The Wife of George Washington Adams (1841-1921)
Mother of Lunora Alice Adams (1868-1931)
The search for Lunora Alice Adams’ mother has taken many years. There has been much speculation about the identity of her mother, and the correlation of her father’s wife. This report will hopefully point out that George Washington Adams was only married once, and that his wife was Lunora’s mother.
George Washington (“Wash”) Adams was born Jun.7, 1841 in Mercer Co., OH. Up to his marriage about 1863, he was living with his parents in Ohio, Iowa, and Indiana.In 1850, the Adams family was in Auglaize Co., OH. Between 1851 and probably 1857, they moved to Iowa (location unknown at this time) where George’s brother Martin was born in 1859. The following year, 1860, the family appears in Wayne Twp., Marion Co., IN and then in 1861, George’s brother Levi was born in OH. Since George himself was still with the family then, and then son William was born in 1864 in Van Wert Co., OH, we know that George married sometime between 1862 and 1863 in Ohio.
To date, I have not found a marriage record of George Washington Adams. The first instance of his wife’s name is found in the 1870 Census of Deep Cut, Salem Twp., Auglaize Co., OH. The family had been in Auglaize County in 1850, and it can be supposed that they may have left property behind, so that when they returned to Ohio, George went to Auglaize County (where he appears in 1870) while his parents and siblings settled in Van Wert County (in 1870). This suggests that George may have married in Auglaize County.
In 1870, George’s wife is listed as Kate, aged 28, born in Ohio. George is listed by his middle name, Washington, and occupation as a farmhand, indicating that he did not have his own farm. He held a value of $300 in personal estate. The first child listed, of four, was son William, aged 7 and born in Ohio (ca.1864). Following are James, aged 5; Nora, aged 3; and Marietta (Mary Etta), born in December of that year.
From the 1870 Census, we know that Kate was born ca.1842. The family then appears in 1880 in Delphos, Van Wert Co., OH. George, is who is now 40, is listed with Susan, aged 38, born in OH with both parents born in Virginia. In 1900, George is now in Benton Twp., Paulding Co., OH, aged 56 (born Jun.1843), 38 years old when he married; and his wife is namedMary, born May 1835, IN (parents born in VA and OH), and she was 28 when she married – and this record states that 5 children are living.
The 1900 Census is incorrect in several aspects: 1) George was born in 1841, not 1843; and 2) five children were not living. As of the 1900 Census, children William, James, Lunora, and Mary Etta were living. In fact, the Mary Etta living was the second of her name. The first born in 1870 must have died soon after. Mary Etta Adams who appears in 1880 was born in Sept.1873. Two other children, Leona and Lydia, also died young before 1880.
In 1910, George’s wife is listed as Susan M., aged 57, born in Indiana, her father born in PA, and mother assumed born in the U.S.
What we do know from cemetery records in Noble Co., Indiana, where George and his wife died, is that George Washington Adams married Susan Mary Sackman. They were married about 1863, probably in or near Auglaize Co., Ohio. Susan was born Mar.5, 1840, Preble Co., OH to Samuel Milton Sackman and Susan Mary Hixon. In all probability, Susan was called “Kate” because she shared her mother’s name. Susan was the last child of her father’s marriage to Susan Hixon as she died Mar.19, 1840. As was customary, children were often sent to different relatives to be cared for. The daughter Susan does not appear in the 1860 Census, possibly just missed.Susan probably called herself, or was called “Kate” to differ her from her mother. Her father died in 1863, so likely he would not have been around to sign a marriage certificate.
In 1880, she appears as “Susan”, perhaps having done this long before since both her parents were now gone and no other family members had the same name. Her age is appropriate for both 1870 and 1880, as the place of birth is consistent. As stated above, the 1900 Census seems to record some errors. She is now “Mary”, born in March or May 1835, aged 46, OH, married 27 years, mother of 5 children with 5 children living. Somehow, her age is wrong. She should have been about 68, and while March or May (illegible) is close, the year is off. The number of children is incorrect, unless there is a child not accounted for. We know that this George is the same since he is living next door to his son James and his wife. We know that William was the eldest.
Children accounted for from records:
1. William Adams, born 1864, assuming in Auglaize Co., OH; died sometimes after 1947
2. James E. Adams, born Jan.1866, originally thought to have born in Delphos, Van Wert Co., OH, but there is no indication George was in Van Wert Co. before 1870. He died May 3, 1947 at home near Ligonier, Noble Co., IN
3. Lunora Alice (Nora) Adams, born Dec.25, 1868, also originally thought to have been born in Delphos, Van Wert Co., OH, but again, the family was not in Van Wert before 1870. She died Apr.23, 1931.
4. Mary Etta Adams, born Dec.1870, Salem Twp., Auglaize Co., OH according to the census record of that year. It is assumed she died 1871-1872.
5. Mary Etta (Netta or Nettie) Adams, born Sept.1873, Van Wert Co., OH; she died in 1939 in LaGrange Co., IN
6. Leona Adams, born Nov.1875, Delphos, Van Wert Co., OH; died Oct.18, 1876, Delphos.
7. Lydia Maria Adams, born Jan.31, 1879, Van Wert, Van Wert Co., OH and died there Feb.7, 1879.
According to family tradition, Lunora’s mother died in childbirth, or shortly after. No record of this has ever been found, no death records of any kind have been found for that time period in all counties they lived in. Based on that, it was assumed that George married again after the death of his wife “Kate”. What is known that Lunora’s mother’s mother died soon after giving birth to Lunora’s mother. This bit of information may have been passed down and eventually interpreted as Lunora’s mother instead of her grandmother.
In conclusion, Susan Mary Sackman, it appears, is the mother of all of George Washington Adams’ children. In her early life, she was called “Kate” to distinguish her apart from her own mother of the same name, eventually went to the proper name of Susan, and even using her middle name at one time, then showing her whole name at one time as “Susan M.”. She married sometime in 1862 or 1863 to George Washington Adams in Ohio, possibly Auglaize Co., OH. Susan died in Ligonier, Perry Twp., Noble Co., OH where she is also buried.