Robert Caldwell | 1822-1900
This blog series explores the lives of Foutz ancestors as revealed in their obituaries. Much of this information was gathered during a March 2011 research trip to Tuscarawas and Harrison counties in Ohio.
For anyone into genealogy, it’s a happy confluence of circumstances when all the artifacts you’ve collected (census records, birth and death certificates, tombstone photos, actual portraits and the odd memory or two) on any one ancestor reach a kind of tipping point, and the research process shifts from document archaeology to actually beginning to know that ancestor, so many generations removed.
We’ve spent the last couple days in this series on Foutz obituaries getting to know folks from the more distant branches of the family tree. Today’s post is about a direct ancestor — Robert Caldwell, a third-great grandfather of mine — though one of the in-law variety of hereditary horticulture.
As noted above, I’ve accumulated a decent collection of data on Robert, enough to fill in some details missing from the write-up below — and dispute some of what’s glossed over, merely hinted at or flat-out wrong.
Let’s cover that first.
Life of Robert Caldwell, a Great Great Great with Carroll County Ties
We pick up the actual age of Robert, as well as his birth date and death year, from his tombstone. He and Rachel are buried in Zion Cemetery, just up the road from Atwood Lodge.
He was born April 25, 1822, and lived 78 years, passing away May 28, 1900.
The obituary below gets his marriage date wrong. According to the Historical Collections of Harrison County, compiled by Charles Hanna in the early 1900s, Robert married Rebecca Cramblett (the scanned record shows a misspelling of her maiden name) on March 20, 1845.
This gibes with the birth of their first daughter, Margaret (Maggie Cole, Dawn….), born 1846 as census records indicate. Rebecca comes second, in 1847. (And there’s a regiment of Caldwells to follow.)
Rachel’s family is fairly well established in Harrison County. We’ll get to that in future posts, but it seems that her grandfather, John Caldwell, plotted the town of Deersville, in Stock Twp. Driving on 250/22, you’ll pass Cramblett Road.
The obituary notes Robert’s lifelong endeavors in farming. But where is still a matter of debate. By the time the kids are grown, and the Caldwells have the picture above taken (found among my grandma Foutz’s things; likely inherited from Vance Foutz and Rebecca (Caldwell) Foutz before that), they live north of Harrison County in Sherrodsville.
But another record seems to link them to the old Foutz farm maintained by my great-great-great grandfather Gideon. A Berks County (Pa.) History entry for my great-great uncle Sherman Foutz (my great-grandpa Vance’s oldest brother), mentions that his parents, Jonathan and Rebecca, were born in the same homestead.
As for the mention of one daughter who is deceased, “Mrs. John Foutz” would seem to indicate a shortened version of Jonathan Foutz, and hence, my great-great grandmother. But she lives another 15 years after her father (though she precedes her mother in death). So, I was stymied at first. Ah, but then I remembered research I had done years ago.
Much as the post a couple days ago went into the intermarrying and connections between the Jeffers family and the Foutzes (or Pfoutses) of old, the Crambletts also had (at least) a dual connection through marriage to the Foutzes.
Rebecca’s younger sister, Mary Alice Caldwell, marries Jonathan’s younger brother, John G. Foutz. So perhaps there’s another distant relative out there, descendant of Mary Alice and John, who can confirm the homestead connection to Gideon’s farm. Or perhaps treat us to more family pictures. (Actually, I know there is, because I’ve heard from them — descendants of George W. and A. Bessie Foutz, and their son Clyde Fout and all the rest. Hey – weigh in, guys. This post is for you!)
Read more about the life of Robert Caldwell in this obituary, collected in a binder at the Puskarich library in Cadiz, Ohio:
Robert Caldwell was born in West Virginia, April 1822 and in a few years after that moved with his parents to Harrison County and settled near New Franklin.
About 1840 he was married to Rachel Cramblett. To this union were born Mrs. Maggie Cole, of Bates County, Kas.; Mrs. Jonathan Foutz, of Washington D.C.; George Caldwell, of Sherrodsville; Mrs. John Bartholomew, of Canal Dover; Martha Caldwell and Mrs. Max Belknap, of Sherrodsville; Mrs. Belle Easterday, of near Leesville; John Caldwell and Mrs. Geo. Justus, of Sherrodsville; Mrs. Anna Regan, of West Newton, who has been at his bedside during his last illness.
The above are all living, and there are two daughters dead, one of whom is Mrs John Foutz.
Mr. Caldwell has passed his entire life on a farm. He was a member of the Lutheran Church.
His death occurred after an extended illness May 28.
Interment at Zion on Wednesday, Rev. Weicksel officiating. The deceased was well-known throughout this community and highly respected, being a God-fearing man, an affectionate father and kind husband.
.So what else was going on in May 1900? The month before, Hawaii became a U.S. territory. Earlier that spring, the Paris World Exhibition opens, and ground is broken on the New York subway that will link Manhattan and Brooklyn.