History of Lydia Ann Leonard (1833-after 1885)
Lydia Ann Leonard (b. 23 July 1833, m. Charles Shafer* 9 Dec. 1856, d. after 1881, prior to 1907), born in Washington County, Pennsylvania, like her father and grandfather before her, was the fourth of nine children born to William and Mary Van Ort Leonard of Somerset township. Charles Schaffer (b. abt 1832, d. after 1870) was born in Ohio and is believed to be the son of John M. Schaffer born in New Jersey.
* Shafer is variously spelled Shafer, Shaffer, and Schaffer in census and marriage records. Shafer is the spelling used most consistently.
1840 - The 1840 census shows Lydia’s father William7 in Somerset township, Washington County, PA., very near her widowed grandmother Lucretcia6 Leonard. William and Mary Van Ort Leonard have six children: two below the age of five, one between the ages of five and ten, and three between the ages of ten and fifteen. The names are not listed in the 1840 census, but these numbers are consistent with the birth dates of William (b. 1836 – under five) and Joseph (b. 1837 – under five), Lydia (b. 1833 – between five and ten), and three between the ages of ten and fifteen: Daniel (b. 1830), Isaac (b. 1827 or 1830) and Edmund (b. 1825).
1850 - The 1850 census is the first to list each individual family member, their age at the time of census, their occupations, and the value of their real estate. The family is still residing in Somerset township. Lydia, 17, is listed as one of six children still living at home. Her father William, age 43, is a farmer with $1780 in real estate. Three more were born since the last census (Mary Jane, b. 1840; James Herron, b. 1842; and Thomas, b. 1844). James Herron isn’t listed in the Leonard household, but he does reappear in the next census. [Lydia’s entire family, save for Edmund and Isaac, would move to Delaware County and later Marion County, Ohio in 1854. The rest of the family included Daniel (b. 1830), Lydia (b. 1833), William H. (b. 1836), Joseph (b. 1837), Mary Jane (b. 1840), James Herron (b. 1842), and Thomas (b. 1844).]
1860 – By 1860, Lydia, age 27, had moved twice and married Charles Shaffer (spelled “Schaffer” in the next census), age 28. The first move took her from Washington County, Pennsylvania to Delaware County, Ohio with her parents and six siblings. After the wedding, she and Charles moved to her father-in-law’s property just across the county line to the north in Waldo township, Marion County, Ohio. The 1860 census shows her with two children, Franklin B., age 2 and William, age four months. Her father-in-law John M. Shaffer, age 68, and another child John Newberry, age 8, are also living on the property. The child’s relationship to the family is unknown. Charles lists his occupation as farmer, with $100 in real estate and $325 in personal property. His father, John M., lists $3000 in real estate and $180 in personal property. [Lydia’s mother, Mary, died of typhoid in September of 1868. Her father re-married Catharine Somerlot in April of 1870.]
1870 – In 1870, the census shows Lydia, now 37, and Charles, age 38, living in Lola township, Cherokee County, Kansas, with their five children: Franklin, age 12; William, age 10; Charles A., age 8; Jesse J., age 5; and John E., age 1. Lydia’s younger brother William Leonard, listed as “brother-in-law”, age 35, is also living on the property. Charles lists himself as a farmer, doesn’t list a real estate value, but lists $50 in personal property. Lydia’s brother William lists $2000 in real estate, possibly having bought the Schaffer farm, and $250 in personal property.
1875 – Lydia (spelled “Lyddia”), age 42, and Charles Shafer (listed as “C.B.”), 42, appear in the 1875 Kansas State census, living in Howard County, in or near the town of Bellville. Sons Franklin, age 18, William T.(?), age 15, and Albert (presumed to be Charles A.), age 14 are all living at home. Charles’ occupation is listed as “D” or “Do”. The census lists the value of his real estate as $80 and his personal property as $200.
1880 – Lydia (L.A.) age 45 and Charles (S.B.) age 46 are listed, along with sons F.B. (Franklin B.) age 22, W.F. (William) age 20, and C.A. (Charles) age 18, in Little Caney Township, Chautauqua County, KS. William F., age 20, is listed as “In School”…possibly medical school?
1885 – Charles B., 53, and Lydia A. Shafer, 51 are listed in Little Caney Township, Chautauqua Co. in the 1885 Kansas State census. No children are listed as living in the home, Charles lists his occupation as “farmer.” [CHAUTAUQUA County was formerly, in common with Elk County, included in the county of Howard. By an act of the Legislature, which took effect on the 1st day of June, 1875, that portion of Southern Kansas known as Howard County, became divided into two equal parts, and called Elk and Chautauqua Counties, the latter comprising the south half of old Howard County. Ref. - William G. Cutler's History of the State of Kansas,1883, by A. T. Andreas, Chicago, IL.]
[A biographical sketch of Lydia’s younger brother James Herron Leonard, written in 1907, lists her as “deceased.”]
Additional Notes on Lydia Leonard
One of Lydia’s children, named only as “Dr. Shaffer”, visited the Leonard family homestead, a two-story log cabin in Somerset township, Washington County, Pennsylvania some years later. Jennie Leonard Hutchinson, daughter of Edmund Leonard, took him there, and wrote in 1932 that, “Dr. Shaffer was overcome with emotion as he looked about. His mother, Lydia Shaffer, was my father’s sister.” The author has been unable to determine which, if any, of Lydia’s children became a doctor.
Lydia’s younger brother William H. Leonard married, raised a family, and remained in Lola township, Cherokee County, Kansas, until at least 1930, when the census shows him living with his son at age 94.
A Charles Shafer is listed among the Union veterans of the Civil War residing in Chautauqua County, Kansas in 1883, compiled from a complimentary edition of the Sedan Times by R. G. Ward titled Ex-Soldiers Of Chautauqua County, Kansas: As Returned By The Township Assessors, Published by the Sedan Times, Sedan, Kansas October 1, 1883. He is listed as a former Private, Co. E, serving in the Ohio State Militia (Mil’a), with a Cascade, KS, PO address. Charles would’ve been 29 years old when the Civil War erupted.
Sources for Lydia Leonard
Some Ancestors and Descendants of Avery Leonard of Seneca County, Ohio, Harry S. Blaine, Press of Gordon A Blaine, 1933. Page 18 contains a list of William Leonard and Mary Van Ort’s children, their birth dates, spouses, and wedding dates where available. Copies available through the Allen County Public Library, Fort Wayne, Ind., among others.
Annals of the Leonard-Hutchinson Families, Jennie Leonard Hutchinson, 1949. Page 44 contains a list of William Leonard and Mary Van Ort’s children, additional birth, marriage, and death dates where available. Jennie was a daughter of Edmund Leonard, William and Mary’s oldest child. She was also the children’s librarian at the Uniontown (Fayette Co., PA.) Free Public Library founded by her brother McClellan Leonard. Jennie exchanged information with Harry S. Blaine and was duly credited for such in his work. Copies of Annals available through the Uniontown Public Library, Uniontown, PA., among others.
US Census Reports of 1840-1870: Washington and Fayette Counties, PA; Delaware and Marion Counties, OH; Cherokee County, KS. Available through LDS Family History Centers, National Archives and Records Administration, most libraries, and online at Ancestry.com.
Leonard Family History, Nine Generations Descending from Solomon Leonard and Sarah Chandler Leonard, Granddaughter of James Chilton, Mayflower Pilgrim, G. Allan Vaughan, 1994-2005. Extensive documentation on the Eighth Generation from Solomon, among others. A work still in progress.
Probate Records of William Leonard of Marion County, Ohio, 1881.
The History of Marion County, Ohio, and its Representative Citizens, Edited and Compiled by J. Wilbur Jacoby, A. M. Marion, Ohio, 1907. Biographical sketch of James Herron Leonard, p. 483.
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