The Hefling Family
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John S Hefling

John S Hefling

John was born 15 May 1807 in Fauquier, Virginia or Ohio to John Hefling and Lousinah H. Stone. He died on 10 Jul 1868 in Astoria, Fulton County, Illinois and is buried in the Salem Cemetery there.

Mary 'Elizabeth' Robinson

Elizabeth was born about 1806 in Ohio. She died about 1889 in Astoria, Fulton County, Illinois. It is presumed she is buried in the Salem Cemetery near her husband in Astoria, Illinois but no record has been found to verify.

John and Elizabeth were married 23 Nov 1826 in Harrison County, Ohio. They had six (or seven) children.

Sometime between 1805 and 1809, John's parents moved their family from Fauquier, Virginia to Ohio settling in Harrison County. It had been thought that John was born in Virginia, however the census records indicate he was born in Ohio.

Very little is known about Elizabeth's parents, and it's unknown if her maiden name is Robison, Robinson or Robertson. We do not know her father's name. Her mother lived with them for a while and her name is listed as Nancy Robinson on the census.

The 1850 census is the first census that lists the names of the entire household and we find John and Elizabeth farming in Oxford Twp, Coshocton County, Ohio. The value of their real estate was $1200. It is this census we see Elizabeth's mother, Nancy, living with them at the age of 60 and indicating she was born in Ireland. All of their children except William G., as he was married by then, were living on the farm. 

In 1860, the family was still living and farming in Oxford Twp. The value of their real estate had increased to $5000 and their personal property was listed as having a $200 value.

About 1865, John and Elizabeth moved their family to Astoria Twp, Fulton County, Illinois. Even their adult, married children moved their families. Why they made this move is anyone's guess.

I found some Illinois land patent's for a John Hefling (using various spellings of Hefling) in several counties. However, in all the documents that I am certain belong to our John Hefling he used his middle initial of "S". The 1871 Land Atlas of Astoria Township, Fulton County, shows J S Hefling owing land in Section 32 and Section 29, as well as his son C B Hefling owning land in Section 32. These sections are about 4-5 miles southwest of Astoria.

On December 22, 1866, John signed his Last Will and Testament. He indicated upon his death his sons, John W and William G, were to each receive 50 acres adjoining the 60 acres in Section 32 he had deeded that day to his son Clarkson. Also, upon his wife's death, his daughters, Mary E and Martha E, along with his granddaughter, Rosamond Hefling (daughter of his then deceased son, Robert C Hefling), were to divide equally the "Home forty acre lot and fifty acres in Section 32."

As of yet, I have had no luck determining what happened to John W, the first son mentioned in his will. The only other John W that would have been born in the late 1820s has been linked another parent. I thought for a time that John W and Martin might be the same person, however every census and military record lists him as Martin. Although it is curious that no mention was made of his son, Martin.

The 1895 Land Atlas of Astoria Township shows C Heffling owning 60 acres in Section 32, and his sister Mary E owning 20 adjoining acres. However, the location of these lots are different from the 1871 Atlas. The lot John owned on the 1871 Atlas in Section 29 shows Oscar Lawrence owning in 1895. Oscar is the son of daughter Mary E.

Also of special note, William Wheeler owned 120 acres in Section 32 on both the 1871 and 1895 Land Atlas'. William was the father of the Wheeler brothers who married a couple of William G Hefling's daughters (Alpharetta and Sarah Elizabeth), and another son who married Robert C Hefling's widow, Angeline!

The Salem Cemetery is located about 2 miles west of Astoria surrounded by a corn field. The family row included stones for Mary E, Robert C, John S, Angelina Wheeler (widow of Robert C) and her son, William. Elizabeth is  probably buried there without a marker.

Children of John S Hefling and Mary Elizabeth Robinson:

  1. William Gilispie Hefling
  2. Mary E Hefling
  3. Clarkson Hefling
  4. Martin Hefling
  5. Robert Clark Hefling
  6. Martha E Hefling 

                                                                                                page created April 2012

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