By Don Taylor
I hate using circumstantial evidence to determine parents, but sometimes there are no documents that identify a person’s parents. The best you can do is explain why your circumstantial evidence seems sufficient. I have tried determining the parents of my second great-grandmother, Malinda Evans and have been unsuccessful. Malinda was listed in the household of her husband, Nimrod Lister during the 1880 Census.[i] It lists her age as 51, born in Ohio, her father was born in Maryland, and her mother was born in Delaware. Malinda and Nimrod married in 1854 in Pickaway County, Ohio, and Malinda shows in Nimrod’s household during the 1860 and 1870 Census records.
The 1850 census does not provide relationship information, so finding Malinda in the 1850 Census only provides circumstantial evidence of her lineage. I was able to find 21-year-old Malinda Eavans [sic] in the 1850 Census living with Samuel and Lane M. Eavans. The 1850 Census does show that Samuel was born in Maryland and that Lane was born in Delaware, just as the 1880 Census suggested I should find. For me, that circumstantial evidence is sufficient for me to tentatively associate Samuel and Lane as Malinda’s parents. Of course, I will add a note that the parent is speculative based upon the 1850 Census, but I will continue using that relationship until I find something that confirms the relationship or disproves her parentage.
Research Family 2017 – Ancestor #23
List of Grandparents
- Grandmother: Essie Pansy Barnes (1903-1982)
- 1st Great-grandmother: Marada Mae Lister (1867-1932)
- 2nd Great-grandmother: Malinda Evans (1829-c. 1906)
- 3rd Great-grandfather: Samuel Evans
Malinda Evans Lister (1829-1903)
Malinda Evans was born on January 8, 1829, in Pickaway County, Ohio. She was probably the child of Samuel and Lane M. Evans.
It appears that Malinda had two older sisters, Sarah and Charlotte, born about 1825 and 1827 respectively. She also seems to have had two younger brothers, Meredith and John born about 1833 and 1836 and well as a younger sister, Eliza born about 1840.
Pickaway County was formed in 1810 and its capital, Circleville, was built to conform to a circular prehistoric earthwork. When the Ohio canal reached Circleville in 1831, the circular layout was found to be a hindrance, so local businesses began “squaring the town.”[ii] Malinda grow up during the heyday of the Ohio and Erie Canal which connected Circleville to Akron, Cleveland, and Lake Erie (which was 237 miles away by the canal).[iii]
In 1842, Malinda joined the Methodist Church and remained a faithful member throughout her life.
During the 1850 Census, Malinda and her family lived 17 miles west of Circleville in Perry, Pickaway County, Ohio.[iv]
Malinda married Nimrod Lister on 17 March 1854.
|Charles C.||1859 – 1860||Indiana|
|Eliza J.||May 1862||Indiana|
|Marada Alice||22 Feb 1867||Indiana|
|William Lemuel||15 Aug 1869||Indiana|
|Sarah F.||c. 1872||Indiana|
The two children born in Ohio are presumed to have been born in Pickaway County. The six children born in Indiana were all born in Sullivan County, Indiana. The 1900 Census indicates that one of the eight children died before 1900, but I haven’t discovered which one it was, yet (Except it was not Marada nor William.
In 1860, Nimrod and Malinda were living in Turman Township, Sullivan County, Indiana.[vi] Nimrod is a farm laborer and has personal property valued at $30. James is attending school, and Charles had not reached his first birthday before the census was taken.
In 1870, Nimrod owned real property valued at $660 and personal property valued at $349. He is a farmer and Malinda is keeping house for Nimrod, herself, and seven children. Their four oldest children, James, Nancy, Charles, and Eliza are attending school and their next three are too young for school.[vii]
In 1880, Nimrod is still a farmer and Melinda is keeping house.[viii] Twenty-five-year-old James is living with them and working as a huxter. The three youngest children, Marada, William, and Sarah, are also at home and are attending school.
Nimrod died on 7 April 1888 and 1900, and the widow Lister is living with her Daughter Eliza and her son-in-law Albert Hopewell.[ix]
On January 1, 1902, the Sullivan Union reported that Malinda was very sick at her daughter’s Mrs. Joel Barnes’ home. [x]
Malinda died on 24 April 1903 at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Albert (Eliza) Hopewell in Sullivan County, Indiana. Her burial location is unknown.[xi]
[iv] 1850 Census (FS) (NARA), Family Search, 1850 Census – Samuel Eavanz (Evans) – Perry, Pickaway, Ohio. “United States Census, 1850,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MXQY-XTW : 12 April 2016), Samuel Eavanz, Perry, Pickaway, Ohio, United States; citing family 71, NARA microfilm publication M432 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.). https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MXQY-XTW.
[v] Malinda (Evans) Lister’s obituary indicates that she had nine children, six of whom were living. The 1900 Census Indicates that Malinda had 8 children, 7 of whom were living. I believe the 8 children is the accurate number. I have seen no other evidence of a 9th child.
[x] January 1, 1902 – Sullivan Union – Sullivan, Indiana.
[xi] Sullivan Democrat, Newspaper Archives, 1903-05-07 – Page 10, Column 3, Deaths – Malinda Lister. https://newspaperarchive.com/sullivan-democrat-may-07-1903-p-10/.