoda’s children were living with Joseph at the time of the 1880 census.[17]

There are several opportunities for additional research:
  1. Continued research in records of Union County and Marion County, both areas in which Rhoda may have lived after her release from the asylum, to see if there is any record of death or divorce.
  2. Newspaper research in Union and Marion counties, to see if there are any references to Rhoda.
  3. Research on descendants and collateral lines to see if a living relative can be found who has more information on Rhoda’s life and death.




[1] Ephraim Cary Personal Bible, ( n.p., n.d.), Family Record page and front inside cover pages; privately held by Rev. Darrell Joiner, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE], Lincoln, Maine, 04457. Copies provided to Denise Spurlock in 2001. It is unknown whether Mr. Joiner held the actual Bible or only copies thereof.
[2] Union, Ohio, Marriage Records, 2: 207, Franklin-Cary; FHL microfilm 573,776.
[3] Labette County, Kansas, death certificate no. illegible (1914), Ruth Snider; Kansas Board of Health.
[4] 1860 U.S. census, population schedule, Leesburg Township, Union County, Ohio, p. 28, dwelling 421, family 397, Joseph Franklin; digital images, Ancestry (www.ancestry.com : accessed 18 Feb 2012); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M653, roll 1044.
[5][5] Marion County, Ohio, "Death records, 1867-1908," (Marion County Courthouse, Marion), Volume 1, p. 74, Fannie Franklin; FHL microfilm 384,350.
[6] 1860 U.S. census, pop. sch., Leesburg Township, Union County, Ohio, p. 28, dwell. 421, fam. 397, Joseph Franklin.
[7] 1880 U.S. census, population schedule, Leesburg Township, Union County, Ohio, enumeration district (ED) 81, p. 187A (stamped), dwelling 255, family 255, Arad Franklin; digital images, Ancestry (www.ancestry.com : accessed 4 Oct 2012); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T9, roll 1073. In 1880, Richard was living with his uncle Arad Franklin, Jr. He has not been found in any record after that date.
[8] 1860 U.S. census, pop. sch., Leesburg Township, Union County, Ohio, p. 28, dwell. 421, fam. 397, Joseph Franklin.
[9] Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center, "Ohio Obituary Index," database, Ancestry (www.ancestry.com : accessed 27 Apr 2012), entry for Fanny Burkepile.
[10] Ohio Department of Health, Division of Vital Statistics, death certificate 70649 (1932), David Franklin; digital image, FamilySearch (www.familysearch.org : accessed 23 May 2012).
[11] Union County, Ohio, Probate Court, Application for Admission, 21 May 1870, Rhoda Cary; scanned image received from Judy Price (jmbp_99@yahoo.com), 1 May 2011.
[12] Union County, Ohio, Probate Court, Medical Certificate, 21 May 1870, Rhoda Cary; scanned image received from Judy Price (jmbp_99@yahoo.com), 1 May 2011.
[13] Union County, Ohio, Probate Court, Warrant to Convey, 27 May 1870, Rhoda Franklin; scanned image received from Judy Price (jmbp_99@yahoo.com), 1 May 2011.
[14] Union County, Ohio, Probate Court, Warrant to Convey, 19 August 1872, Rhoda Franklin; scanned image received from Judy Price (jmbp_99@yahoo.com), 1 May 2011.
[15] U.S. National Library of Medicine, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002330/, accessed 14 October 2012
[16] "Ohio County Marriages, 1790-1950", Marion County Ohio, Marriages, 8: 237, Franklin-Benton, 1877; index and images, FamilySearch (www.familysearch.org : accessed 18 Feb 2012).
[17] 1880 U.S. census, population schedule, York Township, Union County, Ohio, enumeration district (ED) 72, p. 20A, dwelling (blank), family 47, Joseph Franklin; digital images, Ancestry (www.ancestry.com : accessed 18 Feb 2012); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T9, roll 1073.



© 2012 Denise Spurlock

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