daneil2229 on Family Tree Circles
Journals and Posts
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?
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
Icy - Bun and Denny - Art's children
On the back of the sheet:
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.
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!
The Arguments for Catherine Roberts as the birth mother
of Matilda Benner Myers
It has long been the opinion that Margaret Snider listed in the Benner family Bible was the wife of Daniel Benner and the mother of Matilda Benner Myers, wife of Elias Myers. Until recently, I too believed the family tradition as true. However, while building the Myers family tree along with the Benner family tree, I began to see some considerable inconsistencies. These conflicting bits of information began to annoy me. Those inconsistencies can be seen below.
A Catherine Benner is listed twice in the Benner family Bible:
Catherine Benner b. 11 APR 1798
Catherine Benner b. 10 JUL 1831
One is presumably Daniel Benner’s wife and the other their daughter. The Benner Bible also lists a death date for Catherine Benner of 2 JUL 1862. I believe this date reflects the death of the wife of Daniel Benner. That would place the age of Catherine at 64, a reasonable age for a woman of that era. Another argument may provide some reason behind this conclusion.
Historical documents - Source: obituary card file for 1880-1997 at the Licking County Genealogical Society, Newark, Ohio, film no. 2051467, is an obituary for Jacob Benner, Daniel Benner’s oldest son. The book is titled The Memorial Record of Licking County Ohio: Containing Biographical Sketches of Representative Citizens of the County
To view the cover of the book, follow the link below
To see the pages about Jacob Benner follow the link below
A special thanks to Laurie Jensen for sending this link to me.
The text of the obituary of Jacob Benner states that his father, Daniel Benner was born near Hagerstown, Maryland 22 DEC 1783 and was removed to Huntington County, Pennsylvania by his parents. His first wife, Sarah Rowe, a native of Virginia, was about two years his junior. Sarah died after becoming the mother of two children, Susanna 29 MAR 1817 and Jacob 28 OCT 1818. Jacob was an infant when his mother Sarah died.
For his second wife, Daniel Benner chose Catherine Roberts, born 11 APR 1798 from Virginia. Their marriage can be verified at
Ohio County Marriages, 1790-1950.
Name: Daniel Benner
Event date: 11 FEB 1819
Event place: Licking County
Spouse: Catherine Roberts
Reference Number: v1, p.82
Film Number: 384300
Digital Folder Number: 4257844
Image Number: 438
The obituary continues to say that six children were born of this marriage as follows:
John 25 MAR 1820
Eliza 26 DEC 1821
Margaret 4 DEC 1824
Mary 18 FEB 1827
Matilda 9 JUL 1829
Catherine 10 JUL 1831
The obit continues by saying that Jacob Benner married Margaret Payne, Susanna married James Disney, Matilda married Elias Myers, and Catherine married P.J. (Philip J. in the Benner Bible) Neibarger. The Benner Bible corroborates each of these marriages and provides a date for each.
Census data from 1860 Bennington Twp. Licking County, Ohio lists
Daniel Benner – age 75
Catherine – age 62
Matilda – age 30
Eliza – age 14
Note: No date for Matilda Benner’s marriage is recorded in the Benner Bible, however, Elias and Matilda did not have their first child Daniel Hobart Myers until 11 SEPT 1865. Matilda would have been 35 at the time. It is probable for her to have lived at home at the age of 30 in 1860. I have a photo copy of Matilda and Elias’s marriage certificate showing the couple married 24 DEC 1864.
Margaret Snider appears only the Benner Bible. She was born 11 NOV 1793 and died 28 OCT 1847. However, she does not appear in any Census let alone appear in the family of Daniel Benner. Her appearance in the Benner Bible remains a mystery. She was outlived by Catherine Roberts who lived until at least 1860 where she appeared in the 1860 Census with Daniel, Matlida, and Eliza. One possibility remains, Margaret may be a widow sister of Daniel Benner.
If you can find evidence that the above arguments are not valid, please send them to
Daniel A. Myers
We are still hoping to find the Myers family bible that may hold valuable information about Elias and his parents.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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