Josephine Guisleman

Josephine had a short and chaotic life.  The first record I have of her, she is 7 years old and living with a family that is not her own.

I believe she was born to a John Guiselman (spelled many different ways on various records), who was likely born in either Ohio or Pennsylvania around 1818, and to Mary Eliza (Allen?), born 1822 in Virginia.  They had three boys living with them in the 1850 census in Marshall Township, Ohio – John, David, and George.  Also worth noting – Isaac Grabill lived next door to them in 1850, and Eliza ended up marrying him later….

Josephine was born in 1853, and I suspect she may have had a twin sister Elizabeth…. more on that in a moment.  In the 1860 census, the family is scattered all over Ohio.  It seems that John must have died, and the family had to disperse.  Josephine, at age 7, is living with Moses and Ruth Tomlinson in Paint, Ohio – they were farmers, and there were several other random people living there, including a 10-year old with a different last name.   Not too far away in Paint, her mother and oldest brother were living with another farming family – Daniel and Mary Miller.   Her brother David was living in Liberty, Ohio, with the Gibson family and brother George living in Marshall, Ohio with the Watts family.


Paint and Liberty were not very close – they are about 78 miles away.  Paint to Marshall is about 180 miles and Marshall to Liberty was about 68 miles.

Back to the family Josephine was living with – it turns out,  Moses and Ruth Tomlinson  were Quakers who worked with the Gist Settlement in the anti-slavery movement




The Gist Settlement has a fascinating history – good article here:

Another interesting tidbit from the 1860s census – her mother was living as Eliza Guiselman with a family named the Millers, even though she had re-married Isaac Grabill in 1855.  Then, in the 1870 census, she is using her married name of Mary Grabill but not living with Isaac – she lives with Charity Bonwall in Marshall, Ohio, and David and Josephine also live there.  In 1880, she is back to Mary Guisleman and living in Marshall with David and his new family.

In the 1870s census, there is an Elizabeth Gunselman living in Paint, Ohio, as a house servant for a family – she was born in 1853 in Ohio, the same year as Josephine, which makes me wonder if she is a twin sister – I can’t find her ANYWHERE else – that dang last name is always spelled differently.  However, Josephine had a middle initial of “E”, so it is possible that she was counted twice in the 1870 census (?).

In 1872, Josephine married Charles Edward Lynchard in Highland, Ohio.  He was from Iowa, but I can’t find him on the 1870s census, so he possibly had moved to Ohio (?).  I believe her aunt – Elizabeth’s sister Tamar “Fannie” Allen – had married Charles’ father, Henry Clay Lynchard, in 1863.  She had moved with her first husband to Iowa, when he died and she met Henry Clay.  This must be how the two families were connected.

Josephine and Charles lived in Iowa and had three children – Stella (my ancestor), Harry and Ralph.  In the 1880s census, they lived in Salt Creek Iowa, next door to Henry Clay and Tamar.  Sadly, Josephine passed away in 1880 at the age of 27.  I cannot find the reason for her death.


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