Sunday, January 11, 2009

Brick wall: James Madison DeHority 1819-1891

Vital statistics: James was born in Delaware, reportedly near Dover, on 21 April 1819, parents unknown. He came to Indiana in 1836 and married Susanna Huffman 13 September 1838 in Fayette County, IN. Between 1839 and 1858, James and Susanna had 4 children: William B., John W., James H. and Joseph A. Only John W. and James H. lived to maturity. Obituaries and various county histories refer to him as a physician, minister (Methodist), banker and the owner of DeHority and Sons mercantile. James died in Elwood, Indiana, 18 July 1891. When he died, an obituary reports that 2000 people attended the funeral, notably a contingent from the Odd Fellows lodge.

So, my 3x-great grandfather seems to have been quite a Renaissance man. But who were his parents? Biographies of him, and his sons, are silent on this point. His obituary claims that he was orphaned in Delaware at the age of 8, and he lived with his grandparents until the age of 18 when he sets out for Indiana. Research in Delaware has revealed some clues, but no definitive suspects. So far, none of the articles found hints at the answer.

Next post: Clues in Delaware.

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