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Bates Families

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Alternate Spellings - None Found

Links - Noble, Riggs, Schamerhorn, Morris

Contacts - Allyne Pittle contacted us with some information on the Bates family (see Joseph T. Bates below). She is researching the Farrington family which is allied with the Bates family.

There were several Bates families in Mercer County at various times and two Bates young men signed up from Eliza Township in the Civil War. All the Bates families found in the census records indicate the heads of household were born in Tennessee, although they came at different times to the County. The ages of the heads of household indicate some may be brothers. They included:
John Bates, born about 1800, Tennessee
Samuel Bates born about 1807, Tennessee
Isaac Bates born about 1810, Tennessee
This group appears pretty clearly to be brothers

Andrew Bates born about 1809, Tennessee
Joseph Bates born about 1811, Tennessee
These two may be of a different but perhaps related Bates family.

There is a large Bates family file on showing these men as children of Gilbert and Rachel Covey Bates who married January 17, 1797 in Montgomery, Virginia, and giving their ancestry back several generations. You do not need to be a member of to access the file or contact the submitter. Just bear in mind that most things on need to be verified in primary records.

Bates Brothers and Noble Sisters

John Bates married Elizabeth Noble on 4/18/1822 in Fayette County, Indiana. Isaac Bates married Elizabeth's sister, Nancy Noble, on 3/8/1832 in Fayette County, Indiana. Both were daughters of Lewis Noble who also came early to Mercer County.

John Bates was probably the earliest settler of the families in Mercer County. The History of Mercer County, Illinois, 1882 tells us, "About the month of August, 1833, John Bates settled on the NW 1/4 of Section 33 (Keithsburg Township) and made a small farm which was occupied some three years afterward by Isom Lakey... ."

John probably moved sometime after that to New Boston Township as he served on the first session of the court at New Boston as a juror in 1835. In the 1840 Census in Township 14N Range 5W we find Samuel Bates and John Bates. We know that another possible brother, Isaac Bates, was also there about that time, as in 1839 he was paid $2.00, along with John Noble, for two days' chaining on the New Boston and Knoxville state road. Isaac had probably returned to Indiana by the time the 1840 census was taken.

Isaac and Nancy Noble Bates

Isaac and Nancy Noble Bates had a family in Indiana. Descendants give the parents of Isaac as Gilbert and Rachel Covey Bates, agreeing with the information on (or perhaps that was their source?).

Nancy Noble Bates evidently died sometime before 1849 as Isaac Bates married a widow, Mary Gennings on 29 December 1849, in Howard County, Indiana. They are found in Monroe, Howard County, Indiana in 1850: #58 Isaac Bates, 40, sawyer, born Tn; Mary, 40, born NC; Cyntha, 17, In; Elizabeth, 15, In; Lewis, 13, In; James, 10, In; Pheba, 8, In; Sarah, 4, In; Adeline Genning, 14, In; Louisa Genning, 9, In. We feel the naming of the two children, Elizabeth and Lewis, after Nancy's parents, coupled with Isaac's age and birthplace, indicate this is the correct Isaac Bates.

John and Elizabeth Noble Bates

John and Elizabeth Noble Bates are found in the 1840 Census in Township 14N Range 5W (future New Boston Township): 1 male 40-50, 1 15-20, 2 10-15, 1 5-10, 1 under 5; 1 female 30-40, 1 15-20, 2 5-10. They are found in the 1850 Census in Township 14N Range 5W on September 24, 1850: John Bates, 50, farmer, born Tennessee; Elizabeth, 46, born Tennessee; Lewis Noble Bates, 23, farmer, born Indiana; John Nelson Bates, 19, farmer, born Indiana; Elizabeth Bates, 17, In; Nancy J. Bates, 15, In; Joseph A. Bates, 12, Il. There is a Sarah E. Noble, age 2, born Il with them, obviously a relative of Elizabeth, but we have not been able to identify her.

John and Elizabeth Noble Bates are found in the 1860 Census in New Boston Township: John Bates, 60, farmer, born Va (probably a transcription error, or whoever gave the information knew of John's Virginia connections); Elizabeth, 56, Tn; Elizabeth, 26, In; Nancy J., 24, In; Joseph A., 22, Il; Martha C., 10, Il. Lewis Noble and John Nelson Bates are not found in Mercer County in 1860. According to information at, John Nelson Bates married about 1856 in Taylor County, Iowa. None of the John Bates family is found in the 1870 Census in Mercer County, and probably followed John Nelson to Taylor County and then went on to Pottawatamie County, Iowa, where son Joseph married Margaret Huff 9 August 1866. John purportedly died in Pottawattomie County in 1881.

If one compares the 1850 list of children with the 1840 list for John and Elizabeth, one finds an older male, and an older female missing. We believe these to be Ambrose C. Bates and Lucinda Bates.

Ambrose and Hannah Cross Bates

Ambrose married Mrs. Hannah Cross, on 2/14/1850, in a double ceremony with cousin Malinda (see below). Ambrose is not found in Mercer County in 1860. The name Ambrose has some significance for the Bates family, as according to submittals, John's sister, Elizabeth Bates Golding named a child Ambrose C. also.

Lucinda Bates Mathews

Lucinda married Pleasant B. Mathews on 3/21/1847. Pleasant and Lucinda are living next door to Samuel Bates and family in the 1850 Census: Pleasant Mathews, age 32, farmer, born Tennessee; Lucy Ann, age 25, born Indiana; John Lewis, 2, born Il. Despite their living next door to Samuel we do not believe Lucinda to be his daughter because of her age. Also note son John Lewis, no doubt named for grandfather Lewis Noble.

Pleasant and Lucinda Bates Mathews are found in the 1860 census in Millersburg Township: P. B. Bates, age 40, farmer, born Tennessee; Lucinda, age 35, born Indiana; John, 12; Joseph, 11; Orin 9; Elfe, 2; Walter 6/12, all born Illinois.

Samuel and Peggy Knott Bates

Samuel Bates married Peggy Knott on 8/21/1828 in Fayette County, Indiana. They are found in the 1840 Census in Township 14N Range 5W (future New Boston Township): 1 male 30-40, 2 under 5; 1 female 20-30, 1 10-15, 1 5-10. They are found in the 1850 Census in Township 14N Range 5W: Samuel Bates, 43, farmer, born Tennessee; Margaret, age 31, born Ohio; Catharine, 17, In; Joseph, 15, In; William, 13, Il; Serilla, 3, Il; Amos 5/12, Il. Margaret's age is clearly given as "31," however we have found it not unusual for women to shave five or more years off their age in the census records when compared to cemetery records. Since "Peggy" is a nickname for "Margaret" we feel it is probably the same wife, despite the ten year gap in the children's ages. We do not find another marriage for Samuel in Indiana or Illinois but have not checked early Iowa records.

Malinda Bates Melton

Comparing the 1850 children list to 1840 we find one older female missing. We believe this is probably Malinda who married James E. Melton on 2/14/1850 with cousin Ambrose (above). We do not find them in the 1850 or 1860 census in Illinois or Iowa (or anywhere else for that matter).

There were a couple of Melton families in Mercer County in 1850: #59 in Eliza Township: Richard Melton, age 23(?), farmer, born England; Susan Melton, 34, born England; Daniel Wing, 27, born Maine; Joseph Wing, 15, born Maine; Amanda Melton, 5, born Il; Platt Mott, 48, laborer, born NY. Not found in 1860; however the History of Mercer County, 1882 tells us that Loammi Brown married November 12, 1865 to Amanda J. Melton, a native of Rock Island County, and daughter of R. G. and Susan Melton, of Mercer County. We are at a loss as to why the two Wing young men were with them unless they were related to Susan (possibly even sons?) The other item in 1850 was in 13N1W: #261 John Melton, 30, farmer, born In; Mary, 27, born In. The surname is very hard to read and may be a mistranscription in the index.

Catharine Bates Riggs

Daughter Catharine Bates married William Riggs, son of Harrison W. Riggs, on 1/6/1853 in Muscatine County, Iowa (We will be putting up a Riggs page). William and Catharine are found in the 1860 census in New Boston Township: William Riggs, 28, farmer, born Kentucky; Catharine, 26, In; Sylvia J., 6, Il; Thomas H., 4, Il; Lewis E., 3, Il; Ida A. (Adda?), 3/12, Il. Catharine's brother Joseph Bates, laborer, is living with them. None of the Samuel Bates family is found in Mercer County in the 1870 census. They probably followed John and family to Iowa.

Other Bates Families

Andrew and Mary Goulding Bates

Andrew Bates is found in Keithsburg Township in 1860 with children's birthplaces indicating they came recently to Mercer County. Andrew married Mary Goulding 1/23/1840 in Shelby County, Indiana. They are found in Shelby County in the 1840 Census.

1860 Census: Andrew Bates, 51, farmer, born Tennessee; Polly (nickname for Mary), 38, Ohio; (Andrew) Jackson, 18, In; William, 17, Il (transcription error or did they come briefly to Illinois and returned to Indiana?); Eliza J., 13, In; George, 11, In; Mathew, 7, In; Rebecca, 5, In; Nancy, 1, Il. Most of the family is no longer in Mercer County in 1870.

Andrew and Eleanor Matilda Morris

Son Andrew J. Bates married Eleanor M. (Matilda) Morris on 1/1/1863 in Mercer County (we will be putting up a Morris page). They are found in Abington Township in 1870: Andrew J. Bates, 28, farmer, In; Matilda, 25, Pa; Rose E., 6, Iowa; Eva, 2, Il.

Eliza Jane Bates Morris

Daughter Eliza Jane Bates married Burton L. Morris (brother of Eleanor Matilda?) on 10/26/1852 in Mercer County. They are found in New Boston Township in 1870: Burton L. Morris, 35, farm laborer, born Pa; Eliza Jane, 22, In; Sarah Bates, 11, Il. (Sarah is probably the same as Nancy, age 1 in 1860, and sister to Eliza Jane.)

George and Minerva A. Greer Bates

Son George Bates married Minerva A. Greer on 3/23/1871 in Mercer County. They lived out their lives in Mercer County and are buried in the Aledo Cemetery (George H. Bates 1849-1892; Minerva A. Bates 1852-1915.)

Joseph and Rebecca Ann Goulding Bates

Joseph T. Bates married Rebecca Ann Goulding (sister of Mary?) on 1/30/1834 in Shelby County, Indiana. They are found in New Boston Township in 1860: Joseph T. Bates, 49, farmer, born Tennessee; Rebecca A., 45, In; John T., 17, In; Thomas, 15, In; Andrew C., 13, In.

Rebecca Bates Banes

A probable daughter Rebecca married William K. Banes on 1/19/1860 in Mercer County. They are found in New Boston Township in the 1860 Census: William K. Bains, 23, laborer, born Indiana; Rebeca, 19, born Indiana. They are not found in the 1870 Census in Mercer County.

More on Joseph T. Bates

Allyne Pittle furnished the following cemetery inscription from the Jerome Cemetery, Union Township, Howard County, Indiana, which appears to be this Joseph T. Bates: BATES, Joseph T, died May 29, 1866, aged 54 ys 9 ms 15 ds (Cemetery Inscriptions of Eastern Howard County, Indiana, compilers Mr. and Mrs. James L. Gorman). It appears that Joseph returned to Indiana. Allyn tells us that her ancestor John A. Farrington, born about 1809 was administrator for the estate of Daniel Bates of Howard County, Indiana, who was a brother of the Mercer County Bates brothers.

John T. Bates and Joseph W. Bates - Civil War

Two Bates men enlisted in Company G, 124th Illinois Infantry from Eliza Township on August 9, 1862 and were mustered in on September 10, 1862. One Was John T. Bates, son of Joseph T. Bates, and the other was Joseph W. Bates. Joseph could have been either the son of Samuel or the son of John and Elizabeth Noble Bates. Joseph W. Bates was absent sick at the mustering out of the company on August 15, 1865. He is not found in Mercer County in the 1870 census but if he was son of John, apparently married in 1866 in Pottawatamie County, Iowa. John T. Bates was killed at Champion Hills on May 16, 1863, and is memorialized on the Soldiers Monument in Aledo.