Monday, October 24, 2011

William Henry Reece is a silly beast

William Henry Reece is a silly beast. I can't seem to trace him past, well...him. But I have found many Reece neighbors that could be related.

William Henry Reece (1809-1889) is the father of Mary Elizabeth Reece Creed, a lady I have written about before. William Henry Reece married Elizabeth Alexander in Johnson County, Missouri in 1836. They had five children that I am aware of: Van Buren, James, Mary, Jesse and Isham, all of which were born in Missouri. (There is a sizable gap in years between James and Mary so I am sure there may be more children). In 1850 William Reece lives in Jackson township, Johnson County, Missouri with his wife and the children already listed. In the same township, only three census pages later, is Isham Reece (1806) with his family. Next door to Isham is a Jesse Reece (1793). All three of the Reece men I found were born in Tennessee in 1793, 1806 and 1809. Close enough to be brothers. And note that William named one son Jesse and one son Isham. Coincidence? Perhaps.

Sometime between 1860 and 1865 William Reece moved his family to Johnson County, Kansas, and he is found there in 1865. Just eight miles away is Isham Reece with his family, the same individuals from the 1850 census. Again, just a coincidence? I'm beginning to think not. In 1870, William is still found in Johnson County, Kansas whereas Isham has moved back across the state line to Missouri.  

Clearly, Isham is the more popular of the three men because there are 12 family trees on Ancestry.com that include him (and if that isn't an indication of popularity then I don't know what is). Some state that he has a brother named Jesse and most state that his father's name was Jesse. But not a single tree mentions William Reece. I have found quite a few references to Isham Reece across the Internet. Sadly, searches for information on William Reece only yield hits for posts I have made on various boards looking for information. I think the evidence is fairly strong that Isham and William are related. They live practically next door in Missouri and then both move to Kansas in the same time frame, only to live miles apart there. Still not enough proof for me...the search continues for my silly beast.

6 comments:

Amy Urman said...

Love your map!

Heather Kuhn Roelker said...

Thank you! I needed something visual so I could see what I was trying to communicate.

zelsersk said...

Great graphic!!!

Anonymous said...

These Johnson County MO Reeces are almost certainly related and left Rhea County, Tennessee in 1836.

Our family history notes that your William H. Reece was a neighbor and minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and officiated at the wedding of James McDonald Reece, my great-great-grandfather, son of Isham.

There is another Isham living a few miles away at the time, probably the son of your William H.

Heather Kuhn Roelker said...

Thank you for your comment! I would love to chat more about the Reece family. Feel free to email me at the link on the top right hand side of this page!

Anonymous said...

Ooops meant to say that the "other" Isham was related, but not the son of William H. Maybe a brother?

Will send an email with more...