Saturday, December 29, 2012

Jacob Monk and Jane Crawford

My great great grandparents, Jacob Monk and Jane Crawford, the parents of Susan Monk Hart, were among the earliest of my direct ancestors to arrive in Canada. That I don’t say that they were the earliest is because I’m not yet sure who was. Jacob’s father, Jacob Sr., also came to Canada, but I am not certain which of the two men came first, or whether they came together. I do know that Jacob Sr. stayed in Canada, but that Jacob and Jane did not. Although others have done quite a bit of work on the Monk family, I am still sorting it out for myself. It is a bit complicated. In fact, Susan Monk’s lines are among the most challenging ones on my tree for me, probably because they are the most exotic to me as they involve German and Irish genealogy, which as yet do not know as much about.

Jacob Monk was born in New York between 1806 and 1821, the son of Jacob Monk Sr. and likely Margaretha Gress, both of German descent. At present, Jacob’s grandfather appears to have been Johannes Carl Muenck, a Hessian soldier brought over by the British to fight on their behalf during the American Revolution, who changed sides and remained in America. It appears that the family surname was originally “Muenck” but the Hessian grandfather appears to have anglicised the name to “Monk”, possibly to avoid being identified as a German. By 1849, Jacob was living in Ontario, Canada, and marrying Jane Crawford. The first record we have of his father living in Ontario is in the 1861 Canada census. However, there is a gap in the records of which I am sure, so they may have come to Canada together or separately, Jacob at any time after his birth, and Jacob Sr. any time after 1830. I am guessing that they came together since many families, and this family in particular, tended to emigrate together and live close to each other. Interestingly, Jacob Sr.'s half-brother, Nicholas, is living in the same county, Oxford, in Ontario, in the 1851 Canada Census, and remains there until his death in 1862. Also of interest is that the Hessian grandfather’s brother, Henrich Wilhelm, appears also to have been a Hessian, but who remained loyal to the British cause, and lived in Canada from about 1811 to 1819. (I am grateful to C. K. Monk for his work on Henrich and other family members). I admit that my own work on the Monks is definitely still a work in progress.

Jane Crawford was born September 19, 1822 in Ireland, likely the north, to John Crawford and Margaret Ann Diamond, who were Methodists. She was sometimes described as “Scottish”, so it is possible that the family was what is referred to as “Scots Irish”, that is, Irish of Scottish descent.  Her parents were married in Larne, Antrim, Ireland, so this may be where her mother was from, and where the family was living when Jane was born. I have more research to do in this area. She appears to have been the eldest of a family of nine, the other children being Susan, John W., Elizabeth, Henry, Margaret Ann, Mary Ann, Charlotte and Sarah. Her family came to Canada between 1845 and 1847, and by 1851 were residing in Oxford County, Ontario, Canada. She married Jacob Monk in Brock, Ontario on April 16, 1849. Between 1852 and 1855, she and Jacob moved to Decorah, Winneshiek, Iowa, as had her parents and siblings. She and Jacob were to remain in Iowa until their deaths.

Jacob and Jane Monk had seven children, Henry, Susan, John, George, James E., Alexander Washington, and Daniel, the first three having been born in Canada, and the last four in Iowa. They first lived in Decorah and Madison in Winneshiek county in Iowa, and then by 1880 were living in Bridgewater, Clay, Iowa. He had been granted homestead lands in Clay county on September 25, 1878. Jacob died on October 9, 1883 at the age of seventy-eight. In 1900 Jane is living with her unmarried son, George, on his farm in Freeman, Clay Iowa. Nearby is  the farm of her son John. In 1910, she is living next door to her son James and his family in Ruthven, Clay, Iowa, and she died there at the age of ninety-three. Jacob and Jane are both buried in Dickens Cemetery in Dickens, Clay, Iowa.

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