Monday, June 13, 2011


John Stephen Church was the oldest son of Elias and Mary Ann Church.  He was born around 20 September, 1852.  I was able to obtain his full name and birth date from his tombstone in the Lancaster Cemetery.  Elias and Mary Ann were married on the first of January of that same year.  I assume that John must have been a honeymoon baby!  Census records all state that he was born in Illinois.  John S. Doyle was his maternal grandfather and Stephen Church was his paternal grandfather.  These men were most likely who he was named for.

The first census that shows record of his life is the 1860 census taken in Seneca, Nemaha county, Kansas.  We know that his grandfather, John S. Doyle, built the first house in Seneca so it makes since that the family would come and live near them.  Elias is also listed as a master carpenter on this census.  He may have possibly helped to build the house that John S. Doyle built in Seneca, Kansas.

On November 26th, 1861, John’s father, Elias B. Church, enlists in the Civil War and is discharged November 25th, 1864.  On the 1865 Kansas State census, Elias, Mary Ann, John, Ellis and Julia Church are living in the home of John S. Doyle with his wife, Sarah and their daughter, Emma.

By 1870 Elias has moved his family to their own residence in the same town of Lancaster, Atchison county, Kansas.  Elias, John and Ellis are all listed as laborers on that census.

John lives with or near his grandparents, John and Sarah Doyle, on the 1875 Kansas State Census in Lancaster.  This is the last census that I have for John Church.  The date the census was taken is March 1, 1875.  I checked with my friends at the Kansas State Historical Society and they helped me to locate the cemetery records for Lancaster.  There is a record for John Stephen Church who died April 13, 1875.  His age was 22 years, 6 months, 23 days.  This is the same cemetery that his grandparents are buried in.

Also on this census he is listed with a woman who is age 19 and only has the initial of “E.”  So now it is my mission to find out who “E” is and what ever happened to her.  So now I am on the hunt for a marriage certificate.

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