Rightmire Family News

Home | Pictures! | News | Guestbook | Where is.... | The "Rightmire Report" | Memories | Update Website (new)
Chapter VII. Elizabeth (II) Rightmire and John Madden

(2) Elizabeth Rightmire. Earlier, we were uncertain as to whether Elizabeth really was the daughter of James Rightmire, Sr. and Elizabeth Daugherty. However, I believe the information below shows that Elizabeth Rightmire was, indeed, the daughter of James Rightmire, Sr. and Elizabeth Daugherty. Alice Beyke, Arthur Maroon, and Vernon Vinzant provided most of this information.

The Mormon Church LDS web site reports that Elizabeth Rightmire married John Madden in Knox County on February 25th, 1836. Furthermore, the 1850 Howard Township, Knox County, Ohio Census gives the following information:

John Madden, 34 years old, farmer, born in Maryland
Elizabeth Madden, 43 years old, born in Virginia
Lisander, 13 years old, born in Ohio
Benjamin, 11 years old, born in Ohio
John, 6 years old, born in Ohio
Mahala I. Thompson, 10 years old, born in Ohio

Alice, noting that James Rightmire, Sr's. Last Will and Testament says John Madden is in California, searched the California Bureau of Land Management of Solano County, California, Index to Federal Land records, and found the Benjamin Madden and John Madden listed.

Vernon Vinzant noted that "Elizabeth might be a Rightmire based on (1) she was born in Virginia, (2) she and her husband lived adjacent to James and Harrison Rightmire, (3) included in the 1850 household is Mahala Thompson, who could well be a child of Sarah (Rightmire) Thompson, and (4) there are repeating first names that are found in Capt. James' family -- Elizabeth and Benjamin."

But he notes that "if Elizabeth Madden is a Rightmire; she was age 43 in 1850 census, thus born about 1807 which might conflict with birth of James, Jr. in 1807." The James Rightmire, Jr., cemetery record of Knox County, Ohio, compiled by the Knox County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society, note the following on James, Jr.'s tombstone:

James Rightmire, Jr.; b. 1807; d. 1881.

The grave stone birth date of 1807 is fairly consistent with the census age data in the 1850 census, (43), 1860 census, (54), and 1880 census, (73). Alice pointed out that ages in a census are pretty inexact, but a good guide.

Vernon noted that 10-year-old Mahala Thompson living with the Madden's in 1850 could be Moses and Sarah (Rightmire) Thompson's daughter based on their date of marriage (April 5, 1832) and year of Moses' death (1845).

Alice found several Madden marriages on the Mormon LDS Web site in a publication called "Marriages of Solano California 1853-1893", published by Gloria Smith:

Lysander Madden married Ellen McBride, 11 Dec 1866, Solano, California
Benjamin Madden married Angeline Sanborn, 30 Aug 1873, Solano, California
Three separate John Maddens married in Solano, California:
A John Madden married Jennie McFadden 22 Jan 1878
A John Madden married Anne Walsh 6 Aug 1883
A John Madden married Kate Ferguson 18 Oct 1883

Alice believes that Lysander Madden, Benjamin Madden, and one of the John Maddens are the children of Elizabeth Rightmire and John Madden, Sr. We don't know why there were three John Madden marriages in Solano, California, but we can speculate one of these might have been a remarriage by John Madden, Sr. after Elizabeth died.

However, the final confirmation that Elizabeth is, indeed, the daughter comes from Arthur L. Maroon, Sr. in an email forwarded by Alice:

"First let me say this family did real good in California, one of the tombstones must be 15 ft high. The following is from the tombstones:"

"John Madden 7/11/1813 - 1/4/1892
Elizabeth Madden 1/3/1807 - 4/19/1880
John Rightmire Madden 3/14/1845 - 3/28/1902
Lysander Madden 10/30/1836 - 9/26/1867"

Arthur made a most significant discovery - he found John Rightmire Madden's obituary. John Rightmire Madden died in late March, 1902. The following obituary appeared in The Dixon Tribune, Salono County, California, Friday, April 4th, 1902:



"Came the Death Summons to John Rightmire Madden"

"The Passing of Good and Noble Citizen Bereaves Dixon's Best Known Family"

"Surely are the ways of death ruthless and the acts of providence inscrutable. Although worn and emaciated by an illness of several months, there was no evidence that the repose of death would come ere the morning dawn when John Rightmire Madden sought nature's rest last Thursday evening. He may have known that the end was near, for he bore his trials and sufferings without work of complaint. But if the death messenger brought the announcement to his knowledge before the arrival of the king of terror, Mr. Madden carefully concealed it all from his loved ones, who for several days had been hopeful that the dreadful end was about to be deferred. Mr. Madden appeared better than usual that evening and apparently rested well. Shortly after the hour of midnight, his wife arose to apply relief to her arm which was affected by a temporary neuralgic ailment, and her movements aroused the sleeping man. He asked the causes of his wife being up at that hour. After suggesting a remedy, he turned his head and without a struggle or sigh of pain bid a silent adieu to the scenes of the earth."

"Heart failure was responsible for the untimely and sudden demise of Mr. Madden. He had attained less that three-score year, 57 years and 14 days, and would doubtless have equaled the age of his father, 'Uncle Johnnie' Madden, who lived to be almost an octogenarian, had he not been attacked by the deadly organic ailment."

"The deceased came to California in 1852 in company with his parents, crossing the isthmus and enduring the dangers of navigation as they existed those days. Being but a lad of seven years, he went with his parents to the mines, residing some months at Illinoistown, Placer county. Reverses in mining operations caused his father to engage in teaming over the mountains. In 1862, he removed to Sacramento, where he engaged in the livery and feed business. Mr. Madden was fond of horses, and though but a boy, applied himself industriously about the stables earning sums of money that would make the boys of today regard themselves as fabulously rich."

"The Madden family did not reside long in Sacramento. They came to this section in 1863, after the memorable floods of the previous winter, which swept over Sacramento and carried ruin and disaster in its wake. The well-known Madden ranch, near Dixon, was the scene of their early residence here. John Madden finished his education, that of a common school, at Silveyville. He was one of a family of three children, Lysander, Benjamin, and J. R. Madden, the subject of our sketch. His death marks the passing of the last living member of the well-known family whose name has been so long identified with the community."

"Mr. Madden was born March 14, 1845, in Millwood, Knox County, Ohio. In the month of April, 1876, he was united in marriage in Dixon to Miss Mary Jane McFadyen. Three children resulted of the union, Miss Alwilda, Winfield Rightmire, and Angus C. Madden, each of whom with their mother survive the departed father and husband. The deceased was a member of the Masonic fraternity, the Maccabees, and the order of United Workmen."

"This community never knew a better or a more representative citizen than John Madden, as he was more familiarly known. He was a man of honesty and integrity and enjoyed the respect of all. His business principles were beyond criticism and he said aught of no one. His views were those of the broad and charitable and although he professed no denominational belief his life was that of a Christian man. Mr. Madden was the kind of friend one loves to claim and a most desirable neighbor. He loved his home and family and peace and joy reigned there, rendering his departure from earth a most sore bereavement. to the heartbroken wife and children, who knew his fatherly and many qualities better than can be expressed in any tribute to his name. Dixon has lost a representative citizen who will be missed and mourned and the grief-stricken family is not alone in their sorrow."

"The funeral took place Sunday afternoon from the family residence and a large gathering of friends and acquaintances were present, many from distant towns and communities. The services were conducted by Rev. J. S. McDonald of Oakland, Silveyville Lodge No. 201, F. of A. M., concluding with the ceremonies of the order at the grave. The floral tributes were many and beautiful, mute testimonials of the high esteem in which the deceased was held in the community."


Based on the above information, we are now reasonably sure that Elizabeth (Rightmire) Madden was a child of James, Sr. and Elizabeth (Daugherty) Rightmire, born in Virginia before James, Sr. and Elizabeth moved to Ohio. She was born on January 3rd, 1807, she married John Madden on February 25th, 1836. They had three children:

(3) Lysander Madden, born in Ohio on October 30, 1836.
(3) Benjamin Madden, born in Ohio on about 1839.
(3) John Rightmire Madden, born in Ohio on March 14th, 1845.

Elizabeth probably was the first born child of James Rightmire, Sr. and Elizabeth Daugherty. James, Jr. could have been born late in the same year (or could have been a fraternal twin).

There is some contradiction between the obituary and the marriage records. The marriage records recorded three John Maddens marriages. One John Madden married "Jennie McFadden on January 22, 1878". The obituary stated: "In the month of April, 1876, he (John Rightmire Madden) was united in marriage in Dixon to Miss Mary Jane McFadyen." The name McFadden is very close to McFadyen and "Jane" is close to "Jennie". The dates are different. I suspect early marriage records were hand-written records and are now sometimes hard to read. I think the obituary is more likely to be correct.

The marriage records and the obituary tell us the following about their children:

Lysander Madden married Ellen McBride on December 11, 1866 in Solano,

Benjamin Madden married Angeline Sanborn on August 30, 1873 in Solano,

John Rightmire Madden married Mary Jane McFadyen in April, 1876 in Dixon,

Elizabeth died on April 19, 1880 and John died on January 4th, 1892. Following Elizabeth's death, it is possible that John remarried either Anne Walsh on August 6, 1883 or Kate Ferguson on October 18, 1883. However, John Madden is an extremely popular name - for example, there are 530 John Maddens listed in the Social Security Death Index, 1937-1998. It is at least equally probable that the other John Maddens were not related to Elizabeth and John.

(3) John Rightmire Madden

As noted in the obituary, John Rightmire Madden and Mary Jane McFadyen had three children:

(4) Alwilda Madden, born in Dixon, California
(4) Winfield Rightmire Madden, born in Dixon, California
(4) Angus C. Madden, born in Dixon, California

It is particularly interesting to me that their second child, Winfield Rightmire, was named after my grandfather, Winfield Scott Rightmire.