Cephas A. Fisher Jr. and Mary Hoskins

(From "Descendants & Ancestors of Cephas Fisher Jr." by J. L. Fisher, 1996)

Extract updated & corrected as of June 2006

Cephas A. Fisher Jr., a Quaker, was born May 18, 1812 in Highland County, Ohio, the son of Cephas Fisher Sr. and Rachel Stanfield. Cephas Jr. married Mary Hoskins 31 August 1837, in the Miami meeting house in Clinton County, Ohio. Mary Hoskins was born about 1822, in Clinton County, Ohio. They moved from Clinton County, Ohio, along with children George M., Josephus, Eli, John W., Benjamin F., Lewis and Rachel, to Sugar Creek Township, Clinton County Indiana (near Frankfort), about 1851. One son, Samuel, was born after the move. Cephas and family moved to Henry County, Iowa in 1867. On October 16, 1867, Cephas Fisher Jr. purchased 65 acres of farm land in Salem Township, Henry County, Iowa, for $1700.

Mary Hoskins Fisher probably died soon after 1870, when she last appears in a census record. Her grandson Florance (in 1966) remembered his father Samuel saying he was “about 11” when his mother died. (He would actually have been at least 13.) Cephas A. Fisher Jr. died March 6, 1895 and was buried in the Salem Friends Cemetery on March 8. The attending physician was Dr. J. M Evans, M. D., of Salem.

According to grandson Florance Fisher in 1966, Cephas Fisher Jr. had the same general appearance of Cephas’ son, Samuel, with dark, thick, wavy hair. He trimmed his whiskers close with scissors, but never used a razor. In the 1880 census, Cephas was living in Tippecanoe Township, Henry County, Iowa. Living with him were son George and family, and son John and family. Information given by Florance C. Fisher, 1966 about Cephas’ family: “George (Bud) died at Jewel County, Kansas; Josephus died of measles and is buried in a Confederate grave at Memphisburg, Tenn.; Eli married Amanda, had a son Joe and died at Jet, Oklahoma; John W. died at Ottumwa, Iowa; Benjamin F. died about 1861; Lewis married Lizzie and died in California. Eight sons were born to Mary and Cephas, the last being twins, one of whom died of an illness in childhood; Mary spun the yarn and wove the material for her family's clothes; Mary died when her youngest son, Samuel, was about 11 years old.” From Grace Long Fisher in 1970: "Cephas Fisher wore long shirts down to the heels with no trousers, as was the custom for farm work."

From talks with Florance Clinton Fisher Sr. while he was hospitalized at age 82, Feb. 11, 1968: “The old home place, 1/4 mile north of Hillsboro (Iowa) was about 4 blocks from a limestone quarry and burned down. The place that was built of brick later was several miles away. George, John, and Cephas lived in the brick house. Samuel and family lived nearby, as did Josephus. I (Florance), Eli, and Samuel once found a slab of limestone with animal tracks in it and cut it and took it to the old place that burned. It should still be on the site. The land, 20 acres, was Eli’s and had a sawmill on a creek. The sawmill had a furnace and boiler. The place was 10 miles from Denova. Levi Frazier had land there and son Hubert was 18-19 around 1892.”

I (J.L. Fisher) submitted this sketch in 2006 to be included in a new county history being prepared for Fayette County, Ohio. Some of this information comes from a study of the local deeds: "Cephas A. Fisher, eldest son of Cephas Fisher and Rachel (Stanfield) Fisher, was born May 18, 1812 near East Monroe in Highland County, Ohio and lived in Clinton County before settling in Fayette County. On Austin 31, 1837, Cephas A. Fisher and Mary Hoskins married in Clinton County. Mary was a daughter of George Hoskins and Mary (Hodgeson) Hoskins, both from Quaker families who came from Guilford County, North Carolina. Cephas Fisher also came from an old Quaker family, but he and Mary were married by a justice of the peace, contrary to Quaker discipline. Mary was skipped over in her father's will in favor of her children, a common occurrence when family members began to stray from the Quaker ways. Cephas and Mary lived at first in Clinton County. In 1848, they bought a 50-acre farm in Concord Township in Fayette County, from Columbus and Bathsheba Mountjoy of Highland County. The Mountjoys moved to Keokuk, Iowa and owned a hotel there. The Fisher farm was at the intersection of Sabina Road and Stringtown Road (then considered part of Old Charlestown Road). The county "School #5" was at this intersection, and the two-story brick "Concord Township Centralized School," built in 1919, is on the southeastern corner of the former Fisher tract. Seven children of Cephas and Mary Fisher were born in Ohio before they moved on to Indiana: Rachel, George M., Josephus, Eli, John W., Benjamin F., and Lewis. In November of 1855, they sold their farm to Jobe McKay and moved to Clinton County, Indiana, southeast of Frankfort, where their last child, Samuel, was born in 1857. About 1867, the family moved to Salem Township, Henry County, Iowa. Cephas A. Fisher died there in 1895 and is buried in the Salem Friends Cemetery. Cephas A. Fisher, son of Cephas Sr., was a grandson of James Fisher and Jane (Atkinson) Fisher, who came to Highland County from Greene County, Tennessee about 1804 and settled near East Monroe. James and Jane are buried in Walnut Creek Friends Cemetery on New Martinsburg Road in Fayette County. The earliest known ancestors were Thomas Fisher and his wife Elizabeth (Huntley) Fisher, who were married in 1713 in Chester County, Pennsylvania. About 1836, Cephas Fisher Sr., and other sons of James and Jane Fisher, moved from East Monroe and settled on farms in Green Township in Clinton County. Cephas Sr. and his wife Rachel are buried in the old Lees Creek Quaker cemetery (also called Hodson or Antioch cemetery), on Antioch Road in Highland County. "

Mary Hoskins was almost certainly descended from John Hoskins who came to Pennsylvania about 1682 from Cheshire. One early Hoskins genealogy theorized that the colonial Hoskins families of Pennsylvania came from the Dorsetshire immigrants to Massachusetts, an idea which is not supported by the records.

In "Hoskins Families of Seventeenth Century America" by George Ely Russell, 1964, entry number 35, page 4 says "John. Quaker, from Cheshire, England, to Chester, Pa., by 1684. Wife Mary. He died 1698, Chester, Pa. (#106; #107). In the same reference: John(2) Hoskins, Jr., Chester, Delaware County, Pa., Born c1677, probably Cheshire, Eng., Died 26 Aug. 1716; son of John (1) and Mary ( ) Hoskins, who settled at Chester, Pa., in 1683. Married Ruth Atkinson, B. , D. 1739. Children: John, Jr., b. Dec. 1699; m. (1) Hannah Ellis; m. (2) Hannah Hodson; d. Guilford County, N.C., Stephen, b. 18 Dec. 1701; m. widow Sarah ( ) Warner before 1728; moved to Maryland in 1727, but later returned to Pa.; a cooper. Had children John (1728), Ruth, and Mary; George, b. 8 Aug. 1703; d. young; Joseph, b. 30 Apr. 1705; m. Jane Fenn, 26 Aug. 1728, Chester Friends Meeting; m. (2) Esther Bickerlike; Mary, b. 1 Aug. 1707.

From a familiy record of the Jane Fenn Hoskins family: John Hoskins, Son of John and Ruth Hoskins, was Born at Chester the 24th of 12 mo 1700. Stephen Hoskins Son of John and Ruth Hoskins was Born at Chester the 18th of 12 mo 1702. George Hoskins Son of John and Ruth Hoskins was Born at Chester the 8th of 8 mo 1703. Joseph Hoskins Son of John and Ruth Hoskins was Born at Chester the 30th of 4 mo 1705. Mary Hoskins Daughter of John and Ruth Hoskins was Born at Chester the 1st of 8 mo 1707. John Hoskins father of the above Children Departed this life the 28th of 8 mo 1707. Ruth Hoskins His Wife Departed this Life the 3rd of 8 mo 1739. John Hoskins Son of John and Ruth Hoskins died at Chester 29th of 3 month 1780. Recorded in a copy of Sewell History, which belonged to Jane Hoskins formerly, Jane Fenn. See Winterthur Library, DE. Courtesy, The Winterthur Library: Joseph Downs Collection of Manuscripts and Printed Ephemera, No. 53x165.595.

The following Hoskins history is taken from “Clinton County, Indiana History and Genealogical Sketches,” compiled by Joan C. Bohm, Evangel Press, 1989. It seems to be reliable except for the reference to "Clyshire" which I now think is a mistake for "Cheshire."

"Mary Hoskins' family traces back to John Hoskins (I) who came from Clyshire (sic Cheshire?), England, to PA, ca 1683, and his wife, Mary. He was a member of the provincial assembly and built a tavern in Chester Co., PA. Their son, John (II), b. ca 1677, England, was elected Sheriff in Chester County at age 22. He died in 1716. He and his wife, Ruth Atkinson, were the parents of a son, John (III), b. 1699 PA, who married Hannah (surname unkn). John Hoskins (III) was among the earliest settlers in Guilford Co., NC, arriving there ca 1773. John (III) and Hannah were the parents of Moses Hoskins, b. 1763, Chester Co., PA, d. 1839, Tazewell Co., IL. Moses married Ruth Hodgson (d/o John Hodgson & Mary Mills) in 1784, Guilford Co., NC. The Moses Hoskins family moved to OH in 1810, settling in Clinton Co. Their son, George, married there 3 Mar 1817, Mary Hodgson (d/o Solomon Hodgson & Chloe Dear). They were the parents of Mary Hoskins Fisher."

Larry and Elaine Pfaffendorf, in “The Hoskins, Haskins Family Tree,” 1979, were the source of the theory that the Pennsylvania Hoskins line came from the Dorsetshire/Massachusetts Hoskins immigrants. Omitting that theory, the following is from the remainder of their text. This sketch needs to be reconciled with other research, since it contains some known errors (e.g. Hannah Evans almost certainly did not marry any John Hoskins, and no proof has been found that John (the immigrant's grandson) married three times.)

"... John Hoskins was one of the original purchasers of land under William Penn. His name appears in the list of settlers as the owner of 250 acres in Middletown. He built a house on his lot in Chester and kept a tavern. Martin's "History of Chester, Pennsylvania," says John Hoskins was a man of education. His son, John Jr., married Ruth Atkinson in 1698. John IIs' daughter, Hannah, married Charles Whitaker in the same year. Ruth was the daughter of Thomas and Jane (Bond) Atkinson. John Jr. became Sheriff of Chester County in the year 1700, when not more than 23 years old. He held this office for fifteen years. He died August 6, 1716. John Jr. and his wife, Ruth, had the following children: John IV (our ancestor), Stephen, George, Joseph and Mary. Stephen married in 1727 to Mrs. Sarah Warner of Maryland. In 1737 he became coroner of Chester County. In 1743 they went to Philadelphia. Their children were John, Ruth and Mary. Joseph, younger brother of Stephen, married Jane Fenn on August 6, 1738. She died and he re-married in 1765 to Esther Bickerdike. Joseph was Chief Burgess of Chester County from 1757 to 1759 and Justice of The Courts of Chester County. John IV (our ancestor) married three times; the second time to Hannah Evans (sic error?). They had one son named Moses. John had other children by his other wives. They were Richard, Joseph and Arnold. John IV was an ardent Whig and Patriot. The Battle of Guildford Courthouse was fought on his plantation March 1 through 5, 1781. Lord Cornwallis occupied his house as headquarters and later used it as a hospital (sic probably some errors here?). Moses Hoskins Sr., son of John IV and Hannah, married Ruth Hodson in 1784. They had 10 children, and our (ie the Pfaffendorfs) ancestor was their seventh child, Joseph Ellis Hoskins, born in 1795... (continues their line)...

Cora Keagle, in her 1945 book “The Hoskins Family,” includes the following, which gives her version of the ancestry of Mary Hodgeson, the mother of Mary Hoskins Fisher:

"Much of the material on the early history of the families was taken from a genealogy compiled by Ili and Zimri Hodgson in 1885. This book is now owned by Mrs. Edna Mills, 399 Steirner Street, San Francisco. Until 1750 the history is tradition, handed down by word of mouth from family to family, but after that date the births, deaths and marriages of every branch of the families are recorded. They may still be found in the records of the Quaker Church. ... Here is the story of the origin of the American branch of the family. During the last decade of the seventeenth century, around 1696, a family by the name of Hodgson emigrated from England to Ireland and a few years later took a ship for America. During the passage, which lasted for months, an epidemic took all the family except a son, George, nine years of age. Friends on the boat took George with them to Philadelphia in 1710. George Hodgson grew up in Philadelphia, married and had six children. There were two daughters who married brothers by the name of Hiett, and four sons, Richard, George, Joseph and John. Then with his family he moved to North Carolina in 1750 and settled near Guilford Court House. From this time on all records are found in the books of the Quaker Church. John Hodgson, the youngest son, born in Philadelphia, Aug. 4, 1731, is our direct ancestor. All members of the families are given in the records but for the purpose of this history we will capitalize the direct ancestor and trace his descendants omitting the others. In North Carolina John Hodgson married Mary Mills. Their ten children were, Thomas, Sarah, John, Ruth, George, Jonathan, Hur, Mary, Solomon and Joseph. Thomas, born Oct 13, 1762, was our direct ancestor. Thomas Hodgson married Patience Dillon. Their seven children were, Rebecca, Amos, Rachel, Daniel, Lydia, Susanne and Joel. Lydia, our direct ancestor, was born in North Carolina March 17, 1794. The Hodgson families remained in North Carolina until after the Revolution and the establishment of the new government. Then they emigrated to new territory northwest of the Ohio River. They were the first to chop a road through the wilderness from Cincinnati, Ohio, fifty miles northeast to what is now Clinton County, Ohio. In Ohio, Thomas' daughter, Lydia Hodgson, married Jonathan Hoskins Sept. 30, 1813. Jonathan was the son of Moses Hoskins who with his brothers, James and Ellis, lived in the vicinity. Jonathan and Lydia Hoskins had eleven children, Dillon, William, Ruth, Patience, Joel, John Thomas, Jonathan, Ruth, Patience, Joel, John, Thomas, Jonathan, Lydia Ann, Jesse and Mary. John was born during a trip to FIndiana, Lydia Ann and Jesse in Illinois and Mary in Iowa. ... (Contuinues)"

The following is from page 338 of the "History of Clinton County, Ohio." ( "Hodson" was a local spelling of Hodgeson.")

"Lee's Creek Meeting House and Hodson Cemetery. Solomon Hodson, 1771-1837, and his wife Chloe (Deer) Hodson, came to Fairfield Twp. in 1808. They settled on land that was located south of the Clinton Co. line. When they arrived, that part of Clinton Co. was still under the jurisdiction of Highland Co. For this reason the Hodson family was associated with both counties. Solomon Hodson was a blacksmith and worked at his trade in a shop on his farm until his death at the age of sixt-four. Solomon and Chloe (Deer) Hodson were the parents of the following children, who came to Highland Co.: Joseph, John, who died in 1865 (his wife was Jane Garrett); Elizabeth (Branson), Mary, Hezekiah, Moses, Rachel (her husband was Eli Hoskins, son of Moses and Ruth Hoskins, who died at the age of forty), and a son J. Hodson whose wife's name was Rebecca. Lydia, daughter of J. and Rebecca Hodson, became the wife of Thomas E. Ladd. The Hodsons were from the Quaker stronghold in North Carolina. Their neighbors were the Hoskins, Adams, Woodmansees and McClures. ... Land was set aside as a burial ground which is known today as the Hodson Cemetery. The members of the Society of Friends in the area began to hold meetings in various homes. Later the Lee's Creek Friends' Meeting House stood near the location of the Hodson Cemetery. Moses Hoskins was buried on the land at an early date. His wife Ruth, born in 1762, died Feb. 14, 1829. ... Cephas Fisher, 1780-Dec. 31, 1864, was laid beside his wife Ruth (sic, mistake for Rachel), born in 1785, who died in May, 1840. ... The Lee's Creek Meeting of Friends was formed soon after the County was organized. Although the building has been gone for many years, the names of the first board of trustees who were responsible for the erection of the log church has been handed down. They were Solomon Hodson, Evan Evans, veteran of the Revolution, James Rees and James Thornburg. ... "

Cephas A. & Mary (Hoskins) Fisher had three sons who served in the Civil War. George M. & Jocephas Fisher served in Company G, 86th Indiana Infantry. Eli enlisted in Company B, 17th Regiment Indiana Mounted Infantry while he was just 17 years old. In order not to lie about his age, he put a paper with the number 18 on it in his shoe, and then avowed that he was “over 18.” His enlistment papers show that he had blue eyes, light hair, and was 5’ 3” tall.

Eli Fisher was born 29 September 1846, Clinton Co., Ohio. He married Amanda Jane Alexander (d/o John & Betsy Alexander) in Frankfort, Indiana, 14 March 1867. Eli and Amanda, Cephas A. and Mary, and at least two other sons, George M. (m. Rachel Meese) and Lewis (m. Elizabeth Henderson), moved to Henry Co., Iowa, ca 1868. Cephas A. Fisher had a farm in Salem Twp (Henry County) Iowa. Eli and Amanda lived in Henry County, then for a few years in Jewell Co., Kansas. They were the parents of ten children, but only one lived to adulthood. Several children succumbed to diptheria epidemics raging during those years.

Their son, Joseph C. Fisher, was born 2 January 1872, at Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. His first wife, Ellen Woods, was the mother of Lilie M., William S., Grace, and Ray Fisher. Ellen died after the birth of Ray in 1902. The family had moved to Woods Co., Oklahoma Territory, ca 1897. Eli and Amanda and Eli’s brother, Lewis, and family were also there in 1900. Joseph C. Fisher married Linnie May Alcorn in 1905. Their daughter, Coralie, was born at Jet (Alfalfa County) Oklahoma, 25 July 1906. Joseph & Linnie were divorced ca 1908, and Joseph later married Mrs. Pearl Hung, who had two small daughters. Joe & Pearl were the parents of Joseph S. (killed in a tornado while a child), Herberet, Harry, & Joseph Fisher Jr. (d. in Battle of St. Lo, WW II). Joe & Pearl moved their family to southern California during the 1930’s. His daughters from his first & second marriages grew up and married in Oklahoma. His son, Ray, was reared by his Woods grandparents in Iowa. Joseph’s son, William, preceded his mother, Ellen, in death. This Cephas A. Fisher information was taken from the submittal in Joan Bohm’s book by Patricia Meyer Franks, Rt. 1, Box 35, Wawaka, IN 46794; Granddaughter of Jos. C. Fisher & d/o Coralie Fisher Meyer Stalcup.