Every genealogist has them, and I am no exception. That never ending brick wall. To someone frustrated by trying to research said brick wall, it appears to be longer than the great wall of China. Insurmountable for sure. And this one is no different!
One of my biggest brick walls is my 4th great grandfather, John Hess. Here's what I know about John. John was born 7 JUN 1787 in Virginia. Some have said that John was born in Page County, Virginia, other say Rockingham County. Although I can prove he at times lived in those places, I can not prove either was his birthplace. Some say his father was a Revolutionary War soldier, some say prisoner of war. So far all are just unproven heresay.
John married on 27 JUN 1811 in Rockingham County, Virginia, Miss Anna Maria Bloos, daughter of John Adam Bloss and his wife Mary. They were the parents of Joseph, Elizabeth, Polly, John F., Leanna, Sarah, Permelia (my ancestor) and William H. All matured to adulthood.
John died 21 MAR 1871 in Blue Ball, Butler County, Ohio where he and Mary had moved ca1850. John's death record indicates that he died of cancer, the specific type not identified. It also states that his parents are Casper Hess & Mary Sheets.
I've done my census homework on John - starting in 1820 when his family is in Rockingham County, Virginia, and following him thru 1870 which was the final census he appeared on. I have land deeds where he had land in Page County, Virginia & Rockingham County, Virginia, which he sold off prior to his move to Ohio. One parcel of land was even sold AFTER the move.
John's will was recorded in Butler County, Ohio on 20 MAR 1871 and names his children & his wife, but doesn't name any siblings. Here is the will as it was transcribed by me. No spelling or grammer changes have been made. It is given here as it is on the document I transcribed it from.
Will of John Hess
In the name of God the Benevolent father of all, I, John Hess, of the County of Butler and State of Ohio do make and publish this my last will and testament.
Item 1st. I give and bequeath to my beloved wife, Mary Hess, in lieu of her dower, the use and sole control of all the estate of which I may be seized, during her natural life, She to have all the rents and emoluments arising there from.
Item 2nd At the death of my said wife, Mary Hess, the residue of my property there remaining after selling apart two hundred dollars extra to my daughter, Leanna Hess, I give and bequeath in equal shares to my children, William Hess, Joseph Hess, John F. Hess, Sarah Bell, Parmelia F. Phillips, Leanna Hess and to the children of my deceased daughters, Betsy Hult and Polly Eppert, the said children of Betsey and Polly, it is hereby understood inherit the shares of the said Betsey and Polly, the same as if they were living at my decease.
Item 3rd I hereby constitute and appoint my son, William Hess, Executor of this my will and testament; and should my personal effects be insufficient to pay my debts (after sale of the same), in that event, should my said Executor, deem it best, I hereby enpower him to sell my real estate, either at public or private sale, as to him would seem most advantageous, and after paying all my debts, the residue then remaining, it is my wish that he place at interest, taking care to have it well secured, so that my said wife, Mary Hess, shall draw the interest of the same during her natural life, and at her death be divided as aforesaid. In Witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 10th day of July A.D. 1869.
/s/ John X Hess (His mark)
Signed and acknowledged by the said John Hess, in our presence, and signed by us in his presence.
/s/ P. P. La Fourrette, /s/ W.B. Hedding
My searches thus far have not led me to any Casper Hess that I feel fits the bill for the father of John Hess. So for now the search for the parents of John Hess, well lets just say it was easier for the great wall to come down than for this be resolved!