By Joe Oliver
Feb. 13, 2012
Albert Ellsworth Oliver, my father’s grandfather,
is the son of Esther Ann Oliver and an unknown father.
The quest to research my Oliver ancestry resulted in an ironic realization: None of us Olivers is an Oliver. Specifically, my great grandfather Albert Ellsworth Oliver and all of his descendants lack a single drop of blood from the Nathan B. Oliver we get the surname from. Rather, we have the blood of Nathan B.’s wife, Esther Ann Oliver, and the unknown father that her son Albert Ellsworth was conceived from.
Nathan B. Oliver was Esther’s first husband. He was born in NY in 1835. She was born in Illinois(?) in 1836. By 1854 they had both ended up in and were married in Trenton Wisconsin (near Beaver Dam). The problem is that by the time Esther gave birth to my great grandfather Albert Ellsworth in 1873, Nathan B. had been dead 11 years. He died of consumption in 1862, and is buried at the Shiloh battleground site in Tennessee. He was a private in the Wisconsin Infantry.
Together, Nathan and Esther Oliver produced at least three and at most five children in Trenton before Nathan marched off to war and died. But in the 1900 and 1910 Censuses, Esther indicates that she bore a total of 9 children in her lifetime. I know of 3 before Nathan’s death: Sarah E., Homer P., and Isabelle D. I know of four after Nathan’s death: Ella, b. 1865, Albert Ellsworth b. 1872, May b. 1875, and Alice b. 1876. As of now the identities of the 2 missing kids is unknown, though there are some likely candidates.
As for my great grandfather Albert Ellsworth and his post-Nathan siblings, who knows who their father/s is/are. It seems Esther moved to Cincinnati soon after Nathan died. It seems that she raised Nathan’s and the other kids in Cincy without a husband or male mate, since I can’t really place her at an address with a husband until 1880, four years after the last of her children was born. By that time Esther Ann was 44. Strangely, though Esther and Wm. A. Wentworth were married in 1880, and he lived until 1896, I have not been able to show both of them living at the same address. Esther died in Cincinnati in 1915 at 79.