Sometimes things get twisted in your tree. I mean, I can see how it happened. A wrong assumption here and a minor mistake there and before long you have a very interesting twist in a branch of your tree. Such are the cases of John William Mannin and his son, Robert Mannin*.
“Twisted Tree…” Photo by Walter Baxter
[CC BY-SA 2.0] via Wikimedia Commons
First, I need to go back to where I realized the problem. I was documenting the life of my second great grandfather, John William Manning. I knew that I didn’t have a lot about his life. He died early, at the age of 41. I’ve researched him many times and I knew there isn’t much about him available. So, I verified what I did have and I decided to research his son, Robert Manning. That’s when I realized I had things wrong. First about John William Manning
John William Manning (1846-1888)
John was born between 29 August 1846 and 28 September 1846. We know this because he was 17 when he enlisted on 29 Aug 1963 for the Civil War and was 18 when he mustered on 28 Sept 1963[i]. His Father, Enoch Mannin (1823-1907) signed a parental consent for John to enlist on 29 August indicating that he was only 17[ii]. We also are fairly certain that he was the oldest of nine children of Enoch and Minerva Ann (Tolliver) Mannin. His Civil War record also indicates that he was born in Bath County, Kentucky.
1850 – John W is 5 years old, living with Enoch (his father), Minerva (his mother) and apparently two siblings, Isaac Willson (age 4) and Nancy A. (age 10 months)[iii] in Bath County, Kentucky.
1860 – William is 15 years old, living with Enoch (his father) Minerva (his mother) and siblings Isaac – 12 (somewhat confusing as he was 4 in the previous census), Nancy – 10, Sarah – 5, Emaline – 4, and Grazelle – 2 in Bath County, Kentucky. Their post office was Owingsville. Note he was called William in that census. He is also working as a farm hand.[iv]
Consent In Case of Minor for John W. Mannin
Signed by his father, Enoch Mannin
1863 – John W enlisted at 17 into 45th Regiment of KY on 29 Aug 1863. His father, Enoch Mannin, gave his consent to enlist. He mustered with Company E, 40th (Kentucky) Infantry Regiment in September.
1864 – He was captured by Morgan in May or June of 1864[v]. He was held at Lebanon in July and August and mustered out on 30 December 1864[vi].
1868 – It appears that sometime in 1867 he met someone, probably married, and had a son, Robert, between 1868 and 1869. In a letter to me, Delores spoke of her uncle Bob Manning, her mother’s half brother[vii]. Also, Mary Manning Brown’s obituary speaks of her half brother preceding her[viii].
1870 – I have been unsuccessful finding John W Mannin in the 1870 Census. That census could be key in determining who Robert Mannin’s mother was.
1878 – John’s First Daughter, Mary Elizabeth Mannin, was born on 17 April in Carter County, Kentucky, USA,
1880 Census showing John Mannin
1880 – John was living in Pine Grove, Rowan County, Kentucky. He was a 34 year-old farmer. Rowan County borders Bath County and also borders Carter County where he enlisted for the Civil War, so his being in Rowan County is consistent with the rest of his life. The 1880 Census indicates him living with his wife Lisa J Mannin who was only 19 years old. Also with them was a daughter, Mary Mannin, age 2. This begs the question, where is Robert? He would have only been 12 in 1880. Could this be the wrong John, Elisa, & Mary?
1881 – The second big question about John’s life is the birth of his daughter, Phoebe Jane Mannin. Phoebe appears in the 1900 Census as being born in January 1881.[ix]
1882 – Some records indicate that John’s wife, Eliza, may have died in 1882. Other documents indicate she may have died as late as 1888.
1882-84 – Family oral history says that John was poisoned because someone knew he had $100 to send for Eliza’s keep. Family oral history also indicated that Eliza died in childbirth.
Also, family oral history indicates that the children were raised by their aunt, Mary Ermaline (Mannin) Jones and uncle Thomas “Tommy” N Jones. If this is true, it had to have occurred between 1882 and 1884.
1885 Minnesota Census for Enoch Mannon (Head)
1885 – Finally, we have a clear idea of where the children are. John’s three children are living with his father, Enoch Mannin, in Holding, Stearns County, Minnesota. Living with Enoch is his wife “Menorvi”, and three children, Robert, Mary, and Jane ages 16, 7, and 4[x] – These are the correct names and ages to have been John’s three children.
With so many conflicting stories regarding John William and Eliza J. (Fannin) Mannin, I felt it necessary to look at the three children of John & Eliza and see what I could find more. So, I decided to research John’s first child, Robert. I’ll write about my findings for Robert in my next posting.
Find John William Mannin in the 1870 Census.
Determine John William Mannin’s first wife, Robert J. Mannin’s mother.
Follow Mary Ermaline Mannin Jones from 1870 -1900 and see if the John W. Mannin children show up there.
* [Note: Mannin and Manning are used interchangeably in various documents depending upon the ear of whoever recorded the document. My use is also interchangeable. I tend to use the name used in a particular document to describe the individual.]
[i] American Civil War Soldiers (Historical Data Systems, comp.. American Civil War Soldiers [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 1999.), Side served: Union; State served: Kentucky; Enlistment date: 29 Aug 1863.[ii] Compiled Military Service Record, Fold3, John W Mannin. Declaration of Recruit, Volunteer Enlistment[iii] 1850 United States Federal Census (A), Ancestry, http://www.Ancestry.com, 1850; Census Place: Division 2, Bath, Kentucky; Roll: M432_191; Page: 36A; Image: 453.
[iv] 1860 United States Federal Census (A), Ancestry, http://www.Ancestry.com, 1860; Bath, Kentucky; Roll: M653_355; Page: 234.
[v] Compiled Military Service Record, Fold3, John W Mannin. Co E, 40 Kentucky Inf.
[vii] Letters from Delores Pribbenow, Don Taylor, Maine, Letter – Delores Brown Pribbenow – 2005-04-04. I Delores Sarah Pribbenow – See http://goo.gl/8U6c1q
[viii] 1983-05-09 (Est) (Probably Brainerd Daily Paper) – Mary Brown, 107 dies at Bethany., Unknown Newspaper, Minnesota.
[ix] 1900 Census (A) (National Archives and Records Administration), Ancestry, http://www.Ancestry.com, Year: 1900; Census Place: Wells, Wells, North Dakota; Roll: T623_1234; Page: 10A; Enumeration District: 214.
[x] 1885 Minnesota, Territorial and State Census, Ancestry, http://www.Ancestry.com, 1885 – Holding, Stearns County, Minn – Page 3 (Post Office: Saint Anna).
I find Facebook to be one of the absolute best resources I’ve ever used for research. A few months ago I was able to “friend” a first cousin once removed. “BLZ’s” mother, Delores, and my grandfather were siblings. As such, she is a contemporary with my mother. She also lived near my grandfather and great grandmother for many years and had her own stories. She also has some of the old records and writings of her mother, Delores, and her grandmother (my great-grandmother) Mary Brown. I wrote Delores in 2001 and received a wonderful letter that I’ve incorporated into my research long ago. I found out from BLZ that her mother wrote another letter, this time for her children, in 2005; of which, my cousin scanned and sent me a copy. This 2005 letter included many new (to me) tidbits of information regarding family. I admit I have a difficult time using old handwritten documents so I transcribed it for my use.
There are many new tidbits of information. One of the best was my grandfather’s middle name. He changed his name from Clifford D. Brown to Richard Earl Durand to Richard Earl Brown. I have never found a document which included his “D.” middle name. Delores’ letter is the first place I’ve ever seen a middle name for him — Durwood. Durwood fits as it was his father’s middle name. There is also mention of a great grand uncle, Robert Manning, that I had never heard of before. I knew that a Robert J Manning lived with Enoch, Minerva, Mary, and Phoebe as shown in th 1885 Minnesota Census but I never knew the relationship. So, it appears that all three children were living with their grandparents in 1885. I learned the occupations of several great uncles and the surname of the man Adia/Ada married. All-in-all a very helpful letter.
If you are able to connect with a cousin, start with sharing photos or stories, eventually, you may find the cousin has fresh documents you haven’t seen before. Cousins can be great resource to enhance your understand and knowledge of your family.
Below is a copy of the letter and my transcript. There are a couple of words I can’t quite make out, so, anyone who wants to help please feel free to comment. I have also highlighted new tidbits of information.
— — — — — — (Page 1) — — — — — —
April 4th, 2005
Delores Pribbenow Letter
Page 1 Dated April 4, 2005
I, Delores Sarah Pribbenow, being of sound mind do write this truth for my children to refer to:
I was born the 11/7/1917 to Arthur Durwood Brown and Mary Elizabeth Manning. Mary was born 1876 April 17, lived to be 107. She died on mothers Day. Born 1876 in Kernsville, Kentucky, maiden name Manning. Art was born in Lansing Michigan, they had twelve children raised 10 to adulthood. Two died as infants (Dorothy & Martin) of measles. Children are as follows: Clyde Leroy B. Clarence Andrew B, Victoria Cocialia, Cora Elsie, Clifford (Dick) Durwood, Edward, Louis B., Arthur Eugene B. Charles W B. Delores Sarah, Nettie Mae Viola, the youngest. My mom passed away in Bethany Home in Brainerd. My father passed away in Walker Minn. in hospital, I remember it well. My momn& I camped on the campgrounds at Leach Lake to be near him at his last moment. He died in the night time during a terrific storm. Power was all out. So we didn’t hear until morning when we went to see him, we transported his body by train to Sylvan depot and he was buried in Sylvan or Gull River Cemetery. My Dad, Arthur had surgery in Brainerd for Gall Stones and appendicitis, never recovered his health. Doctored in Rochester, Mayo Clinic, and other doctors ended up in Walker. No help. I’m sure it was cancer he had yellow jaundice and lot of pain with chills, he kept is appendix and gall
[———– Next sheet (Page 2) ————-]
Delores Pribbenow Letter
Page 2 – Source: BLZ
bladder & stones in a glass jar until his death. My memories of him are seeing him sitting in a chair braced up against a tree with a straw hat on and smoking a corn cob pipe. Also walking with hands clasp behind his back – while viewing his crops in the field. We raised cucumbers for the Heinz pickle company acres and acres of them. Back breaking job to get them ready to sell. We lived many miles from towns had to transport by team & wagon at least twenty miles one way. My mother had one sister Phoebie and a half brother Robert Manning.
My dad had many Sisters and Brothers, ???? I remember them
“ Clifford – Wife Lou Lou
“ Edward – farmer wife Dora
“ Fred was a barber – wife Anna
“ Charlie – A cook – Minnie his wife
Aunt – Ada – husband Ben Mayers – a lawyer owned an island in Gull Lake also a gold mine
In the old days they had a child every 9 months it seemed up to a dozen and they continued to rename the child after the aunts and uncles – making it very confusing. I had many uncles and cousins I never ever met.
[———– Next sheet (Page 3) ————-]
Delores Pribbenow Letter
Page 2 – Source: BLZ
My Mothers Sister Phoebe Brown, Richmond. Sisters married Brothers, my uncle Clyde Brown, my dads brother married my mothers sister Phoebe. They had two children, Stella Brown Barnet, Henry Brown – They were my double cousins. Then Uncle Clyde was crushed between to box cars on the M N I rail road he was a brake men, Phoebe later remarried to William Richmond they had Billie, Mahala, Norman, George Herbert Jim Gilbert uncle Will R. died and Phoebe remarried to Milo Upton.
Uncle Bob Mannings wife was Martha – She died in the State of Washington they had sons named Grant & Herbert, that I new
Uncle Ed Brown died of cancer – had button put in this throat talked there that also my Brother Ed had the same thing many years later – Cancer has taken all of my family – I am the only one left.