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Annie’s Siblings–The Isaac Smith Family

Ann Marie Smith (Butts)

Ann Marie Smith (Butts)

My great-grandmother Annie Smith  lived all her life in Knox County, Ohio. However, her father, Isaac Smith and mother, Mary Maria Krigbaum Smith started their family in Maryland, and Annie’s many brothers and sisters were born partly in Maryland and the rest in Ohio.

 

Birth and Death Dates of Smith Family Members

Those who lived to adulthood ( 8 out of 12, although one of those adults died at 22) nearly all made it into their 80s.

The order of birth, which is how I presented them here,  contrasts sharply with order of death.

Birth Order:

  • John Henry 1823
  • Mary Jane   1825
  • Jeremiah     1827
  • William J.     1828
  • George W.  1831
  • Susan          1833
  • Annie           1835
  • Priscilla        1838
  • Isadore        1840
  • James           1843
  • Dallas           1845
  • Rebecca       1847

Whereas, if we look at order of death, we find that the infant deaths occurred early and anyone who survived past the Civil War had a very good chance of reaching their 80s (with the exception of Isadore). Here is the age at death and year of death.

  • Susan (1)           1834
  • Priscilla (0)         1838
  • George W. (7)    1838
  • Rebecca (1)        1848
  • Jeremiah (22)     1849
  • John Henry (41)  1864
  • Isadore (39)         1879
  • William J. (83)      1911
  • Mary Jane (88)    1913
  • Annie (82)            1917
  • James (87)            1930
  • Dallas (88)            1933

In this age when death in childbirth was so common, none of three women in the family who had children, died in childbirth. Mary Jane (Stevens) had the most children–eight and Annie (Butts) had six.

Their Lives

The family moved to Ohio definitely by the time of the birth of Susan in 1833, and perhaps two or three years earlier. The information is lacking on George’s birthplace.

The adult men were mostly farmers, the women farmer’s wives and mothers. Most stayed right in Knox County, Ohio where they grew up. Here are a few more details.

John Henry, 1823-1864. I introduced the man who did not survive the Civil War earlier.

Mary Jane Smith (Stevens) 1825-1913.  Annie’s oldest sister had a very long and relatively unremarkable life as a farm wife and mother.  Born in Maryland, she married Cyrus Stevens (1821-1887) in November 1845 in Knox County.  Their children were as follows:

  • Rebecca Frances  (1848) Died before 1851
  • William (1850) Died young
  • Isaac (1851)
  • Aletha (1853)
  • Alice/Ann  (1855)
  • Ellen (1858)
  • Charles (1863)
  • Fulton (1877)

In the six years between 1886 and 1894, Mary Jane’s father died, then her husband (1887) and finally (1892) her mother.  1900 comes missing, but by 1910 at the age of 84, she is living with her sons Charles, a farmer in Knox County.  According to the Smith Family Bible records, Mary Jane died in 1913.

Jeremiah Smith (1827-1849) and destined to die young and leave no record of his life, except the family Bible. Maryland Catholic church records  show the baptism of an unknown child of Isaac and Mary Smith in May 1827.  The family Bible says he died at 22 years old.

William Jackson Smith (1828-1911), born while the family still lived in Maryland. I will write separately about William, an anomaly in several ways.

George W. Smith (1831-1838), probably another unidentified child in baptism records in Maryland. Death and birth dates recorded in family Bible.

Susan Elizabeth (1833-1834) Died at less than one year old.

Ann Marie (Butts) (1835-1917) I have written about Annie and her husband previously.

Priscilla Bell (1838) Died as an infant. (Note that the 7-year-old George died the same year).

Isadore Orilla (Critchfield) (1840-1879)  Isadore did not marry until she was in old maid territory–28 years old. Her husband, Thomas Critchfield only 24, was another farmer in Knox County.  They married in 1870.  The couple moved in next door to Thomas’ widowed mother and his two adult sisters.  After only nine years of marriage and no children, Isadore died at the age of 39.

James F. (1843-1930) Although James came of age during the Civil War, and registered for the draft in 1863 when he was twenty, he did not appear to have served. He married in 1870 and lived next door to his father, Isaac Smith.  James apparently had ambition and studied for the law. However, although he was listed as a lawyer in the 1870 census, subsequent census reports say “farmer”. By 1880, he and his wife Rebecca have a daughter Roxie, who was destined to die as a young teen.  He had no other children.  His brother William lived with him in 1910 in Howard Township, Knox County, but William died in 1911.

Rebecca and James moved into Millbrook Village, part of Danville, Ohio in their later years.  They both lived long lives, Rebecca surviving James who died in 1930 at nearly 87 years old.  I cringe when I think of the horrible death reported on this death certificate.  Starvation resulting from cancer of the face.”

Joseph Dallas Smith (1845-1933) Dallas, as he was called, led the most colorful life of all, and so I will be writing about him separately.

Rebecca (1847-1848) Unfortunately the last child born to Isaac and his wife Mary died when she was less than one year old.  My great-grandmother, Annie would have been twelve years old.  Isaac, in 1847 had reached the age of 47, and Mary was 43.

I will write more about the mother and father, Isaac and Mary (Krigbaum) Smith, who lived to 1886 and 1892 respectively, long enough to enjoy many grand-children. and great-grandchildren. That would include, potentially, my grandmother Mary “Mame” Butts (Kaser), my father’s mother who was born in 1868.

Sidetracked in Memorabilia–Llewellyn Badertscher Family

Memorabilia Table

Memorabilia table

Every once in a while, I take a break from telling my family stories–like the Smith family that I have been researching for over a month now– and sort through some of the many boxes of memorabilia that clutter our office and closet.  That can lead me in unexpected directions. Yesterday among my souvenirs, I discovered the obituary of Llewellyn Badertscher, which led me to spending a day piecing together his family for my husband’s Badertscher family tree.

Before I found Llwellyn’s obituary, however, I had also found a clutch of photos of me with political luminaries that must be scanned and framed and at some point written about.  I did share one of them on Facebook. (If you want to friend me on Facebook, look for Vera Marie Badertscher.)

I found newspaper clippings from the late 60s/early 70s when we lived in Scottsdale.  There was my husband, Ken on the front page of the Scottsdale Daily Progress in his role as board member for the Maricopa County Community Colleges.  And other editions had pictures of me participating in activities with Scottsdale Junior Women’s Club. And, from news farther afield, two front page articles about man landing on the moon! More subjects for future stories here under the “Slice of My Life” title.

Men land on moon.

Headline:Men land on moon. Arizona Republic, July 21, 1969.

Speaking of Scottsdale Progress, there was this sheet of pictures of my mother delivering newspapers. No–she wasn’t really.  She was posing when one of my sons was a newspaper boy in 1970s.  It surely is one of the best photo we have of her in her later years. Something else to share in the future.

Grandma delivers the news

Harriette/Grandma Kaser delivering the paper. 1970s, Scottsdale

And my entire date book from Ohio State in 1960.  This week I graduated from college, but commencement wasn’t the event that rated bold capital letters!

1960 Date Book

And I found a picture of Paul Badertscher, my husband’s father, teaching at a tiny school called Moscow that doesn’t even exist any more (the town OR the school).  There could be more told about the crossroads of Moscow, also. Oh my, I’ve never really written a story about Paul Badertscher and his many occupations and long teaching career. In fact when I was writing about Ken’s family, I got drawn to the maternal side of the family, and never did pursue the Badertschers beyond their arrival in Ohio.

Which brings us back to Llewellyn Badertscher’s obituary. The undated obituary, fortunately, had a specific birth and death date for Llewellyn (who turns out to be Ken’s first cousin once removed.)  The author of the obit also included a complete list of Llewellyn’s brothers and sisters, as well as his parents, John and Ida.  Well, I thought, this will be a piece of cake to expand the Badertscher line by adding this entire family to Ken’s tree.  Except for one thing–we didn’t know how Llewellyn Badertscher connected to the rest of the tree.

Swiss Immigrants Frederick and Mary Badertscher

Frederick Badertscher Sr and wife Mary. Photo From Ancestry.com. These are the parents of both Frederick, Ken’s grandfather and John, father of Llewellyn Badertscher. Probably taken in the late 1800’s. They emigrated to Ohio from Switzerland in 1881 with several children.

Because of his birth date, I could tell that Llewellyn Badertscher must have been the child of a sibling of Frederick Badertscher (Jr.), Ken’s grandfather, so I needed to find a brother of Frederick named John. Although I did not remember having Frederick’s siblings on the tree,I DID!

With such an uncommon name, I figured I could easily find Llewellyn Badertscher on Ancestry, and sure enough, he popped right up, along with his birth certificate confirming the mother and father listed in the newspaper.  At this point I was feeling downright cocky and started adding the brothers and sisters from the obituary to my tree. Those that the newspaper obit had designated as deceased, I marked as ‘Died Bef Dec.1998’ (the month of Llewellyn’s death).

Ancestry furnished me with plenty of hints (green leaves) as I went along, and I decided to add only birth and death dates and marriage dates and spouses. The birth certificates listed mother’s maiden name, so I learned that Llewellyn Badertscher’s mother Ida was Ida Sprunger and having the maiden name led to birth and death dates, (1883-1909) That was fine until I ran into children who were born after 1909–after Llewellyn Badertscher’s mother, Ida, had died. Whoops. In fact, at first it looked like she only had two children, and Llewellyn, born in 1909, certainly would have been her last.

Turns out the “Fannie” that I had assumed was a nickname for Ida indicated another wife.  So I went back and changed those children born after Ida’s death date to “Mother: Fannie (unknown)” until a birth certificate of one of the children gave me Fannie’s last name. She became Fannie Sommer (1883-1945). (And I went back and changed HER record.)

It was boring work, but I thought I was close to the end.  You guessed it–one more problem popped up.   Albert proved difficult to find because there were a lot of Alberts, plus they lived in various locations rather than staying put in Wayne County, Ohio as the others did. He had a birthdate of 1897 or 1898.  That would mean Ida gave birth to him when she was 13 or 14 years old.  Possible but not probable.  The problem got worse when his sister Irene’s data showed she arrived in 1894! Fortunately, her birth Certificate showed her mother’s name–Barbara Amstutz.

Finally I found documentation for Barbara’s birth and death, and it proved that John Badertscher indeed did marry three women because twice he became a widow.  John fathered at least12 children, listed below. Sadly, two daughters died as young teenagers and the obituary of Mary Jane, who died at 16, mentions two infant deaths and another young death before she died in 1936– that other young person was her older sister who died at 15, 5 1/2 years before Mary Jane.

Father: John Badertscher, b. 1867 in Switzerland, Immigrated in 1881 with his father and brothers. John worked as a farmer his entire life. Died November 19, 1934, in Kidron, Wayne County, Ohio.

1st Wife: Barbara Elizabeth Amstutz (May 31 1871-March 27, 1900)

Children of John and Barbara:

Irena Badertscher Nov 17, 1894,Kidron Ohio;  m. Daniel Morand; D. Jan 4, 1968, Decatur Indiana

Albert Wilson Badertscher , January 9, 1897, Riley, Putnam, Ohio; M. Edna Diller; Nov 16, 1960, Cleveland, Ohio (Specifics of Death not yet proven)

2nd Wife: Ida Sprunger December 16, 1877-February 10, 1909; Married August 13, 1905

Children of John and Ida:

Milton Badertscher: Born about 1905; M. Mabel. Died perhaps Dec 22, 1966 (Attended four years of college at Bluffton College and became a school principal.)

Ivan L. Badertscher: Born July 20, 1906; M. Pauline Mae Gerber June 27, 1943; D.Jan 30 1997, Goshen, Indiana. Attended Bluffton College. In 1940, still single, he was living with his brother Llewellyn.

FLorence Pearl Badertscher: Born November 8 1907, Kidron, Ohio; M. Henry Clair Amstutz Aug 12 1934; D. September 5, 2001, Goshen, Indiana.

Llewellyn Badertscher, Jan 25, 1909; M. Verna S. Bixler, June 8 1946; D. September 24, 1998. Llewellyn was a farmer and then an electrician. He was single until he was 37 years old, and apparently had no children.

3rd Wife: Fanny M. Sommer

Children of John and Fanny:

Hulda A. Badertscher, Born April 29, 1913, Kidron, Ohio; M. Charles J. Graves August 10, 1940; D. February 1990, Maple Heights, Ohio.

Ida Sarah Badertscher, Born January 24, 1916, Kidron, Ohio; Died May 10, 1931 at Age 15.

Martha S. Badertscher, B. February 12, 1919;Kidron, Ohio M. ____Klett; Died February 16, 1004, Ohio

Mary Jane Badertscher, B. April 18, 1920, Kidron Ohio; Died December 25, 1936.  This 16-year-old girl died on Christmas day.

Thomas L. Badertscher, B. November 1, 1924, Kidron, Ohio;  Effie Irene Amstutz; D. November 25, 1998, Kidron, Wayne County, Ohio. I have found very little about Thomas.

In addition to these children, the newspaper obituary of Mary Jane identifies two infant deaths. One of those would be Milo, unk. birth and death dates. We don’t even know who is mother was. And if there was another infant boy who died, as the newspaper said, he also is unknown.

It turned out to be more complicated than I thought, but aren’t famIlies always complicated?

Happy 5th Birthday to Ancestors in Aprons

. Okay, make that BELATED Happy 5th Birthday.

I would like to make a toast to YOU–Thank you for reading Ancestors in Aprons. Thank you for commenting on posts. Thank you for reading the newsletter and for passing on information about Ancestors in Aprons to your friends on social media or IRL (in real life).  Readers comprise “the better half” of this blogging enterprise.

FIVE YEARS

Here I am with my parents at Five Years Old in 1944–the year my brother was born, changing my status from only child to older sister. I grew a lot in five years and learned a lot. Just like Ancestors in Aprons on its 5th birthday.

Paul Kaser famil, 1944

Paul and Harriette Kaser with baby Paul William and Vera Marie 1944, Killbuck Ohio

This site actually launched on April 27 2013, when I published three posts–about my memories of grandmother Vera Anderson, thoughts about Family Photos, and a food post about leftovers. Looking  back, it seems that those three topics did a good job of setting the tone for what would follow in the next five years. Family Stories, Photographs and Heirlooms, and Food and Recipes.

As of the 5th birthday (plus a couple of months), Ancestors in Aprons has brought you a total of 523 posts.  (I added 85 this past 14 1/2 months.)  Readers particularly like the recipe posts, returning to them again and again.

Food and Recipes

I noticed this 5th birthday year that many times when I am looking for a particular favorite recipe, rather than open a cookbook or my computer I look at one of the recipes I have published on Ancestors in Aprons. Those specific posts now total 158 recipes that have been identified by category, and that’s a pretty fair-sized cookbook!  An additional 40 posts focus on some aspect of food as it relates to our grandparents or  great-great grandparents without presenting a specific recipe.

As the content grows, the readership grows–more people each year discovering Ancestors in Aprons, and more people each month signing up for the weekly newsletter.

Ancestors By the Numbers

(This is the nerdy stuff, by which I measure progress in research, so feel free to skip!)

In 2016, I wrote this:

Ancestry.com says I have 1,241 people in my tree.  Not all of those people are “people” yet. A birth date, death date and place of birth does not a person make. Family stories bring them alive. Some of those names on the tree are just names, and some are unconfirmed names.

As Of July 2018, more than 3000 names appear on my tree on Ancestry.  The same caveats still apply.  Ancestry recently launched a hint that suggests parentage, and if I followed their hints blindly, I would immediately add another 30 or 40 people to my direct-line ancestry and hundreds to my tree. However, those suggestions just suggest a lot of work to me.  Every one must be confirmed with solid facts rather than “somebody else has this person on their tree.”

Looking at the Pedigree Chart provides a more accurate measure of how my knowledge of ancestors has grown.  The first five generations (from me through 2x great-grandparents) provides a possible 16 people.  I have all sixteen, although one 2x great-grandmother persists in hiding behind her tombstone.  The tombstone says Lucinda–but I have not been able to find her maiden name or more information about her.

Last year, I counted 19  3x great grandparents (out of a possible 32). This year I am counting more rigorously, and only claim to have 15 verified 3 x great-grandparents, plus four with incomplete information.

The  cautious approach,  however, still yields a total of 152 of a possible 1023 direct line ancestors at ten generations.  And I have turned up ancestors in each of the following four generations, so my number of direct line ancestors through 15 generations now totals 228 direct ancestors (plus 17 with incomplete information) compared to 153 two years ago. Definitely progress. And definitely much work to be done.

DNA

Matching up information through DNA matches provides endlessly fascinating detective work.  Fortunately, many DNA matches have contacted me, or responded to my messages to them, and I have been able to add many aunts, uncles and cousins to my tree. Unfortunately, these DNA matches seem to struggle with the same brick walls that I do, and have not shed light on the earlier direct line ancestors, particularly in the Kaser and Anderson lines.

DNA matches have inspired a few posts on people I had previously ignored, but other than that, the DNA research information stays on the Ancestors in Aprons Newsletter rather than here on the blog.  I have decided that my main objective here is to bring ancestors to life through story-telling, not to get into the nitty-gritty of hows and whys of research. If you feel that you are missing something, do subscribe to the weekly newsletter by following this link :

SUBSCRIBE TO THE WEEKLY ANCESTORS IN APRONS NEWSLETTER

What Happened in the 5th Year?

This year saw my husband and me move to an apartment and organizing, downsizing, packing and unpacking got in the way of posting last summer.  The upside, as far as Ancestors in Aprons goes: moving means discoveries.  As I unpacked, I found heirlooms and photos that I had forgotten about–things to jog the memory and inspire some further research and writing.

Then you witnessed my terrible mistake as I climbed far out on a limb that I eventually had to saw off. I discovered that a source listing my father’s 2x great grandparents had it wrong, and I paid the penalty for trusting without verifying.  Much research, and several blog posts later, I was back to not knowing one of the important branches of my father’s tree.

My Favorite Posts In 5th Birthday Year

Just in case you missed them, here are some of the posts that I personally enjoyed the most between April 2017 and June 2018 in order of their appearance.

Autograph books

Vera’s large and Maude’s smaller autograph books

“Remember Me”, Heirloom Autograph Books.  These beautiful books, belonging to my grandmother and her sister, led me to exploring some of their cousins I had not known before.

“Tragedy at Sea”. Agnes Bent’s story made up just one of the fascinations of my New England ancestors in the Bent family.

“Lively Letter from Teen Makes Me Sad”. Nothing brings people to life more than their personal letters. And because my father’s younger brother died young, this precious letter remains the only clue I have to his personality.

I wrote about pictures that I discovered in the move–among them this one of my grandmother as an athlete and my grandfather looking quite the man about town.

When we moved, the find that excited me most–family letters–threatened to consume all my time.  I wrote a series based on my Grandmother’s letters to my mother during World War II. Other letters include  a note from my Grandfather Anderson and  a rare letter from my great-grandmother Hattie Stout. My all-time favorite letter, however, was one written by a naughty little girl to her grandmother. My grandmother Vera Stout (Anderson) wrote to HER grandmother, Emeline (Cochran) Stout.

“Doctor’s Daughter and the Medicine Show”

“Letters from the Front”  these from an uncle to a nephew spanning  in both World War II and Vietnam also reveals the service of those nephews and how war continues to dominate our personal history.

“Bent’s Fort”.  Review of a book that tells the fascinating story of more distant relatives, the Bent family. The Bents gained fame as traders,explorers, leaders in the development of the Rocky Mountain region.

In the kitchen of Ancestors and aprons, I presented many German recipes this past year. I am enjoying introducing German sausages in a still-ongoing series.  I’m also enjoying discovering other new-to-me German dishes. However, when I decided to make a German Black Forest Cake, I narrowly averted tragedy.

The Prince and the Poison Cake”

I hope you’ve enjoyed this look back at the past 14 months, and that you are looking forward as much as I am to the 6th year of Ancestors in Aprons. Who knows where we will go?  What ancestors will divert our attention with their amusing, unusual, or tragic stories? Stick around and find out.