If you aren’t on rootsTech today you are missing some awesome genealogy stuff. I don’t think it’s too late to participate – it’s free – just go here to register.
This is what has impressed me the most so far and it only just began:
FAMILYSEARCH.ORG – my thanks for pulling this off virtually without a hitch. Maybe there was a hitch on your end but it was seamless on ours. I absolutely LOVE the interactive RootsTech relatives feature and found a 4th cousin once removed living very close to me. Didn’t know she even existed! Using the Send a Message feature I made an attempt at connecting. Maybe if I ever get the covid vaccine we can meet. The map feature of where my people are is shown above and I think it’s just wonderful. Proves I’m a mutt without research, doesn’t it?! Actually looks very similar to my ethnicity results from Ancestry/MyHeritage/23andMe.
My FAVORITE research session so far has been from Goldie May’s Richard K. Miller on How to create Google Chrome shortcuts for Faster Genealogy Research. More info is available on their website so check this out here.
My FAVORITE AH HA session has been How to Make Rooibos Tea by Sarah Wing from South Africa. Funny but I brewed a cup right before the Expo Hall opened last evening so I thought I would enjoy the video but I was shocked to learn that a small strainer I inherited from my grandmother is a tea strainer. Duh, she used it to drain liquid from kidney beans so that’s how I’ve used it for over 50 years. I got so excited to learn what the kitchen device is really supposed to be used for I sent out an email to my family who would remember how it was used. Nothing like making connections over the simplicity of everyday living!
Which gets me to the next part of RootsTech I find interesting – I signed up for the 21 day Family Connections Experiment. What a brilliant idea, especially now with our world turned upside down for so many reasons. Learn more about it here.
The CREEPY BUT COOL tech toy is from MyHeritage – Deep Nostalgia. I can’t wait to try it! Take a photo and it animates it. You have got to check into this.
Another CREEPY BUT COOL tech device is from Audiobiography which has designed a product that can be placed on a tombstone or family heirloom and using an ap on your phone, the bar code will be read and you can learn more about the person/item via audio or text. Pricing was reasonable, too. Learn more about it here.
There’s much much more but those were the items that were most interesting to me so far. Two more days to go so don’t miss out – check it out now.
A few blogs ago I mentioned I needed to check out the
sibling and step siblings of Margaret Ann Martz Searight Duer to try to
discover why she relocated from Hardin, Ohio to Adams, Indiana. I guessed that she had met my John Duer in
Adams as he was a property owner in the same area as Margaret. Turns out, there was much more involvement
than I thought.
Since Margaret was the second wife of John, I had never
researched her family since they are not related to me, or so it seemed.
Online trees showed Margaret was born to the first wife, Margarethae Himmelsbach, of George Peter Martz in Germany. I have found a baptismal record for another child of the couple, Catharina, born 17 September 1830 in Rheinzabern, Pfalz, Bayern. The child and the mother must have died shortly after as George married Elizabeth Goetz Martz, the wife of his deceased brother, John. The second union produced eight children. I never found a birth record for Margaret and determined her birthdate from her tombstone shown on Find-a-Grave.
Like Margaret and her first husband, George Washington
Searight, “father” George and “step-mother” Elizabeth lived in Hardin, Ohio in
1850. By 1860, some of the children were
still residing with George and Elizabeth who had moved to Mercer County,
Interesting, I thought!
Perhaps John hadn’t met Margaret in Adams, Indiana but instead, in
Mercer where he was found living with his first wife, Jane, in 1860. Actually, they are 3 pages away in the census
from where John and Jane lived. Also
living nearby, just two residences away, was daughter Maria Duer who had
married Henry Kuhn, also an emigrant from Germany. Perhaps John and Margaret met at a community
event as Henry Kuhn was a leader of the German settlers in Mercer County. His
wife, Maria, who was not German, even has an obituary in the German newsper.
Knowing that Margaret had family in Mercer helped me better
understand why she was buried there and not in Indiana. I still had no answer as to why Margaret
purchased property in Indiana so I took the time to learn about her step
siblings, thinking that perhaps, they lived in Adams County.
I decided to start with “step sister,” Hannah Lucinda and
what a surprise I found! Hannah died in
Missouri before 1880 when the census shows her husband, Abraham Orr, residing
with his brother, Thomas. I was
interested in learning more about Abraham because he was a property owner at
one time in Trumbull County, Ohio, where my John Duer was born and where he
first married. In researching Abraham I
discovered his mother was Anna Duer, sister to my John Duer. Who knew these families were interrelated! It
gets even better – After Hannah Lucinda died, her youngest children, Mary and
Phillip Orr, are found living in the household of Phillip Martz, “step-brother”
of Margaret in (drum roll, please) Mercer, Ohio. So the Duers and Martz’s were connected prior
to John’s marriage to Margaret. No
telling when or where they first met!
I hit pay dirt when I got to “step-brother,” Eli Martz. He had a bio in amugbook from Mercer County, Ohio that, although not 100% accurate, provided me with background information about Margaret and her family.
I thought it strange that Eli has two entries and the information is slightly different. The first, names him Eli Martz, “the son of George P. and Elizabeth (Goetz) Martz.” P. 429. I read this entry first. When I finished the article I noticed the next article was for an Elisha Martz. Hmm, who could he be?
Elisha Martz was the “son of G. Peter and Elizabeth (Goetz) Martz.” p. 430. Yes, George P. is the same man as G. Peter. Elizabeth Goetz Martz is the same mama. At the very end of Elisha’s article the confusion is cleared – Eli and Elisha are brothers. Why the parents would have named them so similarly I have no idea.
Their stories have a few discrepancies which makes this very
Both stories state Margaret emigrated with her STEP-father
and 3 of her step-brothers to Frederick Town, Maryland about 1830. All of the online trees have Margaret’s
father’s name wrong – it was not George Peter but George’s brother, John
Martz. George Peter was Margaret’s uncle
who raised her after his brother died and George married the widow. That explains why no record for Margaret’s
birth has been found!
According to Eli’s article, the family arrived in 1830, however, the twins, Phillip and Caleb, were born in 1831 in Germany so that is not correct. Elisha’s article states they arrived in 1833. That makes sense and would explain the longer than usual lapse in children’s births. The couple seemed to have children annually in Germany but there is a longer gap between the twins (1831) and Eli in 1834. Having twins and moving to start a new life in a new country would definitely have put a damper on having another child at the original rate.
Margaret’s uncle was a shoemaker but decided he wanted to try farming so he relocated to Sandusky, Ohio after 3 years in Maryland, according to Eli, or 18 months, according to Elisha. Really, what’s a year and a half?!.
Quickly deciding raising corn wasn’t for him, they packed up
with the intent to return to Maryland.
On their journey they stopped at Wayne County, Ohio where they decided
to stay for 14 years, per Eli, or until 1848, per Elisha.
George bought land in the then wilds of Mercer County, Ohio but on the way in 1847 (Eli) or 1848 (Elisha), the family decided to stop in Hardin County, where they were found in the 1850 census. Both agree in 1852, the family made their way to Mercer. After his second wife died in 1876, says Eli, George relocated to Illinois where he died “about 1882.” Elisha says George relocated to Illinois in 1864. He doesn’t say when George died. He does gush about what a great dad George was; Eli says nothing. Hmmm.
This leads me to a big WHAT? So, sons Eli/Elisha did not keep in close contact with Pop, as the year discrepancy is rather large of when George left Ohio not to mention they don’t know when their dad died. Seems like this is a trend with the Duer siblings too, who never told their children their mother Jane’s name. What is going on with these folks?
Since George’s wife, Elizabeth, was found living with Eli in 1870 and George is not found in any record after 1860, I’m thinking that both Eli and Elisha were somewhat accurate about George’s whereabouts. Eli would have known when his dad left the area because mom was in his household. Elisha might have remembered when his parents split households, probably in 1864.
The mug book names George’s 9 children, the eldest, being Margaret, “the widow of John Doer, who resides in Adams, county, Ind.” p. 429 or “Margaret, the widow of John Deuer, of Jay County, Indiana.” p. 430. Yes, she was the widow but John wasn’t from Jay County and I love the spelling of John’s last name!
The point, though, is I would have never located this had I
not searched for more information on Margaret’s step siblings.
The book goes on to note where every sibling resided and the only step-brother/cousin of Margaret that lived in Indiana was Phillip. However, he lived in Salem which is in southern Indiana, Adams is in northeast so Margaret clearly didn’t relocate to Adams because of Phillip’s move to that state. I’m thinking Margaret moved to Adams to be near John and away from ex wife Jane who most likely remained in Mercer.
Now I’m intrigued as to why Uncle George (geez, I DO NOT need another Uncle George in the family) went to Illinois at an advanced age. None of his children were residing there between 1864-1876. Supposedly, youngest daughter Hannah Lucinda died in Illinois per an online family tree but there is no citation. Her spouse was listed as a widow in Iowa in 1880 so possibly she died on the way to relocating west. Whether she stopped to visit her dad on the way, I don’t know.
George didn’t appear to keep in touch with any of his children as no one seems to know what became of him. The year of 1864 is interesting to me as that was likely when John and Margaret married. The Civil War wasn’t over yet. Maybe there was just too much drama for a man up in age and he decided to leave his wife for a new start. I say that because Elisha mentions that George’s wife died in Mercer. Eli/Elisha both agree it was in 1876.
The mysteries may continue, however, the beauty of the information in the mug book is priceless. What a wonderful example of why it’s important to research the relatives, no matter how distant they may at first appear to be! My tree is becoming gnarled.
You may have a Basic membership through Ancestry.com to Newspapers.com but that’s doesn’t permit you to view all of the holdings. I spent a few hours yesterday rechecking my closest to me relatives to see if additional newspapers had been added since the last time I took advantage of a free special offer from the company.
I was delighted to find several articles that I didn’t know existed – such as:
Who knew that my grandmother Mary Koss had an obit in a Hammond, Indiana newspaper? I have the obit from the Gary Post Tribune but didn’t know about the Hammond Times. Likewise, my Uncle George also had an obituary in the Hammond Times. Must have been a deal hrough the funeral home I just wasn’t aware was in place. Funny as they rarely visited Hammond and to my knowledge, had not friends there!
Struck gold in the Zajenicar, a Croatian newspaper that my grandparents used to receive. I had been told that my name had once appeared in it. Evidently, back in the day, the Croatian Fraternal Union sold life insurance policies to the parents/grandparents of newborns and my grandparents had bought a policy for me that expired when I turned 18. I was told that the children’s names were printed in the newspaper so I searched for me but didn’t find myself. I decided to search for my grandparents thinking it might have been placed under them instead. Surprise, Surprise! Discovered that my grandfather, Kum (that’s God Father) and his brother had given $10.00 to the organization before my birth to help fund an Immigrant Museum to be built in Pittsburgh. Don’t think that goal ever materialized but it was a sweet find for me. I think they all would be pleased knowing I have tried to honor all of the family’s immigrants through my blog and family tree.
Interesting to me, I also understood why my Grandparents always paid for a lamb to be raised and slaughtered at Buncich’s Farm in Hobart, Indiana every year. Duh – they were sorta kinda related and I had no idea until I found an obituary that mentioned my aunt through marriage. One of her brothers had married the daughter of the owner of the farm. That would just be like my grandparents to support a family member if they could. I always thought they just liked the taste of the lamb!
Finding that obit was another aha! moment for me. I have one cousin whose name is “off” the naming pattern the family typically uses – we have a zillion John – George – Joseph – Nicholas – Michaels and those names move from first to middle so frequently it’s often hard to keep everyone straight. Since my cuz is still living and I don’t want to hurt feelings if he ever sees this I’m not typing the name but now I realize where he got it from – his mom’s brother’s middle name that had been a grandfather’s name. Who knew? ! I guess most of the family but me.
Since this weekend will be very cold in most parts of the states and we’ve had torrential rains already this morning in my part of the world – stay warm, stay safe and stay focused on your genealogy by taking the weekend to visit newspapers.com. No telling what you might discover!
Usually, I’m happy when I climb over a brick wall but sometimes the find provides harsh reality of what the individual was experiencing. I recently had such a discovery and in all honesty, I put off writing about it for a month.
I’ve made a lot of progress on my John and Jane Duer line lately although several mysteries remain, like where is John buried, why does Jane’s tombstone say “wife of John Duer” when he was married to someone else at the time of Jane’s death and why does Jane’s youngest children, who were adults when she died, not tell their own children about Jane as evidenced by their death certificates stating mother is unknown?
My working theory is, among other reasons, because of the sad discovery I made regarding one of John & Jane’s children.
William Duer (1828-c. 1852) was the oldest son and oldest surviving child of John and Mary “Jane” Duer; he relocated with the couple from Trumbull County, Ohio where he was most likely born to Killbuck, Holmes, Ohio where he is shown residing with his parents and siblings in 1850. That census shows that William and his closest aged sibling, Thomas, was working on the farm with father John.
For years, I had difficulty discovering what became of William as he was not shown with the family in the 1860 census in Mercer County, Ohio where they had relocated, nor was he found in any census anywhere. He seemed to have disappeared in thin air as nothing was found for him anywhere. Until now and thanks to the images on FamilySearch.org.
My search for William took the usual path over the years – checking all the online sites, family trees and connecting with known relatives. I thought he had perhaps died in the Civil War which wouldn’t explain where he was in 1860, but I also had another missing brother from the 1860 census so I figured they may have been together somewhere and missed the enumeration. That brother, John B., eventually ended up in Adams County, Indiana. William was never found again. Until now.
I decided to look through the images for Common Plea Court Civil Records, 1825-1901, for Killbuck Township, Holmes, Ohio where the family lived to see if a record may exist for anyone in the family. That’s where I discovered the Certificate of Insanity for William Duer.
From the medical report, I learned that William was age 23 and free from infection. In March 1852 William complained of “feelings in his head” that lasted 1-2 weeks. He was last reported sane on 12 April 1852.
Apparently, insanity must have been shown for at least 30 days before the courts could be contacted. The physician diagnosed William with melancholy that was not related to hereditary or epilepsy. He was not violent. His past medical history showed bleeding and blisters but it does not clarify the cause.
Interestingly, the physician noted William had received “no education” and “worked hard” and had “no amusement” yet he was not “disappointed” by his life. The education information is verified by Historical Collection of the Mahoning Valley which stated “the public schools were few, with little interest taken in public education until 1840, when a new impulse moved the settlers” (p. 484). William’s early life was in Trumbull County which became Mahoning County.
The Justice of the Peace had also visited William at his home and found him insane. Since he was a resident of Killbuck, he was sent to the Ohio Lunatic Asylum to undergo treatment. His condition had been the case for less than 2 years. The reason cited for committing William was that “his being at large would be dangerous to the safety of the community.” Although this clearly conflicts with the physician report stating that William was not violent, father John Duer attested the same.
I do not believe William every survived the commitment. I suspect he is buried on the asylum grounds where there are numerous unmarked graves. I will be following up with an organization that holds the records which is currently closed due to the pandemic.
I hadn’t expected this would be the reason for the brick wall.
From searching through images, prior to this find, I discovered a letter to the courts regarding another community member’s request for an insanity hearing in the preceding year. The request was denied, not because the woman wasn’t insane, but because the county had already used up all of their bed space in the asylum. I have no idea from the records what the county’s allotted number was but it is telling that there were more community members who needed mental health assistance then there was available treatment for them.
This find leads me to a new working theory about William’s mother, Jane, that I will explore in more details next time.