Wednesday, January 10, 2018

A Wrench Named Johns

In the Hobart Historical Society's 1835 ledger (which I just finished indexing) are some loose pages tucked into the back of the book. Two of them bear the name Joshua V. Johns.

2018-1-10. AccB1835 L-001a
(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

2018-1-10. AccB1835 L-001b

Now I'm thinking back to the breakfasts at Liverpool and wondering if the writer meant — not John's breakfast but Johns' breakfast? That would throw a wrench into the works of my theory that "John" was a first name there.

Joshua V. Johns is an elusive figure. I have found a Joshua Vaughan Johns of LaPorte County, Indiana, buying some land in 1837:

2018-1-10. Johns land purchase
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image via

In Lake County, Indiana, on June 16, 1845, Joshua V. Johns married Caroline Matilda Demmon:

2018-1-10. Johns-Demmon
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image via

Beyond that, I cannot find any records of Joshua V. Johns, although he was a pretty busy person around Liverpool in the mid-1830s according to that ledger.

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[1/11/2018 update] Alice Smedstad, who is in the process of researching everyone buried in the Merrillville Cemetery, points out to me that one of her subjects, Dr. John W. Johns, was the son of Joshua and Caroline. Per his biography in Porter and Lake Counties (Goodspeed/Blanchard), his parents died when he was only eight years old, which helps to explain why they are so elusive, but not, of course, why I can't find them in the censuses of 1850 and 1840.

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