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Joseph & Charity Tonks of Tonawanda, Erie Co., NY
Posted by: John Hoff (ID *****8327) Date: April 16, 2007 at 21:51:15
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Joseph and Charity Tonks were in N.Y. prior to 1822, but I don't pick them up on the Erie Co., NY, census until 1840. Joseph Tonks was born 1787-91 in Eng., prob. in the Birmingham area. He presumably married Charity in NY although one census has her born in Eng. Their dau., Margaret Elizabeth Tonks was born 22 Aug. 1822 in NY. Family records say that Margaret Elizabeth Tonks was born in Tonawanda, Erie Co. (but until 1826 Tonawanda was part of Niagara Co., NY.)

Margaret Elizabeth Tonks married John Frederick Evans in Lewiston, Niagra Co., NY, on 28 Sep. 1837. I am assuming that she is the dau. of Joseph and Charity Tonks because they appear in Tonawanda, are of the correct age, and are the only family of that name in Tonawanda or Erie Co.

On the 1840 Census of Towanda, Erie Co., NY, Joseph Tongs appears, born 1790-1800. He has a wife born 1780-90, one son and three daus. It is possible that Joseph's wife in 1840 is not the Charity of 1850 since Charity is younger that Joseph in 1850 and the wife in 1840 is older than Joseph.

In 1850 Joseph Tanks and family appear in Tonawanda.
Joseph Tanks, 59, Eng.
Charity Tanks, 58, NY
John Tanks, 13, NY
James Russel, 26, Canada
Sarah Russel, 20, NY
Mary Russel, 2, NY
William Russel, 1 mo.?, NY

In 1860 the family is still in Tonawanda.
Joseph "Jules", 72, Eng. (As indexed on
Charity "Jules", 70, Eng.
John "Jules", 26, NY
next family listed
James Russell, 34, Canada
S.A. Russell, 30, fem., NY (Sarah A.)
M.A. Russell, 12, fem., NY (Mary A.)
Wm. Russell, 9, NY (married an Emma 1870-80)
Nancy Russel, 6, NY
Frank Russell, 4, NY
John Russell, 1, NY
(Note: Although "Jules" is clearly a poor guess at trying to read a census, it is clear from the 1850 census that this is the Tonks family. Sarah A. Tonks married James Russell.)

Joseph Tonks does not appear on the 1870 census of Tonawanda, but Charity appears with the family of James and Sarah Russel as "Charity Tonts", age 74, born NY. Charity is apparently dead by 1880 since she does not appear with the family of James Russell in that year.

About 1858 the family of John Frederick and Margaret Elizabeth (Tonks)Evans moved to Oceana Co., MI. John Frederick Evans had been born in Wolverhampton, Staffordshire on 8 Sep. 1815 and the birth was recorded in the records of St. Peter's or Collegiate Church in Wolverhampton. His parents had been married in Aston Juxta Birmingham. Since there were Tonks in the Birmingham and the Wolverhampton areas, it is possible that the two families were acquainted in England.

Any help in identifying Joseph Tonks in Eng. would be appreciated. There were numerous Joseph Tonks in Wolverhampton and I can find the marriages of several of them in the records of St. Peter's, but I cannot find a marriage to Charity (and believe that it took place in NY.) It is possible that Joseph may have married first in England and that Charity is a second wife.

Thomas L. Searle had made several inquiries about this family on GenForum in the late 1990's and early 2000's, but I think that he died about 2002. He received no responses pertinent to this family

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