Apr 18

Tombstone Tuesday–Arley S. Byer

Arley S. Byer, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Mercer County, Ohio. (2011 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of Arley S. Byer, located in row 7 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. The marker is laying on the ground and is inscribed:

Here rests
Arley S.
Born Feb. 17
Died March
30, 1887

Gone, but not forgotten

Neither Arley Byer’s birth, baptism, death, nor burial are recorded in Zion Chatt’s records. However his birth was recorded twice in Mercer County, Ohio, records, entered among the Liberty Township births [1] and the Mercer County Probate births [2]. These two records indicate that Arley Seaman Byers was the son of Leonard and Gertrude (Heffner/Haffner) Byers, born 17 February 1887 in Liberty Township.

According to Zion’s Chatt’s records Arley’s father Leonard Byer was born in Puschendorf, Bavaria in 1839, the son of Johann Michael and Catharine Dorothea Byer. The family immigrated to America in 1846. The church records also tell that Arley’s mother was born in Mercer County in 1848, the daughter of Conrad and Margaretha (Miller) Heffner.

Arley’s parents Leonard Byer and Gertrude Heffner were married 2 November 1866 in Mercer County, Ohio, married at Zion Chatt by Zion’s Rev. George Heintz. [3] Witnesses to their marriage were Heinrich Schandy and Barbara Leistner.

Old Mercer County atlases show the Leonard Byer family living in Section 32 of Blackcreek Township in 1876 and in Section 33 of Liberty Township in 1888, at the very south edge of Liberty Township. The family moved from the area and are absent in the 1900 Mercer plat maps.

Leonard and Gertrude (Heffner) Byer had quite a few children. At least eleven. Most were baptized at Zion Chatt  and some confirmed there. I copied their names as they appeared in the church records. The church records often mention the child’s place of birth which indicates where the family lived and when they moved. Their first four children (1867-1874) were born in Blackcreek Township but Carl Wilhelm was born in Liberty Township in 1876. Christian Arthur was their last child to be confirmed at Zion Chatt, confirmed on 31 March 1901, the last this family is mentioned in the church records.

Information on Find a Grave.com indicates that Leonard and Gertrude Byer moved from the area around the turn of the century and both are buried in Starke County, Indiana. This information also includes two additional children who are not mentioned in Zion Chatt’s records, George Samuel and Richard Wilfer. [4]

Children of Leonard and Gertrude (Heffner) Byer:
James Marion “Byers” (1867-1955)
Sophia Anna Maria aka Amelia Ann Beyer (1870-1939), married William Baker
Maria Katharine Beyer (1872-1943)
Margaretha Rosette (1874-1957)
Carl Wilhelm Beyer (1876-1963)
Anna Christine Beyer (1878-1969)
George Samuel (1880-1979)
Johannes Benjamin Byer (1882-1951)
Christian Arthur (1885-1904)
Lulu Molletty Beyer (1888-1969)
Richard Wilfer “Byers” (1891-1936)

Gertrude (Heffner) Byer died in 1914 and Leonard Byer died in 1916.

I noticed several spelling and indexing variations for this surname: Byer, Beyer, Byers, Byerly, Byuly, Bryer. Brothers James Marion and Richard Wilfer changed the spelling of their names to Byers.


[1] “Ohio, county Births, 1841-2003,” database with images, FamilySearch.org (accessed 15 Apr 2017), Arly Seaman Byer, 17 Feb 1887; Liberty, Mercer Births, unpaginated; FHL microfilm 2367095.

[2] “Ohio, County Births, 1841-2003,” FamilySearch.org (accessed 15 Apr 2017), Arly Oeaman Byuly, 17 Feb 1887; Liberty Twp, Mercer Co Births; FHL microfilm 914953.

[3] “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013,” FamilySearch.org (accessed 15 Apr 2017), Leonard Bryer & Gertraurd Haeffner, 2 Nov 1866; Mercer Marriages, Vol. 3, p.137; FHL microfilm 914956.

[4] FindaGrave.com, Memorial #36922210, Leonard George Byer and Gertrude (Heffner) Byer.

Apr 14

A New Chapter

I am starting a new chapter in my life. I am now officially retired. My final day of work was this past Monday, April 10.

It was a fun but bitter-sweet day as I said good-bye to my boss, my co-workers, and my last ten patients.

Lots of balloons from Joe and co-workers on my last day of work.

I retired after nearly 44 years of what has been a very rewarding career in dental hygiene, working in the same dental practice all those years. I started working right after I graduated from Indiana University at Fort Wayne in 1973. Dr. James Overman had started a new dental practice in St. Marys, Ohio, the year before and I was his first dental hygienist. I am not sure, but I may have been the first hygienist in Auglaize County. If not, I was probably the second. Thank you for hiring me, Dr. Overman. Dr. Duncan worked with Dr. Overman for a year, around 1974, before moving on. In 1975 Dr. Larry Heitkamp joined the practice. Doctors Overman and Heitkamp worked together for a year or two until Dr. Overman sold the practice to Dr. Heitkamp. Dr. Travis Lutz joined the practice in 1999 and purchased the practice in 2000 and Dr. Heitkamp retired.

The dental practice was first located in the Barton Medical Building in 1973, just west of the hospital. We moved about a block down the street and around the curve to the Wheatland Building in 1986 and we moved to Celina in 2000, where we are today. Dr. Lutz renamed the practice Grand Lake Family Dentistry when he took over.

Dentists have come and gone in the practice but I have stayed the whole time. I have known some of my patients for nearly 44 years and have been the dental hygienist to four generations of some families!

Lots of cake!

I have worked with great co-workers and have met many lovely people. I have made life-long friendships with co-workers and patients as well. I have many wonderful memories.

The way you clean teeth hasn’t changed all that much but I have seen the biggest changes in technology, with x-rays and record-keeping. We now take digital x-rays and we can see the images immediately on the monitor. No more messing with films and developing solutions. And thanks to the computer we don’t have a scheduling book or patient files anymore. Everything from charting to scheduling is done on the computer. Infection control became a big issue in the 1980s and many changes, including masks and gloves, came about as a result.

On my last day of work my co-workers surprised me with a balloon bouquet held by the cutest plush bear that brushes his teeth and sings. The bear brushes for two whole minutes. (You know you should brush for two minutes.) They also gave me a specially made T-shirt that says “The Legend Has Retired,” and a cake with my dental hygiene graduation photo on it. Husband Joe brought in a bright balloon bouquet as well as cake and ice cream. Several patients brought in cards and a couple gifts. Monday Dr. Lutz is taking us out for a retirement dinner.  I worked with such nice people.

Ready to cut the cakes!

Is Dr. Lutz really that sad to see me go??

Tears were shed, hugs and handshakes given. Saying good-bye is so hard.

Below are some photos of my dental hygiene career.

1973 Dental Hygiene graduation photo.

Capping, 1972 IPFW.

Dr. Heitkamp and staff, 1982.

A gift from Dr. Heitkamp, for 20 years of dental hygiene, 1993.

Celebrating my 50th birthday with Dr. Lutz I staff. It was an office tradition to wear the crazy birthday vest on your 50th birthday.

Dr. Lutz and staff at Grand Lake Family Dentistry, 2000.

Me wearing my countdown to retirement shirt. Dr. Lutz with his 2039 retirement sign.

My last time clock punch.

So begins a new chapter in my life.

Apr 11

Tombstone Tuesday–Rolland Miller

Rolland Miller, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Mercer County, Ohio. (2011 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of Rolland Miller, located in row 7 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

Son of
J. & F.E. Miller
Aug. 11, 1913
3m, 8d

Budded on earth to bloom in heaven

Rolland Eugene Miller was born 3 May 1913, the first child born to John and Frona E. (Dull) Miller. He was baptized 15 June 1913 at Zion Chatt with Caroline Miller, Carl Miller, and his parents as sponsors.

Rolland died in Blackcreek Township on 11 August 1913. His name is simply listed under Zion Chatt’s death and burial records. Nothing else is recorded in that record.

I found his death certificate on FamilySearch.org, indexed as Rolland Ugene and the scan of the original document is very hard to read. His cause of death looks like ?? infarction, gastroenteritis, which he had for two days. Mike Kallenberger was the informant for information on his death certificate. [1]

Yes, there is a Miller family connection to me. Rolland was my first cousin once removed. His father John Miller was the full brother of my grandfather Carl Miller.

Rolland Miller, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Mercer County, Ohio. (2017 photo by Karen)

Rolland’s father John Miller was born 2 January 1889 in Blackcreek Township, Mercer County, and died 25 November 1964 in Goshen, Indiana. He married Frona E. Dull on 7 December 1912 at Zion Chatt, married by Zion’s Rev. L. Loehr. [2] His wife Frona was born in Dublin Township, Mercer County, on 29 September 1893 and died in 1975. She was the daughter of Hugh Dobson Dull and Amanda Shindeldecker.

John and Frona (Dull) Miller went on to have a very large family. Some of their children were born in this area and were baptized at Zion Chatt but eventually the family moved out of the area to northern Indiana. According to my Miller family database they had the following children:

Rolland Eugene (1913-1913)
Paul Bernard (1914-1988)
Raymond Lee (1915-2007)
Robert Dale (1916-2010)
Mary Margaret (1918-2005)
Betty Jane (1922-1996)
Bill E. (1924-2004)
Murlin “Spike” (1925-2006)
Beatrice “Bea”
LaVerne Ruby (1929-1990)
Donald D.
Jo Ann (1934-2009)

[1] “Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953,” database with images, FamilySearch (accessed 8 Apr 2017), Rolland Ugene Miller, 11 Aug 1913; Blackcreek Twp, Mercer, Ohio, reference 48036; FHL microfilm 1953756.

[2] “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013,” FamilySearch.org (accessed 8 Apr 2017), John Miller and Frona E. Dull, 7 Dec 1912; Mercer County Marriages, Vol. 10, p.255; FHL microfilm 914959.

Apr 07

Some Local Indiana Obituaries, 1834-1850

Below are a few more local obituary abstracts from the book Abstracts of Obituaries in the Western Christian Advocate, 1834-1850. These obituary abstracts are from nearby localities across the state line in Indiana. The book was compiled by Margaret R. Waters, Dorothy Riker, and Doris Leistner, copyright 1988, Indiana Historical Society. The end of this post contains more information about this 138-page book.

Adams County, Indiana:

BRYAN, Mrs. Maria, died 30 August 1850 in Adams County, Indiana, at the age of 30 years. She was married to William P. Bryan and they had children. “Mr. Bryan’s second wife formerly lived in Ohio.” [I am not exactly sure how they meant that. Was Maria his second wife??] 16 Oct 1850 issue of WCA

DILL, Benjamin, born 16 December 1809 in Camden, Kent County, Delaware, died 24 January 1840 in Adams County, Indiana. He came to Indiana with his parents when he was young and he was married. 3 Apr 1840 issue of WCA

DORWIN, Phebe, died 15 September 1844 in Adams County, Indiana, at the age of 81 years. She was married and had children, some of them probably dead. She was a Baptist before coming to Indiana. 22 Nov 1844 issue of WCA

EMERY, George, born in Frederick County, Virginia, died 3 July 1841 at the home of his son-in-law William Shepherd in Adams County, Indiana. He was 88 years old. He served in the Revolutionary War, went to Ohio, and then to Adams County, Indiana. He had children. 6 Aug 1841 issue of WCA

RICE, Samson, born 9 February 1787 in Loudon County, Virginia, died at his residence in Adams County, Indiana, on 21 January 1848, at the age of 59. He moved with his family to Carroll County, Ohio, in 1827, and to Adams County, Indiana, in 1837. He was married and had 9 children, all of whom were still living. 17 Mar 1848 issue of WCA

RUGG, Susannah, born 13 March 1816 in Harrison County, Ohio, died at her home in Decatur, Indiana, on 19 February 1848, at the age of 32. She was the daughter of Vachel and Sarah Bell. She moved to Adams County, Indiana, with her parents in 1831 and married Samuel L. Rugg, Esq, on 13 July 1834. Her husband and 4 children survived her. 17 Mar 1848 issue of WCA

TINKHAM, Isaac, died 2 September 1844, at the age of 60, in Adams County, Indiana. 22 Nov 1844 issue of WCA

TURNER, John, died November 1847 in Adams County, Indiana, at the age of nearly 60 years. He was a member of the M.E. Church. 12 Apr 1848 issue of WCA

WINANS, Miss Christina, died 5 May 1850 in Adams County, Indiana, at the age of 21. 29 May 1850 issue of WCA

Decatur, Indiana:

HOOPER, Cornelia, born in Cecil County, Maryland, died 19 April 1843, at the age of 49. She moved at a young age with her parents to Brook County, Virginia, and on to Fairfield County, Ohio, in 1815. She married Ezekiel Hooper in 1818 in Fairfield County, Ohio, and they had 7 children. Signed Decatur, Indiana. 23 June 1843 issue of WCA [I am not sure if this was from the city of Decatur or the county of Decatur.]

PILLARS, Susannah, born 23 November 1818, the daughter of John and Phebe Edwards, died 2 February 1844 in Decatur, Adams County, Indiana. She married James Pillars on 23 May 1839. 22 Mar 1844 issue of WCA

Jay County, Indiana:

HARFORD, John, born in Northumberland County, Virginia, died 4 August 1843 in Jay County, Indiana. He was a Revolutionary War soldier who, although very young, took the place of his father who was due to go to war. He moved with his parents to Culpepper County, Virginia, where he married Rachel Compton in 1790. He moved to Harrison County, Virginia, in 1815, to Warren County, Ohio, in 1825, and to Jay County, Indiana, in 1837. He had 11 children, 50 great-grandchildren, and 12 great-great-grandchildren.15 Mar 1844 issue of WCA

OCERMAN, Emeline, born in Virginia, died 18 December 1843, at the age of 24 years, 4 months, and 16 days. She was the daughter of Simeon and Mary Bell. She married Rev. Joseph Ocerman. She joined the M.E. Church on Bluffton Mission, Jay County, Indiana, about 6 years ago. She is buried near Boston, Indiana. Her mother is buried in Lewis County, Virginia, and her father is buried near Cincinnati, Ohio. Signed Richmond, Wayne County, Indiana. 23 Feb 1844 issue of WCA

WHEAT, Mrs. Hannah, born 6 February 1790 in Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, died 1 February 1848 in Jay County, Indiana. She was the daughter of Benjamin and Mary Patterson. They moved to Steuben County, New York, where she married Thomas Wheat on 13 September 1810. They moved to Jay County in 1836 and they had 13 children, 9 of whom survived her.

While looking through the book I found the following reference to one of Joe’s ancestors, Revolutionary War patriot Hugh Montgomery, and I was able to add some information to that family line.

MARTIN, James, born in Pennsylvania in 1790, died in Linn County, Iowa, on 31 August, 1846, at the age of 56. He was the son of Alexander and Mary Martin. He moved to Butler County, Ohio, with his parents in 1897. He moved to Illinois in 1836 and lived there a short time before moving to Linn County, Iowa. He was married to Sarah Montgomery, daughter of Hugh Montgomery, and they had 10 children. 19 Feb 1847 issue of WCA

What good information!

About the book Abstracts of Obituaries in the Western Christian Advocate, 1834-1850:

The Western Christian Advocate was a weekly publication of the Methodist Church, printed in Cincinnati, Ohio. It was an outgrowth of the Christian Advocate and Journal, a newspaper started in New York City in 1826, which by 1831 had the largest circulation of any weekly paper in the nation, religious or secular.

As Methodism spread westward there was a need for an additional newspaper to provide for those in the Midwest. The Western Christian Advocate was established in 1834 for this purpose and consisted of four standard-size newspaper pages. News consisted of obituaries, some marriages, general news items, medical information, temperance and missionary news, Methodist meeting reports, sermons, and denominational concerns. Obituaries were not limited to Methodists and most of the deaths reported were from Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, and other Midwestern states. The paper had a circulation of 14,000 in 1840 and 18,000 by 1850. It was published until 1929.


Apr 04

Tombstone Tuesday–Clark Henry & Raymond Floyd McGough

Clark Henry & Raymond Floyd McGough, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Mercer County, Ohio (2015 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of brothers Clark Henry and Raymond Floyd McGough, located in row 7 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

Clark Henry
Son of
J. & A. McGough
Died Mar. 15, 1901
Aged 4 Y.  1 M.  26 D.

Raymond Floyd
Son of
J. & A. McGough
Died Mar. 16, 1901
Aged 2 Y.  6 M.  25 D.


Clark Henry and Raymond Floyd McGough were the two oldest sons of John and Amelia (Baker) McGough, their only two children at that time. John and Amelia were married in Mercer County, Ohio, on 29 March 1896, married by AJ Dellinger, JP. [1]

Clark Henry was born 19 January 1897 in Blackcreek Township, Mercer County, Ohio. He was baptized at Zion Lutheran, Chattanooga, by Rev. August Affeld on 18 April 1897 with Henry and Mary Becker [Baker] serving as his sponsors. Clark’s baptismal record shows his mother’s maiden name as Emilie Becker. Later records show her name as Amelia Baker, the name she usually went by. Clark’s county birth record shows his mother’s maiden name as Baker and gives his same birth information. [2]

Raymond Floyd McGough was born 21 August 1898 in Blackcreek Township. He was baptized on 23 September 1898 with John Becher and Friedericka Becher serving as his sponsors. His mother’s name was written as Emilie Becker on his baptismal record. His birth is also recorded in Mercer County. [3]

In 1900 the John McGough family lived in Blackcreek Township. In the household: John, 24; Amelia B, 23; Clark H, 2; and Raymond F, 1. No occupation was give for John and this enumeration indicates that all were born in Ohio. John and Amelia had been married 4 years and Amelia had given birth to 2 children, both of whom were living. [4]

Clark Henry McGough died of scarlet fever at the family home in Blackcreek Township on 15 March 1901. He was 4 years, 1 month, and 26 days old. The next day his little brother Raymond Floyd died of scarlet fever at their home, at the age of 2 years, 6 months, and 25 days. Both deaths were reported in Mercer County by R.B. Morrison [5] and both boys were buried on the 17th. Their mother’s name was still written as Becker in their church death and burial records.

How tragic for this family to lose their two sons in just two days. That would have been devastating.

John and Amelia went on to have three other children:

Anna Ruth McGough (1902-1980), married Lee Orvil Hoblet
Paul Dorce McGough (1914-1977), married Dora Belle Cookson; married Alice Mae (Baumgartner) Smith
Pauline Doris McGough (1914-1998), married Dale DeArmond

Clark Henry and Raymond Floyd’s mother Amelia (Baker) McGough died in 1950 and their father John McGough died in 1971. Both are buried in row 10 in Zion Chatt’s cemetery.


[1] “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013,” FamilySearch.org (accessed 1 Apr 2017), John Mcgough and Amelia Baker, 29 Mar 1896; Mercer County Marriages, Vol. 7, p.167; FHL microfilm 914957.

[2] “Ohio, County Births, 1841-2003,“ FamilySearch.org (accessed 1 Apr 2017), Clark Henry Mcgough, 19 Jan 1897; Blackcreek Township Births, no Vol, unpaginated; FHL microfilm 2367096.

[3] “Ohio, County Births, 1841-2003,“ FamilySearch.org (accessed 1 Apr 2017), Clark Henry Mcgough, 21 Aug 1898; Blackcreek Township Births, no Vol, unpaginated; FHL microfilm 2367097.

[4] 1900 U.S. Census, Black Creek, Mercer, Ohio, ED 74, p.12A, dwelling & family 247, John McGough; Ancestry.com (accessed 2 Apr 2017); FHL microfilm 1241303, NARA microfilm T623, roll 1303.

[5] “Ohio, County Death Records, 1840-2001,“ FamilySearch.org (accessed 2 April 2017), Clark H. Mcgough, 15 Mar 1901; Ohio County Deaths, Mercer County, Vol.1-2, unpaginated; FHL microfilm 914954.

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