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James Ryan Fawn and his "wives"
Posted by: Don Fawn Date: April 13, 1999 at 13:35:49
  of 46

Apparently, James Ryan "Pete" Fawn had two "significant others" in his life following the death of Clarinda Doan in 1915. My dad recalls a woman of 'substantial proportions' who had lived with James in the mid 1930's known only as "Mert", perhaps short for Myrtle. He doesn't think that James ever married "Mert" nor does he recall any stories about the dissolution of their relationship. Whatever happened, James Ryan Fawn and "Mert" parted company... he was then with a woman named "Georgia" who was described as about half his age with 5 or 6 kids (I believe James and Georgia were married)... James would have been in his mid- to late 70s when he was with Georgia. She left him before his death.

As I proceed further, I just uploaded an additional 300 names.... and, based solely on my database, I notice that there seems to be a propensity for the birth of twins ..... is this just my imagination?

And finally for this post, I've been vigorously trying to find out what could have prompted one of two brothers to change the last name. I considered all the usual possibilities, illiterate census takers, poor record keeping, bad penmanship, etc. Last night, I asked my dad what he remembered about the father of James Ryan and Charles E. What little was ever spoken of Frank Fawn during my dad's childhood is that Frank was apparently a wealthy and 'influential' individual for his day and that much of his wealth was centered around "Richland" ...... I haven't determined whether that is Richland County, Richland Township, or at least three other Ohio sites with a "Richland" name all of which are located in different counties. My only clue may be as follows: I have a copy of a land patent grant signed by President John Adams in May 1800 which grants Capt. William Fawn 300 acres in Coshocton County as payment for military service during the American Revolution. Capt. William Fawn took possession of those 300 acres and he died in 1809. Presuming that Frank may be a descendant of William (I believe Capt. William Fawn had a son named William Henry Fawn... however, my data stops there). I believe that the area described in that land grant would be the logical place to start looking for a "Richland".

All that aside, the story is that Frank Fawn disowned and disinherited both of his sons Charles Fawn and James Fawn because they married the DOAN sisters who were reported to be one-half American Indian. For reasons I can't fathom, a Native American heritage wasn't the source of pride then that it is today. Could one of the brothers have changed the spelling of the name to "disown" his father in return? Who knows.... as usual I welcome all ideas... let me hear your thoughts and until then

have a good one,
-don-

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