|OHIO MAP WITH BROWN COUNTY|
Mary Mears ((1786-1873)—Lemuel Boyle Sayer
Elizabeth Mears (1796—1880)—Jonathan Shreve
Catherine Mears (1799-1888)—Robert Legate (1802—1822) and Israel Donnelson Sayre (1807-1849)
Nancy Mears (1801-1883)—George Newell (1798-1875)
Jane Mears (1803-1878)—Jesse Stephenson (1804—1828)and David Calvin (1800/1810—1845)
Charity Mears (1806—1842)—John M. Hannah (1799-1842)
Sarah Jane Mears (1808-1899) George Fisher (1807-1907).
As I looked at the census information for these families, I noticed that they began to leave Brown County for places that were further west. The first couple to leave were Jonathan and Elizabeth Mears Shreve who by 1820 had moved to Ripley County, Indiana, where Jonathan’s father now lived.
I knew that by 1830, my great grandparents, John and Charity Mears Hannah were living in Edgar County. However, according to the census for 1830 George and Sarah Jane Mears Fisher and Israel and Catherine Mears Sayre were also living there. But that was not the only Mearses who were in
|TOWNSHIP MAP OF EDGAR COUNTY|
One couple did not go to Edgar County, even though they did leave. George and Nancy Mears Newell stayed in Brown County until 1860 when they were in Deer Park, LaSalle, Illinois. They remained there until their deaths. While all her sisters left Brown County, Mary Mears with her husband Lemuel Sayre remained in Brown County.
So why might these families moved to Illinois? I think the answer is land. For each family I searched the Illinois Land Sales and found that each husband and Elizabeth Mears bought land. Generally land was bought on a land warrant or for $1.25 per acre. As I looked over the purchases they were all in the same area—Townships 15 and 16 in Ranges 11 and 12. That would mean these families were living relatively close together in Ross, Prairie, Edgar or Brullet. That area is the four townships in the upper right hand corner of the map. Someday soon, I will take that township map and plot exactly where the land was purchased.
If I could talk to them, I would ask why they moved. I would also like to know how they travelled from Brown County to Edgar County. Did they go over land? Did they go down the Ohio River and then up the Wabash River? Or did go partly down the Ohio and then overland to Edgar County?