John Penisten (1838-1908) was my maternal 3rd-great grandfather. What follows is an exploratory analysis of the biographical information I have discovered about him.
1. Vital Records
John was born December 1838 in Indiana1, according to census records.
1.1. Birth Certificate
The State of Indiana did not require birth certificates at this time.
1.1.1. Birth Notice in Newspaper
If John's birth was mentioned in a local newspaper, it has been lost to time.
1.1.2. Bible Record
I am not aware of any surviving Bible record of the Penisten family that would record the birth of John. Will continue to reach out to extended family members in hopes that one will be found.
1.1.3. Baptismal Record
I am not aware of any baptismal record for John, nor do I know the church affiliation of the Penisten family. Later in life they were associated with the Methodist Episcopal church.
1.1.4. Adoption Record
There is no indication that John was adopted.
1.2. Marriage License
I have been unable to locate a marriage record for John and his wife Jane Alderman. Based on the birthdates of their children, I have assumed that it took place circa 1868 in Madison County, Indiana. The courthouse in Madison county suffered a fire in 1880 earlier marriage records were lost.
1.2.1 Marriage Notice in Newspaper
Will need to search contemporary newspaper accounts to see if mention was made of John and Jane's nuptials.
1.2.2. Anniversary Notice
Until I can locate the specific date of their marriage, I will be unable to search for mention of their anniversary in local newspapers.
1.2.3. Divorce Decree
There is no indication that John and Jane were ever divorced.
1.3. Death Certificate
John died March 10, 1908 in Madison County, Indiana. I do not have a copy of his death certificate. Will add that to my list of "to-do" items for my next research trip.
1.3.1. Obituary in Newspaper
John's obituary appeared in the March 11, 1908 edition of the Alexandria Times-Tribune2, stating that he died of paralysis.
1.3.2. Funeral Home Records
Will need to search the local historical society to see if they have records of funeral homes that might shed some light on John's funeral. Will add this to my "to-do" list for my next research trip.
1.3.3. Tombstone Photograph
John's tombstone in the I.O.O.F. cemetery in Alexandria, Indiana has been photographed3. A link to his memorial at FindAGrave is located here.
2. Census Records
2.1. Federal Census Records
2.1.1. 1900 Federal Census
On June 15, 1900, John was enumerated as head of household in Orestes, Monroe Township, Madison County, Indiana4, as John Penisten, white, male, farmer, born December 1838, age 62. He was married and had been married for 32 years. He could read and write and spoke English and rented his home. He was born in Indiana, both parents were born in Ohio.
2.1.2. 1880 Federal Census
On June 15, 1880, John was enumerated as head of household in Fall Creek Township, Madison County, Indiana5, as John Penniston, white, male, farmer, age 41. He was born in Indiana, and both of his parents were born in Ohio.
2.1.3. 1870 Federal Census
I have not yet located John in the 1870 census. I would have expected to find him in Madison County, Indiana, either in Richland Township (where his wife's father was) or in Fall Creek Township (where they were in 1880). Will continue to search in the hopes that they were mis-indexed.
2.1.4. 1860 Federal Census
On July 18, 1860, John was enumerated in the Sarah Pennington household in Richland Township, Madison County, Indiana6, as John Pennington, age 20, male, farmer, born in Indiana. The name was clearly spelled Pennington in this record.
2.1.5. 1850 Federal Census
On October 1, 1850, John was enumerated in the George Peniston household in Richland Township, Madison County, Indiana7, as John Peniston, age 11, male, born in Indiana. He had attended school within the year.
2.2. State Census Records
The State of Indiana conducted census in 1853, 1857, 1871, 1877, 1883, 1889, 1901, 1913, 1919 and 1931. These, however, were merely for the purposes of legislative apportionment.
2.3. Agricultural Census Records
I have not yet investigated these types of records to see what light they might shed on the Penisten family.
3. Military Records
3.1. Draft Registration
I have not yet located any military draft records for John during the Civil War period.
3.2. Pension Records
I have am not aware of any military service for John that would have made him eligible to receive a pension.
3.3. Service Records
I have not yet located any evidence of military service for John.
4. Land Records
4.1. Deed Records
Deed records will need to be thoroughly searched in Madison County, Indiana to see what records might mention John and wife Jane. Will add this to my list of "to-do" items for my next research trip.
4.2. Plat map / county map
Plat maps of Madison County, Indiana will need to be searched to see what information might be gleaned that would be relevant to my search.
5. Supplemental Records
Supplemental records available for research on John include city/county directories, court records and will and probate records. Will add these to my list of "to-do" items for my next research trip.
1. John Penniston household , 1880 U.S. census, population schedule, Fall Creek Township, Madison County, Indiana, page 22B, ED 31, SD 3, dwelling 195, family 204; National Archives micropublication T9, roll 293.
2. "Died of Paralysis," obituary, Alexandria Times-Tribune, 11 March 1908; online images, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : accessed 17 April 2016), The Alexandria Times-Tribune; page 2.
3. FindAGrave, Inc. FindAGrave.com (www.findagrave.com : accesed 17 April 2016), John Penisten memorial
4. 1900 US census, Madison County, Indiana, population schedule, Monroe Township, enumeration district (ED) 96, SD 67, sheet 11B, dwelling 226, family 241, ; digital images, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 20 December 2015); National Archives, Washington, D.C..
5. John Penniston household , 1880 U.S. census, population schedule, Fall Creek Township, Madison County, Indiana, page 22B, ED 31, SD 3, dwelling 195, family 204; National Archives micropublication T9, roll 293.
6. 1860 U.S. census, Madison County, Indiana, population schedule, Richland Township, page 132, dwelling 947, family 947, ; digital images, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 17 April 2016); National Archives, Washington, D.C.
7. 1850 U.S. Census, Madison County, Indiana, Richland Township, dwelling 725, family 725, ; digital images, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 17 April 2016); National Archives, Washington, D.C..
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.