Martin and Rachel Reese Fisher
Alternate Spellings - Fisher, Fischer, Fysher (Mercer County spellings are all as Fisher)
Links - Adams, Bear, Boyd, Kinnaman, Leech, Drury, Ferguson, Jackson, Beverlin, Kerch, German Families, Smith, Rees Family Web Site
Contacts - We owe a debt of gratitude to Dennis Ronfeldt (deceased) for generously sharing his information on the Fisher and Adams families of Mercer County. Be aware that we have no proof for the information he furnished, but it may provide helpful hints for further research. The parentage of Martin Fisher definitely needs to be proven! We are also indebted to Melissa Burkhalter, namesake of Melissa Adams, and also a Fisher descendant, through Martin's daughter, Sarah Jane Fisher. Ellen Copper who has the Rees Family Web Site has been most helpful with the Fisher/Reese connection. She is collecting Rees family information for a future book so if you can contribute family information, or want to be on her book announcement list, be sure to stop by her web site. Troy Goss has Fishers from Washington County, Pa that settled in Iowa across the river from Mercer County. They include John (~1782), George (~1784), and David (~1795).
Our main focus for the page will be the Martin Fisher family since they came very early to Eliza Township. As time permits we will put up information on other Fisher families in Mercer County to aid researchers.
The origins of both the Fisher and Reese families are in Pennsylvania. Both names are Quaker names, and though we have not found a Quaker connection for Martin and Rachel, we are relatively certain that they had Quaker ancestry. There were 570 heads of household with the name Fisher in 1790 and 189 were in Pennsylvania. There were 80 heads of families with some variation of the name Reese (13 different spellings). Neither family will be easy to research. The Rees Family Web Site (link above) will be especially helpful. We have checked Fisher wills in Chester County Pennsylvania but found no reference to Martin Fisher. We did find one record in Chester County for Martin Fisher who was administrator, February 17, 1801, for one Martin Fisher, decedent, of Vincent in Chester County. We suspect this may have been a related branch of the family, but probably not our Martin Fisher as administrator.
Martin Fisher was born in 1780 in Chester County, Pennsylvania, son of John and Esther Tybout Fisher (information from Dennis Ronfeldt - to be proven). Rachel Reese was born Nov 19, 1785 in Pennsylvania, daughter of Thomas Reese. Rachel died July 31, 1847 and Martin died June 5, 1850, and both are buried in Eliza Creek Cemetery in Mercer County. Their birth and death dates are from the tombstone readings.
Thomas Reese (1763-1829) mentions a daughter Rachel Reese in his will in 1829. Melissa Burkhalter tells us that the Comemorative Biographical Record of Washington County, Pennsylvania says "the brothers and sisters of Thomas Reese are: Jesse, Solomon, William, James, Rachel (Mrs. Fisher), Nancy (Mrs. Egy), Sally (Mrs. McCormick), and Sena (Mrs. Scott)."
We do not know for sure where Martin and Rachel married but it was definitely in Pennsylvania, and probably about 1805 or 1806. Melissa tells us that Martin and family (wife and 2 males under 10) are found in the 1810 census in West Bethlehem, Washington County, Pennsylvania. Martin Fisher is next door to Thomas Reese (over age 45 and probably Rachel's father) and on the other side is an Abraham Fisher with a son under 10. George Fisher is not far away with one son under 10; he is probably the George Fisher who came to Mercer County with Martin. He is living near other Reese families (Jesse, John, Elijah, and Abraham). There are other Reese (John, John, Jr) and Fisher (John and Peter)families in Amwell District in Washington County but we do not know if they are related.
Martin and Rachel had the following children (that we have identified so far): John Fisher, born January 4, 1807 in Pennsylvania; William Fisher, born 1808 in Pennsylvania; Sarah Jane Fisher, born October 19, 1813, Washington County, Pennsylvania; Catherine Fisher, born December 24, 1816, Wayne County, Indiana; possibly Aaron Fisher born about 1817, Ohio; and Lucinda Fisher, born 1820-25, probably Indiana. John, William, Sarah, and Catherine's birthdates are from their tombstones; Sarah Jane’s birthplace given as Washington County, Pennsylvania appears correct as Martin and family are there in 1810. Aaron and Lucinda's birthdates are estimated from census records. Aaron born in Ohio is troubling as it indicates he is likely not son of Martin Fisher but could be some other relative.
Martin Fisher is found in Madison County, Indiana, in 1830: 1 male 40-50 (Martin), 1 male 20-30 (John or William?), 1 male 10-15 (possibly Aaron); 1 male under 5 (unidentified); 1 female 40-50 (Rachel), 1 female 15-20 (Sarah Jane? she should have been married), 1 female 10-15 (Catherine), 1 female 5-10 (Lucinda). He purchased several parcels of land in Madison and Hancock Counties between 1825 and 1838 according to Government Land Office records.
Martin Fisher purchased the following properties in Eliza Township: (T15NR5W): Lot 7 W2SE Sec 16 - March 6, 1835; Lot 6 E2SW Sec 16 -Sept 7, 1835; W2NW Sec 21 - July 22, 1836; SESW Sec 28 and W2SW Sec 26 - Aug 1, 1836; NENE Sec 28 and W2NW Sec 27 - Mar 28, 1838. He also purchased a plot in T17NR5W in Rock Island County on July 11, 1836 (this may have been a woodland plot).
John Fisher purchased the following properties in Eliza Township: E2NE Sec 14 and SWNW Sec 13 - Aug 13, 1836; NESE Sec 14 - Oct 29, 1836; E2SE Sec 23 T15NR5W - June 17, 1839. John also purchased the NWSE of Sec 23 T15NR5W on Nov 1, 1854. He used a military warrant to make this purchase indicating that either Martin or his father did military service in either the war of 1812 or the Revolutionary War.
There was a George Fisher who purchased the SWSW Sec 35 of T15NR5W (Eliza) on July 12, 1836 and the SENW Sec 13 of T15NR5W on Aug 19, 1836 (adjacent to John Fisher). We do not know how George is related to Martin Fisher, but he probably is, as they came to Mercer County at the same time. He is probably the George Fisher found in Washington County, Pa, near Martin in the 1810 census and the George Fisher found near Martin in Madison County, Indiana, in 1830. We have no further information on George, except that he voted in the 1835 election at the formation of Mercer County. An Elias Fisher also voted in that election - George had a son under 10 in 1810 so Elias could be his son.
The History of Mercer County 1882 tells us that John and William Fisher came to Mercer County in the fall of 1835. Evidently Martin preceded them, according to the land sale records. William settled on land in Section 18 (the Joseph Bush place) and then on the Ira Noble place, at the foot of the bluff. There are no public land purchases listed for him in Mercer County and he shortly moved to Rock Island County.
None of the above land stayed in the Fisher family as can be seen on the 1875 Eliza Township Plat Map.
The following are found in the 1840 census in Eliza Township: Martin Fisher, 1 male 50-60, 1 female 60-70 (marked in the wrong column); John Fisher (Martin’s son) 1 male 30-40, 1 male 15-20; 1 female 30-40, 1 female 5-10, 2 females under 5; John Fisher 1 male 20-30, 2 males under 5; 1 female 20-30; William Fisher (Martin's son) 1 male 20-30; 1 male 5-10, 1 male under 5; 1 female 20-30, 1 female under 5; Aaron Fisher (Martin's probable son) 1 male 20-30; 1 female 20-30, 1 female under 5. The young John Fisher above has not been identified, but may be a son of George or Elias Fisher. More on these individual families below.
Lucinda Fisher ClokeLucinda Fisher married John Cloke January 18, 1838 in Mercer County so is not listed in the above census records. There is no doubt Lucinda was Martin's daughter as she and John Cloke are found next door to Martin in the 1840 census: 1 male 20-30; 1 female 15-20, 1 female under 5. They are gone by 1850 and are not found elsewhere. The female under 5 in the 1840 census is probably Rachel Cloke, born about 1839 in Illinois and married William Beverlin in 1856. We feel that Rachel's parents may have died though we find no cemetery records in Mercer County. There is a Rachel Clark, age 11, censused with the Catherine Fisher Boyd Smith family in 1850 (more below) who is likely really Rachel Cloke.
John Fisher FamilyJohn Fisher is found in the 1850 census in Eliza Township, Household #658: John Fisher, 41, farmer, farm valued $800, born Pa; Rachel, 37, born Va; Lucinda, 16, born In; Mary A., 13, born Il; Salinda, 11, born Il; James H. [Harvey], 9, Il; Isaac P [Perry], 5, Il; Sarah J, 2, Il. With the family is father Martin Fisher, age 63, born Pennsylvania. A James Hoover, age 22, school teacher, is also with them. Lucinda is the daughter, age 5-10 in 1840 and Mary Ann and Salinda are the two daughters, age under 5. The male age 15-20 in the 1840 census is too old to be a son of John and may be some other relative or a hired hand.
John Fisher married Rachel Seybert November 24, 1839 in Wayne County, Indiana, so we know he must have had a first wife who died, and he evidently went back to Indiana for a wife (a not unusual occurence). Salinda is given as the daughter of John and Rachel Fisher in the History of Mercer County 1882, but that is not necessarily definitive since we don’t know the name of John’s first wife, nor are county histories always accurate. In 1860 we find John and Rachel still in Eliza Township: John Fisher, 53, farmer, born Pa; Rachel, 46, born Va; Salinda, 22, born Il; Harvey, 20, born Il; Isaac, 15, Il; Sarah, 12, Il; Cybert [Seybert], 10, Il. The naming of a child Seybert leaves no doubt in our mind that the John and Rachel Seybert marriage in Indiana is the correct one.
Daughters Lucinda and Mary Ann were married before the 1860 census was taken. Lucinda married David Kinnaman on January 29, 1852 and Mary Ann married Washington Maley on January 18, 1860 in Mercer County. Neither the Kinnaman’s or the Maley’s are found in the 1860 Mercer County census. David Kinneman died in 1854 and Lucinda married Henry Kerch on 1/21/1857 in Muscatine County, Iowa.
Daughter Salinda [Celinda] married Isom Jackson on May 29, 1864. More is given of their family on the Jackson page.
Son Harvey J. Fisher enlisted in Co K of the 102nd Illinois Infantry on August 10, 1862, mustered in on September 2, 1862, and was absent and wounded at the mustering out of the regiment June 6, 1865. The History of Mercer County 1882 tells us that he was wounded at Averysborough, North Carolina. He returned home safely and married Elizabeth Catherine Beverlin, daughter of Robert and Elizabeth Leech Beverlin, daughter of Robert and Elizabeth Beverlin, on September 26, 1867. The 1914 Past and Present of Mercer County History tells us he was receiving a $24 pension in 1884 in New Boston Township. More below.
John and Rachel Fisher are censused in Duncan Township in 1870 and had apparently moved. They are family #185 of 187 in Duncan Township: John Fisher, 62, farmer, born Pa; Rachel, 57, born Va; Perry, 25, assisting on farm, Il; Jane S., 21, Il; Seybert, 19, Il.
Son Harvey Fisher is found in Duncan Township, Household #155: Harvey Fisher, 29, farmer, Il; Kate, 24, Il; Ed, 1, Il.
Son Isaac Perry Fisher married Margaret E. Leech, daughter of Andrew and Matilda Leech, on March 2, 1876 in Mercer County, but is listed as divorced in the 1880 census and they apparently had no children.
John and Rachel Fisher are found in Duncan Township in 1880, Household #7: John Fisher, 67, farmer, born Pa, parents born Pa; Rachel, 73, Il, father born Pa, mother born Va; [Isaac] Perry, 35, son, farmer, born Il, divorced; [Sarah] Jane, 31, daughter; [Seybert] Martin, son, 28, works on farm.
Son Harvey Fisher is also found in Duncan Township in 1880: Harvy Fisher, farmer, 39, Il, father born Pa, mother born Va; Catherine, 37, Il, parents born Pa; Edward Fisher, 11, Il; Charlie Fisher, 7, Il; Blanche Fisher, 4, Il; Maggie Deal, 14, housekeeper, born Pa; John Denny, 25, works on farm, In.
Daughter Sarah Jane Fisher never married. She is buried in Eliza Creek Cemetery (1848-1919). We do not know if son Isaac Perry remarried. He too is buried in Eliza Creek Cemetery (1845-1922). We do not know if son Seybert Martin married. He is buried in Eliza Creek Cemetery (May 8, 1851-August 14, 1908).
John Fisher died in 1891 in Mercer County and Rachel Seybert Fisher died in 1890. They are both buried in Eliza Creek Cemetery: John Fisher (Jan 4, 1807-Aug 18, 1891); Rachel Fisher (Jan 12, 1812-Apr 16, 1890)
William Fisher FamilyWilliam Fisher, son of Martin and Rachel Reese Fisher, is not found in Mercer County in 1850. He probably moved to Rock Island County as his first child was born there in 1841. We have yet to check the census there.
William Fisher married Elizabeth Drury, daughter of John and Mary Drury. We have not located a marriage record for them in Ohio, Indiana, or Illinois. They had children: Thomas Fisher, born about 1837; James Fisher, born 8/9/1841, Rock Island Co, Il; Charlotte Fisher, born about 1845, Il; Drury Fisher, born about 1851, Il; Sarah Elizabeth Fisher, born 7/28/1852, died 12/28/1855, Mercer Co and buried Eliza Cemetery. The information on children is from Dennis Ronfeldt (except for Sarah Elizabeth) but some of the information is born out by census records. In 1850 they are in District 37, Rock Island County. The record is at the bottom of the page aand is truncated so some of the children are not listed: #1884 William Fisher, 38, farmer, farm valued $1000, born Indiana; Eliza, born Indiana; Thomas, 13, born Indiana. In 1870 they are in Buffalo Prairie Township: #145 William Fisher, 62, farmer, farm valued $5000, born Pa; Eliza, 54, born Pa; Thomas, 34, works on farm, born Il; Jane 30, at home, Il; James, 26, works on farm, Il; Charlotte, 24, Il; Sarah, 22, Il; Drury, 20, works on farm, Il; Bridget Edward (male) 21, works on farm, born Il. An odd record with so many older children at home and unmarried. In 1880 in Buffalo Prairie, Rock Island County, Il: Drury Fisher, farmer, 29, born Il, father born Pa, mother born Ms; Eliza Fisher, mother, 65, born Ms, father born Pa, mother born Oh; Charlotte Fisher, sister, 35, born Il, no occupation; William Morris, nephew, 13, born Il, father born Oh, mother born Il, works on farm. If nephew is correct for the relationship there must have been another female daughter of William and Elizabeth who married a Morris. The naming of a son Drury is the only evidence we have that Elizabeth was a Drury.
William and Elizabeth Drury Fisher are both buried in Eliza Cemetery: William Fisher (1/4/1808-10/26/1872) and Elizabeth Fisher (7/24/1814-2/20/1881).
Sarah Fisher Adams FamilySarah Jane Fisher married Jesse Luster Adams, son of Abraham and Catharine Swartzlander Adams, probably in Indiana, although we have not located a marriage record. Their first child was born 1829 in Indiana and they came to Mercer County in 1835. More on this family on the Adams Page. Melissa Burkhalter is descended from this family.
Catherine Fisher Boyd Smith Turner FamilyCatharine Fisher married Miles Boyd 1831 in Madison County, Indiana. They had children Martin Boyd and Lucinda Boyd. Martin Boyd married Lydia Bear 4/6/1856 in Mercer County. He was a supervisor and assessor for Eliza Township. Both are buried in Eliza Cemetery. Lucinda Boyd married Calvin Ferguson (More on the Ferguson page). Lucinda died in 1871 and her children were raised by Catherine Fisher Turner. Miles Boyd died in 1843 and Catharine married Edmund Smith on 9/3/1847 in Mercer County. They had one son Noah Smith, born about 1850 in Mercer County (see Smith page). Edmund Smith died before the 1860 census and Catharine married James Turner sometime after that. Catherine was buried in Eliza Creek Cemetery (12/24/1816-1/5/1902).
Aaron Fisher FamilyAaron Fisher was born about 1817 in Ohio according to census records and it is not proven that he was a son of Martin Fisher, other than they located in the same areas and the age is right. He married Martha H. Leech, daughter of Chichester and Margaret Humphries Leech, in Indiana. They no doubt married in Madison County although a record is not found in the Indiana Marriage Index, as Aaron purchased 80 acres of land in Madison County in October 1835 (E/2SE Sec 3 T17NR7E.) They evidently came to Mercer County a little later than the other Fishers; sometime between 1838 and 1839. (see more on their children in Susan Park's research attached to the Leech page. Also alternate information on the parents of Aaron.) Their daughter Elizabeth M. Fisher was born about 1838 in Indiana and married John Y. Winings on 1/27/1857 in Mercer County. They are not found in the 1860 census in Mercer, but there is a John Wynings, age 2, living with Aaron and Martha in the 1860 census, and their daughter is back home as Elizabeth Fisher so apparently the marriage failed or John had left the area (or both).
According to the 1850 census, Aaron and Martha had other children: Aaron R. Fisher, born about 1840; Eliza E. Fisher, about 1842; William C. Fisher, about 1844. They had a daughter Mary E. Fisher, born 3/18/1849 and died 9/10/1852 and buried in Eliza Cemetery.
The family is still in Eliza Township in the 1860 census: Aaron Fisher, 45, farmer, born Ohio; Martha Fisher, 45, born Virginia; Elizabeth Fisher, 23, born, In; Aaron B. Fisher, 20, Il; Eliza A. Fisher, 18, Il; William Fisher, 16, Il; Joseph Hagan, 21, laborer, born Ohio; John Wynings, 2, born Il. We feel Elizabeth had definitely left her husband as otherwise she would have been listed as Elizabeth Wynings with her son John. We do not find any John Wynings in the 1880 census so do not know if he survived.
The family is gone from Mercer County by 1870. They evidently went to Minnesota sometime around 1865. Son Aron R. Fisher is found in the 1880 census in Forest Prairie Township, Meeker County, Minnesota in the 1880 census: Aron R. Fisher, farmer, 40, born Il, father born Va, mother born Oh; Jemima Fisher, 36, born Oh, father born Oh, mother born Pa; Martha Fisher, 14, born Mn; Evangeline Fisher, 11, Mn; William Fisher, 8, Mn; Florisin(male) Fisher, 5, born Mn. Son William Fisher is also found in Meeker County in Manannah Township: William Fisher, 35, born Il, parents born Va; Mary Fisher, 33, born In, father born Va, mother born Oh; James Fisher, 9, born Mn; William Fisher, 3, born Mn; Francis Fisher (male), 6 mo, born Mn. Neither Aaron, Sr. nor wife Martha are found in the 1880 census.
Other Fisher Families in Mercer CountyTo Come
10/31/2007 Made some revisions to the Lucinda Fisher Cloke information.