Family Birthdays – Late May & Early June
Count it among the weirdest ways I’ve been awoken, ever.
This was in our first year in Chicago, which would have been, oh, 12 years ago now. I’m renting one of those cheap apartments attractive to upwardly mobile professionals and the overly desperate.
On the other side of 2 a.m., thuds, shouts. A wayward husband or boyfriend returns from places wayward and otherwise friendly. At least, more friendly than what he walks into: thuds, shouts.
His girl wants to know where he’s been, and why for so long. She lays into him in the kind of keening shrill typical of power drills, audible to an insomniac dog, or sleep-deprived neighbors.
The only words distinct belong to his defense: “But… um… but… see… but it’s my birthday week.”
His birthday week? Gee, now if I’d known that I would have welcomed them into my apartment to stage their battle WWF-style on my living room rug. Or at least had earplugs at the ready.
His birthday week. It’s been an inside joke for my wife and me ever since. And handy in all sorts of situations:
Forget to change the kids’ morning diapers? But… it’s my birthday week.
Fail to pick up the two baskets’ worth of folded laundry at the end of the bed? See… it’s my birthday week.
For this post, I thought I’d play a little Baby Pool Bingo in reverse, looking at the lineup of birthdays brand new Foutz Caleb could have shared with ancestors past (and present). For these purposes, “birthday week” extends 7 days before and after Caleb Oliver’s actual birth date of May 30, 2013.
One Week Before Caleb’s Birthday
22 — Birthday of Johann Jacob Zeigler
Great-great grandfather J.J. Zeigler was born in 1827 in Wuertemberg, Germany. He emigrated to America as a young man and married another German immigrant, Elizabeth Duerr. They farmed near Zoar. His died in 1897, when my great-grandmother Laura Zeigler Foutz was a teenager. Foutz family legend claims he was shot and killed; Zeiglers contend — a bit more rationally I think, seeing as there is no newspaper evidence of an unsolved murder — he died of old age.
24 — Birthday of Phoebe Amanda (Campbell) Palmer and Michael Palmer
Family legend has it — I have found nothing to prove it false — that third-great grandparents Phoebe and Michael were born on the same day. She, in 1824 in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. He, in 1821 in Harrison County, Ohio, where they made their lives farming and raising around nine children, including their oldest, George Silvester Palmer, father to Viola (Palmer) Johnson, born June 1 (see below).
25 — Birthday of Janet Louise (Ley) Foutz
Mom! Born in 1952 in Dover, Ohio. Happy 61st!
25 — Birthday of Thomas Moreland
Otherwise known as great-great aunt Ida Foutz’s husband, and cousin Dawn James’s great-great grandfather. Hey, he was born 86 years before my mom in Bowerston, Ohio, old stompin’ grounds of the Foutzes and Morelands.
26 — Birthday of Delbert and Della Johnson
You’ll find twins on both sides of my family — of both my father’s and mother’s mothers’ branches (Johnson and Weible, respectively) — but always a few generations back, and not in my direct line. But let’s acknowledge the 1904 birth of Delbert and Della. Ain’t they cute? They were siblings of my great-grandfather Charles. Delbert died in 1961; Della (by then a Weber) in 1978.
28 — Birthday of Olaf Knutson Rekublad
From the Knutson side, one of Caleb Oliver Foutz’s namesakes. Mom Katie’s great-great grandfather was born in 1839 in Telemark, Norway, son of Knudt (get it?) Alfsen Leirbrek and father to Oliver Albert Knutson. Olaf made his home and farm in Northwood, Worth County, Iowa, where the homestead remains in the family to this day.
29 — Birthday of Doris Pauline (Foutz) Waddington
Great Aunt Doris was born in May, like two out of three of her older brothers. Only my grandpa Don Foutz was born in March, and he made up for it by having his firstborn in March, who then had a son born in May and a daughter born in March. If circumstantial gymnastics are your thing. Here’s a great pic of her as a kiddo in Dover.
Caleb’s Ancestral Birthday Buddies – May 30
30 — Birthday of Robert Ohio Weible
Born in 1892 in what was then Canal Dover, Ohio. If you think being born on Memorial Day is an occasion bedecked in red, white and blue, check out R.O.’s mom — Great-Great Grandma Esther Bliss (Goddard) Weible was born on July 4, 1852. R.O., whom she gave birth to just shy of her 40th, was her youngest child.
30 — Birthday of Elizabeth (Duerr) Zeigler
My great-great grandparents Zeigler shared a birth month, though Elizabeth was some 18 years’ J.J. Zeigler’s junior. She was born in 1845, also in Baden-Wurttemberg, which is where her mother, Katharina Weinnman was born May 17, 1814.
1 – Birthday of Charles Henry Ley
Born 1866 in Bakersville, Ohio, 110 years and 1 day before great-great grandson Colt Foutz. He followed father Augustus into the dry goods business, eventually traveling the country as a salesman for a Pittsburgh-based wholesale dry goods firm. After serving as city councilman and board of education member, he was elected to two straight terms as Tuscarawas County treasurer. He retired to private life in New Philadelphia, Ohio, where he lived until his death in November, 1925.
2 – Birthday of Frederick Colt Foutz
Bicentennial baby. Born in Columbus, Ohio to Frederick Charles Foutz and Janet Louise Ley.
3 – Birthday of Rachel (Foutz) Coleman
Second great aunt. Born 105 years before Colt, in 1871, to great-great grandparents Jonathan and Rebecca (Caldwell) Foutz. We still don’t know what became of Rachel. A daughter, Blanche Escott, appears to have lived into her late 90s in Kent, Ohio. Maybe there are descendants out there — hint, hint — who can help shed light on Aunt Rachel’s life and too-early death.
3 – Birthday of Viola Mae (Palmer) Johnson
Great grandmother, in 1889, to George and Amanda Jane (Cummings) Palmer. She was youngest of 10. The family farmed up the road a piece from the historic Foutz homestead in Harrison County. Though she would marry a Johnson, Charles, whose New Philadelphia family had come there from Guernsey County to mine coal.
5 – Birthday of Frederick Charles Foutz
Dad! Born several weeks’ premature in 1952 to Donald Dale and Erma Maxine (Johnson) Foutz. He was their youngest, and was born 11 days after my Mom in the same Dover, Ohio hospital. Birthday week, indeed.