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Welch Families of Mercer County, Illinois

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Surnames Page
Return to Harvey and Rachel Woodward Welch Page on Woodward Site

Alternate spellings: Welch, Welsh, Welsch, Walsh

Links: Woodward Web Site (for family of Harvey Welch) , Beard, Carr, Endicott, Eikenbary, Essley, Jones, Fuller, Hampton, Jackson, Lingafelter, Pratt, Retherford, Kellogg (Misc. Families) Shoemaker, Lingafelter, Welch (John W) Family Papers, Welch Web Site with origins of the name (nothing on our genealogy)

Contacts: On the James Welch, son of Harvey Welch, family: Ruth & Duane Smith and Betty Welch. On the Charles L. & Leota Kellogg Welch family: Bill Wright. On the John C. & Elosia Hampton Welch family: Ken Schlobohm. Ken has much information on the families of both James & Catharine Welch and John and Ellen Ring Welch. Stan Garmer has helped us find quite a bit more information on some of the Welch families below. On Harvey and Rachel Woodward Welch family email Web Master Nadine (on the About Us page. If you email contacts about Welch connections you must be very specific with names, dates, and relatives. I think you will see that just asking if we have anything on John Welch won't work!

Welch Families in Mercer County

There were at least three groups of Welch families in Mercer County: Irishmen James and John (Johnathan?) Welch, and Harvey and Rachel Woodward Welch of North Carolina and Indiana. The Harvey and Rachel Woodward Welch family are ancestors of Site Owner Jill Martin and Webmaster Nadine Holder, and has been extensively researched by them with the help of descendants Ruth & Duane Smith and Betty and Gary Welch. Betty Welch has assisted us in many ways in Mercer County research as she lives nearby (see AboutUs). In September 2000 we received much help on the other Welch families from Ken Schlobohm and received an obituary of Ellen Ring Welch from William Welch. We have relaxed our policy of only including New Boston and Eliza Township families, as these are large and complex family with many intermarriages with other Mercer County families. We plan to also check Rock Island County Census records to try to complete the family groups. There was also a John and Bridgett Welch of Henderson County whose family intertwined with Mercer County families and we thank Stan Garmer for helping us locate them.

James & Catharine Welch; John & Ellen Welch Families

One group consisted of young Irish men and women who came from Ireland to America between about 1850 and 1860 and found their way to Mercer County. This group included James & Catharine Corkran Welch, both born Ireland, and John D. Welch, born Ireland. John D. soon married Ellen Newman (6/22/1862), living with William and Ellen Newman of Ireland, neighbors of James & Catharine, so apparently James & John D. Welch were brothers. In revisiting this marriage record and this family, we have determined that this Ellen "Newman" was probably actually Ellen Ring, whose mother died in New York when Ellen was an infant and who went to Muscatine County, Iowa, and later to Mercer County with an aunt and uncle who apparently were the William and Ellen Newman found in Mercer County in 1860. (See the Jonathan and Ellen Ring Welch family information below for more.)

James and Catherine Welch Family

James and Catherine Welch are found in Millersburg Township in the 1860 census: James Welch, 35, laborer, born Ireland; Catharine, 35, born Ireland; Hannah, age 11, born New Jersey, William, age 1, born Illinois. A descendant, John Hayes Welch, participated in a gathering of Mercer County family data in 1976. The sheets he turned in tell us much more of this family. His grandparents, James Welch and Catharine Corkran were married in County Cork, Ireland, in 1843. Catharine was daughter of William and Mary Sweeney Corkran and she was born 2/15/1823 in County Cork. Their first child was a daughter Mary who died of whooping cough on the voyage to America. They lived in the east for a short while which accounts for the New Jersey birthplace of Hannah, their first child born in America. Hannah Welch supposedly married William O'Hearn but we find no record in Illinois or in Muscatine, Iowa, however we did find their census record (more below). The next child was Bridget who died 10/10/1854 at the age of 8, and is buried in New Boston Cemetery. Then came Willie and Johnny who died when quite small. Next was the William, shown as age 1 in the 1860 census (more below). After William came Edward (more below). Then came twins Jimmy and Johnny. From an obituary of John J. Welch (more below) we learn the birth date was 12/29/1863. Jimmy died 3/2/1864 and is buried in New Boston Cemetery with his parents and Bridget. The last child was Katharine who married William Leahigh on 2/27/1889.

Hannah Welch Ohearn

We did not find the marriage of Hannah and William Ohearn but it may be a spelling problem. They are found in the 1880 census in Abington Township, Mercer County:#143 Will Oharun, 44, farmer, born Ireland, parents born Ireland; Hanna, 31, born Ireland, parents born Ireland; Kate, 9, at school, born Il; Mary, 6, at school, Il; Dora, 5, Il; Bridget, 2, Il; John 11/12 (July), Il. Hannah is given as born New Jersey in an early census with her parents and her children give her as born New Jersey in the 1900 census. In 1900 three of their children are living with Edward Welsh, widower, who was Hannah's brother. See census below for Edward and Ellen Mullahy Welch. An additional son, James Ohearn is included there.

William and Mary Welch Welch

William Welch, son of James and Catherine, married Mary Welch, daughter of John and Bridgett Kane Welch of Henderson County, on 2/5/1880 in Mercer County. (More on the parents below). Mary was born about 1855 and died 5/31/1895 and is buried in St. Mary's Cemetery in Keithsburg. From other obituaries we learn that William and Mary Welch had two daughters [Anna and Ellen] married to Richard [David] and Wilbur Lingafelter, a son James T. Welch, a son John W. Welch, and a daughter Mary Welch who married Emery Hilligoss. Daughter Mary was very young when her mother died and went to live with her grandmother: Bridgett Kane Welch Mullahy.

Son James T. Welch married Ella Beard, daughter of Cyrus and Viola Spitznogle Beard. Son John W. Welch married Ella's sister Elva. We have not carried these families further because of proximity to living relatives but we do have information to share, furnished by Ken Schlobohm. We will also eventually be adding a Lingafelter page.

Edward and Ellen Mullahy Welch

Edward Welch, son of James and Catherine, was born 1861 and died 1941 in Mercer County. He is buried in St. Mary's Cemetery at Keithsburg. He married Ellen Mullahy, daughter of Patrick & Bridget Mullahy on 2/11/1897 in Mercer County. Bridget Mullahy was widow of John Welch and they were parents of William Welch's wife Mary above; thus Mary Welch above and Ellen Mullahy were half sisters. Ellen was born 1865 and died 2/24/1898 and is buried in St. Mary's next to her parents. They had children John M. Welch and another son who died. Son John M. Welch was born 1/31/1898 and died 2/24/1971 in Keithsburg. He married Eliza Beard 5/9/1916. She was daughter of Cyrus and Viola Spitznogle Beard. We have not carried this family further.

Edward Welch is found as a widower in Abingdon Township in Mercer County in 1900: #17 Edward Welsh, born Feb 1861, born Il, parents born Ireland, farmer; John M., son, Jan 1898, 2, born Il, parents Il; Bridgett Ohearn, servant, June 1879, 21, housekeeper, born Il, father Il, mother New Jersey; James Ohearn, nephew, Jan 1888, 12, Il, Il, Il, school; John Ohearn, boarder, June 1880, Il, Ire, New Jersey. The three Ohearns were evidently children of Hannah Welch and William OHearn above.

A note of caution to researchers: Ecward Welsh is living next door to John Dacy in 1900 and John Dacy had married a Mary Mullahy, also daughter of a Patrick Mullahy, but a different one than the parent of Ellen. The two Patrick Mullahys are found two doors from each other in the 1880 census in Oquawka, Henderson County: #97 Patric Mullahy with wife Bridget and daughter Ellen, and #99 Patric Mullahy, with wife Mary and daughter Mary.

John and Margaret Powers Welch

John J. Welch, son of James and Catherine, married Margaret Powers 4/12/1893 in Keithsburg. She was daughter of John and Johanna Flynn Powers. Son John Hayes Welch left notes that John Powers was born in Ireland and came to Charlestown, West Virginia as a young man and helped build a tunnel through a mountain there. He came to New Boston in 1851 on a river boat and walked to Joy, Illinois where he bought land. This was evidently bought from a private party as the purchase is not found in public land records. John J. Welch moved to Eliza in 1900 to a farm called Rattlesnake Farm because of the large number of rattlesnakes. The move was evidently after the 1900 census where he is found in Abington Township: John Welch, born December 1863, age 36, married 7 years, born Il, parents born Ireland, farmer; Margaret, December 1867, 33, four children born, 3 living, Il, parents born Ireland; James, son December 1894, 6, Il, Il, Il; Mary June 1896, 4, Il; John H., December 1898, Il; Kate, mother, 1824, 76, widow, 10 born, 4 living, Ireland, parents born Ireland, immigrated 1850; Wm Olsen, servant, 1880, farm laborer; John Welsh, nephew, July 1889, 109, Il, Il, Il, school.

John J. died 8/27/1911 and is buried in St. Mary's Cemetery in Keithsburg. Margaret was born 3/27/1867 in Joy and died 9/30/1918. John J. and Margaret had five infant sons who are buried in St. Mary's Cemetery in Keithsburg. They had additional children that we are not documenting as they are too close to living relatives but we do have information to share, furnished by Ken Schlobohm.

John and Bridgett Kane Welch of Henderson County; Patrick and Bridgett Kane Welch Mullahy of Henderson County

In 1860 in the town of Oquawka in Henderson County we find: #251 John Welch, 52, laborer, born Ireland; Bridget K., 40, Ireland; Anna, 14, Ireland; Thomas, 11, Ohio; John, 10, Ohio; Michael, 8, Ohio; Catharine, 6, Ohio; and Mary, 4, Illinois. (This is the Mary Welch, wife of William Welch above). According to Bridget in the 1900 census the family immigrated to America in 1849. The children's birthplaces support this. John Welch died sometime after 1860 and on 4/20/1863 Bridgett Welch married Patrick Mulahy in Henderson County. As nearly as we can determine Patrick did not have a previous wife or family. According to the 1900 census he immigrated to America in 1852.

Patrick and Bridgett are found in the 1900 census in Oquawka, Henderson County: #314 Patrick Mullahy, 88, born March 1812, Ireland, parents born Ireland,married 35 years, immigrated 1852, naturalized, retired farmer; Bridgett, 80, born March 1820, 8 children born, 3 living; Peter Mullahy, farmer, born February 1868, age 32, Il, parents born Ireland; Mary Welch, granddaughter, born January 1892, age 8, born Il, father Il, mother Ohio. This confirms that Mary Welch, daughter of William and Mary Welch above did indeed live with her grandmother after her mother's death. Patrick and Bridgett are both buried in St. Mary's Cemetery in Keithsburg.

Jonathan (John) & Ellen Ring Welch

Another Welch group was the family of Jonathan & Ellen Ring Welch. Jonathan was born in Ireland 12/25/1826 and Ellen Ring in New York 6/2/1846. In most of the Mercer County records, Jonathan is called John. John died 1/3/1899 and Ellen died 4/3/1909. Both are buried in St. Mary's Cemetery in Keithsburg. Dean Fisher Welch has furnished information on this family to the New Boston Museum including family photos (photo). William Wright furnished an obituary of Ellen Ring Welch that has been posted to the IlGenWeb Site. According to the obituary John and Ellen were married 6/23/1861 in Mercer County. We did not find a marriage record in either Mercer County or Muscatine, Iowa; however there was a marriage for John Welsh and Ellen Newman on 6/23/1862 in Mercer County. John and Ellen Welsh are found in Millersburg Township in the 1870 census: John, age 40, farmer, born Ireland; Ellen, age 24, born NY; Catharine (Kate), age 6; John, Jr., 4; William, 2; James, 1, all born Illinois. We then noticed that the ages of John and Ellen matched the ages of John Welch, laborer in Mercer County in 1860 and of Ellen Newman, living with William and Ellen Newman, near John Welch's brother James in 1860. We also noticed that the names of the children given in the 1870 census matched perfectly with the family of James and Catharine Welch of Ireland above, indicating this was one and the same as James brother John who married Ellen Newman. Ellen Ring Welch's obituary furnished by William Wright (and linked above) states that she was born in 1846 in New York; that her mother had died when Ellen was an infant and Ellen was brought to Muscatine Iowa and then to Mercer County by an aunt and uncle unnamed. It seems quite likely this is the Newman family found in Mercer County in 1860 and that young Ellen Newman age 14 is not their daughter but their niece and a Ring daughter. They are found again in Millersburg in 1880: #125 John Welsh, 53, farmer, Ellen, 33, NY, Catharine, 16, Il; John, 14, Ill; William, 12, Il; James, 10, Il; Thomas, 7, Il; Ella, 5, Il; Edward, 3, Il; Mary, 3/12(March), Il. From other sources: Charles L., 1883, Nellie, unknown (Possibly Ella? Nellie is not shown in the photograph but she lived in Washington). Ellen's obituary mentions she had six sons and three daughters so the list of children appears to be complete.

More on the Children of John and Ellen Ring Welch

Catharine Welch Jones

Daughter Kate Jones is mentioned as deceased in Ellen's obituary. She might be the Katie Welch who married Harry Ord Jones on 2/5/1896 in Mercer County. Katie, wife of H. O. Jones, is buried in St. Mary's Cemetery (7/3/1863-6/17/1884), but her date of death is given as 1904 in Ellen's obituary, and the date of death in the cemetery record is before her marriage date so the cemetery date appears to be incorrect? Or not the right person? We did not find her in Mercer County in 1900.

Nellie Welch Thornhill

Daughter Nellie Welch married Leonard Thornhill and was residing in Thoma (Tacoma?), Washington, in 1909. They married in Mercer County in 1900. Their marriage date must have been close to the census date as she is censused both as Nellie, sister, with John Welch and with mother Ellen Welch in 1900 in New Boston. Nellie was born Oct 1875 in Mercer County. She is also censused as Nellie, daughter-in-law, with Mary Thornhill, March 1845, widow and husband Leonard Thornhill, born Dec 1870 in Ohio, father born Ohio, mother born Indiana.

Mary Welch Retherford

Daughter Mary Welch married Lonnie Retherford and was living in New Boston Township in 1909 (we will be adding a Retherford page). They are found in the 1900 census in Eliza Township: Lonnie Retherford, July 1873, 26, married 2 years, born Il, parents born Il; Mary, born May 1881, 19, married 2 years, 1 child born, 1 living, born Il, parents born Il; Farris?, daughter, June 1898, 1, born Il.

John and Margaret Jones Welch

Son John Welch (10/14/1865-9/9/1954) and wife Maggie (11/15/1868-2/28/1893) are buried with his parents in St. Mary's Cemetery in Keithsburg. John is found as a widower in 1900 in New Boston Township and his mother is living with him: #27 John Welch, Oct 1865, farmer, 34, Il, Ir, NY; Clyde, Sept 1890, 9, Il, parents Il; Ellen, mother, June 1845, 54, widow, 9 children born, 9 living, NY; Nellie, sister, Oct 1875, 24, Il; Charles, brother, June 1883, Il. John was still living in New Boston Township at the time of his mother's death. We believe he is the John Welch who married Margaret Jones, daughter of Thomas & Roxanna Fuller Jones, on 2/12/1890 (we will be putting up a Jones page). In addition to son Clyde, John and Maggie had an infant daughter who died 7/5/1892. Maggie may have died in childbirth with a second child. We do not find a remarriage for John.

William and Emma McNeal Welch

Son William Welch was born in 1867 and died 12/11/1935 and is buried in Aledo Cemetery. He married Emma McNeal, daughter of William & Catherine Mauck McNeal on 2/20/1895 in Keithsburg. Emma was born 2/28/1871 in New Boston and died 10/5/1949. She is also buried in Aledo Cemetery. Although Emma's obituary says she was born in New Boston, we do not find the McNeal family in the 1870 Mercer County Census under either McNeal or McNiel. We have a photo of Emma and family that we will be posting. Emma and William had children: John C. Welch, born 6/8/1896; Henry W. Welch, born 1898; Fred Welch, born 1900; Bessie Welch; Charles L. (Mike) Welch, born 6/22/1906.

John C. Welch, son of William and Emma, married Elosia Hampton in 1917. She was daughter of Henry and Sarah Hesser Hampton . Ken Schlobohm's wife is descended from this family and he is willing to share information. John (1896-1967) and Elosia (1899-1981) are buried in New Boston Cemetery.

Henry W. Welch (1898-1970), son of William and Emma, and his wife Pauline (1910-1974) are also buried in New Boston Cemetery. They were living in Long Beach, California in 1949. We have nothing further on them.

Fred Welch, son of William and Emma, (1909-1939) is buried next to them in Aledo Cemetery. We have nothing further on him.

William & Emma's daughter, Bessie, was married to Fred Jamison and resided in Galesburg in 1949. We have nothing further on this family.

Charles L. Welch (Mike), son of William and Emma, was born 6/22/1906 and died 10/21/1963 in Mercer County. He married Marjorie F. Jebb on 4/1/1936. We have nothing further on this family.

James and Mabel Pulliam Welch

James Welch, son of John and Ellen Ring Welch, was born 4/14/1870 and died 10/1/1849 in Mercer County, Illinois. He is buried in Aledo Cemetery. His obituary mentions his wife Mabel Pulliam, daughter of John and Alice McClure Pulliam, born 3/26/1877 in McDonough County. They were married 2/23/1903 in Aledo. Mabel's name is on the same stone as James in the Aledo cemetery with no death date given in the cemetery records as she died after the DAR tombstone census. She died 3/3/1976 in Mercer County. We find a stone for Elizabeth Cubbage Welch in St. Mary's Cemetery in Keithsburg (1870-1896). On the same stone is found James Welch 1870 with no death date. Perhaps this is a first marriage for James Welch. Twin daughters, born 1/15/1894 and died 1894 are buried with Elizabeth and she likely died of childbirth in 1896. James and Mable Pulliam Welch had children: Clair (1906-1935), Mrs. Ray Ives, and Everette Welch.

Edward and Cora Shoemaker Welch

Edward Welch, son of John and Ellen Ring Welch was born 1877 and died 7/30/1951 in Aledo, Mercer County, Illinois. He married Cora Ellen Shoemaker 12/26/1899 who died before 1951. According to his obituary he farmed near Columbus Junction, Iowa, and they had children Alice, Helen, Clyde, and James Walton. James Walton Welsh is the father of Dean Fisher Welch who furnished the photographs.

Charles and Leota Kellogg Welch

Charles L. Welch, son of Jonathan and Ellen Ring Welch, was born 1883, died 1940, and is buried in New Boston Cemetery. He married Leota M. Kellogg in 1918 in New Boston. According to her obituary she was born 4/17/1887 in Oneida, Knox County, and died 12/20/1973 in Kewanee, Illinois, and was daughter of Charles and Mary Kellogg. However the obituary of Mary Alma Collins Kellogg says she died at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Leota Welch, and that Mary's husband was William Kellogg. We have a brief Kellogg history up on our Miscellaneous Families Page. We are not totally convinced that Leota's obituary is incorrect, as William Kellogg had a brother Charles and we wonder if there was a first marriage to him? We would appreciate hearing from anyone who can shed light on this. William Wright's wife is a descendant of this family and Bill would be interested as well.

Harvey and Rachel Woodward Welch

A third Welch group consisted of descendants of Harvey & Rachel Woodward Welch, who removed to Mercer County, Illinois, about 1857 from Wayne County, Indiana. Harvey and Rachel Welch had been making a good living in Indiana supplying drovers on the National Road, but with the advent of railroads they lost this source of income and opted to follow family and neighbors to Mercer County. Rachel's maiden sister Eliza Woodward went with them and married widower Levi Jackson in Mercer County. They settled in Section 4 of New Boston Township very near their Beard cousins.

Rachel Woodward Welch was descended from Quakers Abraham & Hannah Thornbrough Woodward of Chester County, Pennsylvania, Randolph County, North Carolina, and Jefferson County, Tennessee and her history is given on our Woodward Web Site.

1/26/2008 Added 1900 census for John Welch and Margaret Powers Welch.
8/21/2006 Added information on John and Bridgett Kane Welch and Patrick and Bridgett Kane Welch Mullahy of Henderson County as they had connections to William and Mary Welch and Edward and Ellen Mullahy Welch above.