Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Beeks: Folsom brick wall

On many Tuesdays, I'll be writing about brick walls.  There are a lot of them in our tree, and I've been told that some may stay brick walls forever.  I would at least like to "find" ancestors who were born in America after 1750.  It doesn't seem like that should be so very difficult. The gentleman I'm writing about today was born sometime around the year 1795, because when he married on July 24, 1815 (date of license)  his father (unnamed) gave permission.

The marriage record of Jeremiah Fulsom and Sally Lock is the first solid evidence we have of his existence.  This was in Switzerland County, Indiana. Sarah was the daughter of William Lock or Locke and Elizabeth Teague. William's family originally were Slots and their trail went from Shelby County, Kentucky to Mercer County, Kentucky to Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New Amsterdam, Holland, and even to Protestant France at a time that being Protestant in France was not politically acceptable, nor even safe.  That family history is fascinating and I'll write more about it another time.

There is, however, no indication of where the Folsoms came from.  Most Folsoms in America trace back to the New Hampshire and Massachusetts Folsoms, and there are plenty of Jeremiah's there to study. So far, none that I have found seem to indicate a close connection to "our" Jeremiah.  If he was a New England Folsom, it is possible that he came overland to western Pennsylvania or Virginia and then came down the Ohio River, possibly landing at Marietta, where there were some Folsoms in the early 1800s. Folsom names don't start showing up on Indiana land records until about 1819, although of course they could have lived there without owning land prior to that time. 

Jeremiah "and family" were settled in Manchester Township, Dearborn County, Indiana by 1820. He and Sally are each listed as being between the ages of 16-25, and there was one male under the age of 10, presumably their son .  Since they had been married almost 5 years by then, having only one child makes one wonder if there were other pregnancies that ended prematurely, or if one or more children died very young.

Jeremiah himself died young, because in 1835 and later there were court records with the minor children choosing Austin Clark (who was married to Sally's sister Leah) as their guardian. The children listed as minor heirs of Jeremiah Folsom were Rachel Corn, Ella Baxter Folsom, Hannah Folsom, Jane Folsom, Leah Folsom, Mary Ann Folsom, and Richard Folsom.  Austin bought land for himself as well as the Folsom heirs in Decatur County, Indiana. The land purchase may have been in process in 1835, and Jeremiah may have died before it was completed.

There were at least two other Folsom men in the same general area (Switzerland, Dearborn, Ripley Counties, Indiana). One was Richard, and one was James. I suspect that these men are brothers or cousins, although it is possible one was the father of one or both.  James shows up on a petition signed in 1813, which means he would have been at least 21 by then.  Richard was married in the 1820 census, and was listed as 26-45 years old, with 4 males in the household under the age of 16, and one female 16-26.  A Richard married Elizabeth Overturf in 1823, and children by his first wife are noted to have been named Jeremiah and James.

I can trace most of the orphaned Folsom children forward, and three of them married Aldridges, including Leah who married Darlington D Aldridge. They were my husband's great great grandparents.   

I'd dearly love to know who Jeremiah was, and who his parents were. Did his father come directly from New England, or did he come from the Folsoms who had gone south, to Georgia and Mississippi, and married Indian women?  Who was his mother?  I'd love to hear from anyone who has any thoughts or knowledge, or suggestions about where I could look for clues.