#23 Earl & Florence Belknap

(52 Ancestors #23 – Wedding)

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.”

Earl and Florence Belknap, 1920s
Earl and Florence’s Marriage Record

“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.

#17 – Jacob Baker

(52 Ancestors #17 – Prosper)

My husband’s great-great grandfather was Jacob Baker (family name originally Becker). Jacob Baker was born May 30, 1865 in Ohio.  His parents Johann George Becker and Elisabeth Kline were born in Germany. They married in Germany in 1853 and their first child, Wilhelmina, was born in Illinois or Ohio in 1854. Eight more children followed after Wilhelmina, including Jacob.

In the 1870 U.S. census, the family (listed as Baker) was living in Richfield, Lucas County, Ohio.  George was 43 and a farmer.  His real estate was valued at $2500 and his personal estate at $500. Elisabeth was 38 and kept house. Their birthplace is listed as Prussia.  Wilhelmina (Mena) was 15 and listed as being born in Ohio.  As was Elizabeth, aged 14.  The next two children Mary (11) and Conrad (9) were listed as being born in Illinois.  The rest of the children, Katherine (7), Jacob (5), and Emma (1) were listed as being born in Ohio.

In the 1880 census, the family was still living in Richfield Township. Their last name was listed as Baker.  The children at home were Conrad (19), Catherine (17), Jacob (15), Emma (11), George (8) and Margrett (5).

Jacob married Bertha Knisel on June 28, 1900 in Lucas County, Ohio when he was 35 and she was 25. They were both living in Toledo at the time.  Jacob was a carpenter and Bertha was a domestic. Click the image below to enlarge their marriage registration.


Jacob and Bertha had a daughter, Emma Maud, on April 6, 1901 in Toledo, Ohio. Their son, Milton Jacob, was born November 14, 1904, also in Toledo.  In the 1910 census, the family was living at 1504 Norwood Avenue in Toledo.  Jacob was a carpenter in building construction. It says he was out of work 9 weeks during 1909. Emma was 9 and Milton was 5 and both attended school.

In 1920, the family was living at 1450 Prospect Avenue.  Sometime between 1910 and 1920, Jacob became the proprietor of his own grocery store.  In the census, Bertha was listed as his partner in the grocery.  Emma, aged 18, was a stenographer at a real estate office, while Milton (15) was still in school.

Click image to see it larger.

In the 1923 Toledo City Directory, the family was still living at 1450 Prospect Avenue. Milton was a driver and Emma was a stenographer at Palmer-Blair Company.  Jacob’s wife Bertha died on July 22, 1923 of breast cancer. She was buried in Toledo Memorial Park. In about 1925, their daughter Emma married Donald G. Miehls.  Donald was a Catholic and Jacob disowned Emma because of her marriage.

On October 29, 1924, Jacob married Amanda Tursan, the widow of Peter Dethlefsen.  He was 58 and she was 51.


Jacob died December 6, 1929 of stomach cancer and involutional melancholia (depression). When he died, Jacob left everything to his son Milton and nothing to Emma. Milton gave Emma and her husband the grocery story, while he kept the house. Amanda, Jacob’s widow, died in 1948 and was buried with her husband Peter.

Toledo Memorial Park in Sylvania, Ohio

Image citations:

“Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013,” database with images, FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XZLR-Q2Q : accessed 15 January 2016), Jacob Baker and Bertha Knisel, 28 Jun 1900; citing Lucas, Ohio, United States, reference 597; county courthouses, Ohio; FHL microfilm 909,007.

“United States Census, 1920,” database with images, FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MDGX-GD9 : accessed 15 January 2016), Bertha Baker in household of Jacob Baker, Toledo Ward 8, Lucas, Ohio, United States; citing sheet 22A, NARA microfilm publication T625 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,821,409.

“Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:2Q35-PRQ : accessed 19 January 2016), Jacob Baker and Amanda Turson Dethlefsen, 29 Oct 1924; citing Lucas, Ohio, United States, reference ; county courthouses, Ohio; FHL microfilm 2,167,511.

#13 – John Gisel

(52 Ancestors #13 – No theme)

John Gisel was born September 27, 1843 in Wilchingen, Schaffhausen, Switzerland to Leonard Gisel and Elizabetha Bachtold.  He had an older brother, John, who died in Switzerland in 1842.  His family came to the United States in about 1852.  It is believed that his mother died while on the journey over and she was buried at sea.  In the 1860 U.S. census for Franklin, Fulton County, Ohio, his father Leonard is listed with four children: George (aged 20), Anna (19), John (16), and Mary (15).  John married Margaret Rhost in about 1868.

In the 1880 U.S. census, John and Margaret were living in Franklin and had 7 children: Ella/Mary Ellen (aged 13), Martha (my great-great grandmother) (aged 10), John (8), Lydia (7), Libbie/Elizabeth (5), Samuel (3), and William (9 months).  They had a daughter, Anna, who was born in 1875 and apparently died before the 1880 census.  In 1881, they another son, Albert.

In the 1900 census, John and Margaret were still living in Franklin and had been married for 31 years.  Out of 9 children born to Margaret, 8 were still living.  By the 1910 census, John and Margaret were living on Cedar Street in Wauseon, Ohio.

On June 2, 1913, their grandson Earl Belknap (Martha’s son) married Florence Bost at their home.  From an announcement from 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.

In 1920, they were in the same place, John was 76 and Margaret was 71 and employed as a laundress.

John Gisel died November 1, 1923 of pneumonia and an inguinal hernia.  He was buried in Wauseon Union Cemetery.

Their daughter Elizabeth Bingman died April 9, 1924 of mitral regurgitation, and their daughter Martha Belknap died in an auto accident in Michigan in September 1925.  In the 1930 census, Margaret was an 83-year-old widow living alone on Cedar Street in Clinton Township, Fulton, Ohio.  She died April 20, 1939 at the age of 90 and is buried in Wauseon Union as well.

#10 – Mary Barbara Shatzer

(52 Ancestors #10 – No theme)

Mary Barbara (Shartzer) Bost, Shiloh Christian Union Cemetery
Mary Barbara (Shartzer) Bost, Shiloh Christian Union Cemetery

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.

#4 – Arthur Belknap

(52 Ancestors #4 – Closest to your Birthday)

Arthur Belknap, with his 60th birthday cake (1929)
Arthur Belknap, with his 60th birthday cake (1929)

I was born on what would have been Arthur Belknap’s 110th birthday.  He was born May 23, 1869, probably in Fulton County, Ohio, to Thomas Belknap and Polly Ann Farr.  He was their last child.

In the 1870 U.S. census, Arthur was living in York Township, Fulton, Ohio with his parents Thomas and Polly, his half-brother Francis, and his siblings Myron, Lucelia, Lucretia, Thomas and Lucina.  He had another brother, Zera, who was living with the Stillman Biddle family in York, as a farm laborer.

In 1880, 11-year-old Arthur was living in Dover, Fulton, Ohio with his parents and his brother Myron and sister Lucina.

On March 5, 1890, Arthur married Martha Gisel in Fulton County.  Martha had a child named Minnie, who had been born in 1887.  On August 14, 1891, their son Floyd was born in Dover.  On April 9, 1895, a son Earl was born in Gorham Township.  On March 18, 1899, their daughter Belva was born.

In 1900, the family was living in Franklin Township, Fulton, Ohio.  Arthur was a farm laborer and rented his home.  On August 18, 1901, their son Orville was born in Franklin.  On August 18, 1903, their last child Kennard was born.

In 1910, the family was living in Gorham Township, and Arthur was listed as a laborer.  In 1913, Arthur’s first grandchild, Velma, was born in Wauseon, Ohio.  Velma was my grandmother.

In 1920, Arthur, Martha, Orville and Kennard were living on Gorham St. in Gorham Township.  Arthur was a laborer at a lumber company, while the boys were farm laborers.

In September 1925, Arthur’s wife, Martha died in a car accident.  See this post from March 2011 for details of her death.

Arthur Belknap at his wife's grave, 1925
Arthur Belknap at his wife’s grave, 1925

In 1930, Arthur was living alone in Fayette, Ohio, working as a laborer at odd jobs.

By 1940, Arthur was living with his daughter and her family in Nankin, Wayne County, Michigan.

In the 1947 and 1953, Lincoln Park, Michigan city directories, Arthur is listed as living with his son Earl at 617 Cleophus.

Clockwise from top left: my aunt, my grandma Velma, my great-grandpa Earl, my great-great grandpa Arthur holding my cousin who was born in February 1955.
Clockwise from top left: my aunt, my grandma Velma, my great-grandpa Earl, my great-great grandpa Arthur holding my cousin who was born in February 1955.

Arthur died August 1, 1955 in Wyandotte, Michigan. He is buried in Wauseon Cemetery in Wauseon, Ohio next to his wife.


#1 Thomas Belknap

(52 Ancestors #1 – Fresh Start)

Thomas and Polly Ann Belknap's tombstone
Thomas and Polly Ann Belknap’s tombstone

Thomas Belknap was born in 1803 to Obadiah Belknap and Abigail Locke in Lisbon, New Hampshire.  According to A Standard History of Fulton County, Ohio, “It is known that Thomas Belknap was born on a family homestead in Vermont that had come to his father…in consideration of his service in the War of the Revolution” (page 428).  (Although there is some “Tory” talk in the family; somehow the Belknaps ended up in Quebec just over the border since both Obadiah and Abigail are buried there).   I’ve also seen a story that mentions that his new step-father did not get along with the step-children, so Thomas went to live with an uncle in Pennsylvania until the age of 21. However, I’ve never found evidence Abigail remarrying after Obadiah’s death.

Thomas married Sally Dearborn in Derby, Vermont on August 1, 1824. She died in 1838. Thomas married Eunice Burns sometime between 1838 and 1848, and they had a son named Francis Marion Belknap who was born in Wisconsin on January 17, 1848.  I am assuming Eunice died in childbirth as Thomas then married Polly Ann Farr on September 18, 1848 in Lorain, Ohio.

According to A Standard History of Fulton County, Ohio, “Zera Belknap was the oldest in a family of seven children born to Thomas and Polly Ann (Farr) Belknap, and he was the only one born in Lorain county. He was not yet two years old when his parents came by wagon from Lorain to Fulton county. They encountered many difficulties crossing the black swamp enroute to the new country. They located at Delta, and there six children were born to them. They were: Myron, Lucile, Lucretia, Thomas, Lucina and Arthur. While Thomas Belknap attained to the age of eighty-five years, his wife died while she was yet a young woman. They lie buried in the Spring Hill Cemetery.  Thomas Belknap was married three times, and Zera Belknap was a son from his third marriage. There was a half brother, Francis Marion Belknap, who was from the second marriage, and he came along with the family to Fulton county. There were three children by the first marriage, but their mother died in Vermont and the father went to Wisconsin before he finally located in Lorain county. These children never came west and nothing is known of them today. In all there were eleven children born to Thomas Belknap—three different mothers.”  This helpful book also states that, “When Thomas Belknap removed from Delta he located at ”Hornetsville,” and he helped cut the timber from the site of Wauseon and work it into barrel staves. While there was white oak timber in abundance, his occupation was stave-making, the staves sent to Buffalo and the barrels made there.”

In the 1850 census, Thomas, Polly and Francis are listed as living in Russia, Lorain County, Ohio.  Polly was only 18 years old and Thomas was 46.  In the 1860 census, the family lived in Clinton, Fulton County, Ohio.  Thomas was listed as 45 and Polly as 29 (Hmm, Thomas never ages in these censuses!)  They had Francis living with them, as well as their children Zera, Myron, Alice L. (Lucile as listed above), and Lucretia.  In 1870, Thomas Belknap was 54 and Polly was 38 and the family was living in York, Fulton County, Ohio.  Francis was living with them, but Zera was not.  Also, Myron, Lucelia (Alice or Lucile as listed above), Lucretia, Thomas, Susanna (Lucina as listed above), and Arthur.  My family line comes through Thomas’ son Arthur who was born in 1869 when Thomas was 66 years old.  In 1880, the family lived in Dover, Fulton County, Ohio and Thomas was listed as 60 and Polly was listed as 49.  Myron, Lucina and Arthur were living with them.  Polly was listed as Ohio as her birthplace, while her father’s was Vermont and her mother’s was Kentucky.  I’ve never been able to find anything about her parents.  I think Polly died around 1887.  Thomas died, full of years, on April 13, 1889.  They are buried in Tedrow (Spring Hill) Cemetery.

Wednesday’s Child: Francis L. Bost

Photo by StarTiger at http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=87075905


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.