Tag Archives: Jeddiah Brink

Why Genealogical Research is Never Done

This week I had a perfect example of why it is dangerous to assume that my genealogical research is complete.  All you have to do is copy it to yours, and you’re set.  Wrong! I’ll say it again: Genealogical Research is NEVER Done.

Jeddidah Brink’s Family Story

In this case, if you were relying on me to provide you with the complete story about Jedidiah Brink, you would have been led astray.

When I told you the story of my great-grand uncle, Jedidiah, brother of my great-grandmother Mary Brink Anderson, I included a list of the children he had with his first wife, Susan Fortune.

This week I got an e-mail from helpful Susan Brink, whose husband is descended from Jedidiah. Susan sent me links to information about a Jennie Brink.  Susan had found many listings on Family Search.org about Jennie Brink.  Many of them were obviously some other Jennie, since they were women who were married to a Brink instead of having the birth name Brink.  Others were born far from a date that could reasonably have been a child of Jedidiah and Susan.

But the links included this marriage license.

Jennie Brink

Jennie Brink- James Layland Holmes County Marriages 1901

  • Parents Jeddiah and Susan.
  • Age fits into the pattern of family we already knew about.
  • Her residence is correct for Jeddiah’s family

Jennie Before Marriage

So I took this bit of information and went looking for more information on Jennie at Ancestry.com.  It turns out that she was born in June 1880, the same month that the census was taken in Killbuck Township, Holmes County, Ohio.  The census was mid month, so Jennie apparently was born AFTER the census and so she doesn’t appear.

There are no 1890 census records available–almost all were lost in a fire–including this part of Ohio.

In the 1990 census, Jennie Brink reappears (HURRAH!) in Killbuck Township, Holmes County, Ohio. She was not living with her father or we would have spotted her earlier.  Instead, she was living as a servant with a Clow family.  This makes sense, since Jennie’s mother died in 1899, and there was another sister in the family old enough to take care of Jedidiah’s youngest children.

Jennie Brink

Jennie Brink 1900 United States Federal Census with Clow family

Jennie did not work as a servant for long, as she married in 1901, as we have seen. Her father also remarried quickly, and the other children scattered. (See article on Jedidiah/Jeddiah).

Jennie and James Layland–Unraveling Some Mysteries

By Looking at Their Children

Neither Jennie nor her husband James F. Layland show up in the 1910 census. What happened? Finally, by searching for James Layland, I found that he died in March, 1905. Find a Grave has his gravesite, but no wife, and no link to Jennie Brink Layland.

Ruby Layland

I  spotted the obituary of a daughter of Jennie Brink and James Layland, born in 1902. Ruby was born in 1901 according to her marriage certificate, but probably actually 1902. Seven-year-old Ruby was living with her grandfather in 1910, according to the 1910 census. When she was married at 16 years of age, a C. T (?) Layland was listed as her guardian, so both her parents had died by 1910.

James R. Layland

Then, as I was typing this, I went back to Family Search.org to look again at Jennie and James’ marriage license, and found that according to death records,  they had another child, James R., born December 5, 1905. I was thinking that Jennie would have become pregnant just before her husband died–probably not aware yet that she would have his baby after he was gone. However, Ancestry coughed up a Birth Certificate for James that indicates he was actually born December 5, 1904–months before his father died! Sometimes records are wrong–which is another genealogical research lesson–try to get a 2nd and 3rd source.

At any rate, James had a short life, dying at 19 years old in Akron, Ohio where he worked in manufacturing.

Since I can find no more information in Jennie, I am assuming that she died soon after James R. Layland was born.  I have not found a death record for Jennie, so I cannot pin that down, but I am satisfied with adding her to Jeddidah’s family and leaving the death year blank for now.  After all, she is a 1st cousin twice removed, making her probably tragic story a lower priority than other people on my tree.

But Wait, There’s More–Who is Viola?

In searching for Jenny, I went back to that 1880 census to have another look at Jeddidah and Susan Brink’s Family.  It is one of those record where the writing has faded and is very difficult to read, however, there definitely was a surprise.  Right between Ida V. (8 years old) and Samuel (1).

1880 Census Killbuck Township, Holmes County, Ohio

1880 Census Killbuck Township, Holmes County, Ohio

There’s yet another daughter I did not know about. Viola Brink, age 6 in 1880. This is somewhat more confusing since Ida, her older sister, is Ida Viola.  When I wrote about Mary Brink Anderson, I explained that her middle name Viola, was passed on to my mother as Violia, which mother roundly hated. Jeddidiah used his sister’s middle name for two of his daughters.  I had even less success in finding this Viola in any other records. That makes me suspect that Viola died in childhood.

So I started this week in the “firm knowledge” that Jeddiah/Jedidiah Brink had SIX children, and am ending the week knowing that he had (at least) EIGHT. Are there more that have eluded me?  And what about the mysterious and probably sad life of Jennie Brink? Did her son James R. die in an industrial accident?  And what happened to young Viola, the daughter of Jeddiah? Genealogical Research is NEVER FINISHED!

Notes on Research

Federal Census, Killbuck Township, Holmes County, Ohio 1880, 1900. Coshocton, Ohio,1910 .

“Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013,” database FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XDKB-R4B : 8 December 2014),  entry for Lloyd Shrimplin and Ruby Layland, 03 Nov 1917; citing Wayne, Ohio, United States, reference ; county courthouses, Ohio; FHL microfilm 425,761.

“Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:X63W-Q8B : 8 December 2014),entry for James R Layland, 06 Oct 1925; citing Akron, Summit, Ohio, reference fn 60020; FHL microfilm 1,992,682.

“Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:X8CC-TK3 : 8 December 2014),  James F. Layland and Jennie Brink, 08 Dec 1901; citing Holmes, Ohio, United States, reference p 233; county courthouses, Ohio; FHL microfilm 477,147.

The Story of a House: Jedidiah Brink’s Home

Every old house contains a multitude of stories.  We are very fortunate to be able to learn a great deal about the Jeddiah Brink home, and tell the story of a house.

Home of Jeddiiah Brink

Jeddiah Brink home, Killbuck Township. Picture by Jim Smith about 1996

It started with this photo by Jim Smith, a distant cousin from Ohio.  Jim posted the picture on Ancestry.com, and through it I became acquainted with Jim and with his research on the Brink and Middaugh families. He is descended from my great-grandmother Mary Brink’s brother, Jeddiah Brink.

The photo of the house spun off a remarkable series of events. How could I learn how old this house was? Did it look like this when Jeddiah lived there? What does it look like inside?  So many questions.  And I found answers to most of them.  See how in the story below.

Don’t Miss the Whole Story!

  • When you click on the photo below, it will take you to Adobe Spark.
  •  Using the scroll bar on the right side of your screen, move down through the story.
  • Captions will float up through the pictures as you scroll.
  •  I hope you enjoy this new form of presenting an Ancestors in Aprons Story.

The Story of a House

If I am not consistent in my spelling of this gentleman’s first name, I have good company.  The flexible spelling is clearly a trait of the era in which he lived.  In his father’s will, written in his father’s hand, the name is spelled both Jedidiah and Jedadiah.  On his application for a marriage license, the court spells it Jeddiah, but on the certification of marriage on the same page, it is spelled Jeddediah. The Death certificate for Mary’s brother says Jeddiah. So, when it comes to spelling names–anything goes. Caution, there’s a Jeddiah character in World of Warcraft!


I have just a slight P.S. to add about another member of my family. I was really fascinated to read the information that Jamee Parish shared about the painted canvas floors, because my grandmother, Vera Stout Anderson, painted her kitchen and bathroom floors in the 1940s and 1950s.  She did not paint on canvas, but instead painted right on top of the wooden floor, or old linoleum.  She would paint a background color and then spatter paint with a variety of colors for what I later thought of as a “Jackson Pollock effect.”  Combined with the colorful rag rugs she braided to use as throw rugs, she had a very colorful kitchen and bathroom indeed!


I have so many people to thank for their assistance with this story.

  • Amy Johnson Crow for suggesting the use of Adobe Spark. (Amy uses it to make a video here.)
  • The helpful folks in the Killbuck Gang Facebook group who knew a lot about the house, especially Sherri Smail who made a trip to pin down the directions for getting to the house and Tobie Snow, with her husband, the present owner  of the property.
  • Jim and Susan Brink who traveled to Killbuck, took dozens of pictures and share their thoughts with me in lengthy e-mails.
  • Jim and Susan’s daughter Jamee Parish, the architect who helped reveal some of the secrets of the house.
  • Tobie Snow’s sister-in-law provided Susan Brink with a listing of property transactions on the house, which Susan passed on to me.
  • Jim Smith, who first posted a picture of the house on Ancestry.com and has generously shared his research on the Brink family.


Jeddiah Brink:On the Brink of Finding the Brinks

[NOTE, June 2016: See Additional information in brackets below. Another child discovered!]

For Mother. Sorry we didn’t know all these things when you were still here to enjoy the journey.

Harriette Anderson Kaser

Harriette Kaser and oldest great-grandson, 1989.

Although I’m not writing a specifically Mother’s Day themed article this week, I am thinking about my mother Harriette Anderson (Kaser) as I delve into the histories of her father’s family starting with Jeddiah Brink, mother’s great-uncle. (The picture above shows her with her great grandson, as I talk about her grandmother’s family–or from the kid’s perspective–his 3x great grandmother!)

Mother never met Jeddiah, because he died 7 years before she was born, but she certainly knew a lot of the Brink family members who lived around  Killbuck, Ohio.

Mary Brink Anderson and others

Guy Anderson and Vera (holding son Herbert). Guy’s mother Mary Brink Anderson on the far right. 1909 family gathering.

First thing I have to get out of the way–Mother was wrong.  She thought that Leonard Guy Anderson’s mother’s family was Dutch, although she never emphasized her Dutch lineage.  Now I’m wading through a swamp of misleading clues and seriously doubting the nationality of my grandfather Guy Anderson’s mother, Mary Veolia Brink (Anderson)(Kline)–particularly on her father’s side. So although I asserted in an earlier post about Mary Brink and her family that her mother (Middaugh/Meddaugh) and her father (Brink) were both Dutch, I’m going to have to do a lot of work to find the truth.

Unfortunately, I even titled that post about Mary V.  Brink, “The Dutch Connection”. Whoops. But not a total loss, because it appears that the Middaugh side of her family, which I’ll get to in the next month or so, actually WAS Dutch.

Mother would have loved this process.  She didn’t like being wrong, but after all, this wasn’t HER fault–she was just passing on information that had been given to her. But she did love digging into the past and discovering new things. So Happy Mother’s Day wherever you are, mother– I wish you were here to share this.

Jeddiah Brink 1846-1914

Born in February, 1846 in Killbuck Township, Holmes County, Ohio,  Jeddiah was the oldest child in the family of Abraham (Abe) and Dorcas Middaugh Brink. He had twelve sisters and brothers, although only seven would survive to adulthood.

My great-grandmother Mary V. Brink was born when Jeddiah was twelve years old.

Like most of the boys in the family, Jeddiah grew up working on the farm. I don’t know about his schooling, but I do know that he could read and write.

Between March and May of 1865, Jeddiah (then 19) lost a three-year-old brother,  a 13-year-old brother and a 16 year-old sister. Apparently some epidemic swept through the countryside.  But Jeddiah survived and married Susanah (Susan) Fortune  the following March (1866).

Jeddiah Brink marriage

Jeddiah Brink and Susan Fortune Holmes County, Ohio marriage, 1866

Susan came from a nearby farm family, and in the census of 1860, Susan Fortune, then 15 years old, was living with the Freshwater family. It was not uncommon for a farm family to “farm out” their teenage children to work on neighboring farms, and I assume this was the case, although I do not yet have a handle on Susan’s family. I’ll leave that to descendants of Jeddiah, since my main interest is in his sister Mary (my great-grandmother).

As newlyweds, Susan and Jeddiah must have lived with one set of parents, but I do not know for sure.  Their first child, Eleanora Celestra was born in February, 1867.  (Celestra’s middle name comes from the 16-year-old sister who died the previous year.)  Now a family of three, they needed a place of their own. After all, Jeddiah’s youngest sister, Ada Ethel Brink, was born the same year, so if they were staying with his parents, Abe and Dorcas, the house was full with a baby and five other children ranging in age from 8 to 17 years old.

Here is a picture of Jeddiah’s house, but I’m going to save the story of the house–and the EXACT location- for another day.

Home of Jeddiiah Brink

Jeddiah Brink home, Killbuck Township. Picture by Jim Smith about 1996

Once Jeddiah and Susan had settled into their new home, Jeddiah was busy farming and Susan was busy with babies.

  • 1867: Eleanora Celestra Brink
  • 1870: William Alfred Brink
  • 1871: Ida V. Brink
  • 1873: Ola May Brink
  • 1875: Viola Brink [Added.  Is listed in 1880 census.
  • 1879: Frank Brink
  • 1881: Jenny Brink [Jenny showed up in our research late, since she was not with the family in 1900, and married soon after]
  • 1883: Emma Brink

Life on the farm went on, the children grew, and in 1898, Jeddiah’s father, Abe died.  For a time Jeddiah’s mother lived with daughter Mary, and Mary’s son Guy Anderson and his first wife Lillis. So my grandfather, great-grandmother and great-great grandmother were all living together.

Like the terrible tragedy of 1864 and 1865, Jeddiah and his family had a bad time in 1898 and 1899.  A year after Jeddiah’s father died, his wife, Susan died at 54.  In 1900, we see just the Emma and Jeddiah rattling around in that big farmhouse. [Added Information: The youngest daughter Jenny, at 18, was working as a maid for the Clow family in Killbuck Township.] A few months after the census was taken–October 18, 1900 to be exact, Emma married Simon Gillmore, a farmer who also lived in Holmes County.

The new century was a time of big changes. Jeddiah’s first wife had died in 1899, and the following year, some time before June, his son Frank married Matilda Bellar. (The Bellar name will figure in the history of the house pictured above.) And as mentioned above, Emma married in October 1900.

By the end of that year, Jeddiah was truly alone. But he was not destined to be alone for long.  In 1901, he married Sarah ___________. [Added: Meanwhile, the youngest daughter, Jenny, married James F. Layland in December of that same year. ]Two years later, he moved with Sarah to Perry Township, Richland County, where he occupied a farm next to one rented by his son, Frank. His son William also lived in  Richland County in 1910, although he lived in Mansfield. Daughter Elnora Brink Schonauer moved to Richland County from Coshocton County between 1910 and 1920 and finished her life there.

On the 1910 census, when he is 64 years old, Jeddiah is still listed as an active farmer. His son Frank did not stay in Richland, or in farming. After serving in the army in World War I, he moved to Columbus, Ohio where he worked for the railroad..

On the 5 of December 1914, Jeddiah died in Richland County of “apoplexy”. His death certificate information was filled in  by his daughter Ola May.

Note: Ola May married a Lepley, as did her sister Ida!

How I am Related

  • Vera Marie Kaser Badertscher is the daughter of
  • Harriette Violia Anderson Kaser who is the daughter of
  • Leonard Guy Anderson, who is the son of
  • Mary Violia Brink Anderson (Kline), who is the sister of
  • Jeddiah Brink.
  • Mary and Jeddiah are children of
  • Abraham Brink and Dorcas Middaugh Brink


U. S. Federal Census 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940 (Killbuck Twp, Holmes County, Ohio) and 1900, 1910 (Monroe, Coshocton Ohio); 1910, 1920,( Perry,  Richland County, Ohio);1900 (TIverton, Coshocton, Ohio), 1910 (Mansfield Ward 2, Richland, Ohio); 1920 (Mansfield Ward 1, Ohio), 1930, 1940 (Mansfield, Richland, Ohio, 1910, 1920 1930, 1940 (Columbus, Franklin, Ohio).

Image of Holmes County, Ohio marriage license for Susan Fortune and Jeddiah Brink from Ancestry.com posted by user KMannery65.

Image of Richland County Death Certificate for Jeddiah Brink from Ancestry.com, posted by user KMannery65.

Ohio, Deaths, 1908-1932, 1938-2007, Ancestry.com and Ohio Dept. of Health, for Jeddiah Brink Richland County, 12-5-14,; Elnora Brink Schonauer Mansfield, Richland County, 11-11-26, Ida Brink Lepley, Holmes County 17-Aug 1942, Ola May Brink Lepley .

Florida Death Index 1877-1998, William Brink Pinellas Florida, 1948.

Ohio, Find A Grave Index, 1787-2012, Internet, Ancestry.com.  For Jeddiah Brink, Susan Fortune Brink, Elnora Brink Schonauer

Ohio Births and Chistenings Index, 1774-1973, Ancestry.com, Internet. For Frank Walter Brink, William A. Brink, Emma Brink.

Web: Ohio, MOLO Obituary Index, 1811-2012,  for Ola Brink Lepley January 1934, obituary in Coschocton Tribune January 28, 1934.

Holmes County Marriage Records 1789-2013, FamilySearch.org web site. James F. Layland and Jennie Brink, 08 Dec 1901; citing Holmes, Ohio, United States, reference p 233; county courthouses, Ohio; FHL microfilm 477,147.