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How many of you have ancestors who don't seem to have a legitimate parent?

Two facts I have learned while doing my family tree, sometimes an ancestor seems to NOT have a legitimate father. I found that true with my maternal grandfather. His father had an ilicit relationship with my greatgrandmother resulting in her pregnancy. Since he already had a sizable family, he did not recognize my grandfather as an heir. My greatgrandmother gave him her maiden name.

Family tradition says that the parents of Elias Myers 1832-1912 were Molly Clutter and Daniel Myers. There was one Daniel Myers that lived in Knox County, but he did not have a matching time span. I have found a few girls named Molly Clutter, but none that lived in Knox County at the time.

But then I found a note in my family folder. The writer, which I believe is the handwriting of my grandfather, stated that his grandfather had step-brothers and step-sisters by the name of Clutter. I was able to find the Clutters and wondered why Elias had the name of Myers. His mother had to be Rhoda Myers 1815-1897 as she was married to James I. Clutter on August 18, 1844. So Rhoda Myers had Elias 12 years prior. There is no record of a previous marriage of Rhoda and any Myers, so could it be that Elias is also a product of an out of wedlock birth?

Census reports for that period do list an Elias Clutter of the appropriate age, but no Elias Myers. This may have been a way of disguising that fact that Elias was illegitimate.

I have seen on several sites that illegitimate children were often given to a relative to raise, so that is also a possiblity, that Rhoda was the sister or aunt of some younger girl who became pregnant. Elias may not be a Myers after all.

Knox County has probably the spotiest and sketchiest record keeping in the entire state of Ohio. Even the genealogical sites display only a very few records, so it is practically impossible to find any reliable info.

I am trying to find out if Knox County has a Bastardly Bond files. I am also hoping to find some Probate records for Rhoda Myers, but so far nothing has popped up.

Wow, what a rocking ride this has turned out to be. Is there anybody else who has run into the same problem?


Rhoda Myers, the mother of Elias Myers?

In the papers left to me by my grandfather, is a small tablet sized paper from an unamed cousin. It starts on the front with the words:

Elias Myers my Grandpa half bro's & sisters names were Clutter
Twins - Oscar & Aldin
Art - youngest brother
Rill and Mancy
Aunt Mancy married (doesn't tell who)
Art's daughter is Icy
around Cousin Pearl's age (referring to Pearl Bennett of Fostoria, OH)
Lived near Locke, Knox Co

Grandmother Myers maiden name
Name Matilda Benner
Her Father's name was Daniel

Mancy Rowland

Icy - Bun and Denny - Art's children

On the back of the sheet:

Orlando Clutter
Father of Alice Rhomine

Son of step grandfather
Clutter by a former

The handwriting is legible; however, the author keeps spelling a name Mancy with an "M." I thought, OK, it's really "N" for Nancy. I found no Nancy Clutter. I searched the other Clutter names with no luck. But finally I hit the jackpot with Orlando Clutter. With that name, an entire mystery began to unfold.

I located in Ancestry.com a family which at this time I will not name. The family of half brothers and sisters were all there:
Mancy is Manceletta Clutter 1857-1931
Oscar is William Oscar Clutter 1848 and his twin James Aulder Clutter 1848 (oddly enough they both died in 1934 but in different months)
Art is Arthur Clutter 1858-1899
Rill is Orilla Z. Clutter 1850-1929

The father is James I. Clutter 1806-1896
His son from a former marriage with Elizabeth Larason 1805-1845 is Lorin Orlando Clutter 1832-1879
James other wife is Rhoda Myers 3 AUG 1815 - 14 FEB 1897.
I believe she is the mother of Elias Myers 1832-1912, my gg grandfather who has long been my brick wall. I think part of that mystery is solved with this crudely written note to my grandfather Blake Myers.

So far I have been unable to find any info on Rhoda Myers.

2 comment(s), latest 7 years, 6 months ago

lessons learned

I decided to really search for my brick wall Elias Myers 1832-1912, so I joined Ancestry.com for the free 14 day trial.

Well, first of all, I did not find Elias anywhere. So I thought, I'll flesh out the rest of my existing family tree. I did find a few individuals that I had not run into using the free Heritage.com software. But then I started noticing a strange phenom over and over. Some of the people in the 1700's have dates that are amazing. Example: a parent is one year older than the daughter. Now that would not be so bad if it weren't for all the other family trees that hopped on the same train by accepting the dates as well. So I click the leaf, and I look at ten other family trees that post the same erroneous dates. Did no one look at the dates? No, they just all accept the same bad info and then pass it on!

One other thing, I spent lots of time looking at all the volumes of records and attaching them to a person. Well, some of that info can be gotten for free at most public libraries that have genealogical departments. Here in Ohio, most of the public libraries let you log on for free and research practically anything you want.

So bottom line... I maybe added twenty people to my tree. The real bummer was the link I found to a Lord in England only to realize that the son of the father was born the year before the father was born. Oh, well!

2 comment(s), latest 7 years, 6 months ago

How accurate are Census reports?

I noticed that one of the individuals I am searching for has his birthplace listed as Ohio in one report and Pennsylvania in another. Is this typical?

I wish that they had gotten more info at that time, like maybe the city, county or township of their birthplace.


3 comment(s), latest 7 years, 7 months ago

Elias Myers is my brick wall

I have unsuccessfully been able to go beyond my ggg grandfather Elias Myers, born October 6, 1832. He died June 5, 1912, and his obit is found in the Seneca Advertiser. I am going to Tiffin, OH soon to see what the obit includes. I know that obits during that time frame usually did not include parents names the way they do today, so the trip to Tiffin may be an exercise in futility.

I believe he was born in Pennsylvania to Daniel Myers and Molly Clutter. These names were given to me by my grandfather, but he was giving them to me from memory. Unfortunately, the Myers family Bible was passed down from the oldest Myers son and then to his oldest grandson. In this case, the oldest grandson has no interest in his family and cannot locate the Bible. It seems to be lost for ever.

Elias was married to Matilda Benner, July 9, 1829. Her parents were Daniel Benner (December 22, 1783 from PA) and Margaret Snider (December 11, 1793). Daniel Benner may have been married more than once. I have in my possession the Benner family Bible that contain the names and dates.

Elias and Matilda had at least three children listed in the Bible:
Daniel Hobart Myers (Sept. 11, 1864, Licking County, Ohio)
Ida B. Myers (married name Bennet) (Sept. 29,1867 or 68)twin
Ada D. Myers (married name Clinker) (Sept. 29, 1867 or 69) twin

My grandfather told me that the one of the twins always thought she was one year younger that the other, so the date of their births is scratched out and overwritten to read 1868. So much for accuracy for the sake of vanity.

Daniel Hobart Myers married Maria Elizabeth Martch (March 12, 1866) Her parents were Frederick Martch III and Anna Marie Ricker/Ruecker of the Defiance, OH area. Daniel and Lizzie had nine children:
Ida Mae Myers (1891) married name Cardwell
Floyd Emerson Myers (1892)lived west of Fostoria, OH
Chauncey Ray Myers (1895)died an infant at age one
Bertha Susannah Myers (1897)married name McCallister
Glenn Ellis Burnell Myers (1900)moverd to Nebraska for health reasons
Carl Hobart Myers (1903)run over by a plow team during an epileptic fit. Alwida found him in the field.
Blake Albert Myers (1904) my grandfather moved to a farm on Eagleville Road NW of Fostoria, then moved into the city of Fostoria
Nora Matilda Myers (1907)married name Smith
Alta Alwida Myers (1910)never married

Blake Albert Myers (June 10, 1904)married Cleo Fern Elsea (Jan. 7, 1907)They had just one child, my father, Wayne Albert Myers (Sept. 1, 1927).

I suspect that the reason I have hit the wall is because of the variations of the Myers name: Moyers, Mires, Mayers, etc. I find references to Elias Myers in Census reports but never his parents.

This is quite irritating as I know more about my maternal side of the family than the paternal. Any help would be appreciated.


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.

Dan Myers

How did John Monroe Fenstermacher die?

My gggg grandfather, John Monroe Fenstermacher was born on June 23, 1805 in Northumberland, PA to Johann Georger Fenstermacher and Elizabeth Harter. John died on August 1, 1873, age 68 in Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni, French Guiana. He was buried in Amanda Township, Hancock County, Ohio.

He was married to Mary Catherine Beck, who was born March 28, 1806 in Pennsylvania. Mary died September 4, 1887 in Van Wert County, Ohio at the age of 81. They had a daughter, Catherine Fenstermaker in 1835.

Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni is a border town and penal colony in north-west French Guiana.

My question is, why was John there? Under what circumstances would have brought him to the area at the ripe old age of 68? Might he have been an inmate of the prison? Why ship his body to Ohio. Most prisons would have buried him in a potter's field.

Thanks for any help in this matter.


1 comment(s), latest 7 years, 8 months ago