It is often hard for me to choose a favorite, since I have a number of photos to choose from. This week there were only three aunts or uncles on the birthday calendar who had an available photo and fit my criteria of having a birthday during this week. I already had written about 2 of them in previous years, so it left John England for me to write about. His photo is not the best quality, but it is all that I have for him. It is a picture of John and his wife Eliza.
|Eliza J and John B England|
John Barnett England was my 2nd great-granduncle, the brother of my 2nd great-grandmother, Margaret (England) O'Neal. He was the son of my 3rd great-grandparents, William L and Mary Jane (Walker) England.
John was the oldest son, born 11 January 1828, in Tennessee. It was most likely in Gibson County because that is where his parents were married the previous year. But John was the only child born in Tennessee as their family moved to Montgomery County, Illinois about 1829. John had five siblings, two brothers and three sisters. It was about 1847 when the whole family moved farther west to Davis County, Iowa.
John was enumerated as a 22 year old farmer on the 1850 census and was listed as a 27 year old laborer on the 1856 Iowa state census. When the 1860 census was taken, John was still living at home and was shown as a farmer owning real estate valued at $1100.00.
1865 saw a number of changes in John's life. On the 20th of April he married Eliza Jane Goodson. The previous year his brother James and his wife Angeline with their two children had traveled the California Trail with two uncles and their families. So in 1865 it was John's turn. He and Eliza traveled with his parents and his other brother David and David's wife Eliza and their three children; his sister Margaret and her husband, C P O'Neal and their daughter Mary Ann; and John's unmarried sister Mary Ann. I wonder if it got confusing with two Eliza's and two Mary Ann's. John had one more sister, Rachel, who was married to Hezekiah Redenbaugh and she stayed in Iowa with him and their children. Sadly it was also during that year that James was killed from a farm accident in California.
On the 1870 census John and Eliza were living in Lower Lake Precinct of Lake County California. He was shown as J B England, a farmer with $400 worth of personal property. It was not long after this that a number of the England family moved north to Oregon: John's parents, his brother David and two sisters Margaret and Mary Ann.
John's mother died in 1873 and was buried in the Cogswell-Gay cemetery which is northwest of Creswell. On 14 August 1873,William Logsdon England and John Barnett England purchased real estate from John Whiteaker, in Lane County, Oregon, The property was described as 753.5 acres more or less in portions of sections 28, 32 and 33 in Township 20 South, Range 2 West. This was about 5 miles east of Cottage Grove. John's obituary stated that his home was located “at the foot of what is known as Siera Gorda mountain.” Modern maps show that mountain as Cerro Gordo.
When the 1880 census was taken John now age 52 and Eliza age 42 were enumerated in the Cottage Grove precinct of Lane County Oregon. Also in the household were Alvira Champion age 15 and Sarah Champion age 13. Their relationship was shown as servants, but were attending school. John's father William, who was both blind and deaf, was living with John's sister Margaret near Creswell on the 1880 census. According to some family stories, the children took turns having William live with them until his death in 1893. But it was earlier on 3 Nov 1887 that Eliza died and was buried at the Sears Cemetery.
John continued living in his home until 1901 when he went to Portland for medical reasons. It was there he died on 31 May 1901 at the home of his nephew Mac England.
John was buried back in the Cottage Grove area at Sears Cemetery next to his wife.
It is often fun to read older obituaries and see how the writers described the deceased.
John's is no exception. The following is from The Leader on June 7th, 1901:
“Uncle Johnie” was one of Cottage Grove's most substancial and highly
respected pioneer citizens, loved by all who knew him, and was ever
ready to lend a helping hand to the needy. He was an earnest and consistant
Christian...and a useful neighbor, no better traits of character can be
ascribed to any one and white the community grieves the loss of a good
and true man he will live in the memory of his kindred and friends for
years to come.