Friday, May 16, 2014

Alfred T Wesner (1882-1939) "52 Ancestors"

 Hi again everyone. This is week 20 of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge. I am trying to get a little ahead in my stories since we are now in the middle of our move and I am getting real busy with the packing and all the decorating. So because of all that is going on I am trying to work on the low hanging fruit and write about those people that have more information instead of the mysteries. Looking back on the statistics of web views I can see that my weekly viewership has stayed pretty consistent. I am glad that I have some loyal viewers who want to read about our ancestors.

Alfred T Wesner
This week I will be writing about my wife's great grandfather, Alfred T Wesner (1882-1939). Alfred was the son of Christian T Wesner (1851-1835) and Mary Jane Smith (1850-1932). Look at that, Mary Jane Smith - see I do have some common names in my file, luckily they get married quickly and then change their name to something more unique, like Wesner. Christian Wesner was born in Germany and immigrated to the US in 1853. He worked as a sawyer at a sawmill. Alfred was the fourth of seven children. His siblings were Rebecca (1874-1942), Maggie Myrtle (1846-1933), Cora May (1879-1958), Christian Earl (1886-1957), Ethel (1888-1983), and Raymond (1891-1961). All of the children were born near St. Marys, Auglaize County, Ohio.

In 1900 Alfred (age 18) was living with his parents, Christian (age 49) and Mary (age 49), and four siblings, Cora (age 21), Earl (age 13), Ethel (age 10) and Ray (age 9). Alfred was employed as a farm laborer. On 26 October 1905, Alfred married Josephine Katrina Bielefeld (1880-1967), the daughter of Henry Wilhelm Bielefeld (1852-1925) and Margeurite Geyer (1852-1914). Josephine had grown up in New Knoxville, Auglaize County, Ohio. The 1910 census states that Alfred (age 27) and Josephine (age 29) were living at 224 South Ash Street in St. Marys, Auglaize County, Ohio. They had their first child, Merwyn O (age 2), listed in that census also. Alfred's occupation was listed as an express driver. By 1914, his wife Josephine, had given birth to four children, two of which had died in infancy. His children were Merwyn Olin (1907-1974), Moxlee Eugene (1910-1954), a female infant (19 April 1912 - 19 April 1912), and Alfretta Katherine (15 June 1914 - 3 July 1914).

Alfred and Josephine divorced and by the time Alfred registered for the WW I draft he had remarried to Sophia Blanche Folk (1887-1951). Alfred's occupation is listed as carpenter and he is working for Bates-Rogers in Toledo, Ohio. However, his residence is listed as St. Marys. He is described as as tall and stout with green eyes and dark brown hair. Josephine and the two sons were living at 625 Hendricks Avenue in St. Marys. By 1930 Josephine and the boys had relocated to Jacksonville, Florida.

In 1920, Alfred (age 37) and his second wife Blanche (age 32) are living at 226 North Fruit Street in St. Marys, Ohio. Alfred's occupation is listed as driver for transfer company. Blanche was pregnant at the time the census was taken and their son Alfred William Wesner was born on 17 November 1920. Alfred Jr. died on 29 November 2004 and is buried along with his wife and next to his mother in Elmgrove Cemetery in St. Marys.

By 1927 this marriage was on the rocks and Alfred was living at the Hotel Norval in Lima, Allen County, Ohio. We know he was living there because of an accident he had between his automobile and a motorcycle driven by Joseph Penn on the evening of 23 April 1927. In the 1930 census Alfred is divorced and listed as a renter on King Street in St. Marys, Ohio. His rent was $10 per month and he was employed as a proprietor of a truck or taxi. After two failed marriages Alfred tried a third and final time. Sometime around 1930 he married Winona Webb. By 1935 his troubles had increased. He was taken to court by the First National Bank under foreclosure in the amount of $1,668.98. He lost this case and the bank was awarded $1,208.64.

Alfred Wesner died 29 January 1939, at Gibbons Hospital in Celina, Mercer County, Ohio due to complications from an operation. He was 59 years old. He was survived by his wife Winona and three sons, Merwyn, Moxlee, and Alfred Jr. Alfred is buried in Elmgrove Cemetery in St. Marys.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Estill Bowen "Doc" Walker (1909-1994) "52 Ancestors"

Hi again, this is week 19 of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge. This last week has been very productive in my research. I have met several people online and received a pile of information that I need to begin adding to my Bruns, Schulze, and Schwartz lines. I received nearly 300 pages of information, several dozen photographs and scans of original land grants from the 1830s. Between all that and the upcoming move it has been a real busy time.

This week I decided to write a story about my wife's grandfather Estill Bowen "Doc" Walker (1909-1994). Why did I decide to write about him? I don't know, it just seemed to be the thing to do and I guess that is the only reason that I need. Before I start to write I figured I would explain how I do these blogs. After many years of research I have built up a database of over 42,000 names. Many of these have pages of transcribed records that I have found to describe the life of the individual. By reading through these records in chronological order I can build a profile of the person's life. My favorite records are newspaper articles because they usually provide some interesting facts that are not included in the vital records. Once I choose an individual to focus on I then make sure that I have all the necessary records to fill in the details and then I start writing. All of my writing is done in one sitting and usually in about two hours. I have noticed that my stories are averaging around 1,000 words per post. Then I proof read the post several times hoping to find any errors. I don't know if everyone writes the way I do but it seems to work for me. If you have read my first blog post, way back on 29 November 2009, you would see that I was originally inspired to write because of a poem titled "The Dash" by Linda Ellis. After reading that poem I decided that it was my responsibility to fill in the details symbolized by the dash between the birth and death dates. Occasionally I get lucky and will have someone read one of my blogs and discover that they are related. If you are one of those people please feel free to contact me and I will see what I can do to help you in your research.

Estill Bowen Walker
Now, on to the story of Estill Bowen Walker. Estill was born on 13 June 1909 in Jacksonville, Florida and was the son of Ernest Albert Walker (1886-1966) and Minnie Lacy Hall (1886-1967). Ernest and Minnie were married on 6 November 1905 in St. Mathews Methodist Church in Jacksonville, Florida. Estill had three sisters; Viloet Alberta (1906-2001), Dorothy Louise (1912-1999), and Marjorie Elizabeth (1916-1974) and one brother; William Maurice (1913-1915). His father was born in Leesburg, Florida (the son of James Albert Walker) and his mother was born in Paris, Kentucky. The family lived in Jacksonville, Florida. Estill first shows up in the 1910 census for Jacksonville, Florida. The family consisted of Ernest A (age 24), Minnie L (age 24), Violet (age 3) and Estill (age 11  months). His father Ernest was employed as a plumber.

In 1920, the family is living at 137 West 21st in Jacksonville and consisted of Ernest A (age 34), Minnie (age 33), Violet (age 13), Estill (age 10), Louisa (age 7) and Marjorie (age 3). Estill's name is incorrect on this census. He is listed as Estell and as a daughter. I wonder if he got teased in school because of his name.

Estill married Alita Lexow, the daughter of Frederick Henry Lexow and Mary A Truesdale, about 1926. They had two sons, Estill Herbert (1927-1972) and John Norwood (1934-1991). In 1930 he was living at 1837 Clarkson Street with his wife Alita (age 23) and son Estill Herbert (age 3). The location of their home was only two houses down from Frederick Lexow and today is located within a warehouse area near the Tallyrand shipyards in Jacksonville. Estill was renting this house for $18/month and was employed as a laborer at the Ford Motor Company. One of his first jobs at the Ford plant was in the first aid unit where he acquired the nickname "Doc".

The Ford Motor Company assembly plant was constructed near the shipyards in 1923 and was designed so that Ford's fleet of oceangoing ships could dock nearby and railcars could enter on one side with parts to unload and would leave on the other side with finished vehicles.

In 1931, the family was living at 901 Parker and Estill was employed as an inspector at the Ford Motor Company. The assembly plant was operational until 1932 and was then converted to a parts warehouse that was used until 1968. By 1935 Estill had been promoted to the position of foreman at the plant and was now living at 1930 Wambolt, apartment 1. This apartment is located one block north of his previous location on Clarkson Street and still near the Tallyrand shipyards. The family consisted of Estill B (age 26), Alita (age 26), Estill H (age 8), John N (infant), and Mary Lexow (age 53) his mother-in-law. In 1940 the apartment on Wambolt Street was renting for $16/month and Estill had an annual income of $2200 working as the foreman in the auto parts warehouse.

Lt. E B Walker
Estill served with the Army during WW II where he achieved the rank of Lieutenant. After returning from service he again went to work for the Ford Company. The family is listed as living at 241 East 2nd in the 1944 Jacksonville city directory. His career with Ford continued to improve and he was promoted to district zone manager and service manager. In 1954 he and Alita were divorced and Estill remarried Ruth Hamm (1927-2008). Estill and Ruth were living at 2224 Southhampton Road in Jacksonville in 1954 and Estill was employed as a field manager for Ford. In December 1957 he was given a Ford franchise dealership in Treasure Island, Florida. This location was not the best and he would comment that customers had to seek them out and cross a toll bridge to get to it. His Ford dealership was moved 25 miles to Clearwater a decade later. He was able to expand his dealership at this location and was repeatedly honored with achievement awards. In 1981, the St. Petersburg Motor Club selected Walker Ford as their first approved repair shop.

Estill died of congestive heart failure at the age of 85 in St. Petersburg on 9 August 1994. He had been a nursing home resident for eight years prior to his death. He was buried on 12 August 1994 in Woodlawn Memory Gardens in St. Petersburg

Friday, May 2, 2014

Herman Heinrich Bruns (1840-1913) "52 Ancestors"

Week 18 of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge and still going strong. We had our move inventory earlier this week in preparation for our upcoming relocation. We also have been doing some furniture shopping. My wife had originally decided on a Key West style with lots of beachy themes and light colors. She has now switched to a more Victorian look with bold colors. Good thing I hadn't started buying paint yet. While we were doing all of that I tried to do a little family history research. I was all over the board. I did a little on the following families: Bruns, Kaiser, Dues, Hilgefort, LeBoeuf, and some others but really didn't concentrate on any of them too much. Must be the ADD in me - SQUIRREL!!

Ok, now that I have a few minutes to sit and concentrate, I decided to focus in on my great-great grandfather, Herman Heinrich Bruns (1840-1913). I was looking through the names I had already done for my blog and realized that I had not written any stories on the Bruns family.

Herman was born in Minster, Auglaize County, Ohio. His exact birth date is in question. The St. Augustine Church archivist in Minster says he was born on 15 February 1839. The 1900 census has his birth date as April 1840. His death certificate says he was born on 3 January 1840. His parents were Joseph Heinrich Johann Bruns (1805-1878) and Maria Antonetta Schunck (1805-1887), both of whom were born in Germany. His father was born in Oldenburg, Germany and acquired land in Stallostown (Minster) in 1833 after he immigrated. On 9 October 1835 he received a land grant for 80 acres located in the east 1/2 of the north 1/2 of the southeast quarter of Section 4, Township 8, Range 4. That land is now located at 11765 Bruns Road. Stallowstown was founded in 1832 by Francis Stallo and changed its name to Minster in 1836 in remembrance of the Roman Catholic region of Munster in Westphalia where many of the early settlers originated. Many of the early settlers arrived in the United States through the port of Baltimore and then made their way down the Ohio River to Cincinnati. From there they followed the Miami-Erie Canal to Minster. There is some confusion as to how many siblings Herman had. My research has the following siblings; Johan Heinrich Frederich (1835-1907), John Bernard (1842-1882), Elisabeth (abt 1843-??), and John (abt 1846-??). Part of this confusion is the result of the 1850 census which lists Joseph (age 46), Antonate (age 44) and their children Frederic (age 16), Henry (age 14), Bernard (age 10), Eliza (age 6) and John (age 4). The ages for Frederic, Henry and Bernard don't quite match up with the birthdates for Johan Heinrich Frederich, Herman Heinrich, and John Bernard. In 1850 the family is living in McLean Township, Shelby County, Ohio and Joseph has $400 worth of property.

On 15 October 1863, Herman married Maria Anna "Mary" Kuether (1845-1924). Mary was the daughter of Johann Joseph Kuether (1913-1857) and Maria Elisabeth Drees (1809-1863), both German immigrants from Hanover, Germany. Mary lived her entire life on the family farm two miles south of Egypt in Shelby County, Ohio. When Herman and Mary married they took over the operations of the Kuether family farm and lived there the remainder of their lives.

The 1870 census for McLean Township, Shelby County, Ohio lists the family as Herm (age 30), Mary A (age 25), and their children Catherine (age 6), Elizabeth (age 4), and Anna (age 9 moths). The farm is valued at $2300 and Herman's personal value is $715.

The 1880 census has Herman (age 40), Mary (age 34), Catherine (age 15), Elizabeth (age 13), Anna (age 10), Josephina (age 8), Mary Anna (age 8), Rosa (age 3), and Ferdinand (age 8 months). All of the children, except Rosa and Ferdinand, are listed as attending school.

There are a couple things that I have found interesting in the 1900 census. Herman (age 60) is listed as not being able to read, write or speak English. This is followed up in the 1910 census which states that Herman speaks German. This area of Ohio was heavily German and for many, it was their first language and the local newspapers continued to be written in German up until about 1920. It strikes me as odd though that all the other members of the family were speaking English and only Herman was not. Additionally, there is a new name in the family that I am not able to track. There is a daughter named Jennie (age 25) born July 1874. I don't see her listed in the 1880 census and the closest child to this age is Mary Anna who was born September 1875. The remainder of the family in this census are Fred (age 19), Joseph (age 17) and Mary (age 14). Herman had been married for 30 years at the time of the 1900 census and they are listed as having 9 children, all of whom are still living.

By the 1910 census, their son Fred (age 30) has taken over the family farm and is taking care of Herman (age 71) and Mary (age 65). Joseph (age 28), another of their sons, is also working on the farm. A niece, Caroline Winner (age 21), is also living at the home. Fred (Ferdinand) (1879-1951) married Katherine Poeppelman (1878-1957) on 8 June 1910. Fred and Katherine had five children; Robert (1911-1971), Clarence (1912-1959), Raymond (abt 1915-??), Marie (1915-2007), and Edward (1918-1999).

Herman died at 11:30 p.m. on 13 January 1913 at the farm. He had been ill for some weeks, suffering from uremia and chronic nephritis. Herman was 72 years and 11 months old at the time of his death and only 9 months shy of celebrating his golden wedding anniversary. His funeral was held on 16 January 1913 and he was buried in St. Joseph's Cemetery.

Mary continued to live on the farm with Fred's family and Joseph who never married. The 1920 census lists Fred (age 41), Kathie (age 41), Robert (age 8), Clarence (age 7), Raymond (age 5), Mary (age 4), and Edward (age 1 year 8 months). Also in the home are his mother Maria Anna (age 74) and his brother Joseph (age 37).

Mary died at the age of 79 on 28 November 1924 on the farm hat she had spent her entire life caring for. She was still very active, taking care of the household work and caring for her family and the grandchildren. She woke that morning feeling a little under the weather and asked the other family members to help her with the chores. Later that day she suffered a stroke. She was one of the oldest residents in the area of Egypt and was well respected in the community. The funeral on 2 December 1924 was well attended by many friends and family. Mary had a large number of family members including forty grandchildren in the Egypt area.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Bernard Leugers (1845-1935) "52 Ancestors"

Hi there, can you believe this is week 17 of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge? I guess I can believe that but I can't believe that I am still on schedule with my posts. Actually, I am falling behind and will continue to fall behind until we get this move finished. I will have to keep finding times between the packing, cleaning and getting ready where I can get a story in.

This week I decided to try what I thought would be an easy story. That means I am back on my relatives and will be writing about another farmer from Ohio. I decided to work on my great-great-grand uncle, Bernard Leugers. Bernard was born on 15 July 1845 in St. Rose, Mercer County, Ohio. His parents were George Bernard Leugers (1809-1880) and Maria Katherina Herkenhoff (1809-1881).

The 1850 census for Marion Township, Mercer County, Ohio lists George (age 41) and his wife Catherine (age 41) with their children Henry (age 11), George (age 9), Catherine (age 7), Bernard (age 5), and Sophia (age 3).  George is a farmer. He and his wife were both born in Germany and George had immigrated to the United States, arriving in Baltimore in 1835. He was granted his citizenship on 15 May 1854.

The 1870 census lists Bernard (age 23) as living at and working on his father's farm. His father George (age 60) has a property value of $3,000 and personal value of $500. His mother Catherine (age 60) is also living at the home.

Bernard was married three times. His first wife was Caroline Ording (1849-1880). He had five children by this marriage; Catherina (1872-1880), George Henry (1873-1965), John Henry (1876-1966), Mary Agnes (1878-1973), and August (1880-1880). The years 1880-1881 were not good years for the Leugers family. The 1880 census has Bernard (age 35), a widower, living with his parents George (age 71) and Catherina (age 71), with his children Catharina (age 7), George (age 6), Henry (age 5), Mary (age 2) and August (age 6 months). They are living on a farm in Marion Township, Mercer County, Ohio. August Leugers was born 2 January 1880 and died on 27 May 1880. Caroline, the mother died on 4 January 1880, just two days after August's birth. Bernard's father George died on 14 August 1880. Catherina, a daughter, died on 29 December 1880. His mother died the next year on 28 November 1881.

Soon afterward Bernard married his second wife, Catherine Laux. They had six children by this marriage; Catherine (1881-1949), Bernard Joseph (1883-1958), John B (1885-1974), Gerhard Edward (1886-1932), Gerhard Henry (1887-1932), and Herman H (1889-1983). Actually, there may only be five children. I am pretty sure, based on census records that Gerhard Edward and Gerhard Henry are the same person but I have not been able to determine if he should be Gerhard Edward or Gerhard Henry. I have a birth record for Gerhard Henry that has a birth date of 22 August 1887. Gerhard Edward lists his birth date as 22 August 1886 on his WW I Draft Registration. Gerhard Edward's death date is either 3 September 1932 (based on death certificate) or 1 September 1932 (based on his obituary). His burial date was listed as 3 September 1932. I guess more work needs to be done on this set of children. Bernard's wife Catherine died on 21 July 1890, leaving Bernard to care for the children.

By the 1900 census Bernard had again remarried. This wife was Elizabeth Sturwold (1853-1925) and they had been married for one year. Elizabeth emmigrated from Germany around 1870. It appears that this was also Elizabeth's third marriage. She had previously been married to John Clemens Heckman (1831-1885), a German immigrant and farmer in Auglaize County, Ohio. Elizabeth and John had at least one child, Elizabeth (1882-1959), before John died. There is another child, Anton Eyink (1887-??), who is listed as a step-son for Bernard and Elizabeth in the 1900 census. This leads me to believe that Elizabeth may have been married to an Eyink between her marriages to John Heckman and Bernard Leugers but that would require me to look in the 1890 census. Oh yeah, that one doesn't exist anymore. Elizabeth is listed as having four children with three living in the 1900 census. So, I am missing two children for her at this point.

The 1900 census lists the family as Bernard (age 54) and Elizabeth (age 43), John H (age 24), John B (age 17), Gerhard (age 13), Herman (age 10), and Anton Eyink (age 13). The family is living on a farm in Marion Township, Mercer County, Ohio.

I have not yet found the 1910 or 1920 census for Bernard's family.

During the 1930 census Bernard (age 84) is living with his son John's family at 521 West Wayne, Celina, Mercer, Ohio. The family consisted of John (age 45), his wife Mary (age 48), children Hilda (age 16), Ludwina (age 15), Agatha (age 14), Othmar (age 11), and Marcella (age 9). Additionally, Mary's sister Eleanor Uhlenhake (age 37) is living in the house. John and Eleanor both are working at the furniture factory. John is a packer while Eleanor is a finisher.

Bernard died in Celina, Ohio on 20 May 1935 from a cerebral hemorrhage at the age of 89 years, 10 months, and 5 days. He was buried in St. Rose on 23 May 1935. He had lived most of his life in St. Rose, Mercer County, Ohio except for the last few years when he was living with his son, John in Celina.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Willis Barnum Coker (1867-1956) "52 Ancestors"

My son and I spent the four days last week walking around Jacksonville, Florida taking part in the One Spark celebration. This celebration is a crowd source funded celebration for Creators. These creators are from a variety of fields including science, technology, arts, music and social good. So, after seeing all these great ideas being presented around the city, I decided to write about my wife's great-great-grandfather Willis Barnum Coker. He was a local businessman, carpenter, printer and entrepreneur.

Willis Barnum Coker
Willis Barnum Coker was born on 9 January 1867 in Americus, Plains, Georgia. His parents were James Franklin Coker (1836-1899) and Saran Ann Jane Walters (1836-1883). James Franklin Coker was married three times. He had one child, James Anderson Coker (1859-1860) by his first wife Martha A Butler (died 1859, two weeks after giving birth). His second wife was Sarah Ann Jane Walters. Willis was the oldest of seven children born to this marriage. His siblings included William Bartow (1868-1889), Dora Joline (1870-??), James Thaddeus Beta (1871-1956), Belle Boyd (1874-1938), Maggie Louise (1876-1956), and Effie Dessolee (1878-1905). After Sarah's death, James married Mary Emma Bellew and they had four children, Ethel Velona (1889-1916), Janie Mabel (1891-1919), James Bradford (1894-1961), and Mary Ida (1897-1898).

Jessie Clara and Willis Barnum Coker
Willis moved to Jacksonville, Florida from his home in Georgia in 1886. The 1888 Jacksonville Florida City Directory lists Barnum Coker as a carpenter. Willis Coker married Jessie Clara LeBoeuf (1857-1929), daughter of James LeBoeuf and Mary Ann Vickery, on 25 December 1887. If you have read the story I wrote about James LeBoeuf, you may remember that Jessie Clara was born on board his ship off the coast of Australia. He continued working as a carpenter until 1895, when he went to work for the James Douglas Book and Picture Framing business where he did picture framing and other general work. The 1900 census indicates that Willis B Coker was living with his wife Jessie (age 43) and children Frank V (age 9), Lula B (age 5), and Nellie M (age 1), and his mother-in-law Mary A LeBoeuf (age 75) at 1016 Church Street in Jacksonville. Willis' occupation is listed as clerk. In 1907, after the company added a printing office, Willis became half owner of the company which was then known as the James Douglas Company.

The 1910 census lists Willis Coker (age 43) as a frame maker. His family consisted of his wife, Jessie (age 50), and children Frank (age 19), Lura (age 15), Nellie (age 10), and Willis Jr. (age 6). Frank is employed as a printer and Lura is a dry goods saleslady. The other two children are attending school.

During the 1920 census the family is living at 912 Ashley Street in Jacksonville. is wife Jessie C (age 55), and children Nellie (age 28) and Willie Jr. (age 12) are living in the house. Willis is listed as a cabinet maker. Nellie is listed as being employed as a cashier at a department store and Willis Jr. is listed as a bell clerk at a department store.

In 1922, Mr. Douglas died and Willis became the sole owner of the James Douglas Company which he eventually sold to E. A. Koester and P. M. Ulsch who changed the name of the company to the Douglas Printing Company.

Sometime before 1935 he moved in with his daughter Nellie and her husband Harvey P McCarty at 1026 East Church Street. The 1940 census states that Willis was working 60 hour weeks as a picture framer in the printing office. He was 73 years old at the time. The 1945 Florida census also states that he was working as a picture framer. Willis continued his picture framing until 1946 when he retired.

Willis was a life member of the Knights of Pythias and Dramatic Order Knights of Khorassan and was the oldest member in Jacksonville at the time of his death. He was also a member of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Arlington. He died of a cerebral hemorrhage on 31 May 1956, at the age of 89 and was buried in Evergreen Cemetery in Jacksonville.

Friday, April 11, 2014

John Heinrich Vagedes-Tervort (1832-1876) "52 Ancestors"

Hi again everyone. This is week 15 of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge. I almost didn't get to this one. I have been travelling a lot with work and closing on a new house but here it is. I decided to go for a real story of intrigue this time and went a little off the main branch of the tree. This story is about my grandmother's sister's husband's uncle, John Heinrich Vagedes-Tervort.

John Heinrich Vagedes-Tervort went by Henry Vagedes in his early years and then changed his name to John Tervort a little later in life in order to hide from the officials. But that is later in the story and we do have to start at the beginning.

Henry was born on 18 September 1832 in Westphalia, Prussia. He was the first child of Franz Anton Vagedes (1805-1863) and Anna Maria Gertrude Tervort (1803-1849). He was christened on 20 September 1832 with Anne Marie Weisman Leufle and Heinrich Vagedes as his god parents. His siblings were Anna Elisabeth (1834-1837), Johan Anton (1837-1837), Franz (1838-1838), Anton Bernard (1839-1881), and Frank Anton (1842-1908). Johan and Franz died at birth or 1 day of age. The family, consisting of his parents and two brothers, Anton and Frank, immigrated to the United States in 1845. They initially settled in Cincinnati, Ohio where Franz found work as a laborer and eventually as a shoemaker to support his family. Their first home was located at the northeast corner of Clinton and Linn Streets (currently the 400 block of Clinton). His mother died on 17 May 1849, just four years after they immigrated.

Soon afterward, on 28 July 1849, Franz remarried to Elizabeth Catherina Sager (1827-1879) at St. Joseph's church. The 1849-1850 Cincinnati City Directory lists the family as living on the south side of Hopkins Street between John and Cutter Streets. This area is near St. Joseph's church and Union Station. The family then moved a little further north to Chickasaw in Mercer County, Ohio. There were four more children born to this marriage. They were Bernard (1850-1879), Maria Elizabeth (1852-1885), John George (1858-1927), and Onna or Anna (1863-1881).

Family stories state that Henry and his step-mother did not get along. Henry was 17 years old when his father remarried and was only 5 years younger than his new step-mother. Henry moved to Indianapolis to attend school but was not enthusiastic about school so on 8 May 1855 he enlisted in the US Army. He served with the 10th Indiana Infantry for five years. During this time President Buchanan sent the unit west to the Utah Territory in order to settle what was expected to be a civilian uprising. On 8 March 1860 he re-enlisted at Camp Floyd in Utah and received a re-enlistment bonus equal to three months pay -  $33. The units stationed at Camp Floyd were a mix of northern and southern regiments. However, the civilian uprising never occurred and Henry found himself stationed at Camp Floyd near Payson, Utah at the beginning of the Civil War. His enrollment was almost up and he was serving under General Johnston who decided to join the Confederate Army. During this time of confusion Henry made the acquaintance of a local merchant, George Washington Hancock. Mr. Hancock helped Henry sneak out of the camp in a wooden packing box and he is listed as deserting on 3 May 1861. In order to avoid arrest, he changed his last name to Tervort, his mother's maiden name and went by John Tervort for the remainder of his life.

John Henry Vagedes-Tervort
On 4 September 1862, John married Sarah Rosina Savage (1844-1920) in Payson, Utah. Sarah Rosina Savage went by Rosina and was born in Middlesex, England to Henry Savage (1810-1884) and Sarah Powers (1821-1881). She immigrated with her family on the ship John M. Wood from Liverpool, England on 12 March 1854 and arrived in New Orleans. Her brother John Ebenezer Savage (1841-1854) died of cholera in New Orleans on 3 May 1854, soon after they arrived. Several other siblings died prior to leaving England. They were Virginia (1843-1843) and her twin Paul (1843-1843), and Hyrum (1846-1849).  Sarah's family migrated westward with 393 Latter Day Saints with the Robert L. Campbell Emigration Company from New Orleans through Nebraska, Wyoming and then to Salt Lake City. They arrived in Salt Lake City on 28 October 1854. During the migration the family consisted of her parents Henry and Sarah, along with her siblings Kizziah (1848-1933), Moroni (1850-1930), and Jemima (1852-1933). Her mother Sarah was pregnant during this migration and gave birth to a daughter, Rachel Savage (1854-1919), at the foot of Little Mountain in the Salt Lake Valley two days before the end of the trek on 26 October. Several additional children were born after their arrival in Utah. They were Ebenezer (1857-1898), Alma (1859-1943), Cornelius (1861-1941), and Nephi Miles (1864-1934). The 1856 Utah Census lists the Savage family as members of the Salt Lake 6th Ward. Her parents were silk weavers and were noted for the fine quality of work they produced. The family moved to Payson, Utah in 1858.

After their marriage in 1862, John and Rosina Tervort had at least eight children. They were Henry Anthony (1863-1904), John Franklin (1864-1839), Sarah Arminnie (1866-1934), Rosina Gertrude (1868-1912), Annie Jemima (1870-1941), Moroni Eben (1871-1958), Rachel Lillian (1873-1874), and Mary Victoria (1875-1959).

The 1870 census for Payson, Utah lists John Tervort as a shoemaker with a personal value of $150 and real estate valued at $100. John Henry Vagedes-Tervort died on 11 October 1876 in Payson, Utah and is buried in the cemetery there. His widow remarried to John Ferrington Manwill (1832-1922) on 15 December 1881 in the Salt Lake Endowment House. Rosina had 5 children by this marriage, William Riley (1882-1959), Daisy (1883-1977), Myrtle (1885-1975), Rosina Savage (1887-1903), and Nephi (1889-1891). This family moved from Payson to Box Creek and then to Greenwich, Utah. Rosina and John divorced in 1895. Rosina died on 4 February 1920 in Payson and is buried in the local cemetery.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Joseph Reiss (1844-1924) "52 Ancestors"

Greetings everyone. This is week 14 of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge. I decided to head back to my side of the family for a little while this week. This story is about Joseph Reiss, my great great grandfather.

Joseph Reiss was born 19 June 1844 in Shelby County, Ohio, the son of George Reiss (1817-1879) and Seraphine Lump (1825-??). George immigrated from Germany about 1842 and Sarah immigrated with her parents when she was two years old. George filed a certificate of intention for citizenship in Shelby County, Ohio on 10 December 1852. Joseph's siblings were William Leonard (1847-1941), Mary Catherine (1853-1933), and Josephine (1862-??). Josephine was an adopted child according to the 1870 census.

The first record that I have found for the family is the 1860 census. This census has George (age 43), Sarah (age 35), Joseph (age 15), William (age 13), and Mary (age 7). The family was living in McLean Township, Shelby County, Ohio. George's real estate is valued at $300.

George and Joseph both fought in the Civil War as part of Company C, 118th Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Joseph worked in the hospitals and was also an ambulance driver during the war. After the war, Joseph learned to operate steam engines and went to work for August Wise in the saw mill. The 1870 census has Joseph (age 24) listed as an engineer living in the home of Louis Morman and family. Louis Morman is employed as a miller and I am assuming that he worked for the Wise Sawmill also.

Magdalena and Joseph Reiss
On 12 November 1876, Joseph married Magdalena Gaier, the daughter of Ferdinand and Appolonia Siegel Gaier. The witnesses for the wedding were Leonard Reiss, Joseph's brother, and Catherine Gaier, Magdalena's sister. Joseph and Magdalena had the following children; John Ferdinand (1877-1945), Catherine (1879-1960), Edward Leonard (1884-1955), and Leo Bernard (1891-1959).

The 1880 census lists the family as living in Berlin (Ft. Loramie), McLean Township, Shelby County, Ohio. Joseph (age 33) is employed as a laborer. His wife is listed as Madline (age 24) and their children are John (age 2) and Catherina (age 8 months).

The 1900 census has the family listed as living on Main Street, Loramie Village, McLean Township, Shelby County, Ohio. Joseph (age 54) is working as a fireman at the sawmill. His family consisted of his wife Magdalena (age 45), and children; John (age 22) employed as a teamster for the sawmill, Katherine (age 20) employed as a servant, Edward (age 12) and Leo (age 7) both attending school. In addition, Magdalena's father, Ferdinand Gaier (age 90), is living with the family.

On 23 July 1901, John Reiss married Anna Mary Pieper and on 16 June 1903, Catherine Reiss married August Jacob Wise. Catherine and August were my great-grandparents. The other two sons, Edward and Leo never married. Leo had a birth defect that left him partially crippled and Edward took care of him.

Ed, John, Joseph, Magdalena, Catherine, and Leo Reiss.
Joseph's occupation in the 1910 census is listed as engineer at the sawmill. He is 65 years old by this time. His wife Magdalena (age 55) and two sons, Edward (age 21) and Leo (age 17) are living in the home. Edward has taken up the trade as a carpenter by this time.

Joseph is still working at the sawmill as an engineer in the 1920 census when he was 74 years old. He continued working in the sawmill until near the time of his death in 1924. Magdalena, his wife is listed as being 64 years old. Edward (age 26) and Leo (age 21) are still living at home. Edward is working as a carpenter and Leo is listed as a laborer in the sawmill. Notice the ages of the family members during this census compared to the 1910 census. Edward and Leo only age 4 to 5 years during this time frame.

In June 1923, Joseph was stricken with an illness but was still able to get around and continued to work for a while. In November the illness became more sever and he was forced to remain in bed. He died at home on the morning of 18 February 1924. The cause of death was listed as epithelioma of the face which he had for 1 year and 4 months. His funeral was held on 21 February and he was buried in St. Michael's Cemetery in Ft. Loramie. He was survived by his wife, four children, nine grandchildren, two great grandchildren, one brother and one sister. His wife, Magdalena, died five years later, at the age of 76, on 25 August 1929. Her cause of death is listed as myocarditis.