|Charles Miller Beckwith||-----------|||1825-1892|
|||||||1882-1943|||||Mary Eleanor Harper|
Myrtle Forbes and Roy Freeman wedding picture - 1902
Myrtle was born December, 1882, in Guernsey County, Ohio. She married Roy Freeman in 1902 and had two children, Eleanor and Charles Freeman. Eleanor was my grandmother. Myrtle was only 25 years old when she died of spinal meningitis. She was buried in Greenwood cemetery in Zanesville, Ohio.
For years, I searched for her family without success. This is all I knew:
1) Myrtle was born in Guernsey County, Ohio, according to her death certificate as well as her son's death certificate.
2) In the 1900 census, when Myrtle was 17, she was living in Coalgate precinct, Ward Township, Hocking County, Ohio. She said she was born December, 1882. (I discovered later she was living with her married sister Ellen Forbes-Barstow)
3) In my 1960 interview with my grandmother, Eleanor, she thought that Myrtleís siblings were named: Charles, Francis, Ellen and Alice. She thought Myrtleís father died in 1903, but didn't know anything about her mother.
4) Myrtle named her son, Charles Francis, possibly after her two brothers.
5) The only Forbes families in Guernsey County, Ohio in 1880 are:
Henry Forbes, children: Joanna, Ida, Amanda.
Elisha and Julia Forbes, children Frank, Martha, Charles, Alice, Mary, Delilah.
Robert Forbes, no children.
Elisha Forbes seemed the most likely father of Myrtle, but I had no documented proof. The only circumstantial evidence is Francis (Frank), Charles and Alice were in my grandmother Eleanorís memory of the names of Myrtle's siblings.
Tracing back census records, it appeared that Boyd and Martha Forbes were the parents of Elisha Forbes. In tracing Ancestry.com census entries for Boyd Forbes I found some notes on his name by Nancy Forbis. I contacted Nancy and she furnished the Myrtle Forbes marriage record that stated Elisha and Julia Forbes were the parents of Myrtle.
Nancy contributed the following Forbes family history:
Myrtle was the 8th child of Elisha and Julia A Forbes. Elisha was born around 1825 in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. His father was Boyd Forbes, born in Ireland and his mother was July Anna Rutter, a descendant of Conrad Rutter, an early settler of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Elisha spent the early years of his life in Lancaster County. Between 1836 and 1840, the Boyd Forbes family moved to Guernsey County, Ohio. Around 1865, at the age of 41, Elisha married a 16 year old girl named Julia. (We are still researching whether her name was Julia Long or Julia English. They are the maiden names listed in two of her children's marriage records). Elisha and Julia would have 9 known children.
Boyd Forbes was born in Ireland. After immigrating to Pennsylvania, he applied for citizenship in August of 1812. His naturalization application is dated Aug, 1812 and states his age as 25. That would make his birth year around 1787-1788. His gravestone states that he died in 1878, so he died around the age of 90-91.
Between 1810 and 1812, he married July Anna Rutter. Boyd and July Anna had 8 known children. Their first child was Mary Ann Forbes, born around 1812. She would remain single all her life and die after 1900 in poverty. Her mother July Anna died around 1828 and Boyd re-married Martha Arthurs who bore him 3 more children.
The three Forbes men found in the 1880 Guernsey County, Ohio census, Henry, Elisha and Robert Forbes are brothers, sons of Boyd Forbes. Henry and Elisha are sons of Boyd and July Anna Rutter-Forbes, and Robert is the son of Boyd and Martha Forbes.
Myrtle's grandfather, Boyd Forbes, and his second wife, Martha Forbes, are buried in Fairview cemetery, Guernsey Co. Ohio. Boyd Forbes' stone is marked: died May 26, 1878. Martha Arthurs Forbesí stone is marked: b. 1799 d. 1879
We have not found the burial place of Boyd's first wife, July Anna Rutter-Forbes.
July Anna Rutter-Forbes parents were Mary Rutter and Joseph Rutter who were first cousins.
Mary Rutter was the daughter of Peter Rutter and Elizabeth Skiles.
Joseph Rutter was the son of Joseph Rutter Sr and Barbara Glenn.
Peter Rutter and Joseph Rutter Sr were sons of Conrad Rutter and Jane Douglas, 17th century immigrants to the British colonies.
(1) The 1850 and 1860 Guernsey County, Ohio census records make the Elisha Forbes (son) and Boyd Forbes (father) connection.
(2) The Boyd Forbes family is in the 1840 Guernsey County census. The 1850 census states their youngest child was born around 1836 in Pennsylvania. So they moved from Pa. to Ohio between 1836 and 1840.
(3) The 1880 Guernsey County census record for Elisha Forbes provides Myrtle's sibling names that my Grandma remembered.
Sources from Nancy Forbis:
(1) Franklin County marriage record of Myrtle Forbes and Roy Freeman stating that Elisha and Julia Forbes are the parents of Myrtle Forbes.
(2) Mary Rutter estate document states she had a daughter who married Boyd Forbes. Her daughter's name is listed as "Julia Forbes".
(3) Boyd Forbes Guardians document ties Boyd with his son Elisha Forbes.
(4) Boyd Forbes probate records list his children including Elisha Forbes.
(5) "Descendants of Conrad Rutter" by Edith Weaver and Worthington Rutter found in the Mennonite Historical Society of Lancaster County, Pa. This book documents the Conrad Rutter to "Julianne Rutter" & "Boyd Forbs" line.
(6) Della Forbes and Elmer Barstow 1899 marriage record which proves she is the married sister that Myrtle is living with in the 1900 census.
Roy Freeman next to Myrtle's grave - Greenwood Cemetery, Zanesville, Ohio