Thursday, April 12, 2012

Roath Family - A Brick Wall No More

As part of my organization of my genealogy database this year, I have been finding new records of my family and reanalyzing what I have. The images of Gallia County, Ohio marriage records were added recently to FamilySearch. So I was finally got a copy of the marriage of my 4th great grandparents, Thomas Russell Matthews and Susan Roath.

I had a family history that gave Susan's maiden name as Roath. But the marriage record showed Booth. I thought about changing Susan's maiden name to Booth in my database. But I decided to do some searching first.

I search the Gallia County 1830 census for Roath and Booth families. None of the Booth families had a daughter Susan's age, but the household of Russell H Roath did.

My next step was to review the books on Gallia County available at the Allen County Public Library. There I searched will abstracts for both Roath and Booth. Russell H Roath had left a will in 1832 giving all of the names of his children, including a Susan.

I started tracking his widow, Lydia, and his children. In 1850, Lydia was living with her youngest son, James, in Huntington Township, Gallia County. I couldn't find her in 1860. In 1870, she is living in Huntington Township with daughter Mary Lydia and son-in-law Benjamin Martin.

Then I started tracking Benjamin and Mary Lydia Martin. In 1860, they were living with Lydia Holcomb, aged 74, and Lovina Matthews, aged 20. That's when I realized that I had already seen this census record...2 years ago.

Lovina Matthews is the daughter of Thomas Russell Matthews and Susan Roath. She is also my 3rd great grandmother. In 1860, she was enumerated twice. Once with her parents and once with the Martins. I never investigated who the Martins were back then. Now I have the connection to the Matthews, Roaths and Martins figured out.

Russell H Roath was born between 1771 and 1775. He died on 1 December 1831 and is buried in Glenn Cemetery in Huntington Township. Lydia was born about 1787 in Rhode Island. She died 12 May 1873 in Vinton, Gallia County. The family of Russell H Roath and Lydia:
  • Eliza Roath - oldest daughter, possibly married before father's death in 1832
  • Barret F Roath - born about 1808 in New York, married Milly first, married Margaret Ward second, moved to Knox County, Illinois and then possibly to Nebraska (in which case he magically found a dozen children)
  • John N Roath - born about 1811 in New York, married Sarah "Sally" Saunders, died on 22 Jan 1882 in Burnside, Hancock County, Illinois
  • Nancy Roath - born 14 Dec 1812, married Simeon C Howell, died on 16 Oct 1847 and buried in Jackson County, Ohio
  • William Roath born 24 Mar 1815, not found after father's will
  • Susan Roath born 23 Jun 1818 in Gallia County, Ohio, married Thomas Russell Matthews, died 23 June 1874 and buried in Jackson County, Ohio
  • James Warren Roath - born 1 Sep 1825 in Ohio, married Emily Jacks, moved to Minnesota and died on 1 Dec 1908
  • Mary Lydia Roath - born 5 Nov 1827, married Benjamin Martin, died 26 Mar 1884 and buried in Gallia County
  • Almira Caroline Roath - born about 1829 in Ohio, married John Ewing
  • Lydia Roath - not found after father's will which lists a daughter Lydia and a daughter Mary E

I believe that they Lydia Holcomb in this records is Lydia, widow of Russell H Roath. I have found no marriage for her to a Holcomb though.

I still have more work to do on this family, including getting a copy of Russell's will and tracking his land. He left his property to son James and William. So deeds might help me figure out what happened to William.


  1. Nicely done! Congrats!

  2. Don't you love it when you solve something like this? Well done, Tina! I have early Gallia County ancestors, too, but I don't think any of my names overlap with the ones you mentioned. When did your family come to Gallia County, and what township did they live in?

  3. Congratulations! So much fun to solve a brick wall.

  4. Congratulations! My husband is descended from Barrett, I'm sure you know he was living in Jackson, Co., Ohio in the early 1830s. Several sons were born there. I, too, was wondering where all those Nebraskan kids came from....Peggy Witmyer Roath

  5. Congratulations! My husband is descended from Barrett. I tracked him to Jackson Co. Ohio in 1832. Several sons were born there. I,too, wondered where all the children magically came from. Peggy Witmyer Roath

  6. What a great find! You have indeed knocked down a thick brick wall. Thank you! My husband is descended from Barrett. I've tracked him to Jackson Co. Ohio where some of his "original" sons were born. I've dabbled in Gallia Co. but not as diligently as you.have and with no success.