Jul 03

Independence Day!

Happy July 4th! America’s Independence Day. The day the Continental Congress officially adopted the Declaration of Independence, declaring that the thirteen colonies were no longer part of Great Britain, but independent sovereign states that were part of a new nation.July_Fourth_Clip_Art

The Declaration of Independence was drafted by Thomas Jefferson and revised by the Continental Congress before it was adopted in 1776. The Revolutionary War was already in progress by that time. It had begun on 19 April 1775 with “the shot heard ‘round the world,” just a day after the midnight rides of Paul Revere and William Dawes.

100_6533

Patriot’s Day, Boston. (2009 photo by Karen)

The Continental Congress adopted the Articles of Confederation, our first constitution, on 15 November 1777, but they were not ratified by all thirteen states until 1 March 1781.

The Revolutionary War ended on 3 September 1783, when the U.S. and Great Britain signed the Treaty of Paris.

The United States Constitution was signed and adopted 11 years after the Declaration of Independence, on 17 September 1787. Amendments followed. The Bill of Rights, the first ten Amendments, was adopted on 15 December 1791. Amendments 11-27 were adopted 4 March 1794-7 May 1992.

Those three documents, the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and The Bill of Rights, are the three essential founding documents of the U.S. government.

Below is The American’s Creed, which we recite at our DAR meetings. It was the winning submission in a 1917 national writing contest for a creed of the United States. William Tyler Page used phrases from the Declaration of Independence, the Preamble to the Constitution and Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address in his entry. The American’s Creed was adopted by the U.S. House of Representatives in 1918.

The American’s Creed

I believe in the United States of America as a government of the people, by the people, for the people; whose just powers are derived from the consent of the governed; a democracy in a republic; a sovereign Nation of many sovereign States; a perfect union, one and inseparable; established upon those principles of freedom, equality, justice, and humanity for which American patriots sacrificed their lives and fortunes.

I therefore believe it is my duty to my country to love it, to support it Constitution, to obey its laws, to respect its flag, and to defend it against all enemies.        —-William Tyler Page

 

100_4969Tomorrow we celebrate the birthday of our great nation, when we proudly fly our country’s flag and watch parades and fireworks in remembrance of our country’s independence. A time to remember so many who have sacrificed so much for freedom.

This is also good time think about the principles of freedom and liberty upon which our country was founded and strive to preserve the type of government our forefathers envisioned, as set forth in these historic documents.

 

Jun 30

Tombstone Tuesday–Frankie B. Heffner

Frankie B. Heffner, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. (2011 photo by Karen)

Frankie B. Heffner, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. (2011 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of Frankie B. Heffner, located in row 3 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

Frankie B.
Son of
J.C. & M.C.
Heffner
Died
Oct. 2, 1888
Aged
3 Y 6 M 19 D

Franklin Benjamin Heffner was born 14 March 1885, the son of John and Mary (Tester) Heffner. His parents must have feared he would not survive because they had him baptized the same day, immediately after his birth. The church records describe it as quick, emergency baptism.

The records also state that his father was born in Blackcreek Township and his mother in Dublin Township.

Zion’s death and burial records show that little Frankie died 2 October 1888 and was buried on the 4th. This record indicates he was born on 6 March 1885.

His birth was recorded as 15 March 1885 in the probate records. [1]

Calculating his age as inscribed on his tombstone, 14 March would be his correct date of birth.

It appears his death was not recorded in the probate court.

 

[1] “Ohio, County Births, 1841-2003,” database with images, FamilySearch (www.familysearch.org : accessed 27 June 2015), Franklin B. Haffner, 15 Mar 1885; citing Liberty, Mercer, Ohio, Births, p.33, from FHL microfilm 914953.

Jun 26

Becker or Baker?

This year marks the 160th anniversary of Zion Lutheran Church in Chatt. The other day I came across this nice photo of the Henry and Mary (Manche) Baker family. Their families were some of the earliest members of Zion Chatt and Zion’s old records contain quite a bit of information about both the Becker and Manche families.

Henry & Mary (Manche) Baker. Children: Anna, Amelia, Lula, Theodore, Caroline, Clara, and Freda.

Henry & Mary (Manche) Baker. Children: Anna, Amelia, Lula, Theodore, Caroline, Clara, and Freda.

In the photo, seated in front: Henry & Mary (Manche) Baker. Their children, standing in back, with their married names: Anna Egger, Amelia McGough, Lula Baumgartner, Theodore W., Caroline Evans, Clara Merkle, Freda Egger.

Henry was born 13 September 1851 in Piqua, Ohio, the son of Johannes “John” and Barbara Catharina (Wiedmann) Becker. His father was from Rhein-Bavaria and his mother was from Württemberg. They married in Pennsylvania and eventually settled in Blackcreek Township in the early-mid 1850s. Back then their name was written as “Becker” in the church records.

Henry “Baker” married Anna Maria “Mary” Manche on 16 April 1874 in Van Wert County. [1]

Mary was the daughter of John and Barbara (Hopf) Manche and was born 7 April 1856 in Butler County, Ohio. Her parents were also immigrants, her father from Hesse-Darmstadt and her mother from Bavaria. They settled in Willshire in about 1860 [2] and Mary’s father served in Co. B of the 62nd OVI during the Civil War. He died 15 June 1865 and is buried in Richmond National Cemetery in Virginia. [3]

Henry and Mary had the following children:
Wilhelm “Theodore” (1875-1932), married Mary H. Bollenbacher [4]
Barbara Emilie “Amelia” (1877-1950), married John McGough [5]
Maria Louise “Lula” (1880-1964), married Birch L. Baumgardner [6]
Ida Carolina “Caroline” (1882-), married Samuel L. Evans [7]
Anna Catharina “Anna” (1885-), married Louis S. Egger [8]
Clara (1890-),married Leo Merkle [9]
Friederike “Frieda” (1893-), married Frank T. Egger [10]

Zion's south window, given in honor of Henry and Mary Baker. (2011 photo by Karen)

Zion’s south window, given in memory of Henry and Mary Baker. (2011 photo by Karen)

One of Zion’s large stained glass windows was given in memory of Henry and Mary Baker by their children. It is the beautiful south window which depicts an angel reporting Christ’s birth to the shepherds. Below the window, in the stained glass: In Memory of Father and Mother, Henry and Mary Baker. Henry and Mary passed away a couple years before the current church was built in 1916.

Dedication below Zion's south window. (2011 photo by Karen)

Dedication below Zion’s south window. (2011 photo by Karen)

Becker or Baker? Zion’s records show both spellings, with Becker being the earliest. When did the family change their name from Becker to Baker? It is a little difficult to determine because the Zion’s ministers went back and forth between the two spellings. The spelling sometimes changed with the minister, but not always.

It was spelled Becker in the Familienbuch section of Zion’s records, which was said to have been written by Rev. Gackenheimer’s daughter. Gackenheimer was Zion’s first minister, serving Zion from 1855-1861.

It was recorded as Becker in the church records when Henry and Mary married.

In 1875, at son William Theodore’s baptism, the name was spelled Backer by Rev. Phillipp Schmidt, which is actually a third spelling variation of the name. William Theodore was a Baker when confirmed in 1890.

Rev. Hugo Willert recorded the name as Becker for the baptism of Barbara Emilie but she was confirmed a Baker in 1891. Maria Louise was also baptized as a Becker, possibly by an interim or neighboring minister, and was still a Becker when confirmed in 1893. Ida Caroline was baptized as Baker in 1883, possibly by Rev. F.H. Besel and confirmed as a Becker in 1896 by Rev. Johannes Vollmar.

Anna Catherine was baptized as Becker in 1884 by Rev. Karl Adam Jr. and stayed a Becker when confirmed in 1899 by Rev. August Affeld. Rev. Carl Reichert recorded the name as Baker for Clara’s baptism in 1890 but she was confirmed a Becker in 1905 by Rev. Paul Brockhaus. Friederike was baptized a Becker in 1893 by Rev. John Soller and confirmed a Baker in 1907 by Rev. George Haas.

And so it went, back and forth…

They just couldn’t seem to make up their minds. There were several different ministers during those years and there were several years, between ministers, when the church was probably served by a traveling, neighboring, or temporary minister. The names of those ministers were not always recorded so I do not know who performed some of the baptisms and confirmations. That could account for some the spelling inconsistency.

Even the family was undecided about the spelling because someone tried to change the name on the family photo shown above. Someone wrote over the surname, changing the name from Backer to Baker. Or vice versa.

The problem seemed to be mainly with the church records because all of their children’s probate marriage records recorded their name as Baker, but they were all married during a later time period.

Henry died 19 Nov 1914 and his widow Mary died 21 Apr 1915. Both names were spelled as Baker in the church records and on their tombstone.

And, just to add to the confusion, there were “Bechers” who also attended Zion Chatt, but I won’t go there today…

 

[1] “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013,” database with images, FamilySearch (www.familysearch.org : accessed 25 Jun 2015), Henry Baker and Mary Menche, 30 May 1874; citing Van Wert, Ohio, marriages, p.229; from FHL microfilm 1015860.

[2] 1870 U. S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio, p.450B, dwelling 44, family 46, Barbara Manche; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 25 June 2015); from FHL microfilm 552774, from NARA microfilm M593, roll 1275.

[3] U.S. National Cemetery Interment Control Forms, 1928-1962, John Manche; database on-line, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 25 June 2015); Records of the Office of the Quartermaster General, 1774-1985, Record Group 92, NARA, College Park, Maryland.

[4] “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013,” database with images, FamilySearch (www.familysearch.org : accessed 25 Jun 2015), Theodore w. Baker and Mary H. Bollenbacher, 22 Nov 1896; citing Mercer, Ohio, marriages, p.217; from FHL microfilm 914957.

[5] “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013,” database with images, FamilySearch (www.familysearch.org : accessed 25 Jun 2015), John Mcgough and Amelia Baker, 29 Mar 1896; citing Mercer, Ohio, marriages, p.167; from FHL microfilm 914957.

[6] “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013,” database with images, FamilySearch (www.familysearch.org : accessed 25 Jun 2015), B.L. Baumgarder and Mary Louisa Baker, 11 Jan 1900; citing Mercer, Ohio, marriages, p.100; from FHL microfilm 914957.

[7] “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013,” database with images, FamilySearch (www.familysearch.org : accessed 25 Jun 2015), Samuel L. Evans and Caroline I. Baker, 1 Jan 1902; citing Mercer, Ohio, marriages, p.317; from FHL microfilm 914957.

[8] “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013,” database with images, FamilySearch (www.familysearch.org : accessed 25 Jun 2015), Louis S. Egger and Anna Baker, 23 Dec 1908; citing Mercer, Ohio, marriages, p.481; from FHL microfilm 914958.

[9] Marriage records of Zion Lutheran Church, Chattanooga; Leo Merkle of Chattanooga and Clara Baker of Chattanooga, 30 Jun 1912.

[10] “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013,” database with images, FamilySearch (www.familysearch.org : accessed 25 Jun 2015), Frank Egger and Freda Baker, 22 Dec 1915; citing Mercer, Ohio, marriages, p.507; from FHL microfilm 914959.

Jun 23

Tombstone Tuesday–Mary (Tester) Heffner

Mary (Tester) Heffner, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Mercer County, Ohio. (2011 photo by Karen)

Mary (Tester) Heffner, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Mercer County, Ohio. (2011 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of Mary (Tester) Heffner, located in row 6 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

Mary
Wife of
John
Haeffner
Born Aug. 20
1860
Died Mar. 21
1895
Aged
34 Y, 7 M, 1 D

Maria “Mary” Catharina Tester was born 20 August 1860 in Ohio, the daughter of John and Magdalene (Blosser) Tester. [1] [2] Her parents were married in Allen County, Ohio, and later lived in Hopewell and Dublin Townships. [3] Her father served as a private in Company B of the 29th OVI during the Civil War. [4]

John C. Heffner and Mary Tester were married 9 September 1880 by Rev. Feger. [5] Their marriage is not recorded at Zion Chatt but is recorded in Mercer County Probate. John was the son of Conrad and Margaret (Miller) Heffner and was born 22 October 1854.

John and Mary lived in Liberty Township and attended Zion Chatt, where their children were baptized and where they communed regularly until Mary’s death.

According to Zion Chatt’s records Mary died in childbirth on 21 March 1895, at the age of 34 years, 7 months, and 1 day. She was survived by her husband and five underage children. She was buried on the 23rd.

John and Mary (Tester) Heffner had the following children:
Charles W. (1881-1948), married Kate Agnes Felver
Almeda (1883-1981), married Edward Rudolph Kessler
Franklin Benjamin (1885-1888)
John Henry (1887-1922), married Celia R. Ovaitt [6]
Conrad Wilbert “Wilbur (1890-1963), married Olga Ashley
Della Hazel (c1893-1913), married Joseph W. Felver

At least two of their children, Franklin and John Henry, were baptized immediately after birth, with urgency, according to the church records.

Two of their children, Carl and Almeda, were confirmed at Zion Chatt in 1896. Their son Franklin died in 1888 and was buried in Zion Chatt’s cemetery.

John Heffner died 3 September 1923.

 

[1] 1880 U.S. Census, Dublin, Mercer, Ohio, ED 182, p.375B, dwelling 116, family 127, John Tester; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 17 Jun 2015); from FHL microfilm 1255048, from NARA microfilm T9, roll 1048.

[2] “Ohio, County, Marriages, 1789-2013,” database with images, FamilySearch (www.familysearch.org : accessed 17 June 2015), John Tester and Magdaline Blauser, 27 Dec 1855; citing Allen, Ohio, Marriages, from FHL microfilm 901413.

[3] 1870 U. S. Census, Hopewell, Mercer, Ohio, p.116B, dwelling 115, family 102, John Lester; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 22 Jun 2015); from FHL microfilm 552742, from NARA microfilm M593, roll 1243.

[4] U.S. Civil war Pension Index, General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934, John Tester, Madaline Tester, widow; database on-line, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 22 Jun 2015); from NARA microfilm T288, roll 467.

[5] “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013,” database with images, FamilySearch (www.familysearch.org : accessed 17 June 2015), John Hefner and Mary Tester, 9 Sep 1880; citing Mercer County, Ohio, Marriages, Vol. 5, p.19; from FHL microfilm 914956.

[6] John Henry Heffner may have had a twin brother who was born and died the same day. There is a tombstone in Zion’s cemetery for the infant son of J.C. & M.C., born and died 24 December 1887, although John Henry’s birth date is recorded as 29 December 1887.

Jun 19

My Mitochondrial DNA

A while back I wrote about the Y-DNA test one of my male Brewster cousins took to determine if we were descended from the Mayflower Brewsters. Unfortunately that test indicated that we do not descend from Elder William Brewster.

The test results were rather interesting, though, so last year I decided to have my DNA tested, too. I had a different test done since the Y-DNA test is for males only. Females do not have Y-DNA, which is the DNA is passed down from father to son.

I had a mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) test done.

DNA

MtDNA is passed down from a mother to her children and both men and women can test with it. The mtDNA test shows the maternal line— the DNA of your mother’s mother’s mother’s mother’s mother, and on and on. All of a woman’s children will have the same mt-DNA.

My grandma Schumm had 3 daughters, and all of their children, my cousins, would have the same mtDNA.

So listen up, my maternal cousins!

I have traced my maternal line back a few generations and it looks like this:

  • My mom
  • Hilda (Scare) Schumm (her mother)
  • Elizabeth “Lizzie” (Schinnerer) Scaer (Hilda’s mother)
  • Elizabeth (Schumm) Schinnerer
  • Maria Barbara (Pflueger) Schumm
  • Anna Barbara (Seckel) Pflueger
  • Elisabetha Maria Friederika (Hilgert) Seckel

Elisabetha Hilgert was probably born c1750-60.

MtDNA indicates where your maternal line comes from and who you are related to in that line. The results tell your haplogroup, or the primeval tribe you come from.

I am in haplogroup H, just about the most common haplogroup in Europe, making up about 40% of central and northern European mitochondrial lineages. No surprise there since I know my maternal line came from Germany.

But haplogroup H goes back much farther than the time period we think of.

According to FamilyTreeDNA, where I sent my DNA, and Wikipedia, haplogroup H is mainly European but it originated outside of Europe a very long time ago—before the last glacial maximum, the last time sheets of ice were at their greatest peak. That was between 26,000-20,000 years ago.

Haplogroup H likely originated in Southwest Asia and expanded into the northern Near East, Eastern Europe, and Southwest Asia thousands of years ago. Sources feel haplogroup H reached Europe even before the last glacial maximum.

Some pretty interesting stuff. And so much farther back than my research could ever take me!

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