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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Problem of Joseph Odell (the 'first')

I have no birth or death information for Joseph Odell.  I have no parentage for Joseph Odell.  I have no burial information for Joseph Odell.

These problems are very common and very annoying.  I want a complete chronology for, at least, each individual in my direct lineage, maternal and paternal.

It's also helpful to have a complete chronology for each related individual because information about related individuals can reveal more information about direct line individuals.  But, that's another blog.

In the case of Joseph Odell (the 'first'), I've clearly identified him from the 1840 US Census, in Windham, Greene County, NY, age 30-40 - to the 1870 US Census in Morsston/Rockland, Sullivan County, NY, age 60.

He doesn't appear anywhere on the 1875 NYS Census and on the 1880 US Census, his wife, Catherine (Katie), age, 71, is widowed and living with their son, Reuben.  Therefore, I have to assume that Joseph died between 1870 and 1880, if not between 1870 and 1875.  However, I have found no death certificate in the area, no newspaper obits, so far.  No cemetery record, so far.

Calculating Joseph's birth year from the various censuses, he would have been born between 1810 and 1811.

Birth place?  According to the various censuses:  1870 - NYS; 1860 - NYS; 1855 - Delaware (county or state?); 1850 - PA.

Assuming that the simplest and most direct answer is usually correct, I want to think that Joseph was born 1810-1811 in NYS and died between 1870 and 1880 in Rockland or, at least, Sullivan County.

The censuses from 1840 backward have only the names of heads of households and the numbers of male and female residents and their rough ages.  Did I find any Odells in Greene County in 1830?  No.  So, Joseph came from a different county.  In 1830, Joseph would have been between the ages of 19-29, assuming the information on the various censuses and my calculation of his birth year is correct.  One would think he would have married and, maybe, had children at that age but I have not seen a Joseph Odell on any 1830 census in NY, as head of household, so maybe he was still single.  The task now is to search every 1830 census for an Odell family that includes a man between those ages.  From there, I'll have to do the same for the 1820 census, looking for a male family member age 9-19.  It's a daunting task but that's the process.

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