Wendell Genealogy Mysteries
The German Wendels (Philip Wendel, with his three sons Valentine, Augustine, and Christopher), immigrated first to Pennsylvania, then down the "Valley of Virginia" to what is now Shenandoah County, Virginia in the mid-1730s. Samuel Wendel who was surely related to them (he knew exactly where to find them), came a decade later, following the same route. Given such early settlement, and the post-Revolution migration westward of many Wendel descendant families into the frontier, there are many, many lines of descendants and more than a few mysteries, due to the passage of time and lack of contemporaneous documentation. This page is to share some of these mystery cases.
Jay Guss appears to have come from the Waverly, Pike County, Ohio area and used the same surname spelling as brothers Daniel and William D. Wendell (sons of Philip and Barbara of Beaver Township, Guernsey County) who also lived there from the 1830s until 1862 or 1863. His father's name is shown as "Henry" on his death certificate. Recent discoveries that (a) his mother Mariah, daughter of George and Hannah Ridgway married a John "Windall" on 21 MAR 1861, and (b) a 37-marker Y-DNA test of a male descendant of the above mentioned Daniel Wendell matches the same test of a great-grandson of Jay Guss Wendell, leads to the conclusion that the father was most likely John (1833 - 1898), son of William D. and Effie (DeLong) Wendell, who was unmarried and age 27 as of the 1860 census. The extended William D. Wendell family including his children and grandchildren all migrated west to Logan County, Illinois in 1862 or 1863. Of course the Civil War was ongoing at that time, which may or may not have been a relevant factor in the breakup of the John Wendell/Mariah Ridgway marriage. She remarried to Henry Clay Cave, using her maiden name, on 7 APR 1864 in Ross County, Ohio, and they had relocated to Jones County, Iowa by the 1870 census. Further details of the lives of the above people can be found under their names in the surname index.
Harriet "Hattie" Wendell was listed in the 1900 census of Monroe County, Ohio as an adopted daughter of Marion and Elizabeth Fisher. This death certificate shows a birth location of "Fraziersburg" Ohio, which does not exist, and there is no reason to suspect she was born 50 miles northwest of Monroe County at Frazeysburg. An obituary published in the Mennonite "Gospel Herald" named her birth location as "Louisville", probably the Lewisville in Monroe County, where she was later married to Edward Young and raised a family. There were Wendell families just ten or fifteen miles north in Noble County -- possibly her father was from that group.