One the issues of family history is the invisibility of females and thus the image of Margaret Ann Van Scyoc Shirley to the left (sent to me by a descendant) clearly illustrates a woman some -intentionally or unintentionally - try to hide.  It is often at such times that issues of social status, family status, race, or gender serve to further hide identity and information.

Once Upon a Time in Fremont Co., Iowa, there were two girls named Margaret VanScyoc.   
I n Fremont County, Iowa two Margaret Van Scyocs are confused. One married a SHIRLEY and one a CRABBS.
1) Margaret A. VanScyoc, daughter of Ashbill VanScyoc and wife Sarah Ann Farley VanScyoc. She was born in abt 1846 in Mo or Ia. She married John S. Shirley, had children W.A. and Daisy.  This is proven through a record of her mother estate settlement, Sarah Ann Farley Van Scyoc Fletcher.  She is found on numerous census records for Lucas, Ks.    
There were aunts or cousins in the county named Mustard and Keeler and in 1860 when her father was missing or dead many of her siblings were with these kin while her mother prepared to give birth in June to Almira VanSycoc, her baby sister..   The 1880 Census lists her in Kansas with her husband John S. Shirley.

MEANWHILE - There was also .....
2) Margaret E. Van Scyoc, daughter of John Van Scyoc and wife Julia Winters.   This Van Scyoc and Ashbel Van Scyoc may have been related in some manner resulting in the same surname and similar first names and research is ongoing.  This Margaret, however, married according to the country biographical history of 1881,  on January 17,1869, her father's business parter, Frederick Crabbs. She is in Fremont Co., Iowa on the 1880 census.

According to the Fremont Co., Iowa Biographies of 1881:
History of Fremont County, Iowa Des Moines: Iowa Hist. Co., 1881. Sidney  Township.(Transcribed by Cay Merryman and located in full at http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~iabiog/fremont/f 1881/f1881-sid ney.htm#)

CRABBS, Frederick, P. O. Sidney, joint proprietor Cromwell House; born July 9, 1837, in Carroll county, Maryland. He there grew to manhood, employing his time in farming. Mr. Crabbs came to Cedar county, Iowa, in the year 1868, where he remained until 1872, when he came to Sidney. From the time he came to Iowa until 1874, he followed the occupation of a farmer. In 1875, formed his present partnership with Mr. Scyoc, and entered at once upon the conduct of the Cromwell House. January 17, 1869, he married Miss Margaret E. Scyoc, the daughter of his business partner, by whom he has two children: Frederick and John.
Same source:
SCYOC, John V., joint proprietor Cromwell House, P. O. Sidney; born January 9, 1816, in Perry county, Pa., where he attained the estate of manhood, and resided many years. His early life was passed as a farmer, and his educational advantages limited to the common schools of that day. He followed the occupation of a tanner for five years, and then, the four years following, engaged in railroading. In the spring of 1865 he moved to Cedar county, Iowa, following farming for one year, when, in 1866, he removed to Jefferson county, engaging in farming until the fall of 1871. He then moved to Fremont county, settling permanently at Sidney. In 1873 he rented the hotel propery, known as the Cromwell House, which he conducted until 1875. In that year he purchased the property, in copartnership with Frederick Crabbs, and these gentlemen still conduct the house. Mr. Scyoc was married June 1, 1843, to Miss Julia Winters, a native of Maryland, born August 12, 1819. They have four children living: Isaac, Margaret, Julia and Jennie, all married, and three deceased. Mr. Scyoc is a member of the Masonic fraternity; and both he and his wife are members of the M. E. church

A look at the census records clearly  indicate the CRABB/CRABBS group stayed in Fremont Co., Iowa and the SHIRLEY group remained in the Russell County, KS area. 

What may have contributed to the confusion was the fact the mother of John S. Shirley was a step-daughter to Margaret's mother Sarah Farley VanScyoc Fletcher.  Apparently the VAN SCYOCS, FLEtCHER, and FARLEY clans may have moved in sync from VA, Ohio, Indiana, and Missouri.  This may have been because they knew one another or a mere change of travel at the time.

Furthering confusing the issue is the information on the SHIRLEY ASSOCIATION WEBSITE which continues to associate the wrong Margaret VanScyoc with John Shirley. (http: //www.shirleyassociation.c om/NewShirleySite/Photos/ShirleyAssociationHistoricCollection/branch14margaretannshirleyandsonwillia mashirley.html). 

I had contacted them in 2005 about the confusion but it was not changed and continues to be found on trees. 

Marilyn A. Hudson, MLIS

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