Monday, February 7, 2011

Pioneers I - the Hollingsworths

One of my favorite discoveries is that one of my ancestors - Elizabeth Curtis, my fifth great grandmother, was the first white woman in Madison County, Indiana.

My paternal grandmother is Kathleen Frances Forkner, daughter of Harriet Letitia Clifford and Samuel Ray Forkner. Harriet was Born on 7 Dec 1898 in Anderson Indiana, and married on 21 Aug 1918 in Anderson Indiana. She was the daughter of Hadley Watson Clifford and Daisy Leota Hollingsworth.

Daisy Leota Hollingsworth was Born on 30 Nov 1873 and died on 2 Oct 1940 in Anderson IN. She was the Daughter of George Washington Hollingsworth and Mary Ellen Farmer.

George Washington Hollingsworth was Born on 3 Apr 1843 in Anderson IN, married on 20 Aug 1858 and Died on 25 Dec 1891 in Madison Co IN (my great Uncle Dick says 25 Jan 1890 in his research). George Washington Resided in Anderson IN and was the Son of James Hollingsworth and Mary Elizabeth Shinkle.

James Hollingsworth was Born on 14 Sept 1815 in Springfield Clark Co Ohio and Married on 19 March 1836 in Fall Creek Madison Co IN. He Died on 24 July 1902 in Lafayette Twp Tippacanoe Co IN. He was the Son of Elias Hollingsworth and Elizabeth Curtis.

Elias Hollingsworth was Born on 7 July 1794 in Fish Dam Twp Old 96th Dist Union Co SC, Married in 1814 in Clark Co Ohio and Died 21 Jan 1846 in Osage Co MO. He was the son of Benjamin Hollingsworth and Phoebe or Phebe Posey.

Elizabeth Curtis was Born on 19 Nov 1795 in Harrison Co VA and Died on 13 Apr 1849 Lafayette Tippecanoe Co IN / Richland Twp Madison Co IN. She was Buried in April of 1849 in Nelson Cemetery, Madison County, Indiana. The website sited below puts her death in 1853 and says she is buried in an unmarked grave somewhere in Richland Township.

Elias and Elizabeth had 11 children: James, Phoebe (who died at the age of 15), Benjamin, Elias Pierce, Elizabeth, William Flacher, Mary (who died in her early 20s), Leonard, Frances Minerva, Susannah and Absalom. They came to Madison County around 1819. Unlike the other settlers wives, Elizabeth went with Elias on his first trip to the area, making her the first white woman in Madison County, Indiana. Their son James who was around 4 or 5 years old at the time, also made the trip. Furthermore, the family also had the first white child born in the township - Elias Pierce in November of 1820.

In 1836, James moved with his mother Elizabeth from Fall Creek Township to what would become Lafayette Township. James built a factory and organized the settlers so they could form their own township. Elizabeth also made a difference -- she organized the first Sabbath school and worked as a midwife. James served the area as a township trustee and justice of the peace and in 1837, he and Elizabeth Shinkle were the first couple to marry within the new township's boundaries.

So my family helped settle two townships, and held the distinctions of being the first white woman in the county, the first white child born in the county and the first couple married within a new township. Not too shabby.

For more information, visit --


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