Following a Lead

Do you ever find yourself going off on a tangent with your genealogy research? I know Thomas MacEntee has referred to this as following the lure of a ‘bright and shiny object.’

The recent Facebook post by the 8th Virginia Regiment group about James Curry has proven to be one of those ‘bright and shiny objects.’ Thus, I’ve been on a detour with my research.

As I was updating my sourcing for James Curry (1752-1834), I found a source that leads to another source. The Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center Obituary Index database on Ancestry is that source leading to another source.

Name: James Curry
Death Age: 82
Birth Date: abt 1752
Death Date: 5 Jul 1834
Death Place: Jerome Twp, Union, Ohio, USA
Spouse: Maria
Newspaper Information: Newspaper: Marysville Tribune, Newspaper Date: 12 Sep 1883, Newspaper Page: 5 Column: 3; Repository: Marysville Public Library; Years Available: 1853-1892 | Newspaper: Marysville Tribune, Newspaper Date: 19 Sep 1883, Newspaper Page: 5 Column: 4; Repository: Marysville Public Library; Years Available: 1853-1892

“Ohio, Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center Obituary Index, 1810s-2016,” ( : Hayes Presidential Center Obituary Indexers and Volunteers. “Ohio Obituary Index.”, Jerome Twp., Union County, Ohio, viewed online (31 October 2021), James Curry.

This index provided enough information for me to find the articles about James Curry on in Ohio newspapers.

The Weekly Marysville Tribune (Marysville, OH)
12 Sep 1883
Page 5

Honor to a Soldier Pioneer
The Curry Reunion and What It Proposes to Do

Last Saturday the Curry descendants had a reunion on the farm of John Curry in Jerome township, a large number of the relatives being in attendance.

Those present were mostly the lineal descendants of the grandfather, Col. Jas. Curry, who was an officer in the Revolutionary army. He was a native of Belfast, Ireland, and emigrated with his father to America in 1782, when ten years old, and located in Augusta county, Va. When he arrived to manhood he entered the Revolutionary army where he made an honorable record. After the close of the war and when 35 years of age he moved to Ross county, and subsequently, in 1811, moved with is family to the wilds of Madison county, that portion afterwards being incorporated into Union county. He helped to organize the county and put it into running shape. He was a member of the legislature for Madison county (Union not being formed) in 1812-3, when the state capital was at Chillicothe. He was re elected to the same office in 1813. In 1814 he was elected from the Delaware and Madison district, and was returned to the same office in 1815. In 1816 he was chosen to represent Madison county, it being entitled to a separate representation. In 1819 Mr. Curry was returned as Madison’s representative, and this term closed his official career in the legislature. It was during this his last term that the act organizing Union county was passed, the bill completing its passage Dec. 24, 1819. He was one of the electors in 1816 and cast the vote of the State at Chillicothe for James Monroe who was one of the Presidential candidates. He was also Associate Judge of Union county from 1822 til 1828, the court being held part of the time at Milford. His official career closing with the expiration of the Judgship, being then 76 years old, he retired to his farm and awaited the summons from on high, which cam to him through an attack of apoplexy in 1834, at the age of 82 years. He was buried in the family graveyard situated on the farm, by the side of his wife, who had preceded him about eight years.

We have been thus explicit in narrating the history of Col. James Curry for the reason that it was proposed and planned at the family reunion, last Saturday to remove his remains and those of his wife, to Oakdale cemetery. This will take place Saturday afternoon of this week, and in view of the fact that he was an honored Revolutionary officer, having followed the fortunes of Washington’s army through the war, and having been so prominently connected with the organization of the county and shaping its destinies, the citizens owe it to the memory of this once patriot soldier and civilian to attend the funeral obsequies in a body.
We can never fully estimate from our present standpoint the services of the Revolutionary soldier or his arduous labors in opening this western wilderness and shaping it to the requirements of social elite. We should honor them, though they be but dust now, for the glorious work they have done in laying the foundation stones of the grandest civilization the world has ever know.

We hope our country friends, as many of them as can, will be present next Saturday afternoon, if not to participate in the funeral exercises, to stand at least with uncovered head s the dust of these respected pioneers is conveyed to the final rest.
We regret very much that the time is so short to give the public due notice of this event. If timely notice could be given very many would attend who will not know anything of it till it is over. Let as many attend as can.

The following week an article appeared detailing to reburial of Col. James Curry and the honors paid to him and his wife.

The Weekly Marysville Tribune (Marysville, Ohio)
19 Sep 1883
Page 5

Honors to an Early Pioneer

Exhumation and Reinterment of the Remains of Colonel James Curry and Wife after a Slumber of Fifty Years, and the Honors Paid Them

Saturday last was the day set apart by the Curry descendents to take up the remains of Col. James Curry and his wife, in Jerome township, and have them removed to Oakdale cemetery, one mile west of Marysville.
The Editor of the Tribune upon the invitation of Col. W. L. Curry, shared with him his buggy to the old farm so long occupied by the venerable grandsire. It is situated about one mile to the southwest of New California, on the road leading from the latter place to Plain City. We arrived there about 11 o’clock and found about twenty persons present, mostly those who belong to or are connected with the lineage of the family.

The graves had already been opened and it was bu the work of a few moments to lift the skeletons from their long resting place and put them in a new casket, specially prepared for them. The main bones of the frame-work in both graves were in good condition for removal, and they were as artistically placed in their new receptacles as though done by a professed anatomist.
The caskets were then closed up and removed to the hearses which were in waiting, and in a few moments after the cortege was on its way to Oakdale cemetery.

The graveyard is located on the farm where Mr. Curry resided (now owned by the Nonemaker heirs) about two or three hundred yards west of north of the point where the original pioneer cabin stood, no traces of which for many years have been left. The burial limits are about three rods square, surrounded by a board fence gong to decay. Within the enclosure stand two walnut trees and about half a dozen honey locusts, which suggest to the passing traveler that this must be a family burial place. There are some half dozen other graves in the lot, in all of which are remains of the Curry connection.
Two old-fashioned, plain sandstone slabs marked the graves which were opened. That of the venerable sire had the simple inscription: “James Curry, died July 5th 1834, aged 82 years, 5 months and 7 days.”
The inscription on the wife’s headstone reads: “Mary M. Curry, died January 10,, 1826, aged 57 years.” Then follow the lines written after he death by her poet son, Otway:
“The spirit hath returned to him
Who gave its heavenly spark.
To live and reign with Seraphim,
When suns and stars are dark.”

The same son subsequently wrote a beautiful poem, entitled “To My Mother,” which will be found in the second department of the County History, page 93. It is a gem that has won for itself immortality.

The coffins were both made after the proverbial old sextagon style with a distention across the breast and the sides sloping towards the ends. The wood was the customary black walnut. The lid of the coffin and the covering over it were decayed and the earth had fallen in. The sides were standing in position, but considerably decayed. It that of Mr. Curry the wood was well preserved and so tough that it could hardly be whittled with a penknife. The bottom boards of both coffins were sound.
As before intimated the remains were taken out in good shape. They has been entombed — those of the husband fifty years, lacking ten months and those of the wife fifty-eight years.

Of those who were present at Mr. Curry’s funeral, four were present to witness the exhumation, namely, John Curry, Zachariah Noteman, George Rickard and Llewellyn Curry, the latter being then but four years old.

A procession of seven or eight carriages followed the hearses to town. At the east end the pall bearers in carriages were in waiting to join the procession. These gentlemen were George Snodgrass, sr., Andrew Keys, William M. Robinson, John F. Sabin, Levi Longbrake, John B. Coats, David O. Winget, Taber Randall and James A. Henderson.

As the procession moved west through Fifth street, it was met in front of the M.E. church by the members of the Grand Army of the Republic who filed their lines on each side of the road for the head of the cortege to pass through. As the hearse bearing the remains of the old Revolutionary veteran, draped int he flag he one so nobly defended, came up, the members of the Grand Army marched on either side of the hearse till reaching Court street, where they entered carriages and preceded the hearses to the cemetery grounds.

Arriving there the caskets were ranged in the shade of teh overhanging oaks. Rev. Thrail read some appropriate scripture lessons and offered prayer. After stating the nature of the obsequies, he introduced Hon. J. W. Robinson, who read a brief history of the early pioneer, the services he rendered the country and the responsible public trusts he subsequently filled, and referred tot he appropriateness of the honors that were being paid on this occasion to one who had acted so conspicuous a part in the development of this part of the country.

Judge Cole followed in some appropriate off-hand remarks. He had known Mr. Curry in his day, and knew him to be a true, honest man in every respect and worthy of the high honors paid to his memory by the living of to-day. The remarks of both gentlemen were listened to with profound attention.

William M. Robinson, after Curry’s casket had been lowered into the grave remarked: “I assisted burying these remains in the family graveyard nearly fifty years ago.” It is one of the strange events, that fifty years later he should be called to assist in the reburial of the same person.

Under two oaks, whose outreaching branches shade the chosen spot; will henceforth rest the dust of these early pioneers. Here the family descendants will make their periodical pilgrimages to pay their devotions to an honored ancestry; and here too the patriot and civilian may drink in the Revolutionary inspiration of love of country and home. And las of all, the imperishable marble will mark the spot honored to hold the dust of a true friend of his country and of mankind.

I doubt that I would have looked for information about James Curry in 1883 papers if I hadn’t seen the information in the obituary index. Thus, paying attention to those potential leads and following them can be beneficial.

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