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Home: Regional: U.S. States: Ohio: Wood County

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Stephens mid to late 1800s Wood/Seneca
Posted by: Thomas Gull Date: November 25, 2000 at 20:08:59
  of 718

Looking for information about ancestors and descendants of Elijah Stephens.
Born Canada circa 1804 per census records. Probably married three times:
(1) to Phebe Sams in Knox Co. Ohio on 27 Feb 1827
(2) to Rebecca Langford in Knox Co. Ohio on 24 July 1847
(3) to a Martha by the 1860 census (possibly a 26 Apr 1860 marriage to Martha Sweet in Richland, Oh.?)
Specific whereabouts and records for this Elijah and for the above married couples are not known until the 1850 census.
Phebe Sams is presumed to be the first wife of this Elijah due to the second marriage being in Knox Co. and because Joseph Stephen's father is shown as born in Canada in census records and his mother as born in Pa. This pair meets that criterion.

In Black Hawk township, Jefferson Co., Iowa in 1850 census records (21 Nov 1850):
Elijah Stevens, age 46, farmer, b. Canada
Rebecca, age 36, b. Ohio
Julia E., age 2, b. Iowa
Dudly C., age 3/4, b. Iowa [this is a family name link to Rebecca Langford's family]
Joseph, age 16, b. Ohio
Myres [possibly Myrenus from other records], age 8, b. Oh.
Also a Rachel and Miona with the same basically unreadable surname [Wides?] and Nancy Forbes, age 61, b. Indiana [?]

In Big Island township, Marion Co., Oh. in 1860 census records:
Elijah Stephens, age 56, farm laborer, b. Canada
Martha, age 49, b. Canada (" marks)
Myres, age 18, day laborer, b. Ohio
Juliett, age 12, b. Iowa
Dudley C., age 10, b. Iowa
[Adjacent household included:]
Jos. Stephens, age 25, farmer, b. Ohio
Rachel, age 24, b. Ohio
Ellen, age 2, b. Ohio
Moses, age 1, b. Oh.

None of these people have been located in the 1870 census (they did not remain in Big Island township). Joseph's wife Rachel was Rachel Counterman, daughter of Samuel Counterman Sr. A number of the Countermans were adjacent to the Stephens in the 1860 census and they are all missing in 1870, too. It is possible from various unconfirmed birth locations for Joseph and Rachel's children that these families were in Wood Co., Ohio in 1870. Joseph and Rachel and that family were back in Bowling Green township in Marion Co., Oh. in 1880. From there, various children moved to Wood and Seneca Counties in Ohio, and to Delaware Co., Oh. just south of Marion. No trace of Elijah Stephens has been found past 1860; no trace of Joseph Stephens has been found past 1880. The VR facts for Rachel Counterman Stephens are her children are pretty thoroughly established. She herself is buried in Fostoria, Seneca Co., Ohio with two of her sons. Most of the rest of the Stephens clan ended up in Delaware Co., Oh.

A Myrenus Stevens is listed in one record as married in Wood or Huron Co. Ohio in the proper time frame. A Dudley C. Stevens was apparently married 12 December 1900 in Wood Co. Ohio to Lucy Caroline Wilder. He died 15 July 1928. Their daughter Leota Stevens appears to have spent her life in Lake County, Indiana. She married Leslie Ivan Phillips there. They both died in Merrillville in the 1970s.

Any help determining Elijah's parentage or whereabouts would be appreciated. There don't appear to be any candidates in the Mormon online records for a person of that name born circa 1804 in Canada with his migration pattern. If he can be pinpointed in census records before 1850 there may be other Stephens kin near him that would help flesh out the details. Also, it would be very helpful to locate the Stephens and Countermans (Samuel Sr. and Jr. and Henry) in 1870 and later years. A long shot on them from Civil War pensions might be Kent Co., Michigan.

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