Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Mary Jane Robbins

Mary Jane was born 15 Oct 1827/1829 in Ohio or New Jersey, depending on which record you choose to use as a source. It's probably a toss up since she could have been born in New Jersey and grown up in Ohio, or her parents were from New Jersey and she was born after their move to Ohio.

Many of the Robbins people who lived in that area were from New Jersey. You would think that would make the job easier, but that's not the case. When I found a Robbins will listing a daughter named Jane Lock, I was thrilled, thinking I had found my girl with her parents. Nevertheless, I persisted in investigating since there was also an Alvis Lock married to a Jane. You know what happened. I proved that that Jane was the Jane who was married to Alvis. And I still don't know who Mary Jane's parents are.

She married William F. Lock on 19 August 1947 in Randolph County, Indiana, which is at the Indiana-Ohio border, making it more difficult to search for records since both states have to be considered.

In August of 1850, the little family, including their two baby daughters, was living in Somers, Preble, Ohio, about forty miles SE of Randolph County. This census enumeration explains Sarah Caroline's birthplace of Ohio. All of the other children were born in Randolph County, Indiana. Finding this particular census opens the possibility that Mary Jane's family was from Preble County. Levi Lock, who was living with them, does not appear again, so he remains a mystery at this time. He is a clue, waiting to be discovered.

William F. Lock, age 23, M, laborer, NC; Mary, age 19, F, NJ; Margaret, age 1, F, IN; Sarah, age 4/12, F, OH; Levi Lock, age 17, M, IN.

By November, they were back in Randolph County and were living in Greens Fork, the township located in the most SE corner of the county.
William F. Lock, age 21, M, wagon maker, NC; Mary A. Lock, age 21, F, OH; Margaret Lock, age 2, F, IN; Caroline Lock, age 5/12, F, IN.

In 1860, the family had grown again, and they were living in Washington, just five miles west of Greens Fork.
William F. Lock, age 32, M, blacksmith, /$100, NC; Mary J. Lock, age 32, F, NJ; Margaret A. Lock, age 12, F, IN; Sarah C. Lock, age 10, F, IN; Alvis M. Lock, age 8, M, IN; Joel J. Lock, age 4, M, IN; Charles H. Lock, age 2, M, IN.

Sometimes you wonder why people said what they said to census enumerators. They lied about all kinds of things, or were careless in their responses. The enumerators were also a mixed group, some being meticulous in their entries, and others hurrying along and making mistakes. Did Mary Jane list her birthplace as Ohio in 1850 because she had most recently come from there? When in Ohio did she say New Jersey because that's where her family lived previously? Who knows! Who knows!

By 1870, their family was complete, and several of the children had already left home. They were still living in Washington.
Wm. F. Locke, age 49, M, blacksmith, $150/50, NC; Mary J. Locke, age 38, F, W, keeps house, NJ; Joel J. Locke, age 13, M, IN; Charles M. Locke, age 11, M, IN; William F. Locke, age 8, M, IN; Sherman Locke, age 5, M, IN; Minna Locke, age 3, F, IN.

Mary Jane died on 14 November 1872 and was buried at New Liberty Cemetery in Lynn. Since they stayed in the same area for the entire life of their marriage, we have a picture of them every ten years. What we do not have is personal information about Mary Jane. We do not know her parents' names, her brothers and sisters, what she liked to do with her time, or even how she looked. We know her as a wife and as a mother. She was the mother of eight children and her household would have reflected that. They were not wealthy people, so she probably did all of her own housework while raising her children. Thus, her short life was a busy one.

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