Family:William Edgell and Mary Starkey (1)

Facts and Events
Marriage[1] 8 Mar 1855 Wetzel, West Virginia, United States
Alt Marriage[2] 18 Mar 1855 Wetzel, West Virginia, United States

This is an unusual family, and it is tempting to think it might be 2 separate families (one reflected by the 1860, 1870 and 1880 censuses and a separate one reflected by the 1880 census). However, children in both groups are identified in the records as being the children of W F (or Frank) Edgell and Mary Ann Starkey, and Mary Ann's 1900 census record indicates that she had a total of 14 children (4 deceased by that time). Either she actually had 15 children as listed here, or Wilbert and Corvin were the same person, in spite of the difference in birth months/years and genders.

Neither Jesse nor Wilbert appear in the 1880 census (unless Wilbert was the same person as Corvin) - possibly they were living with relatives at the time (maybe because Mary was overwhelmed with her other young children and/or the deaths of 3 of her children in 1875).

Several of the children appear to have undergone name changes during childhood. This could be as simple as using first and middle names at different times, but the middle initials of both Levi and Silas in birth and/or death registers implies otherwise. Possibly the parents underwent a religious experience that influenced them to rename some or all of their children. Note that there was a Lottie Edgell, identified as their child, who married first a Callihan and then a Dewey - she was likely Rosa (based on the age given in one record) or possibly Sarah/Martha.

The family is also unusual in the span of years over which the children were born. While it is not unusual for a woman to have children at about 17 or about 45, it is unusual for one woman to have both. Having children over a span of 28 years is extraordinary (the usual span appears to be about 20-22 years). Mary Ann was obviously a strong woman, especially since she went on to live to almost 90.

  1. W T Edgel and Mary Ann Starkey, in West Virginia, United States. Vital Research Records Search Selection. (West Virginia, United States: West Virginia Archives and History).
  2. This date was provided unsourced. Since the source register is cut off on one side, it is possible that the date is 18, although it does not appear to be.