52 Ancestors:#22 Susan Kaser Kerr and Daughter Elsie

Susan/Susannah Kaser (Kerr) 1849-Some Time After 1910

I am working my way through introductions of the brothers and sisters of my grandfather, Clifford Kaser. These are the aunts and uncles of my father.  The only one that he seemed to really know was Emma Kaser Sutherland, whom I introduced earlier. And recently, I traced the sad story of Clifford’s younger brother, Edward, who along with Emma stayed at home with his mother until he was in his thirties.

Now I am going back to look at Clifford’s oldest sister, Susan. Susan, born in 1849, was eighteen years older than Cliff, and was married when he was only seven years old, so they probably did not have very much of a relationship.

Susan first shows up in the 1850 census when she is one year old. That census report shows her father Joseph and mother Catharine and their baby girl living next door to Joseph’s father George Kaser, and near other relatives in the area of Bloomfield (later called Clark–Coshocton County), Ohio.

Five siblings are born by 1870, when Susan is apparently no longer living at home.  In 1872, she marries George W. Kerr . They live in nearby Killbuck, Holmes County) Ohio and in January 1873 has her first child, son Henry.

Life on the Farm

George W. must have been a good catch.  His father, also named George, owned a farm in 1870 with 110 acres of improved land and 90 acres of woodland near in Killbuck Township, Holmes County.  And ten years later (when Susan and her George have been married for eight years, they have a 60 acre farm in the same area.  (Perhaps a portion of father George’s farm.)

Although the amount of acreage is not high compared to surrounding farms, the production is higher than most, and the “Non-Population Schedule of June 1880” shows that Susan’s husband hired laborer during five weeks of the year, so he must have been doing quite well.

He grew corn, oats, and wheat. Additionally he had 60 apple trees and 50 peach trees as well as 1/2 acre of potatoes and wood to cut, sheep, swine, 40 chickens and two milk cows. This indicates that Susan probably also was a very busy farm worker. Chickens and the milk cows to take care of, probably a vegetable garden. Definitely baking and canning fruit. By the way, the Anderson farms nearby had many fruit trees, too, and a history of Holmes County points out that fruit trees were a major source of income in the County.

In 1876, Susan’s gave birth to daughter Ada and in 1884 she had her last child, Elsie.

George died some time between 1900 and 1910, because in the 1910 Census, Susan is listed as a Farm Manager and a widow. I know that Susan was still around in 1911 because that is when her mother died and Susan is listed in the obituary as a survivor, but I don’t know how long she lived after that.

I was interested to notice that she lived very close to my Anderson Relatives, Ben and Nettie Anderson.

Susan’s Daughter Elsie

I complain frequently about the fact that my father did not seem to stay in touch with his aunts and uncles and cousins.  One exception was Susan’s daughter Elsie.  I grew up hearing the name Elsie Fritz (her married name), particularly as a visitor at the home of my aunt and uncle Blanche and Keith Kaser in Millersburg.  I always thought Elsie Fritz was a relative of my Aunt Blanche rather than a cousin of my father and his brother Keith Kaser.

Researching Susan Kaser Kerr, I discovered that her daughter Elsie Kerr, born May 15, 1883, married Albert F. Fritz and lived in Millersburg, where she ran a beauty shop for many years. Elsie was a guest of the Keith Kaser family frequently, as reported in the Millersburg personals column in the Coshocton Tribune.  She even was one of a handful of people they invited to honor my mother and father when they were married in 1938.

So there WAS one cousin at least that my family had some contact with.  I do not recall being told when she died, so it was not a close relationship with our family,  but her obituary says she died nine years after her husband, in August of 1962 and was buried at the Oak Hill cemetery in Millersburg.

 How I am Related

  • Vera Marie Kaser Badertscher is the daughter of
  • Paul Kaser who is the son of
  • Clifford Kaser who is the brother of
  • Susan Kaser Kerr

Notes on Research

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.

Census records from 1850 (German Twp, Holmes Co. Ohio); 1860 (German Twp, Holmes Co, Oho); 1880 (Killbuck, Holmes Co. Ohio); 1900 (Killbuck, Holmes Co.. Ohio); 1910, (Killbuck, Holmes Co., Ohio) ;1920 (Killlbuck, Holmes County, Ohio) ; 1920 (Millersburg, Holmes County, Ohio); 1930 (Millersburg, Holmes Co., Ohio); 1940 (Millersburg, Holmes Co., Ohio) *

Coshocton Daily Times, Wednesday, February 1, 1911, Page one. “An Aged Mother Goes to Reward”, obituary of Katharine (sic) Kaser lists surviving children, including Mrs. Susan Kerr.*

Ohio, Deaths, 1908-1932, 1938-2007 Ohio Department of Health. Index to Annual Deaths, 1958-2002. Ohio Department of Health, State Vital Statistics Unit, Columbus, OH, USA.*

Coshocton Tribune, various articles mentioning Elsie Kerr.*

*These records accessed at Ancestry.com.

Find A Grave website for some death records and burial places.

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