Same Names through History?

When looking up family history I keep running into family with the same name.  The most recent is Edwin Littler.  Edwin Littler is my g-grandfather a few generations ago – Mary Ann Littler (wife of Edward Corbly)’s father – his son is also Edwin Littler.  edwin

In Stearns Cemetery is the tombstone for Edwin Littler with no birth or death information.  It does include information about Civil War Service though.

Edwin Littler (the son) – 1843-1862  can be found in the Illinois Civil War Muster and Descriptive Roll Database .

Edwin is listed as being in the 125th Il US Infantry which matches his tombstone.  He joined August 11,1882, mustered September 3, 1862 and was declared dead on November 25, 1862 at Bowling Green, KY.  It includes that he was 19, with black hair, light complexion, dark eyes, and was 5’8″.

Not knowing a lot about the battles in the civil war I am lost as far as cause of death.  According to a civil war driving tour write up:

By late 1861, Bowling Green became the heart of the Confederacy’s efforts in Kentucky. The new year brought serious worries to the Confederate occupation force. A Union victory at Mill Springs in Eastern Kentucky, on January 19, 1862, and General Grant’s victories at Forts Henry and Donelson to the west, made Bowling Green untenable for the Confederates. Union General Don Carlos Buell advanced his Army of the Ohio southward from the Green River. Under the command of General Ormsby Mitchel, Bowling Green was bombarded from across the Barren River. The Confederate army evacuated the city, and by mid-February 1862, the city fell into Union hands. Federal troops controlled Bowling Green and Kentucky for the rest of the war. By 1864, there was a vigorous effort by the federal government to recruit and enlist slaves in Kentucky. Bowling Green and seven other military camps were designated to receive and protect those recruits. Source

This makes me wonder if there was a push in November by the Confederate army to take back Bowling Green, or possibly Edwin was sent out with troops to take more ground and wounded in battle – returned to Bowling Green for care and to ultimately pass away.

Edwin’s father, also being named Edwin was more difficult to find in history.  He had moved from Ohio, bringing the young Edwin as a child, and set up residence in Vermilion County. Some database records have him recorded as Edward also, making identification a more difficult task. Currently I’ve identified Edwin the father in the 1840 and the 1850 census files.

Verifying that ancestors with the same name and place can be difficult.  When in doubt I have been linking information to both individuals and editing later.  Not the most ideal, but definitely helpful to keep from losing information.  Original sources are critical also.

Edwin and Ella Corbley

I always wonder when I find information about infants that died and what the circumstances were.  My ancestor Edward Corbly that I have been researching had an interesting case in his history.  My ancestor, his daughter Julia was the only surviving daughter.  In the family bible though is listed a set of twins, interesting and conflicting information is found after that.  With children that died as babies or toddlers, often only family anecdotal information, or gravestones are available.

The bible looked to me as if the twins were born on September 4, 1860 and passing out of this life on September 4, 1862.  I normally would have assumed that they died in childbirth if i wasn’t for the 2 year gap (exactly 2 years for both making it very confusing).  For twins to die on their birthdate, and both on the same day seems highly unusual.  My g-grandmother then was born in 1863.3bf9fe0b-4b52-44f4-bc04-8332ee657c64

To add to the confusion, someone that has added the gravestones (no pictures) to FindaGrave, has added Edwin as d. 9/4/1862 and Ella d. 9/4/1892.  This is in Tomlinson Cemetery in Illinois (Champaign County).  There are no other records of Ella, including in the 1870 census, so I’m sure that the death date from her tombstone is a typo, with the family bible verifying this.  This is still a family mystery that is lost to time.d1d812da-69e0-4953-b54d-38f6cbd5bda2

Interestingly enough family lore has it that Julia went on to have a stillborn baby that was then buried in the copse of trees by the road on the old Eldridge homestead – land that went on to belong to my parents.  The story is that the baby was wrapped in a baby blanket and buried shortly after being stillborn.

Later I did do more research and after realizing that Ella and Edwin’s parents got married in 1861 I looked very closely at the birth date. I’m now sure it’s really 1862.  Stillbirth explains the mystery.


Edward Corbley: Where did he go?

Edward Corbley:Birth April 19,1832 Death 20 Oct 1891 in Oakwood, IL  (Parents William Corbley and Rebecca Stephens).  Spouse Mary Ann Littler (February 7, 1860)

My aunt has decided to join the DAR and so this spurred a quest to find all the records for my paternal grandmother’s side of the family. We had already recorded the Corbley bible, but the last three generations needed more documentation. All was going fairly well until my great great grandfather Edward Corbley. Family stories differ on why he vanished and there aren’t a lot of records on him, but they all revolve around livestock that got ill and him losing everything. One story Aunt Ethel told was that Edward Corbley was driving cattle up from Texas when they became ill (she said hoof and mouth disease) and he had to hide from the government… then losing the land and everything to the federal government.

The Corbley Farm was a big farm that included the land across from the high school all the way to the land that included Muncie (there is a street in Muncie named after the Corbleys). One article shows that the Congressman J.G. Cannon purchased the farm in both Champaign and Vermilion counties for $30,000.  I’m not sure what the mention of Pearsons and Taft of Chicago means?


From that I can piece together though Edward Corbley went on after the livestock ‘fiasco’ to live in Kansas city, Missouri.  He lived there approximately 8 years before visiting his daughter in Illinois and passing away in her home.   The article tells that he sold his property and went west when reverence overtook him.

0126e205a8ac6220535380dad48d85e38789204239Mary Ann Littler (his wife) is rumored to be buried in Stearns Cemetery in Muncie Illinois with her family, so the thought is that he might be buried in the same cemetery.  There isn’t a record of his burial that I can find so far, and the only undocumented tombstones are so worn that they can no longer be identified.

Somewhere the name switched from Corbley to Corbly also.  Edward Corbly had a brother Lindsey that was in the new constantly (a lawyer)  – so it makes it surprising to me that Edward fell off the books.  I did find one mention that Edward and another man were responsible for surveying and laying out the town of Muncie but in a book with the history of Vermilion County, Edward is dropped completely from the history.  I’m not completely sure I’m ready to quit searching for the history of what happened to Edward.  Most stories though may be lost to time.

From what I’ve found about the livestock disease at that time, Texas cattle were immune to the illness and any land that they inhabited became infected.  New cattle brought in to graze on that land then became ill and died off.  Several states closed off cattle drive routes and would not allow those cattle to be driven through their states.  Shortly after the time I was looking at Illinois closed it’s borders to new Texas cattle.  BUT not knowing what was causing the illness, the farmer bringing in the cattle was vilified by neighboring ranchers for killing off huge herds of cattle.  My ancestors seems to have been caught up in the bad luck of bringing in the wrong type of cattle at the wrong time.

The history of Texas Cattle Drives is available here, but includes:

TEXAS FEVER. Readers of the Veterinarian, an English journal, were informed in June 1868 that a “very subtle and terribly fatal disease” had broken out among cattle in Illinois. The disease killed quickly and was reported to be “fatal in every instance.” The disease was very nearly as fatal as the Veterinarian claimed. Midwestern farmers soon realized that it was associated with longhorn cattle driven north by South Texas ranchers. The Texas cattle appeared healthy, but midwestern cattle, including Panhandle animals, allowed to mix with them or to use a pasture recently vacated by the longhorns, became ill and very often died. Farmers called the disease Texas fever or Texas cattle fever because of its connection with Texas cattle. Other names included Spanish fever and splenic or splenetic fever, from its characteristic lesions of the spleen. The disease is also known as hemoglobinuric fever and red-water fever, and formerly as dry murrain and bloody murrain. To protect their cattle, states along the cattle trails passed quarantine laws routing cattle away from settled areas or restricting the passage of herds to the winter months, when there was less danger from Texas fever. In 1885 Kansas entirely outlawed the driving of Texas cattle across its borders. Kansas, with its central location and rail links with other, more northern markets, was crucial to the Texas cattle-trailing business. The closing of Kansas, together with restrictive legislation passed by many other states, was an important factor in ending the Texas cattle-trailing industry that had flourished for twenty years. (See also, e.g., SHAWNEE TRAIL.)

I almost wonder if in the mention of Texas Fever in Illinois, if the story might be referring to what occurred with Edward Corbly.  Corbly moved to Missouri in 1883, leading me to believe that the epidemic with his cattle occurred shortly before that in the 1880 to 1883 time frame – though it could have been as early as the 1870s.

MUNCIE was platted and recorded in 1875, and evidently named by the surveyors, Alexander Bowman and Edward Corbley.

One story is that part of Muncie was handed over to make restitution for the loss of livestock.

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Julia (Corbly) Eldridge Obit

Julia (Corbly) Eldridge Obit

This article I think is for my great grandmother, but it has my grandmother listed as Mrs. Lester Richter. My grandfather was a twin – Lester and Wesley. I have to assume that the author got confused about which twin she was married to?

Julia Eldridge ObitLake Shore Woman Dead

A well known resident of the Lake Shore neighborhood Mrs. Julia Margaret Eldridge, 76, died at her home Sunday evening, February 19, 1939.

She was born Nov. 16, 1863. Before her marriage she was Julia Corbley. She was married January 5, 1882 and recently celebrated her 57th wedding anniversary.

She is survived by her husband William Eldridge and her four children, Mrs. P. B. Relos, Groverton, Ind., Mrs. George Henning Brownsburg, Ind., Mrs Lester Richter, and Ernest Eldridge, Fithian, and by 20 grandchildren, One daughter preceded her in death. Services will be 10 am Tuesday at Oakwood U. B. Church. Burial in Oakwood Cemetery, J. H. Cawthon and Son in Charge

Article (Who went a Visiting)

Article (Who went a Visiting)

Article visitingFrank Illk went to Fithian on Business Saturday.

Mr. William Eldridge and family spent Sunday with Mr. O.H. Henning of Fithian.

Mrs. Katherine Illk entertained her sister Mrs. Mary Reese Monday.

Mrs. Andrew Thompson and children of Fithian called on her mother Mrs. Christina Anderson, Wednesday.

Miss Elsye Eldridge was shopping in Danville Tuesday.