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The Levi Hissem & John Hysham of Thomas Families

This is the story of the two youngest sons of Thomas Hissom, Levi and John. Both married daughters of Jacob Welker, and both moved west.

(22) Levi Hissem (1802)
(15) Raphe Hesome (c1550) (16) William Hesome (c1577) (17) George Hesom (c1600) (18) John Heesom (1650) (19) Unknown Heesom (c1687) (20) Thomas Hesom (c1720) (21) Thomas Hissom (1750)

Also as Levy. With so many of the family sharing the names of Thomas, John, Levi and David, it is often difficult to tell which member of the family we're dealing with in any one document, especially when we're discussing Tyler county, West Virginia, where so many of the family lived.

In the 1810 census of Hempfield township, Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania. Levi was the elder of two sons, aged 5 to 10 years old, living with his father, Thomas Hissom.

In the 1820 census of Hempfield township, Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania. While there was a Thomas Hissam listed in Hempfield township, possibly Levi's father, there were no sons listed for him of the right age to be our Levi, who would have been 18 years old. There is, however, a Thomas Hissem in the 1820 census of Tyler county, West Virginia, where I know Thomas settled at about this time. We know, however, that Levi remained in Hempfield township, where he later married. Levi may have stayed with a local farmer, as a field hand, or with his elder brother, Abner. Abner Hissam, Thomas' eldest son, remained in Westmoreland county and married Mary, the daughter of Michael Welker. Levi and his younger brother, John, were both to marry daughters of Mary's half-brother, Jacob Welker. This might indicate that Abner's wife contrived their marriages to her nieces.

Levi married Mary "Polly" Welker, the daughter of Jacob Welker, of Hempfield township, Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania, between 1819 and 1824 (there was a daughter aged 5-10 in the 1830 census). Levi would have been 17 to 22 years old at the time of his marriage.

“Mary Welker, b. ----, 180-, in Hempfield Twp.; m. Levi Hissem; removed to the West; there died and left a family of descendants; farmers." - from "History and Genealogy of the Reed Family"
Mary was born in about 1807 in Hempfield township. Levi's brother, John, married Elizabeth Welker, Mary's sister, see below. The latter couple also moved west and died. See the Welkers webpage for Mary's derivation and her relationship to Abner Hissam's wife.

In the 1830 census of Hempfield township, Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania as Levi Hissem. In the household were a man 20-30 years old, Levi, who would have been about 28, with a wife 20-30 years old, Mary, who would have been 23, and a son under five, Joshua, two daughters under five, including Delila, and one daughter 5-10 years, perhaps Jane. Mary's father, Jacob, was in the same census, two pages earlier in the list for Hempfield township, between Abner and John Hissim.

The following is from the will of John's father-in-law, Jacob Welker, proved on 11 February 1834 in Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania.

"First--I devise my dwelling and plantation unto my son Michael Welker on the following conditions:--By him paying to his sisters and brothers out of the same the following named sums, to-wit: In four months after my decease, he pays the sum of $14.25 to my son John Welker, and in four months after that payment the like sum to my son Samuel; and in four months after that the like sum to my daughter Polly intermarried to Levy Hissom; and in four months after that payment the like sum to my daughter Bessie intermarried with John Hissom; and the like sum to my daughter Nancy; in four months after that payment a like sum to my daughter Sophia; in four months after that payment a like sum to my daughter Catharine; and in three years after my decease Fifty dollars to my son Jacob Welker.

"Second--It is my will that my beloved wife Rosana live with my son Michael Welker, during her natural life-time, or, so long as she remains my widow in my dwelling house, and my said son Michael in addition to the above named sums (of money) he is to pay to the rest of my sons and daughters, he is to provide for my beloved wife Rosana all necessaries for life, both in health and sickness, and all necessary wearing apparel if required, and keep one cow and three sheep along with his own on the place and find sufficient feed for the same; and find sufficient fuel ready chopped for her during her lifetime, so long as she remains my widow. If my son Michael Welker comply with my wishes in paying the aforesaid sum (of money) as directed to each and keep my beloved wife as directed, He is to have and hold my said Dwelling and Plantation, situated in Hempfield Township, in the County of Westmoreland, to him and his heirs and assigns forever.

"Third: I devise and bequeath to my beloved wife Rosana her best bedsteads, and necessary bedding, one cow, 3 sheep, one hog, to have her choice out of the stock, one spinning wheel, one reel, her own clothing, the chest with three drawers, the cupboard with glass doors, one table, and two chairs, and one prayer book, and one catechism, and as much kitchen furniture as she needs for her use, and to all as above named at her own disposal at her death: And further I will one bed and bedding to my daughter Sophia for her use, and as to the residue of my personal estate of whatsover kind the same may be. I direct my Executors to collect all of my outstanding debts, dues and demands and from the presents arising from my personal estate, pay all my just debts as aforesaid. I direct my executors to divide the same into eight equal shares and give and devise two shares thereof to my son John, and one share thereof to my son Samuel, one share to my daughter Polly, and one share to my daughter Betsy, and one share to my daughter Nancy, and one share thereof to my daughter Sophia, and one share thereof to my daughter Catharine, to be paid to them by my executors, after the estate is settled, &c. And further it is my will and desire that my executors hereinafter named as soon as David Ruff has complied with the covenants of an article of agreement I made with him that they make and execute a Deed of Conveyance for the land I have sold him described in said agreement, which agreement is in the hands of G. Mechling, esquire.

"Lastly; I nominate, constitute and appoint George Mechling, esq., and my son Jacob Welker, both of Hempfield Township, Westmoreland County, to be my Executors of this my last will and testament, and revoke all former wills heretofore made.

"In Testimony Whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this Eleventh of January, 1833.
Jacob Welker [L. S.]
"Signed and sealed in the presence of us:--
John Shellenberger
Thomas Monroe.
"Proved Feb. 11, 1834."
Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, Will Book, No. 2, page 300.

As for the nicknames, Elizabeth becomes Betsy or Bessie, but more interestingly, in English nickname usage R becomes L, and M becomes P; so Mary becomes Molly, and Molly becomes Polly.

Soon after Mary's father died Levi moved the family down the Ohio river to Tyler county, West Virginia, where his father, Thomas, and uncle, David, had previously settled. This occurred after 1834, when Levi's son William was born in Pennsylvania and before 1836 when his son Jesse was born in Virginia. Levi and Mary's move may have been predicated on the death of Jacob Welker, Mary not wishing to leave while he father still lived.

I'm pretty confident that the Levi Hissam we find in Hempfield township was Thomas' son. I'm also confident that the Levi we later find in Missouri is the same man. However, Tyler county was too full of Hissam's to be certain which Levi is ours, and which the son of Thomas' brother, David. Levi, the son of David, most often known by the surname Heysham, had been in Tyler county for the 1820 census, the Personal Property Tax List of 1825 and the Poor Levy of 1826.

In 1837, in Tyler county, Virginia, Levi Hissam signed a marriage bond with Leonard Kelch in reference to Leonard's marriage to a Jane Hissam. Levi would have been 35 years old so it is just possible that this could be Levi's daughter, though we'd have to adjust Mary's birth date. The daughter, 5-10 years old, in the 1830 census could be this Jane, who would be 12 to 17 years old in 1837. Alternately this could be Levi's sister, otherwise unknown. Levi's father, Thomas, had died before 1834 so he could have taken his father's place, giving away his sister.

"Know all men by these presents that we Leonard Kelch (of Samuel) and Levi Hissam are held & firmly bound unto David Campbell Esqr. Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia for the time being & his successors in Office in the Office of Governor for the use of the Commonwealth in the [penal?] Sum of one hundred and fifty Dollars for the payment of which we bind ourselves [one?] & each of our heirs firmly by these presents. Sealed with our seals & dated this 6th day of October 1837

The Condition of the above Obligation is such that whereas a marriage is shortly intended to be had and solemnized between the above bound Leonard Kelch (of Samuel) and Jane Hissam. Now if there be no lawful cause or just impediment to obstruct said marriage then the above obligation to be void else to remain in full form & virtue in law."

Leonard Kelch
his
Levi Hissam
mark

Teste
d. Hickman

"Mr. David Hickman this is to certify that I Leonard Kelch Sr have no objections of your giving Leonard Kelch of S [Samuel] marriage licence." [on a separate piece of paper]
At the time of the 1840 census there was a Leonard Kelch Jr., a Leonard of L Kelch, and a Ruel Kelch in Tyler county. What happened to Leonard of Samuel? Samuel Kelch was a son of Leonard Kelch Sr. I assume he had died by 1837 leaving his father to approve the marriage of young Leonard.

The following may be for our Levi. Note however that this man lived next to David's son, Jesse, and used the Heysham surname.

“Deed of 09 October 1839, Tyler county, West Virginia, Jacob Lewis {Coffenberry} and Mary Lewis sold 75 acres to Levi Heysham for $50. Land adjoining William Trippet and Jesse Heysham on the waters of Middle Island Creek. Beginning at a white oak.” - from the Tyler County WV Deed Book 9 81+ SLC 854767

There is also, in the 1840 census of Tyler county, West Virginia, a Levi Heysham, aged 30 to 40; our Levi was about 40 at the time. This could also be for David's son instead, but note that Levi's next door neighbor was Leonard Kelch Jr. In the following Missouri census records we find Levi Hissam living with, then marrying a Jane Kelch. Could this be a coincidence? In the 1840 household were one son under 5, perhaps Jesse, 3 sons aged 5 to 10, including William, and one son 10 to 15 years old, Joshua. Amongst the women in the household were one daughter under 5, Sarah, and one who was 5 to 10, Delila. There was also a woman, 30 to 40 years old, perhaps Mary. By the way, a Jesse Hissem was four names below Levi in the census.

Mary Welker Hissam apparently died soon after 1840.

Levi Hissam moved west to Monroe county, Missouri. This county is in the northeast of the state. Paris is the county seat.

Levi's daugher, Delila, married John R. Searcy on 2 May 1850 in Monroe county, Missouri.

In the 1850 census of District 59, Monroe county, Missouri, as Levi Hissam [in familysearch.org as Hessum], a cooper, aged 48 [1802], of Pennsylvannia. Living with him were his children, Joshua, 20, an "idiot," and William, 16, also coopers, born in Pennsylvania, and Jesse, 14, and Sarah, 12, who were born in Virginia. Levi had no wife, but also living with him were Jane Kelfrs [hard to read, but probably Kelch; Kelps in familysearch.org], 29, of Pennsylvania, and Mary J. Kelfrs, 9, and Ruth Kelfrs, 7, of Virginia. These latter two girls seem to have been sisters or daughters of Jane. Note that Ruth was referred to as Ruth Kelch in the 1860 census.

The following is from a posting by James Kelch.

"I have done some further research on Ruth Kelch, with the aid of a fellow family historian [I think that's me!], as the Hissam name was found among my papers in connection with the Kelch family.

In a deed dated dated 29 March 1843 Leonard Kelch [1767-1848] from Tyler County, Virginia states that Leonard Kelch and his wife Jane of Tyler County sold land for $60 located on the waters of Middle Island Creek to Robert Hip and Levi Hissam and his wife. In previous deeds from the same area Leonard Kelch’s wife is mentioned as Christina."

Leonard Kelch had a son and grandson named Leonard, while his brother Samuel also had a son name Leonard, so the Leonard Kelch above could be any of 4 men. It could be Leonard of Samuel, explaining his wife's name and their association with Levi.

The Kelch Family

(19) Johann Jureg Koelsch (c1710)

He was born in Germany and came to America, arriving on 26 September 1737 on the St. Andrews galley, Captain John Stedman, from Rotterdam. He was Joh. Diterich Kelsch on the Captain's list and Johann Gorg Kelsh on the Oath of Allegiance to England. He married Margretha.

St. Andrews Galley

"The St Andrew galley was a three-masted ship with square sails and a square-sterned galley type hull design of about 150 tons. Built 1733 in Philadelphia. Fitted with accommodation for passengers including compartments. 8 or 9 pairs of oars, if fitted. 8 deck-mounted guns, later increased to 20. Around 15 crew. Transported emigrants mostly from Rotterdam to Philadelphia from 1734 to 1752. Masters: John Stedman, Robert Robinson, James Proud, Charles Stedman, John Evans, Robert Brown, James Abercrombie, John Brown, Andrew Breading. Owned by 3 London merchants, managed by Charles & Alexander Stedman, Second Street, Philadelphia." - from “The Ship St. Andrew, Galley, A Hypothesis” by Alfred T. Meschter as seen on the Regan-Ettinger Family History page.

(20) Philip Kelch (1744)
(19) Johann Juerg Koelsch (c1710)

Philip Kelch married Margaret, the daughter of Gabriel Drollinger and Anna Margaretha Lottholtz, on 23 November 1764 in Monmouth, Salem county, New Jersey. After Philip's death in 1771, at the age of 27, Margaret married Samuel Jackson on 3 February 1773.

(21) Leonard Kelch Sr. (1763/7)
(19) Johann Juerg Koelsch (c1710) (20) Philip Kelch (c1740)

Leonard Kelch was born on 12 November 1763 [per the above, I hope it's a couple of years later] in Salem county, New Jersey, the son of Philip Kelch and Margaretha Drollinger. A Leonard Kelch of Tyler county, Virginia had his request for a Revolutionary War pension rejected for "further proof." He could have served in the last years of the war. See the following for an account of Leonard's life by Janet Kelch.

At the time of the 1810 census, Leonard Kelch Sr. (1763) lived in Dunbar township, Fayette county, Pennsylvania, with a household of 9 people.

Leonard Kelch, the only man of that surname in Tyler county, had a household of 8 people in the 1820 census.

In the 1830 census with a household of 5 people, two sons, one 10-14 and the other 15-19, Leonard Jr. and Ruel, and one daughter, 10-14. Leonard was 60-69 and his wife was 50-59.

There were four Kelch men who were heads-of-households in Tyler county in the 1840 census: Leonard Sr., Leonard Jr, Ruel, and Leonard of L.
- Leonard Sr. had 3 in his household, a man and a woman, 70-79, and one girl, 5-9. On the same page of the census was Elijah Heysham and Thomas Heysham Jr., both of the Thomas of Thomas line.

Leonard Sr. died in 1848 in Tyler county. From James Kelch:

"On 10 July 1848 Leonard will states the following:

“Leonard Kelch's Last Will and Testament

I Leonard Kelch feeling the ___________of age and concious that my days will soon be numbered do leave this as my last will and testament First to my wife I leave a comfortable maintenance during her life to be derived from any real or personal property of which I may die possessed and that she have the privilege of retaining my real and personal property in her possession or so much of it as shall remain after all my legal debts are discharged or should she become dissatisfied or should she become incapacitated from age or affliction it is my request that my Executor at her desire would at public sale dispose of all my property and apply the proceeds as above directed or so much of them as may be found necessary to insure her comfort and at her death what remains to be dived equally among my heirs namely Phillip Kelch Rachel Roberts deceased John Kelch Samuel Kelch Leonard Kelch Ruel Kelch Alice Davis deceased Christina Perry Hiram Kelch and Levi Kelch the deceased of my children shall have their part distributed among their children. In witness I have signed this this day and date above mentioned.

Leonard (his mark X) Kelch

Samuel S. Russell )
John Degamo )

Tyler County Court July_______l848 This last will and testament of Leonard Kelche deceased was presented in Court and proven by the oath of Samuel S. Russell and John Degamo subscribing witnesses thereto and therefrom the said will was ordered to be recorded, Teste D. Hickman, Clerk”

Leonard Sr. had ten children: Phillip, Rachel, John George, Samuel, Leonard Jr., Ruel, Alice, Christine, Hiram and Levi.

(22) Leonard Kelch Jr. (1803)
(19) Johann Juerg Koelsch (c1710) (20) Philip Kelch (c1740) (21) Leonard Kelch Sr. (1763)

A Leonard Kelch Jr. married Elizabeth Davis, the daughter of Robert Davis Jr., on 5 May 1824 in Tyler county. Leonard was still married to Elizabeth in the 1850 census.

In the 1840 census of Tyler county, Virginia as Leonard Kelch Jr. He was the neighbor of Levi Heysham. Jesse Hissem was also a near neighbor. He had 4 people in his household, 1 son under 5, 1 daughter under 5, and a man and a wife, both 20-30 years old. Leonard died in 1876.

In the 1850 census of Tyler county, Virginia as Leonard Kelch, 47. Also living with him were his wife, Elizabeth, 41, and children, Christina, 25, Levi, 16, Robert, 11, Gidion, 10, Thomas, 5, Margaret, 4, and Evaline, 0.

In the 1860 census of Tyler county, Virginia as Leonard Kelch, 57. Also living with him were his wife, Elizabeth, 52, and children, Robert, 22, Gideon, 20, Thomas P., 16, Margaret, 13, Evaline, 11, and Amanda C., 8. All were of Virginia.

(23) Leonard of Leonard Kelch (c1820)
(19) Johann Juerg Koelsch (c1710) (20) Philip Kelch (c1740) (21) Leonard Kelch Sr. (1763) (22) Leonard Kelch Jr. (1803)

In the 1840 census of Tyler county, Virginia as Leonard Kelch of L. He had two sons under 5, one who was 5 to 10, and one man 30 to 40. He had one daughter under 5, two 10 to 15 and one, his wife, who ws 30 to 40 years old.

(22) Samuel Kelch (1800)
(19) Johann Juerg Koelsch (c1710) (20) Philip Kelch (c1740) (21) Leonard Kelch Sr. (1763)

(23) Leonard Kelch of Samuel (c1820)
(19) Johann Juerg Koelsch (c1710) (20) Philip Kelch (c1740) (21) Leonard Kelch Sr. (1763) (22) Samuel Kelch (1800)

A Leonard Kelch married Jane Hissam in 1837 in Tyler county. Faye Ashby writes,

"I found a marriage bond from Tyler Co. WV showing "Leonard Kelch (of Samuel) & Levi Hissam" signed a marriage bond pertaining to the marriage of "Leonard Kelch (of Samuel) and Jane Hissam." The notation "of Samuel" is actually written in the Bond. There also is a note attached "This is to certify that I Leonard Kelch Sr. have no objections of your giving Leonard Kelch of /S marriage license." I think the Samuel who fathered Leonard, future husband of Jane Hissam, would be son of Leornard Sr. -- making Leonard Sr (1767-1848) the grandfather of the Leonard who married Jane Hissam. This bond and other Kelch and Tyler County Records can be found at WV Culture. It would take more research into Samuel and Leonard to further verify but as he is collateral for me, I'll leave that to y'all."
It is not inconvievable that Leonard Kelch Sr. was the brother of a deceased Samuel Kelch, and acted as loco parentis for Leonard of Samuel.

In 1856 Levi bought property in Audrain county, in northeast Missouri, just below Monroe and Ralls counties.

"The United States of America
Certificate No. 31,887
To all to whom these Presents shall come, Greeting:
Whereas Levi Hissem of Audrain county, Missouri
has deposited in the General Land Offices of the United States, a Certificate of the Register of the Land Office at Palmyra, whereby it appears that full payment has been made by the said Levi Hissem according to the provisions of the Act of Congress of the 24th of April, 1820, entitled "An act making further provision for the sale of the Public Lands," for the south West quarter of Section Seventeen, in Township fifty two . . . [and so forth] . . . containing one hundred and sixty acres . . . purchased by Levi Hissem.
1 September 1856, - from "U.S. General Land Office Records, 1796-1907"
Section 17, Township 52N, Range 7W, Meridian 5th PM, Audrain county. This appears to be Prairie township, near Laddonia, on the border with Ralls county.

Mary Jane Kelch, Levi's step-daughter or sister-in-law, married William L. Shoults on 1 September 1857 in Audrain county, Missouri. She was born in Virginia. A researcher notes that,

"the death certificate for Mary J. Shoults states that her father was an “unknown” Kelch and her mother was Mary Hissam of Wales."
I don't know who this Mary Hissam would be, and I think Wales is a blind, but note that the Kelch's and Hissam's had at least two meetings, Leonard Kelch and Jane Hissam & Levi Hissam and Jane Kelch. It wouldn't be that strange to have a third intermarriage as well.

Levi probably continued to live in or near Audrain county until at least 1858, when his daughter, Sarah, married Harrison Smith there on 10 January 1858.

The property in Audrain county must not have worked out because Levi moved his family south, to Shannon county, Missouri.

In the 1860 census of Delaware township, Shannon county, Missouri as Levi Hissom, a 58 year old farmer, of Pennsylvania. This region is far to the south of Monroe county, near the state's southern boundary. Levi's wife was Jane Hissom, 40, born in Virginia. Oddly, she was described as a "domestic servant" yet she had his name. Is it possible that Jane was Levi's sister, Jane Hissam, who had married Leonard Kelch (of Samuel)? The census doesn't say Jane was Levi's wife, that information wasn't included in the census of that year. Levi's children were Joshua, 28, an 'idiot,' and William, 26, a wagon maker. Both sons had been born in Pennsylvania. There was also a Ruthia Kelch, 14, living with them. If this was the Ruth above, she should have been more like 17. Where was Jesse?

Apparently the family moved back north because we find Ruth Kelch getting married to Joshua Clark on 19 July 1866 in Ralls county, Missouri. She was born in Virginia.

Levi died before 1870. I don't know what happened to Jane. Neither she nor Levi were in the 1870 census, though Levi's eldest son, Joshua, was, living at the Ralls county poor farm.

Levi's children were,
(23) Jane Hissam (1821), maybe . . . ?
(23) Delila M. Hissem (1829)
(23) Joshua Hissem (1830)
(23) William Hissem (1834)
(23) Jesse Hissem (1836)
(23) Sarah Hissem (1838)

(23) Delila M. Hissem (1829)
(15) Raphe Hesome (c1550) (16) William Hesome (c1577) (17) George Hesom (c1600) (18) John Heesom (1650) (19) Unknown Heesom (c1687) (20) Thomas Hesom (c1720) (21) Thomas Hissom (1750) (22) Levi Hissem (1802)

She was born on 10 January 1829, probably in Pennsylvania. "Delila Hissum Daughter of Levi Hissum" married John R. Searcy on 2 May 1850 in Monroe county, Missouri.

"John R Sourcy To Delilia Hissum
State of Missouri County of Monroe
I Milton Williamson a Justice of the Peace within and for the County and State aforesaid do hereby Certify that I solemnized the rites of Matrimony between John R. Seurcy and Delila Hissum Daughter of Levi Hissum all of this County and State aforesaid the 2nd of May AD 1850
Milton Williamson J.P."

In the 1850 census of Monroe county, Missouri as John R. Searcy, 37, of Kentucky, and Delila Searcy, 30, of Missouri [sic]. The Searcy's have also been found in the 1870, 1880, 1900 and 1910 census of Monroe county.

Delila died on 25 March 1916 in Monroe county, Missouri - from the Missouri Death Index.

(23) Joshua Hissem (1830)
(15) Raphe Hesome (c1550) (16) William Hesome (c1577) (17) George Hesom (c1600) (18) John Heesom (1650) (19) Unknown Heesom (c1687) (20) Thomas Hesom (c1720) (21) Thomas Hissom (1750) (22) Levi Hissem (1802)

He was born in Pennsylvania. In the 1850 census of District 59, Monroe county, Missouri as Joshua, a 20 year old cooper, and "idiot," born in Pennsylvania, and living with his parents. In the 1860 census of Delaware township, Shannon county, Missouri as Joshua Hissem, 28, again listed as an 'idiot,' born in Pennsylvania, and living with his father.

The Idiot

In the pre-PC era, idiot referred to a mentally or intellectually handicapped person. Similar medical terms included moron, imbecile and cretin. This could also refer to someone with epilepsy, see Dostoevsky's novel, "The Idiot."

After his father's death Joshua was left in the care of the county.

In the 1870 census of the New London post office, Spenser township, Ralls county, Missouri as Joshua Hissem, a 36 year old pauper living in the poor house. He was shown as 'insane' and born in Ohio [sic]. Ralls county is just west of Monroe county, in the northeast of the state, and rests on the Mississippi river. Mark Twain's boyhood home, Hannibal, lies between Ralls and Marion county.

In the 1880 census for Spenser township, Ralls county, Missouri as Joshua Hissom, a 50 year old pauper. He was living on the county farm, that is, the poor house. There were six men and women, all paupers, living with them. As before, it indicates he was born in Ohio, but as an "idiot" I guess I wouldn't expect him to correct this, nor provide his proper age. His parents were also shown as being from Ohio.

In the 1900 census of Center Village, Ralls county, Missouri as Josh Hissum, a 60 year old pauper and inmate of the county farm, born in April 1840, of Kentucky. While many of those attributes are incorrect, I still think this must be our man. I'm assuming again that no one was too concerned to get the facts right for an "idiot." Joshua could not read or write. Amazingly, the census also claims he couldn't speak English either, but since some many of the inmates got this annotation, I doubt its truth. Might Joshua's disability have extended to being dumb?

There was a cemetary associated with the Rall county farm, or Poor Farm [#108, 36-55-6], but only six internments are recorded, none of them Joshua.

(23) William Hissem (1834)
(15) Raphe Hesome (c1550) (16) William Hesome (c1577) (17) George Hesom (c1600) (18) John Heesom (1650) (19) Unknown Heesom (c1687) (20) Thomas Hesom (c1720) (21) Thomas Hissom (1750) (22) Levi Hissem (1802)

He was born in Pennsylvania. In the 1850 census of District 59, Monroe county, Missouri, as William Hissam, a 16 year old cooper, born in Pennsylvania, and living with his parents.

As with his father, there is, in 1856, a property purchase by William Hissem in Audrain county, Missouri - it was the certificate issued just after his father's and may indicate that his father was leveraging his 22 year old son in order to gain more land.

"The United States of America
Certificate No. 31,888
To all to whom these Presents shall come, Greeting:
Whereas William Hissem of Audrain county, Missouri
has deposited in the General Land Offices of the United States, a Certificate of the Register of the Land Office at Palmyra, whereby it appears that full payment has been made by the said William Hissem according to the provisions of the Act of Congress of the 24th of April, 1820, entitled "An act making further provision for the sale of the Public Lands," for the north West quarter of Section twenty, in Township fifty two . . . [and so forth] . . . containing one hundred and sixty acres . . . purchased by William Hissem.
1 September 1856, - from "U.S. General Land Office Records, 1796-1907"
"Section 20, Township 52N, Range 7W, Meridian 5th PM, Audrain county." This appears to be Prairie township, near Laddonia, on the border with Ralls county. This section was just below the section in which his father's lands were located.

In the 1860 census of Delaware township, Shannon county, Missouri as William Hissom, a 26 year old wagon maker, born in Pennsylvania, and living with his father. William disappears after this.

(23) Jesse Hissem (1836)
(15) Raphe Hesome (c1550) (16) William Hesome (c1577) (17) George Hesom (c1600) (18) John Heesom (1650) (19) Unknown Heesom (c1687) (20) Thomas Hesom (c1720) (21) Thomas Hissom (1750) (22) Levi Hissem (1802)

He was born in Virginia, probably in Tyler county, in about 1836. In the 1850 census of Monroe county, Missouri as Jesse Hissam, 14, born in Virginia. He was not in the 1860 census, neither on his own or with his parents, as were his brothers Joshua and William.

In the 1860 census . . .

A Jesse Hissam [sic] served in the Civil War in the 10th West Virginia "Volunteer" Infantry regiment with Thomas J. and Samuel Hissam, who would have been his cousins, the sons of (22) Thomas Hissem (1778), of the Thomas of Thomas Line.

"Pvt. Thomas J. Hissam, Tyler County, 33 [1829]. Mustered at Buckhannon April 12, 1862. Mustered out May 2, 1865.
Pvt. Jesse Hissam, Tyler County, 25 [1837]. Mustered April 12, 1862. Detailed to Quartermaster Department. Mustered out May 2, 1865.
Pvt. Samuel Hissam, Tyler County, 23 [1839]. Mustered at Camp Hartsuff Oct. 4, 1862. Detailed to division hospital."
He might have gone back to Tyler county to join this unit with his cousins. I haven't been able to find any other Jesse of the right age to fit this role.

10th West Virginia Volunteers

From the Adjutant General’s Report: "From the time that recruiting for this Regiment commenced, in the latter months of 1861, the men, as soon as enlisted, were assigned to duty on the frontier of the Department of Western Virginia, then commanded by Gen. Rosecrans. These men, many of them driven from their homes by the guerrillas, of Gilmer, Braxton, Webster and Pocahontas Counties [these are a line of counties stretching from the border with Virginia to the southeast border of Ritchie county, clearly a "route of destruction" taken by the guerilla fighters], were especially adapted to the frontier defense, by their knowledge of the country and of the habits of the rebel marauders by whom it was infested and were stimulated to extraordinary exertions by wrongs already suffered and homes to defend."

"In March 1862, organization was commenced by the muster of' four companies into the United States service with Thomas M. Harris (now Brig. General) as Lieut. Col. commanding, and the line to be guarded by this Regiment, one company of Cavalry, and a section of Artillery, was extended from Glenville to Elkwater."

"Under this arrangement the border was protected for seven months, many guerrilla bands being effectually dispersed or driven out of West Virginia, whilst others were, almost to a man, exterminated. Indeed, so successful was this small command in the defence of that large territory, as to elicit frequent expressions of commendation and thanks from the Major General commanding, and also to secure the confidence and gratitude of the loyal people of those Counties for the skillful management, zeal and courage displayed. In the meantime, organization of the Regiment was completed. Lieut. Col. Harris promoted to the Colonelcy, and in the month of September, 1862, headquarters were removed from Buckhannon to Bulltown, where, for the first time, as many as seven companies were concentrated."

"While here, the command was, as heretofore, successful in breaking up the marauders of that section. In the latter part of October, 1862, the Regiment was attached to the command of Gen. Milroy, under whom it took up the line of march (Nov. 4th) for Beverly, where all detachments were collected, and the command moved via Webster and New Creek to Winchester, Va. [this is in the Shenandoah Valley], reaching the latter place on the first day of January, 1863."

"While in the Division of Gen. Milroy, at Winchester, the Regiment took part in several expeditions up the Valley of the Shenandoah [these were campaigns in which Confederate General "Stonewall" Jackson effectively humiliated the Union armies, out manuevering them at every turn]. No casualties were sustained in any of these expeditions, but, unfortunately, exposure to the changing weather of a most inclement winter on the march from Bulltown to Winchester, and afterward, resulted in disease from which the command did not recover until the ensuing summer. The deaths from disease (chiefly fever) from Dec. 1st, 1862, to June 1863, numbered forty-three."

"On the tenth of May, 1863, the Regiment was ordered back to West Virginia, and soon after its arrival at Webster station, was attached to the Brigade of Gen. Wm. W. Averell, by whom it was sent to Buckhannon, and thence on the 7th of June to Beverly. On the 2nd of July following, while stationed at Beverly, an attack was made upon the place by the enemy under Col. Wm. L. Jackson. This was the first time that the Regiment in a body had met the enemy, who were here held at bay for two days, notwithstanding their great numerical superiority, until the arrival of reinforcements compelled them to retreat, beaten."

"The Regiment was engaged in the battle of Droop Mountain, on the 6th of November, 1863, and was highly complimented by Gen. Averell, commanding, for gallantry displayed in that action, and afterward formed a part of a number of those expeditions or "raids," which have reflected so much credit upon the command of that distinguished officer."

[The Battle of Droop Mountain: In early November, Brig. Gens. W.W. Averell and Alfred Napoleon Alexander Duffié embarked on a raid into southwestern Virginia to disrupt the Virginia & Tennessee Railroad. While Duffié’s column destroyed military property en route, Averell encountered and defeated a Confederate brigade under Brig. Gen. John Echols at Droop Mountain. The Union columns reunited at Lewisburg the next day but were in no condition to continue their raid. After this battle, Confederate resistance in West Virginia collapsed.]

"With headquarters at Beverly, the Regiment remained in West Virginia until about the 15th of June, 1864, when it was removed to Martinsburg. On the 3rd of July, the advance of the enemy under [Jubal] Early was encountered, and for some time successfully resisted, at Leetown, Va., by a small body of troops, of which the Tenth W. Va. was a part. On the 6th and 7th of the same month, it was engaged in a series of skirmishes at Maryland Heights, and for some days afterward was on the march with the troops then retreating before Early, who was pressing his invasion into Maryland, with the capture of the National Capital an avowed object. Engaged at Snicker's Ferry, Va., on the 17th, and on the 24th of July, at Winchester, Va. In the latter engagement, the Regiment was in the command of the lamented Col. Mulligan, who fell on that day, and the losses sustained prove how gallantly the Regiment held its portion of the line until the commanding General ordered a retreat; in the immediate front of the Regiment, the enemy in very heavy force, were more than once repulsed with terrible slaughter.

[Known as the Battle of Second Kernstown - In late June and early July 1864, Lt. Gen. Jubal A. Early's Confederate army used the strategic Shenandoah Valley corridor to terrorize Maryland, defeat a Union army at Monocacy, and march on Washington, D.C. Only the diversion of reinforcements from the Army of the Potomac, bogged down in the trenches before Petersburg, turned back the invasion. Early returned to the Valley and achieved a decisive victory over George Crook's command at Second Kernstown on 24 July. He subsequently sent cavalry to burn Chambersburg, Pennsylvania on 30 July. These disasters forced Lt. Gen. U.S. Grant to take immediate action to solve the Valley problem. The VI Corps and elements of the XIX Corps were returned to the Valley and united with Crook's corps (called the Army of West Virginia). Additional cavalry units were diverted to the Valley. More importantly, Grant unified the various military districts of the region into the Middle Military District and appointed Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridan as overall commander. Sheridan took command of the newly christened Army of the Shenandoah on 7 August at Harpers Ferry. Sheridan's leadership and his strongly reinforced army turned the tide against Confederate power in the Shenandoah Valley.]
In a small engagement at Berryville, Va., Sept. 3rd, 1864, and in the battle of "The Opequan," it suffered a heavy loss in killed and wounded, and was complimented on the field by Gen. Sheridan. At "Fisher's Hill," on the 22nd of September, the battle flag of the Tenth W. Va. was one of the first on the enemy's works, which were carried by assault by the Army of West Va. On the 13th of October, 1864, the Regiment was engaged at Strasburg, Va., and on the 19th of that month, in the great battle of "Cedar Creek"- in a word, the history of this Regiment during the months of September, October and November, 1864, is co-incident with that of Sheridan's Army in the victorious campaign of the Shenandoah Valley. The Regiment, with the rest of the First Infantry Division, Army of West Va., was ordered, December 19th, 1864, to Washington City, where it embarked for the Army of the James, arriving on the 25th of that month, and is now encamped on Chapin's Farm, about seven miles from the rebel capital.” Their duty continued as follows:

Duty in the trenches north of James River till March, 1865. Appomattox Campaign March 28-April 9. Moved to front of Petersburg March 28-29. Hatcher's Run March 30-31, and April 1. Assault on and fall of Petersburg April 2. Pursuit of Lee April 3-9. Rice's Station April 6. Appomattox Court House April 9. Surrender of Lee and his army. March to Lynchburg April 12-15. March to Farmville and Burkesville April 15-19, thence to Richmond April 22-25. Duty near Richmond till August. Mustered out August 9, 1865.

I have the following snippet reference which is clearly for the Jesse Hissam of the 10th West Virginia volunteers, but it does not make clear whose son he may have been.

[In the chapter for the 10th West Virginia Regiment of Volunteers]
"Private Jesse Hissam accounted for as wagoner [part of the Quartermaster corps].

Stationed at Winchester, Virginia, March-April 1863.

Stationed at Beverly, [West] Virginia, May-October 1863.

Stationed at Beverly, West Virginia, November-December 1863.
Since last muster our company has been doing duty in and around Beverly, West Virginia with the expedition of going on two raids and part of the company on scout on our first expedition. "
- from the "Supplement to the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies" by Jane Hewett, pg 414
I have a stray, undated, reference,
"To Capt. Aug. 8 Darnell, In charge of prisoners for Wheeling, Wheeling, Va. Request Governor Pierpont to grant no commission to Jesse Hissam until letter is . . ." - from "Calendar of the Francis Harrison Pierpont Letters and Papers"
Pierpoint (1814-1899), called the Father of West Virginia, was the Governor of the Union controlled portions of Virginia during the Civil War. He was Governor of all of Virginia from 1865 to 1868.

He was inducted as a Sergeant and discharged as a Private [oops].

In the 1880 census of Harmon [Harmar], Washington county, Ohio as Jessie Hisam, a 45 year old cooper [1835]. Living with him was his wife, Evoline, 43. I think they had been married 16 years. Jessie had been living in the county for 4 years at the time of the census. He had been born in Ohio [sic], of Pennsylvania parents; she in Virginia, of Pennsylvania parents. I think this may be 'our' Jesse in part because not only is the age right, but he was a cooper, like (22) Levi, (23) Joshua and (23) William.

Did Jesse serve in the war with his Ohio cousins then settle there after the war to raise his family? On 19 July 1890 "Jesse Hisam" filed for a pension as an invalid of the Civil War.

(23) Sarah Hissem (1838)
(15) Raphe Hesome (c1550) (16) William Hesome (c1577) (17) George Hesom (c1600) (18) John Heesom (1650) (19) Unknown Heesom (c1687) (20) Thomas Hesom (c1720) (21) Thomas Hissom (1750) (22) Levi Hissem (1802)

She was born in Virginia, probably in Tyler county, in about 1838. In the 1850 census of Monroe county, Missouri as Sarah Hissam, 12. Sarah Hissom married Harrison Smith on 10 January 1858 in Audrain county, Missouri.

"Page 245. SMITH, Harrison – HISSOM, Sarah – 10 Jan 1858" - from the "Audrain County Marriage Book"
Audrain county is due south of Monroe and Rall counties.

(22) John Hissem (1804)
(15) Raphe Hesome (c1550) (16) William Hesome (c1577) (17) George Hesom (c1600) (18) John Heesom (1650) (19) Unknown Heesom (c1687) (20) Thomas Hesom (c1720) (21) Thomas Hissom (1750)

The younger of two sons living with Thomas in Westmoreland county at the time of the 1810 census. Based on his age at the time of his death he was probably born in 1804. Like his brother Levi, I think John stayed in Pennsylvania when his father moved to Tyler county, West Virginia circa 1820. Neither brother was in the 1820 census, but both married Welker daughters who were living in Hempfield township, Westomoreland county circa 1825. I wonder if Levi and John were living with their older brother, Abner. He remained in Hempfield township and, moreover, married a Welker daughter, though of an earlier generation. Did Abner introduce his brothers to his wive's nieces?

A John Hissem married Elizabeth "Bessie" Welker, the daughter of Jacob Welker of Hempfield township, Westmoreland county. She was born in about 1810 in Hempfield township, Westmoreland county. The earliest child of John Hissem for whom I have any confidence, Jacob, was born in 1832. John would have been 21 years old in 1825, so I'm assuming the marriage occurred between 1825 and 1831. If Elizabeth was born in 1810, the latter date would be more likely.

“Elizabeth Welker, b. ----, in Hempfield Twp.; m. John Hissem; farmers; some time after their marriage he removed with his family to the state of Iowa; there died and left children.” - from the "History and Genealogy of the Reed Family" by Dr. Willoughby Henry Reed
I don't know if this is true. I haven't been able to sustain the story of John Hysham and Lucinda Guin, of Iowa, as a follow-on to the Hissem-Welker family. Certainly the Thomas and Abner Hissem families of Iowa were not heirs of this Welker union. Who else is there? Elizabeth Welker was the daughter of Jacob Welker and Rosana Hartman. The Hissems and Welkers intermarried three times, with Abner, John and Levi. See The Welker Family webpage for their derivation. The reference to Iowa may be a mistake.

The Welker Family

An extensive history of a family that married into the Hissem family three times.

In the 1830 census of Hempfield township, Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania as John Hissim [Hssim in Ancestry.com], aged 30 to 40, John would have been 26. There was a boy, 5 to 10, in the house as well as women, one under 5, one 5-10, one 10-15, and one 20 to 30; Elizabeth would have been 20. Note that John's father-in-law, Jacob Welker, and older brother, Abner, were on the same page of the census. That makes it more likely that this was our John, but John's age is off and that's a passel of children for such a young couple. I can accept that the older girl may be a niece or servant.

The following is from the will of John's father-in-law, Jacob Welker, proved on 11 February 1834 in Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania. The complete document is above.

"First--I devise my dwelling and plantation unto my son Michael Welker on the following conditions:--By him paying to his sisters and brothers out of the same the following named sums, to-wit: In four months after my decease, he pays the sum of $14.25 to my son John Welker, and in four months after that payment the like sume to my son Samuel; and in four months after that the like sum to my daughter Polly intermarried to Levy Hissom; and in four months after that payment the like sum to my daughter Bessie intermarried with John Hissom . . ."
. . .
Third: . . . I direct my executors to divide the same [my personal estate] into eight equal shares and give and devise two shares thereof to my son John, and one hsare thereof to my son Samuel, one share to my daughter Polly, and one share to my daughter Betsy, and one share to my daughter Nancy, and one share thereof to my daughter Sophia, and one share thereof to my daughter Catherine, to be paid to them by my executors, after the estate is settled, &c."

I don't know of any children for John and Elizabeth.

Steve Hissem
San Diego, California