Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Cyrona / Sarona / Sirona / Cyronie Marks

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Doing the research on Cyrona (rhymes with Verona) Marks was quite the whirlwind as each search brought forth a new way to spell her name. Which told me that the Census takers had some trouble deciphering it. I was very confused in the beginning of my search on her and was forever checking, rechecking and checking again to ensure it was the right Cyrona.

The name is a little unusual, even for today, and it seemed a bit unusual to the people of 1850/60 too, as the spelling was always different. I was unable to find the name at all on the 1850 Census for Fork (Eldorado) and only a few listings on the 1860 Census showed mostly children who had been born within the past five years. Only one name found was for a woman of age 23. The name just popped into existence (kinda like my third great grandfather, William Buck Marks) over the years between 1850 and 1860 with different variations, Cyrona, Cyrone, Cyronie, Sirona, and I wondered if Sophronia could also be a variant of the name. I was curious where my third great grandparents had found it. Some google searches on my part resulted in the following: 

Wikipedia says Sirona / Serona was a goddess worshipped predominantly in East Central Gaul - a region of present day France, Luxembourg, Belgium, Switzerland, Northern Italy, Netherlands, Germany (including Bavaria), Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania during the Iron Age.

Several ‘baby name’ websites returned the name Cyrona / Cirona as meaning “star.”

Namespedia.com said Cirona / Sirona is a surname used 95% of the time and only 5% is it used as a first name.

The Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature says that Sirona is a name mentioned in Roman mythology designating a goddess in connection with Apollo Grannus. The most recent inscription discovered was by the side of a mineral spring at Nierstein, Germany, on the Rhine River, accordingly known as the Sirona Spring. Another inscription found in Grossbottwar, Wurttemberg, Germany, in stone, having both the names Apollo and Sirona, and dating from AD 201.

Cyrona seemed to be a name that might have originated in Germany. I was getting a bit excited at this point and sure enough, when I looked up Sirona on a map of Germany I found Sironastra├če (Sirona Street) right on the Rhine River in Nierstein, Germany. I could not help but wonder if my third great grandfather, William Buck Marks, was from this area, and was part of the German migration to America in the early 1800’s. German immigration to America began as early as 1709. Perhaps his parents or grandparents migrated to America in the 1700’s and he had heard the ancient stories of his homeland and named his daughter after an area he was familiar with.

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Cyrona Marks is my third Great Aunt and the second daughter of William ‘Buck’ and Leah Caroline Fesperman Marks. She was born December 14, 1850. I first found her on the 1860 Census in Fork (Eldorado), Montgomery County. She had missed the 1850 Census by 2 months. She has one older sister, Jane (11), as well as one younger sister, Julia (7), and two younger brothers, Edward (5) and Thomas (2).

1850 Census
Search as I might, I was not able to find Cyrona on the 1870 Census. Instead, I found two new names, Mary and Martha. At first, I thought that maybe Cyrona and Jane were now going by their middle names. However, the 1860 Census lists the middle initial of each child. Cyrona’s middle initial is H and Jane’s is R. I compared the ages on the 1860 Census with the 1870 Census. Julia is listed on the 1870 Census as age 20 but is only 17. Cyrona listed as age 9 would be about 19 in 1870, and Jane listed as age 11 in 1860 would be about 22 now.

I believe Jane R married Lindsay Loflin (or someone else) prior to the 1870 Census so I was sure she should not be listed as living with her parents. Jane is covered in another Blog, Searching for clues on Jane R. Marks

So, who are Mary and Martha and furthermore, where are Edward and Thomas? Something seems very off here and many questions come to mind but no answers. I determined to revisit this one and do further research later.

As a note: Leah’s age shows 60, she is 47.

1870 Census
I continued with my search on Cyrona and found two marriage records for her. One dated Jun 11, 1869 and another dated Oct 17, 1869.

On June 11, 1869, Cyrona married J. K. Hamilton. Name of Minister is P. C. Callioott


On October 17, 1869, Cyrona married J. K. Hamilton again with N. W. Smart as the Minister. I found this a bit odd but, as I was not able to find any other information I have no reason why two weddings took place. I do now know for sure that Cyrona’s middle initial is H - which I believe is Henrietta, after her mother's sister, Henrietta "Hetty" Fesperman who married Pvt Green Carter (more on these two coming soon).

 J. K. Hamilton is Joseph K. Hamilton, born about 1844 in North Carolina to William and Mary (Polly) Morgan Hamilton. I first found him on the Montgomery County, North Carolina 1850 Census page 79, and dwelling 564. Cyrona is found on page 92, dwelling 663. While not close neighbors, they probably would have known one another as youngsters through church or other community activities. I see that Elizabeth Morgan, Mary’s mother, is living in this household so her husband has most likely passed away. Joseph has an older brother, Ira and an older sister, Susan. Baby sister, Palestine is 3.

1850 Census
 The year 1860 finds Joseph at age 16 and he, sister Polly (who is Palestine) and brother William are attending school. Grandmother Elizabeth looks to have passed away. A new brother, Lee, has been added to the family.

1860 Census
1880 finds the Hamilton family in Cabarrus County, Township 8, Reed, Misenheimers. Joseph and Cyrona have five children and Joseph is working in a Steam Mill. I imagine that the steam mill Joseph worked at was the Reed Misenheimers steam sawmill which operated in Cabarrus County around this time. Joseph and Cyrona have 5 children, Florina (9), Ulysses (7), Mary (5), Wesley (3) and Allen (1).

1880 Census
Between 1880 and 1900, the Hamilton family moved to Albemarle, Stanly County. Efird Manufacturing Co. opened its first mill in Albemarle in 1896. The industrial age was upon us and business was booming. My guess is that Joseph and his sons found work here and made the move. It certainly would have put them closer to other family in Montgomery County. I see that Cyrona states that she has had 11 children but only five are living. Mary (25), Adolphus (21), Aday (13), Richard (9). There are only nine children listed so 2 are missing. Mary is the only child that I see that was on the last Census and this one. Further research is required to determine which children have died.

1900 Census
By 1910, Cyrona listed as head of house as Joseph passed away on Jan 22, 1910 and buried in Oakwood Cemetery, Concord. The family has moved back to Cabarrus County. Cyrona is now working in a leather mill and two children, Richard (19) and Bertie (9) are still living at home. There is also a boarder by the name of Shake Doby.

1910 Census
In 1920 we find Cyrona still in Cabarrus County living in Concord at 128 Franklin Street with her son Richard. Cyrona is 69 years old and listed as a widow.
1920 Census
Cyrona H. Marks Hamilton died on Feb 22, 1922 and was buried next to her husband, Joseph, in Oakwood Cemetery, Concord, her name, misspelled throughout her entire life, once again, misspelled.


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