Some records that I missed!
I’m not sure where I found the date of October 11, 1869 for the birth of Jesse H. Lockhart, father of Ralph, but it appears that I have made a mistake. Of course, not my first and not my last.
While trying to sort some family records today I noticed that on the 1870 census which lists Joseph and Mary E. Lockhart & family that there was no Jesse. This census page is listed as taken on June 8, 1870 and NO JESSE.
Okay, I go to the 1880 census and find Jesse with Joseph and Mary E. in Brown Township listed as a 9 year old with a birth year of 1871. Okay, census records are a bit iffy so I compare this to the 1900 census. Jesse and his wife, Martha Jane Shull (Mattie) were living in Washington Township with Ralph, a one year old son. This census was taken on June 19-20-21, 1900 and it lists his birth month as October, the birth year as 1870, his age as 29 and married one year.
The next record checked was his marriage certificate and marriage return. Jesse and Martha were married on December 11, 1898. His “age next birthday” is listed as 29. So, if you do the math, the preponderance of evidence (2 out of 3) indicates his birth as October (11), 1870.
As for Martha Jane Shull, census listings and the marriage return show her birth year ranging from 1876 to 1881.….take your pick! And of course, most records list her as either Martha A. or Mattie A.. The only mention of her as Martha J. is her obituary.