John Austin and Margaret Susan Armstrong Marling
Pictured above are my maternal great great grandparents, John Austin and Margaret Susan Armstrong Marling. On this Surname Saturday, I am deeply in the midst of compiling documents for my application for The Daughters of the American Revolution based upon the Revolutionary War status of the grandfather of John Austin Marling.
His name is Isaac Oldham and he is, of course, my 5th great grandfather.
Uncovering information about the role that Isaac played in our fight for independence was not difficult. Heritagequest.com contains the scanned copies of the actual pension request that spells out his service record completely. He stated that he served with Capt. John Van Meter and with the Westmoreland Battery and he was a Private. A visit to the DAR Genealogical Resource Database provides me with proof that he did indeed serve his country and also gives a list of those who have proven their family link to him in the past. So, that step has been simple.
Through various other sources, I had already found the branches of my tree that led back from myself to Isaac, but finding the source documents that are acceptable proof to the DAR has not been quite as easy. As a matter of fact, this post could well belong in the Madness Monday category.
Up until now, all the genealogical honor societies I have joined have not required me to compile my Marling and Oldham family information, so this has been a "start from scratch" endeavor. I was actually working on The First Families of Ohio application first, but I received a little "kick start" in the form of an email from a representative from the DAR this week. She told me that since others had already proven a family link between my 4th great grandmother, Esther Oldham Marling, and her father, Isaac, I would be able to just link to their applications and not worry about proving the line myself. Given that boost, I started pulling out the forms, certificates, census records, etc. that I thought I would need to document all the pertinent facts.
I (somewhat) easily managed to put together all the proof evidence I would need for generations 1-4; myself and my husband, my parents, my maternal grandparents, my maternal great grandparents, and my maternal great great grandparents. However, when I got to my 3rd great grandparents, I could find no source document that stated absolutely that Samuel Marling was the son of John and Esther Oldham Marling.
Everything in previous generations that might be considered a little "weak" can be completely explained and shown to be true, but any proof I have of Samuel's parentage is simply not good enough for the DAR.
The problem is that Samuel was born in 1811 (to early for official birth records) and he died in 1851 (too early for official death records). Others have listed that he is buried in Pleasant Hill Cemetery, Cambridge, Guernsey County, Ohio and I know that his wife, Amelia, is buried there as well. Howver, numerous people have searched the cemetery for their headstones, to no avail. According to One World Tree on Ancestry.com, Samuel is John and Esther's son, but I can find no actual source documents to prove it. In the 1850 United States Census for Guernsey County, John and Esther Marling are living on a property between the properties of their two sons, Isaac and Samuel. Also helping to point out a link between Samuel and John and Esther is the fact that Samuel and Amelia named one of their daughters, Esther. This certainly is not enough evidence to prove that they are his parents, so, I am now feverishly searching and researching every available Guernsey County/Marling family resource to discover just one proof document that I can use to cite the parentage of Samuel Marling.
I won't stop looking.
I know it's out there.....somewhere.