Tag Archives: Joseph Kaser

52 Ancestors : #17 Catharine Sampsell, Surrounded by Kasers

Catharine Sampsell Kaser (1828-1911)

Catharine Sampsell spent her life surrounded by family–her husbands’ family. Like her husband, Joseph Kaser, Catharine’s parents Samuel Sampsell and Susan Klunge Sampsell* came from Pennsylvania.  But they moved to Ohio before Catharine, their first child to be born in the new state, was born. When I talk about Catharine’s father later, I will explain a bit more about the lack of information on the Sampsell family.

At any rate,  around the time that Catharine was born, the Sampsells (or Sampsels or Samsels) moved into that same Coshocton County area where Joseph Kaser had joined so many German and Swiss immigrant families from Pennsylvania. Joseph and Catharine met–I would bet it was in church– and married in March 1847, when Catharine was 18, (according to the Kaser Family History I refer to as G.B.–the Green Book). Since her own mother does not show up on the 1850 census with her father, it is likely that Catharine’s mother did not live to see the wedding or her first grandchild.

In 1849, Catharine Sampsell Kaser and Joseph Kaser’s first child, Susan (or Susannah) was born. According to the 1850 census, which I have discussed at length before, their small farm was surrounded by Joseph’s  uncles and his father.  The young motherless bride Catharine would have had plenty of family aunties around to give her advice and help. Her first years of marriage were busy ones, with four children born between 1849 and 1855.  After a nine year lull spanning the beginning of the Civil War, Emma was born in 1864 and two more in the next four years. (The next to last was my grandfather Clifford Kaser.

Catharine, 43 in 1871 when her last child was born, and her two oldest had already left home–Cornelius working on a neighboring farm, and Susan no doubt also employed by another family.  According to the scant records I have, Susan probably married in 1874.

By the time that Catharine’s husband Joseph died in 1893 (if the G.B. is correct about the date), Catharine, now 67, had only two adult children still living at home–Emma (28) and Edward (21). These two, both quite late to marry, were still living with her when the census was taken in 1900. However, in typical Kaser fashion, two other sons lived nearby.

Emma Kaser Sutherland, circa 1910

Emma Kaser Sutherland, Clark, Ohio, circa 1910

Edward finally married about 1905. Emma, however waited until after her mother died to marry George Sutherland, a widower who lived practically next door to her mother’s farm near Clark, Ohio.

Catharine Sampsell Kaser died in Feburary 1911 when she was just a few months shy of 83 years old, and was buried in the Clark (Ohio) Cemetery– with Kaser family members all around.


  • Vera Marie Kaser Badertscher is the daughter of
  • Paul Kaser who is the son of
  • Clifford Kaser, who is the brother of
  • Joseph Kaser II, who is the husband of
  • Catharine Sampsell Kaser


*Susan’s mother’s name is given as Susan Klunge in the Green Book, but I have not yet verified that anywhere. I have found zero records for a Susan Klunge or Kluge.

More details on Catharine and Joseph Kaser’s children can be found in my article on Joseph, the Carpenter.

The “Kaser Genealogy” (aka Green Book or G. B.) 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 obtained information from a cousin who owns a copy of the book.

I verified Catharine’s death date and burial information from Find a Grave.com with information found at familysearch.org from Ohio Deaths 1908-1953. The Kaser Genealogy says she was born in Pennsylvania, but all census reports say she was born in Ohio.

Census records from 1850, 1870, 1880, 1900  found at Ancestry.com

52 Ancestors: #9 Joseph Kaser, What Is Your Story?

Joseph Kaser 1776-1842

[NOTE: Don’t miss the update to information on Joseph Kaser, added in February 2016. The additional post includes information about his will.]

Joseph Kaser, my 3x great grandfather, is the American patriarch of that extended Kaser family that we traced last week when I talked about his son,  George Kaser, moving from eastern Pennsylvania to Ohio.  This Joseph was the first of his Kaser family to be born in the United States.

Joseph was born on October 8, 1776, just three months after the United States declared independence from Great Britain. He died on Christmas day in 1842.

I like to find the story in my ancestors’ lives, but except for his interesting birth year and death date,  Joseph’s story is eluding me. So this is not a story. It is a collection of what I know so far.

The evidence for what I think I know about him is scanty, mostly coming from that pesky “Green Book” that I have referenced before–a Kaser Family genealogy that lacks evidence of its “facts.”  There are copious references to a Joseph Kaser in the church records of the Zionsville, Pennsylvania Lutheran Reform Church–mostly as the father of the baptized child. However, so far I have only seen the index, so don’t have enough information to swear that it is the Joseph we are looking for.

And there is a tombstone in the old cemetery of the Zion German Reformed Church (Now the Zion United Church of Christ)  at New Bedford, Coshocton Ohio.  The inscription would indicate his birthday was October 8, 1776, the year agreeing with the father of George Kaser according to the “Green Book.”

The same source (Green Book) lists his children, and many (at least the males) appear on census reports living close together, evidence that they are indeed members of his family.  And some of the names of those children show up on the Zionsville Reformed Church records with birth and baptism records.  But for some of the children, I have not discovered even that scant amount of evidence.

And I am totally at sea as to who his parents were. There are two possibilities, so I may not be writing about that for a while.

If the Green Book (G.B.) is correct, Joseph married Elizabeth Stahler , probably about 1798, as their first child, George Kaser, was born in February 1800. The Green Book says that they couple had nine children, all born in Pennsylvania. It seems that the children moved with them to Ohio by 1824 and all but two stayed in the area of Clark Ohio. Here’s why I’m not jumping to conclusions–the sources I have for each child include sometimes church records from Pennsylvania, Find a Grave or New Bedford cemetery records, and a few census reports–or the Green Book.

1800: George Kaser (G.B., Census reports 1840-1870)

1802/3: Elizabeth Kaser born (according to G.B. 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)

In addition to these nine children, the Green Book lists a ‘Tom’ with unknown birth date and a child whose name and birth date are unknown.  It is possible these could be infant deaths, but again, I have no proof.

I believe the image below this is the correct Joseph on the 1840 census in German Township, Holmes County. I think of these early census reports as the “chicken scratch” censuses.  Even though the census reports before 1850 list by name only the head of household, and that complicates life for the researcher, a little detective work indicates that this George Kaiser and the nearby Joseph Kaisers are George Kaser, his son Joseph and his father Joseph. The columns represent ages 0-5;6-10;11-15;16-20;21-30;31-40;41-50;51-60;61-70;71-80;81-90;91-100;100-upwards. The first half of the page counts males the second half females.

Joseph Kaser

1840 United States Census, German Twp, Holmes County, Ohio

The bottom Joseph Kaser shows a male (left half of the page) of between 60 and 70 and a female of the same age.  That matches Joseph and his wife Elizabeth.  The second male is between 20 and 29.  Sons George, Joseph, Timothy and William are all accounted for on this same census.  Andrew (or Anthony) would be thirty or over.  That leaves Nathan, who would have been 26 years old.  From other data, I know that Nathan lived at home and did not marry until in his 30s, so I conclude that the third person in “grandpa” Joseph’s household is his son Nathan.

It is possible that this Joseph is also listed on the 1830 census in the same location, but the chicken scratches are a bit more difficult to convert into real family members in that census, so I’m holding off on using that.

If I’m tracking the correct Joseph Kaser, born in 1776, then this must be his tombstone in the Zion Reform Church in New Bedford, Ohio (Now Zion U.C.C.).

Grave of Joseph Kaser

Grave marker of Joseph Kaser 1776-1842. Photo by Glen Hammel at Find a Grave.

I am hoping that more cousins may see this and may be able to add more definitive information.

How I Am Related

  • Vera Marie 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
  • Joseph 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 obtained information from a cousin who owns a copy of the book.
  • 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.
  • Birth and Death records from census and Find a Grave through Ancestry.com
  • Cemetery records from the New Zion UCC church (formerly German Reform) in New Bedford, Ohio.

52 Ancestors #7 Finding Joseph Kaser the Carpenter

Joseph Kaser III (1827- Circa 1893)

[Update 2017: I have changed Joseph Kaser II to Joseph Kaser III for my reference. The founder of this line, Joseph Kaser had a son, Joseph,Jr.  Joseph Jr. had a son who should be Joseph II. My great-grandfather was born three years later to Joseph Jr.’s brother, George.  So I believe I erred when I called my great-grandfather ‘II’.]

Do you remember the beautiful miniature chest made by my great-grandfather Joseph the carpenter?

Joseph Kaser's carpentry

Great Grandfather Joseph Kaser made this handkerchief chest.

Last year I wrote about him and the beautiful handkerchief chest I inherited.  But I did not know much about him or any of my father’s line before Joseph.  I knew he was the father of my paternal grandfather, Clifford Kaser, and I knew the names of his children and that he lived in Clark, Ohio when Clifford, next to youngest of seven children. I knew that Joseph was born in Pennsylvania. But what a difference a year makes. (See notes at the end for some of the details and hardships of the search.)

My great-grandfather, Joseph Kaser III was named for his paternal grandfather, Joseph Kaser, whose father may have arrived in America nine years before he was born–but that’s another kettle of fish for next time. Joseph III’s father was George Kaser (possible Johann George Kaser). The proliferation of Joseph’s and George’s in the family contributed to my hair rapidly turning even grayer. (He did not refer to himself as Joseph III. I am doing that to help keep straight the various Josephs–see additional note at top.)

Joseph’s birth year could be 1824 (G.B.), 1825, 1827 or 1830 according to which Census record I choose to believe. Based on the names of spouse and children, despite spellings of Kaser, Caser, Kazer and Kaiser–the reports are all referring to my great-grandfather. He was born in Baden, a small village in Beaver County, Pennsylvania, now part of metropolitan Pittsburgh. (mistakenly listed as the place of birth: state, territory or country: Baden” in the 1870 census). So much for census records being irrefutable sources of information!

At some time prior to 1847, he had moved with his father and mother and family to Ohio where he met Catherine Samsel (Sampsel), who was born in Ohio.  Joseph and Catherine were married on August 17, 1847 (*G.B.) when she was 18 and he was about 20 years old. They lived next to his father George, probably in a house they built on George’s farm.

The family farms (for several of Joseph’s brothers would wind up living in a row) lay near Clark, Ohio.  Clark is an unincorporated town split by the county line between Coshocton County and Holmes County Ohio. Clark was originally called Bloomfield.  And the Holmes County portion lay in German Township, an unsavory name when World War I came along–so it became Clark Township.  That means that without going anywhere, they might be listed as living in Bloomfield, Clark Township, Coshocton, Ohio, or German Township, Holmes County, Ohio or a few other variations.

The population of German Township had swelled from 246 in 1830 to 703 by 1840. The settlers were mostly German or German Swiss who were fleeing religious persecution in their native lands.  Most of the new arrivals had first settled in western Pennsylvania and then later moved across the Ohio River into Ohio.

In 1842 the town boasted a store and by 1854, two physicians.  What they could not get in Clark, they could find in nearby Killbuck, Holmes County, which held several blacksmith shops and other necessities of life.

Joseph and Catharine continued to live next door to papa George Kaser and his wife Lydia as their children arrived.

  • 1849: Susan (Named for Joseph’s sister Susannah)
  • 1852: Cornelius
  • 1853: David
  • 1855: Johnathan
  • 1864: Anna (known as Emma, possibly named for Joseph’s sister Ann.)
  • 1867: Clifford (my great-grandfather. Another Clifford is the grandson of Joseph’s brother, Daniel.)
  • 1870: Edward

There was a school a mile outside of town in 1850, and private schools and classes at churches taught in German as well as English. As far as I have been able to learn, the children’s education stopped at 8th grade.  The boys started working as laborers when they became teens.

By 1850, Joseph is established as a carpenter. Several of his brothers are carpenters as well, a talent prevalent among the German Swiss Mennonite population of the area even today.  In 1860, Joseph is listed as a miller.  Perhaps the Civil War created more demand for a miller than for a carpenter?

It appears that none of Joseph’s younger brothers fought in the Civil War, although George and Samuel would have been the right age.  Perhaps the family were conscientious objectors.

Before the baby of the family came along, Susan had married and Cornelius had gone to work as a farm laborer for another family nearby. In 1870, when he is 19, Cornelius is listed with the Graham Family in Clark.

The next son, David, stays with his parents even after he is married in June, 1880, but later moves out on his own and tries various vocations. Johnathan also lives at home until he is married  in 1883, although he is working “outside” as a day laborer. Even after he is married with several children, his occupation continues to be day laborer.

Joseph Kaser III seemed to do well in the world, accumulating some wealth, no doubt some of it from the farm, but also from his carpentry and his short stint as a miller. Since he and his brothers stayed clustered together near their father, and several of Joseph’s sons also stayed in the same area, it is ironic that the closeness of the Kaser clan did not continue into my father’s generation, leaving me with so many questions about my Kaser ancestry.

The Kaser Geneaology * states that Joseph died on January 12, 1893, but I have no other verification of his death date.  His wife, Catherine, outlived him by at nearly 20 years if the Kaser Genealogy is correct, dying in 1910 (G.B.). [UPDATE: I have since found a record in Find a Grave indicating that Catharine Kaser was buried in 1911 in the Clark (Ohio) Cemetery.]

Notes on the Research

Last year, having decided that great-grandfather Joseph was a dead end, and my Kaser research was stuck in Pennsylvania in the 1820s in Pennsylvania, I moved over to tracing my mother’s line.  Before I left the Kasers, I had found an 1850 census that showed a George Kaser living next door to a Joseph Kaser.  This George was the right age to be Joseph’s father and Joseph would fit neatly into the line of births in the family.  But I could not easily locate more information, so I closed the Kaser file.

Breakthrough #1

It turns out that the 1850 census was just the first breakthrough, and would be proven to indeed be a father and son–not to mention other sons–who lived in a row.

Breatkthrough #2

A few months ago, the second breakthrough came when a Kaser cousin got in touch through Facebook.  She owns a copy of what we call *”the Green Book” (G.B.), a Kaser family lineage book.  While some of the information in the book is proving to be shaky, it did confirm the names of Joseph’s brothers and sisters   (my paternal grandfather Cliff Kaser’s uncles and aunts) as well as the names of Joseph’s children–Clifford Kaser’s siblings.  The facts matched up with the little bit my father had told me, years ago.

The Green Book traces the Kasers back to Europe, but tells two contrasting stories, so like most research finds it presents new puzzles along with some answers.

Breakthrough #3

Finally, after look for Kaser, Caser, Kaiser, Kayser, Kaiser and other variant spellings, I discovered a George Kaeper in the 1870 census that proved to be my great-great-grandfather George Kaser.  I would never have searched for that spelling, but I used one of genealogists favorite tricks.  When you find a known family member in a document like a census record, read all the pages surrounding the record to see if relationships jump out.

I found Samuel Kaser (27), family #95 next to Charles Kaser (35) Family #96 in Monroe Township, Coshocton County, Ohio and there at family #94 was George Kaeper. George Kaser was the father of Samuel and Charles, and Joseph.

Kasers in 1870 Census

1870 U S Census for Clark Twp Coshocton County

So where was Joseph? Doing a search for variant spellings, I found Joseph Kaeser in Clark Township, Coshocton County, the neighboring township (family #86). It is even possible that the township line split George’s farm between counties. All these families are confirmed to be the right people by ages and other family members listed with them, and I know that they had a habit of living close to each other.

In 1860 George and sons Charles, Thomas and Joseph all listed with the last name spelled Caser, are living in a line in German Township.

Joseph Kaser family in census

1860 U. S. census for German Township, Coshocton County Ohio

Other Sources

I have checked an online copy of History of Coshocton County: Its Past and Present, 1740-1881, by A. A. Graham (1881).  Available at Google Books.

Birth and death dates from “the Green Book” were sometimes verifiable at Ancestry.com through Ohio on line records, where they have not been confirmed, I have noted (G.B.) beside the information.

How I Am Related

  • Vera Marie Badertscher is the daughter of
  • Paul Kaser, who is the son of
  • Clifford Kaser, who is the son of
  • Joseph Kaser III.