Posts Tagged With: England

Five Enduring Foutz Family Mysteries

Jonathan Foutz

Great-Great Grandfather Jonathan Foutz would probably agree with Dory — looking for answers to genealogy questions? Just keep sleuthing!

Genealogy Never Rests

Just keep sleuthing, just keep sleuthing….

Dory from Finding Nemo (and her own eponymous sequel) was really a genealogist at heart. The motto that kept her moving — swimming — kept leading her to families, no matter the leagues between them. First, Nemo’s, then happily, her own.

Aside from occasional bursts of full-contact hereditary rummaging, my genealogical quest has been more of an occasional thing. Some early-a.m. flipping through old newspapers here, some peeks at the burgeoning pile of electronic detritus on there. Day job, Dad duties, mindless TV — all conspire to slow my family-sleuthing from mad scramble to meandering marathon.

And that’s OK. This blog is a record of where we’ve been before, and an open lane to the depths we’ve yet to discover. And often, the way to latch on to new currents is to back-paddle to places we last left off. Dive around. Pick up the tidal pull again.

What do we do? We sleuth….

Questions to Keep Sleuthing By

My goal for this space the next six months is to share, at least once a week, some tidbit or tale that I’ve kept under glass the last few years, or lately untangled from the historical net. These discoveries spark conversations, which in turn spark connections — people with answers, and questions of their own. Keep ’em coming.

For now, here are five of the biggest, most-enduring mysteries I’d like one day to solve, bringing further clarity to the muddy waters of Foutz, Ley, Weible, Morgan, Fisher, Johnson, Palmer, Zeigler origins.

1. Where did Michael Pfouts come from?

Yeah, we think we know. Württemberg. Along the lower Neckar River region in Germany. Where Foutzes of old farmed, fought, made little Foutzes.

So says John Scott Davenport’s Foutz Newsletter of the 1980s: Michael Pfoutz emigrated to America in 1787, settled in Washington County, Maryland, and by 1810 or so was on his way to Harrison County, Ohio, where multiple records pretty definitively trace the Pfouts-Fouts-Foutz story through the succeeding two centuries.

But: Where exactly did Michael come from in Germany? Why did he cross the ocean, at 18? Did anyone come with him? Where else did those possible brothers and sisters, and father and mother, end up?

As the Davenport newsletters grow yellowed, and the originators of that work pass away, we’ve got to look for new answers, new connections. One I may have found, that I’ll reveal in a post soon (to echo Star Wars’ original trilogy): “a sister(rrrrrrrrr)?”

2. What happened to Rachel Foutz?

As traced in the years since an original summation of Foutz mysteries, we now know what became of every brother and sister of my great-grandfather, Vance Foutz, and even have a pretty good bead on their descendants, save for one sister, Rachel (Foutz) Coleman.

Rachel was one of three older sisters to my great-grandfather. We know what became of Lila and Ida. And it’s through Ida’s son Sherman’s diary — and the useful transcribing of distant cousin Dawn James — that we gain a little color around the facts we know, and a window on life in Dover, Ohio after Rachel and family followed younger brothers Charles, Vance and Mom Rebecca Foutz there in the first decade of the 1900s:

  • Born June 3, 1871 to Jonathan and Rebecca Foutz,in Harrison County, Ohio
  • In 1891, at age 20, Rachel married a war vet, William Coleman, more than 20 years her senior, and became stepmom to at least one living son, Berttie
  • They had at least four kids — Carl, who died of tuberculosis at my great-grandfather’s house in 1915 (same spring as Rebecca Foutz and her oldest son, Sherman); Blanche, Frank and Bessie.
  • Bessie, born in 1906 in Dover, disappears, along with mother Rachel, from the record. No other census, death or burial records have been found.

We later find William living in a veterans’ home in Canton, Ohio. And Frank lives until 1959 in Canton (he has a family I have not further explored – could be connections there). Meanwhile, sister Blanche lives until the ripe old age of 97, passing away in 1994 in Kent, Ohio. A few years back, I spoke to a family who knew her well, and shared photos. Story to come.

But what became of Rachel? There’s a mystery even more vexing for all we’ve assembled about our now-distant Foutz relatives.

Kaiserslautern Coat of Arms

Kaiserslautern Coat of Arms. The Leys emigrated there from The Netherlands sometime in the 1600s.

3. What can we learn of the Netherlands Leys?

According to A Short History of the Ley Family, a pamphlet passed down from our Port Washington, Ohio Ley ancestors, the Ley family originated in the Netherlands and came to Kaiserslautern in Germany, probably in the late 1600s.

We can trace the family back through my fourth-great-grandfather, Karl Ley, coming to America in 1833 and settling first in Shanesville, Ohio, and later, Port Washington, making his career as a saddler. And then further back through his father, Frederick Charles Ley, a minister at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Pfalz, Bavaria; and then through his father, John Frederick Ley, also pastor at that parish (succeeding, in fact, his father-in-law, who succeeded his own father).

Neat trick, and probably an amazing place to visit someday for all that family mojo.

But we don’t know much about Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Grandfather Ley — not his name, date of birth, city of residence, or death — save that he had a large, rural estate and was mayor, for a time, of his unknown city. And that his dad, Great Ley x 8, was first to move from the Netherlands and settle in Kaiserslautern, where he set up a cloth “manufactory.”

What can we learn from detailed German records, which seem to have been maintained through the tenuous political jigsaw puzzle of those centuries, and through war, etc., but weren’t so far recorded by our relatives?

Who were Thomas Johnson’s parents?

We’ve got names, known to my grandma, Erma (Johnson) Foutz, and her sisters. Just not much else. Maybe because his name was so common?

George Johnson was probably born in England, so says family legend, and he married a, well, Mary, and they settled in Guernsey County, Ohio. That’s the sum total of our knowledge about fourth-great-grandfather Johnson.

Admittedly, it doesn’t get too much clearer with Great-Great-Great-Grandfather Thomas, who died at 42 in the Civil War. Though just where in Mississippi, and of what, is a matter of some debate. (Possibly also due to his fairly common name?)

We hear he was a mule skinner in the army — something to do with nabbing available meat from local farms the army passed through and butchering it for the fighting boys. But we don’t even know that much about the wife he left behind, Nancy Valentine, back home in Guernsey, at first, and then, by 1910 in Jackson, Ohio. There’s a tid bit about her maybe not getting his pension — why? We also don’t know her death.

This is odd, because we know all their descendants, and their paths through Harrison and Tuscarawas counties, Ohio. Time to start sleuthing….

5. Where, in Wales, were the Morgans?

Also in the common name department are my second-great-grandparents, Thomas and Jannett (Rees) Morgan. We know their lives after they emigrated from Wales quite well — from their marriage in Philadelphia in 1872, to their settling in western Pennsylvania, and eventually, in Carnegie, where Thomas ran the Hotel Morgan before he died, in 1897.

What is a continued vexation — a problem not cleared up by the terse obituaries of the 19th century — is just who their parents were. When Thomas first came over; when Janet did. What happened to their sisters and brothers (if they had any) and parents. Even how “Reese/Rhys/Rees” is spelled.

We have theories about where they were from in Wales, and family stories of Jannett and her children going back to visit. We’ve gained their photos, and a hunch about Jannett’s Dad’s name, Daniel.

Everything else? Time to get sleuthing.

Categories: Foutz, Johnson, Ley, newsletter, Weible | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

October Birthdays & Anniversaries | Family Milestones this Month

Ley Fam Reunion 1984

Ley family reunion, 1984. Among other October family milestones, grandparents Bob and Sue Ley celebrated 63 years of marriage every October 16, from 1943 through 2006.

October Family Milestones

Well, there’s no time like October and Family History Month to get my typing fingers — and this blog — back in gear.

So here, in honor of the birth of the newest Foutz, Caden Harman, on October 4, 2012, to proud parents Dan and Laura (Hicks) Foutz, is a rundown of family milestones for the month.

Great-great-great-great Grandfather Henry Charles Powell

1 — Birthday of Henry Charles Powell

Great-great-great-great grandfather Henry Powell was born in 1814 in London, England, but set sail for America with his parents, four older siblings and one younger sibling when he was 3. After blowing through the family’s fortunes as they faced the deprivations of frontier life in Virginia, they soon settled in Bakersville, near Coshocton, Ohio. Henry thrived as a farmer, tripling the size of his original homestead to 300 acres. At 96 years, 7 months and 9 days, his is the longest confirmed lifespan of any of my ancestors.

1 — Birthday of cousin Liz (Ley) Creedon

May she who shares the birthday of fourth-great-grandfather Henry Charles Powell have four times the greater number of days. Gee, Liz, that would make me about 382 when you get to that point. I’d like to send you a postcard, but I’ll probably just have my 12th great-grandchild do that…. (I’ll be really damn old.)

Powell Henrietta Howells

Henrietta Howells Powell

4 — Birthday of Henrietta (Howells) Powell

In 1783, in Brecknock, Breconshire, Wales. Our fifth great-grandmother set sail from England for America with her husband and six young children at 37 years old. In America, she would raise another six more.

4 — Marriage of Jonathan and Rebecca (Caldwell) Foutz

In 1865, in Harrison County, Ohio. Foutz family legend has it — as recorded in a 1910 history book — that Rebecca was born on the same Foutz homestead as her eventual husband. Whether that was third-great-grandfather Gideon Pfouts’s place or even way back at Michael Pfouts’s spread a township over is unknown, but the two childhood playmates were eventually wed, and went on to raise seven children, first on a farm of their own, and later in a path that wound its way to Dover, Ohio, where our family would remain in a new century.

5 — Birthday of Charles Johnson Jr.

In 1922 in New Philadelphia, Ohio. One of 10 children born to my great-grandparents Charles and Viola Johnson, and closest in age to my grandmother Erma (Johnson) Foutz (see below), Charles was one of three brothers to die tragically in water-related accidents, succumbing, at 17, to a diving accident in 1939.

Ley Augustus mug 1896

Great-Great-Great-Grandfather Augustus Ley

11 — Birthday of Augustus Ley

Born in 1839 in Shanesville, Ohio, Great-Great-Great Grandpa Augustus Ley was the third child of Bavarian immigrants Karl and Susanna Ley. Though his father was a prominent saddler in Shanesville, Augustus set up shop down the road and river in Port Washington. He was merely one of several Leys to run a successful dry goods or grocery store, and for years his business was situated prominently on the canal in Port Washington.

16 — Marriage of Robert Earl Ley Jr. and Suzanne Abbott Weible

In 1943, in Oxford, Ohio. Grandma and Grandpa Ley were married 63 years.

Amanda Jane Cummings Palmer

Great-great Grandma Amanda Jane Cummings Palmer, about 1872


17 — Birthday of Amanda Jane Cummings

Born in 1852 in Harrison County, Ohio, Great-Great-Grandma Amanda Palmer made her life with husband George on their farm near Scio long after her parents and siblings lit out for Osage County, Kansas. She was mother to 10, the youngest of whom was daughter (and my great-grandmother) Viola Mae (Palmer) Johnson.

Fisher John William

Great-Great-Grandfather John William Fisher

21 — Birthday of John William Fisher

1856 in New Philadelphia. Great-Great-Grandfather J. W. Fisher farmed in Stone Creek, just outside New Phila city limits, where his father George had farmed for decades prior. After his daughter, my great-grandmother, Mary Zula Lucrece (Fisher) Ley, died tragically in 1920 at age 24, an infant Robert Earl Ley Jr. was sent to live with J.W. and wife Addie May (Smith) Fisher while his father Robert Ley Sr. grieved.


Foutz Erma, Roy, Louise, Laura TG 1949

Pictured on Thanksgiving Day, 1949: Great Uncle Roy Foutz, flanked by sisters-in-law Erma (Johnson) Foutz and Louise (Moore) Foutz. Reaching in is Great-Grandma Laura Foutz.

26 — Birthday of Adell Louise (Moore) Foutz

Great Aunt Louise, wife to my grandpa Don’s older brother, Carl Foutz, and mother to “Buzz” and Donna, kept up a close correspondence with family back in Dover decades after her family moved to Florida. Born in 1913 in West Virginia, she is buried with Great Uncle Carl in Maple Grove Cemetery in Dover.

Ruslin Hills Church ext 2012

The church in the Ruslin Hills, Dover, Ohio where Vance and Laura Foutz were married in 1907. A portion of the property sat on Laura’s family farm.

26 — Marriage of Vance Cleveland Foutz and Christina Laurina Katherina Zeigler

In 1907 — 105 years ago this month — Great-Grandparents Vance and Laura Foutz were married at Ruslin Hills Church on the north end of Dover, Ohio. He was barely 20, only just employed in the steel mill where he’d work for the next five decades, and she was a farm girl with native German parents, both immigrants from Wuerttemberg. They both had lost fathers while still in their young teens; his, in 1900, and hers in 1897. Their marriage would last more than 49 years, until death took Laura, in 1956.

Johnson Erma 1920

Erma Johnson as a baby, about 1920 or ’21.

27 — Birthday of Erma Maxine (Johnson) Foutz Miller

In 1920 in New Philadelphia, Ohio. Grandma Foutz was fifth of ten children born to Charles and Viola (Palmer) Johnson. She lived her whole life in the New Philadelphia and Dover, Ohio area, but wintered in Green Valley, Arizona and traveled the world with her second husband, Max. It’s been 13 years since we celebrated a birthday with you, grandma, and we all miss you.

Vance Cleveland Foutz Charles Ross Foutz

Brothers Vance (left) and Charles Foutz, about 1905-1907.

28 — Birthday of Charles Ross Foutz

In 1885, on the farm south of Bowerston. Charles was the sixth of seven children born between 1867 and 1887 to Great-Great-Grandparents Jonathan and Rebecca Foutz, and closest in age to my great-grandpa Vance Cleveland Foutz. Following the death at 55 of their father, the two youngest sons were just teenagers when they went to work coal mining to support their widowed mother. Eventually, their traveling took them to Dover, Ohio, where Vance settled, while Charles moved across the river to New Philadelphia. Father of four, he died tragically young, of pneumonia, at just 32.

30 — Birthday of cousin Doreen Ley

42 years young this year! Fine Buckeyes don’t age, Doreen, they just learn to make wine.

31 — Birthday of Florence Wilma (Jones) Ley

In 1901 in Martins Ferry, Ohio. Second wife to Robert Earl Ley Sr., she was, nonetheless, mother to Robert Earl Ley Jr., who lost his birth mother when he was not yet two years old. To the rest of us, she was “M.A. Ley.”


And that concludes our wrap-up of October milestones. Make it a memorable one, everybody!

Categories: Foutz, Johnson, Ley, Milestones, Weible | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Know Thy Patriarchs – 7 (& 1/2) Johnson Generations

grandma Erma Maxine Johnson Foutz

Grandma Erma Maxine (Johnson) Foutz

Ancestral Anthology, Part 4 – Johnson Family

One of the more intriguing aspects of my family history research has been linking up with the discoveries made by others in my family — those known to me and those newly met — and adding their finds to my own work, or helping them along in their research with what I’ve been able to uncover.

My mom did a lot of digging into the Leys and Weibles, when she was about the same age as I am now. And I’ve benefited from the documents and pictures she saved, as well as the books she stocked on the Leys, Powells, etc.

On the other side of the tree, my grandma Erma (Johnson) Foutz left behind a trove of items from her decades of pondering and pursuing clues into both her family and my grandpa Foutz’s. Countless newspaper clippings, cards from funerals, family snapshots and genealogical lists in her elegant hand — with all the attendant red-ink corrections and deletions and additions.

One of Grandma’s last projects was to begin a series of pocket-size family records she intended to pass on. Her working copy — bound in green — contains the above noted flourishes, as she deciphered and backtracked and polished her understanding of previous generations. Since the summer, I’ve been working in one of her brown-covered blank copies, and delighting as I’ve confirmed or otherwise amplified the information she had collected.

Surprisingly, for such a common last name — I’ll get to all the Charles Johnsons and Thomas Johnsons dotting east-central Ohio later in this post — we know an awful lot about the parents and children of my great-grandfather’s and great-great grandfather’s generations.

It’s immediately after that — or, I guess, before — that records and knowledge start to break down.

Then again, in the spirit of comparing notes, a lot of what I know about the Johnsons today is built upon the research of others — my grandma; my grandma’s niece, Sarah Fitzgerald. And I’ve heard there’s at least one other Johnson son out there who’s racked up a lot of info.

So here’s a look at what we know so far. With some combined sleuthing, we’ll see what corners we can find assured passage around, what dead-ends we can throw a ladder over.

Johnson Ancestry – Looking Back 8 Generations

1. Jonah Robert Foutz and Benjamin Peter Foutz

Born in Illinois, Sept. 6, 2006 and Sept. 9, 2008.

Colt Foutz

2. Frederick Colt Foutz (married Kathryn Marie Knutson)

Born in Dover, Ohio, June 2, 1976. Educated at Carnegie Mellon University and Columbia College Chicago. Newspaper reporter and columnist in Ohio and Illinois, freelance writer, musician. Currently manages a creative team at a Chicago advertising agency. Married Sept. 21, 2002 in Olathe, Kansas. Katie was born Dec. 8, 1977 in Rochester, Minn. Parents of Jonah Robert, Benjamin Peter.

Fred Foutz

3. Frederick Charles Foutz (married Janet Louise Ley)

Father. Born in Dover, Ohio, June 5, 1952. Educated at the University of Cincinnati. Salesman, sales manager, customer service rep. Married Dec. 21, 1975 in Dover. Janet was born May 25, 1952 in Dover. Parents of Frederick Colt, Daniel Morgan, Jacob Ley, Samuel Chase.

Erma Maxine Johnson Foutz 1953

4. Erma Maxine Johnson (married Donald Dale Foutz)

Grandmother. Born Oct. 27, 1920 in New Philadelphia, Ohio. Died July 16, 2000 in New Phila. Secretary, homemaker. Married May 9, 1942 in Dover. Don was born March 4, 1914 in Dover, Ohio. Died Nov. 14, 1980 in Dover. Parents of Donn Dale, Robert Vance, Frederick Charles. Remarried Jan. 1, 1982, to Max Troendly Miller (1916-2009). Made her home later in life in Green Valley, Arizona and New Philadelphia.

Charles Arthur Johnson

5. Charles Arthur Johnson (married Viola Mae Palmer)

Great-grandfather. Born Nov. 6, 1886 in New Philadelphia, Ohio. Died Sept. 13, 1962 in New Phila. Coal miner, steelworker. President, Local 8607, United Mineworkers of America. First married Feb. 17, 1907 in Tuscarawas County, to Leona Miller. She died shortly after. Second marriage (to Viola Palmer) July 1, 1911, probably in Dennison, Ohio. Viola was born June 3, 1889 in Scio. She died Aug. 16, 1958 in New Phila. Parents of 10: Thomas Leonard, Virginia Mae, Nellie Irene, Carl Arthur (died young), Erma Maxine, Charles Jr. (died young), William Dean, Joseph R. (died young), Lloyd George (twin) and Floyd Clement (twin).

Johnson Clement Charles Carrie Anna Donald Helen

Johnson family: Clement, (clockwise) Charles, Carrie, Anna, Donald, Helen.

6. Clement A. Johnson (married Anna Burkey)

Second great grandfather. Born March 6, 1863 in Middlebourne, Guernsey County, Ohio. Died Aug. 16, 1947 in New Philadelphia, Ohio. Coal miner. Married Sept. 25, 1884 in Guernsey County. Anna was born July 25, 1867 in Guernsey County. She died Nov. 3, 1929 in New Phila. Parents of 10: Charles Arthur, Carrie Mae, Roy (died young – had twin who died at birth), Helen Viola, Donald D., Dwight Joseph, Delbert M. (twin), Della (twin), Alvin Norman, Adrian L.

7. Thomas W. Johnson (married Nancy Valentine)

Third great grandfather. Born about 1822, probably in Ohio. Died 1864 in Corinth, Miss. Farm laborer. Served the Union Army during the Civil War as a mule skinner. According to family lore, he died of the measles during a march through Mississippi. Because of his non-soldier status, his wife could not collect an army pension, and she is listed on the 1870 census as a pauper, with at least one of her children living in a relative’s household. In the one census record in which his married family appears together (1860), he is listed as not able to read or write. Married Feb. 4 or 9, 1854 in Guernsey County. Nancy was born about 1836 in Guernsey County. She probably died in 1928. Parents of four confirmed children: Violet Melinda, David, Virginia Frances, Clement Arthur.

Gazing into the swirling mists…

8. George Johnson??? (married Mary???)

As family legend had it — or at least what I can remember of it, possibly incorrectly — the Johnson line came from England. But so far I’ve stumbled upon nothing that firms up that rumor.

There are several records that connect a Thomas Johnson born in Ohio in 1822 to a George Johnson as father, and a Mary as mother. However, several of these records show Thomas leading quite a different life after that, with a different spouse in one case, and saved by different descendants and relatives in others. So it’s tough to say what’s what.

There are several Thomas Johnsons that pop up in Guernsey County from about 1820 on, and they have birthdates that could connect to our ancestor as late as 1829. But the single census record in 1860 that shows Thomas W. Johnson’s married family all living together has him as 38 years old, and Nancy as 24. Unfortunately, the transcriptions of their marriage record (which list dates of Feb. 4 and 9, alternately) do not have any more information than the date, location and their names.

The more promising leads on connecting Thomas W. to a father named George are the tax records for Guernsey County which show him living in various parts of the county — Spencer Twp. and Derry among them — and sometimes appearing with the initial R. These could be different George Johnsons. And there are census records for 1850 that list a George Johnson, born 1797 in Virginia, in Cumberland, Guernsey County. This would make him about the right age to father Thomas. But again, these docs need to link up in a convincing way to provide anything approaching proof.

What would be nice is finding a death record for Thomas that lists his parents. Or some fragment from a local history that establishes who the family is and where they came from. Clement’s death record reports his parentage accurately. But his oldest sister’s death record (for Violet Melinda) only contains the curious information that she had a son — without being married — and that he claimed not to know who his grandparents were, or where his mother was born.

Definitive clues could be uncovered by tromping around Guernsey County, or tracking down their actual gravestones. By the 20th century, of course, Clement had moved the family to New Phila, where at least two subsequent generations (my great-grandfather and grandmother) were more or less lifelong residents.

Johnson siblings 1979

The living Johnson siblings, in 1979. Oldest bro Leonard is far right. My grandma, Erma, is center.

Categories: Foutz, Johnson, newsletter | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ancestor of the Week: 7/19/2010

Great-great-great-great Grandfather Henry Charles Powell

Henry Charles Powell (1814-1911)

I’ve been fortunate in my research, so far, to pretty definitively trace back several branches in the family tree to our first ancestors in America.

In previous posts, I’ve written about my great-great-great-great grandfather Charles Ley setting up shop as a saddler in Shanesville, Ohio after emigrating from Bavaria, and the careers of his father and grandfather as ministers in St. Alban.

In future posts, I’ll tell you about Michael Pfouts first settling along the Maryland-Pennsylvania border after emigrating from the Baden-Wuerttemberg region of Germany about 1787. He eventually made the trek to Ohio with his young family in the early 1800’s, settling in Harrison County.

And I’m still digging up information on Thomas Morgan and Janette Louise Reese, who — as best as I can tell — were immigrants in the Philadelphia area before 1872, when they were married. They eventually settled near Pittsburgh, where Janet was widowed while my great-grandmother, Beatrice Ethel (Morgan) Weible was still a little girl.

At any rate, those are three families we can trace to being “right off the boat” in America, with roots in The Netherlands, Germany and Wales, respectively. Here’s a fourth family, with roots again in Wales, but here we also add England and Ireland to the mix.

Babe of England, Child of America

Henry and Francis (McCullough) Powell were parents to Harriet “Hattie” J. Powell. She married Augustus Ley, son of the German immigrant saddler Charles. Augustus and Hattie were parents to Charles Henry (named after Henry Powell) Ley, whom you might know better as father to Robert Earl Ley Sr.

Henry’s parents were Thomas Powell and Henrietta (Howells) Powell. Both were descendants of the same old Welsh line. I’ll share more of Henry’s parents, and by consequence, of his wife’s ancestry, in a later post. Much of that history is revealed in the exceptionally detailed book by W.D. Shirk, which you can download and read in its entirety. But in summary, the Powell and Howells name derived from “ApHowell.” One branch dropped the Ap and became Howells (the s added by the English); the other dropped the A and H and thus became Powell. They came from Breconshire, Wales, and were known as far back as 1509, during the reign of King Henry VIII.

Henry’s family were descended from Welsh lords, and made their money as merchants. His mother’s family were manufacturers of flannel clothing, and first came to America following the Revolutionary War (it is said at the request of President George Washington himself) to establish textile factories.

Henry was born on High Street in London in 1814, the fourth son of Thomas and Henrietta. His family had amassed a fortune as merchants, but times in London were turning hard. When Henry was 3, they packed up and sailed for Maryland, first settling in Virginia, and then in Ohio, finally landing in Coshocton County, near Bakersville.

A man of faith and family

The family lived a frontier life among the early Ohio settlers. There was no proper school. Henry learned from his father about using an ax, hoe, grain cradle and scythe. His mother would instruct him to remain seated until he had committed the day’s scripture or poetry to memory. It sometimes took hours, but later in life Henry became known for the scripture and verses he would recite while visiting the sick to cheer them up.

Church was central to the family’s life at home and in the community. Henry joined the Methodist church as a young man, and apparently suffered a falling out with his father because of it. But he took an active role in the church his entire life. At home, his family worshiped and prayed together each morning and evening. He was an ardent attendee of prayer meetings. At 88, he drove five miles through a howling wind on a zero-degree day to reach church.

He was small in stature, but stood up for his convictions. As Shirk wrote:

One time at church when it was customary for the women to sit on one side and the men on the other, a young ruffian took the women’s side. (Henry) asked him, kindly, to go over on his own side, and when the fellow still persisted in staying where he was, (Henry) took him by the back of his neck, and lifted him into the aisle.

Henry married Frances McCullough in 1839. He was 24, she was 19. Fannie was born in Ireland, and came to America with her parents, John and Catharine, in 1820. She was not formally educated, but, as Shirk writes, “she was a great reader and took much pleasure in… her church paper, the Christian Advocate, and good books.”

They raised their five children on 108 acres near Bakersville, Ohio. They cut their grain with a sickle and threshed it with a flail. They knit, spun, wove and made their own clothes. They rode to church on horseback. With the assistance of his sons, Henry’s farm eventually grew to 300 acres.

Life his father, whose farm served as a hiding place and way station on the Underground Railroad, Henry was a staunch abolitionist. During the Civil War, as Shirk wrote, Henry’s anti-slavery stance put him in danger from a group of southern sympathizers who called themselves the Knights of the Golden Circle.

After 35 years of marriage, Fannie died in 1874. Four years later, Henry remarried. Lucretia Meek’s first husband, Sylvester, had been killed in the waning days of the Civil War. With Henry, she enjoyed 33 years of marriage, most of it spent on the family homestead in Bakersville.

Shirk writes that Henry retained a sharp mind late in life, and was hardly ever sick, save for the usual physical wearing down in old age. One of his favorite scripture verses went, “For we know that, if our earthly house of the tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” Henry died in 1911. At 96 years, 7 months and 9 days, his confirmed lifespan is the longest of any Foutz or Ley ancestor.

Great-great-great-great Grandmother Fannie (McCullough) Powell

Categories: Ley, quickie post | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Ancestor of the week: 5/24/2010

Colt's great-great-great grandfather, and grandpa to R.O. Weible

Timothy Baxter Goddard

The Goddard line can be traced back to the 14th century in England. John Goddard (about 1368 to 1451) is Colt’s 16th great-grandfather. For those of you keeping score in the 21st century, that’s great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great.

What’s also great? Connecting with other members of to grab great pics like the one above. Timothy Baxter Goddard came to Ohio after the Civil War, when his daughter Esther Bliss Goddard was about 14. It’s a good thing, too, since Esther would go on to marry Franklin Eli Weible a couple years later (she was 17 when first son, Otheo, was born in 1870) and settle with him in Dover, where I guess those of you in the know know how that story developed.

Here’s some more info on her dad, Timothy. This info came from an obituary found tucked in a Bible by one of Esther’s sister’s descendants. It’s transcribed as closely as possible.

Timothy B. Goddard, son of Enoch and Esther Bliss Goddard, was born in Windham, Vermont, November 28, 1823. He departed this life January 17, 1917, aged 93 years, one month and 20 days.

He was the youngest of a family of 11 children, and the last to answer death’s call. His early life was spent on his father’s farm, until 20 years of age when he left for Boston, Mass. where he remained for four years.

On April 19 1848, he was married to Miss Fannie Abbott, and they settled on a farm of his own near South London, Derry, Vermont, where he remained until 1861, when his wife died. In 1863 he was married to Miss Betsy L. Robinson. To his first marriage were born seven children: Fannie A., Lyman B., Esther B., F. A., Laura J., Mary M. and Sarah E. To the second marriage was born three children, Allen T., ??????? and Loni D. But two children of the first marriage and one of the second are living, Frank A.,  Laura, and Lonia D.

July 8, 1866 Mr. Goddard came to ??? County Ohio and settled on a farm near Amherst, where he resided until November 1867, at which time he came to Defiance county and settled on a farm in Adams Twp., where he lived as a prosperous farmer until April, 1902 when he sold his farm and went to live with his son, Frank, near Brunersburg. In 1906 he came to Defiance where he lived with his daughter Lucia Stutzman, until Jan. 1 1916, when he took up residence with his son Frank, continuing his residence with him until his death.

Mr. Goddard was converted while in Boston, under the ministry of the Rev. Lyman Beecher and united with the Congregational Church. His life was always a consistent one as a Christian. Be it said to his credit that never ////time when his family ??????

As noted in the obituary above, Esther’s mother, Fannie Jane Abbott died before the family moved to Ohio. This was in 1861. She was just 33. Interesting, then, that Colt’s great-grandfather, Robert Ohio Weible, would name his daugther Suzanne Abbott in honor of his mother Esther’s mother, a grandmother he never knew.

Here’s a great pic of Fannie Jane (Abbott) Goddard:

Colt's great-great-great grandmother

Categories: Ley, quickie post, Weible | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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