I'd never really thought much about this until I began looking for my Bell relatives who lived in eastern Ohio, across the Ohio River from West Virginia.
The line from me to my Bell family goes like this:
me --> my mother, Audrey --> Emma (Bickerstaff) Meinzen --> Mary (Thompson) Bickerstaff --> Lydia (Bell) Thompson --> Jacob & Lydia (Fithen) BellFinding Lydia (Bell) Thompson's death record in West Virginia led me to her parents, which caused me to look for her siblings.
Lydia Bell had a brother identified in various census records as Crusin, Cruson, and an illegible "C_ _ _ _ _ _" in one census record. From those records I learned that he was born between 1850 and 1853. In the 1880 census I found him living in Wells Township, Jefferson County, Ohio, with his wife, Mary, and son George. His age was not completely legible but could be 26. On the 1900 census, taken in June, he was living in Mingo Junction, working as a laborer in a steel mill, still married to Mary, with sons James and Walter. His age was listed as 47, born 1853. I did not find him on the 1910 census.
Through more searching, I found a city directory for Mingo Junction, Ohio, which is located in Wells Township. The date on it was November, 1900. In it I found
Bell, Mary, (wid of Crewson,) 213 n Commercial st.So then it looked like Crewson/Crusin/Cruson died after June 1900 and before November 1900. I didn't think a death record should be too hard to find with a first name like Crewson/Crusin/Cruson (even though "Bell" is such a common last name). So I looked through the death record transcriptions for 1900 searching for Bell in Wells Township, Jefferson County. He was not there.
I continued to look through the "B" section, hoping perhaps the alphabetization was incorrect. I came upon
Beall, Robison Cruzen, mar., steel worker, born McIntyre Creek, died Mingo Jct., 20 Nov 1900 ae 47 years of inflammation of the bowelsIs it possible that this is my Crewson/Crusin/Cruson? It's such an uncommon name. Of course I have more research to do.
To any of you readers who may have experience with how accents change the spelling of names, or to any of you who may have Southern/West Virginia-ish accents: do you think that a northern "Bell" may sound like a Southern-ish "Beall?"
Thanks for any ideas, thoughts, or opinions.
1850 U.S. Census
1870 U.S. Census
1880 U.S. Census
1900 U.S. Census
Official Directory of Mingo Junction, November, 1900
Deaths Recorded in Jefferson County, 1889-1908
Copyright © 2010 by Nancy Messier.