Friday, November 16, 2018

ANCESTORS IN THE NEWS ~ Gillen & Brother furniture business 1850’s-1860’s Ohio

Gillen & brother

Today I located several references to Gillen & Brother furniture business on  The business is also called Gillen Brother in some of the ads.

These ads were taken out in the Spirit of the Times newspaper in Ironton, Lawrence County, Ohio.  This is consistent with where by Gillens lived during that time.

Martin Gillen is my maternal 3rd great granduncle, son of William Gillen & Rachel Frampton.

I know that Martin Gillen (1811-1879) was enumerated as a Furniture Dealer in the 1870 census.  He and his wife Sarah were living in Ironton, Ohio at that time.  Going back to the previous census records; in 1850 Martin & his wife Sarah were living in Upper Township, Lawrence Co., Ohio.  Sadly, his occupation is not listed on that census.  In the 1860 census in Ironton, Lawrence Co., Ohio, Martin is enumerated as a Furniture Merchant.

Copy of GILLEN & Brother cabinets_SpiritoftheTimes_IrontonOH_22 Feb 1853_pg 3
Ad from Feb 1853
Copy centered of GILLEN_and Brother_Messrs_SpiritoftheTimes_13 Sep 1853_pg 2
Ad from Sep1853
Although I don’t see the name of the owner of the Gillen & Brother furniture business in the ads, I am concluding that it was Martin.  Ironton wasn’t that big during those years. 
The question is, was he in business with one of his brothers or not?
  • John, his older brother (1804-1880) was always listed as a Farmer.
  • Isaac F., his younger brother (1823-1907) was also listed as a Farmer in 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880.
  • That leaves Martin’s younger brother Capt. Elijah Fisher Gillen (1822-1896). In 1850 Elijah is listed as a Merchant (what kind of merchant?).  The 1860 census lists him as a Clerk and he’s living in Ironton, Ohio.  In 1870 no occupation is listed and in 1880, Elijah is listed as a Bookkeeper.
Conclusion:  It’s possible that Martin was in business or associated with his brother, Elijah, at some point.  I need to locate business licenses or other newspaper articles that would shed some light on this question.

Martin’s obituary does say he was in the furniture business and retired from it 10 years prior to his death in 1879.

I’d love to hear from you if you are connected to this family.  Or, if you have any further information on the articles I’ve mentioned or the Gillen Furniture Business in Ironton.

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2018   Diane Gould Hall


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I look forward to reading your comments. If you have any connection to the people mentioned in this blog, please let me know. I write about mine and my husband's ancestors and would welcome new information or meeting a new cousin or two. Thanks for visiting and come back soon.