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Archive for the ‘geography’ Category

Some of my ancestors were “lost” at one point or another in their lives.  I find them in one census – then they are missing from the next one – and found again on the one following.  Unfortunately, it is always the census that could give me that extra bit of information – children’s names, a current spouse’s name, or even an age and location of parents’ births.

Those that I am desperately trying to locate include:

James Emory House b. 2 May 1842 d. 1 Oct. 1924.  I’ve located my g-granfather in the 1850 Census living in his parents’ (Florus A. and Julia A. House) home, age 8, Linton Twp, Coshocton County, Ohio; the 1860 Census still in his parents’ household, age 18, Linton Twp, Coshocton County, Ohio; the 1880 Census as Head of Household, age 38, living in Tuscarawas Twp, Coshocton County, Ohio; the 1900 Census as Head of Household, age 58, Bethlehem Twp, Coshocton County, Ohio; the 1910 Census as Head of Household, age 67, Tuscarawas Twp, Coshocton County, Ohio; the 1920 Census as Head (his son Alva Lester House is also listed as Head), age 77, Tuscarawas Twp, Coshocton County, Ohio.

He’s missing from the 1870 Census!  He was married to his first wife, Barbara (or Barbary), and their three children were born.  Since Barbara was originally from Guernsey County, Ohio, I’ve looked in that county as well as Coshocton.  I’ve entered just the first name, age, and born in Ohio to try to narrow it down to the possibility of the last name being misspelled.  I’ve also tried searching by his first wife’s name and the three kids’ names.  No luck. I suspect that they were in a pretty rural area or were in the process of moving at the time of the census.

Franklin Blazer b. 2 June 1836 d. 26 Aug. 1869. I’ve found my 2nd great-grandfather in the 1850 census living in his parents’ (John and Mary Ann Blazer) household, age 14, Fall Creek Twp, Madison County, Indiana.  Since he has died by 1870, the 1860 Census is the only one that will show that he was indeed the husband of Malissa (Goul) Blazer and father of her children including my great-grandmother.  I have checked the 1860 census records for the United States using his name without any luck. I’ve checked in Madison County, Indiana using either his first or last name or his last name with wild card characters in case it has been misspelled.  One thought is that my great-grandmother’s sister, Martha, was born close to the time the census was taken.  Perhaps they were in transit from wherever the birth ocurred to another location.

James Wilson Johnson b. 16 Aug. 1829 d. 31 Oct. 1917.  I’ve located my 2nd great-grandfather in the 1850 Census living in his parents’ (Jacob and Ann) household, age 20, Centre Twp, Rush County, Indiana; the 1860 Census as Head of Household, age 31, Centre Twp, Rush County, Indiana; the 1880 Census as Head of Household, age 50, Stoney Creek Twp, Madison County, Ohio; the 1900 Census as a Boarder in the household of his brother’s widow/first wife’s sister (Dolly Mullis Johnson), age 70, Stoney Creek Twp, Madison County, Ohio.  He’s missing in the 1870 Census.  I’ve checked in Rush County, Indiana and Madison County, Indiana and throughout the state of Indiana by his first or middle name and last name; by his last name and birth year, by “Johnston” (since it has been misspelled that way in other censuses) but no luck.  I think the family was moving from one location to another as there were reports that they also lived in Howard County for a short time.  The 1870 Census will provide information on his second marriage and the youngest children from his first wife.

These men aren’t necessarily brick walls – yet they have been lost somewhere in time.  More research is needed and other avenues will have to be explored.

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Yesterday, Jessica, at Jessica’s Genejournal posted this about looking for her German Ancestors since it was German-American day. Unfortunately, I was not able to post about my Germany ancestors so will be a day late with this one.

Most of my ancestors originated from somewhere in Germany (or what is now Germany).  Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to pinpoint exact locations.  My great-grandmother, Mary Angelina (Annie) Werts, was descended from Wilhelm Wurtz born in the early 1700’s in Tauberbischofsheim, Germany.  It is located in the Baden-Württemberg area.  Wilhelm traveled via the ship Neptune to Philadelphia.  (Footnote 1)

My great-grandmother, Martha Jane Stern, is descended from Hans Peter Raudenbusch and Maria Bremm.  They were both born in the early to mid 1600s in Reihen, Heidelberg, Germany.  It has been reported that the flour mill that Hans Peter operated through the Thirty Years War is still in operation. It was their grandson, Hans Henrich, who emigrated to Pennsylvania upon the Dragon in 1732. He was a founding member of the Abbottsville, Pennsylvania Upper Conowago Church of the Brethren (Mummert’s Church). After Hans Heinrich’s sons were married, the name went through a variety of changes. My direct ancestor’s name was Roudebush. She was the granddaughter of Hans Heinrich and my 4th great-grandmother. Other name variants include Ruebush, Roudebush.  (Footnote 2 & 3)

My 2nd great-grandmother, Malissa Goul, is the granddaughter of Adam Goul.  As a child, he traveled with his parents and sister, aboard the Rawley, from Frankfurt, Germany to Philadelphia.  It has been reported that he was the only one of his family to live to see America.  The rest perished on board ship.  Frankfurt am Main is the largest city in the German state of Hesse.

Footnote 1: Virts Vertz Virts Virtz Werts Wertz Wirts Genealogy; Gary E. Virts

Footnote 2: Wikipedia; 2008

Footnote 3: Hans Heinrich Raudenbusch, THE RAUDENBUSCH FAMILY; John Robert Frank; 2003

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An article in one of my husband’s magazines explained how Family Tree DNA began. It spelled out the differences between mtDNA (mitochondrial DNA) and paternal DNA. Mitochondrial DNA is passed from a woman to her children (both sons and daughters) but only to her daughter’s children through the female line. The paternal DNA is passed from father to son to son and so on.

Reading this, I decided to follow the female line to see where it would take me – both in personal terms (how they are related) and geographical (where were they born and lived) to get a clearer picture on where my female ancestors originated.

Me – born in SW Ohio


Mary – born in Eastern Indiana (mother)


Vesta Christena Wilt – born 1898 in Noblesville, Hamilton County, Indiana;
died Jan. 1984 Dayton, Montgomery County, Ohio (gr-mother)


Martha Jane Stern – born 1872 in Clarksville, Hamilton County, Indiana;
died Nov. 1956 Lane County, Oregon (gr-grandmother)


Nancy Caylor – born 1840 in Wayne County, Indiana;
died Dec. 1900 in Noblesville, Hamilton County, Indiana (2nd gr-grandmother)

Susannah Miller – born bet. 1800-1804 in Dayton, Montgomery County, Ohio;
died Nov. 1859 in Noblesville, Hamilton County, Indiana (3rd gr-grandmother)

Catherine (or Katherine) Botafield – born 1780 in Pennsylvania;
died Oct. 1855 Washington Twp, Tippecanoe County, Indiana (4th gr-grandmother)

Now it’s time to start researching the Botafield family and especially Katherine in order to find her mother.  I also need to do some documentation in order to verify that Katherine was indeed Susannah’s mother.

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This is my submission for the 56th Carnival of Genealogy being hosted by Lori Thornton at Smoky Mountain Family Historian. The topic is 10 essential books in my genealogy library.

Unfortunately I haven’t been able to buy a lot of the books I really should.  Some I’ve checked (& re-checked) out of the local library.  Others I’ve been able to find on Google Books.  So without further ado:

1. The Hollister Family of America.  Compiled by Lafayette Wallace Case M.D.; Chicago, Fergus Printing Company; 1886

2. The Genealogy of the Loveland Family in the United States of America from 1635 to 1892. By J.B. Loveland, Fremont, O., and George Loveland, Wilkes-Barre, Pa.; Vol. 1; Freemont, Ohio; I.M. Keeler and Son, printers; 1892.

3. The Risley Family History.  By Edwin H. Risley of Utica, N.Y.; The Grafton Press; Genealogical Publishers; New York; MCMIX; Copyright 1909 by Edwin H. Risley.

4. The Treat Family, A Genealogy of Trott, Tratt and Treat.  By John Harvey Treat, A.M.; Salem, Massachussets; The Salem Press Publishing & Printing Company; The Salem Press; 1893.

5. Genealogy of the Bigelow Family of America.  Gilman Bigelow Howe; Worcester, Mass.; Printed by Charles Hamilton; No. 311 Main Street; 1890.

6. Historical Sketches and Reminisces of Madison County.  John L. Forkner and Byron H. Dyson; Anderson, Ind.; 1897; from the Press of Wilson, Humphreys, & Co., Fourth St., Logansport, Ind.

7. A Genealogical Record of the Descendants of Martin Oberholtzer.  By Rev. A.J. Fretz; Milton, N.J.; Press of the Evergreen News; Milton, N.J.; 1908

8. Marriages of Coshocton County, Ohio, 1811-1930.  Miriam C. Hunter; Compiled from marriage records, Probate Court, Coshocton County, Ohio; Coshocton Public Library, Coshocton, Ohio; 1967.

9. History of Coshocton County, Ohio: Its Past and Present, 1740-1881.  Compiled by N.N. Hill, Jr.; Newark, Ohio; A.A. Graham & Co., Publishers; 1881; Carlon & Hollenbeck, Printers & Binders, Indianapolis, Ind.

10. Historical Collections of Coshocton County Ohio; 1764-1876.  By William E. Hunt; Cincinnati; Robert Clarke & Co., Printers, 1876

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There have been several times in the past where I’ve come to a brick wall – more like a cement wall – unmovable and indestructable.  When I’ve come to a screeching halt in my research, I’ve generally focused on either other activities or other names in my ancestry.  I think it is usually a case where I’m looking so hard at one thing, I can’t see what’s right in front of me.

However, there are still some brick walls that I haven’t been able to even knock one brick out of in order to see a little glimmer of light from the other side.

Parents (and therefore their ancestors) of:

  • William Amore (my 2nd g-grandfather) b. Feb. 6, 1828 in Troy, albany, NY d. Feb. 9, 1896 in Franklin Twp, Coshocton County, Ohio.
  • Charlotte Imons (my 2nd g-grandmother, wife of William Amore) b. Aug. 4, 1828 in Ohio d. Oct. 9, 1862 in Coshocton County, Ohio.
  • Frances Ogan (my g-grandmother, wife of James Emory House) b. Nov. 29, 1846 in Ohio d. Feb. 18, 1915 [I posted about her story here.]
  • Julia Lewis (my 2nd g-grandmother, wife of Florus House, mother of James) b. Dec. 24, 1815 in Ohio d. Oct. 6, 1899 in Coshocton County, Ohio.
  • John Blazer (my 3rd g-grandfather) b. abt. 1812 in Ohio d. Unknown probably in Indiana.
  • Martha McManaway (my 3rd g-grandmother, wife of John Goul) b. abt. 1801 in Germany or Rockingham, Virginia d. Oct. 7, 1855 probably in Indiana.
  • Frederick Goul (my 5th g-grandfather) b. in Germany. (No information on his wife either.)
  • Jacob Johnson (my 3rd g-grandfather) b. Dec. 11, 1787 in New Jersey d. May 2, 1855 in Center Township, Rush County, Indiana.
  • William Shields (my 4th g-grandfather, father of Ann Shields, father-in-law of Jacob Johnson).
  • Thomas Stanley (my 4th g-grandfather).
  • Sarah Smithey (my 4th g-grandmother, wife of Thomas Stanley).
  • George Mullis (my 4th g-grandfather) b. 1768 in Wilkes County, North Carolina d. 1833 in Surry County, North Carolina.
  • Johnathan Wilt (my 3rd g-grandfather) b. abt. 1800 in Virginia.
  • Catherine Hollinger (my 3rd g-grandmother, wife of Johnathan Wilt) b. 1799 in Virginia.
  • Alexander Nash (my 3rd g-grandfather) b. about 1808 in Pennsylvania. (No information on his wife, Elsy’s, family.)

My research has included checking the census records for the areas in which they died and going backwards as well as any other on-line documentation – wills, marriages, births, deaths, obituaries and newspaper articles.  I’ve also asked living family members what they have heard about ancestors in case oral histories have been passed down.

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Pennsylvania Monument at Gettysburg

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I believe I’ve mentioned my maternal great-grandmother, Martha Jane Stern, in previous posts.  She was the mother of my mother’s mom, Vesta Christena Wilt.  Martha was born on February 9, 1872 in Clarksville, Hamilton County, Indiana to Emanuel Bushong Stern (descendent of the Stern and Bushong families) and Nancy Caylor (descendent of the Kohler/Caylor and Kinsey families).

When Martha was 18, she married 22 year old Joseph Napolean Wilt in Delaware County, Indiana on September 10, 1890.  Between July 1891 and April 1906, the couple had 4 sons and 2 daughters (it is also reported that they had a son who died at birth – but I have yet to find proper documentation).  My grandmother, Vesta, was the oldest daughter and fourth child.

When the youngest, Clifford, was a little more than two years old, the couple had separated.  I’ve written about the bench warrant that was sworn out for Joe Wilt in “An Early Divorce”. Martha’s sister, Margaret Ellen Stern, had married William Franklin (Frank) Clawson in 1882 but Margaret died in April 1908.  On New Years’ Eve 1910, Frank and Martha married and combined their families. 

The family ran a store in Anderson, Madison County, Indiana.  When my great-aunt, Nellie, was diagnosed with asthma, Martha and Frank took her and Clifford to Leaburg, Oregon.  My grandmother had already married and they were living with my grandfather’s parents.  It was many years before my grandmother saw her mother again because people just didn’t cross the country for a “visit”.  She took her grandson, my brother, to visit Grandma Clawson (which is what we all called her), when he was just a few years old.  My mom has always said that my brother met Grandma before she did. 

Frank passed away on May 23, 1923 – not too many years after they arrived in Leaburg.  After John returned from WWI, he moved to Oregon to be close to his mother.  Frank’s son, Ralph, also spent time in the Northwest.  Frank’s daughter, Nancy Clawson Welch, had moved to California and died two years before her father. 

I don’t know if Martha’s sons, Jesse and Clarence, ever saw their mother again.  I’ve not heard or read anything that mentions either one of them taking a trip out to Oregon to visit her and I know she didn’t travel east after she’d moved.

Martha died on November 6, 1956 of congestive heart failure.  She was 84 years old.  Funeral services were held at Buell Chapel and she was buried in Greenwood Cemetery in Leaburg, Oregon.

I wasn’t able to meet my great-grandmother and only know her through the stories my grandmother and my mom have told me.  I also have several letters she wrote to my grandmother.  She was highly respected by her children and loved very much.

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