Happy Anniversary, Philander and Minerva!

Four days short of his 27th birthday, Philander Bennett took twenty-five year old Minerva Abrams as his wife in Hamilton Township, Jackson County, Ohio. They were married 1 June 1867 by Justice of the Peace George Gilliland.[1] Their union would result in three daughters and two sons who lived to adulthood, and the death of one unknown child who died before 1900.[2]

1867 - 1 June - Philander Bennett - Minerva Abrams - Jackson Co Ohio-cropped

I have no record of how the two of them met or knew each other. But there is a story that Philander, “a Crawford family friend,” stood at the wedding of Minerva’s cousin, Macdonald Crawford, in Scioto County, Ohio, in December of 1861,[3] just weeks before he enlisted in the Union Army.[4] Macdonald’s mother, Elizabeth, and Minerva’s father, Samuel, were siblings, and both families were living in Scioto County at the time of the census the year before. Perhaps Minerva’s family attended the wedding of her cousin and the two met then, or perhaps they had met previously at a family gathering. Perhaps they only met after Philander returned from the war. Whatever the circumstances of their initial acquaintance, I think it would be reasonable to say they were not sweethearts before Philander went to war or they probably would have married sooner than two and a half years after his discharge from the army.


[1] Jackson County, Ohio, Marriage Records and Index 1866-1872, vol. E, p.92, Philander Bennett –Minerva Abram, 1 June 1867; digital images, FamilySearch.org, “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-1994,” (https://familysearch.org : accessed 1 June 2014).


[2] 1900 U.S. census, Jackson  County, Ohio, population schedule, Coal Township, Coalton Village, p.59 (stamped), enumeration district (ED) 45, sheet 4-B, dwelling 63, family 65, Philander Bennett; digital image, HeritageQuest Online (access through participating libraries : accessed 22 April 2014); citing National Archives microfilm T623, roll 1289. In the 1900 census (and 1910), one question addressed to the wife was “mother of how many children” and “number of those children living.” Minerva was the mother of six children, five of whom were living.

[3] Goodsite, Heidi Halfaker, Time in a Bottle…: A Walk through Time-The Ancestry of Heidi Halfaker Goodsite, “Macdonald Crawford page”; http://www.heidisroots.com/macdonaldcrawfordpage.htm : accessed 1 June 2014.

[4] Compiled service record, Philander Bennett, Pvt., Co. H, 56 Ohio Vol. Inf.; Carded Records, Volunteer Organizations, Civil War; Records of the Adjutant General’s Office, 1780s-1917, Record Group 94; National Archives, Washington, D.C.

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