07 May 2013

How Can I Fit Mary in the Rampleys?

It has been a while since I've given any thought to this Mary J. Rampley who married in 1865 in Coshocton County, Ohio.

One of the drawbacks to having an unusual last name is that people "stand out" when they cannot be placed in the family and researchers wonder who they are. Smiths do not stand out. Rampleys do. Mary is one of those individuals that has never been placed within the family.

Thomas and Christianna (DeMoss) Rampley and their children moved into Coshocton County, Ohio, in 1817. Married only fourteen years at the time, they had more children in Ohio until Thomas died sometime in 1823. It is believed that Mary fits into the Rampley family, but the question is where.

It is believed that, given her marriage in 1862, Mary is a grandchild of Thomas and Christianna. There are actually several possibilities:

  • Mary J. Rampley is a granddaughter of Thomas and Christianna Rampley. The Rampleys had two sons, James and John. James would have been married thirty-two years by the time Mary marries and had been in Illinois for nearly fifteen years. It doesn't seem likely that he is her father. John was in Indiana when he married in 1848 and it is possible that he was her father and that she remained in Ohio after he left. The Rampleys had several daughters and it is possible that Mary J. was their daughter before they married.
  • Mary J. Rampley was not actually a Rampley but was married to one before her marriage to Randles.
  • Mary J. Rampley comes from the Rampley family members who remained in Harford County, Maryland after Thomas and Christianna left and that, while a relative, is not a descendant of Thomas and Christianna.
  • The name "Rampley" is wrong on the license.
Theories do not do much good until research is completed. 

At this point, the best item to utilize is the Civil War pension for Emerson Randles and his eventual widow Mary.

The General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934 (available in several locations online) contains this card:

General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934 index card for Emerson Randles, obtained on Ancestry.com.
Given that Mary received a pension, her widow's application may provide more details about her that shed light on her origins. And given that pension files can contain a wide variety of information, I think it's the next source I should utilize in searching for Mary.

Frankly, the last time I looked for any information on Mary was over twenty years ago when access to indexes and finding aids such as these was more limited.

Note: the author is a descendant of Thomas and Christianna.