Friday, February 26, 2021

Matthew Cannon and Jane Fife Cannon of Elkrun Township, Columbiana County, Ohio

     I am going to challenge what has become "truth" found in Horace Mack's book, History of Columbiana County, Ohio which was published in 1879.  On page 131, in the Elkrun Township section, there is a paragraph outlining the four Cannon brothers who removed from Pennsylvania to Elkrun Township.  They are John, Lindsey, Matthew and Thomas.  Lindsey Cannon is my maternal great great great grandfather which is why this paragraph is of interest to me.  Lindsey married a daughter of John and Elizabeth Fife, another early pioneer family of Columbiana County and my maternal 4x great grandparents. 

      What has been taken as truth is, "Two brothers of John Canon were residents of Elk Run,--Mathew, a single man and Lindsey, who settled in St. Clair, but afterwards removed to the place now occupied by his son Mathew." Matthew Cannon was NOT a single man. He was married to one of John Fife's daughters, Jane Fife. Both Lindsey and his brother, Matthew, married Fife sisters.

     I realize some of the information found in these history books is gleaned from current county and township residents.  I know there were Cannon and Fife family members still living in the area.  Perhaps the inaccurate history is due to the fact that there is no marriage documentation for Matthew Cannon and Jane Fife. There are other legal documents; however, that do support their union.

     Matthew Cannon and Jane Fife Cannon are my maternal ggg grand uncle and aunt.  Matthew was born circa 1782 in Pennsylvania and Jane, November 5, 1785, St. Clair Township, Allegheny County,  Pennsylvania.  

1804 Harrison Land Act Map of Ohio
Showing the Steubenville District

     As early as 1805, Matthew was purchasing property in Columbiana County, Ohio through the Steubenville Land Office along with his three brothers.
          On April 6, 1805, Matthew Cannon purchased land in Columbiana County, Elkrun Township in Section 26.  He sold this piece of land to his brother, Lindsey Cannon on February 15, 1809.


  On April 29, 1806, Matthew Cannon purchased property in Columbiana County, Elkrun Township in Section 29.  This property would be his home.

History of Columbiana County, Ohio, by Horace Mack
page 56 & 57

     On May 8, 1806 the 1st Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 4th Division, Ohio Militia. John, Lindsey and Matthew Cannon were all involved. Matthew is listed under his older brother, John Cannon's Company.

     I put the colored shapes on the Elkrun map to show Cannon properties.  Cannon is marked in orange, although I did not mark one of Lindsey's with orange in Madison Township.  However, his name is
marked.  Matthew's land is the orange square by itself.  

     The 1810 tax assessment above lists John Cannon's property which is a piece that is in section 26 (the upper portion of the large orange rectangle).  Matthew sold the other half of Cannon in section 26 to his brother Lindsey in 1809.  Each of those pieces of property is 156 acres.


      Matthew is listed on the 1810 tax list for Columbiana County, Ohio.  There was not a 1810 Census for Ohio.  

Land Patent, Matthew Cannon
January 10, 1812

     On January 10, 1812, Matthew Cannon had paid in full for his land in section 29, Elkrun Township, Columbiana County, Ohio.  Matthew was able to purchase land through the Harrison Land Act at a minimum of $2.00 an acre.  The necessary acreage was 320 acres.  Matthew purchased that amount; however, sold one piece to his brother Lindsey in 1809.  

     On the October 10, 1816 state election both Matthew and his brother John were registered in Elkrun Township to cast a vote for Ohio State officers. 

     There are tax assessments for Matthew Cannon from 1816-1838 listing his property in Elkrun Township, Section 29 available on the Family Search website.  I do want to note that there are several tax records of Matthew's that are listed as Unity Township.  That is incorrect, those records are definitely from Elkrun Township as John Cannon is also there.  Plus Matthew's property is listed as 2-11-29--Columbiana County is 2, Elkrun Township is 11, Section is 29 on what is identified as Unity Township.

     Matthew Cannons 1816 Tax Assessment.  Range 2-Columbiana County, Township 11-Elkrun, Section 29.  160.53 acres in the southeast portion of section 29.   Matthew was the original owner of this property.

     I have been scrolling through the actual Columbiana County marriage record and have seen there are plenty of missing dates.  Certainly in the entire county, folks were getting married almost daily.  I began to see Fife weddings beginning with Lindsey and Elizabeth in 1809.  I think an educated guess is that Matthew Cannon and Jane Fife married between 1809-1815.  

     They definitely were married by June 27, 1816 when Jane Fife Cannon's father, John Fife wrote his will.  John Fife's will was the first legal document I found that pointed me in the direction of Matthew Cannon, a married man.  

St Clair Township, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania
Land of William Fife, Sr and his brother, John Fife

     I will admit that I have not done due diligence on my Fife ancestry. John Fife married his cousin Elizabeth Fife in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. The family removed to Columbiana County, Ohio from St. Clair Township, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania in the early 1800's. John was the son of William Fife, Sr. and Elizabeth was the daughter of John Fife. To be fair, untangling the large Fife family is just a bit daunting.

     John Fife of Madison Township, Columbiana County, Ohio wrote his Last Will and Testament on June 27, 1816.  He mentions all of his children.  The sons receive portions of his real estate, daughters receive an amount of money.  Of interest, he referrers to daughter, Jane as Jenny and Nancy as Agnes.

     Here is the documentation I needed to show that Matthew Cannon was married to one of John Fife's daughters.  "....likewise constitute and ordain my son William Fife and my son in law Matthew Cannon to be the whole and sole executors of this my last will and testament...."

     On page 132 of Horace Mack's book, History of Columbiana County, Ohio, Matthew Cannon is listed in 1820, as a supervisor for the construction of roads in Elkrun Township.  

From the book, Marriages of Columbiana County, Ohio

     On page the same page in Horace Mack's book, both Matthew and his brother John Cannon are listed as Justice of the Peace in Elkrun Township.  Lindsey Cannon was also a JP.

     Again, on page 132 of Horace Mack's Book, History of Columbiana County, Ohio is a list of householders residing in Elkrun Township in 1828.  In District 8, Matthew Cannon and Joseph Fife, son of John Fife deceased, are enumerated.  Matthew is living on his land in Section 29.  Joseph is living on land in Section 33 that was given to him by his father before his father died.  

     I will mention here that the Nancy Cannon listed in District 7 is a mystery.  She is listed as Agnes and purchases land in the same sections as John Cannon.  Her name would be Nancy Agnes Cannon.  Who is she?

     My maternal great great grandmother, Nancy Agnes Cannon Orr McCormick was the namesake of two family members.  The Nancy Agnes Cannon purchasing land with her uncle, John A. Cannon and Nancy's aunt, Nancy Agnes Fife.

     The tax assessment in 1826 was two pages.  The first page was a listing of land property.  This page is a count of farm animals.  Matthew has 2 horses worth $80.00 and 2 cattle worth $16.00.  Taxes paid were:  State $16.60, Canal $6.80, School $6.80, Road $9.60, County $26.60, Township $3.60.  In total, Matthew paid $81.69 in taxes on his land and $61.20 on his livestock.  Total taxes for 1829 were $142.89.

     Tax Assessment for Matthew Cannon in 1829.  Columbiana County, Elkrun Township, Section 29.  One hundred sixty acres worth $228.00.  State Canal-$86.40, County School-$108.00, Road-$28.80, Township-$21.60 and Poor-$7.20.  Total taxes paid $252.00

     Matthew Cannon, age forty-nine, died on February 18, 1831, probably on his farm in Elkrun Township, Columbiana County, Ohio. He is buried in Jordanville Cemetery, Lisbon, Centre Township, Columbiana County, Ohio.  If you check the Find A Grave website, you will note that Matthew is listed as a single man.  The inaccuracy from the Horace Mack book has been copied.

     The cemetery Matthew is buried in has not been maintained over the decades.  His grave marker was actually unearthed in 1986.  It begs the question, is his wife, Jane Fife Cannon, also buried there and her grave marker buried or destroyed?

     Unfortunately Matthew's Last Will and Testament is not in the Estate Probate documents.  However, his widow, Jane Cannon, is mentioned and named.  His brother, Lindsey Cannon, was named as one of the executors.  Widow Cannon was also a purchaser during the sale of her husband's chattel.  She was able to continue living in the farm in section 29.  

Jane Cannon, Widow

Widow Cannon

     This is a fun page from the sale of chattel.  My maternal 3x great grandfather, Lindsey Cannon, bought his brothers calf for $2.00, my other maternal 3x great grandfather, Joseph Orr, bought a steer for $4.25, my maternal 3x great granduncle, John Cannon purchased his deceased brother's sled for 25 cents.  Joseph and Thomas Cannon were also purchasers.  

     The Widow Cannon had to "purchase" property from her husbands estate.  Some items were, a cow, geese, crocks, jug, 2 tub and set of chairs.  She also bought a grey cott ?  Three others were sold, an oscar cott, and two past? boy cotts.  I have no idea what these are and I cannot find them in the inventory of chattel. 

     Taxes continued to be paid on the Cannon property in section 29.  There are records from 1831-1838.  The 1832 taxes on chattel lists Jane Cannon.  The remainder of tax assessments list Matthew Cannon deceased.

     This is a section of the 1840 Elkrun Township map.  Matthew Cannon, deceased, in red, is marked J.(Jane) Cannon.  In green is my maternal 3 great grandfather's property, Joseph Orr.  The white lines are two of Jane Fife Cannon's brothers, Samuel Fife and either John, James or Joseph Fife.

1840 Ohio Federal Census
New Lisbon, Centre Township, Columbiana County

    Jane Cannon is enumerated in Centre Township in New Lisbon. The area is north west of Elkrun. It is my belief that Jane let out her property to her niece, Nancy Agnes Cannon Orr, who was married to William Morland Orr. Jane probably lived on the farm, too. She may have been in Lisbon for the enumeration either visiting or perhaps she had a house there, too. She is enumerated alone, age between 50-59. She was living in the same area as her married sister Nancy Agnes Fife Springer.  

     I might mention here again, as I first did in the William and Nancy Cannon Orr blog, that it was possible that Nancy was living with her Aunt Jane Cannon after her Uncle Matthew Cannon, died.  Nancy's family was living in another township.  William's father, Joseph Orr, owned property near Jane Cannon, as shown on the 1840 map above.  This is probably how William and Nancy met.

1850 Ohio Federal Census
Elkrun Township, Columbiana County
August 29, 1850

     It was the 1850 census that sent me on the trail of Jane Cannon. I knew she was not one of the Cannon children born to Lindsey, John A. Thomas or Matthew Cannon. The information regarding Matthew Cannon being a single man the Horace Mack book, threw a monkey wrench into my thinking.  This Jane Cannon was born in Pennsylvania and was fifty-nine years old and owned the property worth $2500.00.  Newly widowed Nancy Agnes Cannon Orr is listed as living with Jane Cannon along with four of her five children.  There is a man, Elijah McCormick who also lives on the property and is farming the land for Jane.  Why are these people enumerated together?

     It took days of research and a will and two probate records to figure out the mystery.  Now I know that Jane Cannon, was Jane Fife Cannon, wife of Matthew Cannon, who was not single.  Nancy Agnes Cannon Orr was her niece.  And Nancy's fifth child, a daughter, Mary A. Orr, was enumerated with her aunt, Nancy Agnes Fife Springer in Centre Township.

     To date, this is the last record I was able to locate for Jane Fife Cannon.  She probably died in Columbiana County after 1850.  She was probably buried beside her husband in Jordanville Cemetery.  Sometime between 1850-1860, her brother-in-law, Lindsey Cannon bought her land in Section 29, Elkrun Township.  Matthew and Jane Fife Cannon did not have any children.

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