I have hit a brick wall at locating the parentage/relatives of my Great, Great Grandfather, Henry R. WATSON. After the 1890s, it’s like he dropped off the end of the Earth! I know that Henry R. WATSON was born in 1831 in Pennsylvania. He worked most of his life as a blacksmith and helped out with his father-in-law’s farm in Champaign, Illinois. Around 1856 in Ogle County Illinois, Henry was married to Caroline MATTHEWS (d/o John MATTHEWS and Rebecca WHITE of Ligonier Township, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania). The following format & listing is supplied from the 1860 U.S., Champaign County, Illinois census:
-PLACE OF BIRTH-
MARGARET------1 1/2 F------------Illinois
Around 1868, proceeding the death of Caroline’s father, John MATTHEWS, (and perhaps, daughter, Margaret) the family moves to Washington County, Pennsylvania. Where they are found in the 1870 U.S. Census in Chartiers, Township, Washington Co., PA.
Here is the 1870 census format & listing:
-PLACE OF BIRTH-
H R WATSON M 36 Pennsylvania
Caroline WATSON F 29 Pennsylvania
George WATSON M 7 Illinois
Minnie B WATSON F 3 Pennsylvania
Ella WATSON F 0 Pennsylvania
Anne WATSON F 28 Pennsylvania
I find the entry of Anne WATSON, born circa 1841 in Pennsylvania to be rather intriguing. She is speculated to be a sibling, sister-in-law or cousin of Henry R. WATSON. The above census also lists her as a seamstress. By 1880, she is no longer living with Henry R. WATSON and his immediate family.
In 1878, at age 10, Henry and Caroline’s daughter Minnie dies, and is buried at Chartiers Hill United Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Washington County, Canonsburg, Pennsylvania.
The following is the family in the 1880 Houstonville (presently named Houston), Chartiers Township, Washington County, Pennsylvania census:
Here is the census format:
-PLACE OF BIRTH-
-PLACE OF BIRTH OF FATHER-
-PLACE OF BIRTH OF MOTHER-
GEORGE---18-M-Laborer-Illinois “ “
ELLA-------11-F-Pennsylvania “ “
SANDIE---9--M “ “ “
DOLLY-----6--F “ “ “
This Census indicates that Henry’s mother may have been born in Ireland.... I am still trying to find additional information/sources to substantiate this claim.
From various sources, Henry R. WATSON was running a successful blacksmith shop around the 1880’s & 1890’s in the Houstonville, Washington County, Pennsylvania area.
Proceeding the 1890’s, I have had a lot of difficulty at locating ANY official records of Henry R. Watson. Although, I do know that Henry and Caroline WATSON are buried alongside daughter, Minnie B. at Chartiers Hill United Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania .
Located at Chartiers U.P. Church Cemetery, my WATSON relatives’ gravestones state the following:
Henry R. WATSON 1831-1912
Caroline MATTHEWS WATSON 1841-1888
Minnie WATSON 1868-1878 (Daughter)
I have no knowledge of what eventually happened to Henry and Caroline’s daughter, Margaret, born around 1858 in Illinois. I suspect that she may have died while they were in Illinois, as she would have been around 12 in the 1870 census. There is no sign of her presence in that particular census with her immediate family. Their son, George is my Great Grandfather, whom married Jennie LEA of Allegheny County, PA. They removed to Dunkirk, Jay County, Indiana. Minnie passed away young as previously noted. Ella never married and is buried in Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, PA near her sister and brother-in-law. Sandie married a woman with the surname of CASTERLINE from Hartford City, Blackford County, Indiana. They eventually removed to Oklahoma and had children. "Dolly" also known as Dorothy married James “Jim” G. WYMAN of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Jim was a well-known multi-term mayor of Allegheny City and Pittsburgh. Jim and Dorothy had a son named Gardner WYMAN, who married Betty UNGER of Allegheny County.
If any of you are knowledgeable or have family links to any WATSON families in Washington, Westmoreland and Allegheny Counties, please do not hesitate at messaging or emailing me. It would be wonderful to eventually locate Henry R. WATSON'S Will and Death Certificate. I would like to connect and discover any connection to Anne (mentioned above) and any other potential WATSON relatives throughout the Pennsylvania area.
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