Prudence (Maxson) Smith (1817-1890) was my paternal 3rd-great grandmother. What follows is an exploratory analysis of the biographical data I have discovered about her.
1. Vital Records
Prudence was born June 15, 1817 in Greene County, Ohio1.
1.1. Birth Certificate
I have not located any birth record for Prudence, as her birth occurred before the State of Ohio was registering births.
1.1.1. Birth Notice in Newspaper
If Prudence's birth was recorded in a newspaper, I'm not aware of it. Will search contemporary newspapers to see if mention was made of her birth.
1.1.2. Bible Record
I am not aware of any surviving Bible records of the Maxson family that mentions Prudence. Will continue to reach out to extended family in hopes of locating one.
1.1.3. Baptismal Record
I am not aware of any baptismal record for Prudence, nor the church affiliation of the family at the time. Her parents were buried in a Methodist Episcopal cemetery, so they may be affiliated with that denomination.
1.1.4. Adoption Record
There is no indication that Prudence was adopted.
1.2. Marriage License
Prudence married William P. Smith on October 5, 1836 in Clark County, Ohio2. Other sources had the date as October 3, 18361,3,4, but the actual record states the date was the 5th.
1.2.1 Marriage Notice in Newspaper
I've not yet searched available newspapers of the time period to see if mention was made of William and Prudence's nuptials. Will add this to my list of "to-do" items for my next research trip.
1.2.2. Anniversary Notice
I've not yet searched available newspapers of the time period to see if mention was made of any anniversary celebrations. Their 25th wedding anniversary would have been October 5, 1861 and their 50th wedding anniversary would have been October 5, 1886.
1.2.3. Divorce Decree
Although there is no indication that they were ever divorced, a complete search of local court records would need to be conducted to be sure.
1.3. Death Certificate
Prudence died February 22, 1890 in Salamonia, Jay County, Indiana1. I do not have a copy of her death certificate from Jay County, Indiana. Will add this to my list of "to-do" items for my next research trip.
1.3.1. Obituary in Newspaper
I have not yet located an obituary mention for Prudence. Will continue to search available newspapers to see if one exists.
1.3.2. Funeral Home Records
I will need to search the local historical society to see if they have any mention of funeral home records that might mention Prudence.
1.3.3. Tombstone Photograph
Prudence's tombstone in the Salamonia Cemetery in Salamonia, Jay County, Indiana has been photographed5. A link to her memorial page at FindAGrave is located here.
2. Census Records
2.1. Federal Census Records
2.1.1. 1880 Federal Census
On June 11, 1880, Prudence was enumerated in the William Smith household in Humboldt, Richardson County, Nebraska6, as Prudence Smith, wife, age 62, born in Ohio. Both her parents were born in New Jersey.
2.1.2. 1870 Federal Census
On August 22, 1870, Prudence was enumerated in the William Smith household in Humboldt, Richardson County, Nebraska7, as Prudence Smith, age 54, born in Ohio.
2.1.3. 1860 Federal Census
On June 9, 1860, Prudence was enumerated in the William Smith household in Madison Township, Jay County, Indiana8, as Prudence Smith, age 43, born in Ohio.
2.1.4. 1850 Federal Census
On August 21, 1850, Prudence was enumerated in the William Smith household in Jefferson Township, Cass County, Michigan9, as Prudence Smith, age 34, born in Ohio.
2.2. State Census Records
No census records for the State of Ohio are known to exist.
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 Smith family.
3. Military Records
3.1. Draft Registration
Not applicable, as Prudence was female.
3.2. Pension Records
Prudence's husband did serve during the Civil War. She died before him, so there wouldn't be a widow's pension, but I need to research his pension nonetheless.
3.3. Service Records
Not applicable, as Prudence was female.
4. Land Records
4.1. Deed Records
Deed records need to be thoroughly searched in Clark County, Ohio; Cass County, Michigan; Jay County, Indiana and Richardson County, Nebraska to see what records might mention Prudence. Will add this to my list of "to-do" items for my next research trip.
4.2. Plat map / county map
Plat maps of Clark County, Ohio; Cass County, Michigan; Jay County, Indiana and Richardson County, Nebraska will need to be searched to see what information can be gleaned that might be relevant to my search.
5. Supplemental Records
Supplemental records to search for Prudence 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. Brown, Walter L., "The Maxson Family. Descendants of John Maxson and Wife, Mary Mosher of Westerly, Rhode Island", 1954, p. 67.
2. "Ohio, County Marriages, 1790-1950," index and images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org): accessed 30 July 2011. entry for William Smith and Prudence Maxson, married 5 October 1836; citing Marriage Records, FHL microfilm 466399; Clark County Courthouse, Springfield, Ohio.
3. "Biographical and Historical Record of Jay County, Indiana", Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, 1887, p. 647.
4. Jane Ann Spencer, Williamson & Spencer Funeral Homes, Inc. Portland and Pennville, Indiana Burial Records Book One 1892-1899 (Portland, Indiana, USA: Williamson & Spencer Funeral Homes, Inc., 2008), page 124.
5. FindAGrave, Inc., FindAGrave.com (www.findagrave.com : accessed 16 January 2017), Prudence Maxson Smith memorial.
6. 1880 U.S. Census, Richardson County, Nebraska, population schedule, Humboldt, enumeration district (ED) 320, SD 1, page 11, dwelling 129, household 129, ; digital images, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 17 January 2017); National Archives, Washington, D.C..
7. William Smith household, 1870 U.S. census, population schedule, Township 12 Range 13, Richardson Co., NE, Page 3, Humboldt P.O., dwelling 13, family 16; National Archives mcropublication M593, roll 832., Page 121.
8. William Smith household, 1860 U.S. census, population schedule, Madison Twp., Jay Co., IN, Salamonia P.O., dwelling 60, family 60; National Archives micropublication M653, roll 269., Page 9.
9. William Smith household, 1850 U.S. census, population schedule, Jefferson Township, Cass County, Michigan, USA, page 298, dwelling 759, family 767; National Archives micropublication M432, roll 349.
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.