Posts Tagged With: vermont

In Good Countenance #6 — Esther Bliss (Goddard) Weible


Weible Esther Goddard age 16

Esther Bliss Goddard, at age 15. An inscription on the photograph, probably by her son Robert Ohio Weible, identified the photograph as a reproduction of a 48-year-old tintype.

Esther Weible | Weible Family History

It can be a messy business, thumbing through the fluttering pages of family archives to try and pin down history.

And of course, I’m wielding that analogy quite loosely — rarely, if ever, are you dealing with anything so formal as an archive. Or pages.  You may be sifting through piles of photos, grainy old group shots that are badly or befuddlingly labeled, or else fuzzy or even formal portraits that are — achingly — absent identification.

You sympathize with your forebears here. Because you understand — these were photographs that hung on a living room wall, or stood atop the mantle. They were self-explanatory in the times they were taken and displayed, a matter of course, a daily artifact of life.

And then these items, when their owners died, were passed to a son, or a niece, or otherwise related caretaker who gathered them up and stored them away until the caretaker, too, had passed on. And now diligent you comes along, dickering with the conventions of the past, which weren’t so careful as to involve labeling each soul — first name, middle name, last — and the year in which they were captured on film.

Oh, they might leave something cryptic behind — flowing script breadcrumbs, remembering, “Mother” or “Granddad” or “1915.” Little good that it does you, save for inspiring that glimmer of regret — that you had maybe stumbled upon these records earlier, that you had been able to ask, that they had been able to answer.

I stumbled upon a familiar mystery this summer, attempting to decipher Weible family archives.

Specifically, for years I had been yearning for some photograph of my great-great-grandmother, Esther Bliss (Goddard) Weible. It would seem that such evidence should be in abundance. Mother of five children who lived to adulthood, and went on to prominence and whose direct line in my case inhabited the same town for more than a century, Esther and her husband, Franklin Eli Weible, by reason should have been featured on the mantels and in the treasured albums of their descendants.

And yet the only photograph I’d managed to secure in the last few years was an Elks portrait of Great-Great-Grandpa Franklin Eli, after the Dover post closed. Oh, there may be some important mementos, tucked away in the detritus of my grandparents’ house, waiting for its inheritors to make time, sit down, sift, remember — or to pass it along once more. But through successive trips home to raid my own parents’ family boxes, I had yet to find a shred on Esther.

Until earlier this summer, Mom stumbled upon a trove in a heretofore forgotten corner. Documents — tax returns, lists, graduation programs, letters. Pictures — of Great-Grandfather Robert Ohio Weible, mostly, in adulthood, in infancy. And three shots more — some of those bewilderingly vague ones, eventually deciphered through a careful examination of the genealogical record.

Stutzman Luna Goddard Tim Weible Esther Defiance O.

As labeled, this candid photo includes “Aunt Loona, Grandpa, Mama,” during a visit to 408 Douglass in Defiance, Ohio in June 1901.

Discovering “Aunt Loona, Grandpa, Mama”

Here’s the evidence in collection:

* a portrait of a young girl, inscribed “Age 15 / Reproduced from an old tin type 48 yrs later

* a snapshot of three people standing on the porch of a brick home. The back bears the inscription “408 Douglass / Aunt Loona / Grand Pa / Mama / At Defiance June 1901” and the stamp “R. O. Weible, 505 Wooster Ave., Canal Dover, O.”

* a final portrait, seemingly of four generations, with no inscription and only the name and location of the portrait studio, Groselle, in Defiance, Ohio
Let’s set aside the portrait of the young girl for now and focus on what we do know.

The old gentlemen with the striking features in the porch snapshot and multiple-generations portrait, we’ve met him before. A May 2010 post detailed the life of Great-Great-Great-Grandfather Timothy Baxter Goddard — his birth and young adulthood in Vermont, his move to Defiance, Ohio, and the words of his obituary. So that’s him in the second picture listed above — taken in Defiance, Ohio, stamped with my great-grandfather’s address as a boy (his father, Franklin Eli Weible’s, home), and identifying the male in the photograph as “Grand Pa.” Fits, right?

Further corroboration is found in the 1910 census, which lists Timothy Baxter Goddard as living at 408 Douglas in Defiance, Ohio in the home of his son-in-law, Fred Stutzman, and daughter. Who’s the daughter? “Luna,” in the census. Ah ha. Aunt Loona, I presume. Another piece falls into place for photo 2. Though — which of the two females, exactly, is Loona? And which is “Mama?”

Also frustrating is trying to connect the three photographs. There is no date on the portrait of the 15-year-old girl. Is this R.O.’s mom, my great-great-grandmother, Esther Goddard Weible?  His Aunt Loona? Or the girl from the third photograph?

Let’s talk about that third photograph: Clearly, we have Goddard patriarch Timothy Baxter Goddard in that photo, too. And if I had to wager a guess, the woman on the right (his left) in the porch snapshot. Who’s the man? The woman’s husband? Looks a lot younger, so, more than likely, her son. Can’t be Aunt Loona’s son and granddaughter, since nothing I’ve turned up shows her and Fred Stutzman as having children. So, who then? And how does it connect to the woman on the right in the porch snapshot?

Preserving a Historic Tintype

If you accept that “Mama” in photo #2 is my great-grandfather Robert Ohio Weible’s mother, Esther Bliss Goddard Weible, and that if photo #3 is a four generations portrait of a mother, her father, her son and her granddaughter, and that Luna and Fred didn’t have kids, then because the woman in #3 looks like the woman on the right in #2, then the woman in #3 could be, in fact, my great-great-grandmother.

Still with me? We check the genealogical record.

Esther and Franklin Eli Weible had seven children. Four sons and two daughters lived into adulthood. Only Albert, Rose Ella, Frank and R.O. blessed them with grandchildren. And we can knock out Rose Ella, since the third generation in this portrait is obviously a male — and probably not in-law Urban Lambert.

First, best to check with the photo’s inheritor. Could this be my own great-grandfather R.O. Weible in the portrait? Not likely. By the time his only daughter, Suzanne Abbott, my grandmother, was born in 1918, both Timothy Goddard and Esther Weible were dead.

So, narrow our search down to  grandchildren of Esther who were born before she passed away in 1915.

Albert Weible’s daughters, Esther and Zelda, were born in 1896 and 1898, respectively. Could be him and Esther. But why not Zelda, too? Here’s where a date would come in handy. But consider: the girl here looks at least 2, but younger than 5. Probably not Esther, then, since her sister came so soon after she was born, and you’d think they’d include them both in a formal portrait.

So — which granddaughter of Esther was old enough to be included in a four generations portrait solo, with no siblings close enough to them in age to be included before Esther’s passing in 1915? That leaves Frank Abbott Weible and his oldest daughter, Jane Abbott Weible. She was born in 1908, enough time to be pictured with her grandmother and great-grandfather, and well before her sister, Alice Louise, was born in October 1915, about nine months after Esther passed away.

Best surmise, then: photo #3 is of Tim Goddard, Esther Weible, Frank Weible and Jane Abbott Weible. Which doesn’t explain why it ended up in R.O.’s hands, but there you go.

Which brings us back to photo #1, of our tintype teenager. Now, if this is Esther Goddard Weible as a 15-year-0ld, the original dates to c. 1867. Understandable that 34 years later it would be tough to match her appearance to one of the women on the porch in Defiance in 1901. And in fact, the hairstyle of the woman on the left (right hand of Tim Goddard) in photo #2 more closely resembles this tintype. What I would give for a left to right, journalism-style caption here! But the writing on the back reads top to bottom.

The studio mark of “Harbaugh, Dover, O.” helps only a little, since it tells us where the photo was reproduced. But the scribble noting that event occurred “48 years later” is useful. Let’s check the genealogical record again.

Esther Goddard was born in Vermont on July 4, 1852. She turned 15 on Independence Day, 1867. Forty-eight years later, in July 1915, she was, sadly, six months in her grave after suffering a stroke that January. Ah, but here is where the occasion of the reproduction of that girlhood photograph makes sense. Today, we produce lavish albums and computer slideshows to commemorate the lives of loved ones — often displaying these at the funeral visiting hours or ceremony itself. Might R.O. have reproduced the tintype for that occasion? Or, upon her passing, at least have come into possession of the treasured tintype of his mother as a girl?

As noted above, there are occasions when you can only wish for the exact information, the careful label, the historic preservation. And 100 years later, what are we left to do but take hold of the accumulated circumstantial evidence and declare, for photo 1, the dates match up remarkably, and indicate this is Esther Bliss Goddard; and for photo 2, we may assume that R.O. listed the names top-down as they appear left to right in the snapshot; and that for photo 3, finally, we’re likely looking at a four generations portrait of Tim Goddard, Esther Weible and the most likely of her sons and granddaughters?

One thing modern technology, in this case Google Maps, allows us the luxury of doing, years later, is to confirm: that was indeed 408 Douglas in the snapshot, as shown in this street-level image from 2012. Guess we’ll take our careful confirmation where we can. The rest we leave to the ghosts of genealogy to impress upon us.

408 Douglas Defiance Ohio 2012

A view today of the home and porch in Defiance, Ohio on which Tim Goddard, Esther Weible and Luna Stutzman were pictured in 1901.

Categories: newsletter, Weible | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

July 24: A New Entry in the Family Datebook


In honor of my brother Dan Foutz’s marriage to Laura Hicks this week, I thought I’d share a few of the milestones family members past and present have in common with the soon-to-be-wedded’s chosen month.

For those of you we’ll be celebrating with in Oregon — see you soon!

For Dan & Laura — congrats! And Laura, welcome to the family tree.

Great-grandparents Viola Palmer and Charles Johnson were married July 1, 1911 in Dennison, Ohio.

July Family Milestones

1 — WEDDING of Charles Arthur Johnson and Viola Palmer

Great-grandparents. Parents to Grandma Erma (Johnson) Foutz Miller. They are the only couple in the family — that we know of — to share a wedding month with Dan and Laura. They were married in Dennison, OH on July 1, 1911 — 99 years ago! She was 22; he was 24. They were married 47 years.

4 — Esther Bliss (Goddard) Weible

My great-great grandmother, mother to Robert Ohio Weible. She was born July 4, 1852 in Londonderry, Vermont.

Grandma Ley

6 — Suzanne Abbott (Weible) Ley

Grandma. Born July 6, 1918 in Dover, Ohio.

10 — Ellen Jane (Kinsey) Ley

Born 1874 in Port Washington, Ohio. Great-great-great aunt, and mother of Jane Ley.

Great-great-great uncle Albert Weible

13 — Albert Weible

Great-great-great uncle, and brother to great-great-grandfather Franklin Eli Weible (R.O.’s dad). Born 1852 in Dover. He was a schoolteacher.

13 — Rebecca Jane (Caldwell) Foutz

Great-great grandmother. Born July 13, 1847, it was said (in a bio of her oldest son, Sherman) that she and her husband, Jonathan Pfouts, were born on the same homestead, that of our great-great-great grandfather Gideon Pfouts. After her husband died in 1900, at just 55 years old, she lived with her son, Vance, and his wife, Laura, in Dover, where she passed away in 1915.

13 — Joseph Blough Weible

Another birthday on July 13, this time in 1836. Another great-great-great uncle, another brother of Franklin Eli. Born in Dover, he was a farmer, and lived to be 92.

20 — Norman Johnson

Great-great uncle. Brother of Great-Grandpa Charles Johnson. Born in 1910 in New Philadelphia, Ohio.

24 — Delila Ann (Foutz) Hathaway

The ancestor who shares Dan & Laura’s special day, was born in 1869 in Bowerston, Ohio. She is the oldest sister of our great-grandpa, Vance Cleveland Foutz. She was named for our great-great-great grandmother, Delilah Ann (Jones) Pfouts. She married Sam Hathaway in 1890 when she was 20. They were married 46 years. They made their home in Dennison, Ohio. She died in 1936 at age 66 following a three-week bout with pneumonia. She is buried in Tunnel Hill Cemetery, northwest of where she grew up in Harrison County.

Great-grandma Beatrice Ethel (Morgan) Weible -- or M.A. Weible -- about 1910.

27 — Beatrice Ethel (Morgan) Weible

Our great-grandmother. Mother to Grandma Sue (Weible) Ley. Known as M.A. Weible, she was a beloved friend and confidante to our mom. She was born July 27, 1892 in Carnegie, Pennsylvania. According to our dad, she wore her hair like she did in this picture her entire life. Dan’s middle name, of course, honors her family, the Morgans, who emigrated from Wales about 1870.

30 — Samuel Chase Foutz

Our little bro! Born in 1986. We were sent to play at the Dover ballfields and park in the care of our Ley cousins, Doreen, Andrea and Lizzie. I remember staying at Grandma and Grandpa Ley’s house and getting the news as Mom underwent a C-section to get Sam into the world. Though Sam can point to a famous signer of the Declaration of Independence as historic inspiration for his name, Dan and I mainly think it’s because of the red-headed hell child on “Different Strokes”.

31 — Eliza J. Foutz

Our third great aunt, depending on how you do the family intermarriage mathematics. As I related in that post a couple months back, Elizabeth J. Fouts was the daughter of Joseph Pfouts. Joseph was the nephew of our great-great-great grandfather, Gideon. (Joseph’s dad was Gideon’s oldest brother, Michael.) What happens is that one of Gideon’s sons, Nathaniel (a younger brother of our great-great grandfather, Jonathan) marries Elizabeth — his first cousin’s daughter. So, Nathaniel’s first cousin became his father-in-law.

Eliza was born in 1862, about five years after Nathaniel. They were married in 1822, when he was 25, and she was 19. They had two kids — Annie, born soon after their marriage, and William, born some 11 years later. Not much is known about Annie. But William Andrew Fouts (he kept the S spelling) lived 82 years, dying in 1977 in Urichsville, Ohio. As for Nathaniel and Eliza, they took over Gideon’s land as he and Delilah grew older, and passed away within 6 years of each other. They were married over 50 years, as of Eliza’s death, in 1933.

Nathan & Eliza's headstone, Long View Cemetery, Bowerston, Ohio

Categories: Foutz, Johnson, Ley, quickie post, Weible | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 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 Ancestry.com 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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