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, Ohio.
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 interesting!
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.