Good Friday 2021

Today is Good Friday, the day Jesus suffered and died on the cross for us.

The cross is the Christian symbol of salvation, used often on tombstones years ago as well as today.

Here are a few variations of crosses I have seen on tombstones.

A lot can happen in 3 days.

Happy Easter, everyone!

Tombstone Tuesday-Elizabeth (Tague) King Hardzog

Elizabeth (Tague/Dague) King Hardzog, Ridge/Slater Cemetery, Van Wert County, Ohio. (2021 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of Elizabeth (Tague) Hardzog, located in Ridge/Slater Cemetery, Van Wert County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

Nov. 4, 1878
65 Y, 5 M, 7 D

This is the same Elizabeth Hardzog [aka Hartzog] who was enumerated twice in Mercer County in the 1850 census, that I wrote about last week. Elizabeth was the wife of Christian Hardzog in 1850 and one of those duplicate enumerations indicates that Elizabeth was 37, which agrees with her age as calculated on her tombstone.

Elizabeth Tague/Dague was born 28 May 1813, as calculated from her tombstone. Elizabeth Tague married Josias King in Franklin County, Ohio, on 25 February 1830, married by John W. Clark, E, M.E. probably a Methodist minister. [1]

By 1840 both the Josias King family and the Christian Hardzog family lived in Black Creek Township, Mercer County. The Josias King family in 1840: males, 1/under 5 years, 2/5-10, 1/15-20, 1/40-50; females, 1/5-10, 1/20-30. The Christian Hardzog family in 1840, males, 2/5-10, 1/10-15, 1/15-20, 1/40-50; females, 1/under 5, 2/5-10, 1/10-15, 1/15-20, 1/40-50. [2]

Josias King and Christian Hardzog were both counted in Mercer County’s 1843 Quadrennial Census of adult white males, age 21 and over, both living in Black Creek Township.

The Kings and Hardzogs were probably neighbors in Black Creek Township or both families likely knew each other.

Christian Hardzog’s first wife Katharine died in 1843 and Elizabeth’s husband Josias King died in 1846. The widowed pair married in 1847 and combined their families.

Christian Hardzog was appointed guardian of the Elizabeth’s five King children in 1848: Amos, 14; Noah, 11; Andrew, 9; Elmira, 7; and Martha, 5. [3] Christian and Elizabeth went on to have several children of their own, William, Zachary, and Harriet.

In 1850 the Christian Hardzog family was enumerated twice, enumerated in both Black Creek and Dublin Townships. See last week’s blog post for that information. [4]

In 1860 the Christian Hardzog family was enumerated in Black Creek Township, with their post office as Shanesville. The family consisted of Christian, 65; Elizabeth, 41; William, 13; Zachary, 11; and Harriett, 9. [5]

The Christian Hardzog family in 1870: Christian, 65, PA; Elizabeth, 58, OH; and Harriet, 15, OH. Christian was a retired farmer by this time. [6]

Christian Hardzog/Hartzog died 8 October 1874 and Elizabeth (Tague/Dague) Hardzog died 4 November 1878. They are buried in separate cemeteries, a couple miles apart.

Elizabeth is buried in Ridge/Slater/Liberty Cemetery, which is located at the intersection of Ohio Route 81 and Rhodes Mill Road. Elizabeth is buried a row or two away from her first husband Josias King. Christian is buried in Hileman/Smith/Hartzog/Alspaugh Cemetery, which is located a couple miles west of Ridge/Slater, at Route 81 and Schumm Road. Both cemeteries are in Van Wert County.

The Kings and Hardzogs lived south of and not too far from Schumm. Some Hardzogs are buried in Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm. I do not know if the Hardzogs attended Zion Schumm in the 1840s, but Christian’s first wife Katharine, daughters Caroline and Catharine, and likely some other family members are buried at Zion Schumm. Zion Schumm’s cemetery is a mile or two north of Hileman/Smith/Hartzog/Alspaugh Cemetery.

[1] “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2016, Franklin, Ohio. Vol.2, p.241, Josiah King & Elizabeth Tague, 25 Feb 1830; ( : viewed 29 Mar 2021).

[2] 1840 U.S. Census, Black Creek, Mercer, Ohio, p.83-84, Josias King & Christian Hardstaff/Hardsock; digital image by subscription, ( : viewed 29 Mar 2021). 

[2] Ohio Probate Records 1789-1966, Administration Dockets 1829-1850, Appointments of 1848, Mercer, Ohio, p.382, Christian Harzogg guardian; ( : viewed 29 Mar 2021).

[4] Enumerated Twice in Mercer County in 1850, Karen’s Chatt, 26 Mar 2021, .

[5] 1860 U.S. Census, Black Creek, Mercer, Ohio, p. 322, line 10, dwelling 468, family 473, Christian Hartzog; digital image by subscription, ( : accessed 6 January 2013).

[6] 1870 U.S. Census, Black Creek, Mercer, Ohio, p. 20B, line 31, dwelling 30, family 30, Christian Hardzog; digital image by subscription, ( : accessed 13 January 2013).

Enumerated Twice in Mercer County in 1850

I use census records a lot. In fact, I really like looking through the old census records, although trying to locate someone in the census using an on-line index can be frustrating. Some of the surnames are nearly unrecognizable the way they are spelled and indexed on a website like, the website I use the most for census research. I can’t blame them. Someone just transcribed the surname the way it was spelled on the census record. That is why, in my footnotes, I use the indexed spelling of a name, so it can be found in the on-line index. 

If I cannot find a family using the on-line index I usually read through the whole township, line by line. That is actually interesting and a good way to familiarize myself with all the families and names in the township. It reminds me of the old days, before census images were indexed, digitized, and put on the Internet. In the old days I would go to a library and look through census records on microfilm, line by line, because they were not indexed back then.

I have been searching in vain for a family in the 1850 census, a family who likely lived in Black Creek Township.

While looking for them, reading through the 1850 census of Black Creek Township line by line, I noticed something very interesting. Something I have read about but have never found myself in a local census.

A family was enumerated twice in Mercer County, Ohio. I have read that finding duplicate entries of a family in the census is a bonus because you may learn some additional information. What a treat!

In 1850 Census Day was 1 June 1850. Census takers were given five months to take the census. The population of the United States was 23.2 million and the population of Ohio was a little over 1,980,000.

The 1850 Federal Census is an important census because it is the first census that listed the name of every person in the household. Before that only the head of the household was listed and other members of the household were marked in age categories by gender. The 1850 census provides other valuable information as well: age [on census day]; sex; color; birthplace; occupation; value of real estate; whether married within the previous year; whether deaf, dumb, blind, or insane; whether a pauper; whether able to read or speak English; and whether the person attended school within the previous year. Unfortunately, the 1850 census did not report family relationships within the household.   

So who was the family enumerated twice in 1850, listed in both Black Creek and Dublin Townships?

Christian Hardzog [aka Hartzog] and his family were enumerated twice in the 1850 census, enumerated in both Black Creek Township and Dublin Township. It is rather easy to miss because the surname is written poorly in both enumerations. The name looks like and is indexed on as Hartsey in Dublin Township and like Kartrong in Black Creek Township. I probably would not have noticed the double entry had not the names of the family members been familiar to me because I have been researching this family.

1850 Census, Black Creek, Mercer County, Ohio, p.288B, Christian Hardzog. [1]

Below is how they are indexed on

Black Creek Township, enumerated 16 September 1850 by Vincent Bebout:

Christian, 49mPA
Eliz, 39fOH
Amos, 18mOH
Noah, 16mOH
Andrew, 14mOH
Almira 12fOH
Marthy, 7fOH
Wm, 3mOH [1]

The next day the Christian Hardzog family was asked the same questions by a different census taker. A couple of ages were reported differently and perhaps a different family member answered the questions the next day. Otherwise, the same person may have wondered why they were being questioned again. Elizabeth was Christian’s second wife and the King children listed were from her first marriage. I wonder if Elizabeth talked to the census-taker in Black Creek, since the King surname was given in the Black Creek enumeration and not in the Dublin enumeration. Also, it appears Sarah, 15, male (Dublin) is actually Noah, 16, male (Black Creek). I believe the indexer misread the name as Sarah, as it is nearly illegible.

1850 Census, Dublin Township, Mercer County, Ohio, p.276A, Christian Hardzog. [2]

Dublin Township, enumerated 17 September 1850 by Willshire Riley:

Christian, 49mPA
Eliz, 37fOH
Amasa, 18mOH
Sarah, 15mOH
Andrew, 14mOH
Elmira, 12fOH
Martha, 7fOH
Wm, 3mOH [2]

I believe I know how the Christian Hardzog family came to be enumerated twice. I looked at both the 1850 census and the 1853 plat maps, comparing the families who were enumerated with the names of the 1853 landowners. By looking at the order in which the families were enumerated, it appears the census taker started in Section 1 of the township and went to Section 2, Section 3, etc.

Section 1 in Black Creek Township borders Section 6 in Dublin Township. George Hardzog is listed as the landowner in Section 1, Black Creek, in 1853. That appears to be where Christian and his family lived. In the census Christian Hardzog is listed with the families in Section 1, Black Creek and with the families in Section 6, Dublin.

The Dublin Township census-taker probably didn’t know exactly where the township line was and went into Black Creek Township and enumerated the family twice. 

Just for the heck of it, since the Hardzogs lived so close to Willshire Township in Van Wert County, I read through that township, too. That would be something if the family was enumerated 3 times in one census! But no, I did not find them in Willshire Township. I guess their census taker did not cross the county line. Or perhaps the Hardzogs grew tired of answering the same census questions over and over. 

In the end, this family was enumerated twice but I still have not found the family I was looking for in the first place. It appears they were not enumerated even once in 1850!

[1] 1850 U.S. Census, Black Creek, Mercer, Ohio, p.288B, dwelling 34, family 35, Christian Kartrong; ( : viewed 24 Mar 2021).

[2] 1850 U.S. Census, Dublin, Mercer, Ohio, p.276A, dwelling 803, family 807, Christian Hartsoy; ( : viewed 24 Mar 2021).

Tombstone Tuesday-Finger Pointing Down Symbol

I recently posted some tombstone art photos of a finger pointing upward, symbolizing the hope of heaven or that the soul has gone to heaven. This is a symbol commonly seen in older cemeteries.

Here is another example of a pointing finger, only this finger is pointing downward. A down-pointing finger is much less frequently found on tombstones. I believe this one is the only one I have actually seen, although I have seen photos of the symbol.

Riverside Cemetery, Rockford, Ohio, 1897 finger pointing down, Clyde Pennell.

No, a finger pointing downward does not symbolize what you are probably thinking right now. It is not that ominous. I doubt this person’s loved ones thought that he was not going to heaven.

Instead, a finger pointing downward symbolizes God reaching down for the person’s soul. It can also represent that the deceased had an unexpected, sudden, or untimely death. 

It is hard to make out, but that appears to be a calla lily and a leaf by the hand.  

Riverside Cemetery, Rockford, Ohio, 1897 finger pointing down, Clyde Pennell.

What an interesting bit of tombstone art!

Black Creek Schools in 1853

I had intended to move on from the old Black Creek Township schools but I stumbled across some additional information while working on another project. I work on several research projects at any given time, which is sort of like reading several books at a time. My attention often wonders from one interesting project to another and staying focused on the project at hand seems to be a recurring problem with me. Joe says that I am easily distracted by shiny objects. I guess old papers and documents are like shiny objects to me.

So, here is yet another post about the Black Creek Township schools, the information from the 1853 Mercer County plat maps. I noticed that among the maps and land descriptions that there are also descriptions of the township schools. I zeroed in on Black Creek Township.

The schoolhouse information, along with some church information, is in a separate section, made up of just a couple pages. One page had the heading, School Houses Belonging to Black Creek Township.

Black Creek Township schools, 1853 Mercer County Plat book.

There were only 6 Black Creek schools listed in the 1853 plat book. By the late 1800s there were 9 schools in Black Creek Township and I do not know if there were more schools in 1853 than the 6 mentioned in the book.

The 6 schools described were located in Districts No. 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and an unnamed district. Comparing their locations, some schools were in a different location in 1853 than in the late 1800s. They were in the same general location, but across the road from where a school was later located, which often put the school in a different Section.

The 6 Black Creek schools, as described in 1853:   

School District No. 4, 50/100 acres, W corner of SW ½ Section 17; Situated on State Road; hewed log house. Val. [value] $85. [This would be Duck Creek School, located on the east side of State Route 49. Later plat maps show the school was located on the west side of 49, a little farther south, in Section 19.]

School District No. 5 [no location given]: Excellent hewed log schoolhouse, well furnished. Val. $95. [School No. 5 was located in the center of the township, in Section 15 in later maps.]

School District No. 6, 50/100 acres, SE corner of E ½ of NE ¼ [no Section given]: Good hewed log schoolhouse [?] [?] and furnished. Val. $70. 

School District No. 7, SE corner of W ½ of SW ¼, Section 13: Good schoolhouse hewed log [?], well furnished. Val. $85. [The location of this school seems strange, since it appears that it was close to School District No. 6. In later years School No. 7 was located in Section 35.]

School District No. 8 [no location given]: Good hewed log house, shingled roof, unfurnished but [?]. Val. $75. [School No. 8 was known as Grove School in later years.]

There was no District number given for the last school, which was located at the SE corner of the NE ¼ of Section 35, on the 80-acre farm of John Street. The school set on ¼ acre and was a hewed log house. Val. $70.

Black Creek School in Section 35, 1853.

As time went on these old log schoolhouses were replaced by brick and frame structures.

The 1882 History of Mercer County indicates that the first Black Creek Township schoolhouse was built in about 1840, on land owned at that time [1882] by Charles Jordan, which would have been in Section 2. The 1880 History also tells that Duck Creek Church, established in about 1856, occupied the schoolhouse until they built a frame church in 1868. That would place the early log schoolhouse on the east side of 49.

However, according to the 1978 Mercer County Ohio History, Duck Creek School No.4 was the first school in Black Creek Township and was started in 1852. The brick Duck Creek School building was built in 1893 and burned in 2005. It may have been the last old schoolhouse in the township.

Duck Creek School fire, 2005. Photo courtesy of Janet Myers.

The Ohio legislature established common schools in Ohio in 1825. At this time, the state government financed public education with a half-mil property tax. With the establishment of public education in Ohio, communities formed school districts to meet the state legislature’s requirements. [1]

[1] Public Schools, Ohio History Central, .