Saturday, February 5, 2011

Census Saturday - John F Ross (Sr.)

John Ross c.1862

John F. Ross (Sr.) (1859-1934) was my 2nd Great Grandfather and this is a summary of what I found about him from the US Census and from my notes.

John Franklin Ross was born August 2, 1859 in Mansfield, Piatt County, Illinois to Henry and Elizabeth (Cowan) Ross. They were both from Pennsylvania.

On July 7, 1860 the 1860 census was taken and John was living in Sangamon Township, Piatt County, Illinois with his family. According to the census taker, Henry Ross, age 30 of Pennsylvania was the head of household. His mother, Elizabeth Ross, age 30 was listed second. John was recorded as age 1. He had two older siblings, William H. Ross, age 4 and Laura E. Ross, age 3. Also living at the same residence was Catharine Cowan, age 60, mother of Elizabeth and grandmother of John. A 21 year old farm laborer named Stephen Largo was also living with them.

The 1860s were a difficult time for the Ross family. John's sister, Rebecca Jane Ross was born in March 1861 and died just under a year later in March 1862. His father Henry died at the end of June 1863. John's oldest brother William dies in June 1869, possibly by drowning, according to my notes. Henry, William and Rebecca were all buried at Mackey Cemetery, Sangamon Township, Piatt County, Illinois. A photo of their tombstones was featured in this blog a few months ago. I lived very close to this area when I lived in Mahomet, Illinois.


On August 2, 1870, John Ross, age 11, was still living in Sangamon Township, Piatt County, Illinois. His father Henry died a few years before. The head of household in 1870 was Adam Ross, Henry's younger brother. Elizabeth was listed 2nd and age 33 even though she was listed as age 30 ten years before. Laura was listed as age 13 and a daughter named Mary, age 7, was living there as well.

On June 16, 1880, John was age 19, and was still living in Sangamon Township, Piatt County, Illinois. Head of Household was his uncle Adam Ross, listed as age 40. John's mother Elizabeth was listed as age 54 and oddly was recorded as mother of the head of household, though she was really Adam's sister-in-law. Her children are correctly listed as nieces and nephews of Adam. Laura Ross, age 21 was living there and so was younger sister Mary, though she is listed as Elizabeth Ross, age 17 in this census. She may have been named Mary Elizabeth Ross. Later in life she went by the name Lizzie.

John Ross c.1890
On March 27, 1889, John married Mary Hay Stotler. She was born in the same county and in 1880 she lived in nearby Mansfield, Piatt County, Illinois.

The 1890 census was destroyed by a fire, so there is no information available for that year. According to my notes, George Adam Ross was born May 5, 1890 in Mahomet, Champaign County, Illinois. Mahomet is near where John and Mary were raised and is on the Sangamon River. George was probably given the middle name Adam for the uncle that raised John. The family moved to Iowa after this and Mason Hiram Ross was born April 14, 1892 in Calhoun County, Iowa. Mary's father was Hiram Stotler and was the likely inspiration for Mason's middle name. Mary Ada Ross was born July 18, 1894 and Clara Bernice Ross on June 1, 1897. John Franklin Ross Jr. was born May 6, 1899, all three were born in Calhoun County, Iowa.

On June 8, 1900 the census recorded John F. Ross, age 41, was living in Lake Creek Township, Calhoun County, Iowa. His wife is Mary H. Ross, age 36, 5 children born, 5 children still living. Children are listed as George A., age 10. Mason H., age 8. Mary A., age 5. Clara B., age 2 and John F., age 1.

Interestingly, the very next domicile is the William Acklin family. Their daughter Anna would marry Charles Whitted a few years later and their first son, Harold Acklin Whitted would eventually marry John Ross's daughter Helen Ross. Frank Fowlie, future husband of Clara Ross, was living in Twin Lakes Township in Calhoun County during the 1900 census.

Mary, Helen and Clara Ross

In April 1910 at the time of the 1910 census, the family still lived in Lake Creek Township, Calhoun County, Iowa. John Ross, age 50, is listed as head of household. Married to Mary, age 46 for 21 years. She is listed as having 7 children with 7 still living. Mason, age 18, Mary, age 15, Clara, age 12, John, age 10, Helen, age 6 and Oliver, age 4.

In January 1920 at the time of the 1920 census, John F. Ross was age 60 and living in Lake Creek Township, Calhoun, Iowa. Living with him was his wife Mary H., age 55. Also living there were his children, Mary A., age 25, Clara B., age 22, John F., age 20, Helen E., age 16 and Oliver H., age 13. 17 year old Harold Whitted was listed as living two households away, he would marry Helen Ross in 1939.

At the time of the 1930 census, John F. Ross was 70 years old and still living in Lake Creek Township, Calhoun County, Iowa. Mary H., age 66, was listed as his wife. His children Helen E., age 26 and Oliver H., age 24 were living with them.

John F. Ross Sr. died December 11, 1934 and was buried at Lake Creek Cemetery, Lake Creek Township, Calhoun County, Iowa. His wife Mary died February 15, 1959 and was buried there as well.

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