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  • Writer's pictureDonna Hechler Porter

Josiah Cruse (1834- ), grandson of Jeremiah Cruse & Elizabeth Harland

The past few weeks, thanks to the research of Marian Kay Cruse Abbott, I have been able to post up-to-date information on Jeremiah Cruse and Elizabeth Harland, much needed information which has heretofore been difficult to find. This week, I will turn my attention, and for the next few weeks, to Jeremiah and Elizabeth's grandchildren through their son, David Cruse and his wife, Jane Jewell. According to the 1850 Vigo County, Indiana census, they had the following children: Josiah, Jeremiah, Zachariah, William, John, James, and daughter Elizabeth.

This week, we will focus on their oldest child - Josiah Cruse.

Josiah Cruse was born in 1834 in either Vigo or Sullivan County. His parents were married in the former, but by 1840 they had moved to the latter. At some point, they were back in Vigo County and in Honey Creek Township, and about 1846 Josiah's father, David, died. Josiah was twelve years old at the time. Josiah's mother, Jane, continued living on their land in Honey Creek Township, and Josiah, along with his younger brothers and sister, is enumerated in her household in the Vigo County, Indiana census in 1850.

On 30 October 1856 in Vigo County, Indiana, at the age of 22, Josiah married Elizabeth Shumaker. Two children quickly followed the marriage, Malinda Cruse in 1857, and David Cruse, born in August of 1859 (1860 census taken in June and gives his age as 10/12).

In June of 1863, while living in Honey Creek Township in Vigo County, Josiah registered for the Civil War draft. There is no record, however, of his having ever served in the Union forces. Sometime after his draft registration but before 1870, he left Vigo County and moved to to Sullivan County, Indiana, settling in Curry Township where he was enumerated in the 1870 census with his wife, Elizabeth, and children Malinda, 13, William Thames, 8, John, 6, and May E., 2. David is not enumerated, and since he would have been only 10 years old, it is quite possible he had died by this date.

Three more children followed - Anna in 1871, Josiah in 1874, and Cora in 1876. After Cora's birth, the family left Indiana and moved to Licking Township, Crawford County, Illinois. Elizabeth Shumaker Cruse died between 1876, the date of Cora's birth, and the 1880 census, but whether she died in Indiana or after the family moved is not known.

On 30 August 1891, in Jasper County, Illinois, Josiah married a second time to Martha Noblett. They are subsequently found living in Crawford County, Illinois when the 1900 census was taken, but they disappear after this date.

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