I am looking for information about an ancestor who died traveling the Oregon Trail in or about 1860
I have an ancestor who traveled the Oregon Trail in or about 1860.
Here is what I know so far -
Elias Smalley - Code 97K7-KS9
DOB - 15-May-1803 - probably in Kentucky
DOD - Probably some time in 1860, 1861 or 1862
Married - Lucy Leak on 26-Feb-1827 in Brooksville, Bracken county, Kentucky
- He was counted in June-1860 for the 1860 census in Holt county, Missouri
- Some time later in 1860 or perhaps 1861 or 1862 he traveled west along The Oregon Trail with his wife Lucy, his son Robert and Robert’s wife Mary and their two children.
- I found reference to his death on MyHeritage.com but the exact date and cause of death is not known.
- Elias apparently died along the Oregon Trail but I do not know
a) The exact date of his death
b) The cause of his death
c) The location of his death or his burial.
Elias' wife Lucy settled in Walla Walla, Washington and died in nearby Dayton, Washington in 1893. His son Robert settled in Dayton, WA. His son James eventually settled in Pacific county, WA along the Columbia river.
Lucy Leak Smalley - (Wife of Elias Smalley) - Code LBDQ-JXM
DOB - 12-Feb-1809 in Kentucky
DOD - 4-Mar-1893 in Dayton, Columbia county, Washington
Married - Elias Smalley on 26-Feb-1827 in Brooksville, Bracken county, Kentucky
What I want help with --
- Elias’ exact date of death
- Elias’ cause of death if known
- Location of Elias’ burial
Is there anyone who can tell me how to find information about his death?
You are looking for any record with clues to point you to the location, date and cause of Elias' death. Can you post the URL or transcript of the document from MyHeritage?
I can appreciate your undertaking of this task to locate your ancestor being no easy task. Unfortunately I do not have an easy answer - a 'cursory' search doesn't turn up any 'good/specific' results.
Here is the FamilySearch Wiki article for Oregon Trail (with lots of good resources - but some links are broken):
I was able to locate a website of a trail association which has the following information (it would probably be good to consult with those that know the trail to see if they can help frame your search):
The site also lists the following guide book:
From the information I was able to view on Elias Smalley - it is difficult to determine his 'possible' death location. A location will need to be narrowed down and then search the death records/databases for that location. I do not know if he could have died early in the journey - in Missouri - or late in the journey - near Washington - or somewhere in between. You could start at one 'end' of the trail and work your way to the other 'end' or start somewhere in the middle. Starting in Missouri and working your way along the trail might be a good way to 'recreate' and follow in his footsteps. It appears that unless you can find records from those descendants - that may have recorded their experiences along the trail - you don't have a good estimate of where to start searching.
Hopefully other Community members can help direct you further. I wish you well and enjoy the journey!0
Your question has been forwarded to the Search section of the Community.
I just found your reply, genthusiast. The email from FamilySearch went to my spam folder so I did not see it until just today.
I looked at the OCTA website and found lots of interesting info but nothing that pertains to my ancestor, Elias Smalley.
Below is the citation for the MyHeritage.com web page that mentions Elias Smalley's death along the Oregon Trail. I am assuming it is correct although I have found no other documents that confirm that hypothesis.
As I stated in my original post Elias Smalley was counted in June 1860 for the 1860 census in Holt County, Missouri. Some time after that he and his family traveled West along the Oregon Trail.
FamilySearch Family Tree
Under license to MyHeritage.com [online database], MyHeritage Ltd.
Birth: May 15 1803
Death: Circa 1860 - Oregon Trail
Parents: Andrew Smalley Jr., Lucy Smalley
Wife: Lucy Smalley (born Leak)
Children: James Andrew Smalley, Robert Lancaster Smalley
Siblings: Andrew D. Smalley, Matilda Smalley
Douglas G Larson0