FFF~Week #17

Sorry in advance for the length of this post…I’ve made some interesting discoveries!

Ancestor: My paternal 2nd-great-grandmother (Mary M. Ammerman)


  1. I knew very little about Mary M. Ammerman. I hope to learn more when I visit Sullivan County, Indiana, in late April. She was born in April 1838 in Illinois (per the 1900 census). This weekly fact-finding project, though, has helped me knock down a brick wall and learn a lot more about the Ammermans.
  2. I have found her parents, William and Elizabeth {-unk-} Ammerman. My clues included her father being born in New York and her mother being born in Pennsylvania. On the 1840 census, I found William living in Tippecanoe County, Indiana, with a daughter of Mary’s age, so I decided to follow him forward on the censuses. I have been unable to find them on the 1850 census (have done page by page searches of the township in Tippecanoe County and the township in Sullivan County where they lived, no luck). On the 1860 and 1870 censuses, however, I found William (born in NY) and Elizabeth (born in PA) living in Sullivan County, Indiana, with children George, Theresa, and Ephraim.
  3. I have Mary on the following censuses: 1840 (only as a female under age 5), 1860 (married to Lyman and living in Terre Haute, IN), 1870 (married to ‘Wyman’ and living in Sullivan County, IN, lists birthplace as Indiana), 1880 (married to Lyman and living in Sullivan County, IN), 1900 (widowed and living in Sullivan County, IN, with her son Joseph), and 1910 (living alone in Sullivan County, IN). She is listed as being born in Illinois (on the 1860, 1880, 1900, and 1910 censuses), so right now I’m accepting that as fact. The Ammermans must’ve migrated from the eastern states and made it to Illinois where Mary was born but then came back to Indiana.
  4. Mary bore 10 children with 7 surviving. She is buried next to Lyman in Bethel Cemetery in Hymera, IN, along with their 3 young children who didn’t survive (Lyman C., Edna, and Alice Ann). Also buried in Bethel Cemetery? William and Elizabeth Ammerman.
  5. I knew the Sullivan County Public Library website had some genealogy info online so I did a search there. I found further evidence of a connection between the Ammermans and Fords. I found the will and inventory for William Ammerman; he named as his administrator Lyman S. Ford, Mary’s husband. image
  6. I was curious about the other children enumerated on the 1840 census, 2 girls under age 5 and 2 girls ages 5-9, plus William and Elizabeth. Since Mary married in 1855 in Sullivan County, IN, I started there, searching for female Ammermans married in the 1850s. Bingo! I found two plus her younger sister, Theresa. One sister, Sarah (b: 1835), was older than Mary, and the other sister, Nancy (b: 1840), was younger. I have not yet found any evidence of another older sister, but there was a cholera epidemic in Tippecanoe County that claimed a number of lives. What was interesting was the note made that Sarah was born in Canada and Nancy in Indiana! I followed them forward on the censuses just like I did their father. I used their married names and found naming patterns that matched others in the Ammerman family. Also, on the 1900 census, Sarah is living one door away from Mary. The birth of Sarah in Canada is quite the mystery. I’d like to find something about the marriage of William to Elizabeth, not sure if it was in NY, PA, or now Canada is thrown into the mix!
  7. FindAGrave.com is a great place for finding information to boost your research. I did a search there for Mary’s sister Nancy and found her buried in Parke County, Indiana. One of her descendants posted a picture of Nancy!


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