52 Ancestors #4 – Minerva Ann Tolliver Mannin (1821-1902)
Minerva Ann Tolliver was born in Kentucky on 5 Feb 1821. Various records during her life record her name in many different ways, Minerva, Manerva, Minora, and Minna. She was probably born in Bath County, near Greenup County, in the portion of Bath that became Morgan County in 1822 and Rowan County in 1856. I also suspect near what was to become Carter County in 1838. It is also likely that the county changes account for many of the different county designations of where she lived over the years.
There is a wonderful interactive map at Kentucky Historical Counties which allows you to select a date and see what counties existed then. If can then easily see the changes in the Bath/Morgan/Rowan counties over time.
There is considerable speculation regarding her early life. One thread indicates that Minerva was Native American (Cherokee). I don’t believe this to be the case. First, in none of the Census reports was Minerva ever reported as being anything but white. Second, as my 3rd great-grandmother, I would expect to have about 3% of her genome. Although I do have 2% unknown or trace, there is no evidence that I have any Native American in my ancestry. Likewise, my mother, who should have approximately 6% of Minerva’s genome shows no proportion of Native American. 23 & Me indicates she has 99.4% European ancestry as do I. Because of the “stickiness” of DNA, although unlikely, it is still possible for Minerva to be Native American. I would be very interested in the mtDNA results of any direct female descendants of Minerva – that should answer the question definitively.
Another theory is that Minerva was raised by Elijah Toliver and used his last name although she was born with the surname Mannin. This theory suggests that her father died when she was very young and her mother remarried. Her mother, Martha Patsy (Mannin), married Elijah Tolliver in 1825. Minerva was 3 years old then, so she probably wasn’t a child of Elijah. This thought is supported by Phoebe Mannin, Minerva’s granddaughter, who listed Minerva’s last name as “Mannin” when she created a family tree in 1973.
A third theory exists that Martha Patsy Mannin had Minerva out of wedlock. Thus, Minerva had the surname Mannin until Martha married. This scenario makes the most sense to me and explains many of the conflicting facts. (I think this is a case where Occam’s Razor applies and this is the simplest answer.)
The records are unclear where her parents were born. Some say Kentucky, some say Virginia. Kentucky became a state in 1792 so it is possible that her parents were born in what was Virginia but is now Kentucky. It is also possible that Elijah was used on some occasions as her father and the unknown Mannin used at other times.
She and Enoch were married on 15 Oct 1843, in Grayson, Morgan County, Kentucky, when she was 22 years old. She had nine children, five girls and four boys. Four of her children preceded her in death.
John William Mannin (1846-1888)
Isaac Wilson Mannin (1848-1931)
Nancy Ann Mannin Barnett (1849-1913)
Meredith Mannin (1851-
Sarah Jane Mannin Bryant (1855-1942)
Mary Ermaline Mannin Jones Gates (1856-1899)
Gresella Mannin (1857-1897)
Prudence Mannin Bare McDonald (1860-1898)
Robert J Mannin (1869-Following her and Enoch while they were in Kentucky is very confusing. They appear to have moved between Bath, Carter, and Morgan counties between 1843 and 1883. (All are in northeast Kentucky.) However, as mentioned before they are all within a short distance from each other depending upon the year being considered. This could be an excellent area for further research and study.
Her husband, Enoch, served the North during the Civil War (War of Rebellion or War of Northern Aggression depending upon your point of view)
In 1880, she and Enoch were still in Carter County, Kentucky.
She and Enoch moved to Minnesota in April 1883 to Holding township in Stearns County; their post office was Saint Anna.
Their eldest son, John William Manning, had two daughters, Mary & Phebe. John’s wife died in 1882 and the girls were living with their grandparents, Enoch and Minerva, in 1885. We aren’t sure how long they stayed with them.
Enoch moved the family to Cass County in April, 1888. They settled on 160 acres in May Township, Cass County, Minnesota; Enoch received a homestead patent in 1894 for the land. Minerva’s life was that of a farmer’s wife; she kept house on the land that her husband owned and raised 9 children.
A Google map view of the property (Northeast quarter of section 22, township 134 (May Township), Range 31, today indicates a swampy bit of land along a creek without any evidence of current farming or of the original homestead. She continued to live on the farm in May township until her death in 1902.
Minerva’s marker and death certificate are inconsistent. One says she died on October 24th the other October 25. One says died at 81 years, 8 mos, 20 days (making her birth Feb 5, 1821) the other says she died at 82 years, 8 mos, 21 days (making her birth Feb 3, 1920). The 1821 date is probably correct as she was x9 years old during most of the earlier census reports. She is buried in Bridgeman Cemetery in Cass County.
I remember Minerva and celebrate her life today, the 193rd anniversary of her birth.
Tombstone/Marker Minerva A, Bridgeman Cemetery, Cass County, Minnesota (Personal visit)
1850 US Federal Census – Via Ancestry.Com
1860 US Federal Census – Via Ancestry.Com
1880 US Federal Census – Via Ancestry.Com
1885 Minnesota, Territorial and State Census – Via Ancestry.com
1895 Minnesota Territorial and State Censuses – Via Ancestry.com
1900 US Federal Census – Via Ancestry.Com
Department of the Interior – Bureau of Pensions – Questionnaire, Enoch Mannin – 20 Nov 1897.