Eliza Langford was the one sibling of Oscar's who has consistently eluded my efforts to find her. I knew about when she was born, that Oscar had seen her when he was 18 (1855) in Monroe, Green County, Wisconsin, and she was married at that time. Then I also had a hand written note that said her married name might be "Wayland" and she may have lived in Unique or Henrique, Humboldt County, Iowa.
I am not exaggerating when I say that I looked for her for hundreds of hours. Last week that all changed.
I do most of my research on ancestry.com. I also heavily use familysearch.org as a double check and with troublesome searches. Both are continually adding new records to their collections. I was once again looking for Eliza on familysearch.org when I found a Federal Census record from 1850 that said there was a Pennsylvania-born 18 year old Eliza Langford living in Bellevue, Jackson County, Iowa. She was living with a family named Williams. Her sisters Harriet and Jane started Iowa life in the same way. Either Iowa families took them in, or hired them as domestic help, or both.
I had previously scoured the Iowa census records for her so I was confused when this showed up and went to ancestry.com and looked for the same record. They had made several mistakes when it was entered. They said she was 48, not 18, and that her name was Longford and that the census was in Belleville, Iowa. When you looked at the original census file there is no doubt about her name or age.
So now I had found her. But finding her again proved to also be a challenge. In 1850 she is single in Iowa, but in 1855 Oscar sees her in Wisconsin and married. I needed to find a marriage record between 1850-1855.
I tried without success and then turned to my secret weapon, the Facebook Group : Your Genealogy Brick Walls. There are some excellent people who will do excellent work when you are at the end of your rope. It took less than a day for them to find a marriage record. Eliza married Edwin D. Hoylands on September 4, 1854, in Jo Daviess County, Illinois. Jo Daviess County is east of Dubuque and includes Galena Illinois.
Eliza Hoylands is found in the Clinton, Iowa census record of 1870 without Edwin but with a daughter, "Nettie" (Martha Janette Hoylands) and Nettie was born in Wisconsin in 1857. Also, I found four other Hoylands buried in Richland Cemetery in Green County, Wisconsin, and I found an 1878 marriage record for Nettie and her husband Thomas Heather. In the 1880 Census Eliza is living as a boarder.
I kept looking and found an Iowa State Census record from 1885 from Weaver, Humboldt County, Iowa. Eliza is 51 and living with Nettie and Thomas and their sons, Oral (1879) and Frank (1883). Another son Oscar comes along in 1897. Eliza is marked as a widow in 1885.
So all of the little facts that I knew came together. Hoylands not Wayland, living in Humboldt County, and in Clinton County, Iowa. I feel certain that this is our Eliza as there were very few other Langfords in northeast Iowa in the 1850 Federal Census