Color Coding Notes

While going thru shaky leaf hints for descendants of William G. Harding, I came across what appeared to be multiple people of the same name: Abel G. Harding. Having recently watched an older YouTube video by Crista Cowan, Using Ancestry.com Like a Pro, I decided to use Crista’s recommended technique: WRITE.

I’ve seen other videos where Crista encourages the use of writing notes. Unfortunately, this is a technique that I haven’t incorporated into my research process. I have started writing notes for my direct line ancestors but most of the individuals in my file do not have notes.

Thinking that I might find it easier to separate these men of the same name if I wrote out my findings, I started creating a document for the Abel G. Harding that I think might be a descendant of William G. Harding. When I thought I was finished writing out those notes, I discovered there were two more hints on Ancestry. One of those hints was for a 1910 census record in Wisconsin. The other was for an 1890 veterans’ schedule.

The 1910 census record was AFTER the 1906 death date I had from Find A Grave. Even though this census record seemed to contradict my other findings, I decided to add it to my notes. However, I color coded the text to differentiate it.

I did the same with the 1890 veterans’ schedule — which suggested that I might have added the military record to the wrong Abel Harding. Again, I color coded this note entry and also color coded the military record.

To help prove that this was two different people, I searched for this second Abel Harding in the census records that I had already found to see if I could prove there were two different families. I continued color coding the notes — using a different color when I encountered a different family group.

Thanks to the color coding, I can see the different families. This will DEFINITELY help me to figure out these different families!

Abel G Harding 1833-1906

AbelHarding

(Colored texts is for OTHER Abel Harding families)

Birth – 30 Apr 1833

Find a Grave indicates that Abel Harding was born 30 Apr 1833.

1851 Census – New Brunswick

William G Harding was listed as a 47 year old widowed head of household on the 1851 census for Westfield, Kings County, New Brunswick. According to the census, William’s race was listed as native. William was listed as a farmer. William had lived in New Brunswick since birth. Also listed in the household were a single female, Caroline, aged 20; a single male, Abel, aged 18; a single male, Thomas, aged 16; a single female, Abigail, aged 14; a single female, Julia, aged 11; a single female, Isabella, aged 9 and a single male, Henry, aged 5.

1860 U.S. Census – Spring Prairie, Walworth, Wisconsin

Abel Harding was listed as a 27 year old male farm laborer in the household of Stephen Jones in Spring Prairie Township, Walworth County, Wisconsin. The census listed N Brunswick as the place of birth for Abel Harding.

1860 Census – Somers, Kenosha County, Wisconsin

Abel G Harding is listed in the household of 62 year old Abel Harding. According to the Census, Abel Harding owned 1800 in real estate and 600 in personal estate. Abel Harding was a farmer. All members of the household were born in New Brunswick. The census listed Abel G Harding as a 26 year old male. Also listed in the household was Ann Harding, a 62 year old female and John C Harding a 17 year old male.

1865 Civil War Soldiers Records and Profiles, 1861-1865

Abel G Harding enlisted on 9 Feb 1865 as a Corporal in Company K Wisconsin 49th Infantry Regiment. He was mustered out of service on 8 Nov 1865 in St. Louis, Missouri.

1870 U.S. Census – Ward 2, Racine, Racine County, Wisconsin

Able Harding was listed as a 72 year old ‘gentleman’ born in New Brunswick on the 1870 census in Racine County, Wisconsin. Also listed in the household was Ann Harding a 72 year old female born in New Brunswick.

1870 U.S. Census – Ward 2, Racine, Racine County, Wisconsin

Abel Harding was listed as a 36 year old Master Vecil on the 1870 census in Racine County, Wisconsin. According to the census, Abel Harding was born in New Brunswick. Abel Harding owned 1000 in real estate and 500 in personal estate. Also listed in the household was Mary, a 30 year old female born in Ohio; Clara, an 8 year old female born in Wisconsin; Edwin, a 7 year old male born in Wisconsin; Harry, a 5 year old male born in Wisconsin; and Guy, a 2 year old male born in Wisconsin.

1870 U.S. Census – Fremont Township, Fayette, Iowa

Abel Harding was listed as a 36 year old male farmer who was born in New Brunswick on the 1870 census for Fremont Township, Fayette County, Iowa. Also listed in the household was Cinthy, age 22 and born in N York; Edna, female, aged 3 and born in Iowa and May, female aged 2 and born in Iowa.

1875 Plat Map – Bremer County, Iowa

The 1875 plat map of Jackson Township, Bremer County, Iowa shows a ‘A Harding’ owning land in the NE ¼ of section 29.

1876 Delayed Birth Record for Nina Belle Harding

Nina Belle Harding was born in Osage, Mitchell County, Iowa on Nov. 24, 1876. The delayed birth certificate indicates that Nina Belle was the fifth child in the family. The record lists Abel Harding, aged 42 and born New Brunswick as the father of Nina Belle. The record lists Cynthia Gertrude Edwards, aged 28 and born in Binghamton, N.Y. as the mother. The physician, midwife or other person attending the birth was listed as Caroline Orcutt.

1876 U.S. Social Security Applications and Claims Index

The Social Security record for Nina HardingHalverson lists Nina’s birth date as 24 Nov 1876. Nina was born in Osage, Mitchell, Iowa. According to the record, her parents were Abel Harding and Cynthia G. Edwards.

1880 – Iowa Births and Christenings Index, 1800-1999

The Iowa, Births and Christenings Index lists a child of Abel Harding being born on 10 Aug 1880. Film number 1502984 is cited. [LOCKED – TODO Created]

1880 U.S. Census

Abel Harding was listed as a 48 year old laborer who was born in Canada on the 1880 census in Cedar Township, Mitchell County, Iowa. Also listed in the household was his wife, Cynthia, age 35 and born in New York; daughter, Ada, age 14 and born in Iowa; daughter, Mary, age 13 and born in Iowa; daughter, Clara, age 8 and born in Michigan;  and daughter, Linn, age 3 and born in Iowa.

1880 U.S. Census Racine, Racine County, Wisconsin

Ablel G Harding was listed as a 47 year old head of household in Racine, Racine County, Wisconsin on the 1880 census. According to the census, Ablel (Able) and his parents were born in New Brunswick. Ablel’s occupation was listed as Capt. Of Vessel. Also listed in the household was his wife, Mary E. age 41 and born in Ohio; daughter, Clara J, age 18 and born in Wisconsin; son Edwin R, age 16 and born in Wisconsin; son, Harry G, age 14 and born in Wisconsin; son, Guy G, age 12 and born in Wisconsin; son, Willia A, age 7 and born in Wisconsin; daughter, May E, age 5 and born in Wisconsin, and daughter, Jennie N, age 2 and born in Wisconsin.

1880 U.S. Census – Racine, Racine County, Wisconsin

Able Harding was listed as an 83 year old head of household on the 1880 census in Racine, Racine County, Wisconsin. According to the census, Able was born in New Brunswick and his parents were born in New York. Also listed in the household was his wife, Anna, age 83 and born in New Brunswick and his granddaughter, Edith Jane, age 18 and born in Wisconsin.

1885 South Dakota, Birth Index

According to the South Dakota, Birth Index, 1856-1917, James Earl Harding was born 13 Jun 1885 in Brookings, South Dakota. The record lists Abel Harding and Cynthia Gertrude Edwards as the parents. The record was filed on 31 Mar 1942. The state file number is 582711.

1890 Veterans Schedule: Racine, Racine County, Wisconsin

The 1890 veterans schedule for Racine County, Wisconsin lists an Abel G Harding. According to the schedule, this Abel G. Harding served as a corporal in Company K 49th Wisconsin Infantry. The schedule indicates an enlistment date of 9 Feb 1865 and a discharge date of 8 Mar 1865.

1895 Wisconsin State Census – Racine, Racine County, Wisconsin

Able G Harding was listed on the 1895 Wisconsin census in Racine, Racine County, Wisconsin. His household contained 2 males and 4 females. Five members of the household were born in the United States and one was listed as being born in ‘all other countries’.

1900 U.S. Census – Fremont, Clark County, Wisconsin

Able V Harding was listed as the head of household on the 1900 census in Fremont, Clark County, Wisconsin. According to the census, Abel was born Aug 1869 in Wisconsin. Able’s father was born in Canada (Eng) and his mother was born in Maine. Able was listed as a farmer. Able and his wife had been married 5 years. Also listed in the household was his wife, Edith B., born April 1878 in New York; son, Chester A, born Nov 1895 in Wisconsin; son Able G, born Dec 1887 in Wisconsin; and son Jay F born March 1900 in Wisconsin. Edith was listed as the mother of 3 children all of whom were living.

1900 U.S. Census -Norden Township, Deuel County, South Dakota

Able Harding was listed on the 1900 census as a 66 year old head of household. According to the census, Able was born Apr 1834 in Canada (Eng). The census indicated that Abel migrated to the United States in 1855. According to the census, Abel was a farmer and rented his house. Also listed in the household was his wife, Nutty, born Sep 1946 in New York, daughter, Lola born Mar 1883 in South Dakota; son, Jmes, born June 1885 in South Dakota; daughter Marthe, borh Oct 1888 in South Dakota and widowed brother Henry, born Apr 1845 in Canada. Henry was listed as a farm laborer.

1906 Death / Burial – Find A Grave

According to Find a Grave, Abel Harding died 13 Nov 1906. He was buried in Redmens Cemetery, Port Townsend, Jefferson County, Washington.

1907 City Directory for Port Angeles, Washington

The 1907 city directory for Port Angeles, Washington listed Cynthia Harding, widow of Abel, living at 313 Scott. Other Hardings listed in the directory included Hattie Harding, maid John Iffland; James Harding, lab, b313 Scott; Marthat G Harding, mangler Pt Townsent Stm Lndy, b 313 Scott.

1909 City Directory for Port Angeles, Washington

The 1909 City Directory of Port Angeles, Washington lists Cynthia G Harding, widow of Abel, living at 210 ½ Harrison. Other Hardings listed at the same address include, housekeeper:  Etta; boarder, James E., a plumber; and boarder, Martha G who was a worker at Pt Townsend Stm Lndy.

1910 Census – Racine County, Wisonsin

The 1910 census for Racine, Racine County, Wisconsin shows Able G. Harding as the had of the household living at 1544 Phillum Avenue. According to the census record, Able was 76 years old and born in New Brunswick Can England. The census shows Able in his second marriage having been married 7 years. Able migrated to the U.S. in 1849. Able was listed as a retired contractor. Able owned his house and did not have a mortgage on it. Listed in the household was his wife Lena. Lena was 50 years old and had been born in Wisconsin. The census indicates that Lena’s marriage to Able was her second marriage and that they had been married 7 years. Lena was the mother of 2 living children. Also listed in the household was a step-daughter, Jeanette Cartstile, age 15. Jeaneatte was born in Wisconsin.

1920 U.S. Census – Ward 11, Racine, Racine County, Wisconsin

Abel G. Harding was listed as the head of household on the 1920 census in Racine, Racine County, Wisconsin. Abel was an 8t year old widower. He immigrated to the United States in 1897 and was naturalized Mar 1909. Abel Harding was born in Canada and spoke English. Both of his parents were born in Canada and spoke English. Also listed in the household was his son in law, William Steven, aged 56 and born in Illinois; daughter, Clara, age 56 and born in Wisconson; and grandson, Gilford, aged 19 and born in Wisconsin.

1920 Find A Grave – Mound Cemetery, Racine, Racine County, Wisconsin

Abel G. Harding, memorial #140187390, is listed in block 11 of the Mound Cemetery, Racine, Racine County, Wisconsin. Abel’s death date is given as 17 Sep 1920. His birth date is listed as 27 Mar 1884. However, when the image of the tombstone is enlarged, it looks like the birth date could be 27 Mar 1834. Individuals attached to the memorial are his wife, Mary Gallien Harding (1839-1895), and children Guy G. Harding (unknown-1893), Sidney Harding (unknown-1890), Harry G, Harding (1866-1888) and William Able Harding (1872-1948)

1930 – Washington, Select Death Certificates, 1907-1960

The death record for Edna Harding Allen indicates she was born abt 1866 and died 16 Aug 1930 in Medical Lake, Spokane County, Washington. The record lists her father as Abel Harding. The record lists Synthia Edwards as her mother. [FHL film number 2022720, reference ID 366]

1947- Washington, Select Death Certificates, 1907-1960

The death record for James Earl Harding indicates he was born about 1885 and died 19 Nov 1947 in Renton, King County, Washington. The record lists his father as Abel Harding and his mother as Cynthia Edwards. Pearl is listed as the spouse of James Earl Harding. [FHL film # 2032616, reference ID 164170]

One Person or Two — Elizabeth Harding

Since I hadn’t worked Ancestry’s ‘shaky leaves’ until recently, they have provided a ‘golden opportunity’ for a go-over. I have done a lot of research for my tree and have sources cited in my database — much of it based on paper/microfilm research. Since following Ancestry’s hints to access the online records is quicker than searching for the same record, I’ve been using them to locate the  digital record, save the image and update my computer database.

This is a slow process and I’m not sure I’ll ever get done but I do appreciate the challenge — both of getting rid of a leaf and of checking my research for errors. Over the weekend, I switched to my Harding line. My 3rd great-grandfather, William G. Harding, settled in Black Hawk County, Iowa prior to 1860. The 1860 census contains lots of clues about the family:

  • came from New Brunswick (birthplaces of Harding children)
  • blended family (both Ponsford and Harding children in home)
  • wife is likely a 2nd wife (Ponsford children)
  • family was in Wisconsin around 1857 (birthplace of Hattie)

harding-william-b1803-1860-census-ia-black-hawk-blog

(Iowa. Black Hawk County. 1860 U.S. Census, population schedule. Digital image. Ancestry.com. http://www.ancestry.com : 2016.)

This census led me to New Brunswick where I found the Harding family living in Westfield Township, Kings County, New Brunswick. Noticeably absent from the 1851 census is his wife, Elizabeth and the Ponsford children.

harding-william-b1803-1851-census-canada-new-brunswick-blog

(Canada. New Brunswick. Kings County. 1851 Canadian Census, canadian census. Digital image. Ancestry.com. http://www.ancestry.com : 2016.)

Based on these two census records, I concluded that William G. Harding was likely married twice. I associated the Elizabeth Harding listed in the 1860 census as the mother of Hattie Harding and the Ponsford children. However, based on the fact that she is missing from the 1851 census, I did not associate her as the mother of the other Harding children.

Thus, began my hunt for the mother of my ancestor, Julia Harding. In my search for William’s wife, I came across an extensive history of the Harding family in New Brusnwick by Mrs. Raymond Caron and Brenda Beryl (Harding) Caron. (Caron, Mrs. Raymond, author. Life and Times of George and William Harding: Newburgh, New York 767-1783 and Saint John, New Brunswick; vol. 2. Canada: n.p., n.d..)

According to this book, the New Brunswick branch of the Harding family was Loyalists during the revolutionary war. After the war, they migrated to New Brunswick. Since this 2 volume work includes descendants of these Loyalist families, I searched it for William and found that William was a family name. However, there were only a handful of Julia Hardings in the index — most of them dying as infants. The possible match to my Julia Harding was the daughter of William Gillies Harding and Elizabeth Fowler. Unfortunately, the book only identifies 2 children when there were 7 children in the 1851 census.

I was able to locate the marriage record on Family Search. William G. Harding and Elizabeth Fowler were married in Kings County, New Brunswick in 1830. Thus, Elizabeth Fowler could be the mother of the children in the 1851 census.

harding-william-b1803-1830-marriage-new-brunswick-blog

(New Brunswick Marriage Registers, 1789-1889. Provincial Archives, Fredericton. database with images. Family Search. http://www.familysearch.org.)

If that is the case, then she either died or left the family sometime between 1846 (birth of William Henry Harding) and the 1851 census. Since the census records (including those past 1860) consistently list either New Brunswick or Canada (Eng) as the birthplace of the children, it is likely that the family did not leave New Brunswick until sometime after the 1851 census.

Thus, I am working with the theory that William had TWO wives: Elizabeth Fowler and a second Elizabeth that he married sometime after 1851. Yesterday, I located the marriage record for his daughter, Hattie, who was born in Wisconsin. According to this record, her mother was Eliza HENDERSON.

harding-hattie-b1857-1887-marriage-record-blog

(“Iowa, Select Marriages Index, 1758-1996.” Ancestry.com. http://www.ancestry.com : Sept. 2016.)

If only I could find a similar marriage record for one of the older Harding children identifying their mother!

Until someone provides documentation to disprove it, my current theory is that William G. Harding was married twice, with his first marriage occurring in New Brunswick and his second marriage occurring after 1851. So my quest continues:

  • Locate marriage record for William G. Harding and Eliza Henderson Ponsford
  • Locate records supporting or disproving Elizabeth Fowler as the mother of the Harding children
  • Locate marriage record for Eliza Henderson and ? Ponsford
  • Locate death information for Elizabeth Fowler Harding
  • Work to keep these two ladies from being merged

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