Welcome to the world of Genealogy and specifically Valentine research. I have been researching my Valentine line for 12 years. It has been both frustrating and rewarding. Along the way I have met some very helpful fellow researchers. I am sure you will do the same.
In 1988 Cheri Valentine of Bloomington, Ill. posted an inquiry in the Valentine news letter produced by Beatrice Valentine. In her post Cheri asked for information on the parents of Samuel Valentine born 1851 in Ind or Ky, husband to Elenora Milton. She suggested that Samuel's father was Samuel Valentine born 1826.
At the time of this posting, census research was done at the library using micro-film. Today we have on-line data bases and powerful search engines. Here are some thoughts.
I was not able to find Samuel born 1826. I did find a listing in the 1850 census for Falls Creek Township, Madison County, Indiana as follows:
G. W. Valentine age 31, farmer born KY, Mary age 29, also born KY, Josuha O age 17, John age 14, Sarah age 12, David age 4, and Samuel age 3 months.
Dosen't seem like much but stay with me. G.W and Mary seem much to young based on some later listings and far to young to be the parents of 17 year old Josuha.
In the 1860 census, Missouri, Madison County, Centerville, George Valentine, age 59 farmer, born KY, Mary age 56 born Ohio, David age 14, Samuel age 12, and Malicia, age 9. George and Mary are much older, and possibly to old to be the parents of David, Samuel, and Malicia. Is it possible they are grandparents and that these are the children of Samuel 1829? And what happen to John and Josuha.
John lives next door with wife Mary, and daughter Eliza and Mary.
Josuha, listed as A. J. or poossibly O.J is not far away with wife Mary and son William.
Now some things appear to connect.
In 1870 census for Illinois, Morgan County, George Valentine age 70, Sarah (M) age 68, David age 24, Samuel age 14. living with them is James Sprague, age 25, his wife Sarah M age 18, and daughter Guenevera Sprague, 3 months old. Is 18 year old Sarah M 9 year old Malicia? And why did David age by 10 years and Sam by 2???
John and Oscar (O J.) live nearby with there families.
In 1880 Samuel and wife Elenora are living in the State of Illinois, McLean County, Normal with sons George age 6, Samuel age 4 and Guenevra age 5 months. Living in the same town is James and Sarah Sprague with children Guenevra age 10, Stella age 8, Willie age 5, Belle age 3, and baby Grace.
Guenevra is a rather unique name. What are the chances these two are living in the same town, with the background above and not be related?
If you send your email I'll forward the rest of what I found. It may not be 100% accurate, but certainly worth thinking about.