12 January 2012

Can the Minister Help With Two Places at Once?

I think that Matilda (Jones) Rhodus is enumerated twice in the 1860 census. Once is with her father in Macon County, Missouri, and once is with her husband's family in Breckinridge County, Kentucky. The dates of the enumerations are far enough apart that it is possible (a brief discussion is here). 

A bigger "problem" is determining what brought William Rhodus to Macon County, Missouri, where he married Matilda Jones in 1860. Apparently he did not have family in the Macon County area and (if the family in Breckenridge County, Kentucky, is his) the family from which he came stayed in Kentucky. People moved, yes. But to move where there are no relatives begs the question of why.

There is a possible answer. William Rhodus and Matilda Jones were married by O. R. Bouton. This is the O. R. Bouton apparently affiliated with the "Macon College" that was in Macon County for a short time. Bouton was affiliated with the Methodist church and his obituary is included as an image here (along with the the title page of the publication from which it was taken). 

Bouton's biography indicates that before he was in Missouri, he was in Kentucky. At this point I have been unable to determine where in Kentucky Bouton preached. Census records on John Rhodus (the apparent father of the William Rhodus from Breckinridge County, Kentucky) indicate that John was affiliated with the Methodist church as a preacher. It is known that the family of Matilda Jones was heavily involved in the Methodist church. 

The question is: "Did Bouton know John Rhodus in Kentucky and is he somehow connected with William Rhodus' migration to Missouri?"

There are some assumptions and items to keep in mind:
  • The William Rhodus of the Macon County, Missouri, area has to be the same one as the one in Breckenridge County, Kentucky--we made the case for this in an issue of Casefile Clues.
  • We need to know where where in Kentucky Bouton was assigned or preached. If it was near Breckinridge County, the connect is more solid--if not that's another story.
Key reminder: religion and ministers may have played a role in your ancestor's migration. 

We'll have updates as time allows and as information is located.