Trumbold Families

Alonson Nokes

Alonson [pronounced uh-LON-son] Nokes was born June 29, 1830, to William and Almina Twombly Nokes in New York.  The family moved to Brown County, Illinois before October 1839. 

The 1840 Illinois census for Brown County lists

     Wm Nokes

          1 male 30 - 40 (William, 33)

          2 males between 10 and 15 (Richard, 12 and Alonson, 10)

          1 male under 5 (William Niles, age 1)

          1 female 30 - 40 (Almina, 31)

          1 female between 5 and 10 (Mary, 6)

          1 female under 5 (Elizabeth, 3)


No township location was shown in this census so I don't know for certain where he lived.  There are no other Nokes or Twombly families listed in Brown County for the 1840 census.


Alonson is not listed with the William Nokes family in the 1850 Illinois census and I can find no other listing for him in the US.  The census taker must have skipped him.


Alonson Nokes married Sarah Jane Kendrick on November 18, 1852, in Brown County, Illinois1.  They had the following children:


            Mary E., born January 19, 1854, IL

Josephine, born February 20, 1857, IL, who married James D. Bowen

Niles Norman, born March 10, 1858, IL

William A., born February 13, 1860, IL

Arthur Seldon. Born January 14, 1862, IL

Burton Burel, born October 18, 1866, IL

Ava Frances, born February 16, 1868, IL

Dora May, born January 2, 1873, IL


The 1860 Illinois census (page 844) shows that Alonson Nokes was in Lee Township (Walker's Neck in Section 18) with his wife, Mrs. S.J., and the children - M. E. (7 years old), Josephine (3 years old), Niles (age 2), and William who was shown as 6 months old.  It says that Alonson was born in Vermont and his wife was born in Illinois.  All the children were also born in Illinois.  Alonson's real estate is valued at $500 and his personal property at $800.  The entry below Alonson's is for George Bradney.

Alonson and his family are shown in the 1865 Illinois census living in Woodstock in nearby Schuyler County.  There are 3 males under 10 (Niles, 7; William, 5; and Arthur, 3), 1 male between 30 and 40 (Alonson, 35), 1 female under 10 (Josephine, 8), 1 female from 10-16 (Mary, 11), and 1 female from 20-30 years old (Sarah Jane).  It appears that there is no real estate value shown so he may have just been working there for a short time.  It also indicates that one person (Alonson) works in a saw mill.

Mary, age 12, and Niles Norman, age 8, died within one day of each other in November 1866, presumably from some contagious disease.  They are buried in Cleaves cemetery in Lee Township, Brown County2.  One year later in October, Burton, who was only one year old, died.

On January 5, 1867, Alonson sold 1.5 acres for $1003 to John W. Bradney whose property adjoined the Nokes property.  Their two children, Elmer E. Bradney and Dora May Nokes, were later to marry (1892).

On September 30, 1869, Alonson bought 51 acres (SE1/4 of SW1/4 of Section 30 in Lee township) from King Kerley for $6504.

On July 23, 1870 he mortgaged the land he bought from Kerley to Ely Hobbs of Pike County for $475.  This mortgage was paid off in October 18735.

The 1870 Illinois census taken June 30 for Brown County (Lee Township) shows

     Alonzo Nokes, 40, farmer, real estate $3000, personal property $700, born Vt.

          Sarah, 36, keeps house, born Ill.

          Josephine, 17, at home, born Ill.

          William, 10, born Ill.

          S. A., 8, born Ill.

          Ava, 2, born Ill.


The next entry in the 1870 census is for John, Caroline, and E. E. Bradney followed by a listing for H.M., Frances and L.P. Crabb, then George Bradney, then Thomas and Oliver Bradney.


There is another entry in the Brown County Deed index for which I do not have the documents that Alonson Nokes sold to James A. Stevens "Pt  SE" property (which is the part he bought from King Kerley) in August 19, 18736.

In October, 1874, Ava, the six-year-old daughter, died.

In January 1877, Sarah Jane Nokes, age 41, died leaving three children (William, 17; Arthur, 15; and Dora May, 4).  Eighteen months later, (September 29, 1878), Alonson married Mrs. Minerva Budd in Brown County7.  This license says that Alonson was born in New York State and currently lived in Lee Township.  This was a second marriage for both the bride and groom.  Aron Twombly performed the marriage at his home.

Alonson died 8 months later in May 1879 at the age of 48 leaving four children - William (19), Arthur (17) and Dora May (6), and Josie Bowen (22).  William and Arthur would die one year later.  Josie Bowen and her husband, Jimmy D. Bowen raised Dora May, they being the only two of Alonson and Sarah�s eight children to survive.

Probate records8 show that Minerva Budd Nokes, the widow, was the administrator of Alonson's estate.  He owned no real estate when he died in 1879 and his personal property was valued at $233.10 after paying bills.

A note from his granddaughter, Ruth Bradney Trumbold, says that 'Lonson Nokes was killed when an emery wheel broke while he was sharpening a saw mill blade and a piece hit him in the head.  The Brown County Democrat (dated Saturday, May 24, 1879) reports the accident: 

�Fatal Accident.

Mr. Alonzo (sic) Nokes, who has been connected with the Lucas Bros.' saw mill, in the western part of the township, met with an accident yesterday that resulted in almost instant death.  He was gumming the saw of the mill with an emery stone when it exploded breaking into a dozen pieces, and striking him in the forehead, making a hole in his head from which the brains oozed out.  He was kindly cared for and taken to the residence of his cousin, Capt. S. D. Nokes, but life was extinct a few moments after the accident.  He was highly esteemed as a citizen, and leaves a wife and three children, two of them grown9.�


My mother's notes (which came from Dorothy Binkley) say that Alonson was buried in Cleaves cemetery in Lee Township, Brown County, although no marker or record of burial exists.  At least twenty other Nokes relatives, including his two children are buried there.  There is also no record of Sarah Jane Kendrick Nokes� burial place.  Alonson�s second wife, Minerva, is buried in Cleaves Cemetery along with her first and third husbands.


Source Notes

1.      Brown County, Illinois, Marriage Records, Book A&B, License #226, page 88.

2.      The Brown County Board of the Schuyler Brown Historical and Genealogical Society, Cemeteries of Brown County, Illinois, 1825-1972, 1975, page 96.

3.      Brown County, Illinois Deeds, #19384, January 5, 1867, Alonson Nokes to John Bradney, pages 124-126.

4.      Brown County, Illinois Deeds, #10936, September 30, 1869, King Kerley to Alonson Nokes, page 432.

5.      Brown County, Illinois Deeds, July 23, 1870, Hobbs mortgage.

6.      Brown County, Illinois Deeds.

7.      Brown County, Illinois, Marriage Records, Book C, Marriage License #2300, page 141.

8.      Brown County, Illinois, Probate Records, Box 76, Alonson Nokes.

9.      Brown County Democrat, Saturday, May 24, 1879.

Alonson and Sarah Jane Kendrick Nokes
Alonson, Dora May, Ava, Sarah, Arthur, Burel Nokes