THE FAMILY ALBUM: The Jolliffes of Butler County, Ohio

Sunday’s destination was a shot in the dark: we drove through the countryside into Warren County, ending up coming upon Middletown and Hamilton, down in Butler County, Ohio.

Once we got around Hamilton, Ohio, we proceeded to the west into beautiful rolling hills of Butler County, where we passed through the small village of Okeana and a few miles on to George Family Cemetery where my fourth great-grandparents, Thomas and Jemima Jolliffe are buried.

I love this area of Southwestern Ohio where the hills look like rounded scoops of ice cream. Up on one of those rounded hills is a lovely spot occupied by George Family Cemetery.

Thomas Jolliffe was born 15 Nov 1785 in Pennsylvania. At some point, his family moved and settled along the Kanawa River in what is now Charleston, West Virginia. Thomas and his wife, Jemima Winnegar Jolliffe, born 17 Nov 1790, moved to Butler County, Ohio, across a section of Ohio where many of my ancestors on both sides passed as they aimed toward Eastern Indiana.

Thomas and Jemima’s sons all ventured on to Decatur and Bartholomew Counties in Eastern Indiana.

One son, James Jolliffe, married Ruth Harper in Butler County, Ohio and immediately moved to Indiana in the 1849 after the birth of their eldest son, John M. Jolliffe, and lived in the same communities and farming areas as my mother’s Barmes ancestors who settled in Hope, Bartholomew County, Indiana after arriving from Bavaria in the 1830s.

John M. Jolliffe, my second great-grandfather, lived in the Indiana counties of Franklin, Decatur, and Bartholomew, and is buried alongside his wife, Sarah Wolfe Jolliffe, in Hartsville Cemetery, Hartsville, Bartholomew County, Indiana.

Both my Barmes and Jolliffe ancestors, living in Bartholomew County, and offering produce and dairy to nearby United Brethren established Hartsville College, might have met a young student, Susan Koerner, and the school’s young superintendent, Milton Wright. Milton and Susan would marry and eventually have two sons who released man from the bonds of earth: Wilbur and Orville Wright.

Thomas died 29 May 1871 and Jemima, 31 Mar 1847 and are buried in George Family Cemetery, Okeana, Butler County, Ohio.

Our line of sons: Thomas, James, John, Perry, William, Danny, Darin…

Ironically, for nearly 130 years, my Mother’s Barmes ancestors and my father’s Jolliffe ancestors were neighbors or living within a few miles of one another.

When the largest tin mill factory, The Tin Plate in my hometown of Elwood, Indiana, opened in the 1890s, many members of my ancestry moved north to Madison County, Indiana.

Finally, in 1960, my parents, a Jolliff and a Barmes, met and married.

About Wright Flyer Guy

Darin is a single adoptive father, a teacher, playwright, and musical theatre director from Kettering, Ohio.
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