Jul 14

Tombstone Tuesday–Infant Child of John & Mary Haeffner

Infant child of John & Mary Haeffner, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. (2011 photo by Karen.

Infant child of John & Mary Haeffner, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. (2011 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of the infant child of John and Mary Haeffner “Heffner,”located in row 3 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

Infant
Child of
John & Mary
Haeffner

There is no name and there are no dates on this tombstone. There is no record of this child’s birth, death, or burial in Zion Chatt’s records.

The child’s mother, Mary (Tester) Heffner, died during childbirth on 21 September 1895 and this could be the tombstone of that child.  The child’s father, John Heffner, was the son of Conrad and Margaret (Miller) Heffner, born 22 October 1854 in Mercer County, Ohio.

After Mary (Tester) Heffner’s death in the fall of 1895, her widowed husband John married Harriet “Hattie” J. (Hillery) Harris on 8 July 1896. [1]

Harriet Hillery was born in November of 1842, [2] likely the daughter of Enos and Rachel Hillery, from near Macedon, Washington Township, Mercer County, Ohio. [3]  

This was Harriet’s 3rd marriage. She first married Nathaniel Faught [4], who died in 1886. [5] Her second marriage was to Pleasant W. Harris in 1895. [6]

After John and Harriet married they lived in Washington Township, Mercer County. Living in the Heffner household in 1900 were John C., 45; Harriet J., 57; Allie M. Heffner, 17; John H. Heffner, 12; Wilbert C. Heffner; and Della H. Heffner, 7. Harriet had given birth to two children but both were deceased by 1900. [7]

John and Harriet remained in Washington Township for at least another ten years. The 1910 census confirmed that they had been married 14 years and that this was John’s second marriage and Harriet’s third. Della Heffner, John’s daughter, age 17, was the only child still living with them. [2]

John and Harriet moved back to Liberty Township by 1920 and by this time all of John’s children had left home. [8] John was a farmer all of his life.

John Heffner died while likely visiting his son Charles W., who lived in Jackson County, Michigan. [9] John died 3 September at the age of 68 years. His Michigan death record indicates he was born in Chattanooga, Ohio, on 22 October 1854 and that his parents were Conrad Heffner and Margaret Miller. [10]

John was brought home for burial and his death and burial are recorded in Zion Chatt’s records. According to those records John died of dropsy on 3 September 1923 at age of 68 years, 10 months, and 11 days. He was survived by 2 sons, a daughter, and 3 grandchildren. He was buried on 6th, but has no tombstone in Zion Chatt’s cemetery.

By 1930 Harriet Heffner had moved to Geneva, Indiana, where she lived with her sister and brother-in-law Daniel and Rachel (Hillery) Beeler. [11]

 

[1] “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org : accessed 11 Jul 2015), John C. Heffner and Hattie J. Harris, 8 Jul 1896; citing Mercer, Ohio Marriages Vol. 7, p. 185; from FHL microfilm 914957.

[2] 1910 U.S. Census, Washington, Mercer, Ohio, ED 125, p.12B, dwelling & family 270, Jno C. Heffner; digital images by subscription, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 11 Jul 2015); from FHL microfilm 1375227, from NARA microfilm T624, roll 1214.

[3] 1860 U. S. Census, Washington, Mercer, Ohio, p.464, line 9, Enas Hillery; digital images by subscription, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 12 Jul 2015); from FHL microfilm 805009, from NARA microfilm M653, roll 1009.

[4] “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org : accessed 11 Jul 2015), Nathaniel Faught and Harriet Hillery, 24 Sep 1863; citing Mercer, Ohio Marriages Vol. 3, p.50; from FHL microfilm 914956.

[5] Nathaniel Faught death, 15 May 1886, Robert Lilly family tree, Ancestry.com.

[6] “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013,” database with images, FamilySearch (www.familysearch.org : accessed 11 Jul 2015), Pleasant W. Harris and Hattie J. Faught, 20 Aug 1895; citing Mercer, Ohio Marriages Vol. 7, p.118; from FHL microfilm 914957.

[7] 1900 U.S. Census, Washington, Mercer, Ohio, ED 90, p.14B, dwelling 294, family 297, John C. Heffner; digital images by subscription, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 11 Jul 2015); from FHL microfilm 124304, from NARA microfilm T623, roll 1304.

[8] 1920 U.S. Census, Liberty, Mercer, Ohio, ED 140 p. 2B, dwelling & family 38, John Heffner; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 11 Jul 2015); from NARA microfilm T625, roll 1418.

[9] 1920 U.S. Census, Jackson, Michigan, ED 8, p.6B, dwelling 150, family 152, Charles W. Heffner; digital images by subscription, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 12 Jul 2015); from NARA microfilm T625, roll 774.

[10] “Michigan, Death Certificates, 1921-1952,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org : accessed 11 Jul 2015), John C. Heffner, 3 Sep 1923; citing Jackson, Jackson, Michigan, Division for Vital Records and Health Statistics, Lansing; from FHL microfilm 1972962.

[11] 1930 U.S. Census, Geneva, Adams, Indiana, ED 18, p1B. dwelling/family 19, Daniel Beeler; digital images by subscription, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 11 Jul 2015); from FHL microfilm 2340309, from NARA microfilm T626 , roll 574.

Jul 10

A Wedding Celebration

This is a nice photo postcard of a wedding dinner. The guests are in the middle of the meal. Their plates are full and one man can be seen passing a dish of food to another.

Besides being an interesting photo, taken from an unusual perspective, I like it because it was not raining and the family was able set up two longs tables in the yard for family and friends to celebrate the young couple’s marriage.

They would not be able to do that this year in this part of the country. If you are reading this and are not from these parts, we have had more rain this summer than I can ever remember. It is nearly impossible to hold any event out of doors around here this summer.

Undated wedding dinner photo postcard from the Germann collection.

Undated photo postcard from the Germann Collection.

The above postcard is from a group of photos that belonged to Viola and Edna Germann, so there was likely a Germann and/or Schumm connection, but I do not know who the couple was or when the photo was taken. There was nothing written on the back of the postcard, but it probably dates after 1907 because it has a divided back. There is a car in the photo, which could also help date it.

The bride and groom are seated at the right end of the lower table and the bride is wearing a rather distinctive veil. There were other wedding photos in the photo collection, but none that match this veil.

It appears the photo was not long enough for the postcard since there is a blank area on the right side. There is writing on the right edge of the photo, a reverse image that looks like it was written on a negative. I flipped the photo and was able to read the words “Wambsganss” and “group 30.”

Was it a Wambsganss wedding? Could be. There were a couple photos in the collection labeled “Wambsganss Brother’s Cousins.” I am not sure what they meant by that but there is a Wambsganss/Germann connection.

According to various vital records on FamilySearch.org, George P. Wambsganss married Elizabeth Germann around 1864. It appears George was a German immigrant, a teacher who lived and taught in Van Wert County about 1863. He evidently met and married into the Germann family during that time. This might be the marriage photo of one of their grandchildren.

There is also something written on what appears to be the leg of a windmill and looks to be some dimensions.

The Germann sisters had relatives in Long Beach, California, and the photo may have been taken there. Or it may have been taken in Van Wert County on a nice summer day. It looks more like an Ohio farm to me.

The photographer probably took the photo from a second story window or from a roof-top, creating quite a nice view of the wedding guests.

At any rate, it looks like they had a grand wedding feast.

Maybe someone will recognize this couple and will be able to identify them.

Jul 07

Infant Son of J.C. & M.C. Heffner

Infant son of JC & MC (Tester) Heffner, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. (2011 photo by Karen)

Infant son of JC & MC (Tester) Heffner, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. (2011 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of the infant son of John and Mary (Tester) Heffner, located in row 7 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

INFANT
Son of
J.C. & M.C.
HEFFNER
Born & Died
Dec. 24, 1887

Unfortunately there is no record of this child’s birth, death, or burial in Zion Chatt’s records, but he was likely the son of John C. and Mary Catherine (Tester) Heffner.

Their initials were J.C. and M.C. and they were the only Heffner couple with those initials who would have had a child born during that period of time.

The initials J.C. and M.C. are also on their son “Frankie B” Franklin Benjamin’s tombstone, which is also located in Zion Chatt’s cemetery. In addition, John Heffner used the middle initial “C” in the 1900 census. [1]

I wonder if this child was the twin brother of John Henry Heffner, born 29 December 1887, who the church records say was baptized immediately on 30 December 1887.

The problem is that their birth days do not match. John Henry was born 29 December. The tombstone indicates this child was born and died on 24 December. I guess it is possible, but unlikely, that Mary gave birth to twins five days apart.

John Henry Heffner’s birth is recorded in at least two places, the church records and the probate court records. The Mercer County Probate birth record shows his date of birth as 29 December 1887, [2] but the birth of his supposed twin brother is not in the probate birth or death records.

John Henry’s birth was recorded in Zion Chatt’s records as 29 December and indicates he was baptized the next day, 30 December. However, neither his supposed brother’s birth nor death was recorded in the church records.

The church records describe John Henry’s baptism as a quick, emergency baptism at the home. That would be understandable if Mary gave birth to twins and one was stillborn or died very soon after birth. Perhaps John Henry was small and sickly when he was born.

There could be several explanations. The tombstone could be inscribed incorrectly, inscribed with either the wrong day or the wrong year. However, Mary had a child about every two years and the year 1887 would be about the right time for another birth in the family.

The tombstone could be weathered so badly that it is being read incorrectly. Or, the church record and the probate record could both be incorrect concerning John Henry, but I doubt that.

We will probably never know the true story, whether these two boys were actually twins or not.

 

[1] 1900 U. S. Census, Washington Township, Mercer, Ohio, ED 90, p.14B, dwelling 294, family 297, John C. Heffner; database with images, FamilySearch.org (www.familysearch.org : accessed 5 Jul 2015); from FHL microfilm 1241304, from NARA microfilm T623, roll 1304.

[2] “Ohio, County Births, 1841-2003,” database with images, FamilySearch (www.familysearch.org : accessed 4 July 2015), John Henry Heffner, 29 Dec 1887; citing Liberty Township, Mercer, Ohio; from FHL microfilm 2367095.

 

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.

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