Tag Archives: Clark Ohio

Just the Facts: Elizabeth Stahler and Her Family

ELIZABETH STAHLER (Kaser) (1775-1843)

IMPORTANT UPDATE

I have done extensive revision of this post because I discovered that I had the wrong parentage for Elizabeth Stahler.  How that happened is explained elsewhere, but if you were depending on my research here, you will need to revise along with me. I have chosen to leave the previous information with lines through it, so you will know that although it does not apply to my ancestor, Elizabeth Stahler, Adam Stahler DID have a daughter named Elizabeth and the Goshenhoppen Catholic church records will be a help to you if you are looking for that Elizabeth.

My 3rd Great Grandmother on my father’s side, Elizabeth Stahler Kaser, was born to a German immigrant family who settled in Berks County Pennsylvania.  Unlike many of my ancestors on my father’s side who belonged to reform churches, the Stahler family belonged to the Catholic Church.

As I am researching the Stahler family, that religion has proved to be a blessing  because the earliest generations in American show up in the oldest church registry still extant for the eastern United States–the Goshenhoppen Register.  Because once the German settlers left the Philadelphia area they were venturing into virtual wilderness, with, at best, very small towns, Catholic priests traveled from settlement to settlement until churches could be built.  Two who covered the circuit out of Goshenhoppen from 1741 until 1764, wrote down every wedding, conversion and baptism they officiated at in a small book. That treasure was translated in the 19th century, and is available on Google Books today. (See research notes).

I will talk more about the traveling priests when I get to Elizabeth Stahler’s grandfather–the first comer of the Stahlers–Christian Stahler.  But for now, her family history leaves me with a couple of religion questions.

The Birth Family of Elizabeth Stahler

According to the records (written in German) kept by Jesuit priest, Rev. John Baptist Ritter, Elizabeth Stahler was born January 19, 1775. The priest baptized her on the 19th of March at the home of her grandfather, Christian Henrich.  Christian was a man as religious as his names sounds.  He built a sort of way station for the priests on the circuit who stopped by to say Mass and officiate in church rituals.  The name, Asperum Collum, meaning ‘sharp-pointed mountain’ in Latin, appears frequently in the Goshenhoppen Register as the site of baptisms and marriages. Today the place, in Berks County, near Allentown Pennsylvania, is known as Spitzenberg Mountain (or Hill) (sharp pointed mountain/hill in German).

The Registry in translation lists Elizabeth’s parents as Adam Stahler and his wife Mary. This may be a simplification by the translator, as their “real” names were Johann Adam Stahler and Eva Maria (or Mary).  The sponsor at Elizabeth’s baptism included her grandmother, Margaret Henrich.

Elizabeth had an older sister Catherine, born in 1768.  Either I am missing some records, or the couple may have lost some children in infancy, but for five years there are no more additions to the family.  Following Elizabeth in quick succession came Christian, 1776 (named for their Grandfather) ; and Eva Maria/Mary, 1777, named for their mother. If there were other children, I have not seen them in church records.

Besides having lots of little children around the house, the big event in young Elizabeth’s life must have been her father’s military service. During 1776 and 1777, Adam was serving in the militia as a Captain fighting the British in the American Revolution.  (His service record will get more detailed attention when I talk about his life.) As a toddler, Elizabeth might not have understood, but she would have been very aware of his activities with the militia.

In fact, my ancestor, also named Elizabeth Stahler, born August 5, 1777,  probably would have been  baptized in a reform church more in keeping with the religion of the Kaser family.

Building a Family with Joseph Kaser

Between 1798 (speculation) and 1800, Elizabeth Stahler married Joseph Kaser (also spelled Keiser, Kaiser, Kayser). He wasa year younger than Elizabeth.  Joseph and Elizabeth had nine children while they lived in Pennsylvania. I listed the children and my reasoning behind certain assumptions when I wrote about Joseph Kaser. You can check that post here. Since I wrote about Joseph, I have read the Kaser History on microfilm at an LDS Family History Center.  I have also scanned the church records that I previously had only seen indexed. I will continue to review that material and update any information I have written about the Kaser family.

About 1824, they moved to Ohio in the area of Clark, a small town bordering Holmes County and Coshocton County.

According to  The Kaser History: A History of Dates and Other Interesting Facts (1994) edited by Deborah D. Morgan and others, of the nine children of Joseph and Elizabeth, seven remained in Ohio and two moved to Indiana after the deaths of their parents.

1800: George Kaser (Kaser History., Census reports 1840-1870) [My ancestor.]

George married in 1822, had a son born in Pennsylvania in 1823, and another born in eastern Pennsylvania in 1824.  I believe they were traveling with his parents and his wife was pregnant when they left Lehigh County and had the baby along the way.

1802/3: Elizabeth Kaser born (according to the Kaser History No other evidence yet.)

1806: Jonathan (Find a Grave–buried in New Bedford, OH; 1860 census)

1807: Lydia Kaser (Church birth and baptism dates)

1808: Joseph Kaser, Jr. (Census records and Find a Grave , buried at New Bedford, Ohio)

1810: Anthony (or Andrew?) Kaser ( Church birth records)

1814: Nathan Kaser (Church records; some census records)

1816: Timothy Kaser (Church birth records; Find a Grave–died in N. Liberty,St. Joseph County, Indiana)

1818: William Kaser (Church birth records; Find a Grave–died in St. Joseph County, Indiana)

(The Kaser History also mentions a “Tom” and an unamed infant who died early, but I have found no record of them.  It is possible that “Tom” could be a misreading of Tim for Timothy, but I do not know for sure.)

Although the oldest five would have certainly been old enough to help with the move, it certainly was quite an undertaking for Elizabeth to move her entire household with children from six years old to twenty-four years old. You can see a map that clarifies how difficult the terrain was, if you click on this link to George Kaser.

Questions:

Is my speculation about the birth of Joseph Kaser III correct?

What is the relationship of Elizabeth Stahler (Kaser) to the wife of George Kaser –Lydia Stahler/Stehler/Staehler (Kaser)?

Apparently the Kaser family was close–quite literally because they lived on farms that were adjoining or very near each other in Holmes County, Ohio.

End of Life

The children were grown and independent by the time their father died in December 1842. Joseph left Elizabeth one stove and a cow, two beds and bedding and such other household and kitchen furniture as she may select, not exceeding eighty-dollars in value. You can see what else the will said at the updated Joseph Kaser post. Joseph signed his will in German and from what I have learned about the German immigrants and their church, I doubt that he spoke much if any English.  I wonder if Elizabeth also spoke only German?

I believe that Elizabeth went to live with her son William in or near Nashville, Ohio after Joseph died. William was married, 24 years old and had been named executor of his father’s will.

Five months after her husband, Elizabeth Stahler Kaser  died at the age of 68.

Although Joseph had been buried in the churchyard of the New Zion Church in New Bedford, Ohio where many Kasers lie, Elizabeth was buried in the cemetery in Nashville, Ohio.

I always try to weave a story around an ancestor’s life, but I can only share the bare facts about Elizabeth, because there is very little evidence to build stories.  She married in Pennsylvania, had nine children–about one every two years before the family moved across the central mountains of Pennsylvania to settle in the sparsely settled northwest territory of Ohio. There her sons’ farms thrived and they lived close together, with, I imagine, many family dinners and much sharing of work.  Her husband left enough property to be sold and provide for her, but she only outlived him by a few months.

Her legacy is a family that grew and spread, not only in Ohio but particularly in Indiana and now far beyond the midwest.

How I Am Related

  • Vera Marie Kaser (Badertscher) is the daughter of
  • Paul Kaser, who is the son of
  • Clifford Kaser, who is the son of
  • Joseph Kaser II, who is the son of
  • George Kaser, who is the son of
  • Elizabeth Stahler (Kaser)

Notes on Research

  • The “Kaser Genealogy” (aka Green Book) referred to is The Kaser History: A History of Dates and Other Interesting Facts (1994) edited by Deborah D. Morgan and others. Out of print. I first obtained information from a cousin who owns a copy of the book, and then accessed it on microfilm at an LDS church Family History Center.
  • Zions Lutheran Reformed Church, Zionsville, PA index of records at Ancestry.com)Unfortunately the website for the church has been updated and they no longer have the history page, but I have given you a link to the “wayback machine” where you can find the old page.
  • Find a Grave, Elizabeth Stahler www.findagrave.com/memorial/77111754
  • Cemetery records from the New Zion UCC church (formerly German Reform) in New Bedford, Ohio.
  • Ohio, Wills and Probate Records, 1786-1998, Record for Joseph Kaser, Will Records, 1825-1906; Index to Wills, 1825-1965; Probate Place: Holmes, Ohio

Recipe for Stuffed Peppers.

recpe for Stuffed peppers cooked

Hariette Kaser’s recipe for stuffed peppers, cooked

The U. S. Department of Agriculture has declared this week National Farmer’s Market Week. Every week is Farmer’s Market Week for me. I go to a farmer’s market almost every Sunday because I love fresh, locally grown vegetables and fruit. Sometimes, like when red bell peppers are on sale, I get inspired to make, or say, Harriette Kaser’s recipe for stuffed peppers.

Besides the displays are so beautiful, I feel like I’m walking through a museum of still lifes.

Vegetables from Farmer's Market

A rainbow of veggies from Dragoon, Arizona at the St. Philips’ Plaza Farmer’s Market in Tucson

I even take pictures of the stuff I bring home before I store it, because it looks so great.

 

Farmers Market

Eggplant and friends

Do I have you in a vegetable frame of mind? And of course, like everything that has to do with food, these vegetables make me think of family.

Of course,most of my ancestors did not have to go to farmer’s markets because they had their own kitchen gardens. I mentioned that Mame Butts Kaser’s mother Ann Marie was known for her beautiful gardens, particularly the flowers.  When you drive the rural roads  of Ohio in the summer time, you’ll see neat garden patches beside every farm house.  And everyone plants flowers along with the vegetables. Ken’s mother, Agnes Badertscher grew a productive garden, but ringed it with flowers for cutting.  My grandmother, Vera Anderson did the same.  My father loved to plot a garden wherever he lived. 

Farmer’s Markets are as old as agriculture, and indeed in many places in Europe were the reason that a town grew up. We can still go to wonderful farmer’s markets in Italy, France, England, Ireland and other countries our ancestors came from. So if you don’t have time or space to garden like your ancestors did, find your nearest farmer’s market.

I wonder if the village of Clark Ohio, where so many of my Kaser ancestors lived, had a farmer’s market in the old days?  I wonder what my Kaser relatives raised in their gardens?  I’m sure they had gardens, because most of them were farmers and many stayed right there in Clark all their lives, living next door to each other. Did my great-grandmother Catherine Sampsel Kaser have a garden right up into her 80s? She lived a long life, near her children, according to census reports.

And did her family love a recipe for stuffed peppers as much as my father did? And did she call them mangoes? And why did Ohioans call bell peppers “mangoes” anyhow?

Making Canned Food--Red Peppers

Red Peppers for Ready to Make Grandma’s Red Pepper Jam

I might have better answers to these questions if I actually knew any of the Kaser relatives. Although my father’s father had six brothers and sisters, and I know of at least twenty Kaser cousins that my father might have met, and those cousins had lots of progeny, too, we weren’t in touch. More about that on Thursday when I try to find out why with all those cousins, my father didn’t seem connected to his extended family.

My mother, Harriette Anderson Kaser, had a recipe for stuffed green peppers, but I like to use red bell peppers when they are in abundance at the end of summer. (I can’t ALWAYS make Grandma Vera’s Red Pepper Jam.)

So one of the ways I changed my mother’s simple recipe for stuffed peppers is to trade red for green.  I’ll give you her recipe, but there are many ways you can make stuffed peppers.

I like the Greek version (Gemista), peppers or tomatoes stuffed with bulgur wheat, a few raisins and a touch of cinnamon and topped with feta cheese..  I also like stuffing them with other vegetables for a change from ground beef and rice.

I’m really not sure what mother seasoned her stuffed peppers with, but I added some oregano and garlic salt and cumin for seasoning, and some turmeric, because I sneak it into everything for its health benefits.

Stuffed red peppers

Harriette’s stuffed red peppers before cooking

Harriette’s Stuffed Peppers
Recipe Type: Entree
Cuisine: American
Author: Vera Marie Badertscher
Harriette’s stuffed peppers adapted
Ingredients
  • 6 small or 3 large green or red bell peppers
  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 C uncooked rice
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • parsley
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 C grated cheddar cheese
Instructions
  1. Crumble and brown ground beef
  2. Cook 1/2 C rice in 1 C water until water is absorbed (about 25 minutes for brown, less for white)
  3. While the meat and rice are cooking, cut peppers in half (lengthwise for long, but just cut top off of small ones and set it aside). Scrape out seeds and membrane.
  4. Stir together rice, meat, seasonings.
  5. Fill the pepper shells. (put the top back on like a hat if you’re doing smaller peppers)
  6. Top with grated cheese.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
Notes
Although mother would have used white rice, I used brown. And certainly, if you have some leftover rice at hand–use that. She might also have substituted a crumb topping for the cheese, depending on what was at hand.