Abi Pike, c.1850 – 23 July 1936

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Abi Pike was my great grandmother, and she lived with my grandmother while my father and uncle were growing up. Abi's mother was born in Ohio, and her father in New York. Finding her in old records has been a real difficulty.

In the 1850 Census, there is a Pike family listed in Wayne Township, Pickaway County, Ohio.
They are:

Thomas sr. was born in New York, and Elizabeth in Ohio. Those are the birth places the real Abi claimed for her parents in 1920 and 1930. The name ``Thomas'' might actually be Hermas or Herman; the census-taker's script is inconsistant.

The place is reasonable, the parents' birth states are right, the age is dead on for Abi, but the baby's sex is wrong! It's not impossible that the census taker could get the infant's sex wrong, so this doesn't entirely rule out this family as that of Abi Pike, especially as it seems to be the only family that fits in all the U.S. in this Census.

In the 1870 Census, there is a Pike family, with Thomas, Elizabeth, Homer D and Abi Pike. Abi's age is right, and they are in Louisa County, Iowa. Unfortunately, Abi is listed as ``Male, Works on Farm''. The birth states for Thomas and Elizabeth match up to what Abi Saha claimed in the 1920 and 1930 censuses, and the ages all match (within the usual tolerances) what we see later on in the 1880, 1920 and 1930 censuses. This is probably the same family we found in Ohio in the 1850 Census. Since Uncle Bruce is quite sure that his grandmother was indeed female, this is either an improbable mistake by the census taker, or the wrong Pike family. This seems to be the only Pike family in the U.S. Census this year that fits the bill.

In the 1880 Census, an Elizabeth Pike, who might have been Abi's mother, was living in the same household with a John Turgeon; probably the same John Turgeon that Abi married in January of 1881. The birth state for this Elizabeth is wrong (New York, rather than Ohio), but that's not a sure sign that this is a different Elizabeth: the information was probably given by someone other than her, and may simply indicate that the head of the household wasn't clear on where his mother-in-law was born.

After 1880, there is a long break in the records. So far, I've found no signs of Abi Pike or Abi Turgeon, or Elizabeth Pike, in the 1900 or 1910 Censuses. There is a Harry M Turgeon in listed in the 1910 Census, age 24. This indicates that he was born in 1886. He is the father of Bertrand L Turgeon, born c.1905, and thus he is probably the son of Abi and John Turgeon. Myrtle Turgeon was born in 1888 (again, from cemetery records), but doesn't show up under that name in any census.

Cemetery records show that Abi's first (? First would mean that she was 31 when she first married!) husband John Turgeon died in 1911, and some time thereafter she married John Saha. He seems to have been local boy, and was living just a few houses away from the Pike family we saw in the 1870 Census (the Pikes were in the 84th house the census-taker visited, the Saha's in the 72nd). They may have been childhood sweethearts, and had almost certainly known each other for 40 years or more.

The 1920 Census shows Abi Saha and daughter Myrtle Swank(or Swan, or Swanb, or Swanf, or ?), again in Wapello City, Louisa County, Iowa. This is roughly two years before she met up with James Harrison. The non-Turgeon surname suggests that she had married and somehow wound up single again. James Harrison would have been her second husband, then.

The 1930 Census lists Bruce and James, grandsons, Myrtle Tomlinson, daughter, and Abi Saha, head of house. We can be quite sure that these are my uncle, father, grandmother and great grandmother, respectively. They were living in the City of Wapello, Louisa County, Iowa. It seems that James Harrison Thomlinson had already left.

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