The No Name Baby Girl

My great grandmother, Viola Bell Bennett, was born (or at least her birthday was celebrated) on 12 March 1868. In the Jackson County, Ohio birth records, she appears as an unnamed female born to Philander Bennett and Minerva Abrams in 1868 in JacksonTownship. Her birth was reported by A. J. Newell, M.D.[1] (See the image below – line 42.)


At first I was a little upset that Dr. Newell did not record more than the year of the births of the infants born in JacksonTownship when I saw that he had recorded the exact day of the month for the babies born in HamiltonTownship.

I decided to do a little more investigation of Dr. A.J. Newell.  I discovered that in 1870, he lived in HamiltonTownship in JacksonCounty.[2] I also learned that in Dr. Newell’s household was a female two years older than my great grandmother who was listed on the 1870 census as Viola B. Newel [sic]. That seemed interesting to me, and I couldn’t help but wonder what the “B” stood for.

In searching more documents for Viola B. Newell, I had hoped to discover her middle name. Her marriage record only revealed the middle initial B in her marriage to Jacob Aukrom.[3]

I continued searching and found Andrew Jackson Newell, M.D. listed among the biographical sketches in volume 2 of the book A History of Scioto County, Ohio: Together with a Pioneer Record of Southern Ohio. Included in the sketch were the names of his children, one of which was Mrs. Bell Ankrom [sic].[4]

There was the answer to my question! Viola Bell Newell and Viola Bell Bennett. The question remains if this was a deliberate naming of their daughter after the physician’s daughter and, if so, why?  That will remain at this time a mystery. However, I noted several interesting facts about these two young ladies. They were married 19 days apart. Newell was married on 28 March 1887[5]; and Bennett was married on 16 April 1887.[6] They were both married by a family member. Newell was married by her brother Warren, who was a Justice of the Peace; Bennett was married by the groom’s father’s son-in-law (husband of Edward Dow’s half-sister).  During their lives, they both ventured far from their places of birth – Newell lived in the Philippines[7] and Bennett moved to Florida.

[1] Jackson County, Ohio, Birth Record, [vol.]A, p.20-21, [Bennett], 1888, line 42; digital images,, “Ohio, County Births, 1841-2003,” ( : accessed 12 March 2014).

[2] 1870 U.S. census, Jackson County, Ohio, population schedule, Hamilton Township, Oak Hill Post Office, p. 16 (penned), dwelling 106, family 108, Andrew J. Newel; digital image, ( : accessed 12 March 2014); citing National Archives microfilm publication M593, roll 1226.

[3] Jackson County, Ohio, Marriage Records and Index 1883-1888, vol. H, p.262, Jacob Aukrom-Viola B. Newell, 28 March 1887; digital images,, “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-1994,” ( : accessed 12 March 2014).

[4] Nelson W. Evans, A History of Scioto County, Ohio: Together with a Pioneer Record of Southern Ohio (Portsmouth, Ohio: N. W. Evans, 1903), 1086-87; digital images, ( : accessed 12 March 2014).

[5] Jackson Co., Ohio, Marriage Records H: 262

[6] Jackson County, Ohio, Marriage Records and Index 1883-1888, vol. H, p.268, Edward E. Dow -Viola B. Bennett, 16 April 1887; digital images,, “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-1994,” ( : accessed 12 March 2014).

[7] Evans, History of Scioto County, 1087.

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7 Responses to The No Name Baby Girl

  1. I thank God, everyday for your inquisitiveness. You bring our family to life in such a memorable way. Thank you, Margaret Jean for all your hard work and attention to detail. It does not go unnoticed and appreciated, as well. God Bless you, always. Your faithful cousin, Susanne Damato Kowalski.

    • You are so welcome, Susanne. My inquisitiveness does lead me down some interesting paths, and I’m happy to share them with you and others. Thank you for taking the time to read the fruit of my labors.

  2. Velma Thomas Dukes says:

    Good job Margaret bringing the past to life is a wonderful way to discover who you are…

    • Thank you for reading my post, Aunt Velma. It’s a challenge to try to think of an angle for writing about vital statistics about people. I hope I can keep it up all year!

  3. Pingback: Unknown Courtship | ancestors2013

  4. Dawn Gaboury says:

    I think you are my family!! How exciting to run across this article searching for family I hardly know anything about! My grandmother was Mina Dow!! Your great-grandmother was my great-grandmother!! My name is Dawn 🙂

    • Thank you for commenting, Dawn. Since Mina was your grandmother, I’d love to correspond with you about the Dow family. Do you have an account? If so, would you look at my Damato Family Tree and send me an email through there, so it will be private. If not, you can let me know in a reply here how to get in touch with you. It’s funny that you left this message because I’ve just recently been working on Mina’s family. Hope to hear from you soon.

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