Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Buffalo and Bears in Athens County?

               Almira/Elvira Bobo (Sprague) was born in 1826 in Lodi Township, Athens County, Ohio to Joseph and Hanna Moore Bobo.  A narrative written by Joseph Bobo is included in the book History of Athens County and Incidentally of the Ohio Land Company and the First Settlement of the State at Marietta (which is available to read online).  In his narrative, Joseph states that his parents, Henry and Sarah Black Bobo, came to Athens County in 1798 (which was then a part of Washington County).  They settled on Margaret Creek, where Joseph was born in 1802, then moved to Lodi Township in 1810 “which was all wilderness then.” Joseph describes taking grain to a mill in a canoe by going to the mouth of the Hockhocking River 40 miles, then 30 miles up the Ohio River to Marietta, and 2 miles up the Muskingum to Belpre.

                Joseph tells about hunting deer, bears, turkey, and even a few elk and buffalo.  He states that the last buffalo was seen in 1815 in Meigs County.  He tells the story of his father Henry going into caves after bears with a torch in one hand and his gun in the other.  One time, the bear came running after him, and he just laid flat as he could and the bear ran over him, tearing his clothes.  Luckily, he had a buddy standing guard outside the opening of the cave who killed the bear.  Supposedly the bear weighed 390 pounds.
                Joseph married Hanna Moore on September 18, 1823.
                Hannah Moore Bobo died in 1853 and is buried in Williams Cemetery in Lodi Township, Athens County.  Joseph married Mary Wren (or Renn) in 1854.  His house burned to the ground in 1871, according to a newspaper article.  He died in July 1880 and was buried in the Williams Cemetery.

                Henry Bobo was born in 1771 in Prince William County, VA.  His parents were Gabriel Bobo (1719-1790) and Elizabeth Garner Bobo (1729-1813), also of Prince William County.  There are graves for Gabriel and Elizabeth Bobo in the Elk Cemetery in MacArthur, Vinton County, Ohio.  Research gets very confusing from this point on.  The name is of French origin and is spelled in a variety of ways:  Bubboe, Beaubeau, Baubeau, and many more. I believe Gabriel’s father was also named Gabriel, and was the original Bobo to come to America in about 1700.  That Gabriel married a widow, Elizabeth Spencer White. Some researchers feel that Gabriel and Elizabeth’s son, Spencer, is the father of the second Gabriel (making Gabriel Sr. the grandfather rather than the father of Gabriel Jr.).  Others suggest that Gabriel, Jr. is the son of Gabriel, Sr. and another wife.  Elizabeth Spencer White Bobo was responsible for helping at least five people come to America by paying for their passage in exchange for their land grants.

                The Bobo Family were persecuted in France for their Protestant beliefs.  A Gabriel Baubeau was living in 1691 St. Sauvant, France with three sons. There is a record of two Baubeau brothers being sentenced to death in 1697 for meeting in the woods for an Easter service. They were to be hanged and their bodies displayed on two different main roads to discourage any others from congregating to hear the Protestant teachings.  The French religious refugees became known as Huguenots.  There is an organization known as The National Huguenot Society and we would qualify for membership as descendants of Gabriel Baubeau.  We have another Huguenot ancestor: Andreas Souplis, who I wrote about in a previous blogpost titled “The Sheriff of Germantown.”     

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