Who is our ancestor Julia, 2nd wife of Clark John Morecraft, mother of Israel and Joseph Morecraft?
The following information is listed in the hope that someone will have our needed answer and that we all will gain.
We know from the 1850 and 1860 census that Julia lived in the home of Joseph and Eliza after the death of John in 1847. By these same census Julia’s place of birth is listed as VA, in one census and VT, in the other census. No listing of Julia in the 1870 census is made giving rise to thinking that Julia died sometimes between 1860 and 1870. No head stone has been found for Julia. It has been presumed that she is buried beside John in Liberty Cemetery Clark Co., IL. There exists vacant ground on both sides of John graves and Julia could be occupying an unmarked grave on either side of John. It is possible that Julia is not buried beside John and could be buried with her maiden name family buried in some cemetery in Clark Co., IL.
Why did Julia decided not to reveal her maiden name or the correct place of birth. Just a result of the times? Could be, however, the maiden names of many women of those times are known giving rise to wondering why Julia’s maiden name is not known.
What do we know of Julia birth? We know she was born in 1788, because of the age listing in the 1850 the 1860 census.
It has been speculated that she is a daughter of Teunis Dolson. While possible, this speculation is no longer given the weight it once was given. It is known that Tenius Dolson died in the year 1799 in Tioga Co., NY.
It has been speculated that she is a daughter of Thomas and Sarah born Dolson Handy. Sarah Dolson is a daughter of Tenius Dolson, a sister to Stephen Dolson a son of Tenius. Stephen was born in 1769.
It has been speculated that she is a daughter of Thomas Layton and his wife who is unknown. Both families of Thomas Handy and Thomas Layton had females listed in census in the age group of Julia. In other words both families had females born around 1788.
Why have these speculations been made? First, Israel the oldest son of Clark John and Julia died in 1839 in the home of Stephen Dolson. Was Stephen related to Israel? We know that Clark John and Stephen Dolson were lifelong friends, meeting each other when Stephen was about sixteen years old and John was about twenty-two or twenty-three years of age. It must be taken into account that Stephen and John were good friends. Did this friendship account for Israel dying in Stephen’s home? This could be a reason particularly if Israel had a contagious disease and Israel was kept away from Joseph to protect Joseph and his parents.
Teunis Dolson, born 6 Oct 1735 Marlboro, NY., died 9 May 1799 in Tioga Co., NY
Sarah born Dolson daughter of Teunis was born in 1766 died 6 Dec 1858 in Fountain, IN. Sarah married Thomas Handy. Could she be Julia’s mother? Sarah would have been twenty-two years old in 1788. In the 1790 census Thomas and Sarah have two daughters. Understand that the ages of these daughters are not given. We just know that they were born before 1790 which means Julia could be one of these daughters.
Thomas Layton was born the 11th day of May 1765 in Morris Town, NJ. Thomas claims he served from Northampton Co., PA. He claims he moved in 1791 to New York State. He claims he lived there thirteen years and then he moved to Clark Co., IL. That would mean that he moved to IL in 1804. This information comes from the application for a Revolutionary War Pension.
The information given in the application does not line up with the census. In the 1810 census Thomas Layton is living in Elmira, Tioga, New York. The 1810 census lists a female child between the ages of 16 and 25. If this is Julia she would be 22 years of age. Also know that it was about 1810 when Clark John and 1st wife Hester born Jones parted. The 1820 census lists Thomas Layton and Thomas Handy as living in Union, Clark, Illinois.
In the 1800, 1810, 1820, census both Thomas Handy and Thomas Layton lived in the same towns in NY. In 1800 that was in Newtown, Tioga, NY. In 1810 both lived in Elmira, Tioga, NY. In 1820 both lived in Union, Clark, IL. Thomas Handy died in Clark Co., IL in the year 1824.
Being that both men lived for some twenty years in the same places, gives rise to the speculation that they were brother in laws both being married to Dolsons.
Clark John, Thomas Handy, and Thomas Layton all made applications for Revolutionary War Pensions while living in Clark Co., IL. Stephen Dolson gave application depositions for all three men. Thomas Layton also gave a deposition for Clark John when he made an application.
Clearly, Clark John, Thomas Handy, Thomas Layton, and Stephen Dolson knew each other well for many years both in Clark Co., IL and Tioga Co., NY.
It is possible that a descendant of one of these families could be holding the key to unlock the question, who really is Julia our ancestor.