Origin Story: Jehial Stanton and the Iowa State Census

Wow, it is amazing to look back at work I was doing two years ago and pick up where I left off. My last post about Jehial was featured the Federal Census. I was able to find him in the Federal Census up until 1880, most of 1890 Federal Census was lost in a fire. Try as I might, I could not find him in the 1900 Federal Census. His daughter, Sarah J Stanton Husted is there, living at the address where Jehial would eventually live, but no Jehial. I know that he was alive in 1900 however because there is data about him in the 1905 Iowa State Census. I was also able to find information about him in the 1885 and 1895 Iowa State Census.

Here he is in the 1885 Iowa State Census:

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  • Taken in 1885 in Olive, Iowa
  • Name looks like Josiah Stanton
  • Age is 55, making year of birth 1930
  • No occupation listed
  • Born in NY
  • Blind
  • Wife age 66 named Rebecca Stanton, born in NY, Occupation listed as housewife

The 1895 Iowa Census has no images just information:

  • Taken in 1895 in Calamees, Clinton IA
  • Name listed as Jehial Stanton
  • Age 70 making year of birth 1825
  • Birthplace is NY

The 1905 Iowa Census has no images of the census data but images of the index.

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Information from both of those sources:

  • Taken in 1905 in Scott, IA
  • Name listed as Jehial Stanton
  • Age 82 making year of birth 1923
  • Widowed
  • Father’s and Mother’s birthplace NY
  • Lives with Sarah J. Husted and Jas E. Husted

Lastly in 1905 there is a population schedule. I’m not sure if this is different but it has the same information above, so it’s probably the same.

1905 Jehial Stanton - Population Schedule (1)

The only additional information on this population schedule is that Jehial had been in Iowa for 39 years, making his arrival in Iowa around 1866.

Mystery Grandpa

First published on August 15, 2015.

Mystery Grandpa was my first real snag in researching my family. His name was Andrew J (or H) Dwinells (or Dwinnels) and he is my paternal grandfather’s paternal grandfather or my great-great grandfather. One problem that I encounter frequently is that the spelling of his, and my, last name is often different or transcribed wrong. That sometimes makes it difficult to find the correct information and is confusing, so excuse my spelling if it differs from documents.

From what I know, Andrew J Dwinells was born on August 15, 1846 (The date of this post!). His father was Joseph James Dwinells and his mother was Hannah Maria Kelly. I could not find a record of birth for Andrew, his birthdate comes from marriage and death certificates. The first record I found of Andrew was in the 1850 Federal Census for Haverhill, Massachusetts.

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He is listed (highlighted in purple) as a four-year-old, born in Massachusetts and his occupation is a pauper, which makes sense because he lived in the “Poor House” (highlighted in green). Also listed is his brother, Frederic Dwinnels. He appears five years later in the 1855 Massachusetts Census, still living in the poor house with his brother.

When I first saw this information I was intrigued. I didn’t even know what a poor house was. I also wanted to know why Andrew and his brother were there. I could not find any information about the deaths of Andrew’s parents, thus the beginning of the mystery. There are more mysteries involving Mystery Grandpa, that I will write about later, but recently I came closer to solving this first mystery.

I was reading “The History of Haverhill, Massachusetts: From its First Settlement, in 1640, to the Year 1860” by George Wingate Chase, when I found this paragraph:

In the early part of 1850, the small-pox broke out in the western part of the town, and for a time raged fearfully. It was confined principally to the northern part of the West Parish. In School District No. 2, there were between thirty and forty cases, several of them fatal. The loathsome disease was introduced into the parish by a young lady, on a visit from Boston.

I am at the beginning stages of fully researching this, but my theory now is that Andrew’s parents died in the small pox outbreak, leaving him and his brother orphans. I will have to try to pinpoint where Andrew and his parents would have lived and possibly try to get some records about the outbreak. I know that it is kind of a grim find, but I was excited to get one step closer to solving the mysteries of Mystery Grandpa.