Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Moyer or Myers?

That is the question and I will let you be the judge.  For the longest time I didn’t believe that the people on the 1900 Federal census for Harpster, Idaho were related to me because they used the last name of Myers.  I wanted it to be true because there was three generations contained in one document, but it took a lot of research to convince me.  My maternal great grandmother was Estella Moyers and I had a marriage certificate to prove it.  But after studying and finding the census trail for their lives, I am convinced that they are indeed the same family.  Here is the trail of documents I have been able to locate for the George and Sarah Moyer family:

30 Jan 1840  CLINTON, INDIANA     
George MOYERS  and Sarah BEASLEY
marriage certificate

17 Aug 1850 District #130, White, INDIANA
George Moyer                     30                   b. Virginia
Sarah Moyer                        24                   b. Virginia
John Moyer                          9                      b. Illinois
Elizabeth Moyer                4                     b.  Indiana
Eliza Ann Moyer                0                      b.  Indiana

1860  Hickory Grove, Grant, WISCONSIN
George Moyer                     40                   b. Virginia
Sarah Moyer                        39                    b. Virginia
John Moyer                          18                    b. Illinois
Elizabeth Moyer                14                    b.  Indiana
Emma C Moyer                  10                    b.  Indiana
Rebecca                                6                      b. Indiana
Amelia                                  4                     b. Wisconsin
Charles                                 1                       b. Wisconsin

17 Nov 1870  SAUNDERS, NEBRASKA         
Frank WILLIAMSON and Rebecca MYERS
Marriage certificate

12 June 1880 Pohocco, Saunders, NEBRASKA
George Myres                     62                   b. Virginia
Sarah Myres                         58                   b. Virginia
Charles Myres                     21                    b. Wisconsin
George E Myres                 17                     b. Wisconsin

Charles A MYERS and Mattie OXFORD
Marriage certificate

3 June 1885   State Census for Center, Cass, Nebraska
George Myres                     66                    b. Wisconsin
Sarah Myres                         62                   b. Virginia
George Myres                     21                    b. Iowa

25 July 1900  Harpster, Idaho, IDAHO
John Myers               58                   b.Illinois
Stella Myers             18                    b. Iowa
Elisabeth                  16                    b. Iowa
Rebecca                    15                    b. Iowa
George Myers         91                    b. Virginia
Sarah Myers             72                   b. Virginia   

From these documents we can see that at some point before 1870 the Moyer family starts using the name of Myers.  Family legend says that there was a run in with the law and that was why there was a name change.  I don’t have anything to prove that theory yet.  It is interesting that John Harve and Charles A end up going by the name of Moyer again.  I have very little records about Elizabeth and Emma/Eliza who were born in Indiana.  I have located several marriage certificates for Rebecca Williamson’s children and it is interesting to note, they listed their mother as Rebecca Meyers or Myers. 

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