John and Elizabeth Hays Marshall – This Week’s #52 Ancestors Meets Up With My Genealogy Road Trip

John Marshall, Elizabeth Hays Marshall, Little Beaver Pennsylvania

John Marshall, Elizabeth Hays Marshall, Little Beaver Pennsylvania

My sisters and I took off for the Daughters of Union Veterans National Convention in Gettysburg last week. We combined our convention with a Genealogy Road Trip.

As we were traveling east from Ohio to Pennsylvania, somewhere between the four and five hour mark, we found Little Beaver Cemetery in Lawrence County, PA.

Here in the beautifully, rolling Pennsylvania countryside is the final resting place of my 4x great grandparents John and Elizabeth Hays Marshall.

John Marshall, Elizabeth Hays Marshall, Little Beaver Pennsylvania

John Marshall, Little Beaver Pennsylvania

John Marshall was born in Glendermot, County Down Ireland on 24 January 1765. John’s parents were Patrick and Amanda Boyne Marshall.

John Marshall, Elizabeth Hays Marshall, Little Beaver Pennsylvania

Elizabeth Hays Marshall, Little Beaver Pennsylvania

Elizabeth Hays Marshall was born in Glencoe, Antrim Ireland on 1 October 1767. Elizabeth’s parents were Robert E. and Phoebe Britton Hays.

John and Elizabeth were the parents of eight children James Hays, John Jr, Mary (aka Polly), Joseph, Elizabeth, Jane, William and Anna. James Hays – the oldest is my 3x great grandfather.

They came to the U.S. between the births of their first and second child settling in Lawrence County Pennsylvania where they lived the rest of their lives. I certainly understand this. It’s a lovely area.

John Marshall died in Little Beaver, Lawrence County, Pennsylvania 26 August 1853. He was 88 years old.

Elizabeth died in Little Beaver, Lawrence County, Pennsylvania 17 May 1854. She was 86 years old.

Pennsylvania must have agreed with them since they both lived to a very nice old age into the 1850s. I also notice Elizabeth died nine months after John. I wonder if that is a coincidence, old age, or she couldn’t go on without him. (I know, I know, I have a fairy tale, romantic streak in me!)

This is the sum total of my info on John and Elizabeth Hays Marshall. If they happen to be in your family tree I’d love for you to contact me! Obviously I don’t have much info to share but I’d love to see yours!!

There were many other Marshalls buried in this same cemetery. After a little research I’ll share them with you. Maybe we can make a connection through them.

Thanks for reading this week’s #52 Ancestors post! See you next time!

Mariah (Maria) Shriver #52 Ancestors

#52 Ancestors in 52 WeeksThis week’s #52 Ancestors post is about my 3x great grandmother Mariah (Maria) E. Shriver from my mother’s family. This post is going to be short and sweet. Not because I lack time. No unfortunately I lack the information that makes her more than some compiled dates. I lack “her story” but let me tell you what I do know.

Mariah was born 25 February 1812 in Westmoreland, Pennsylvania. Her parents were Johann and Maria Pollock Shriver and she was the youngest of their five children. On 16 December 1832 Mariah married James Downing Van Meter.

This young couple settled in Monroe Township, Allen County, Ohio where they farmed. They had nine children. Their oldest, Susannah is my great-great grandmother. I haven’t done a great deal of research on Mariah but one thing I have learned from her life is that she must have been a very loving, hospitable woman.

James D and Mary E (Shriver) Van Meter

James D and Mariah Mary E (Shriver) Van Meter

The Van Meter home was open to all family members that needed a roof over their heads. Oldest daughter Susannah was an unwed mother in 1860. Certainly not acceptable in that era yet Susannah is not kicked out of the house.

Another instance is when Mariah’s brother-in-law, husband James’ brother John dies suddenly in 1851 and his son, nephew James, is living with them in 1860. I also suspect when nephew James died in 1864 during his Civil War service it was James D. and Mariah that secured a proper burial for him.

Mariah died 1 October 1878 at 66 years old in Allen County, Ohio. Let me just add that I’ve found her name listed as Mariah, Maria and finally Mary as you see here on her headstone. Oddly enough Mary is the least used name I have found yet it’s the one on her grave marker.

I may not know much more about my 3x great grandmother than her vital statistics but I really have a sense that she was a warm and caring person. I’m not exactly sure how I’m going to research that but I’ll let you know how I do.

William Albert Nantz #52 Ancestors

William Albert Nantz

William Albert Nantz

For this week’s #52 Ancestors I’ll switch from my mom’s family to my dad’s. Today I’m writing about my great grandfather, my dad’s mother’s father, William Albert Nantz.

William was born in Jackson County Ohio on 4 April 1868 to parents James and Nancy Estice Nance (Nantz). It’s interesting that between these two generation the spelling of their last name changes from Nance to Nantz.

William was one of five children of three boys and two girls. Coincidentally one of his sisters was named Cynthia. She’s the only other Cynthia I’ve found in my family tree. Unfortunately I wasn’t named after her.

The family farmed for a living and resided in Pickaway County, Ohio in 1880 when William was 12 years old and eventually found their way to Van Wert County later in that decade.

William Nantz, Irene Waller Nantz, Flora and brother Ira Nantz

William Nantz, Irene Waller Nantz, Flora and Ira Nantz

On 10 October 1888, when he was 20 years old, William married Irene Louisa Waller in Van Wert County, Ohio. They were the parents of four children, my grandmother Flora Alice being their oldest. The next two children were daughters as well. Rosa Ellen was born 17 April 1890. Flosey was born 25 September 1892 and their youngest, a son Ira was born 11 April 1894. I wanted to mention the other children’s birth dates because 1892 was such a tragic year for the family. On 3 October 1892 at only 2-1/2 years old Rosa Ellen died, then just 13 short days later three-week old Flosey passed away. I can’t imagine how devastating this loss is to any family.

By the early 1900s William moves his wife and two children to Hardin County, Ohio and onto Allen County. He’s working in the electricity industry. There’s also other notes that he worked as a carpenter and a painter. In moving to Allen County William’s daughter Flora meets her future husband Camillus Frueh.

Living in Lima, Ohio for awhile William lost his wife Irene 13 May 1927. They’d been married 38+ years. Two years later he marries Ette Holtzapple. William’s daughter Flora passes in 1932. These events, the death of wife Irene and daughter Flora along with his remarriage to Ette seems to put William on the fringes of his grandchildren’s (my father’s) lives. I don’t have a single story handed down about my great grandfather. Maybe with a little more research on my part I can add some stories to William’s memory.

William Albert Nantz died 14 February 1953, in Rockford Ohio. He was 84 years old.

Thanks for taking the time to read and help me remember my great grandfather.

Silas Williams #52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks

Silas Williams

Silas Williams

This week on my #52 Ancestors post I’m going to reach back into the 18th century. Today I’m writing about my third great grandfather Silas Williams.

It was in researching this Williams family branch that my sisters and I launched our genealogy research “careers”. Look what you’ve done Silas Williams! You’ve created several genealogy monsters in our family. (Good for you!) So I have a special affection when I write about this area of my family tree.

Silas was born 20 August 1796 in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. His parents were Abel and Sarah James Williams. Silas was the sixth child of Abel and Sarah’s eleven kids. The family moved to Greene County, Pennsylvania for a few years and finally ended up in Tuscarawas County, Ohio. I’ll go into the reason for the move to Ohio in a future post when I write about Silas’ father Abel.

St. Matthews Church, Fairfield Township, Tuscarawas County, Ohio

St. Matthews Church, Fairfield Township, Tuscarawas County, Ohio

Silas would spend the rest of his life in Fairfield Township, Tuscarawas County, Ohio. He married Sarah (Sally) Lappin 15 July 1819. He was 22 and she was 20 years old. Like his father before him Silas was a prolific man. He and Sally had eleven children. My second great grandfather Isaac was their seventh child. These folks were hard working farmers. If you’ve ever seen the rolling hills of eastern Ohio you’ll know farming there wasn’t easy.

After eleven children and 20 years of marriage Sally died 11 September 1839 at 40 years old. Silas eventually married Susannah Wilkin 19 November 1846. Silas and Susannah had a son Thomas in 1847. Silas passed just a year later 1 October 1848 at 52 years old.

Silas’ story was first unearthed by my sister Mary Ellen about 1997-ish. Several trips were made from west to east across Ohio by my sisters and myself as we walked the steps of our 3x great grandparents. We stopped at St. Matthew’s cemetery and took photos of Sarah and Silas’ final resting place. On a whim I tried the door of the little white church next to the cemetery and to my surprise was able to walk in. What a simple yet beautiful place to worship.

St. Matthews Church Fairfield Township, Tuscarawas County, Ohio

Silas Williams Headstone St. Matthews Church Cemetery, Fairfield Township, Tuscarawas County, Ohio

After several long looks around I saw two framed photos on the back wall. A few steps brought me face to face with Silas and Sarah. What an amazing find! Silas had donated the lot St. Matthew’s was built on so he and Sarah were remembered with their photos still hanging on the rear church wall. How many times does that happen in genealogy research! Another family member contacted the church and was able to have copies of those photos made. That’s the photo of Silas seen above.

Silas Williams was a husband, father, church-goer and farmer. I’m sure in retrospect Silas felt he lived a pretty uneventful life but nearly 218 years after his birth I’m sharing his story here. Your story is my story Silas and I’m very proud of it.

P.S. I’m a much better photographer today than I was in 1997! :)

James Hayes Marshall Jr #52 Ancestors

James H Marshall Jr

My great-great grandfather James Hayes Marshall Jr. is this week’s #52 Ancestor bio.

James was born 9 April 1823 to James Hayes Marshall Sr. and Nancy Jane Patterson. James Sr. was a War of 1812 veteran which would come to have an affect on Jr.’s adult life. James Jr. was one of seven children who all lived and farmed in Little Beaver Township, Lawrence County, Pennsylvania. He and his twin William were his parent’s fourth and fifth babies. As happened all too often during this time James’ mother Nancy died in 1829 the same year she gave birth to her seventh child. James was only six years old.

James Sr. remarried in 1834. With his new wife Mary Slaven they added three more children to the family. This same scenario would be replayed in James Jr.’s adult life as well.

My great-great grandfather James Jr. married Nancy Painter Steele on 22 January 1826 in Lawrence County, Pennsylvania. They had eight children. The first three were born in Lawrence County, PA. The family then moved to Vinton County, Ohio where two more children were born and the last three were born in Allen County, Ohio.

James Jr. and his wife Nancy purchased property in Vinton County along with James’s sister and brother-in-law. The Marshalls stayed in Vinton County long enough to produce two children. Father James Sr. had received land for his service in the War of 1812 and gave these parcels to his five sons. Which is how James Jr. and his family ended up in Allen County, Ohio. Continue reading