Name change from Mertz to Martch
My gg grandfather Frederick Mertz III, born October 13, 1834, in Buffalo, NY to Frederick Mertz II and Sophia Hennerdine, was plowing a field in Highland Township, Defiance, Ohio, when a group of men carrying the Stars and Stripes marched up to the fence where he was working. They spoke about the war, and the short end of it was, Frederick walked his plowing team back to the barn, went to the house, said his good-byes to his wife and kids then set off to fight for the Union as a member of the 124th OVI of Defiance.
The family story asserts that the paymaster told him he would have to change his last name to Martch as there already was Frederick Mertz. He was captured during battle, possibly the Battle of Chickamauga and was sent to Andersonville prison.
My grandfather Blake Albert Myers used to tell me that Frederick was part of a group of men praying for clean water at the Andersonville camp. As spring of fresh water sprang up next to the fence by the Dead Zone, and the men now had clean water which they could drink.
When Frederick Martch was discharged from the war he returned to farming in the Defiance area until his death by stroke June 22, 1926. He is buried in the Ayersville Cemetery.
Frederick and his wife, Anna Marie Ricker/Ruecker, born September 20, 1838 in Altenkirchen-Hohenahr, Wetzlar, Prussia, had children before leaving for the war whose names were Mertz. He also had more children after the war whose names were Martch, my great grandmother Maria Elizabeth (Lizzie) Martch born March 12, 1866 in Defiance, Ohio was one of them.
Lizzie married Daniel Hobart Myers, born September 11, 1864 in Licking County, Ohio to Elias Myers and Matilda Benner. At some time during their marriage, Daniel and Lizzie moved south west of Fostoria, Ohio and purchased a farm near the village of West Independence, Ohio. Lizzie and Daniel had nine children. Blake, my grandfather was the seventh in that family. Daniel Hobart Myers died on December 31, 1921 of the Spanish Flu.
Starting when I was five, my grandfather Blake and I would go to Arcadia, Ohio and buy groceries for Great grandmother Lizzie and her maiden daughter Alwida (Widdie) Myers. Together they would bake a custard pie in an old wood buring stove, but they used coal like most people in the 1950's. I can still taste that pie and smell the coal in that stove. When Lizzie died March 7, 1955. I was seven when she died and attended her funeral. The farm was sold and Aunt Widdie moved to Tiffin, Ohio to take care of an older lady.
In one of our rooms upstairs, I have a photo of Frederick Martch the day he was mustered out of the Civil War. I also have photos of his wife, Anna Maria. I also have photos of Daniel and Lizzie Myers.