While researching Wlliam Siverly, husband of Nancy Tapscott, a Wabash Valley Tapscott, I encountered his nephew John B. Siverly. And with John, came a mystery.
We know a lot about John B., though we have no documented proof that his middle name was “Benjamin,” as claimed by some. John B. Siverly was born 14 Oct 1860 in Anderson Twp, Clark County, to Jacob and Elizabeth (Fuller) Siverly. On 16 Jun 1889, John and Lucinda H. McKenzie were married. But the married rapidly disintegrated, lasting only long enough to produce a son, Robert Franklin Siverly, born 25 Mar 1890. Lucinda (“Cindy”), who never remarried and went back to the name “McKenzie,” died on 5 Dec 1919. Robert died just months later, on 17 Jun 1920 at age 30, leaving a wife and four children. But enough about Lucinda and Robert, who play, at best, minor roles in our mystery.
On 29 Oct 1895 in Clark County, John B., now presumably divorced from Lucinda, married Nancy Ellen Clouse. The couple had four sons—George Franklin, Clarence Douglas, Ernest, and Harold Leslie. Then on 9 Jul 1909, after less than fifteen years of marriage and three days after giving birth to Herman, Nancy died. The two older boys stayed with John; the two younger boys were farmed out to Siverly relatives.
And who was the now expired Nancy Ellen (Clouse) Siverly? Though she appears to have been born in Mar 1880, she is not found in the 1880 census, which has an official date of 1 Jun. But her birth date may be a little off or she may have been omitted because she was just weeks old, perhaps with a questionable survivability. Unfortunately, for all practical purposes, there are no 1890 census records. Thus, we first see Nancy in a census in 1900, only after she had married John Siverly.
At first it seems likely that Nancy was a daughter of Moses and Pina Ann (Plunkett) Clouse. Pina’s obituary states that she had nine children, five girls and four boys. But we find only eight children named in censuses, and only four girls. A daughter is missing. And the number of living children claimed by Pina decreased by one between the 1900 and 1910 census, before and after the death of Nancy Ellen Siverly. Thus, everything fits together.
Or does it? When Nancy’s son Clarence applied for a marriage license in 1926, he gave the “Full Christian and maiden name” of his mother as “Nancy Easterday.” And when son Ernest married, also in 1926, he gave his mother’s name as “Nancy Easterday.” And when Harold died in 2000, his obituary stated that he was born in Clark County to “John L. and Nancy Easterday Siverly.” Could Nancy have actually been an Easterday with “Clouse” her name from a previous marriage? The answer is almost certainly no. Her death record show that "Clouse" was her maiden name. Moreover, born in 1880, Nancy was only fifteen years old when she married John. There was insufficient time for an earlier marriage.
So, who was Nancy Ellen Easterday Clouse?