Francis Asbury Voss

Francis Asbury Voss was a younger brother of my great-great-grandfather, William Voss, and was the third son of Clement Voss and May Britton. I am indebted to the research of my fourth cousins, Sandy Pickett and Linda Davis, for most of the information on Francis and his family which appears on this page. Please visit our photo album to see pictures of this family which Sandy and Linda provided.

Francis and Celestia Voss

Francis Asbury Voss was born 10 March 1811 in Stokes county, North Carolina, and died 29 September 1898 in Riverside, California. He was named for a famous Methodist preacher, Francis Asbury (1745-1816). Francis Voss moved with his parents to Virginia, then Tennessee, then finally to Indiana around 1833.

First marriage. Francis married Nancy (Lomax) Voss 24 March 1836 in Monroe county, Indiana, according to the Indiana Marriage Index. Nancy was born 17 Mar 1804 in NC and died 29 Aug 1859. She is buried in Old Greencastle Cemetery in Greencastle township, Putnam county, Indiana, listed as "w/o F. A. Voss". We haven't been able to locate Francis or the children in the 1860 census anywhere, or to find any other trace of this family in Putnam county.

Francis and Nancy Voss' children. The following children were all enumerated with Francis and Nancy in the 1850 Federal Census. They were living in Bloomington, in Monroe county, Indiana. Francis was listed as a carpenter.

  1. Amanda E. Voss, born about 1840, in Owen county, Indiana.
  2. Francis M. "Frank" Voss, born 28 May 1842, in Owen county. According to Civil War service records, Francis M. Voss was in Company H, 18th Indiana Infantry in the Union Army. He enlisted as a Corporal 16 Aug 1862. He was wounded 19 Oct 1864 in a battle at Cedar Creek, VA. He was promoted to Full Lieutenant 2nd Class 20 July 1865. He is listed on a Civil War pension record in Missouri as the son of Francis Asbury Voss. Linda Davis wrote in 2005 to inform us:
    I tracked down Francis M. Voss, the son of Nancy and Francis, who fought in the Civil War. In 1880 census he was living with his in-laws, James & Caroline M. Whitlock in Kickapoo, Leavenworth county, Kansas with his wife Media, who was born abt. 1852. She had consumption...
    Linda subsequently added some more information on Francis, who served in the 18th Indiana Volunteer Infantry:
    I received the miltary file for my great uncle, Francis M. Voss. He had been very elusive but I was able to confirm some info and found new bits of info. Francis M. served in the Civil War from Indiana. He married Ophelia A. (Media) Whitlock in either Clay county, Missouri, or Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas. Her father was a hotel keeper in Clay county and a government employee at Ft. Leavenworth according to census records. Francis was born about 1842 and died of consumption 31 Jan 1882 at Leavenworth. His wife preceeded him in death from the same illness probably the year or 2 before. She is listed in 1880 census as having consumption. They had at least one son, George, born in 1869 at Leavenworth but had died by 1880. Ophelia's parents were James Whitlock and Caroline Matilda Crockett...
    In 2007, Linda sent us several photos of Frank and Media's family's graves which are now in our Indiana scrapbook, and filled in some more information on this unfortunate family:
    Francis M. Voss was born 28 May 1842 in Greencastle, Owen, Indiana.

    He died 31 Jan 1882 in Slat Creek, Leavenworth, Kansas of pneumonia.

    His wife, Ophelia or Media Whitlock Voss was born 30 Jan 1852 probably Platte, Clay, Missouri. She died 18 Sep 1880 in Leavenworth, Leavenworth, Kansas of consumption.

    Francis & Ophelia had 2 children
    1. George born 21 Nov 1869 in Leavenworth and died 27 May 1879 of scarlet fever.
    2. Frances born and died 18 Mar 1875 in Leavenworth.

    Ophelia had 1 brother, Lysander Whitlock born 1850-51 in Missouri also. He died 14 Nov 1920 in Topeka, Kansas. He and his wife had 10 children. I have info on them if anyone would be interested.
  3. Mary Sophia Voss, born 25 Feb 1844, in Owen county. Linda also tracked down Mary's whereabouts in later years and says:
    Mary Sophia Voss (youngest daughter of Nancy and Francis) married John W. Wink, 28 Nov 1869 in Owen county, Indiana. They do not appear in 1870 census. They do appear in 1880 in Saline, St. Genevieve county, Missouri with 6-year-old daughter, Olive, born in Indiana, and Mary's sister, Claudia Beatrice Voss,1 the daughter of Francis & Celestia. My gg. grandfather was living in this county also at that time and was 13 years old...
    Mary died 14 Nov 1900 in Riverside, and is buried in Evergreen cemetery there.

Nancy Voss' family. According to information supplied by Linda Davis, Nancy's first marriage was to Andrew Voss, who was born 2 Jun 1804 in Stokes county, NC, and died about 1835, probably in Indiana. Nancy and Andrew were married 17 Mar 1825 in Guilford county, NC. Andrew was the son of Thomas Voss and Mary Workman. We have no information as to how these Vosses are related to our own Voss line. Nancy and Andrew had the following children, of whom Abigail and Benjamin were both living with Nancy and Francis in 1850:

  1. Male child, name unknown, born about 1826. Date of death unknown, but doesn't appear with Francis and Nancy in 1840 census; only one male child is recorded.
  2. Abigail Voss, born about 1828 in Stokes county, NC died abt 1859 in Monroe county, Indiana. Married to Joseph W. Pullen 23 Feb 1853 in Monroe county, Indiana. Joseph Pullen is recorded in 1860 census as unmarried and living in a boarding house. He remarried in 1862 and had died by 1863 and there is no record of divorce. There are two headstones in the cemetery with Jospeh Pullen and his second wife. One headstone has the initals "SAP" which may have been Abigail. The other headstone could have been Nancy's.
  3. Benjamin Voss, born Dec 1829 in Stokes county, NC, died 26 Feb 1906 in Bloomington. Married Mary Elizabeth Modrell 24 Feb 1859 in Owen county, Indiana. They had no children. According to Benjamin's 1880 census record, he and his parents were all born in North Carolina.

Second marriage. Francis married Phoebe Celestia Wolfe2 1 October 1865 in Owen county, IN. She was known by her middle name and was the daughter of Daniel Wolfe and Eliza Faraby. She was born 28 May 1846 in Hillias, Knox county,Ohio, and died 6 October 1932 in Riverside, CA. In 1870 they are listed as living in Franklin township, Owen county, IN. Francis is now a farmer. Some time later they moved to Liberty, St. François county, Missouri, where they were enumerated in the 1880 census.1 (You must look at this family's record to see how wonderfully their names were rendered by the census taker!) Around 1895 they moved to Riverside, CA, where Francis died at the age of 87. Celestia is found in the 1920 Federal Census in Riverside, listed as a 72-year-old widow, living with her daughter Ida and son-in-law, George Russell, and their children. She died at the age of 86, and is buried along with Francis in Evergreen Cemetery in Riverside.

Francis and Celestia were the first members of my mother's family to move to California, arriving here nearly 30 years before Mom and her parents and siblings came to Santa Monica. However, I never heard them mention any Vosses who were in California, so I don't know if they were aware of these cousins' existence or location.

Francis and Celestia's children:

  1. Hester Belle Voss, born 12 September 1866 in Indiana, died 10 August 1955 in Santa Barbara, CA. Hester married Michael J. Ludwig in about 1893. He was born 28 July 1859 in Indiana, and died 13 April 1942, in Riverside county, CA. Hester and Michael were found in the 1910 Federal Census in Turlock, Stanislaus county, CA, and in the 1920 Federal Census living in San Gorgonio, now known as Banning, in Riverside county. One daughter Lucille Ludwig, aged 20, was living with them in the latter census. Sandy recalls that Hester Belle was called Belle in her family. Information about the birth and death dates of Hester and Michael is from the California Death Index, which gives Michael's middle name as Aloysius [?].
  2. Claudia Beatrice Voss, born 8 August 1868 in Franklin, Owen county, IN, died 3 December 1953 in Riverside, CA. Claudia married James Russell Bain, who was born 11 March 1857 in Tennessee, and died 14 February 1902 in Riverside, CA. Claudia Bain was listed in the 1910 Federal Census in Riverside as a widow with four children at home. Her son John, aged 23 was working as a teamster to help the family. She is also found in the 1920 census with two of her daughters still at home. In the 1930 Census she was living alone and working as a seamstress, doing home sewing. She lived until she was 85 years old, always independent, raising canaries and taking care of her own home and garden. She is also buried in Evergreen Cemetery, Riverside, CA. According to information on his death certificate, Claudia's husband, James, died from tuberculosis at the age of 44. His son, John Sidney Bain, said that they moved to Riverside from Missouri when he was seven years old which would have been in 1894 or 1895. James is listed in the 1900 Federal Census with his family in Riverside. He is buried in Evergreen Cemetery, Riverside, CA. The 1900 census record lists James and Claudia's daughter Pattie as being born July 1894 in California, which may identify the time when this family moved West.
  3. Eliza Eva Voss, born 2 January 1872 in Owen county, Indiana died 28 May 1964 in Sacramento, CA, married William Allen Miller 28 Feb 1895 in Riverside, CA. William was born about 1870 in Missouri. Linda, who is Eliza's great-granddaughter, tells us:
    Francis Asbury Voss and his family lived in the area where William Allen Miller was born and raised, Madison county and St. François county, Missouri. William and one of his brothers, Columbus, decided to leave Missouri and head to California to grow oranges. It appears that Francis decided to move his family with them since William decided to marry Eliza. The orange grove did not survive a deadly freeze so William and Eliza moved to Sacramento where he was a gardener until he died. Most of the Voss descendants remained in the southern California area. Some did move up the central valley and a couple of Francis' grandchildren moved to the Oregon border...
    Eliza and William Miller's family were enumerated in Riverside in the 1910 census and in Sacramento for 1920.
  4. Ida Claire Voss, born 27 January 1879, probably in St. François county, MO, died 28 Dec 1972 in Riverside, CA. Ida married George W. Russell 18 June 1901 in Riverside, CA. He was born 21 Oct 1875 in Indiana and died 5 Feb 1946 in Riverside. They were listed on the 1920 Federal Census in Riverside along with their daughter, Ailene Russell, aged 16, and son LeVerne Russell, aged 12. Ida's birthplace was listed as Missouri in this census. Celestia Voss was living with them at this time and was listed as George's mother-in-law, but in the 1880 census, Ida isn't recorded as a daughter to Francis and Celestia, but as "other". Sandy's mother remembers them from when she was a child.

1 Claudia managed to be counted twice in the 1880 census, since she was also listed in her parents' household in adjacent St. François county.
2 Celestia's surname isn't spelled consistently in the public record, appearing sometimes with and sometimes without the final e.
This page was last updated 1 Mar 2009.