"Roots. That's a good word for it. Everybody's got a family tree and just to know how the roots grew, well that gives you a sense of who you are." spoken by Martha Corinne Walton, The Waltons, Episode 10, 1976
David's Reformed Church Congregation
Congregation of David's Reformed Church, Montgomery Co, Ohio, Circa, 1900
While searching for my husband's Kesling relatives in the Springboro Cemetery (Warren County, Ohio) we discovered this very unusual tombstone in memory of Dr. Isaac Kesling and his wife, Elizabeth Potterf Kesling. It certainly stands out in the crowd.
I'm taking the "Madness Monday" category in different direction today, discussing not something that is driving me "mad" or an ancestor that might have been a little bit "off" in some way, but instead I am thinking today about how my ancestors would feel about ME. You see, recently I have been wondering if my ancestors would be driven "mad" by the way their descendants are living their lives now. Obviously, life today is far different than it was during the time of our great great grandparents and even our grandparents. I often wonder what they would think if they were able to come back and live among us now. My great grandmother was very young when the first telephones were installed and now every day I "talk" to people all around the world on my computer. What would she say about that?
Imagine how excited they were at the invention of electricity, indoor plumbing, the radio, movies, and television. Wouldn't it be wonderful to share all that we have learned? Obviously, our ancestors would be surprised by all the new technology we live with every day.
But, I don't know if they would be pleased with all the things they would discover in "modern times".
My ancestors were devout members of the German Reformed, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Baptist, and Quaker faiths. I think they might be shocked and saddened at quite a lot that they would see right now, and I would love to hear what they would have to say.
Doubtless, we would have some very interesting discussions! Wouldn't it be wonderful to talk with them about their lives and what their hopes, dreams, and disappointments were? Someday, I hope I will be able to do just that.
I'm very grateful for the firm foundation of faith and family they passed down through the generations to me and I surely hope I am not driving them "mad".
Pictured above are my maternal great great grandparents, John Austin and Margaret Susan Armstrong Marling. On this Surname Saturday, I am deeply in the midst of compiling documents for my application for The Daughters of the American Revolution based upon the Revolutionary War status of the grandfather of John Austin Marling.
His name is Isaac Oldham and he is, of course, my 5th great grandfather.
Uncovering information about the role that Isaac played in our fight for independence was not difficult. Heritagequest.com contains the scanned copies of the actual pension request that spells out his service record completely. He stated that he served with Capt. John Van Meter and with the Westmoreland Battery and he was a Private. A visit to the DAR Genealogical Resource Database provides me with proof that he did indeed serve his country and also gives a list of those who have proven their family link to him in the past. So, that step has been simple.
Through various other sources, I had already found the branches of my tree that led back from myself to Isaac, but finding the source documents that are acceptable proof to the DAR has not been quite as easy. As a matter of fact, this post could well belong in the Madness Monday category.
Up until now, all the genealogical honor societies I have joined have not required me to compile my Marling and Oldham family information, so this has been a "start from scratch" endeavor. I was actually working on The First Families of Ohio application first, but I received a little "kick start" in the form of an email from a representative from the DAR this week. She told me that since others had already proven a family link between my 4th great grandmother, Esther Oldham Marling, and her father, Isaac, I would be able to just link to their applications and not worry about proving the line myself. Given that boost, I started pulling out the forms, certificates, census records, etc. that I thought I would need to document all the pertinent facts.
I (somewhat) easily managed to put together all the proof evidence I would need for generations 1-4; myself and my husband, my parents, my maternal grandparents, my maternal great grandparents, and my maternal great great grandparents. However, when I got to my 3rd great grandparents, I could find no source document that stated absolutely that Samuel Marling was the son of John and Esther Oldham Marling.
Everything in previous generations that might be considered a little "weak" can be completely explained and shown to be true, but any proof I have of Samuel's parentage is simply not good enough for the DAR.
The problem is that Samuel was born in 1811 (to early for official birth records) and he died in 1851 (too early for official death records). Others have listed that he is buried in Pleasant Hill Cemetery, Cambridge, Guernsey County, Ohio and I know that his wife, Amelia, is buried there as well. Howver, numerous people have searched the cemetery for their headstones, to no avail. According to One World Tree on Ancestry.com, Samuel is John and Esther's son, but I can find no actual source documents to prove it. In the 1850 United States Census for Guernsey County, John and Esther Marling are living on a property between the properties of their two sons, Isaac and Samuel. Also helping to point out a link between Samuel and John and Esther is the fact that Samuel and Amelia named one of their daughters, Esther. This certainly is not enough evidence to prove that they are his parents, so, I am now feverishly searching and researching every available Guernsey County/Marling family resource to discover just one proof document that I can use to cite the parentage of Samuel Marling.
For today's Tombstone Tuesday, I am sharing the gravesite of my husband's recently discovered 5th great grandfather, Dieterich "Teter" Kesling. He was born in Steinau, Hesse-Hanau, Germany on 11 March, 1750. He arrived in Philadelphia with his family in 1752 and he served in the Virginia Militia during the Revolutionary War.
He married Margaret "Peggy" Null on 1 October, 1808 in Warren County, Ohio and he lived and owned a farm there until his death on 10 December, 1845. He is buried in Salem Cemetery in Springboro, Warren County, Ohio.
I will be sharing more about our Kesling family discoveries later this week.
I have heard stories throughout the years about the importance of a father upon a girl's life. Experts will tell you that a woman's self esteem is greatly affected by how she sees herself through her father's eyes. I was so blessed to have a father who loved me unconditionally and who thought I was beautiful all the time. There was never a time when my brothers and I did not feel my parents love and that has guided our paths throughout our lives.
My father, Estel Shoemaker (known as "J" to family and friends) was the epitomy a Christian man and he practiced what he preached. When my father wasn't working, he was home with us. We were lucky enough to live in the days when mom was able to be home with us during the day and dad came home right on time every night. We sat down to family dinners each night together and exchanged all the news of the day. Times were not always easy, but Dad never liked to accept help from anyone. He had a strong work ethic and he passed that on to his children.
I have now had 17 Father's Days without my dad and it doesn't get any easier. I joyfully remember all the years when we would take him out to dinner as a family after church and I miss those times dearly. I am so grateful for memory of my daddy and for all the things that he taught me, but most of all, I thank God that I was the daughter of such a wonderful man.
My paternal grandfather, Estel Shoemaker, Sr., died when my father was only 18 years old so I never had the privilege of knowing him and sharing stories of his childhood. He was born near Peebles, Adams County, Ohio, but when he became an adult he moved to Sabina in Clinton County and it was there that he found not only a job as a moulder, but he also found his bride, Imogene Huffman.
When I was growing up, I can remember well the ship pictured above. It sat in my grandmother's home. Extremely heavy, it was used, I believe, as a doorstop and it was made by my grandfather's hands. A few months ago, my aunt was moving to her new home and she presented me with this priceless gift. Thanks, Aunt Joyce!
Today, I am sharing the story and tombstone of my husband's 1st cousin,
twice removed, Welty David Shaw.
He was born 29 June, 1906, the son of Frank and Rowena Welty Shaw
in Scioto County, Ohio.
During a great flood of the Ohio River in Portsmouth in April, 1943, Welty was helping to move merchandise out of a
warehouse to higher ground. As they were loading items into the boat, it was overturned in the turbulent water. Welty was
unable to swim and he and along with two of his friends drowned in the flooded river.
He is buried in Friendship Cemetery, Scioto County, Ohio.
Newspaper article recalling the tragedy. Click on the articles to enlarge.
When you say the name "Elvis", most people automatically think of Elvis Presley and I am no exception. I grew up listening to his music and watching his movies, so, when I learned that I had a distant relative named Elvis, I automatically assumed that he must have been born around the time that Elvis was at the height of his popularity and was probably named after him. I couldn't have been more mistaken.
Elvis Edgar Huffman, my first cousin, twice removed, was born 5 October, 1882 in Highland County, Ohio. He was the son of William Santford (or Sanford) and Nancy Larrick Huffman.
In 1908 he married Edith Southard and they began farming in Midland, Jefferson Township, Clinton County, Ohio.
In 1909, Edith gave birth to a son they named Howard Burdette Huffman and on 10 October, 1915 their family was joined by another baby boy, Robert.
Elvis and Edith lived and farmed together in Midland until his death in 1969. Edith followed him soon after in 1975. They are buried together in the Martinsville IOOF Cemetery in Clinton County, Ohio.
Their son, Howard, served in the Army Air Corps. during World War II and after earning his Doctorate at Ohio State University, he spent most of his career as a professor at Bowling Green University in Ohio. He died in St. Petersburg, Florida at the age of 83. He married twice, but had no children.
Their younger son, Robert became a farmer and a commercial artist. He lived in Clinton County, Ohio his entire life. He never married and had no children.
Sadly, I never had the opportunity to meet any of these members of my family, personally, but I feel fortunate to have been able to get to know them through many historical records and with photographs that my aunt has shared with me.
So, believe it or not, when I hear the name "Elvis" now, I tend to think "Huffman" instead of "Presley"!
While visiting the cemetery last Friday, I discovered this very striking and unusual monument and I thought it would be an interesting one to investigate and share.
It is the gravesite of Edmund S. Ensey. 1868-1915. The circular inscription for the "Woodmen of the World" appears at the top of the stone.
According to the 1880 US Census, Edmund was living in Dayton, Montgomery, County, Ohio with his parents, Abram and Harriet Ensey and his brother, Elmer. His father was a wagon maker.
He appears in the 1900 census where he is now the Chief Tipto of the 3rd Cavalry at Fort Meyer, Virginia. According to the record, he listed his address as Main Street, Dayton, Ohio. At that time, he had been married for 8 years.
Upon locating Edmund's death certificate, I discovered that he had been born to Abraham Ensley and Harriet Hines on 23 January, 1868. He had passed away from a cerbral hemorrhage at the age of 47 on 28 August, 1915. His death occured while he was at Fort Moultrie Army Post, South Carolina. His listed occupation was "Musician" and "Soldier". He had enlisted in the Army several times, but had also worked as a brass moulder in Dayton.
I haven't looked any farther into his life, but according to the stone, he had children. I'm sure some of his descendants are still in this area. I wonder if I know any of them?
He was laid to rest in David's Cemetery, Van Buren Township, (now Kettering) Montgomery County, Ohio, where I "met" him on May 29, 2010.