Updated: Feb 5, 2019
In 1840, when Josiah was eight years old, he was counted on the census in his father’s home in Davidson, Sullivan County, Pennsylvania, under the column for males age 5-9.
In 1850, his name was listed in his father’s household in Franklin, Lycoming County, Pennsylvania. His age is given as 16 years old. (Click here to see that census). In 1856, Josiah married Effie Rachel Shaner. She was born on the 6th of February, 1841 in Pennsylvania, the daughter of Jacob Shaner and Mary M. Dugan. In 1860, Josiah and Effie were living near his father in Franklin. His age was given as 26 and the young couple had two sons: Peter Milton Reese and William Henry Reese. A woman named Julianna Shaner lived in the home with them. She was 70 years old in 1860, which would make her estimated birth year 1790. She may have been Effie’s grandmother.
This map of Franklin, Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, is from the 1873 Atlas by A. Pomeroy & Co. It corresponds with the census and has been altered to highlight several of our direct ancestors, including Josiah Reese, William George, John Rider, and John Temple.
The marker on this interactive Google Map shows what I believe to be the location of Josiah's home on Logue Hill Road in Franklin Township. Coordinates: 41°17'27.2"N 76°33'26.6"W
Within four years, Josiah and Effie had two more sons: Wesley John Reese, and James McClellan Reese. In September of 1864, Josiah, enlisted to serve our country in the Civil War, fighting for the Union’s side in the 203rd Regiment of the Pennsylvania Volunteers, Company D. They organized at Philadelphia on the 10th of September, 1864, and went from there to Petersburg, Virginia. October 27-28 they were in the Battle of Fair Oaks. They performed siege operations against Richmond until December 7th, and then went on an expedition to Fort Fisher, North Carolina until December 27th. On January 15th of 1865 they assaulted and captured Fort Fisher and then advanced to Wilmington February 11th and captured it February 22nd. They advanced on Goldsboro March 6th through 21st and guarded the railroad at Faison’s Depot from March 21st to April 10th. From April 10th they advanced on Raleigh, occupying it on April 14th. They were at Bennett’s House April 26th and at the Surrender of Johnston and his army. They finished off their duty at Raleigh until they mustered out on the 22nd of June, 1865.
When the census was taken in 1870, Josiah was still living in Franklin, with his wife and three of their sons: Peter Milton (age 11), William Henry (10), and Wesley (8). Listed just before Josiah’s entry on the 1870 census, was John Rider, presumably his neighbor. John was Josiah’s maternal 1st cousin. His photo is provided here, courtesy of Melanie (Fife) Ryder. (John F. Rider with his son, Thomas E. Rider). Other neighbors included Jacob Temple, (surely related to Ada Temple who married Josiah’s son, Maynard), and a man by the name of George W. Reese who also lived nearby. He was 23, making his estimated birth year 1847. George may have been a grandson of George Reese, Jr. (1784-1864). Identifying his parents may provide a connection to another Reese family that lived in the area.