Friday, September 9, 2016

Great Great Great Grandpa William Callin

At last, we have arrived at my 3rd great-grandfather:

William H. Callin (1813-1881)

His father was John Callin, whose story was told in The Brothers Callin of Ohio. His mother was Elizabeth Simon, about whom we asked Who Was Great Grandma Callin?

We talked about his older brother in Uncle George and the Underground Railroad; and since this time last year, we've looked at all of his older siblings and their descendants. We even talked about his youngest sister already in The Distance of Close Connections. You may remember even further back, when we talked about his eldest son and grandchildren in 20th Century Callin Clan.

Here is his record from the Callin Family History - as written by his fourth son, George Callin:

Record of William Callin, 3rd son of John Callin, who was 2nd son of James 1st.
Born May 10, 1813, died Nov. 9, 1881, at Bowling Green, O.
Married to Elizabeth Barlene 1837 who died Nov. 14, 1903, at Bowling Green, O., aged 86 years.
To this union were born seven children:
  • Harriett, born 1838, died 1907.
  • John, born 1840, lives in Fostoria, Ohio.
  • James M., born Feb 26, 1844, died 1903 in Canada.
  • George, born July 4, 1846, lives at Bowling Green, O.
  • Hugh, born May 16, 1848, died 1880 at Portage, Ohio.
  • Zimri, born Dec. 10, 1850, died Aug., 1907, at Bowling Green, O.
  • Milton, born 1852, died at 5 months old.
William Callin was 3 years old when his father moved from Penn. To Ashland, Ohio. He grew to manhood on the old farm. Married and lived there till 1849 when he moved to Huron Co., Ohio; bought and cleared up a new farm. In 1861 he bought and moved his family on to a farm in Wood Co., near Bowling Green.
He was a perfect specimen of physical manhood, six feet tall, weight 200 pounds; all bone and muscle. Few men equaled him in strength. He followed clearing timber land and was badly crippled with rheumatism in old age.

The J.H. Beers company published their Commemorative Historical and Biographical Record of Wood County, Ohio in 1897. These hagiographic histories were very popular in the late 19th century, and George may have even contributed some of the information in this biographical sketch of his brother, John, which included these paragraphs about William:

His father, William H. Callin, was born at Callinsburg, Clarion Co., Penn., September 10, 1813, and was the fourth son in a family of nine children. He was an industrious, hardy, persevering man, possessing great physical strength, but had only a limited knowledge of books. He had a mind of keen perception and sound judgment, and was well fitted for pioneer life. In 1831 he accompanied his parents to Ashland county, Ohio, where his father entered a tract of land from the government, becoming one of the first settlers of that locality. William Callin aided in clearing and improving this property, and finally, on the death of the father, in paying it out of the land office and receiving title (the land having been entered on what was termed the ninety-nine-year lease). In 1835, he married Elizabeth, daughter of John Barlin, of Ashland, and of their union were born eight children, the eldest and youngest dying in infancy. The surviving members of the family are Harriet, widow of William , of Bowling Green; John H.; James M., and George W., both of Bowling Green; Hugh H. and Zimri L., of Pioneer, Ohio.

In 1849 William Callin removed from Ashland county to Peru, Huron Co., Ohio, locating on a farm of eighty acres which he sold in 1860, preparatory to his removal to Wood county. Here he settled on 160 acres of land in Plain township, and, on his retirement from farming, took up his residence in Bowling Green. He was an exemplary man, of high Christian character, and a consistent and faithful member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He supported the first Republican presidential candidate, John C. Fremont, and was ever afterward a stanch advocate of the party. His death occurred in Bowling Green, December 11, 1881. His widow still makes her home there, and is now in her seventy-ninth year.

While these old books of pioneer history have a reputation for being wrong or incomplete, the records I have been able to locate largely back up the later details of the Beers sketch; and the details between the Beers and CFH accounts mostly match, too. The only real doubt I have is about the claim that William was born in Callensburg, Pennsylvania.

Callensburg was not surveyed until 1826, and wasn't incorporated until 1851. William's father and uncle (The Brothers Callin) were both settled in Milton township, Richland county, Ohio, with John appearing in both the 1820 and 1830 Census records there; so William couldn't have been born in that town. That said, the founder of Callensburg, Hugh Callen, did purchase the 300 acres that would later become the town in 1812, so there is an outside chance that our Callin family was living there at the time William was born. That's hard to prove without records, though.

Another quibble with the Beers and the CFH is that Ashland wasn't formed until 1846, and both histories refer to people settling there before that date. I'm not a professional historian, but I'm pretty sure it's bad form to refer to a place by its current name, and not indicate that it used to be called something else.

Because of these bad habits, I'm more willing to think that wherever he was actually born (whether on the property that later became Callensburg, or somewhere near that), William's parents probably told him that's where he was from, and that is what got passed down into the written record.

William married Elizabeth Berlin (1817–1903) about 1836. I actually have a citation record from an ancient CD ROM, the Family Tree Maker's Family Archives: Marriage Index; Selected Counties of Ohio, 1789-1850 CD 400, which puts their wedding on 29 September 1836 in Richland county. When you take into account the Richland/Ashland confusion of the older historians, that fits with their versions of events. (Someday, I need to track down the original record.)

Elizabeth's family has been tough for me to hunt down. Let's start with the facts from the Beers sketch: Elizabeth, daughter of John Barlin, of Ashland.

There is a John Barlean listed in the 1840 Census as living in Richland county (Mifflin township), and in the 1870 Census in Ashland county (Vermillion). (Remember, parts of Richland became part of Ashland in the 1840s.) The 1870 lists 83-year-old John in a household with 79-year-old Mary A Barlean, and the family of 50-year-old Catherine Young. Some further digging turned up another biographical sketch that fits with the family described here; this one for Catherine's son, Samuel Young.

The maternal grandparents of our subject were John and Mary Ann Berlean, who were likewise born in the Keystone state and died in Ashland county. Mathias Young was a soldier of the Revolutionary War, while John Berlean served his country in the war of 1812 and was at Baltimore during the hostilities there. The Berlean homestead, upon which the mother of our subject was born, was situated in Pennsylvania on the Maryland state line.
The birth of Michael Young [Samuel's father] occurred in Union county, Pennsylvania, after which he removed to Center county and later to Huntingdon county in the same state. From that point he accompanied his parents on their removal to Mifflin township about 1829 and Katherine Berlean arrived about a year later.
(from History of Ashland County, Ohio, by A. J. Baughman, 1909)

There are a lot of clues there. The timing seems to add up for the Berlean family to arrive in Mifflin (though they weren't there in 1830); but other facts don't add up. And the 1840 record only counts three people - a male and female between 50 and 59 years of age (presumably John and his wife), and a female between 15 and 19 (presumably Katherine). No Elizabeth, though she would have already been married to William Callin by 1840.

John Berlin turns up in the War of 1812 Pension Application Files Index, 1812-1815 and from that record we learn that he served from 21 April 1813 to 22 November 1814, in both Captain William Craig's and Captain Jonathan May's companies in the Pennsylvania Militia. The record also shows that he married his second wife (the widow claiming his pension) in 1830 in Columbiana county, Ohio. (Happily, his first wife, Anna Coy, is also named.) It also lists residence dates for Van Wert county, Ohio (1851-1856) and Canton, Stark county (1871); he died in Stark county in 1874.

There is still no direct link to Elizabeth, but there are two men (one John Barlin, one John Barline) in Columbiana county, Ohio, in 1830. The former had four daughters under 20 and lived in Beaver township (which became part of Mahoning county in 1846); the latter had one son and one daughter, both under 5, and lived in Green township.

None of this adds up to concrete proof, but the facts do seem to fit together. I wouldn't be comfortable posting this next section without the preceding five paragraphs as a disclaimer, but I think this is what happened:

- -- --- -- -

John Berlin (1787-1874) was born in Pennsylvania, and served from 1813-1814 in the PA Militia during the War of 1812. He married Anna Coy in 1815 or 1816, and entered a tract of bounty land in Beaver township, Columbiana county, Ohio, probably just after 1820.

Elizabeth Berlin (1817–1903) would have been the eldest daughter; her sister, Catherine (mother of Samuel Young in the sketch above) was born about 1820. The couple had four daughters; the two youngest were under 5 when Anna died, likely around 1827. In 1830, John married Catharine Landis (1807-1882), and moved the family to Mifflin township, Richland county.

Elizabeth married William Callin in 1836, and they set up house on the Callin family farm in Milton township. William had purchased the deed after his father died in 1835, and many of the Callin family members who had grown up there had moved further west. In 1845, William took his wagon 500 miles west to Iowa to retrieve his recently widowed sister, Margret, and her two small sons, and return them to Ohio.

William moved to Peru township, Huron county, in 1849 and the family lived there for a decade before relocating in 1860 to Wood county, where he cleared a 160 acre farm in Plain township. When the Civil War broke out, William and Elizabeth sent their three oldest sons, and proudly received all three back. William retired from farming and he and Elizabeth moved into Bowling Green, where he died in 1881. She moved into the home of her son, George, where she made an impression on her granddaughter, Rosemary. Elizabeth survived William by more than twenty years, and she died 19 November 1903 in Bowling Green.

Rosemary recorded her memories of Elizabeth in the post Silk or Satin.

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As we head forward and start exploring the Sly family next week, I'm keenly aware that there are more cousins watching who are directly related to the individuals I'll be writing about. I will continue to try to tell the best/most complete/most accurate stories I can, but I need you all to keep me honest!

If you spot a mistake, or catch me taking a shortcut, call me on it!

And if you want to offer a guest post for your family, let me know before we get there, so I can schedule you in.

As always... comment below, email callintad at Gmail, or click through to the Facebook group.

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