I did a little Ancestry.com research on Bower Rork, my great-great-great grandfather. There is still a lot more to do, but here is what I have so far:
Born: August 18, 1822 in Hamilton County, Ohio
Bower appears in the 1830 and 1840 U.S. Census for Hamilton County, Ohio and Decatur County, Indiana, respectively. He is listed in his father, John’s household. The census in those years did not list each individual member of the household, so it is difficult to learn any other details.
Marriage: Family records show that Bower married Sarah Mozingo on March 26, 1844 in Decatur County, Indiana.
Children (this information comes from census records):
William Harrison Rork, born April 30, 1845
Elizabeth Anne Rork, born in 1847
Thomas J. Rork, born in 1852
Phebe Rork, born in 1853
Sarah Elizabeth Rork, born in 1856
Bower Rork, born in 1858
James Thornton Rork, born in December 1861 (my great-great grandfather)
Charles Edward Rork, born in 1862
Occupation: Bower is listed as a farmer in Decatur County, Indiana in the 1850 U.S. Census and in Ripley County, Indiana in the 1860 U.S. Census.
The 1850 Census is a nice example of how the family must have taken care of each other. Living next door to Bower and Sarah were Bower’s parents, John and Anna, with several of their children. On the next page is Sarah’s mother, Amelia Mozingo, and two grown daughters. Amelia was apparently a widow, and it looks like Bower and Sarah must have helped to provide for her and Sarah’s two sisters.
Military Service: I found a record of a Civil War Draft Registration for Bower in June 1863. He was 40 years old and listed as a farmer in Jackson Township, Ripley County, Indiana.
I have not been able to find any other documents regarding Bower’s military service, if he served at all. He died just a few months after the draft registration. I will have to do some more research to see if his death was related to the war or something else.
Death: October 31, 1863
Burial: Napoleon Lutheran Cemetery, Napoleon, Indiana
I wish I had a picture of Bower, but I guess this photo of his grave site will have to do: