52 Ancestors – Week 11 – Bowers

JM : March 16, 2014 9:02 pm : Shaffer and Zirkle Descendants

First, some business — I’ve been blogging for a year now! I actually missed my blogiversary – March 2nd. Here’s a link to my very first blog post on ShafferandZirkleDescendants.blogspot.com . I’ve now retired that blog, but I’ll leave it up as some cousin bait and hopefully as posts are discovered there they will find me over here!

I’m taking a (sort of) detour this week. If you’ve been following my posts, I’m concurrently researching the Zerkle cemetery, which is about a half mile away from the Shaffer cemetery. (And also all my family) In creating my databases, I noticed a set of Bowers in this cemetery that died at the same time. This cemetery was built on the Zerkle property, Abraham Zerkle was the son of George and Catherine (Roush) Zerkle (my 5th great grandparents). His sister Sarah married Solomon Shaffer. (They are mentioned in my last post on the old blog. They are my 4th great grandparents)

Anyway, back to the Bowers. Susannah Bowers and her son Silas Bowers died one day apart, in 1854. A quick search revealed that they died during the 3rd cholera epidemic. I tried to find a death record for them but no luck. I don’t have Ancestry.com access anymore. I assume this had something to do with their death, Silas was 21 years old, so she didn’t die giving birth. If anyone knows, let me know!

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Cemetery Visualization Project

JM : March 16, 2014 7:55 pm : Public History, Shaffer and Zirkle Descendants

Working on this visualization project I think I’ve stumbled on something interesting.

-In my database I have two cemeteries: Zerkle and Shaffer. They are named thusly per Google Maps. The story behind Shaffer is that a family member placed the sign there because it needed a name. I assume that’s why Google maps gives it that place name. I don’t know why the Zerkle cemetery is given that place name, other than because there are Zerkles (all spellings) buried there. But there are Zerkles (all spellings) also buried in Shaffer. That’s not a surprise, they are all intermarried into each other and the land all around both was once owned by Shaffers and Zerkles.

– My spreadsheet that I created shows the earliest burial in Shaffer was 1855, and latest was 1883. Zerkle was 1842 and last 1883.
– The current acreage that I was given by a Mad River Township Trustee was over an acre for Shaffer and just over a half acre for Zerkle.
– The 1874 map I have showing cemetery markings indicates a cemetery near where the current Google maps lists the Shaffer cemetery. Farther down, near where the current Google maps shows the Zerkle cemetery, is the Zerkle Lutheran church. But NO cemetery marker on the 1874 map. In 1874, the Zerkle Lutheran church was still there so it should be showing on the map.
– The deed I have a copy of from 1846 showing Abraham Zerkle deeded 1 acre to the Lutheran Church Trustees for a church and burial ground.
– The Shaffer Huston cemetery mentioned in a couple of sources does not exist anymore. The numbers of burials in the various records of Shaffer and Zerkle cemetery vary — much less in the pre-1950 literature available.

Conclusions:
1) I think the Shaffer and Zerkle cemeteries are misnamed. Zerkle should be an acre or more.
2) Shaffer-Huston was moved into the “Shaffer” cemetery – hence why there are more burials than originally accounted for.
3) The earliest burial in the “Zerkle” cemetery was Elizabeth Shaffer. Another reason this was probably the family cemetery located on the Shaffer property not the Zerkle property. The Zerkle cemetery, attached to the Zerkle Lutheran Church didn’t exist until 1846-7.

Now, how do I show all this visually?! Other than the fun color-coded map I made myself using colored pens. :)

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One Response to “Shaffer and Zirkle Descendants”

  1. renee says:

    Hi, my grandmas name was Margaret Predgo. She lived in Ohio and I don’t know anything about her family. I’ve only met her sister Lois Potter of Warren. I found that my grandmas parents names were Emory Shaffer and Audra Layman. Have you come across Emory Shaffer by chance?

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