#29 Polly Ann Farr

The thing about family history that is challenging is the overwhelming focus on the male side of things – surnames, lines of descent, etc. This means (at least for me) that I know very little about even some pretty recent female ancestors.

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One example is Polly Ann Farr, my third great-grandmother. She was the 3rd wife of Thomas Belknap (born in 1803), and the mother of Arthur Belknap. She was born in about 1832. The earliest record I have found for her is an application for a marriage license, dated September 18, 1848 to Thomas Belknap in Lorain County, Ohio. I’m not sure if this means they were married on that date or not. The application states that “she is of eighteen years.” I don’t think that’s true though.

The next record is the 1850 U.S. Federal Census for Russia Township in Lorain County. Polly Ann was listed as age 18 and birthplace of Ohio. Thomas’ 11-year-old son Francis is also living with them. In 1860, the family was living in Clinton, Fulton County, Ohio. Polly was listed as 29 and born in Ohio. They had 4 children in addition to Francis by 1860. In 1870, they were living in York Township, Fulton, Ohio and Polly was listed as 38. Now they had 6 children in addition to Francis. In 1880, the last census she is found in, the family was living in Dover Township, Fulton, Ohio. She was listed as 49, born in Ohio. Polly’s father was listed as born in Vermont, while her mother was born in Kentucky. Only three of their children were living with them in 1880.

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Thomas and Polly Ann’s tombstone in Tedrow Cemetery

After all this, she ended up dying at the age of 52 years 3 months in 1887 (according to her pretty unreadable tombstone – I know: the dates don’t add up!), before her husband Thomas, who died in 1889 at the age of 85!

Through DNA, I think Polly Ann’s father may have been Kimball Farr, but I have to do a lot more research to prove it!

Week 29 (July 15-21): Challenging

Tombstone Tuesday – Martha Gisel Belknap, 1869-1925

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This is a photo of a photo of Arthur Belknap (1869-1955) at the grave of his wife Martha Gisel Belknap (1869-1925) in Wauseon Union Cemetery in Wauseon, Ohio.  She died in a car accident that was mentioned in this previous post: A Tragedy and a Mystery.

Martha Gisel was born 21 June 1869 in Ohio.  In the 1880 Federal Census, she was living with her family in Franklin, Fulton County, Ohio.  Her parents were John Gisel (1843-1923) and Margaret Rhost (1848-1939), both were born in Switzerland.  Martha had a daughter Minnie on 31 Mar 1887 and married Arthur Belknap in Fulton County, Ohio on 5 March 1890.  They had four sons and a daughter (Floyd, Earl, Belva, Orville, and Kennard).  As mentioned in a previous post, Martha died in a car accident in Michigan on 15 September 1925.

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Martha and Arthur Belknap with Minnie and Floyd, abt. 1893