An ancestor I feel like I’ve only been able to halfway research is my great-great grandmother, Mary Elizabeth McCracken. I just can’t figure out who her parents are. I’ve started trying to delve into my father’s AncestryDNA matches to see if I can find some clues.
According to her death certificate, Mary was born on August 23, 1862 in Ohio and her father’s last name was “McRacken.” On March 7, 1880, she and William Bost were married in Henry County, Ohio. On June 5, 1880, they were enumerated in the census living in Marion Township, Henry County, Ohio. A half-page away on the census is a man named E. McCracken who was born in 1835. This might be a lead.
Between 1882 and 1905, the William and Mary had 7 children: Mary Ellen, Francis, Marion Sylvester, Adam, Florence Elizabeth, Emma Jane, and Clara Arnetta. Mary died March 8, 1911 in Marion of pneumonia. Her youngest daughter was only 5 years old.
Earl Belknap and Florence Bost were married on June 2, 1913 in Wauseon, Ohio. Their marriage was announced in the local paper, “The marriage of Mr. Earl E. Belknap and Miss Florence E. Bost, occurred at the home of Mr. John Gisel on Cedar Avenue Monday evening, at 4:00 o’clock, Rev. J. H. Williams, officiating.”
“Ohio Marriages, 1800-1958,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XD8T-J9W : 10 February 2018), Earl E. Belknap and Florence E. Bost, 02 Jun 1913; citing Wauseon, Fulton, Ohio, reference 2:3KVTKL2; FHL microfilm 423,606.
This week I want to look at my great-great-great Grandmother Mary Barbara Shatzer/Shartzer. Most of what I know about her comes from census information. According to her death certificate (on which her husband Adam was the informant), she was born on April 6, 1841 in Ohio. Her father was listed as Philip Shartzer, born in Pennsylvania.
According to the 1850 U.S. census, Mary was 10 years old and living with her family in Blanchard, Hancock County, Ohio. Her father was John, aged 49, a farmer, and born in Pennsylvania. Her mother was Sarah Greenawalt, aged 47 and also born in Pennsylvania. Rosannah, aged 17, Henry, aged 14, Stephen, aged 12, Leannah, aged 8, and Sarah, aged 5 round out the family in 1850.
Mary married Adam Bost on December 5, 1858. Their son William Shepard Bost (my great-great grandfather) was born September 30, 1859. In the 1860 census in Monroe Township, Henry County, Ohio, Mary, Adam and their son William were listed in the same dwelling as Mary’s brother Henry, who was the head of the household at age 24. Also living there were Stephen, aged 22 and their mother Sarah, aged 56 and their sister Leannah, aged 18.
Adam and Mary’s next child was a daughter named Sarah Ellen who was born July 15, 1860 in Hamler, Henry County, Ohio. Mary’s husband Adam served in the Civil War in the 38th Ohio Volunteer Infantry from October 9, 1862 to July 27, 1863. In July 1864, a son named Samuel was born. On July 18, 1866, a third son named Francis Leroy was born. Their last child, named Alfred Lester, was born on May 7, 1869.
In the August 1870 U.S. census, the family was living 2 houses away from Mary’s brother Stephen in Harrison Township, Henry County, Ohio. Adam was aged 31 and a farmer with $500 in real estate and $150 in personal property. Mary was 27 and the children were 10, 8, 6, 4, and 1. In the June 1880 U.S. census, Adam was 41 and a farmer, while Mary was 38. Their sons Samuel (15) and Leroy (13) worked in a stove factory, while Lester (11) worked on the farm.
In June 1900, Adam, Mary and Lester were living in Hamler Village, Marion Township, Ohio. Adam’s date of birth was listed as November 1838 and Mary’s was listed as April 1840. Their number of years married was listed as 40. Lester was 31 years old. In April 1910, they were living in Swan Creek, Fulton County, Ohio. Adam was 71, Mary was 70, and Alfred was 40. Alfred married in May 1910 and died in 1918. In the 1920 census, Adam and Mary were living on Linfoot Street in Wauseon, Ohio. He was 81 and she was 78.
Mary died February 11, 1921 in Fulton County, Ohio of arteriosclerosis. She was buried in Shiloh Cemetery. Adam died on August 5, 1924 and was buried next to her.
Francis L. Bost was the son of William S. Bost and Mary McCracken. His stone is to the left of his mother’s stone (she died in 1911). Francis was born September 27, 1886 in Hamler, Henry County, Ohio. He died in 1893. He is buried in Marion Township Cemetery in Henry County.
The marriage of Mr. Earl E. Belknap and Miss Florence E. Bost, occurred at the home of Mr. John Gisel on Cedar Avenue Monday evening, at 4:00 o’clock, Rev. J. H. Williams, officiating.
This short announcement in a Wauseon, Ohio (?) newspaper proclaimed the wedding of my great-grandparents Earl and Florence Belknap. It took place at Earl’s maternal grandfather’s home in Wauseon on June 2, 1913.
Here is a close-up of Earl and Florence from a family photo in about 1923: