* Cuzzins History
* John Cuzzins Letter – October 22, 1850
* John Cuzzins Letter – Undated
* Cornelian Henderson Letter – June 19, 1864
* A Letter To Rebeckah Cuzzins – Dec. 25, 1862
* John H. Cuzzins Letter – August 19, 1875
* Cuzzins Family Births, Deaths, Marriages

John Hibbitts Cuzzins 1813-1897

John Hibbitts Cuzzins was born, 23 January 1813, in Middlesex Co. NJ. His father was Asher Cuzzins Jr., b. New Jersey, d. 14 September 1845. His mother was, Catherine, (maiden name unknown) b. New Jersey, d. 24 August 1845. John may have had a brother named Dunken. New Jersey 1830 Federal Census … Asha Cuzzins is living in the South Amboy township in Middlesex County. Three females are living in the household. Two are between the age, fifty to sixty-six. One is between five and ten years of age. Three males are living in the household. One, forty to fifty years of age. One male, fifteen to twenty years of age. One male, twenty to thirty years of age.

No more information is known about Asher, Catherine and Dunken Cuzzins.

October 20, 1833, in Freehold, Monmouth Co. NJ, John Hibbitts Cuzzins and Mary Lane were married.

Of their union seven children were born. Only one child, John Tyler Cuzzins, lived to adulthood. The other children died before reaching eleven years of age.

Sometime before 1840, John and Mary Cuzzins, left New Jersey and moved to Adams Co. Illinois. John Tyler Cuzzins was born at Quincy, IL, 25 July 1840. This has been documented in the military records of John Tyler Cuzzins and the family bible.

Mary Lane Cuzzins died three months after the birth of her last child, Asher C. Cuzzins, who was born, 7 May 1845. These events most likely occurred in Adams Co. IL. Asher C. Cuzzins lived five months. He died 22 October 1845.

John Hibbitts Cuzzins and Rebeckah Henderson, daughter of, Nathaniel C. and Cornelia (maiden name unknown) Henderson, of Adams Co. IL., were married at Quincy, Adams Co. IL, 24 September 1848, by Horatio Foate, Minister of the Gospel. Rebeckah was b. 1828 in Ohio Co. VA.

1850 Illinois Federal Census Adams Co. John H. Cuzzins and Rebeckah are living in the Honey Creek township. John’s occupation is a farmer.

In The History of Adams County, John Cuzzins’s (spelled Cousins) name is with a list of names from the Bear Creek Neighborhood, having prior to May 1, 1850, left to go to the California Gold Rush.

October 22, 1850 John H. Cuzzins wrote a letter to his wife, Rebeckah, and his father-in-law, Nathaniel C. Henderson. His letter is addressed: Nathaniel Henderson, Esq. Mendon, Adams Co. Ills. His return address is: Eldorado County, California.

John wrote he, “misses the family and hopes to be home in two years.” He has found gold , but advises his family to tell all his friends not to come there, as ” all the gold in Californey, is not worth lying your bones here.”

John H. and Rebeckah Henderson Cuzzins had ten children. Of the ten, three died as infants.
Rebeckah gave birth to her first child, Mary , 18 June 1849. Mary died, 10 September 1851, in Adams Co. IL. Arminta, the second child of John and Rebeckah was born five days later on, 15 September 1851. A son, Samuel, was born in April 1854. He died soon afterward in May. This was the only son born to John and Rebeckah. A daughter, Cornelia, named after Rebeckah’s mother, was born in May 1855 and died a year later in September 1856. Ellen, called Ella, was born, 30 November 1856. She lived to be 12 years of age. Lydia May, the fifth daughter born to John and Rebeckah was born, 25 May 1858. Valariah was born, 20 October 1859 at Monmouth, Warren Co. IL Hannah was born, 31 July 1862 at Monmouth, Warren Co. IL Emma called, Amy, by John, was born, 11 March 1864. Lucinda Cuzzins was born, 30 August 1868.

Two letters written by John Cuzzins, in August 1864, during the Civil War, state he is working in Nashville, Tennessee. It is not known how long he stayed in Tennessee.

For reasons unknown, probably the quest for a better life for his family, John H. Cuzzins decides to leave Illinois. He goes with a wagon train to Kansas sometime between 1865-67. The Benjamin Evans family from, Adams Co. Illinois, who were related in some way, and others travel with them. Their daughter, Arminta, stayed in Adams Co. with her uncle, George (Harry) Henderson and family. She married William Russell Cramer in Quincy, Adams Co. Illinois, on, 14 November 1869, and raised a family there.

Lucinda, the last child born to John and Rebeckah Cuzzins was born in Crawford Co. Kansas in 1868.

Ella at age 12 died in 1868 of erysipelas of the heel. She was the first of the Cuzzins family to be buried in Kansas soil.

Rebeckah Henderson Cuzzins became ill and was taken to the hospital by John. Her daughter, Valariah, said she never saw her mother again. Some say she died in the wagon on the way to the hospital. The date of her death and place of burial is not known. She died sometime between 1872-74, probably in Crawford Co. KS, or an adjoining county.

1874 became The Year of the Locusts in Kansas history. John and his daughters were in the field hoeing the crops. The sky turned dark as if a storm was approaching. John said to his daughters, ” Girls, lay down your hoes, there is no sense hoeing anymore.” The locusts (grasshoppers) swarmed on the state of Kansas eating every green stalk in sight. One afternoon was all it took to wipe out all the crops in Kansas. John’s daughters boiled water in pots, and poured the scalding water on the grasshoppers that were inches deep on the doorsteps, trying to kill them before they could get into the house.

Every farmer in Kansas suffered a loss. No money was to be made with nothing to sell. Merchants as well as the farmer suffered. Hundreds of farmers were starved out or became disheartened by the crop failures. A phrase written on a farmer’s wagon top, ” Going back to my wife’s folks ” became popular.

John Cuzzins did the only thing he knew to do. He boarded his unmarried daughter’s with neighbors and left the state to look for work. His only request was they be allowed to attend school. The family Valariah lived with allowed her to attend school only one day, the last day of school.

August 1875, John writes from Ursa, Adams County, Illinois. He is working, rebuilding bridges that had been washed away by heavy rains. Perhaps he had relatives there to stay with while he worked. He planned to return after “the elexion if there is any work to be had.” John offers to help his son-in -law, Tobe, make rails that winter. He will not return until he knows he can find work. …. He is 62 years of age.

Lydia at age fourteen had married William Patrick (Tobias, Tobe) Underwood, a man forty years old, in Vernon Co. Mo., 4 July 1873. They raised a family in Crawford Co. KS.

John is once again in Kansas when the 1880 Crawford Co., Kansas census is taken. He is living in the household of William Underwood, his son-in-law. His occupation is a stone mason. Valariah is living nearby with the Odom family. She is listed as a servant. Hannah is living with the Cole family. Lucinda and Emma are not found in the 1880 census.

The only other information found about John Cuzzins is learned by reading letters he and his daughters wrote to one another during the last years of his life.

By reading the letters it is known he spent the latter years of his life living with his daughters in various areas in Kansas and Missouri.

Cato, Kansas. January 16, 1888. ….Lucinda Cuzzins Large wrote to her father ” there is joy in my heart” because she had finally heard from him. She thought he had been killed for his money. She told him she is married and living south of her sister Lydia. Valariah had been to see her a few weeks before. She had not heard from Emma and her husband, Robert Courtney, for a long time. Hannah was living near Girard, KS., she had received a letter from her the same day as she had received John’s. It was a hard winter. She was rendering her lard and making sausage.

Cato, Kansas. May 8, 1892….Letter to John from Lucinda. She had received a letter from him. She said she had sent his chest to Kansas City Depot and he should get it. She had been fishing and had “caught three fish and had killed three snakes.” She wrote that Valley and her husband, Bluford Gardner, had moved to Labette, KS. They had rented 26 acres of good corn ground.

Re: Hannah and her husband Murdock McPherson, were living in Kansas City, MO. John may have been with them at the time this letter was written.

Cato, Kansas. Date unknown….Letter to John Cuzzins from Murdock McPherson
Murdock is trying to help John find out if his son, John Tyler Cuzzins, is alive. He doesn’t know if he survived the Civil War. If he did, where is he? Murdock wants to know when and where John enlisted in the service. What regiment he served in and the company. He writes that if John T. Cuzzins is drawing a pension they can find his whereabouts from Washington.

Parsons, Kansas. Date unknown…. Letter to John Cuzzins from Murdock McPherson in Westport, MO.
Murdock is again advising John how to find his son John T. Cuzzins. He told him to write to the Pension Office in Washington, but said since Mr. Gardner was a soldier, he would best know what to do.

Re: Valariah and James Bluford Gardner, a Civil War soldier from KY, married 11 July 1885 in Lamar, Barton Co. MO. Murdock’s letter to John was written after their marriage.

Westport, MO. July 28, 1895….To John from Murdock McPherson
Lucinda Cuzzins Large, the youngest daughter of John and Rebeckah died in childbirth at 25 years of age. Murdock writes asking about her two little children. He wants to know if John has a good garden at Lydia’s where he is staying.

Westport, MO. December 6, 1895. ….Letter to John from Hannah Cuzzins McPherson.
Hannah writes to John telling him she is sending his things to him on the 12th. She said his comforts were so ragged she mended them and is sending one of her own. She is sending the little teapot he made his tea in the winter before. She wrote she had received the letter he wrote to her when he was with Valley. She wrote a line in the letter to Valley (Valariah.)

Westport, MO. January 1, 1896….. To J. H. Cuzzins from Murdock McPherson
Murdock sends New Years Greetings. The ground is white with snow there, about an inch.

Parsons, KS. September 11, 1896….. To John Cuzzins from Valariah Cuzzins Gardner
Valariah writes to John and tells him her baby, Charley Gardner, is six months old. She said, ” he can sit alone and crawls all over the place.” She mentioned how crowded it was when he was there. She had no money to send to him.

Westport, MO. September 27, 1896…..To John from Murdock McPherson.
Murdock wrote he has a surprise for John. He wrote that John left on the 15th and on the 18th he had a new grandson in Westport. He said William Large had been there and had gone to Independence. He had heard of work there. He had left his children with Murdock and Hannah.

Re: This is the last known letter written to John Hibbitts Cuzzins.

The date of death and place of burial of John Hibbitts Cuzzins is not known. Valariah Cuzzins Gardner said her father was living with her when he died. Her son Charley was still a baby. Valariah and her husband, Bluford Gardner, lived in Crawford and Labette when John Cuzzins was alive. In 1899, she was living in Neosho Co. KS. John Cuzzins could be buried in one of these counties in an unmarked grave. Some think, he and Rebeckah may be buried in the Large cemetery at Cato, Bourbon Co. Kansas.

Source: Alta Faye (Jo) Jones Thrower great-granddaughter of John Hibbitts Cuzzins April 1999

John Tyler Cuzzins 1840- 1915

John Tyler Cuzzins, son of John Hibbitts Cuzzins and Mary Lane, born in Quincy, IL, enrolled at Monmouth, Warren Co. Illinois, September 16, 1861, in Co. I, 50th Regiment Illinois Infantry. He was promoted to Lieutenant, October 21, 1864. He was commissioned Captain, June 25, 1865. He was Honorably Discharged at Louisville, Kentucky, July 13, 1865. He was a member of The Grand Army of the Republic.

After the Civil War ended John T. Cuzzins returned to his home state of Illinois and stayed there until 1866 or 1867. He left Illinois and on, March 20, 1870, he married, Emma Mensch, at Marshall, Calhoun Co. Michigan. They had three children. Charles Cuzzins, b. 30 January 1871. Maud Cuzzins, b. 23 September 23, 1876, and Frederick Cuzzins b. 4 August 1878.

John Tyler Cuzzins died May 1, 1915. He is buried at Marshall, Calhoun Co. MI.

Source: Alta Faye (Jo) Jones Thrower – Snyder, Texas
Cuzzins Family Letters
October 22 1850

Pleasarville Aldrado County State of Californey
My Dear wife I take this opertunity to inform
you that I am well and I hope that these few lines find you well and the children to. I want you to tell all my frends to Stay at home and don’t come to this miserible Cunty to lay ther Bones here a man helth is better than all the gold in Californey. Thare is one out of a thousan that make a sum of money hear. A man can make five Dollars a Day and it costs him three to live this Cuntry is filled with all kinds of folks Chilenes and french and spanish and mexicans Father and mother I have sen a grate deal of trubel hear in this town it has been Said that has been from 15 to 20 Deth in One day I hope I may See you all agane I have a grate many miles to come to see you my frends I will tell you wout flour is worth $23 to 25 a huDred porke 37 cts a lb coffey $1.00 sugar .50. butter $1.00 potatoes 30 cts this town is full of folks I due supose that thare is Arun to 10,000 to 15 thousan folks in Placerville to winter here one half of them has no hous I have got a good hous for this cuntry it cost me five hundred Dollars plank is 50 cts a feet nails 30 cts a pound

Father Henderson I think that you mite Send me a letter if you have not no paper I will Scend you sum. Don’t forget to Scend me a letter it Cost me sumthen to go to Sacmento to git letters I was down to the Sette and it cost me $50 Dollars and got no letter I cant Scend you that money that I said I would Scend to you I have had to by my flour four winter if you was here miss Cuzzins I would be sadisfied I would go down to the south ware all things grew spontaines apples pares grapes oats barley ry timothy Clover any man can go Down and make his Clame to as much as he pleases

William Luxford and I am at this tim au taken au gold together this day he is not well but not Bad I hope thes lines will find William folks all well it is his wish that I say sumthing about him in my letter Mother I want you to Rite to me if the rest wont I have not much to say to my sister but tell the boys to hold fast of the Plutee [?] Father tell Rebeckah to take good care of my children to I can come back Mr Charles Dunken is Ded frum Adams County Ill and Leve Nickels
John H. Cuzzins


No Date
Dear wife I due wish to see you once more Father I want you to try to Rede my letter Rebeckah Cuzzins I wish you well and I am coming home in two years I think October 25 thare was a man hung for killing another in this town the indin has killed a good man wits [?]her
no more at present
Heare is my love to you all
John H. Cuzzins

Scend your letter to Placerville Eldrado Co State of Californey

Nathaniel Henderson, Esq
Mendon Addams Co = Ills

Source: Alta Faye (Jo) Jones Thrower – Snyder, Texas Great- granddaughter of John Hibbitts Cuzzins


June the 19 1864
dear Children I once more will try to rite a few lines to let you know that we are all well at present and do hope when these few lines comes to hand they will find you all enjoine the same kind Blesing we received a leter from you a short time since it was a ggod time a coming it was post market in monmouth and in pa… we was truley glad to hear that you was all well you rote that you had another litle daughter John this will have to be your boy will it not we got up about two weeks ago one morning and found a little girl about one month old a lying on our platform at the door wapt up with a bundle of close with it it was allmost parist we took it in and fed it it was a very prety child we kept it too or three days and then I got a good home for it ther was fifty people to see it while we had it ther was a suden deth in Phebe’s family last monday week frank’s mother she got up well and harty eat a harty breckfast and then went out in the yard whare frank was hitching up to go to Columbus she then camre in the hous and took instently with a pain in her stomick with no relief until deth relieved her about four o Clock that afternoon the vect the sisters and familys are all well we herd from the Californey brothers and sisters they are all well Lydia sent me ther likenesses _____ and the childrens we have had a vary dry spring hear but we had a butiful rain a few days ago it makes everything look butiful I would vary mutch love to see you all I mean to come as soon as I can bit I can’t say when Come and see us when you can I will close by saying my Love to one and all good by untill I see you and I hope it wont be long

Corneliam to John
Henderson and Rebecak Cuzzins

Source: Alta Faye (Jo) Jones Thrower – Snyder, Texas – Great great granddaughter of Corneliam Henderson


La Prarie Dec 25 1862

Dear Sister it is with pleasure I seat myself to communicate to you a few lines to let you know that we are all well and hope wen these few lines come to hand they will find you all well we have not heard from you in so long a time I thought I would write you a few lines to see if we could not hear from you it is Christmas it is raining Hooper and Ben are both well they are at Louisville Ky at the present time they have been in the service since August last they like soldering very well Harry is still living in Coatsburg He started to Chicago this morning with Cattle we got a letter from Lydia about two weeks ago she is in Victory Vancouvers Island still further than California I think if she keeps on she will get to the end of the world. Well dear sister I got a letter from Ben last night he was well he weighs one hundred and 83 pounds and Houp weighs one hundred and 84 pounds I think that is pretty good for boys dear sister we have been looking for you for a long time but I gues we look in vain I think you might come once and see us Dear sister I expect we will loose Lucinda before long I expect she will get married before long I must tell you what I am going to do Dear sister mother said she wants to see you so bad that she cant hardly stand it father is as fat as he can be well he is so healthy Phebe and Hannah are both well Houps wife is at our house she has one little one it is seven weeks old well I have not much more news to write this time although it is nearly supper time so I must stop writing I want you to answer this as soon as you get it be sure and answer it no making more at present but I still remain your affectionate sister until death if you cant read this letter get Menta to write it and you tell her what to write write soon good by

from Rachel to her sister Rebeckah Cuzzins

Mailed to Monmouth, Warren County, Illinois

Source: Alta Faye (Jo) Jones Thrower – Snyder, Texas – Great granddaughter of Rebeckah Cuzzins


ursa August 19, 1875

It is with Plasuror to rite to you once more Dear Children I want to hear from you All once more Lydia underwood I want you to take good care of my Babe and the rest of the children I am to work at Bridges at ursa We have had so much Rain hear that It has washed all the Bridges away and tell me all about the folks that I know and what they are Duing tell about Benjamin F Evens Family and how are thare corn crops is I want to Come home After Elexion William Underwood I want you to tell me if can make my Board thare you said in your letter that thare was No money thare Lydia Underwood you take good care of my Bed and Close and whare is Toliver and Family is and galen and Family I will come and help make rails this winter William tell me how your corn is and Pottoes Beens and Pigs is and Chickens If I cant get in sum Bisness thare I had beter stay Heare and not come home we have had such bad wether that you can not work hear Flour is 75 half sack corn 45cts Potatoes 40 cts Butter 25 cts Baken 14 cts Eggs 20 cts Wiskey $4.00 Venigar 30 cts so
No more this Time I stell Remain your Father Ancer this the Next mail
Ursa Adams County
John H Cuzzins

Direct to ursa
Ama Cuzzins Lucinda Cuzzins Valariah Hannah Armintas well and children
John H Cuzzins John H

To Crawford County, Kansas

Source: Alta Faye (Jo) Jones Thrower – Snyder, Texas – April 1999
Family Record

John Hibbitts Cuzzin was born January the 23 1813

Mary Lane the wife of John Hibbitts Cuzzins was born September 30th 1816

Elias Lane Cuzzins son of John & Mary Cuzzins was born on the 7th of March 1834

Catherine Conover Cuzzins the daughter of John & Mary Cuzzins was born on April 12th 1836

Elizabeth Cuzzins the daughter of John and Mary Cuzzins was born April 1st 1838

James Cuzzins the son of John & Mary Cuzzins was born on the 17th June 1839

Mary Jane Cuzzins the daughter of John & Mary Cuzzins was born on the 1st of January 1843

John Tyler Cuzzins the son of John & Mary Cuzzins was born on the 25 July 1840

Asher C Cuzzins the son of John & Mary Cuzzins was born on the 7th of May 1845

Mary Cuzzins daughter of John and Rebecca Cuzzins was born June 18th 1849

Arminta daughter of John and Rebecca Cuzzins was born September 15th 1851

Samuel son of John and Rebecca Cuzzins was born April 1854

Cornelia daughter of J. H. & Rebecca was born July 1855

Ellen daughter of J. H. & Rebecca Cuzzins born November 30 1856

Lydia daughter of J. H. & Rebecca Cuzzins was born May 25th 1858 at Warren Co. IL


Elizabeth Cuzzins the daughter of John and Mary departed this life on the 7th of May 1838

James Cuzzins the son of John & Mary Cuzzins departed this life on the 8th of Sept 1834

Elias Cuzzins Died October 24th 1844

Catherine Cuzzins Died August 11th 1844

Mary Cuzzins wife of John Cuzzins Died August 7th 1845

Mary Jane Cuzzins Died August 1st 1844

Asher C Cuzzins Died October 22nd 1845

Dunken Cuzzins Died November 15th 1845

Asher Cuzzins Jr. Died September 14th 1845

Catherine Cuzzins Died August 24th 1845

Mary Cuzzins Daughter of J.H Cuzzins & Rebecca died Sept 10th 1851 in Adams Co., Illinois

Sam’l Infant son of J. H. and Rebecca died May 5th 1854

Cornelia Daughter of J, H and Rebecca Cuzzins died Sept 1st 1856


John Hibbitts Cuzzins the son of Asher Cuzzins was married the 30th day of October the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty three

John H Cuzzins was married to Rebecca Henderson on the 24th day of September 1848

RE: Four more children were born to John H. and Rebeckah Cuzzins that were not listed in his Bible Records.

Valariah Cuzzins October 20, 1859 Monmouth, Warren County, Illinois
Hannah Cuzzins July 31, 1862 Monmouth, Warren County, Illinois
Emma Cuzzins March 11, 1864 Monmouth, Warren County, Illinois
Lucinda Cuzzins August 30, 1868 Crawford County, Kansas

Source: Alta Faye (Jo) Jones Thrower – Snyder, Texas – April 1999