My Farmers in Sullivan County, Indiana

One of my favorite blogs is Genealogy à la carte. One of their regular features is “This week’s Crème de la Crème.” In it, Gail Dever provides a listing of what she thinks are the best genealogical blogs and articles of the past week. It focuses on Canadian genealogy and, although I have no known Canadians among my ancestors, I invariably find something that is of interest to me. This week’s edition included a notice of Miriam Robbins blog posting “New Page: Farm and Farmers Directories.”

I perused the entries in the blog post and saw that a new directory for Sullivan County, Indiana was listed. That link brought me to “Art Souvenir of Leading citizens and farmers’ directory of Sullivan County, Indiana” published by the Sullivan Times Co in 1896. I have ancestors who lived in Sullivan County, so I wondered if I could find any of my ancestors listed.

Map of Indiana showing location of Sullivan County
Sullivan County, Indiana

Using Family Tree Maker 2017, (My preferred genealogy software.) I went to the places tab and selected Sullivan County, Indiana, USA and discovered I have 88 individuals associated with Sullivan County. I started entering surnames in the search function and found six individuals that were ancestors of mine and were in the directory.

The following are entries I discovered. Facts new to me are Green bolded.

Beard, J. N. born in Crawford County, Ills., 1859. Came to Sullivan county 1894. Farming 120 acres, situated 7½ miles northwest of Sullivan, Turman township. Owner, A. Hopewell.
[A. Hopewell rented 120 acres to J. N. Beard.]

Hopewell, A., born in Sullivan County, 1847. Owns 336 acres, situated in Turman Tp, 6 Miles N.W. of Sullivan. Mr. Hopewell served the last six months in the Civil war, 53rd Ind. Vol Inf.

Nash, S. W., Assessor of Truman Tp., born in Sullivan county, 1853. Farming 40 acres situated 7 miles northwest of Graysville. Owners, Barnes Heirs. P.O. Hutsonville, Ills. There are several Barnes families that could have owned this property. [I would need to do a title/deed search to determine for certain.]

Taft, Alonzo, born in Sullivan County, 1870. Farming 65 acres, situated 2 miles southwest of Sullivan. P.O. Same.

Taft, William., Born in N.Y., 1842. Came to Sullivan county, 1849. Owns 20 acres, situated in Curry tp., ¾ mile east of Shelburn.

Thompson, Albert, born in Sullivan county, 1823. Owns 260 acres situated in Fairbanks Tp., 12 miles northwest of Sullivan. P.O. Fairbanks.

None of these individuals were direct ancestors, but several were uncles and aunts.

Future research:

Worth further investigation is the “Barnes Heirs” owning 40 acres. My 2nd great-grandfather, Nelson Barnes, died in 1884. Could this 40 acres be remnants of his estate? If so, why hadn’t the estate been settled in the ensuing 12 years? If not, whose estate was it that was owned by the “Barnes heirs.”

Sources:

  • Art souvenir of leading citizens and farmers’ directory of Sullivan County, Indiana – 1896 : Sullivan Times Co. Cn : Free Download, Borrow, And Streaming : Internet Archive.” Internet Archive. Accessed July 28 2019. https://archive.org/details/artsouveniroflea00sull/page/n7.