As winter begins to sink in again, I've resumed research into my ancestry, picking away at the many threads of my bloodline. Although I have mapped out a fairly extensive list in many regards, there is still much to do, and lingering lines that will forever remain lost in the fog of time. I was looking at one dead-end in particular not so long ago, that of my great-great-great grandmother, Eliza Jane Dillon (or Denny).
In my continuing quest to unlock the secret of Eliza's origins, I came across an interesting 1850 census form for Zanesville, Ohio (actually two, since the household started at the bottom of one page and continued on another). This census report was for the household of Moses & Mary Dillon. They had 4 children listed, and two other individuals living with them: Mary A. McCormack and Elizabeth Denny. I find this to be a very compelling coincidence, indeed. Since Eliza is known by both names, Dillon and Denny, it could be that she was born Denny, and was "adopted" by the Dillons. The 1850 census didn't ask for all that much information, and didn't even list a person's relation to the head of household, so it is unclear if this Elizabeth Denny was an adopted daughter or not.
Another curiosity with this record is Elizabeth Denny's birthplace. On this form, it's listed as Germany, and this gives us more circumstantial evidence to consider. We know that Frederick Stark was from Germany, and it is possible that his wife had her origins there, as well. She may have come over very young, or perhaps she truly was born in Zanesville, Ohio, as is consistently reported. She may have been born to German parents shortly after their arrival, giving some people the impression that she was also "from" Germany. Either way, it seems logical that Eliza may have had a similar origin/background as that of the man she wed at the tender young age of 15.
The truth of Eliza's parents may never come to light, though I continue my pursuit. New possibilities continue to emerge, leaving renewed hope that the answers are out there to be found, eventually.