Welcome to The Land of the Buckeye family history site!
I spent the first few decades of my life with only a vague (and mostly wrong) notion of my ancestry and family history, and with little inclination or capability to learn more. When middle age and the Internet brought the opportunity to investigate the subject myself, I was increasingly captivated by things I began to learn. The combination of my interest in history, the joy of discovery, and a fascination with the increasingly powerful capabilities of the personal computer resulted in an irresistible impulse to create something useful for posterity. Later, observing the growing scale of my developing genealogy database, I realized how many other living people must share some part of my ancestry. It has been a lot of work, a lot of fun, and very educational, and that's the real purpose of this site -- to share the information for the benefit of others who are similarly interested. I'm not a real genealogist -- it's just a hobby, and I hold no professional credentials in the field. But I take the work seriously, and I've tried to do a respectable job on the research and data verification. Among many discoveries, I learned that quite a few of my ancestors, as well as at least one of my wife's, were among the pioneers who headed west after the American Revolution, through the Appalachian and Allegheny Mountains, and settled in the Connecticut Western Reserve, the Seven Ranges, the Virginia Military District, and other parts of the Northwest Territory that in 1803 became the State of Ohio, where I was born and live today; thus I named my site the "Land of the Buckeye". I hope you find it interesting, and helpful to your own research.
About the Data
My genealogy database presently exceeds 120,000 individuals, and over 4,500 data sources. Fewer individuals appear in the web site, due to filtering out anyone born after 1925 who may still be living, for privacy (see Privacy Considerations below). Of the individuals in my database, I estimate that about 95% are related to me by blood or marriage. For various reasons, and at different times, I have chosen to include some families who are either known not to be related, or whose exact connection to my lines of ancestry is not documented. For example, a Benjamin Windell appeared in early Columbiana County from Pennsylvania, and I don't suspect that he was related to my Virginia Wendel/Wendell/Windle/Windell ancestry, but some of my clan were also in Columbiana County at that time, so I entered the Benjamin Windell data just to avoid "re-discovering" it in my research of Columbiana County. Similarly, (apparent) brothers William and John Windle appeared in early Lawrence County, Ohio, from Virginia, probably what is now West Virginia. It is almost certain that they were from my ancestral Shenandoah County Wendel family, but I don't know how they were connected. Also the Samuel Windle/Margaret Becker descendants are here, as Samuel was surely from the same Framersheim Wendel clan as Philip who brought his three sons to what is now Toms Brook, although we don't know the exact relationship. Finally, some or all of the Irish Boyds of early Lenawee County, Michigan are known to be kin to my Boyd ancestors, but most of the connections remain to be established.
From Mirriam-Webster's Online Dictionary: "er-ror: 1a: an act or condition of ignorant or imprudent deviation from a code of behavior; 1b: an act involving an unintentional deviation from truth or accuracy ..."
Yes, it's true -- there are errors in my data. Errors of omission, errors of commission, factual errors, typographical errors, grammar errors, botched source citation formats, wrong citation details in source citations, errors in the original sources repeated/carried forward into my data -- the list is long, I'm sure. Between the errors in original sources, the failings of human hands and eyes in entering and checking data, and the technical maneuvers required to make software tools present it as desired, perhaps the more remarkable characteristic is the number of facts shown correctly!
The errors in this data fall into two categories -- they are either (a) non-obvious and unintentional, meaning I am unaware of them, or else (b) visible or easily-discoverable "quality" errors -- source citation format problems, typos/spelling/capitalization/punctuation, wrong page in source cited, town location in the wrong county, etc. I hate these errors, which were caused mostly by my early preference for data entry speed over quality. I delayed putting my data on the web for several years while trying to clean it up for this presentation. It is far better than it was, and I'm still working on it, but I ultimately decided that "better" is the enemy of "good enough" - time marches on, people who want to know this information aren't getting any younger, and it's wrong to withhold it from view based on the existence of imperfections in the presentation. I would love to hear from you if you see any errors, particularly of the "(a)" type - and thanks in advance!
In a few cases, I have deliberately included contradictory information presented from a single source, such as a book in which the author states a date of death, and then quotes an obituary that states a different date of death, to maintain the integrity of the cited source. I've also deliberately left a lot of the original (contemporaneous) punctuation and abbreviation as written by the authors of books, when quoting their work, although some obvious typographical errors were corrected. In other cases, I have noted contradictory information that I have discovered, or that has been provided to me, with or without my own thoughts on the likely truth of the matter. For example, there are a few cases of children of the same parents with birth dates separated by less than the amount of time required by human reproductive biology - I know it can't be right, but I don't know what the truth is, and/or don't have a more likely theory, so I just left it as I found it. If you find an error in this data, and if you are willing to invest the time and effort to inform me about it, I will do my absolute best to honor your effort by correcting and republishing it as soon as feasible, and I thank you in advance for bothering to help me, and us.
About Sources and Credit
"Sources" are where you found facts. "Credit" is what you give to folks who found the facts first, and were the providers of useful information. You "cite" sources, and you "give" credit. At least, that's my take on the situation.
Two things, regarding "missing" documentation. First, I started my research in the mid-1990s, strictly to satisfy my personal curiosity, without any intention of sharing it outside my family, or any perceived need to record my sources - that is the explanation for a lot of the missing source information. I do much better now. Second, I will use the example of my ancestors Philip and Barbara (Swartz) Wendell, originally of Shenandoah County, Virginia, who were pioneer settlers in Beaver Township, Guernsey (now Noble) County, Ohio, arriving there before December, 1801 as documented by a land purchase record. The following is quoted from Stories of Guernsey County - Sidelights on the Stories in the Book by William G. Wolfe, page 66, regarding the formation and early years of Beaver Township: "The Guernsey County commissioners ordered the township organized at the house of Philip Wendell. John House was named Justice of the Peace and served as such for eighteen years. He never kept any docket, but recorded his transactions on slips of paper which he filed by slipping them between the logs of the walls of his cabin." So, I claim the rest of the documentation on that Wendell family, and their friends and neighbors, was on those scraps of paper, stuck between the logs of John House's cabin on Beaver Run, along with the "missing documentation" on some of my other pioneer ancestors. Life on the Ohio frontier was not conducive to extensive record-keeping and preservation, I'm afraid.
Where Did These Facts Come From?
My list of sources exceeds 4,500 - the preponderance are U.S federal censuses, by years and counties. I chose not to include the citation details (page and line numbers) in this presentation, to keep down the clutter. But I do have them. If you need to know the page and line for a citation, shoot me a message and I'll look it up in my database, as time permits.
Several published and unpublished books and other contributors deserve special credit here, due to their significant contributions to this information:
Published Books: A Genealogy and Family Memorial, by Joseph Sullivant; Ancestry and Descendants of the Nassau-Siegan Immigrants to Virginia, by B. C. Holzclaw; A Genealogy of the Descendants of Rev. Jacob Price, by George F. P. Wanger; From the Rhine to the Shenandoah, by Daniel W. Bly; Gebhart Gephart and Related Families 1609 - 1996, by Julia Shupert Hagwood; Stoner Brethren, by Richard R. Weber.
Unpublished Documents: "These Build Civilization", by J. H. Larimore; "The Descendants of Martin Schwartz (Swartz) (1702 - 1771) Immigrant to America from Eislingen (Dietlingen) Baden (HRE) on the ship St. Andrews 1738" by B. K. Swartz, previously online at www.zirklereunion.org/archives/swartz.pdf (URL no longer functional)
Web Sites: J. Edward Starr's Starr Site (URL no longer functional)
Credit to Significant Contributors (Alphabetical):
Robert Baird for Jacob Beard descendants; Paul M. Clary, for the Clary line of Wendell descendants; Sherry Cornelius, for Cornelius research; Tracy Devault (and Newland Devault before him), for Devault/Dewald research; Heinz Ernst and Klaus Munzinger, for Munzinger research in Europe; Kay Fluharty for Faulhaber research; Wynne Gilmore, for Gilmore research; Gerhard Höh for the Familienbuch der Gemeinde Gerhardsbrunn and other contributions; Lorraine Kerns and Dave Dardinger, for the Conrad line of Wendel descendants; Charlotte Muckey and Edwin Hays Cole, for the Gibler line of Wendel descendants; Marie Pemberton, and Dean and Bonnie Larimore, for Larimore-related research; Jean T. Ryan and Sandy T. Norcross, for Triem family research; Frederic Z. Saunders, and my many cousins on the MyFamily.com Windle/Wendel site; and Ruth Welch, for Rodgers research. And all the others, too.
And yes, I do use ancestry.com extensively, including the public member trees, although the latter is basically used as a "hint", and I try to confirm things that I see there via census review. I don't copy the source citations of others -- I go check them out and cite them myself if they are correct.
Acceptable Use of Information on this Site
The genealogy facts on this site are provided without limitation, or guarantee of accuracy, for the purpose of helping other researchers discover and share their own family histories. I view the quality of this information as being sufficient to support your own individual research efforts, but in most cases it is less than ideal for direct citation -- it would be far better if you would go to the original sources, verify the information, and cite those sources accordingly. My genealogy database, which is the source of this information, is a commingled product of my own research and data verification efforts (as indicated by census citations, mostly) plus information provided directly by other researchers, or found in, or derived from other works, published and unpublished, including the books named above. That means the accuracy of much of my data is dependent on the accuracy of those earlier researchers and sources, so you would be well-advised to review, evaluate, and cite the original sources, if possible. For these reasons, if you simply re-enter facts that you initially found here into your own notes or data tools, it is fine with me if you don't cite this web site as your source, or if as a matter of courtesy, you simply reference it once for everything you found here. On the other hand, if you wish to print out or otherwise copy pages from this site for redistribution, you must observe the requirements of copyright law, and obtain my permission. If you do need to reference this web site, the proper format for citation goes like this:
Donald L. Boyd, Land Of The Buckeye, online http://www.landofthebuckeye.net (1830 Hibiscus Court, Centerville, OH 45459, USA; email@example.com: page last updated 99 August 2099*) viewed on 99 November 2099*.
* Real dates go here, of course.
Except for images bearing a copyright permission notice, digital images on this site are my property, either personally digitized by me or given to me in digital format without restriction. You may copy them and share them privately for your family history documentation purposes, but please do not re-publish them as your own. Linking to images on this site is prohibited.
Sharing: This website is my preferred method of sharing my information. I am not willing to send a GEDCOM file of my entire database, nor to provide printed materials from it. I can usually be convinced to run a limited descendant report from my database, time permitting, and to send it electronically to other researchers of these families, especially when they have information to share with me in return.
Privacy Considerations: The traditional rule of thumb for publication of genealogical information has been to avoid publication of information about persons born fewer than 100 years ago, except to show parent-child names and relationships. Of course, you find many exceptions in older published genealogies, and that "century ago" date changes every day as the calendar rolls forward, making it difficult to maintain the cutoff for a web-based presentation. Another issue, as a technical matter, is that using an electronic database privatization function is a somewhat deceptive "solution", because for any case where a family member has died, the dates and locations for that person will be shown regardless of the relationship to living people. If a recently deceased person happened to be a relatively young person, and a sibling of other living persons, the living siblings' dates and locations (and those of their spouses and children, for that matter) are potentially compromised by the disclosure of the deceased person's information. So, I have tried to consider the practical as well as the traditional ethical dimensions, and have taken into account the fact that the U.S. censuses up through 1940 are publicly available and searchable, on the Internet, and reveal not only parent-child and other family relationships, but the family residence location, approximate dates of births and marriages, occupational, and other personal information. I decided that a reasonable approach for this site would be to show all known data up through 1925 (ninety-three years ago at this writing), plus information for persons who are known to be deceased since then, and simply to omit all names and information about individuals born after that date who are not known to be deceased. Therefore it is possible that the birth and/or childhood residence location, approximate birth date, and some life events (marriages, divorces, etc.) of individuals born before 1925 and still living will appear here, but there is no information on persons born after 1925 and still living, or possibly so, except to the extent that they may be named in quoted obituaries. If, notwithstanding my efforts to be considerate, you are disturbed for some reason by information that you see here, and you contact me about it, I'll consider your objections and the merits of removing it -- but as far as I know there is nothing shown here that would infringe on the privacy of anyone living today, because the most recent information about them is 93 years old as of this writing, and/or was previously publicized in other sources, including published obituaries and newspaper legal notices.
NOTE: Since I originally wrote this, many people have begun posting obituaries on public Findagrave.com memorials. Since they are already publicly available, I include them in my database and in this presentation. However, they do often name living people and their locations. If you see names and locations of living people in an obituary, and you contact me with a request to remove it from the website, I will do so.
The Germans: As is common for Americans, I had many German-speaking ancestors, and I've been fortunate to re-connect with a couple of the European branches of immigrant families and to receive more information about the families in Europe. You don't need to learn German to comprehend the genealogy, but there are a couple of facts that will be helpful in understanding German names in the nineteenth century and earlier. These are applicable to both the European Germans and also to the first couple of generations of German-speaking immigrants to America of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. In the church christening ceremony, they gave their newborn children "christening" or spiritual names, and also "calling" names ("rufnamen") - their everyday names. So in the church records, they are found with two names, plus the surname. The first name, often "Johann" for a son, was a spiritual name, in this case referring to St. John, the Baptist. It could also be Philip or George, referring to other Apostles. What you need to know is that Johann Michael Schmidt was known to friends and family as Michael, and the Michael Schmidt in civil records was probably the same fellow as Johann Michael Schmidt in the church christening records, if the dates and location match. Similarly, "Maria" and "Anna" were common christening names given to daughters, and preceded their calling names. Maria Eva Krick was known to friends and family as "Eva". She was not "Mary". The German equivalent to the English name "John" is actually Johannes, or Hans in earlier times. So if the intention was to name a son the English equivalent of John, then the written name was Johannes, often called Hans or Hannes. Johanna is the female version, equivalent (and linguistically related) to the English "Hannah". For the Munzinger genealogy data that came from a custom database developed by my German kinsmen, credit goes to the Familienverband der Pfälzer Munzinger (Palatine Munzinger Family Association). I left the notes in German - mostly they refer to occupational trades, noteworthy events in the person's life, or to witnesses at christening ceremonies, which often reveal family relationships beyond the parents. Likewise, my Scheurer cousins in Germany have put up a private member site on ancestry.com.de and I have cited those pages as sources, although they are not publically available to non-members.
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