Sunday, November 26, 2006

Earl of Great Grandpa Price

My mother's father, Cleon Virgil Steele, first appeared in the U.S. Federal Census in 1900 when he was ten months old. He lived in Liberty Township in South Bend, Indiana with his parents, Ira and Laura Steele, his grandparents, Alexander and Lydia Anne Price, and his cousin, Earl Price, Alexander's eight year old grandson.

Laura Steele was the youngest daughter of Alexander and Lydia Anne Price. According to the 1880 census she had two older brothers, John F. and Albert, and four older sisters. The two oldest sisters were born in Ohio during the Civil War. The oldest son, John F., was born in Indiana in 1866 right after the war. This indicates to me that the Price family moved from Ohio to Indiana either during or very shortly after the Civil War.

Ira Steele's family moved from Ohio to Indiana in 1864 during the Civil War. Alexander's wife, Lydia Anne Cordray, also moved from Ohio to Indiana during the Civil War. The Cordrays lived in Crawford Township in the northeast corner of Coshocton County in Ohio. Lydia Anne's father, Nathan Cordray, served as enumerator for Crawford Township for the 1860 census. The Steele family lived in Mill Creek Township in 1860, adjacent to and west of Crawford Township. The two families lived within ten miles of each other.

The Price family doesn't appear in the 1850 or the 1860 censuses for Coshocton County. But in 1850 two Price households were listed in Salem Township in Tuscarawas County, immediately adjacent to and east of Crawford Township. One was headed by William Price, a farmer, and the other by Alexander Price, a boatman in Port Washington on the Tuscarawas River, which flows west through Crawford Township to Coshocton where it merges with the Walhonding River to become the Muskingum, flowing south to Marietta on the Ohio. I suspect that Alexander H. Price may have belonged to the William Price household in Tuscarawas County, as William had a son named Alexander born in 1834. Alexander H. Price listed his age as forty-eight in Indiana in 1880 which would mean he was born in Ohio in 1832.

Just east of Salem Township in Tuscarawas County the river flows through a town in Clay Township called Gnadenhutten, the site of an infamous massacre that occurred during the American Revolution. Nearly all of the inhabitants at that time were Native Americans resettled from Delaware who had converted to Christianity and were making earnest efforts to adopt the white man's ways.

I found an item on the web a few days ago concerning the Price surname in the history of Pennsylvania Dutch culture. I thought it was interesting as my mother always attributed our Native American ancestry to her grandmother, Laura Steele nee Price.