Research Notes - Philo Chapman

July 18, 2000


I am writing this letter to both of you because I sense that you are related and already acquainted with one another- probably sisters. Patricia submitted a package of Chapman data that included family group sheets showing her relationship to the Chapmans.

Patricia identified William Carl Walley born Jan 20 1898 in Boone County, Illinois as her father. William was the son of William Edwin Walley and Harriet Serinda Chapman. Harriet, born Aug 8 1864 in Big Foot, McHenry County, Illinois, was the daughter of Philo Chapman and Hannah Jane Hardindorf. A copy of a marriage list included in the package shows that Philo and Hannah were married 1857 and that he was born 1820 in New York and died 1914 in Illinois. Although there was considerably more in the package I believe the above is all that pertains to your ancestry.

The association has a list of Illinois Chapman marriages purchased from the Illinois State Archives that shows Philo F. Chapman married Hannah Hardendol March 13, 1856 in McHenry County, IL. The marriage is recorded in Book A, Page 41.

According to the LDS-IGI there was a Philo Phineas Chapman who married Amanda Emeline Tuttle January 21 1850 in Henry County. [I verified that the IGI says Henry and not McHenry CountyC it specified Munson Township.]

The 1850 AIS census index shows that there was a Philo Chapman enumerated in Cook County, IL and listed on page 452. The township was listed as ACanal Boats.@

Also in the 1850 Illinois census was a Phineas Chapman who was in Fulton County. Fulton is one county removed and south of Henry County. There is a possibility this is the same fellow who married in Henry County earlier in the year.

The 1880 census soundex records of McHenry County, Chemung Township, Illinois show Philo age 56 born in New York and wife Hannah 48 born in New York. They had two children: Luella age 9 born in Wisconsin and what appears to be Hattie [probably Harriet] age 15 born in Illinois. Those familiar with the area will know that Chemung Township sits on the boundary between Illinois and Wisconsin. The references for this census are Vol 36, ED 132, Sheet 15, Line 33. [Thanks to Shelly Chapman who extracted this data for CFA.] I find no prospects for Philo in the 1830 or 1840 census indexes suggesting he was still with his parents.

The above prompts several questions:

1. Have you ever reviewed the 1850 census entry in Cook County?

2. Do you know anything about the marriage in 1850 in Henry County?

3. Have you reviewed the 1880 census - full record rather than soundex - which would provide more information, including the birthplace of Philo's parents.

4. Have you written to McHenry County requesting a copy of Philo's death certificate? While his may not be recorded the county did start doing death records in 1877 and those through 1916 remain with the county clerk as opposed to a state office.

The possibility that Philo was working on a canal boat in Chicago in 1850 suggests an interesting possible scenario until we can at least review the census dates in Cook County and Fulton County. Fulton County is on the Illinois River that has always been the main water connection between the Mississippi River the Great Lakes. McHenry County is just a hop-skip-and jump from Rock Island, Illinois which is on the Mississippi River and the north western portion of McHenry County is bounded by the Rock River that connects the Mississippi River with Rockford, IL and Wisconsin. Was Philo a river man who did not settle down until after he married Hannah and all of the above were records of his presence as he worked the waterways of northern Illinois?

What areas have you already searched that we need not duplicate?

This letter, or some parts of it, may be published in the CFA newsletter so that CFA members can assist in your search.

What can we do for you?

Gil Alford

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