One or more men named Moses Conger lived in Appanoose Co., Iowa. Three women married a man named Moses Conger. The research challenge is to determine whether all three of these women married the same Moses Conger? Can it be proven using the available information that the three women married the same man? If so, in what year was he born? In what state was he born? What was the date of death?
Here's a summary of census information, with birth dates calculated, which will then be discussed in more detail.
1840, age 30-40, b. Abt. 1800 to Abt. 1810
1850, birth state of PA, age 59, b. Abt. 1791
1856, birth state of PA, age 54, b. Abt. 1802
1860, birth state of PA, age 56, b. Abt. 1804
1870, birth state of NJ, age 64, b. Abt. 1806
It is troubling that the birth state listed in the 1870 census is NJ, and not PA.
In the 1840 Monroe Co., Ohio census Moses Conger was between 30 and 40 years old. Using those two ages we can calculate an earliest and a latest possible birth date . If he was 30, he would be born Abt. 1810 (This is not likely in light of information we have from later census records.). If he was 40, he would be born, Abt. 1800. This gives us a range for the birth date, Abt. 1800 to Abt. 1810.
Based on the 1850 Monroe Co., OH census record it appears that Moses Conger, was born Abt. 1791 in Washington Co., PA. Maxine Leonard in "The Conger Family of America" lists the date of birth as Abt. 1797 with no source citation. Maybe the age, 59, listed in the 1850 census, was in error, either when recorded or when extracted. Perhaps his age was actually, 49, rather than 59. If so, the calculated birthdate would be, Abt. 1801, which would be more consistent with the ages listed in the other four census records.
Using the birth dates calculated from the other censuses we have: Abt. 1802 (1856 census), Abt. 1804 (1860 census), Abt. 1806 (1870 census), thus narrowing the birth date down to a period of 5 years 1802-1806. That's probably what should be entered in his record, born Abt. 1802/1806, although Abt. 1801 also should be considered as a possibilty for the first date in the range.
We know from a biographical sketch of his son, Elias Milton Conger, that his father lived to be 75 years old. Adding 75 to the birth range of Abt. 1802/1806 we arrive at Abt. 1877/1881 for the date of death.
What do we know about the marriages?
Abt. 1828, in an unknown place, he married Elizabeth Powell, born Abt 1810 in OH. Source: No citations for either date.
On 27 Mar 1854, at age 53 (b. Abt. 1801), he married, in Appanoose Co., IA, to Mary Kitchen, age 45, who was born Abt. 1809. Source: Appanoose Co., Iowa Marriage Records, Book 1, page 119.
On 7 Jan 1863 (no age listed) he married, in Appanoose Co., IA, to Lucinda [sic, Lorinda] (Dale) Powell, who was born, Abt. 1822/1826 in Madison Co., KY. Source: Appanoose Co., Iowa Marriage Records, Book 2, page 111.
Moses and Lorinda Conger have an 1870 census record which says he was 64 and born in New Jersey which would make his birth year, Abt. 1806. Why does the 1870 census record give the birthplace as New Jersey?
Moses and Lorinda Conger had a child, Moses D. Conger born on 9 Apr 1864 in Appanoose Co., IA. Based on the 1870 census data, the father would have been 58 years old when Moses D. Conger was born.
If the women didn't all marry the same man this would create another research problem. For example, the Moses Conger who married Lorinda (Dale) Powell, didn't just drop out of the sky at the time of the 1870 census. If there was another Moses Conger why haven't other records of his existence been found?
In my genealogy file the Appanoose Co., Iowa, Moses Conger, is entered as one person with three marriages. His birth date is entered as, Abt. 1802/1806 and the death date, Abt. 1877/1881. If, and when, additional information becomes available this is subject to change.
(Written by Richard E. Henthorn, 5 May 2004)