John William Minor and Catherine Gillespie

3rd great grandparents < Sarah Adaline Minor Ferrell < Thomas Wilson Ferrell < Arthur Ferrell

From :,_johnwgillespie.htm

John W. Miner

John W. Miner was born in 1820 near New Rumley, Harrison County, OH, thought to have been the son of George and Susannah (Smith) Minard. Precious little is known of his life.

John is believed to have married Catherine Gillespie (1818-1895) on July 28, 1841, by the hand of justice of the peace Emanuel H. Custer. This marriage is recorded in the book, Historical Collections of Harrison County, in the State of Ohio, by Charles A. Hanna (New York, 1900).

The man who performed the Miners’ wedding ceremony was none other than the father of Gen. George Armstrong Custer, who also lived in New Rumley at the time. In fact, the Custers and Miners were longtime friends, and the general’s brother, Capt. Thomas Ward Custer, produced a child out of wedlock with one of John’s first cousins, Rebecca Minerd


John and Catharine’s marriage recorded in the 1900 book, Historical Collections of Harrison County

John and Catherine resided at Scio, Harrison County, and had at least four children — Eliza Ann Miner, Sarah A. Miner, Wilson Miner and Mary C. Miner.

When the federal census was taken in 1850, the Miners were next-door neighbors to John’s brother and sister in law, Jacob and Mary Ann (Kimmel) Miner. John’s occupation was listed as “farmer.”

In December 1852, the Miners purchased a 37-acre farm in the county from David and Emma Kimmel. They paid $500 for the acreage. Two years later, in September 1854, they sold the tract to their longtime neighbor, Frederick Kimmel, realizing a $300 gain. 

Evidence suggests that John died sometime between 1854 and 1858, as his wife married again in 1858.

Catherine is believed to have married widower Joseph Kimmel (1831-1901), the son of New Rumley justice of the peace Frederick Kimmel, who was considerably younger than she was. Joseph and his first wife, Iowa native Caroline Dively (1827-1895) were married in Van Buren County, IA, but she died there in the late 1850s. 

Joseph and Catherine’s wedding took place in 1858, when Catherine was age 40, and Joseph 27. (Catherine’s brother-in-law Jacob Miner married Joseph’s sister Mary Ann Kimmel.)

Joseph brought three children to the marriage — Mary C. Kimmel, William Kimmel and Hannah M. Kimmel. Joseph and Catherine then are thought to have two children of their own, if not more — Martha A. Kimmel and Jane (or “James”) Kimmel.

When the 1860 census was enumerated, Joseph and Catherine Kimmel and the Miner children Sarah (age 14), Wilson (10) and Mary C. (8) were residing in their home near Scio. 

The census of 1880 shows the family in North Township, with children William, James and Martha Kimmel, and five year-old-grandson Leon Medley, in the household.

Catherine is said to have passed away on Sept. 28, 1895, and to be buried at the Lutheran Church Cemetery in New Rumley. 


The 1900 census lists widower Joseph, age 68, as head of his household. Unmarried son William Kimmel (age 46) and married daughter Hannah Medley (44), and granddaughter Olive S. Medley, also were in the residence. Daughter Hannah stated that she had been married for 25 years and was the mother of four children.

Joseph is thought to have died on Dec. 2, 1901.

Catherine Gillespie was born about 1818 in either Ohio or Germany. It has been suggested she may have been married to Moses Gillespie previously, making her birth name Catherine Turner or Turney. I have found no evidence which proves Catherine Turner Gillespie and Catherine Gillespie Minor were the same individual, however. Neither Turner nor Gillespie are German, so that adds more questions.

John and Catherine’s marriage record does contain this note. I’m unsure for certain what the highlighted word is. It reads “on certificate of…. on part of Bride.” It’s been suggested this mysterious word might be divorce.


I did find a William Gillespie of German Township, Harrison County, Ohio who may have been about the correct age to have been her father. This might explain the confusion in her place of birth.

Note: not to be confused with John and Katherine Miner of Harrison, Preble County, Ohio and Iowa.

They had 4 children:

  1. Eliza Ann Minor born about 1842
  2. Sarah Adaline Minor
  3. Wilson Minor born about 1849
  4. Mary C Minor born about 1852


“Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : 8 December 2014), John Minor and Catherine Gillaspie, 28 Jul 1841; citing Harrison, Ohio, United States, reference v C p 123; county courthouses, Ohio; FHL microfilm 894,637.

“Ohio Marriages, 1800-1958,” database, FamilySearch ( : 8 December 2014), John Minor and Catherine Gillaspie, 28 Jul 1841; citing Harrison,Ohio, reference ; FHL microfilm 0894637 V. A-C.

“United States Census, 1850,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : 9 November 2014), John Miner, Rumley, Harrison, Ohio, United States; citing family 118, NARA microfilm publication M432 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).

“Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : 8 December 2014), Wm. Minor in entry for Sarah Adaline Ferrell, 18 Aug 1928; citing Mill Twp., Tuscarawas, Ohio, reference fn 52140; FHL microfilm 1,991,348.


“United States Census, 1830,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : 18 August 2015), John Miner, North, Harrison, Ohio, United States; citing 210, NARA microfilm publication M19, (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 133; FHL microfilm 337,944.

“United States Census, 1840,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : 24 August 2015), John Mener, Rumley Township, Harrison, Ohio, United States; citing p. 112, NARA microfilm publication M704, (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 402; FHL microfilm 20,167.

“United States Census, 1860”, database with images, FamilySearch ( : 30 December 2015), Cathr Kimmell in entry for Joseph Kimmell, 1860.