William and Elizabeth Carr of Mercer County, Illinois

William and Elizabeth Carr family

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Return to William Carr on Woodward Site
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Alternate Spellings - None Found

Links - William Carr, Jr. on Woodward Web Site, Clark, Cook, Davis, William Carr, Jr. pension papers (portion), Welch, Stephen Carr on Woodward Web Site

Contacts - Jim Jones is a descendant of the Charlotte Carr Waters family. He has a Web Site Keithsburg Chronicles for his mother's family (Brown, Waters, et al). There is an obituary for Charlotte Carr Waters posted on his Web Site.
We have numerous other contacts for descendants of William Carr, Jr., none of whom have email. All are interested in genealogy and have much information to share, both on William's family and related families.

February 2005 - we heard from Kimberly Carr Kohler who has done the hard work of researching Carlisle, England, church records and has come up with a William and Elizabeth Carr family and the baptisms of their children which closely match our William Carr family. We have revamped this page accordingly as the evidence is overwhelming.

Photos - William Carr, Jr., wife Lydia, and daughters Agnes & Grace (left)
William Carr III and wife Lovesta Coomer, sons Hartwell and Carl
William Carr III and wife Emma Palmer and family (back row: Effie, Carl, Jim, Hartwell, middle row: far left Pearl Palmer, far right, Alma Carr, center Arna, front row: Cecil, William, Lela, Kenny, Emma Palmer Carr)
(Photos of William III are courtesy of descendant June Olson, of William Jr courtesy of Barbara Howell.)

William Carr and children arrived in America from Carlisle, Cumberland County, England sometime between 1840 and 1842. Charlotte Carr's obituary on the Keithsburg Chronicles Web Site linked above indicates she came with her father and two sisters and two brothers. If they arrived in 1840 they were too late to be enumerated in the 1840 census in Eliza Township. At that time there were only 50 families living in Eliza Township. There were already at that time many land speculators who met ships at the port of entry and directed people to their area of interest and William and family were probably directed to Mercer County.

Family Evidence in England (courtesy Kimberly Kohler)

William Carr & Elizabeth Armstrong marriage - St. Mary's Church of England; Carlisle, Cumberland, England. Elizabeth Armstrong was daughter of John and Mary Faulder Armstrong.
Agnes Carr christened - December 23, 1821 St. Mary's, Carlisle, England
Mary Ann Carr baptised Apr 6, 1823 (this one died)
Mary Ann Carr christened - February 13, 1825, St. Cuthbert, Carlisle, Cumberland, England; parents William and Elizabeth Carr
Charlotte Carr christened - April 5, 1829, St. Cuthbert, Carlisle, Cumberland, England; parents William and Elizabeth Carr
Stephen Carr christened - May 12, 1833, St. Cuthbert, Carlisle, Cumberland, England; parents William and Elizabeth Carr
William Carr christened - February 7, 1836, St. Cuthbert, Carlisle, Cumberland, England; parents William and Elizabeth Carr

Family Evidence in America

A Hardin County, Iowa, history of descendant Rhoda Carr, wife of Preston Riley, states that William Carr came from England to America in 1841, and that his wife Elizabeth had died in England. We find William Carr purchasing the E2 NE of Section 27 in Township 15N Range 5W on 12/5/1842 so we are certain the family arrived by that date. He purchased 80 acres at $1.25 per acre. On 3/23/1853 he added the W2 NE of Section 27, also for $1.25 per acre. The location can be seen on the Eliza Township Plat of 1875 under the ownership of Peter Bear and J. J. Huston.

More on Children of William and Elizabeth Carr

Mary Ann Carr Cook

On 3/2/1848 daughter Mary Ann Carr married Martin A. Cook, son of William and Anna Charles Cook. In the 1850 Census of Eliza Township we find: William Carr, 59, farmer, land value $400, born England; Agnes Carr, 38, born England; Charlotte, 22, born England; Stephen, 17, laborer, born England; William, 14, born England; Elizabeth, 1, born Illinois (daughter of Charlotte); Mary Ann Cook, 25, born England. Mary Ann's husband, Martin Cook, is not found in Mercer County in 1850, and had perhaps returned briefly to Indiana. He purchased land in Mercer County in 1851 and he and Mary Ann set up housekeeping and began their family (see the Cook page for more on this family.) We have only census records to tell us the age and probable birthdate of Mary Ann: 25 in 1850, 35 in 1860 and 45 in 1870. Her age does match well with the christening date given above, however.

Agnes Carr Davis

Daughter Agnes Carr, married Alexander Davis, son of Adam and Lydia Commons Davis, on 6/6/1852. Agnes Carr Davis had a set of twins and died either in childbirth or shortly thereafter in 1853. (See the Davis page for Alexander's tragic history and also see the Keithsburg Chronicles Page for more on Alexander.) Twins ran in the Carr family and several sets are noted among descendants. This set did not survive so there are no descendants of Agnes Carr Davis.

Agnes Carr was christened in December 1821 at St. Mary's in Carlisle. Agnes died November 16, 1853 and is buried in the Davis Cemetery in Mercer County.

Charlotte Carr Waters

Daughter Charlotte Carr married James S. Waters on 12/23/1855. They are found in the 1860 Census in New Boston Township: James Walters (sic), 32, farmer, born Ohio; Charlotte, 32, born England; Elizabeth [Carr], 11, born Il; William, 3; Clinton, 1, both born Illinois. With them as a laborer, is George Kingium, 18, born Iowa. George Kingen enlisted in 17th Infantry, Co I from New Boston on May 25, 1861 and died March 6, 1862 of wounds. James and Charlotte are found in the 1870 Cenus: James Waters, 38, farmer, born Ohio; Charlotte, 41, born England; William, 13; Amanda, 9; Agnes, 6; Mary, 5; Edd, 3; Fred, 3. Daughter Elizabeth Carr married Edward H. Clark 11/5/1867, and they are not found in Mercer County in 1870. On Jim Jones's Keithsburg Chronicles Web Site linked at the top of the page you will find an obituary for Charlotte Carr Waters and more information on the Waters family.

Charlotte Carr was born 31 March 1829 and was christened April 5, 1829 at St. Cuthbert's in Carlisle, England, a very close match.

Carr and Welch Family Connections

William Carr, Sr. is found in Eliza Township in the 1860 Census: William Carr, age 68, farmer, farm valued at $3000, born England. None of his family is with him, but son Stephen lives next door. Working for William Carr,Sr., are William Welch, 24, laborer, born Indiana, and Ellen Welch, 18, domestic, born Indiana. William and Ellen are brother and sister. Lydia Ellen Welch would soon marry William Carr's son, William, Jr.

Stephen and Sarah Jane Welch Carr

Son Stephen Carr married Sarah Jane Welch on 12/5/1858 and they are found next door to William Carr in the 1860 Census: Stephen Carr, 27, farmer, born England; Sarah J., 20, born Indiana. Working for Stephen is Sarah's brother, John Welch, laborer, 23, born Indiana. William, Ellen, John, and Sarah Welch were all siblings, children of Harvey and Rachel Woodward Welch of Indiana and Mercer County, Illinois (see Welch family page). There is more on Stephen and Sarah Jane Welch Carr on the Woodward Family Web Site.

William and Lydia Ellen Welch Carr

Son William Carr, Jr had his own farm by 1860 and is found in Eliza Township in the 1860 Census: William Carr, 24, farmer, born England. William Carr, Jr., married Lydia Ellen Welch 4/6/1861 in Mercer County. They had two children, Sanford, born 5/13/1861 and William Carr III, born 6/15/1862. Then William Carr, Jr. enlisted in Company K, 102nd Illinois Infantry Volunteers as a private on the 11 day of August 1862 from Duncan.

As did many of the Civil War soldiers, William sufferred all his life from complaints stemming from his Civil War service. (See letter from Allen Wilson to sister Sue 11/1862 about one of William's illnesses during service.) S. E. Mossman wrote an affidavit for him (see Welch Papers) in 1890 listing his sufferings. William obtained a pension of $5 a month in 1891. His application for the "Invalid Pension" was filed on 14th July 1890 in Ellis Township, Hardin County, Iowa. It states he was honorably discharged on the 6th day of June 1865 at Washington, D. C. and was unable to earn a support by reason of heart disease, rheumatism, and liver and kidney disease and general debility and often sick headache.

Another interesting item about his war service comes from noting that his daughter Katie was born 2/24/1864 in Mercer County during William's Civil War service. This was not an uncommon occurance. In a letter of April 6, 1864, Wauhatchie, Tenn, found in a book of Civil War letters, a Captain in the 129th Illinois wrote: "A soldier's wife of the 102 Illinois arrived here today on the cars. ...there are several other wives here... . I cannot imagine how they stay here but most everything is possible nowadays." So evidently conjugal visits during the war were not all that unusual.

William, Jr. and family are not found in the 1870 census in Mercer County as they had moved to Iowa in 1868. They had returned to Eliza Township by 1880: #35 William Carr, 45, farmer, born England, parents born England; Ellen, 38, born Indiana, father born South Carolina, mother born Tennessee; Sanford, 19, works on farm, born Il; William, 18, works on farm, Il; Kealy, 16, Il; Rodia, 14, Il; Agnes, 11, Il; Harvey, 12, Il; Eva, 8, Il; Stephen A, 2, Il; Darling O'Dell, 20, servant, farm laborer, born Ky, parents born Ky. There is more on the family documented on the Woodward Web Site.

William filed another Declaration for Pension from County Clay, state of Minnesota, on the 18th day of February 1907, declaring that he was 73 years old and a resident of Barnesville, Minnesota. He stated he was enrolled at "Ledo, Illinois". From this pension application we learn that he was 5 feet, 9 inches tall, light complected, light hair and blue eyes and that he was born November 22, 1833 at Carlisle, England. This is clearly written in the pension application signed by William, however other pension records indicate his birthdate was actually 1835 and his death certificate documents his birthdate as November 22, 1835 (see a copy on the Woodward Web Site). This coincides well with his christening Feb 7, 1836 at St. Cuthbert's in Carlisle, England. We also learn that medicine is not an exact science as in various physical examinations he is listed as 5'6", 5'9", and 6' tall! The "taller" notes were at the time of his enlistment and the shorter ones were when he was older so he may have actually become bent and gnarled due to his arthritis and other ailments. William lists places of residence as New Boston, Illinois to 1868, then Osage Mission, Kansas to 1873, then New Boston, Illinois to 1877, then Iowa Falls, Iowa, till April 1902, then since at Barnesville, Minnesota. A Surgeon's Certificate accompanied William's application from an examination made January 6, 1904. The surgeon found that "the aggregate permanent disability for earning a living by manual labor is due to weak hart, rheumatism, general debility and hernia and warrants a rate of $12.00 per month." This application references his previous pension granted under Certificate No. 600559. This new application was in response to a new pension act of February 6, 1908.

Lydia Ellen Welch Carr, his widow, applied for accrued pension on September 13, 1910, stating that William Carr [Jr.] died June 30, 1910. That William and Ellen Carr had kept touch with their Mercer County friends and neighbors is evidenced in affidavits furnished by Thomas J. Beverlin and Isom Jackson of Mercer County in connection with Lydia E. Carr's application as a widow. Both testified to their knowledge of the long term marriage of the two. Both Thomas Beverlin's and Isom Jackson's affidavit say that the Carrs moved to Iowa in 1879, as do affidavits from Iowa neighbors. However William and Ellen and eight children are found in the 1880 census in Mercer County and son Sanford died in October 1880 in Mercer County and is buried in the Shields Cemetery.

Son William Carr, Jr. moved on to Minnesota and son Stephen and family moved to Texas and there is no reference to sons of this family in Mercer County after 1880. We have more information on nearly all the Carr families.

Other Carr Families in Mercer County

There is a Dr. George H. Carr family found in Viola in 1870, with wife Clara, born Maine, and son Harrison, born Connecticut. Dr. Carr was born Pennsylvania and they had apparently just arrived in Mercer County. There is no apparent connection with the William Carr family.

Our roving reporter, Betty Welch, has sent us many modern day references to Carrs in Mercer and surrounding counties but to date we have seen no connection to the William Carr family.


2/6/2007 Kimberly Kohler sent us a correction for the christening date of Mary Ann Carr to February13, 1825 at St. Cuthberts.