McGehee's Regiment, Arkansas Cavalry
2nd Battalion, Missouri Cavalry State Guard (1st Division)
6th Regiment, Missouri Infantry
I am looking for Martha Howard or Dennis aka Martha C. Dennis b. either Jan 1852 or 1853 or 1854 1855 in MO, both parents born in MO. She is in Jackson Co, AR in 1860 and 1870 living with Wm. Howard b. 1825 AL and wife Elizabeth Breckenridge Dennis b. 1824. In 1877, Miss Martha Dennis age 22 married John W. Hines in Independence co, AR, with William Howard as a witness. In 1880, they are living with the same William and Elizabeth Howard. However, nobody has yet convincingly shown whether Martha was born a Howard or a Dennis, and how that would translate into her marriage history. Her children later said in documents that their mother's maiden name was Howard (then again, they might never have been told that either she was born a Dennis or else that she had a husband before their father, Mr. Hines). Martha was certain in Jan 1852 that she was born in Jan 1852 in MO with both parents born in MO, and that was at a time when she was filing a Union widow's pension application and had collected a number of affidavits from family friends who had known her at various points.
page 287 William Howard is one of the sturdy and progressive tillers of t he soil of Fulton County, Ark., and a man who has won a host of warm frien ds by his many admirable traits of character. He was born in Lauderdale County, Ala., August 15, 1823, and is a son of Robert and Susan (Smith) Howard. The father died in Wayne County, Mo., [p.287] when our subject was about thirteen years of age, and the date of his birth is unknown. He removed from Ala bama to Missouri in 1826, and was of Irish descent, his grandfather having been born in t he “Emerald Isle.” His wife was supposed to have been born in Alabama in 1 805, and died in Jackson County, Ark., in 1862. Two of her nine children a re now living, of whom our subject is the eldest. He attended the common s chools of Wayne County, Mo., and until twenty-two years of age remained fa ithfully by his mother, assisting her in making a living. In March, 184 4, he moved to Jackson County, Ark., and was married there in May two yea rs later to Miss Caroline Kinder, who was born in Cape Girardeau County, Mo., in 1828. She died in her native county [Cape Girardeau] in 1851, having become the mother of two children, both of whom are deceased. On February 22, 1858, he married Mrs. Elizabeth ( Breckenridge) Dennis, who was born in Alabama in 1826. Of the seven childr en born to them only one is now living: William, who was born June 14, 1854, is living with his parents and is married to Susan Mullens. They have two children: Robert L. and Walter C. Mr. and Mrs. Howard are members of t he Baptist Church. In 1863 Mr. Howard enlisted in Company E, Clark's regiment. and served until the fin al surrender, the latter part of his service being under Marmaduke. He was also with Price on his-raid and served as second lieutenant. Since about 1844 he has been a resident of Arkansas and in his political views has always been a Democrat, having cast his first presidential vote for James K. Polk.
1830 MO, Wayne Co., has female under 15 yea rs of age.
1840 MO, Wayne Co., female 15-20.
1850 MO, Wayne Co., Dist 101, dated 28 Oct 1850, Page 421, Dwelling 611, F amily 629
Dennis, John Jr. 31 M MO Laborer
Elizabeth 26 F AL
Mary A 8 F MO
George W 6 M MO
Julia 10/12F MO
Listed in father's probate, Jackson Co., AR 20 January 1852: Elizabeth Den nis, Wayne Co., MO.
1860 AR, Jackson Co., Breckenridge Twp., Dated 16 July 1860, Page 579a, Dw elling 795, Family 795
1870 AR, Jackson Co., Cow Lake Twp., Dated 27 Aug 1870, Page 319a, Dwelli ng 28, Family 26
Julia A20FNo OccupationMO
William H17MWorks on FarmMO
Martha16FWorks on FarmMO
1880 AR, Lawrence Co., Reeds Creek Twp., Page 280b, Dated 1June 1880, Dwel ling 16 , Family 17
Howard, WilliamHead55MdFarmerAL -- --
BetsyWife54MdKeeps HouseAL -- --
William Jr.Son25MdWorks on FarmMO AL --
SusanD-I-L21MdWorks in HouseAR -- AL
Geo WGSon1SAt HomeAR MO AR
MandaBrdr20SAt HomeAR -- AR (weak eyes)
Many people believe Martha was the daughter of William and Elizabeth Breckenridge Dennis (Howard) above by a Dennis husband (probably John), previous to William Howard and support for that is pretty obvious but IMHO maybe a bit too obvious. There was a plethora of John and Elizabeth and Martha Dennises around at the time. The marriage record of an Elizabeth Davis to William Howard is also a bit too vague to accept for the same reason. Batesville during 1857 at the start of a land grab was a crossroads for people from everywhere. Wayne was an enormous county. Others believe Martha was the daughter of Levi Howard b. TX, the son of Levi Howard b. MO (brother of William Howard, the subject of the bio). There are other opinions and noe track for me because Martha definitely didn't die until after 1902 and she and both of her parents were born in MO--and by 1900, records and affidavits attached to her widow's pension (Union) tend to confirm her being born Jan 1852 MO/MO/MO. There are even more prime suspects, and I have been running them down one by one and eliminating them. I don't think Martha was born in Wayne County unless her mother was Elizabeth Bennett, and that bring up a controversy about whether her mother was a Melinda Holmes. There is another theory regarding Martha Mays or Mayes, but I haven't seen that laid out and can't comment on it.
Could you please get in touch with me about this family? I have been working on this for about six months without a clear direction. If there were any unmistakable military records on this John Dennis, that would be grand step forward, but none have come into view. What is your thinking about Joel Dennis in relation to any of this Dennis/Howard group?
Thank you so very much!