The Old Homestead

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God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

- Romans 5:8


    Abram Tracy was born about 1804 in Pennsylvania. (1)
    Abram married Sarah Krouse, who was born in the early 1810s, probably in Ohio. (2)
    Children: (3)
    Joel, born Aug. 31, 1833.
    John, born about 1837 or 1838.
    Marion, born about 1840. (4)
    Sarah, born about 1841 or 1842.
    Stansbery, born Aug. 8, 1844.
    Abram, born during 1840s.
    Mary, born about 1851.
    The Tracy family migrated westward in stages, moving through Ohio and Iowa before settling in Missouri. The location of Abram and Sarah’s marriage is unknown, but the couple lived in Ohio at the time of Joel’s birth in 1833.
    In 1850, the Tracys lived in Blanchard Township, Putnam County, Ohio, according to that year’s U.S. Census.  Abram was a cabinetmaker who owned real estate valued at $1,300.  In addition to Sara, age 35, his household included Joel, age 13; John, age 12; Marion, age 10; Sarah, age 9; Stansbury, age 5; and Abram, age 4.  The census indicates that neither Abram nor Sarah could read or write.
    About 1853, the family moved to Burrell in Decatur County, Iowa.  The 1856 Iowa state census indicates that the family had moved to the state three years earlier.
    Abram appears is Burrell in the previous year’s Iowa census, but the document doesn’t provide many details about the family.  It shows that the family consisted of five males and three females.  It also held one voter and one member of the militia – presumable Abram in both cases.
    In the 1853 census, the head of the household is listed as Abraham Tracy and his family members are listed as his wife Sary, age 48; Joel, age 20; John, age 19; Marian, age 16; Sary, age 14; Standbury, age 11; Abraham, age 8; and Mary, age 5.
    Although Abram is listed as a cabinetmaker, he also appears to have farmed. The census shows that he owned 80 acres of improved land and 120 acres of unimproved land.  This census also provides a detailed breakdown of the family’s crops and livestock.  They had 10 acres planted in spring wheat and harvested 48 bushels; 25 acres in corn and harvested 2,000 bushels; and 1 acre of potatoes and harvested 70 bushels.  They sold one hog worth $6 and nine head of cattle worth $274.  They produced 100 pounds of butter and 45 pounds of wool. The value of their “domestic manufacture” was $30.
    Sometime between 1856 and 1860, Abram and part of the family moved westward from Iowa to Clay Township, Adair County, Mo.  At least Stansbery remained in Decatur County, Iowa, where he appears in household of Henry C. Rowell, a blacksmith in the city of Decatur.  In addition, a Marion Tracy, 20, is listed as a teamster living in the household of a famer named Safford Rowell in Decatur. And a John D. Tracy, 23, is listed as a blacksmith living in the household of John Day, a hotel keeper in Decatur.
     In the 1860 Census, Abram is listed as a farmer owning real estate valued at $2,500 and personal property valued at $625.  His household contained his wife, Sarah, age 50; as well as his children Abram, age 15, and Mary, age 9.  The census records again indicate that neither Abram nor Sarah could read or write.
    At least two of his sons served in the Union army during the Civil War.  Abram and Stansberry served as privates in the 2nd Regiment of Missouri State Militia Cavalry.  Abram was assigned to Company K from April 2, 1862 to March 22, 1865, when he moved to Company M of the 11th Regiment of Missouri State Militia Cavalry.  His term of enlistment ended on April 3, 1865.  Stansberry’s service dates are unknown, but he also moved to the 11th Regiment at some point.  It appears the two regiments were merged toward the end of the war.  (5)
    U.S. Internal Revenue Service tax records indicate that an Abram Tracy who was a horse dealer living in Kirksville in Adair County in 1865.  The tax list for 1866 shows an Abram Tracy living in Kirksville.  He was taxed for owning a buggy.  It seems most likely that this Abram Tracy is the father rather than the son. (6)
    Abram appears to have died at age 66 on March 16, 1869.  A broken tombstone for Abraham Tracey has been found at Waddill Cemetery in Kirksville. Despite the discrepancy in the spelling, it seems likely this was our Abram’s tombstone since he hasn’t been found in the 1870 Census. (7)
    (1) Approximate year and place of birth come from the 1850 Census of Gilboa in Blanchard Township, Putnam County, Ohio, and the 1860 Census of Clay Township, Adair County, Mo.  Interestingly, his children don’t seem to have known where he was born because they told census takers in later years that he was born in Ohio, Pennsylvania and even Ireland.  Stansbery was the one who identified him as Irish, telling that to census takers in the town of Achilles, Rawlins County, Kan., in 1900, 1910 and 1920.  (2) Sara’s maiden name comes from Hancock County Record of Death 4, page 36, which lists her son Joel’s death.  Her exact year and place of birth aren’t certain.  The 1850 Census says she was 35 and born in Ohio. The 1856 Iowa state census says she was 48, and that she was born in Ohio.  The 1860 Census says she was 50 and born in Pennsylvania.   (3) The 1850 Census lists the children, except for Mary.  In addition to these children, a Nancy Tracey, age 21, and a Lewis Tracey, age 7 months, are listed in the neighboring household of Andrew Zellers.  The 1856 Iowa census lists the same children but provides ages that don’t match the 1850 U.S. Census.  Approximate birth years for Abram range from 1841 to 1848.  Information recorded in “U.S. National Homes for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, 1866-1938,” which is available through, indicates that he was 47 years old when admitted to the veterans home in Leavenworth, Kan., in 1891.  The 1900 Census of Delaware Township in Leavenworth County, which contained the home, says Abram was born in September 1841.  Stansbery’s birth date appears on his tombstone, which is at Achilles Cemetery in Rawlins County, Kan., according to  (4) It’s likely that Marion was the Francis Marion Tracy who died in 1899 and is buried at Topeka Cemetery in Topeka, Kan.  According to, that man was born in 1843, which doesn’t quite match our Marion’s presumed birth year of 1840.  The Marion from Topeka was married to woman named Eliza J., born 1852 and died 1928.  That matches up very closely to the widowed Eliza J. Tracy who is listed as a sister-in-law living in the home of Marion’s brother Stansbery in Achilles, Kan., in the 1920 Census.  That woman was born about 1853, according to the census.  The Francis Marion and Eliza J. who are buried in Topeka also appear in the Kansas state census for 1885 in Lawrence.  The birth dates and places match up well with other census records.  The couple is listed as having a 7-year-old son named Marion Gird.  This child was Marion Girdy Tracy and information contained in his death certificate makes a connection to our Marion Tracy seem even more likely.  According to the younger Marion’s death certificate, which was filed in Seminole County, Fla.: He was born Feb. 22, 1878, in Kirksville, Mo., which is where other members of our Tracy family lived around that time; married a woman named Pearl; had parents named Francis M. Tracy and Eliza J. Sell; and died March 14, 1938, in Sanford, Fla.  (5) Abram’s service is mentioned in “National Homes for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers” records.  A note on his file from the home appears to indicate that he served with Company M of the 11th Missouri Cavalry starting on March 22, 1865.  Stansberry’s link to the 2nd Regiment is from “Union Soldiers Compiled Service Records, 1861-1865,” which is available through  His service in the 11th Regiment is recorded in "United States Civil War and Later Pension Index, 1861-1917," which is available at  The National Park Service’s database of Civil War soldiers, available at, indicates that the brothers served in Company L.  (6) The IRS records for the Civil War era are available through  (7) under Waddell Cemetery in Kirksville, Adair County, Mo.  General Index for Adair County Gravestone Inscriptions

    Joel H. Tracy was born in Aug. 31, 1833 in Ohio to Abram and Sara (Krouse) Tracy. (1)
    Married Eliza Beagle Bash. (See below.)
    Children: (2)
    Martha May, born May 31, 1873.  Married George Price.
    Sarah Belle, born in Nov. 23, 1869.  Married Noah Helms.
    Joel grew up in Ohio, where his family appears in the 1850 Census in Blanchard Township in Putnam County.  When he was about 20 years old, his family moved to Burrell in Decatur County, Iowa.  The 1856 Iowa state census, which lists Joel in his parents’ household, indicates that the family had moved to the state three years earlier.
    It’s unknown where Joel lived at the time of the 1860 Census.  His parents had moved to Adair County, Mo., but some of his brothers remained in Decatur, Iowa.  Joel does not seem to be listed in either area.  It is also unknown what he did during the Civil War.  His name does not appear among accessible military records, though at least two of his brothers served in a cavalry unit from Missouri.
    In any case, Joel returned to Ohio and settled in Hancock County by the late 1860s.
    On Nov. 26, 1868, Joel married Eliza Beagle.  The wedding was performed by Justice of the Peace Philip Wilch. (3)  Eliza was born about 1832 in Ohio to John and Matilda (Selsom) Beagle. She was probably born in Muskingum County. (4)
    Eliza was the widow of Samuel Bash, who is said to have died of “a broken heart” on May 8, 1865 while serving in the Union Army at Camp Chase, Ohio.  The Bashes had five children: William H., born about 1855; Thomas G., born Aug. 18, 1857; John, born about 1860; Ann (Dietelbach), about 1863; and Samuel D., born Feb. 14, 1860. (5) 
    Samuel signed up on March 27 and served as a private in Company E of the 197th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, which was the last regiment organized by Ohio before the end of the Civil War.  It was organized at Camp Chase between Jan. 8 and April 11.  The unit left Camp Chase on April 25, which may indicate that Samuel was too sick to move since he died less than two weeks later at the camp.  He was buried at Green Lawn Cemetery in Columbus. (6)
   In the 1870 Census of Madison Township, Hancock County, Ohio, Joel is listed as a 36-year-old farmhand. He owned real estate valued at $250 and personal property valued at $150.  The household also included Eliza, age 26, and Sarah, born in November 1869, as well as Eliza’s children from her marriage to Samuel Bash: W.H., age 15; Samuel, 10; Anna, 7; and John, who’s listed as 17. 
    The 1880 Census of Jackson Township, Hancock County, lists Joel as a 44-year-old farmer.  His household also included: Eliza, age 48, keeping house; Sarah B., 10; and Martha, 7.
    Elsworth Price Sr., Joel’s grandson, wrote that his older brothers told him that Joel had a little pug dog and “could make the best fried potatoes they ever ate.”
    Eliza died in 1900.  That year’s census, which was taken on June 25, shows Joel living alone in Jackson Township.
    Joel died Sept. 28, 1909 of the heart ailment angina pectoris. He died at the home of his daughter, Martha, east of Arlington, Ohio. (7)
    (1) Hancock County Record of Death 4, page 36.  (2) Martha’s death certificate from Hancock County, Ohio, dated May 1, 1922.  Sarah’s death certificate from Hancock County, Ohio, filed Dec. 20, 1926.   (3) Hancock County Marriage Record 5, page 184.  (4) Parents’ names listed in “History of Hancock County, Ohio,” by Warner, Beers & Co., page 788.  The Mormon’s International Genealogical Index says Eliza was born Dec. 22 1831.  Her tombstone says “Eliza Bash, wife of Joel H. Tracy, born 1832, died 1900.”  Eliza’s birth in Ohio is listed in census records.  It seems very likely that she was born in Muskingum County because her parents lived there during much of the 1830s.  However, the death certificate of her daughter Martha May Price – recorded in Hancock County, Ohio, on May 1, 1922 – says Eliza was born in Houcktown in Hancock County.  (5) Thomas’ parents and birth date are listed in his death certificate, filed June 4, 1920, in Hancock County, Ohio.  John’s parents and birth year are listed in his death certificate, filed Dec. 23, 1931 in Paulding County, Ohio.  Samuel’s parents and birth date are listed in his death certificate, filed May 21, 1934, in Hardin County, Ohio.  These three and William are mentioned in the 1860 Census of Jackson Township, Hancock County.  Anna is listed in the 1870 Census of Madison Township.   Other information comes from the unpublished genealogy compiled by the Bash family.  (6) “Official Roster of the Soldiers of the State of Ohio in the War of the Rebellion, 1861-1866,” by William McKinley, Vol. X, pages 230 and 677.  The book lists his last name as “Bush.”  The fact that it was Ohio’s last regiment is mentioned in “Ohio in the War,” by Whitelaw Reid, page 743.  The Bash genealogy mistakenly listed Samuel’s unit as the 147th Ohio Infantry.  (7) Eliza’s date comes from her tombstone and Joel’s comes from the Hancock County death records.