Our earliest known ancestor was Stephen Lyon. In later censuses his son, John, recorded that his father was born in Virginia. Using census information, I believe that Stephen was born in about 1800. Nothing is known of his parentage or early childhood at this time.
Stephen was living in Bledsoe County, Tennessee by about 1827-1828. He married Elizabeth Sarah (or Sarah Elizabeth) Goodwin at about that time. The early records of Bledsoe County were destroyed in a fire, so it is impossible to document anything during the time Stephen and Sarah were living there. Sarah was born in about 1809-1810, probably in Tennessee. She was the daughter of James Goodwin. The Goodwins were originally from North Carolina, and had also emigrated to Tennessee and were in Bledsoe County by the late 1820s. (The family Bible lists Stephen's wife as Sarah or Sallie. The 1850 census in Buchanan County lists her name as Elizabeth.) I will use the name Elizabeth in this narrative. Stephen and Elizabeth had seven known children
The first time Stephen's home can be documented, is in the 1830 census. Stephen - age 20-30, Elizabeth - age 20-30, and one son under the age of five are listed in Bledsoe County. This son has to be James. James Goodwin and his family are also listed in Bledsoe County in this census. During the next three years, two children were born to Stephen and Elizabeth. Minerva Jane was born in late 1830 or in 1831. William was born in 1831-1832. Both were born in Tennessee.
In about 1833, The Lyon and Goodwin families moved to Putnam County, Indiana. I would guess Stephen Lyon was a farmer, as almost all were. Our ancestor, John was born in Putnam County on January 25, 1834, followed by Ella in 1836. The 1840 census for Putman County, Indiana lists Stephen Lyon - age 30-40, his wife - age 30-40, one son 10-15 (James), two sons 5-10 (William and John), one daughter 10-15 (Minerva), and one daughter under five (Ella).
A biography for Tobias Goodwin, Elizabeth's brother, states that the Goodwin family emigrated to Buchanan County, Missouri (organized in 1838) in late 1840 or early 1841. John Lyon's obituary mentions that "when a boy he came with his parents to Buchanan Co., where he grew to manhood." John would have been seven years old at that time. I believe the Lyon and Goodwin families traveled together to Missouri, and that the area they settled was in southeastern Buchanan County in Platte Township. Platte Township borders Atchison and Hardin Townships, Clinton County on the east, and Platte County on the south. They probably lived a little southwest of the area where the village of Gower, Missouri was incorporated in June of 1873. Most of Gower is in Atchison Township, Clinton County, although today a small portion is in Buchanan County.
Stephen and Elizabeth's third daughter, Sarah, was born in Missouri soon after their arrival, in late 1840 or early 1841. Stephen Lyon is listed in the Tax List for Buchanan County in 1845. The list shows he had 1 mule and 2 cattle, valued at a total of $46.00. A James Lyon is also listed and is possibly Stephen's son who would have been sixteen at the time. He is listed with 1 mule and 1 cattle, valued at $38.00.
Stephen Lyon apparently died before 1850. There is no further record of Stephen, and the date of his death, or his burial site, is not known.
Elizabeth Lyon - age 40, and her children, James - age 23, Jane - age 21, William - age 19, John - age 17, Ella - age 14, and Benjamin - age 5, are listed in the census for Platte Township, Buchanan County, Missouri in 1850. Elizabeth is listed as a farmer, with a real estate evaluation of $1600.00. The Goodwin families are also listed in Platte Township.
The 1860 census for Buchanan County lists Elizabeth Lyon - age 51, on page 209, household 1401 in Platte Township, Platte River Post Office. Platte River Post Office was located at the junction of what is now County Road E and Highway 116, about five miles west of the Buchanan/Clinton County line. Her occupation is listed as farmer with a real estate evaluation of $1600 and personal property of $367. Her children, Minerva J. - age 29, Ellen age 23, Sarah - age 20, and Benjamin C. - age 14 are living with their mother. Another female, Stalira - age 7 is living with them. Her relationship to the family is unknown. Elizabeth's father, James Goodwin - age 78 is also living with his daughter. Elizabeth's father, James Goodwin, died in 1866.
Stephen and Elizabeth Lyon's son, Benjamin, died in 1868. It is not known what caused the death of Benjamin, or where he is buried. His probate is on record in Will Book B and C, at the Clinton County Courthouse in Plattsburg, Missouri. Elizabeth Lyon is not mentioned in the probate for Benjamin. This could mean that Elizabeth died between the 1860 census and the death of Benjamin in June of 1868. No record of her death or burial site has been found. It is, of course, possible that she remarried. Hopefully, through further research, we will learn of the final years of Elizabeth (Goodwin) Lyon.
. +Elizabeth Sarah or Sarah Elizabeth Goodwin b: 1809-1810
.... +Elizabeth (Figgett or Fickett?) b: Abt 1832
2 Minerva Jane Lyon b: Abt 1830
.... +John McQueen
2 William (William Joseph/Joseph William?) Lyon b: Abt 1831
.... +Mary Ann Groom(?) b: Abt 1839
2 John Lyon b: January 25, 1834 d: May 21, 1923
.... +Sarah Groom b: April 04, 1839 d: November 22, 1911
2 Ella Lyon b: Abt 1836
2 Sarah Lyon b: 1840-1841
2 Benjamin S. (Stephen?) Lyon b: Abt 1845 d: 1868
John Lyon (1834) and Sarah Groom LYON
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