Jane (Lawson) Marshall (1820-____)

Roberts/Marshall/Lawson

My 3rd great grandmother, Jane Lawson, is one of my most frustrating research subjects – almost a brick wall. She just vanishes in my research.  She was born about 1820 in Tennessee. She probably married a man surnamed Marshall about 1842, because she had her only known child, Patience Anna Marshall, on 30 Dec 1843.

Her husband either died or vanished before 1849. The 1850 Census shows the 30-year-old Jane living with her younger brother Thomas, in Jefferson County, Illinois along with Thomas’ new wife and Jane’s daughter Patience. And there are no Marshalls in the mortality schedule identified in the 1850 Census for Jefferson or surrounding counties.

One researcher suggests that Jane may have married Farris Presley in Marion County, Illinois, in 1864, but I have been unable to confirm that.

In my research, I was able to place her as likely in the household of Jacob Lawson during the 1840 Census. (The census only provides names of heads of households.)

So, I’ve discovered woefully little about Jane and her life. I’ve followed her brother Thomas having 10 children and living Jefferson County all of his life. I’ve discovered her mother’s name was Patience, presumably who she named her daughter for.

Jane Lawson

  • Circa 1820 – Born
  • Circa 1842 – Married? (Unk Marshall)
  • 30 Dec 1843 – Gave birth to Patience.
  • 1 June 1850 – Lived with brother, Thomas

Jane’s Parents – Jacob and Patience Lawson

In the 1850 Census, her parents and (apparent) siblings are listed only as being in Jefferson County, Illinois, but the 1860 Census add a key fact, the family lived in Township 2S of Range 4E. Whenever I see a person living in the Midwest, I always check the Bureau of Land Management, General Land Office Records. There, I searched for the surname Lawson in Jefferson County Illinois.  There were six, and one of them was Jacob Lawson, in Township 2S, of Range 4E. He received bounty land.

Pursuant to an act of Congress on 28 September 1850, Jacob Lawson, private in Captain Waterhouse’s Company, Tennessee Volunteers – Florida ???? received 80 acres on 2 January 1854. It was the North Half of the South-East Quarter of section thirty-four. A quick review found the land about two miles south of Bluford and about two miles north of Interstate 64. (About 10 miles east of Mount Vernon and 90 miles east of Saint Louis.)

Painting of the Battle of New Orleans by Edward Percy Moran.
Battle of New Orleans by Edward Percy Moran

This new knowledge gives me a new direction and new hope for further research. What might I find about Jane when I research her other siblings? What Newspapers did Mount Vernon publish during her and her parent’s lives?  I also know that her father served honorably in the War of 1812. Jacob is the first of my ancestors for whom I learned served during the war of 1812. The Tennessee Volunteers are one of the key units during the War of 1812. I wonder what my 4th Great-Grandfather did in the war. It should be interesting to research that.

Ancestor Sketch – FNU Marshall (c. 1816 – c. 1846)

Roberts/Marshall Line

By Don Taylor

The father of Patience Anna (Marshall) Dean Roberts continues to elude me.  I’ve never heard of a wall growing, but the brick wall regarding Patience’s father seems to become more and more solid. I know virtually nothing about him.

Patience was born on 30 Dec 1843, so we can assume his father was alive in March 1843 in order to father Patience.

Patience and her mother are living with Jane’s brother in the 1850 Census. Additionally, a search for anyone with surname Marshall in Jefferson County, Illinois in the 1850 Mortality Schedule, yielded no one with the Marshall surname listed for Jefferson County or the surrounding counties.  This leads me to believe that Patience’s father died before 1 June 1849.

1850 Census showing Thomas Lawson with Jane & Patience Marshall.

Jane (Lawson) Marshall was about 22 years old when she conceived Patience, so, I’m guessing that her husband was at least 18 and probably under 32 when they were married. That suggests a birthdate somewhere between 1810 and 1822.

Even though the 1850 Census indicates that Patience was born in Tennessee, all other records indicate she was born in Illinois. I believe the Tennessee entry is in error. Patience’s mother was born in Tennessee and Jane’s younger brother Thomas was born in Illinois in 1829, suggesting the Lawson’s moved to Illinois before that. Additionally, it appears that Jane’s father is Jacob Lawson and Jacob appears in the 1840 Census as a family head of household. That suggests Jane lived in Illinois prior to meeting and marrying Patience’s father.

With this in mind, I speculate, Patience’s father was:

  • Born: 1810-1822 – Probably Tennessee.
  • Marr: 1842-1843 – Probably Illinois – Probably Jackson County.
  • Died: 1843-1949 – Probably Illinois – Probably Jackson County.

Research Roberts-Marshall 2018 – Ancestor #34

List of Grandparents

Newspapers are often a great source for death information. Chronicling America indicates 3 newspapers have been published in Jefferson County, Illinois. The earliest is the Sentinel beginning in 1856. Likewise, Find-a-Grave is an excellent source for death information and clues; There are no entries for anyone with the surname Marshall before 1864.

I’ve also looked closely at The History of Jefferson County, Illinois by William Henry Perrin (1883) and have found nothing relating to the Marshalls of interest in that book.


Further Actions / Follow-up

  • The 1840 Census indicates no families with the Marshall surname in Jefferson County.
  • The 1850 Census indicates there were only two households containing individuals with the Marshall surname. First, Jane and Patience were living with Jane’s brother. Second, was a family consisting of seven individuals, apparently Gabriel Marshall, age 45 from Tennessee, his wife, Frances, and five (apparent) children. Based upon the birthplaces of his children, it appears they came to Illinois between 1834 and 1838. This is about the time that Patience’s father may have come to Illinois as well. As such, my next effort with the Marshalls is to attempt to find Gabriel Marshall family and see if Gabriel had a brother that would fit as Patience’s father.
  • A visit to the Jefferson County Historical Society may help find additional resources.