Aide Family Genealogy – Project Blog

13 July 2009

Edward Aide of Co. Kilkenny Ireland

Filed under: Genealogy, Wisconsin Genealogy — Tags: , , , , , , — jeaide @ 3:50 am
Edward Aide's grave marker located at St. Philip's Cemetery in Highland, WI

Edward Aide's grave marker at St. Philip's Cemetery - Highland, WI

The patrilineal starting point of this project is Edward Aide, who was born in Co. Kilkenny Ireland and died in Highland, WI on 11 Oct 1883 (obituary).  His headstone reads that he was 70 years old at the time of his time of death, putting his birth year at 1813.  It is, however, unlikely that he was actually born in 1813.  According to Federal Census records of Highland, WI taken between 1850 and 1880 and a letter that was written by his youngest daughter, Julia [Aide] Egan (I will post a transcript of the letter following this post) in 1931, his year of birth can only be approximated as some time between 1805 and 1820.  In his excellent book, Tracing Your Irish Ancestors, professional genealogist John Grenham writes that a “measure of skepticism is necessary with regard to to dates of births, marriages and deaths reported by family members before 1900.”  He goes on to say that this is especially true for births as ages given to the Census, especially rounded numbers such as 50, 60, 70, etc, should be “treated with particular caution.  The true birth date is almost always well before the one reported, sometimes by as much as 15 years,” explaining that up to the start of the 20th century “very few people actually knew their precise date of birth.”  So, for now, we can only speculate on Edwards date of birth.

Biographical details are scant, but if we refer to Julia’s letter, Edward likely emigrated to the United States some time between the late 1830’s and the early 40’s.  Her letter also mentions that Edward settled in the Highland area at a time when it was known as Franklin.  According to the book History of Highland, Wisconsin: In Celebration of 130 Years, it is inferred that what was known as Franklin become Highland about 1849.  If Edward spent a few years in New York working “odd jobs,” as Julia tells us, then we can estimate that Edward probably arrived in the Highland (aka Franklin) area some time between 1846 and 1849.

His wife was Anastatia Kent, also from Co. Kilkenny, who died in Highland some time in early April of 1905 (death certificate).  The earliest record I have found of either Edward or Anna is on the 1850 Federal Census (see lines 9 and 10) of Highland.  Appearing with no children under the surname “Ade,” Edward, age 37, and Anna, age 30, likely married some time between 1846 and 1849, but I have found no documentation of a marriage date, yet.  They married in Highland, according to the letter written by their daughter, Julia, after they met on the farm of Anna’s brother, Walter Kent, where Edward was working in the mid to late 1840’s.  According to both her grave marker and her death certificate, Anna’s year of birth was 1817.  Census records seem to indicate that she was born between 1820 and 1825, and according to the 1900 Census in particular, which shows the individual’s reported month and year of birth (previous to 1900 Fed Censuses only indicated reported age), she was born in May 1824.  Whatever the case, in the absence of a birth or baptismal record to give an exact date, I’m estimating her year of birth to be somewhere between 1815 and 1825.  In her final years, it appears she was living with her daughter, Julia [Aide] Egan.  The 1900 Census (line 21) of Highland describes her as being “supported” by her daughter.

Appearing on the same 1850 Federal Census, right after Edward and Anna (indicating that they were neighbors), are the families of Peter and Elen Ade, both age 35, and John and Margaret Ade, age 30 and 24, all from Ireland.  Also appearing on the census, though they are not neighbors, are Perry Ade, age 45, and James Aide, age 27, both from Ireland.  How or if they are related remains unclear at this point.  Further research shows that John and Margaret imigrated from Ireland by way of  Canada, but I’ll reserve further discussion of these other individuals for a separate blog entry.

According to the 1850 Federal Census, Edward’s occupation is listed as “miner.”  It appears that Edward “Aid” acquired a land grant in June of 1858, purchasing 80 acres of land on the border of Iowa and Grant counties, near Highland.  In the 1860 Federal Census (line 3), Edward’s occupation is listed as “farmer.”  Unfortunately, I have uncovered no solid, documented information about either Edward or Anastatia previous to the 1850 Census, so we really don’t know where their port of entry was when they each came to America and I have found nothing regarding Edward’s whereabouts in New York.

Edward and Anna’s children were:

  • Pierce Aide, born in Highland, WI abt 1850 and died in Troy, near River Falls, WI 20 July 1924
  • Mary Aide, born in Highland, WI 05 June 1853 and died  Highland, WI 12 Mar 1922
  • James David Aide, born in Highland, WI Sept 1954 (death date unknown – last appears in the 1910 Fed Census in Platteville, WI)
  • Katherine Aide, born in Highland, WI Sept 1856 (death date unknown – last appears in the 1910 Fed Census of Highland, WI)
  • Ellen Aide, born Highland, WI (birth and death dates unknown – see letter)
  • Julia Aide, born in Highland, WI 18 Aug 1861 and died in Highland, WI 04 Aug 1836

In an effort to make this easier to read and understand, each child will be dealt with individually in separate blog entries.  For the time being I will just say that years of birth were determined using both Census data and obituaries, when available.

It is worth noting that Edward and Anna’s surname, as it appears on their grave marker, is AID while the current spelling of my patrilineal surname is AIDE.  The reason for this is best described by Robert E. Matheson in his very short work, Varieties and Synonyms of Surnames and Christian Names in Ireland, published in 1890.  This book, which can be found free of charge on Google Books (an excellect resource for locating historical books and tidbits of info – highly suggested), was written as a “guide for registration officers and the public in searching the indexes of births, deaths and marriages” containing a large number of Irish surnames and their spelling variants.  Matheson states that “these variations are not only in spelling and form, but entirely different names are used synonymously  by the same person or members of the same family.”  He explained the reason for this in a few ways, from widespread illiteracy in Ireland to translations from Irish to English.  In the case of Edward and Anastasia there are a couple variations in both the spelling of the surname and the form of the given name.  For example, in Wisconsin State Censuses of 1855 and 1865, Edward’s surname appears with the spelling EADE.  In the Federal Censuses at the begining of each decade, from 1850 to 1880, the surname is spelled ADE, AID, EADE, and AIDE, respectively.  In the 1850 Federal Census, Edward’s wife appears as “Anteale,” while in later Federeral Censuses her given name appears as Ann, Anna or Anastasia.  This also holds true for Edward’s oldest son, Pierce, who in the 1860 Census appears as Peter, while in later Censuses his name appears as Pierce or Perry.  I will get into Irish naming systems and spelling variants in more detail in a later blog entries…

I am currently focusing most of my time in researching the records and indexes of parishes in southern Co. Kilkenny in an effort to find Edward and Anastatia’s baptismal records.  I will go into more detail in the coming days.

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