Tag Archives: Klunge

52 Ancestors: #21 Great-Great Grandmother, What Is Your Name?

Susan Klunge(?) Sampsel (born in Pennsylvania before 1800-died, probably in Holmes County, Ohio before 1850)

While my task (For the #52 Ancestors challenge) is to write a story about a different ancestor each week, sometimes the ancestor I choose is well hidden.  This week, you’re reading my story rather than  the story of the wife of Samuel Sampsel. It is a story of trying to find the story of my great-great grandmother on my father’s side of the family.


As I explained in my story of my great-great-grandfather Samuel Sampsell, the Kaser Genealogy (G.B.) names a Susan Klunge as the wife of Samuel, however Samuel’s wife has remained hidden, only sending out maddeningly vague hints from time to time.

He would probably have married his wife about 1814 or 1815, because their first child was born in 1816.

While his wife could have been a teen, the likelihood is that she was at least 17, and not over 24– born between 1792 and 1799.

We know she and Samuel had between six and nine children during the years between 1816 and 1832/or 1834 (see Samuel’s life story).

We suspect she died some time between 1832/1834 when the youngest child was born and 1850 when the census was taken that shows Samuel and several of his children are living without a wife/mother in the household.  Further, it is unlikely that she died of childbirth with her youngest. Since Samuel apparently did not remarry (no wife in the 1850 census), I assume she died around 1850 when she would have been just over 50 years old.

Gophers Turn Up Promising Story

So far, that is pretty flimsy as evidence goes!  So you can imagine how excited I was to turn to the website, Genealogy Gophers, and find a book, Descendents of Peter Klugh by John A. Maley. The book, with details of many generations of the family named Klugh–later changed to Kluge or Klug.  They migrated from Saxony Germany to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

A Peter Klug and his 2nd wife Christine had a child in 1795, named Susan. There was not much other information about this Susan. But I did find family trees on ancestry.com that listed Susan’s parents as Peter and Christine.

This was all looking very promising. The birth date was similar to Samuel Sampsel’s 1798 date. I listed Susan’s siblings, who had the same names as “my” family’s children–Catharine, Jacob, Henry and George.

Then I went into the index of the book to see if there were more mentions of Susan. There I discovered that she had married a man named Peter Arnold. Okay, that could still work, if he was a first husband, and Samuel a 2nd husband.


BUT, the Susan described in the book found by the Gophers died in Pennsylvania in 1869. Whoops!  “My” Susan/Susanna would have been living in Ohio from about 1827 and would have died before 1850.

What a disappointment. Even the gophers can’t dig up this woman. A couple of hours jotting notes on a family that is not the right family, and I am no closer than ever to finding Samuel Sampsell’s wife.

For now, I will set aside this great-great grandmother as an obstinate brick wall that is not about to tumble.

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

Catharine Sampsel, who is the daughter of

Samuel Sampsell and Susan ????

Notes on the 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 1830 (German Twp, Holmes Co, Oho); 1850 (German Twp, Holmes Co, Ohio; 1860 (German, Holmes, Ohio)  * These records accessed at Ancestry.com.

 Pennsylvania Births and Christenings 1709-1950, Birth Records and Christening for Susan Klug, 17 April 1796 at Christ Lutheran Church, York, York, PA Accessed at family search.org  Pennsylvania ODM G.S. film #Q974.841Y1VZY V5-6.

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

Descendents of Peter Klugh by John A. Maley, found at the site Genealogy Gophers, turned out to be a false path.