Thursday, May 17, 2012

Exploratory Data Analysis: William P. Wehrly (1845-1909)

William P. Wehrly (1845-1909) was my paternal 2nd-great grandfather. What follows is an exploratory analysis of the biographical facts I've discovered about him.

1. Vital Records

     1.1. Birth Certificate

          William was born November 2, 1845 in Preble County, Ohio1,2.  There were no birth certificates required at this time, as the State of Ohio didn't start requiring them until 1867.

          1.1.1. Birth notice in a newspaper

               I have not been able to locate any contemporary news reports of William's birth.

          1.1.2. Bible record

               I am not aware of the survival of a Wehrly family Bible.  I will continue to reach out to extended family in hopes that one does exist.

          1.1.3. Baptismal record

               I do not know what church the family was associated with in Preble County, Ohio and am unaware of any baptismal record.

          1.1.4. Adoption record

               There is no indication that William was adopted.

     1.2. Marriage license

          William was married August 5, 1866 in Jay County, Indiana to Olive Jane Smith2.  One source indicated that the marriage took place on August 4th1.  Obtaining a copy of the actual record from Jay County is now on my "to do" list.

          1.2.1. Marriage notice in newspaper

               I have not searched local newspapers to see if William and Olive's nuptials were mentioned.  Will add this to my "to do" list on my next research trip into the area.

          1.2.2. Anniversary notice

               I have not searched Jay County, Indiana newspapers for mention of William and Olive's anniversary either.  Their 25th would have been August 5, 1891.  They did not survive to reach their 50th anniversary, which  would have been August 5, 1916.  Have added finding an anniversary mention to my "to do" list.

          1.2.3. Divorce decree

               There is no indication that a divorce ever occurred, and a recent search of court records during the time period did not turn up a divorce record.

     1.3. Death certificate

          William died on June 16, 1909 in Salamonia, Jay County, Indiana2.  I thought that I had a copy of his death certificate, but apparently I do not.  Will add obtaining one to the "to do" list on the next research trip into Jay County.

          1.3.1. Obituary in newspaper

               I need to search out the Portland Commercial-Review on my next trip to the Jay County library to see if I can locate a copy of William's obituary.  I thought that I had already found it, but if I have, it has not been properly sourced in my database.

          1.3.2. Funeral home record

               The Jay County library has some of the funeral home records from the various funeral homes in the county.  Will add this to my list of "to do" research items.

          1.3.3. Tombstone photograph

               William's tombstone in the Salamonia cemetery has been photographed.   It lists him as "William P. Wehrly Nov. 2 1845 - June 16, 1909", and his wife, Olive, is also listed3.

2. Census Records

     2.1. Federal Census Records

          2.1.1. 1900 Federal Census

               On June 2, 1900, William was enumerated in Madison Township, Jay County, Indiana4, as William P. Wehrly, age 54, sawmiller,  born November 1845 in Ohio.  Both his parents were born in Pennsylvania.  He had been married for 33 years.  He could read and write and spoke English.  He owned his home, and had a mortgage.  Living in the household was his wife, Olive, age 53; son Alva M., age 21; daughter Ida L, age 17; son Blaine, age 15; daughter Ethel M., age 13; and son Martin N., age 11.

          2.1.2. 1880 Federal Census

               On June 3, 1880, William was enumerated in Salamonia, Madison Township, Jay County, Indiana5, as William Wherhly, age 24, works in sawmill, born in Indiana.  The birthplaces of both of his parents was left blank.  He was listed as married.  Living in the household was his wife, Olive, age 33; daughter Minerva, age 12; daughter Isabell, age 11; son John, age 10; daughter Catherine, age 9; son Franklin, age 8; son Henry, age 5; son Harvy, age 3; and son Monroe, age 1.  William's age is clearly listed as 24, though he should be more rightly, 34.

          2.1.3. 1870 Federal Census

               On August 2, 1870, William was enumerated in Madison Township, Jay County, Indiana6, as William P. Werly, age 24, farmer, born in Ohio.  He was a U.S. citizen.  The value of his real estate was $1200 and the value of his personal estate was $200.  Living in the household was Olvi J., age 24; Minerva P., age 3; Barbary J., age 1; and John W., aged 2 months. A servant, Amo H. Mamo, age 20, born in Ohio, was also in the household.

          2.1.4. 1860 Federal Census

               On June 9, 1860, William was enumerated in Madison Township, Jay County, Indiana7, in the John S. Whorley household as William Whorley, age 16, born in Ohio.  He had attended school within the year.

     2.2. State Census Records

          The State of Indiana conducted state census in 1853, 1857, 1871, 1877, 1883, 1889, 1901, 1913, 1919 and 1931.  These however, were merely for the purposes of determining legislative apportionment.

     2.3. Agricultural Census Records

          I have not yet investigated these types of census records to see what information might be shed on the Wehrly family farm.

3. Military Records

     3.1. Draft Registration

          I have not found William in any draft registrations for the Civil War, though he did enlist in Company I, 130th Indiana Infantry Regiment.

     3.2. Pension Records

          William did receive a pension for his service during the Civil War.  He enlisted January 29, 1864 in Company I, 130th Indiana Infantry Regiment.  I need to make the records of his pension the subject of a future post.

     3.3. Service Records

          Though I've received the records from the National Archives, I've not yet sourced William's service records into my database.  I need to make the records of William's service the subject of a future post.

4. Land Records

     4.1. Deed Records

          Deed records need to be researched thoroughly in Jay County, Indiana.

          The following records in Jay County Circuit Court Book 1 need researched:

          Wehrly, William P., Elisha C. Shepherd et al, Foreclosure, September 9, 1890, Box 290, Record No. 6634

     4.2. Plat map / County map

          Jay County published a plat map in 1874, 1881, 1887, 1901, 1910 and 1920 that may be relevant to my search for William.  I have access to copies of the 1887 and 1901 plat maps of Jay County, and need to see what information they hold concerning Willliam.

5. Supplemental Records

     Supplemental records available to research for William include county/city directories, court records, and will and probate records.  Searching these items will be on my "to do" list for my next research trip into Jay County.

     William died intestate in Jay County, Indiana.  His estate was settled in December 1913 term of the Jay County Circuit Court, John W. Wehrly, administrator.  I need to make this the subject of a future post.


1. Brown, Walter L. "The Maxson Family. Descendants of John Maxson and Wife, Mary Mosher of Westerly, Rhode Island.", 1954, p. 123.
2. Wehrly, Blaine & Gladys, "Wehrly & Smith Family History".  Report to Wehrly Reunion, New Castle, Indiana, 16 August 1970.  Photocopy held by author.
3. William P. Wehrly tombstone, Salamonia Cemetery, Jay County, Indiana, transcribed by writer, 29 August 2009.
4. William P. Wehrly household, 1900 U.S. census, population schedule, Madison Township, Jay County, Indiana, ED 62, SD 67, sheet 2B, dwelling 44, family 45; National Archives micropublication T623, roll 380.
5. William Wherhly household, 1880 U.S. census, population schedule, Madison Township, Jay County, Indiana, ED 169, SD 6, page 28, dwelling 6, family 6; National Archives micropublication T9, roll 287.
6. William P. Werly household, 1870 U.S. census, population schedule, Madison Township, Jay County, Indiana, page 27, Salamonie P.O., dwelling 197, family 200; National Archives micropublication M593, roll 327.
7. John S. Whorley household, 1860 U.S. census, population schedule, Madison Township, Jay County, Indiana, Page 9, Salamonia P.O., dwelling 59, family 59; National Archives micropublication M653, roll 269.

This post was developed as part of the series relating to Building My 2011 Research Template, an attempt to systematically document and source the details of my ancestors' lives. Comments regarding this template and the conclusions drawn in this article are welcomed.

1 comment:

Nancy said...

I love how you went through each specific category and stated what you found and where, Travis. This is a great example to follow.