Tag Archives: Guy Anderson

52 Ancestors #7 Mary V Brink Anderson, the Dutch Connection

My mother remembered her grandmother Anderson, Mary Veolia Brink Anderson Kline and liked everything about her except the “V” middle name.

Herbert Anderson and family.

Guy Anderson and Vera (holding Herbert). Guy’s mother Mary Brink Anderson on the far right.. Back Jennie McDowell King. 1909

My mother’s parents, following a long tradition in the family, named her for her two grandmothers. Mother inherited Harriette and her nickname ‘Hattie’ from her maternal grandmother, Harriet (Hattie) Morgan Stout . But she hated the middle name Veolia from her paternal grandmother Mary V Brink Anderson.  Harriette Veolia Anderson Kaser hated that name so much that, after she was married,  instead of signing things with her middle name, or even her initial her signature  always read Harriette A. (for Anderson) Kaser.

I have no idea how Mary Brink felt about her middle name, but by the time they got to their seventh child [Correction: eighth child], perhaps Abraham (Abe) and Dorcas Eliza Middaugh Brink were running out of ideas for names. [Corrected] Six of the Brink’s children were living when Mary was born, and they had five more children after Mary.

Abe and Dorcas’ family had more than its share of infant and childhood deaths.  Five of their eleven children died–two in infancy. But 1864 to 1865, when Mary was seven years old, was a particularly tragic year for the Brink family.  First a three-year-old died, and then a thirteen-year-old boy and soon after a 15-year-old girl. Some epidemic hit the family hard.

When Mary was a young teen, her older sister Sarah Jane married the tall and handsome Frank Anderson from a nearby farm.  Not too long after, Frank’s slightly older brother, Joe Anderson, came courting Mary.  Joe was lively and fun. He taught music at the after-hours classes at the local school as well as farming, and at 18, Mary and Joe married (January 7, 1877).  The following year their son Leonard Guy Anderson was born (my grandfather, who was always called “Guy”).  Joe and Mary settled into their farm life and the next year, they had another baby, but this little girl died in infancy.

Mary Brink Anderson

Probably church picnic, Killbuck. Back Row 4-Vera Anderson 6-Her Mother-in-Law Mary Anderson. Circa 1905

Mary must have been despondent, having seen so many children die in her own family, I cannot imagine what she thought. Did she want to give up having children? But in 1881 she gave birth to another healthy boy, who they named Bernard Franklin Anderson (called Ben). Life with her Joe was good.

But just six and a half years after they married, Joe died. On August 20, 1883 he was suddenly gone, and Mary was a widow at 24 years old.  I am speculating as to what exactly happened, but my guess is that Mary was so bereft that she was incapable of caring for her two young boys.  Her sister Sarah Jane and Frank Anderson took in “Ben” and “Guy” and raised them to adulthood.

Joe and Mary’s farm was next door to her sister and brother-in-law’s farm (Sarah Jane and Frank Anderson). LIke most of the Andersons, they lived in Monroe Township, Holmes County, Ohio. When her older son Guy (by then 22) married, he and his new wife Lillis moved in with Mary. Mary’s mother, Dorcas Brink also lived on the farm in her old age after Mary’s father died.

Who knows how long this arrangement might have lasted, but in 1903  Guy’s young wife Lillis died and in 1904, Mary’s mother died,  as well.

As I have mentioned in other posts, Lillis left behind two young children.  In 1904, when Guy married my grandmother, Vera Stout Anderson  Rhema went to live with Aunt Sarah Jane and  Uncle Frank Anderson and Telmar with Guy’s brother Ben.

Mary Brink Anderson

Mary Brink with grandchildren Telmar Anderson and Rhema Anderson (Fair) Photo from Ancestry, property of user KManery65

How hard it must have been for Mary, who lost her own young husband to see her son lose his young wife.  Mary went to live with her second son Ben and his wife Nettie. Vera and Guy were living on a nearby farm.  Mary continued to live the life of a dependent widow–dependent on relatives–from the time she was 24 years old  for thirty-six years, until, in her sixties, she married  a man named James Kline, a widower.

Kline was a lumber dealer, but interestingly, Mary and her second husband lived with her son Ben Anderson who is listed as head of household on the 1920 census.  By 1930 their roles are reversed and James is listed as head of household, although the household still includes James, Mary and Ben.

Mary, with her high forehead and square face, always appears so calm to me in the photographs that my grandmother kept.  The two of them attended Killbuck Church of Christ events, the lively young Vera and the calm widow Mary.

The story Mary told about the Robert Burns’ poem John Anderson my Jo–which she called “Joe Anderson”– illustrated her devotion to the husband who died so young.

When mother mentioned Mary’s late-in-life marriage (She was 60 when she remarried) she never gave me any details. She would just say, “She was a widow for nearly 50 years [Actually more like 35] and then married a man named Kline.” as though it was not of the least importance compared to her young romance with Joe Anderson.

[ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: I’ve been curious about why Mary’s gravestone, in the Welcome Cemetery, says “Mary Anderson” rather than the last name of her 2nd husband.  I have learned that James Kline died before Mary–in 1931.  He was buried in the Killbuck cemetery beside his first wife, Caroline. James and Caroline had been married 28 years when she died in 1914. 

 When Mary died four years later, apparently her own family took responsibility for her funeral and buried her in  the Welcome Cemetery where many Andersons, including her first husband, Joseph Anderson, are interred.]

[ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: After I wrote this post, I discovered a photo of Mary’s death certificate on line at Ancestry.com and learned more about her death.

She had been diagnosed with cerebral arteriosclerosis in 1932.  In August 1935, she suffered a stroke (cerebral hemorrhage).  Her doctor saw her on September 4, 1935 and she died on September 8, 1935.  The information about her parents was provided by my grandfather, Guy Anderson, but he did not know their  birthplaces.  Mary was buried on September 11, 1935 at the Welcome Cemetery (Welcome Church of Christ) in Holmes County, Ohio.

I was particularly intrigued to learn that the attending physician, N. P. Stauffer was the same one who would usher me into the world just 3 1/2 years later. For many years, Dr. Stauffer had an office in the small building on my grandmother Anderson’s property, next to her house in Killbuck.]

Mary is buried at the Welcome Cemetery with other Andersons. Her simple gravestone bears only her first married name–Mary Anderson.

Mary Brink Anderson

Mary Brink Anderson’s tombstone. I am grateful to the Anderson cousins who did the graveyard sleuthing and took this picture.

A Genealogical Note:

I have not yet followed the breadcrumbs back to find out when the Brinks came to the United States, but cursory research indicates they probably came from Holland to New York, perhaps as early as the mid 1700’s. I would like to find out more about the parents of Abraham (born 1820 in Bushkill, Pennsylvania, married in 1844 and  died in 1898  in Holmes County Ohio) and his ancestors, but I am not sure who Abraham’s father actually was.  It is not clear from the records I have looked at yet exactly who is who among the many Brinks lines, and several family trees I have looked at have conflicting information. (I welcome any concrete proof than anyone can offer.)

Not only are the Brinks Dutch, but Mary’s mother was a Middaugh (Meddaugh and half a dozen other variant spellings), which is definitely also Dutch. (Mary’s mother Dorcas Eliza was born in Danby NY in 1825 and died in 1904 in Holmes County Ohio).  So Mary was 100% Dutch.[Correction, 2016–I have not proven that yet.]

Oddly, my mother never made much of this Dutch ancestry. When asked she would say she was English (from grandma’s side) and Scotch-Irish. But that totally ignores my mother’s paternal grandmother’s line. I now know that besides the Scotch-Irish Anderson side of his line, my grandfather Leonard Guy Anderson was 50% Dutch. And I have a whole new heritage to explore.

This all probably explains why I loved the story of Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates as a child, and have always been fascinated with the Hudson River Valley and the Dutch folklore retold by Washington Irving.


  • Vera Marie Badertscher is the daughter of
  • Harriette V. Anderson Kaser, who is the daughter of
  • Leonard Guy Anderson, who is the so of
  • Mary Brink Anderson (Kline).


Recorded recollections of my mother, Harriette V. Anderson Kaser (1906-2003).

U. S. Federal Census: 1870, 1880, 1900 (Monroe Twp., Holmes County, Ohio), 1910, 1920, 1930, Killbuck, Holmes, Ohio).

Ohio Find A Grave Index, Mary Anderson

Coshocton Tribune, Sept 9 1935, Obituary for Mary Anderson

Tombstone from Welcome Cemetery Photo by Larry and Judy Anderson

Photo of Marriage License Holmes County, Ohio, Mary Anderson and James Kline, Sept 19, 1919. Ancestry User KManery65

Photo of Death Certificate, Holmes County, Ohio, Mary Brink Anderson. Ancestry.com user KManery65.


52 Ancestors: #5 Caroline Anderson–Sisterly Love

Today I will introduce my great grand aunt Caroline Anderson Bird (1846-1918), whose story is sometimes sketchy and confusing, but has one constant theme–sisterly love.

After detouring to introduce Erasmus Anderson last week, I am back to introducing the people in the picture taken at the Anderson farm in Holmes County Ohio in 1909. It was probably my Grandmother Vera Anderson’s 28th  birthday, May 23.

I admit to some confusion surrounding Caroline. For starters, my mother called her “Aunt Catherine” which had me searching for a non-existent person for some time. For another, I have no family stories about Caroline like I do about her siblings and parents. And most frustrating,many  records are missing. [UPDATE: Found the death record with her first name spelled as “Carolin”. She looks like such a calm, nurturing person in the photo, that I imagine she would not wish to cause confusion.

Caroline Anderson Bird

Family portrait. Caroline and Amy sitting side by side at the far left of the front row.

Caroline Anderson Bird and sister Amy

Inseparable Sisters – Catherine Anderson Bird and Amy Anderson Root–sisters of Joseph Anderson 1909

I mentioned Caroline before when I showed the Anderson family picture and related that mother told me that the two sisters, Caroline  and Amy Anderson Roof were inseparable. Although they look quite different in this picture, they lived parallel lives. They were 3 years apart in age, married within 2 years of each other, neither had children, and at one point they even moved to another state together with their husbands. Now THAT is sisterly love.

Amy (seen here on the right), was three years older than Caroline. When this picture was taken, Amy’s husband, Thomas Roof, had already died, but Caroline’s husband still lived.

Caroline was the youngest girl in the family.   Only Joseph (my great-grandfather who died before this picture froze the Andersons in time) and Frank were younger than Caroline.  She grew up on the Anderson farm in Monroe Township, near the Bird farms.  In the 1870 census, Caroline (23) is still living at home and Leonard Bird (21) is living in a hotel in nearby Millersburg.

The couple  had grown up as neighbors, and may very well have “double dated” with Amy and the young man named Bird that she was engaged to. Yes, the sisters were engaged to brothers. However, Amy broke off her engagement, as I related in her story, so the two sisters departed their parallel lives for once.  Leonard Bird married Caroline in November of 1870. Amy married Thomas Roof two years later.

(Although Caroline was the first to marry someone in the Bird Family, my grandfather Guy Anderson married Lillis Bird, who died very young.  In this picture, he is with his second wife, my grandmother, and their three babies, although his two children with LIllis–Telmar and Rhema are also in the picture.)

By the time of the 1880 census, Caroline and Leonard were living in Vermilion Illinois where he was farming and they had a hired hand living with them. Why Vermilion? Well, sister Amy and Thomas Roof  had moved to Vermilion, where Thomas was listed as a pharmacist. So apparently the inseparable sisters stayed together even after they were married–even though they didn’t marry brothers.

Both couples had returned to farms in Monroe Township, Holmes County Ohio by 1900. Whatever opportunities lured them to Illinois had lost their tarnish.  Caroline’s mother, Isabella Anderson (then 81)  moved from the home of Caroline’s brother William and was living with Caroline and Leonard. By now he was 50 and she was 54 and they  never had any children, so they were no doubt better situated to care for Isabella, who was losing her eyesight, than were William and his wife who had four children at home.

Back to the confusion about Caroline–I do not know why Leonard was not present for this family picture, since he was still alive.

It is possible that Leonard Bird was not at the Anderson farm that day because there was bad blood between Leonard  and my grandfather Guy Anderson. Guy is in the top row wearing a white shirt and skinny tie, and my grandmother, Vera Stout Anderson is directly below him, holding their youngest child.  Vera was Guy’s 2nd wife, but his first wife was Lillis Bird, a half-sister to Leonard.  According to one my relatives, some members of the family thought that Guy cheated on Lillis Bird and “she died of a broken heart”.  They greatly disapproved of his second marriage.

Or maybe I’m speculating too much and Leonard just was ill that day. Could be that the fact that it was Vera Anderson’s birthday had nothing to do with his absence.

I lose sight of Caroline and Leonard The 1910 census shows Amy and Leonard still living in Monroe Township–just the two of them. However,Leonard is listed as a widower in the 1920 census, so Caroline died in the same decade as her sister Amy, who departed in 1917, based on a story from my mother, Harriette Anderson Kaser and the fact that Amy was in a photograph of the Lisle family, taken in 1916.

I have found no death record no tombstone for Caroline, and have no family stories that shed any light on whether Caroline or Amy departed first. There is no question that the two sisters were examples of sisterly love all their lives, so it seems only appropriate that they died within years–if not months–of each other.  UPDATE (Oct 2017):  The death record, spelling Caroline’s name incorrectly as ‘Carolin’ finally popped up on Family Search. She died 12 April, 1918 in Holmes County, Ohio.

FURTHER UPDATE:I also have learned from probate records that Leonard remarried before he died in 1925. It was a short marriage, since he was a widow in 1920’s census.  He was married in his family’s Weirich plot in Orrville Ohio. Still no record of Caroline/Carolin’s burial place.

How I am Related

  • Vera Marie Kaser (Badertscher) is the daughter of
  • Harriette Anderson (Kaser) who is the daughter of
  • Leonard Guy Anderson, who is the nephew of
  • Caroline Anderson (Bird)

Notes on Research

(unless otherwise noted, information comes from Ancestry.com)

U. S. Federal Census reports for 1850, 1860, 1870, 1900, 1910 for Monroe Twp, Holmes Co, Ohio

U. S. Federal Census report for 1880, Grant Twp, Vermillion Co, Illinois

U. S. Indexed Property Map for Monroe Twp, Holmes Co, Ohio, 1907 with two parcels belonging to Caroline Bird.

Ohio Death Index, 1908-1932, 1938-1944, and 1958-2007,” database and images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : 2010); citing vol. , certificate number , Ohio Historical Society, Columbus; Ohio Department of Health, State Vital Statistics Unit, Columbus. (Found at Family Search.org)

Photographs are property of Author, with Lisle family photographs provided by Donna Lisle Hummrichouser.

Ben Anderson: Tangled Lives

An Anderson couple

Benjamin Franklin Anderson and Nettie Anderson-Probably on their wedding day.

I talked about the sweet love and sad tragedy of Ben Anderson and Nettie Andress Anderson last week. After I published that story, I found a copy of Nettie’s obituary from 1910. Even given the floweriness of obituaries of the period, you can see why Ben might have stayed in love with Nettie the rest of her life had she survived longer.

Nettie Anderson Obituary. 1910

Nettie Anderson Obituary. 1910

Oh, my, what a paragon of virtue!  Poor Ben.  Left with the child mentioned in the article, and the other boy, Telmar Anderson (1903-1982), who was Ben Anderson’s nephew and ward (son of Guy Anderson). One would expect Ben to immediately  find another mother for the boys. But he never did that.

Instead he prevailed on family members to help him out. When Nettie died, Ben’s mother, Mary V. Brink Anderson was already living with his family–or more likely, they were living in her home in Killbuck. It appears from the newspaper article that although Ben ran the farm which he had bought from Mr. Roof, he had a house in town.  The farm was only a mile or so out of town.

(Excuse me if some of this seems repetitive from last week, but there are complications in the story, and I want to remind you of the relationships.)

In 1919, Mary V. Anderson, who had been a widow for 40 years, married a 2nd husband James Kline, and by 1920, the census shows Ben and the two boys living with his mother and step-father, which continued until Mary’s death.

Ben Anderson and Ruth Anderson 1923

Ben Anderson and Granddaughter Ruth Anderson. Daughter of Estill and Dora. 1923

Ben and Nettie’s only child, Estill (1905-1926) left home at 17  and married Dortha “Dora” Carpenter (1905-1954). They lived with her relatives Jim and Esther Carpenter in Killbuck. Estill had two children, Ruth Leone Anderson (1923-1989) and Estill Anderson , Jr. (1925-1991). Estill Sr. died in 1926, when Estill Jr. was 1 1/2 years old. 

During the 20’s, you may recall from what begins to sound like a soap opera episode of Life With Ben, Ben lost an arm and from then on he had a hook in place of one hand  and was unemployed. Telmar had left home by 1930, although I have not located him at that period of time. At any rate, Ben, now without sons, was still living with his mother and his new father-in-law.

By the 1935 and 1940 census, the situation has become confusing. In 1940, the census had a square to show where people had lived in 1935, and Ben’s box is marked as “same house”. The others living with him are listed as “same place” which probably means same town rather than same house. That would indicate that the house is actually Ben’s (perhaps he continued to live in his mother’s house and the father-in-law moved out when she died).

But even though it looks as though it was his house, Ben is not listed as “Head of Household,” probably because he is not employed. Instead, he is listed as “Grandfather” of the Head of Household. That would be Elbert Steele (20), who is married to Ben’s granddaughter, Ruth (Estill’s daughter) who was now 17 with a one-year-old daughter.

Donovan Anderson

Donovan Anderson. Ben’s Grandson and son of Dora and Telmar. Late 1940s.

But if that is not daunting enough for a household, besides Ben, Elbert, Ruth and their daughter Carol, three other people live there.  Dora Anderson (Estill Sr.’s widow) and her son Estill, Jr. but ALSO her son Donovan Anderson (1929-2001), who is not Estill‘s son, but Telmar‘s son.

UPDATE: May 2018. Donovan is shown here in what I was told was a Merchant Marine uniform (Anybody have information?)  I also just discovered a school yearbook that shows Estill Jr. was a class officer in his Sophomore year at Killbuck High School in 1942. However, according to Department of Defense Records in June of 1942, he enlisted in the Navy, where he served until June 1946. Perhaps he could not resist following his 4-year-older half brother, Donovan into service.

Yes, Dora married Estill when she was very young and when he died, she married his cousin Telmar. Dora and Estill had only been married for three years, and Estill,Sr. was a very young 21 years old when he died. However—the plot thickens–in this 1940 census she is listed as divorced and Telmar, obviously, is not one of the members of the household. So she was the widow of Ben’s son and the ex-wife of Ben’s nephew/ward. She and Ben were living under the same roof with Estill’s daughter Ruth, a very young mother.

The family bad luck seemed to continue with Carol Ann Steele, Dora’s granddaughter–and Ben’s great-granddaughter. I was excited when I discovered this relative because we were very close in age.  Ah-ha! I thought. A long-lost cousin I can look up. Carol was married three times, starting when she was only 16 or 17. She died in 1987. She was not yet 50.

Ben lived until 1963 and died in Barberton, in the Akron area where many of this grandchildren had relocated. So although he lived to be 83, he certainly saw more than his fair share of troubles. He had outlived his father (who died when Ben was a small child), his wife, his mother, his only son, his daughter-in-law, his only brother (Guy) and he lost an arm.

I hope if I ever locate any other descendants of these family members that they have been able to escape the chain of bad luck that seemed to start with sweet Nettie’s death.

UPDATE: May, 2018 Thanks to finding a cousin through DNA testing, I can add a bit of information about Ben, and hope to be able to confirm or correct the other information I have on my grandfather Guy Anderson’s brother and his family.

This new cousin tells me “I noticed that you mentioned my great-grandfather Ben Anderson having a hook from losing the lower portion of his arm. It wasn’t a railroad accident. He owned several oil wells. While turning a crank on one of them it spun out of control and very badly twisted his arm so that it had to be partially amputated. ” She also explains the rather unusual name of Estill.  She says that Ben’s best friend was Judge Estill of Holmes County and he used the judge’s last name as his son’s first name.

How I am Related

  • Vera Marie (Kaser) Badertscher is the daughter of
  • Harriette (Anderson) Kaser, who is the daughter of
  • Leonard Guy Anderson, is the brother of
  • Bernard F. Anderson, who is the father of
  • Estill Anderson, Sr., who is the father of
  • Estill Anderson, Jr.

  • Leonard Guy Anderson is the father of Telmar Anderson (Half-brother to Harriette Anderson, my mother)
  • Telmar Anderson is the father of Donovan Anderson

Notes on Research

Ohio Births and Christenings 1800-1962, Franklin T. Anderson, 18 Jul. 1903, Ancestry.com Family History Library File No. 477155

United States Federal Census 1910, 1920, 1930, Killbuck, Holmes County, Ohio

United States Federal Census 1940, Mechanic, Holmes County, Ohio

Indiana Marriages, 1810-2001, Franklin T. Anderson and Louise Thompson, 29 July 1953, pg 342, Ancestry .com  Family History Library No. 002418899

Michigan Marriage Record, Donovan Guy Anderson to Dora Carpenter, County File 712-771; State File Number 392107

Ohio, Birth Index, 1908-1964, Estill Anderson (Jr.) 13 June 1925,

Ohio Death Records 1908-1032, Ohio Dept of Health, Ancestry.com, Estell Claire Anderson (jr._ Certificate: 038958; Volume: 28568, 22 May 1991 (Notes that he had a 10th grade education)

Ohio, Deaths, 1908-1932, 1938-2007, Ohio Dept of Health and Ancestry.com, State File No. 1925113461 Estell Anderson Dec. 1926

S. S. Social Security Applications and Claims Index  1936-2007, Ruth Anderson Steele, Ancestry.com

Summit County Ohio Marriage Marriage Records, Ruth Steele and Harry Wiland, May 5 1959, Summit County Court of Common Pleas – Probate Division; Akron, Ohio; Summit County, Ohio, Marriage Records, 1840-1980; Volume Number or Range of Dates: Vol 173, 1959-1960.