Monday, April 14, 2014

52 Ancestors – #15 Eunice Pitzer – Sifting Through Family Information and the Records

Eunice Pitzer was born August 29, 1813 in Ohio. She is my great great great grandmother.

On August 29, 1836 in Ohio she married (Dr.) William C. Bishop (born January 24, 1816.) They moved from Ohio to Payson, Illinois year unknown. On December 25, 1847, Catharine Lea Bishop, my great great grandmother who married Isaac Harry was born at Payson, Adams County, Illinois.  

On October 8, 1856, Eunice and William moved from Payson, Illinois to North Missouri. William died near Hedge City, Missouri with heart dropsy, October 10, 1877. Eunice died, March 22, 1886, near Edina, Missouri at the home of her daughter Rachel Bishop Griggs, and the family being conscious of her impending death for some time, her burial clothes had all been made by hand by her daughter (Catherine Lea Harry) and sent from Licking, Missouri before her death. Both are buried in the Bishop Cemetery.

The above is from the information that my paternal great aunts gave me on their mother’s side (Effie Harry Mitchell daughter of Catharine and Isaac Harry.) 

My research shows a marriage record that indicates that they were married in Illinois not Ohio. Census records uniformly list William as a farmer so I am not sure where the Doctor came from. Other records indicate that Eunice and William were both buried at the Bee Ridge Cemetery, Edina, Knox County, Missouri – not at Bishop Cemetery – though there are a couple dozen Bishops buried there.

An 1850 census (taken on November 18, 1850) shows us that William and Eunice’s eldest son Anthony was 13 and born in about 1837 in Ohio, George was 12 and born around 1838 in Illinois, John was 10 and born around 1840 in Illinois, Rachel was 7 and born around 1843 in Illinois, Elizabeth was 5 and born around 1845 in Illinois, Catharine was 3, and William born around 1850 (a later census says August 1850.) This tells us that they probably moved from Ohio to Illinois between 1837 and 1838.

The 1860 census shows the Eunice is 46 years old and insane and cannot read or write. She is keeping house in the 1870 census. I am not sure what to make of that.

Other family trees indicate that Eunice was born in Hogs Run, Licking County, Ohio and that her parents were Eunice Ball (born 1775 Virginia) and Major Anthony Pitzer Sr. (born 1771 Virginia) and her siblings were Elizabeth, Mary, John, Anthony, Sarah Ann, Rachel, Richard and James. Eunice was the youngest with her mother dying in 1813 the year she was born. The names of these sibling fit with what Eunice named her own children.

Some of the other trees show that Eunice’s paternal grandparents were John Pitzer (born 1746 Virginia) and Elizabeth Kistner (born 1740 Virginia.) Her maternal grandparents were Mathew Ball (born 1748 New Jersey) and Mary Osborne (born 1740 New Jersey). Her maternal great grandparents were Caleb Ball Jr. (born 1665 New Jersey) and Sarah Wallace (born 1728 New Jersey.) We shall see, but at least the other trees give me places to look for records. 

I find it sad that I don’t know much about Eunice other than a few facts and a few family stories. I know that Catharine when she left Knox County to move to Licking County was very sad to leave her ailing mother (who died less than two years later) and as the wagon pulled out she looked back as long as anything was in sight. Catharine also made her mother’s funeral clothes since she couldn't be there to help.  This leads me to believe that Eunice was loved.


  1. Eunice Pitzer Bishop is my great-great grandmother. Her youngest son, William Deacon Bishop, is my great-grandfather. I am writing a blog about my family heritage and would like to quote some of your findings. I was born and raised in Knox County, Missouri. I have a few photos and obituaries of many of Eunice's children from the local paper.

    1. I was luck enough to be interested in genealogy in my early twenty's and contacted my Mitchell great aunts - who had compiled a lot of family history.I visited with one in 1978 on a trip to California. I would love to trade information. My email is first name dot mitchell at yahoo