One Name Study: Elizabeth Townsend of Hamilton, Ohio

Townsend Study in Franklin County Ohio

In the post "Who else was in Franklin County, Ohio in 1880?" I featured 50 Townsends, 17 of which are heads of households. The purpose of the one name study in Franklin County, Ohio is an attempt to find relatives for William James Townsend. This is the first installment of perhaps 15 posts detailing those Townsends of Franklin County.

Elizabeth Townsend 1880 Census Record
Year: 1880; Elizabeth Townsend in household of Geo W Shoaf, Census Place: Hamilton, Franklin, Ohio; Roll: 1015; Family History Film: 1255015; Page: 186A; Enumeration District: 009; Image: 0475

The first name I wished to examine was Elizabeth Townsend (LJBR-MYD) who was listed in the 1880 US Census in the same town as my great grandfather William. The first thing that jumped out to me was that Elizabeth was born around 1838 in Scotland. Her husband could be born in England, if Isabell's Shoaf's (LZD5-C1C) reference to her father (with Elizabeth being her mother) being born in England is an accurate relationship. She's a widow, which would mean that her Townsend husband died prior to 1880. 

In researching other records, Elizabeth's husband does not appear in the 1870 Census either. Elizabeth is living in Columbus, Ohio at that time. Her daughter Isabelle's second marriage (to George Sherman) mentions that Elizabeth's husband's name is John. At present, I can not find a birth or death record for John Townsend. What's 

I compared this information to the possibility of a relationship to William (KCJH-HJJ). He was 38 and born in Ohio with parents from Ohio. If Elizabeth's Townsend husband was William's brother, Isabel should have said her father was from Ohio, not England. Elizabeth's age would prevent her from being William's mother. Other relationships might be possible, but this path looks like it's not a connection.


  1. This is such a great idea. I have a few lines I should stay focused on and do something like this. Keep going and I can't wait to read about your successful result!

    1. Thanks for the encouragement Elizabeth. Tracking down the Townsends can become tedious when it looks like same name/wrong family. I'll keep going know I have you as a supporter!


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