Sepia Saturday: Daniel and Cyrene

It's another Sepia Saturday,
so I'd like to introduce to you
Daniel Clayton and his wife Cyrene Moore Clayton.

Daniel, son of John and Elizabeth (Elly) Clayton,
was born October 14, 1824 in Richland County, Ohio.
He was probably the youngest in a family of ten children,
though the birth order is a bit hard to pin down
because census records were not particularly detailed
during his childhood and adolescence.
It was only in 1850 that individual members of a household
were named in a census and their ages given.

That having been said, we do know that Daniel married a local girl,
Mary Craig, when he was 21. They married March 10,1846
in Richland County, Ohio and Mary Craig Clayton died
 on December 17, 1846, in Allen County, Indiana.
Given that her death came just over nine months after the marriage,
I'm guessing that she died in childbirth, though I don't know for sure.
Daniel's father John died a few months after his daughter-in-law.

About two and a half years later, Daniel married for the second time.
His young bride was Miraba Depew, daughter of Isaac Depew
and Margaret Williams. Daniel and Miraba wed in Allen County
in June 1849 and had a baby daughter Minerva in February 1851.

Only eleven months later, baby Minerva died.
 She's buried in the Old Leo Cemetery in Cedar Creek Township
 in Allen County. About ten months later,
Miraba Depew Clayton died. I don't know how she died,
 but the cause of death was likely illness
 or complications of childbirth. If the latter,
 the infant did not survive.
Miraba, like Minerva, was buried in Old Leo Cemetery.

So by the ripe old age of 26, Daniel had buried two wives,
an infant daughter, and possibly two stillborn or infant children.
He pressed on, moving with several family members to Iowa
in about 1854, as the 1856 Iowa Census indicates
 they'd been  in Iowa for 2 years.

On October 17, 1855, Daniel married for the third time.
 His bride was Cyrene Jeraldine Moore,
 daughter of William and Priscilla Ayers Moore,
Cyrene (pronounced Sah-reeny) was almost twelve years
 younger than Daniel. Marriage records erroneously
 listed her surname as "Moon" rather than Moore.

This time the marriage took.
Cyrene Moore Clayton proved hearty in childbirth.
 She had seven children. The first child, Albert,
died as a toddler while Daniel and Cyrene
 and other family members, including Cyrene's parents
 William and Priscilla Moore and their children,
were waiting for a wagon train to leave for the journey
along the Oregon Trail.

When the wagon train left for the west coast,
 Cyrene had given birth  a few weeks before to William Curtis Clayton.
 Daniel prepared a bed in the wagon for his wife and baby son.
 He tied a cow behind their wagon and milked it
 to have extra milk for the baby. Cyrene did not fare well
on the journey, and by the time they reached Oregon,
 family members feared she would die before they reached
their final destination, Walla Walla in Washington Territory.
She surprised them all by surviving the arduous journey.
which took slightly more than four months.

Once in Walla Walla County, Washington,
the elder Moores obtained homestead land
that is now in an area of fertile vinyards.
It is not clear where Daniel and Cyrene first lived,
 though after a few years they patented land
 in what became Columbia and Garfield Counties.

Children born after arrival in Washington Territory included:
Rosalia Clayton (who married Charles A. Ruark)
Allen Sylvester Clayton (married 1.Myra Lewis 2. Bessie Birdwell Schultz Hart)
Priscilla Jane Clayton (died at age 7)
 Thomas Perry Clayton (married 1. Clara Van Ausdle and 2. Lucy Stocking)
Sarah Emoline "Emmy" Clayton (my great-grandmother - married George D. Lile).

Thomas and Emmy were twins.
Twins seemed to run in the Clayton family,
as several Clayton cousins were twins.

Daniel's sister Elizabeth Clayton Roop had one set of twins.
His sister Mary Caroline Clayton Hursh had three sets of twins.

I didn't get the "twin" gene.


Kat Mortensen said…
Holy mackerel, Meri! Is that the entire family tree? Wow!
What a great history. I think your's goes back the farthest that I've seen (at least for this week's editions).

I've got you on the list.

Martin said…
Very interesting account and great photograph.
L. D. said…
You are so lucky to have all of this information. We recently found out that my four generations back had two different mothers so my family came from the first five kids born to the first wife, and then there is six more out there by the second wife, all half relatives. I will reread this tomorrow as I love to read this type of thing. What an old photo.
wow! what an extensive bit of information that you know. poor, poor daniel (burying 2 wives by the time he was 26) life was hard

there are twins in both my husband and my family & weirdly when I was pg with my daughter I had hoped that the trait passed on.... but it didn't - the concept of twinness has always intrigued me.

it is so incredible that your family has been in the pnw for so long! or at least part of your family, wasn't clear, not that it matters, if this was paternal or maternal side.

have you read annie dillard's novel 'the living' .... one of the most wondrous and powerful books I've ever read in terms of place and the settlement of place.

happy sepia saturday.... i sure am enjoying these bits of time travel!

thanks for the wonderful and thorough accounting - by the way you have some wonderful names in your family!
FireLight said…
What a hearty couple they are to have survived that trip, he tragedies and she the childbirth in a wagon and traveling for four months! Great details and story. How people managed without modern comforts and medicine is just plain amazing! My first time here, and so glad I came!
JP/deb said…
Thanks for sharing! Fascinating history. Love the photo too!
Unknown said…
Hi Meri. My name is Craig Allison. I live in Davis, CA. I am getting deeply into genealogy and I found your website doing a "Rosalia Clayton Ruark" search. My great, great grandparents were Rosalia Clayton and Charles Ruark. If I am reading your info correctly, your great-grandmother, Emmy Clayton, was Rosalia's sister. I enjoyed your detailed information about our common background. I have a bunch of old pictures of Rosalia and Charles. I assume you do too?

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