Friday, November 1, 2019

FRIDAY FINDS ~ The 6th child of Rev. George Hall & his wife Almira–Meet Ellen M. Hall

We all have those missing children.  We have census records or death records or some other piece of information that tells us that a couple had 6 children.  BUT, we have only identified 5 of them.

This was the case for Rev. George Hall (1804-1878) and his wife, Almira Rosette (1806-1858).  My first indication that I was missing a child, was the obituary for Rev. George Hall, which stated he and Almira had 6 children.  Since they married in 1834 I would have access to the 1840, 1850, 1860 and 1870 census records, prior to his death in 1878.

How did I finally figure out that the missing child was Ellen M. Hall?  
From a link on Ancestry.  As you know they have recently added those obituary links from the website.  I already have a subscription and use the site all the time.  However, not knowing the name of the missing child, there was no way to search for her. 

Up popped a link to the obituary for Cornelia Hall Smith, who happens to be one of the 5 children of Rev. George Hall & Almira Rosette.  I began looking at other records for Cornelia and found that Ellen Hall was living with her for most of her life.

Since this 6th child, Ellen, was born in Oct. 1850, she was not enumerated in the 1850 census, which took place in August.  I have never…..yet, been able to locate the 1860 census for Rev. Hall & his family.  I know that Almira died in Sept 1858 in New York. Reverend Hall remarried on 6 Oct 1859 to Mary A. Bolles, in Jersey City, New Jersey.  Thus far, that 1860 census eludes me and that’s where I would have probably located the 6th child, Ellen, assuming she was living with them.

By the time of the 1870 census, Rev. Hall and his wife, Mary were living in Fayette, Jefferson, Mississippi and his 23 year old daughter, Emily was living with them.  Ellen would have been 19 or 20 years old at that time and must have already left the family home, since she isn't enumerated with them.

However, I have located her.  Living with her sister Cornelia and husband Almond A. Smith and their children, in Irvington, Kossuth, Iowa. I’m not quite sure how I missed this when I originally found this census record.  I had recorded it and saved it to my digital files, but I had not investigated who the Ellen Hall, domestic servant, was who was living with this family. 
1870 census

I have to tell you that writing my blog posts nearly always leads to discoveries.  In this particular case, I thought I’d try, once again, to locate Rev. George Hall and his wife Mary in the 1860 census.  Young Ellen would have only been about 10 at that time and I figured she should be living with them.  Now that I had her name, I could use that in my 1860 specific search for the family.

WELL…….guess what?  I have located Ellen, age 9, but not living with her father, George and stepmother.  She is again, found living with her sister, Cornelia and husband Almond Smith and the Smith family in the 1860 census in Iowa.

1860 census

Now I’m curious where I’ll find Ellen in the 1880 census.  Was she still living with her sister Cornelia?

Sure enough, I’ve located Ellen in the 1880 census living with the Smith family and listed as a boarder.

Cropped portion from 1880 census

Finally, I have a completed family for this couple.

There was no mention of Ellen having an occupation, either in the census records or in her obituary.  I don’t know what her life was like.  I do know it was too short, as she died at age 42 on 11 Oct 1893.

Here is her obituary and my transcription of it.

The Algona Republican, Iowa - 18 Oct 1835, page 5

Transcription of Ellen's obituary
The grim reaper of Death, has again thrust in his sickle and garnered in his harvest.  On last Wednesday afternoon Miss Ellen M. Hall of Irvington, passed peacefully away to that bourne from whence no traveler returns.  Her death was very sudden and totally unexpected, as she was around as usual, but was found in an unconscious condition from which she never rallied, and died a few hours after being found.  Her death was due to heart failure.  The funeral services were held Friday at 2 p.m., at the residence of her sister Mrs. C.B. Smith, where she had made her home for years.  The service was conducted by Rev. Davidson, and the remains were taken to the Irvington cemetery for interment.
The deceased was born in Petersborough, Maidson county, N.Y., November 18, 1850, and she removed to this county with Mr. A.A. Smith's family in the year 1869, and has since resided here.  Her death removed another of the early settlers, and although but a little more than 42 years of age, the greater share of her life was spent in this county.  Her relatives have the sympathy of their many friends in their bereavement.
We wish to tender our sincere thanks to the friends who so kindly assisted us during the illness and subsequent death of our beloved sister and aunt, Miss Ellen M. Hall.
Mrs. C. B. Smith and Family

You can visit Ellen’s memorial on FindAGrave here #204017832

If you have any information to share about Ellen or her family, I’d love to hear from you.
Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl
Copyright ©  2010-2019   Diane Gould Hall


  1. Great detective work, Diane. I think this teaches us to pay closer attention to people listed as boarders or roomers in a family's household. You must have found the Smith family long ago to have not made the connection until now.

    1. No kidding Cathy. How did I miss her? I recently found out another "boarder" I've been suspicious of was a sister to the wife in that household. But, since the name was completely unfamiliar I had to find a connection first.
      In Ellen's case, her last name was Hall, which I knew was the wife's maiden name. Duh! The things we miss.
      Thanks for stopping by. :)

    2. It happens more often than we'd like to admit, Diane. Kudos for writing about it.


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.