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Rachael was born on September 11, 1856 in Shannon County, Missouri, the second child of Antoine and Martha Canivet [1]. She would move to Illinois with her family at an early age, before her youngest brother, Tandy, was born.

According to Allen Jones, as quoted in the The Gin Ridge Clans, Rachael (who answered to the name "Rache") took a bayonet out of a soldier who died on their land in Missouri during a skirmish. She kept the bayonet for many years and later gave it to Allen Jones. The bayonet remains in the family today [2].

After Antoine passed away, life changed greatly for all the children, as well as Martha. After Martha married Jonas Scalf, her brother James decided to leave and start his own farm in Fulton County, Illinois. When he did this, he took Rachael with him to tend to the house. Economically speaking, her job was essential in order for the farm to function, especially since James was unmarried at the time. Unfortunately, James only kept the 80 acre farm for about two years (see his web page for more information about James Edgar Canavit) [3].
Rachael was married twice. Her first marriage was to Thomas H. Wolfe (born August 22, 1854) , the son of J.M. Wolfe and Hannah Bass. They were married on September 16, 1880 in Lewistown, Illinois. They had two children, Oscar J. "Feathers" Wolfe and Samuel Wolfe [4]. The marriage ended before 1891. As for Thomas Wolfe, Allen Jones reported the following to Arthur Hall: "Tom Wolfe was a tall, good-looking rake. He was always threatening to run off with their (Rachael and Tom's) children. He had some sort of counterfeiting device hidden in the woods. Rachael followed him and found the machine. She took it and hid it. When Wolfe found the machine missing, he asked Rachael if she knew anything about it. She said she had it and if he took the children, she would turn him in for counterfeiting. He left a couple of days later and never returned."[2]

Sometime in 1924, Thomas Wolfe was found dead, apparently murdered. The following comes from a newspaper article, supplied to me by Julia Pascal. It is typed as it was printed :

The body of Thomas H. Woolfe, 70 year old resident at the Tazewell County Home, with a bullet hole in the left temple and another in the left side of the abdomen, was found at 6:30 o'clock tonight in a pasture a quarter of a mile east of the home.
There was no gun nearby, and the Sheriff and his deputies believe Woolfe was murdered.
Woolfe had been trapping along Dillon Creek, and left the county home, six miles east of Pekin, at 6 o'clock, to look after his traps. Joe Daniels, another resident of the home, found his body half and hour later.
The fact the Woolfe was shot was not determined until the body was brought to the Kuecks Funeral Home, where Don Gainer, employed by the Kuecks Company, found the bullet wounds. He reported to Deputy Coroner Duff Allen, who notified Sheriff J.J. Crosby.
Thomas H. Woolfe was born August 21, 1861, in Fulton County. Several years ago he was shot in the left arm, which was amputated near the shoulder. He leaves two sons, E.G. Woolfe, Peoria, and "Feathers" Woolfe, Canton.

It is rather interesting to note the misspelling of the name Wolfe throughout the article, as well as the word clue (Clew). The article also erroneously reports an E.G Woolfe as one of his sons. The information that I have is that his sons were Samuel and Oscar "Feathers" Wolfe [4].


Rachael re-married on April 23, 1891 to John A. Pollitt, the son of Alvin Pollitt and Emily Estes. Interestingly enough, John Pollitt was the brother of Alexander Pollitt who married Antoinette (Nettie) Canaevit (Rachael's sister)! Rachael and John had six children, but I don't have much information on them: Jesse Pollitt; Blanche Pollitt; Florence Pollitt; Mattie Pollitt; Eva Pollitt, and Nora Pollitt [4].

In the book, The Gin Ridge Clans, there is a great picture of Rachael holding Sam Wolfe (an infant at the time), with her mother, Martha, watching over them. It is located on page 58.

The following is Rachael's obituary. Note the obvious misspelling of her maiden name, as well as an error in reporting her father's name! :

Mrs. Rachael Pollitt Dies at Home in Banner
Mrs. Rachael Pollitt, old time resident of Banner Township, died yesterday at her home, following an illness of two years of heart trouble.
Her father was Nathaniel Kennavett and her mother's maiden name was Martha Singleton. In 1890 she was married in Banner Twonship to John A. Pollitt. Oscar Wolf and Samuel Wolf, two sons of a former marriage, survive, and Jesse Pollitt, Mrs. Nora Bedwell, Mrs. Blanche Liddle and Mrs. Mattie Hogan of Canton, Florence at home and Mrs. Claude Fouts of Banner, children of the latter marriage also survive. She leaves two brothers, James Kennavett of Macomb, and Tandy Kennavett, residing near Lewistown, and one sister, Mrs. Alex Pollitt, who lives at Macomb.
Mrs. Pollitt resided near Banner for 58 years. She lived previous to that time in Missouri.
Funeral services will be held in the Mt. Pleasant Church Sunday at 2 o'clock and internment made in the cemetary adjoining. [4]


Children of Thomas Wolfe and Rachael:

Oscar J. "Feathers" Wolfe - Born December 21, 1880 in Banner Township, Fulton County, Illinois. Married Emma Jane Duffield on August 12, 1905 in Canton, Illinois. Oscar and Emma had eight children: Irene, Earl, Melvin, Cecile, Carl, Dorothy, Corda, and Olga. Oscar died January 24, 1947 in Canton, Illinois[4].

Samuel Wolfe - Born August 10, 1882 in Liverpool, Fulton County, Illinois. Married Iva Wells. Samuel and Iva had one child, Lillian. Samuel died September 19, 1950 [4].

Children of John A. Pollitt and Rachael:

Nora Pollitt - Born May 29, 1891 in Liverpool Township, Fulton County, Illinois. Married Katherine Phillips on October 18, 1933 in Lewistown, Illinois. He fathered no children. Jesse died April 8, 1979 [4].

Blanche Pollitt

Mattie Pollitt

Florence "Jack" Pollitt

Jesse J. Pollitt - Born February 3, 1893 in Canton, Fulton County, Illinois. She married Myles Bedwell on June 15, 1917 in Lewistown, Illinois. Nora and Myles had four children: Ruby Bedwell (Flynn), Cleo Bedwell (Kaler), Pauline Bedwell (Brown), and Betty Bedwell  [3].

Note: All references to The Gin Ridge Clans are copyrighted by Arthur K. Hall. Any reprint or publication or use otherwise is prohibited without written consent of the author.

Sources Cited

[1]     IGI Record, Batch Number M515901, FamilySearch® International Genealogical Index™,

[2]    Allen Jones, from The Gin Ridge Clans.

[3]    Hall, Arthur K (1998). The Gin Ridge Clans. Anundsen Publishing Co., Decorah: IA.

[4]    Correspondence with Julia Pascal via e-mail.



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