52 Ancestors – Week 10 – Bowman

JM : March 8, 2014 11:22 pm : Shaffer and Zirkle Descendants

This is going to be a short one, as I don’t have a lot of time. Continuing with the Shaffer cemetery theme…

Buried in the Shaffer Cemetery are 6 Bowman children. They are all the children of Joseph Bowman and Sarah Bowers Bowman. Joseph and Sarah, according to Findagrave.com, are buried in Indiana. It’s interesting to see that four of their children died in October of 1867, and all were under 10.
Jacob died 15 Oct. 1867
Joseph, Jr. died 19 Oct. 1867
Isabelle died 24 Oct. 1867
John William died 27 Oct. 1867

George Bowman lived 1 month, died in 1859. Moses Bowman was 2 and died in 1869.

But it makes you wonder about the other four! What was going on in 1867? I did a quick internet search and came up with a record on the Clark County OH GenWeb that listed COD for both Joseph Jr. (croup) and John William (diptheria). So no crazy disease there. I didn’t find anything else ~ no epidemic or other cause. Could they have just been that unlucky to lose four children in less than 3 weeks? Seems unlikely.I also wonder what they were doing in this cemetery. Evan Middleton lists Mrs. Sarah Bowman as a member of the first Zerkle Lutheran church; however the rest of the members of the 2nd Lutheran Church started by Solomon Shaffer are the ones actually buried in this cemetery. I’m still working on this list of Evan Middleton’s. (p.500, History of Champaign County, Ohio: Its People, Industries and …, Volume 1)

But as this family is not related to mine, I can’t spend much time on them at the moment. If anyone knows anything about their deaths, please drop me a line.Also drop me a line if you have some ideas about the Zerkle Lutheran church split in 1848!

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52 Ancestors: Week 9 – Solomon Shaffer

JM : March 1, 2014 1:32 pm : Shaffer and Zirkle Descendants

For the first blog of #52Ancestors on my new site, I thought I would try a new idea. Much of my work in school right now centers around the Shaffer cemetery in Terre Haute, Champaign county, OH. Many of my Digital Humanities blog posts will be about this cemetery, I am writing a paper that includes this cemetery, and I am about to embark on a journey to try to get this cemetery restored. So I think for the next 30-31 weeks, I will blog each week about someone buried in the Shaffer cemetery, and how they are related to each other and to me.

Shaffer Cemetery by Craig Shaffer

Shaffer Cemetery by Craig Shaffer

Last week I blogged about Noah Zirkle and I truly believe he and his wife Lydia are buried in this cemetery, and I hope to find them along this journey. It’s only fitting, then, that I start with Solomon Shaffer, as I believe the cemetery is located on what was once his land. (Waiting for a copy of the deed that will confirm this…)

Solomon Shaffer was the youngest son of Jacob Shaffer and Otillia (Odilla, Otilla) Schmid. Jacob Shaffer was born and raised in Germany, and came to America as a small boy and settled in Berks County, PA. Otillia was his third wife. They were married in PA, and at some point moved to the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia. I’ll blog about them more in depth after I finish the people in the Shaffer cemetery.

Solomon (my 4th great grandfather) was born 7 April 1791 in New Market, Shenandoah, Virginia. He was baptized in the Old Pine Church on 29 May, 1791, and his sponsors were Johannes Bord and his wife Catherine. (Source: Wust, Klaus, Old Pine Church Baptisms 1783-1828 p. 20) I don’t know much about his childhood, but I know that the Shaffer, Zirkle, and Roush families lived near each other and I hope to explore that a bit more in depth at some point. Many of the Shaffer, Zirkle, and Roush men served together during the Revolutionary War, and these three families were very tightly interwoven by marriage.

In the early part of 1800, some of these family members headed west to Ohio. Abraham Zirkle (another 4th great grandfather, mentioned here) was a pioneer in what would become German, Clark county, Ohio. Solomon married Sarah Zirkle, the daughter of Abraham’s brother George and his wife Catherine Roush. They were married in Shenandoah on 18 September 1816. On the 1820 and 1830 Shenandoah county census they were still living there. According to several sources, at some point in the mid 1800s more of the Shaffer, Zirkle, and Roush families along with friends and neighbors, packed up in their wagons and went to the Ohio wilderness. Most settled right on the border between what is today Clark and Champaign counties.

According to Early Settlers of Champaign County and Surrounding Areas Vol 1 by Pat Stickley and June Kiser of the CCGS,  Feb 2000, Zirkle Pioneers of Terre Haute:

“In 1829 David Miller with a group of Virginia families, John Good, Abram Zerkle and Soloman Shaffer came in a four horse conestoga wagon and all settled near Terre Haute. Soloman Shaffer had 100 acres within a half mile of Terre Haute just southwest of town. Abram Zerkle’s 110 acres adjoined Shaffer on the west. John Good had a quarter section just east of town which later became part of the town. There are two other Zerkles, George and Jacob, who according to deed records owned farms in the immediate neighborhood and at the same time. I am at a loss to tell whether all were brothers or father and sons. Abraham Zerkle sold one-fourth acre in 1847 for a site of the Lutheran church. There is a Zerkle cemetery on the Abram Zerkle farm and a Shaffer cemetery on the Soloman Shaffer land. Another called the Rouze cemetery adjoins the southwest part of town. This land was owned by John, Levi and James Rouze, all of it in section 25 just west of town.” (Source: Ancestry.com) -I  take this 1829 date with a grain of salt, the 1830 census still has Solomon and Sarah living in VA; and other sources say these families all moved in 1850.

Solomon and Sarah had the following children:

Helena (1818-1899)
Lydia (1820-unknown) – married Noah Zirkle
Jonathan (1822-1905)
Samuel (1824-unknown)
Reuben (1826-1908)
Rebecca (1828-1914)
Catherine (1830-unknown – she might be the Sarah Catherine buried in Shaffer cemetery, I will check that out when I get to Sarah Catherine)
Joseph (1834-1868)

There is a mention of Solomon, Sarah, and several of their children in Evan Middleton’s 1917 publication, History of Champaign County, Ohio, Its People, Industries and Institutions (Indianapolis : B.F. Bowen, 1917), found here on page 500 in his discussion of the Zerkle Lutheran Church. He stated that they left Abraham’s church and formed another church (and from his description it sounds like it was on Solomon’s property) in 1848 in “connection with the joint synod of Ohio.” Among the names he lists are Solomon and Sarah and their children Reuben, Jonathan, Samuel, and Noah and Lydia Zirkle. Because Middleton only lists first names, and many of these families named their children the same thing, I cannot be certain that the Reuben, Jonathan and Samuel are the same as the Reuben, Jonathan, and Samuel that were Solomon and Sarah’s children, but there’s a very strong likelihood that is the case. Why wouldn’t they follow their parents? At any rate, by the time of Middleton’s publication, that church had disbanded and the building was being used as a barn. Abraham Zerkle’s Lutheran church would go on until the 1980s!

Anyway, from 1840-1860, the Mad River township, Champaign County, OH censuses showed Solomon and Sarah living there and farming until Solomon passed away on 22 March, 1865. He is buried in the Shaffer cemetery. Sarah followed him in death 4 years later.

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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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