Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Case For Milton Runyan


Much of the early Runyan lineage has been well researched and documented over the years and I have documented my complete line from our earliest ancestor to arrive in America to my mother where the Runyan name "daughters out". (See my blog over at "Old Stones Undeciphered" entitled "Uh, Oh Dad!")

But, to put it simply, Milton deserves a family. I don't know if his only son survived, but that shouldn't matter. Why have all the Runyan researchers ignored or overlooked this man? He's been there all along. None-the-less, in all the years I've been climbing my tree, of all the Runyan researchers I've met, I've never seen Milton placed in a family by any of them.

So, I am here to help Milton along and to put this small accumulation of evidence out where anyone doing a search may find it. I need more proof but the evidence I have points to Milton being a brother of Michael Runyan, my great, great grandfather and the first born child of Noah and Anna Barnes Runyan.

My lineage from Noah to my grandfather Lawrence
I will start with the 1830 census of Hamilton Co., Ohio because Milton was born in 1828 and Noah and Anna clearly have two boys (clue #1) under the age of five living in their household, one of those is Abraham. My ancestor Michael is the third boy and not born until the end of 1831. 

In 1840 this Runyan family is living in Montgomery Co., Indiana. By this time there are four sons. Two are the age of Milton and Abraham (clue #2) and two are the age of Michael and James.  

In 1850 the family is back in Hamilton Co., Ohio - Colerain Township. Milton is now age 22 and living with an unknown family of the surname Sparks just two residences away (clue #3) from Noah and Anna. His occupation is that of Cooper, same occupation as the head of household, Sparks. Abraham and Michael are also Coopers. Their father Noah is a Blacksmith. Milton is the only child not living with (his alleged) family. 

On December 29, 1857 Milton marries Celia Jane Woollen, first cousin to Michael's mother in law (clue #4). In 1859 Amos Henry Runyan is born to that union.

In 1860 Howard Co., Indiana - Liberty Township we find Milton, Celia, "Henry", and Celia's mother, brother, sister and a brother-in-law living in the same household.

In 1870 Henry Co., Indiana - Spiceland Township, Milton is now living with his alleged brother Michael (clue #5) and Michael's family. Milton is a Cooper and INSANE. Celia is still in Howard Co. with her mother and son "Amos H."

On December 8, 1870 Milton's name shows up on a Henry Co., Indiana list titled  "Allowances at December Commissioner's Court", whatever that means.

Celia Jane dies on March 2, 1871. She is recorded as buried in Spiceland Friends Cemetery although no stone has been found.

And here's where my information comes to a halt. I have not found Milton or his son in any census after 1870. I have not found a record of death for either of them. Noah and Anna Runyan lived to 1880 and beyond and Milton is not listed in their household. He may be in a home or an asylum if living but I have had no luck in finding a far.

Rest in peace Milton...I will dig until I have your proof. 


  1. Hi Lisa! I'm very happy to see your blog. I have a Runyon branch of my family tree that I haven't investigated too much yet. I look forward to reading your posts!

  2. That's great Lori! Maybe we can compare notes. I have a lot of Runyan/Runyon info in my files. Since it's my mother's maiden name it is one of the first surnames I started researching 15 years ago. Met a lot of other Runyan researchers along the way.

  3. Although I don't have this surname in my tree thus far, I enjoyed reading your post. I love how you detailed the evidence step by step that you know. I will have to remember this as I document my ancestors. In fact, I have a family mystery to solve and your clue format would be helpful in explaining my investigation. Thanks for your blog.

  4. Thanks D Lee! Timelines are a great way to organize your clues!

  5. If you are still interested, there is an online record for Amos H. Runyan on in the California, State Hospital Records, 1856-1923:
    Name: Amos H Runyan
    Age: 40
    Birth Date: abt 1860
    Birth Place: Indiana
    Record Date: 22 Jan 1900
    Hospital: Stockton State Hospital
    Hospital Place: Stockton, San Joaquin, California, USA

    Details are given in the record, or I can send you a copy.
    My husband's ancestor Catherine Runyan, daughter of Noah and Anna Barnes Runyan.

    1. Cindy...this is great news! I had not checked new records for some time and I'm surprised that he is found so far away from Indiana. I see that Stockton was constructed as an Insane Asylum in 1851. Thank you so much for leaving this message for me..I really, REALLY appreciate it!