The 1872 genealogy of the Lyman family, by Lyman Coleman, lists these death dates for four toddler daughters of D.H. (David Hinckley) Lyman and Sophia Doty Lyman, but I have been unable to discover any other source that supports or elaborates on this. (Pedigrees such as LDS or Ancestry that cite these dates are taking it from this Lyman genealogy book and omitting graveyard or death record evidence.)
I'm hoping Muskingum, Coshocton and Portage area forum readers of the details below might have some more primary-source fact-check ideas. Here is what IS known or pondered:
The girls, according to the Coleman source, were Sophia (25 Dec. 1845 - 12 Nov. 1848), Katie or Katherine (16 Dec. 1847-24 June 1848) and twins Nellie (16 Aug. 1851-Jan. 1853) and Clara (16 Aug. 1851-July 1852).
It would be nice to be able to prove their existence and to find out a bit of what that sad story context might have been, in more detail. Censuses aren't any help, because the first two girls died before the 1850 census lists family members and the last twins were both born and buried between the 1850 and 1860 reports.
I've heard that this next source MIGHT contain supportive data, but it's equally obvious on its face that this publication date precedes deaths of the twins, so it can't very well answer the need in full. Plus I've been unable to find a copy of the actual content for this partial citation -- Does anyone have this source for confirmation-rebuttal lookup help, so I don't have to buy a whole book to find out what I already know isn't the full answer?: Deaths from the Portage Sentinal, 5 July 1848, Portage Co., Ohio Newspaper Obituary Abstracts 1825-1870, as published in the Ohio Newspaper Abstracts Series, 1982, Vol. 2, p. 73
Beyond that, we know: Their parents are buried together under a single white oblisk in West Center Square of Greenwood Cemetery, but the children are not buried with them, according to a visit to the site plus a double-check with the city and its records. Other posted lists reflect burial dates later than the ones we need or omit relevant ties.
Where would toddler burial prospects be for that area, era and family? Here is some other background, for clues and general interest -- notice after the obituary the church and other family burial reference at the end:
D.H. Lyman, originally of Northampton MA, was owner of the Zanesville Courier, was an attorney, was first secretary of the short-lived Central RR, was a mill owner, delegate to the Whig convention, and grandson of New England's Judge Samuel Hinckley who speculated in Ohio's Western Reserve land (and for whom Hinckley, Ohio, is named). In some ways he's easy to "find." But the many published references to him omit family details for business-related ones, and the family was colorfully mobile, which adds some more gray scope to personal story guesswork.
Even the unusual sourcing benefit of preserved personal family letters (part of a collection available, just offline, through the New England Historic Genealogical Society, but from which I have some letters copies and transcriptions copies in excerpt), were more about family business dealings than family genealogy. But I also have not personally accessed all of the offline letters, just excerpts pertaining to DH, which are inconclusive about the daughters. (I am descended, by the way, from the couple's only surviving child, Charles. I am in touch with others sharing this general genealogy scope, but this particular question is a tangent for all of us, and clearly there aren't descendants of deceased toddlers, so this keeps getting shuffled to the side. But it's a pesky hole in the story, so would be nice to settle with facts and the human side of an otherwise overly business-oriented focus.)
All timelines, though, indicate the toddler children would have died while the couple was still in Zanesville city (before Coshocton, Chicago, NY and Pittsburgh). But I have not done a local deed search to pin down how soon or long the family owned their property. I also don't know if the girls might even reasonably be buried in that way or some other -- More importantly, apart from the Coleman source, I also don't yet know that they even existed, unless there is corroboration of birth as well as death, and I don't have either one yet. So anyone finding even just one side of the birth-death equation would be providing a major leap forward in the corroboration gap. Deed work seems secondary to basic birth-death records checks.
It's as possible that the girls were born in Portage as Muskingum, given that Sophia's family was from Ravenna in Portage and she easily could have gone to see family for female support as births approached or as her husband traveled widely. But in Muskingum County, the Lyman family lived in Zanesville itself, so that seems a high prospect. But by the early 1860s, they had fully moved to the farm in Jefferson Township, Coshocton County, and might have had simultaneous properties in the '50s.
So, because of that zig-zagging and range, the sourcing pool for potential birth and burial locations for toddlers gets wider, despite the narrow time frames of the toddler's dates (1845-53) that do peg to when DH definitely was working in Zanesville itself as his base (he's listed among the Muskingum Bar in 1843 and he sold the Courier in 1855). The Coleman genealogy does not cite its sources or locations for the very precise birth and death dates it gives. But it was a serious genealogy study, as was the 1991 update by Margaret Lyman that adds to this couple's data and descendants' data but does not address the children who died young or imply any reason to question the original report on this.
DHL's obituary, unhelpfully, doesn't reference the family much, and also raises new questions from what it does share:
From photocopy of 12 Dec. 1876 Coshocton County (OH) “Democrat” newspaper, page 3: First obituary atop two other shorter notices for others.
[ My comments are in brackets. Any ( ) are original to the clipping. ]
Mr. Editor -- Our valued friend and fellow citizen, D.H. Lyman, breathed his last at 8:15 p.m. on the 25th of November, 1876. He died from nervous exhaustion (Astheria) caused by organic disease of Liver or Pancreas (Was born November 21, 1820.)
For the last eleven months, his health has been gradually failing, and while in Chicago last Winter was taken down by an attack of Jaundice or Hepatitis disease, from which he partially recovered; and in July last, while residing on his farm in Jefferson township, he was again attacked with a billious diarrhea and for a time his life was despaired of -- but he so far recovered as to go actively to work to secure the Dresden R.R. branch, a work he had set himself to accomplish. In the prosecution of his plans of operation, it became necessary to make a trip to Pittsburgh, Pa, and Philadelphia, in order to consult with Mr. J. ?uett [ first letters of first and last name are blurred, and searches about the railroad have yet to turn up this name ] of the Pennsylvania Central, which mission he accomplished to his entire satisfaction.
[ The above paragraph helpfully supports that a "D.H. Lyman" appearing in a Chicago railroad history book may, indeed, be our same person. Ours routinely went by "D.H." rather than David, and he had a variety of railroad interests -- which primarily consisted of trying to get a train spur built close to his commercial properties, especially a coal mine. His letters indicate visiting Chicago, even living there. ]
He also made a short visit to his son, Master Lt. [ Charles ] Lyman of the U.S. Navy, stationed at Norfolk, Virginia; whom he had not seen for a long time; and on his way home while waiting in the cold and damp depot, was taken with a chill and diarrhea. On his return he stopped at Zanesville and again consulted his friend and family physician Dr. Hildreth, but his case was beyond the reach of medicine, and he gradually failed in spite of the most assiduous care and attention of a loving and devoted wife, who has nursed him during a long and tedious illness. [ This implies a second marriage, another relationship or a misunderstanding, as his documented and official wife, Sophia Doty Lyman, died years before D.H. did, in 1871, and is the only wife buried with him. In fact, his inscription joins her oblisk, on an adjoining face. ] No medicine reached his case, and no nourishment went to sustain the flagging energies of the system. And at 8:15 p.m., as above stated, he died without a murmur, calmly, quietly, he passed from earth scenes with scarcely a muscular tremor.
“Resquiebat in pacem.”
The deceased was a communicant in good standing, in the Congregational Church, and died in the hope of a final resurrection to immortality and eternal Life.”
[ So... forum readers....Any Congregational churches in Zanesville or Ravenna or rural Coshocton have cemeteries that seem promising for this set of dates and association circumstances? Anyone have a membership roll showing this family, to pin down the county? Birth-death list ideas for those eras?
[ Their son Charles is buried at the U.S. Naval Academy. Not surprisingly, his toddler sisters are not with him. DH's parents are buried in New England. I believe Sophia's father, David Doty, is the one in Maple Grove Cemetery at Ravenna, Portage County, showing in find-a-grave. I have not yet located her mother's grave site, to see if the children are also with her: Marie Antoinette Chapman Hollister Doty, died 1849. ]
Sorry for this long length. Thought it might be handy for reference. I'm posting it to Muskingum, Coshocton and Portage genforums at the same time.