The state of Ohio Wayne County SS. I hereby certify that on the 22nd day of November AD 1849 Mr William Lawbaugh and miss Lydia Ummel were legally joined in marriage by me a teaching Elder in the church ???? ???? my hand this 22nd day of November 1849. Samuel N Miller
I try to be an organized, thoughtful researcher who plans every move in advance. Reality looks different then my dreams. I have research that I need to analyze and enter into my genealogy software. I use my research log but not consistently (a goal again this year to work on). I also get sucked into genealogy black holes every now and then.
I will get sucked in so fast and so hard by some random side line of research that I do not even realize what has occurred. When I come up for air a couple of hours later, there is not much to show for it. Except me with my eyes wide-eyed and glassy and hair sticking out in every direction like it was electrocuted.
I have been working on my family tree at FamilySearch by adding documentation and photos, attaching sources, and adding siblings. Yesterday after adding a transcription of the obituary for Lydia Ummel, my house was suddenly engulfed by a HUGE genealogy black hole.
It started with a quick search for anything about Lydia Ummel in Juinata County, Pennsylvania. This was listed as her birthplace in the obituary. Not finding anything, the search then detoured to the Ohio Marriages database at FamilySearch. There I found a record of Lydia’s marriage to William Lawbaugh in Wayne County, Ohio on 22 November 1849.
I really got in deep when I Googled “Lydia Ummel Ohio”. I found a reference to Lydia on a record for Joseph Ummel on MyHeritage. I was excited because as a member of the Southern California Genealogical Society I can log into that database from home. There was a biography of Joseph Ummel posted that named his Lydia as his sister.
At this point I had a feeling I was onto something and opened Evernote on my laptop. I started clipping everything I was finding so I would have breadcrumbs when I returned to reality.
I was able to get a partial read of the title of the book at the top of the article about Joseph Ummel. Another tab was opened in Chrome to now do a Google search for Joseph in Elkhart, Indiana. I found the full biography using the Google Book search. In “Pictorial and Biographical Memoirs of Elkhart and St. Joseph Counties Indiana”, pages 748-749, is a complete rundown of the life of Joseph Elkhart. Not only does the biography name his four sisters, I now have he names of his parents!
Of course, I could not stop myself and steamed ahead into the genealogy unknown. After some searches at FamilySearch and Ancestry, I went back to my trusted friend Google. A simple search for John Ummel had too many hits, but the same search on Google Books was akin to having winning lottery ticket. The very first listing is for a book by Helen Ummel Harness titled “Ummel-Lambert Roots and Branches: The Family History of John Ummel (1861-1942) and Ella Lambert (1874-1951): Their Ancestors and Descendants, Including the Surnames Brumbaugh, Coughman, Gehman, Musselman, Nafzger, Unangst and Others.” The book was not digitized on Google. I clicked on the link to find a copy in a library which pops you over to WorldCat. I happy to see that a copy of the book is at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.
I opened yet another tab in Chrome to check the catalog for FamilySearch. I was hoping the book had been microfilmed and I could order the film right away. To my surprise, it has been digitized and is available online at FamilySearch! The pages 31-54 include tons of information regarding John Ummel and Magdalena Nafzger. It even goes back another couple of generations for the Nafzger line. I now have at least one more gateway ancestor on my list.
It was time to come up for a breath of fresh air. The first thing I did was send an email to a cousin who is researching the same line. I was so excited to share the link to the book! I then called my husband to ask him to pick up take-out since I had not been doing anything I was supposed to be. After some family time and the kids were snuggled into bed, I attacked my laptop again to get some sources created and people entered into my database.
I still have some more work to do today for my finds yesterday but I am confident my notes in Evernote will lead me the right direction. I also now have tons to research to do to find the sources listed in the Ummel Lambert Roots and Branches book. Only a genealogist would be this happy to have more research to do!
I have never had such a successful genealogy black hole! I do not generally recommend chasing shiny stars into a genealogy black hole. I will say that an occasional trip can be fun and it might have some results. Just be sure to follow up after you finish your genealogy binge with good research skills such as citing your sources and analyzing the data.
In the middle of April I traveled to Northern Virginia to visit with my parents. While there, I made a deal that I would help my mom with some computer issues and in return she would watch my kids for a day so I could visit the Daughters of the American Revolution Library.
For me, the day spent in the library was like riding a rainbow and finding the jackpot of genealogy gold at the other end. I arrived with a four page list of books I wanted to look at. All day I was making finds and shoring up research I have already completed. I would have been happy with the information I found in the first five hours of the day. I had no idea the day was going to get even better.
I wanted to end the day with further research on my Lawbaugh line. As part of my research I have already checked online trees to get clues where I needed to look. I had a feeling that I could connect my Lawbaughs via Kansas, Illinois, Ohio and Pennsylvania to Johannes Laubach. Even with the online information, I want to conduct my own research for originals to prove my hypothesis. I currently have research completed for my line up to William Lawbaugh (1823-1896) m. Lydia Ummel. I have collected death certificates, obituaries, and cemetery information for the family. My research log has finding marriage and birth information for both of them next on the list.
The jackpot moment at DAR came just after 3pm. I made my way over to the Seimes Technology Center to look up a book called “An Ancestor To Remember: Johannes Laubach (Labach-Lawbaugh 1728-1808) of Chester County, Penna.” by Mrs. William T. Alston. I had found the book in the online catalog during my pre-visit research. The librarian in the room helped me to find the scanned book in the digital collection. She was concerned because I had under an hour left in the day to get through an 170 page book. I was almost immediately excited because the index listed names in order of descendent and the page numbers they would be found on. I quickly found my William Lawbaugh and realized I only needed to get through the first 55 pages of the book. I started hitting the print button on each page in case I ran out of time. I plan on going back and looking at the rest of the book on another visit.
I had a couple of moments where I had to shut my mouth to not scream in delight. Instead I was punching my fists into the air like a boxer with a punching bag! Not only did this book list my William Lawbaugh and his direct line to Johannes Laubach, it also included his descendants including my mother! There are lots of photos of important cemetery markers and photocopies of church records. The most important is the author included her sources. I have a road map to follow on my own research!
It still gets even better. The reference librarian was scanning the pages I was printing and mentioned to me that I should run back over to the Library room to pull a book by Stassburger/Hinke. The book was listed as one of the author’s sources for date of arrival in Pennsylvania. With just 15 minutes before closing, I rushed back over and went straight to the reference librarian to get assistance to find the book. As I quickly flipped to the pages for my ancestor Johannes Laubach, I realized that this book contained signatures of people who arrived in the British Colonies from Germany. Upon arriving in the British Colonies, passengers were required to sign an oath to England and an oath of abjuration for Germany.
I have the signature of my ancestor who was born in 1728 and arrived in Pennsylvania on the Two Brothers on September 15, 1748!!! Holy Genealogy Jackpot!! Even now, a month later, I am giddy with excitement about this find. I have to give a huge shout out to the librarians at the DAR Library. I would have missed this jackpot if they were not so knowledgeable about the library collections. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
Lydia Ummel is one of my maternal great-great-great-grandmothers.
This obituary is one of the best I have ever seen. Not only does it tell me where she lived, it gives a death date, cause of death, madien name, birthplace, number of siblings, migration information, marriage information, and what church she attended. I wish all obituraries held so many clues!!
Geneseo, Henry, Illinois
March 18, 1898
Page 4, Column 1
Mrs. Lydia Lawbaugh, widow of the late Wm Lawbaugh, died at her home, corner of Second and Stewart streets, at noon Tuesday, March 15th, 1898, of heart trouble from whjch [sic] she had been suffering for over 20 years. The maiden name of the deceased was Lydia Ummel. She was born in Juinata county, Pa., Aug. 21st, 1823, being one of a family of five children all but one of whom, as sister who resides at Spokane, Wash., are now dead. Deceased moved to West Salem, O., in 1832, and Nov. 22d, 1849, was married there to her late husband whose death occurred Feb. 17th, 1896. She leaves two children, Mrs. Miles, of this city, who has cared for her since Mr. Lawbaugh’s death, and William J., of southern Kansas. Deceased moved to Henry county in 1854, and in 1862 settled in this city, which has since been her home. She united with the Evangelical Association church fifty-seven years ago, and in her daily life was an exemplay [sic] christian. She leaves many warm friends, especially in her church circle, who sincerely mourn her death. Funeral service was conducted at her late home Thursday at 2 p.m. and her body was laid beside that of her husband.
Matthias Flock is my 4th great grandfather. (me->my mom->Roberta Mitchell->Opal Strickler->Effie Flock->John Flock->Matthias Flock). He was born about 1813 in New Jersey. He died between 1860-1870 in either Appanoose County, Iowa or York County, Nebraska. He married Margaret Fankboner in 1835 in Tuscarawas, Ohio. I have documented 11 children born between 1835 and 1860.
One of the things that really sticks out to me about this family is how much they moved during their lifetime. I created a timeline in excel to get a better idea of when and where the family lived. As they moved from place to place, they seemed to leave a couple of kids behind in each location. (Not Literally! The kids would stay in a town after they married.)
Using the information I had gathered in the excel sheet, I created a google map to get a better visual idea of how the Flock family moved around the United States. First they moved west, then South.
The excel sheet was pretty long so here is a quick snap shot of the family’s moves:
about 1813 – Matthias Flock is born in New Jersey
about 1815 – Margaret Fankboner is born in Pennsylvania
1835 – Matthias and Margaret marry in Tuscarawas County, Ohio
1835-1850 – The Flock’s live in Tuscarawas, Ohio as seven of their children are born
1850-1854 – The Flock’s live in Coles County, Ohio and have 2 more children
1855-1865? – The Flock’s live in Appanoose County, Iowa and have their last child
1865?- 1878? – Margaret now a widow, lives in York County, Nebraska. One of her son’s remainded behind in Iowa and did not make this move.
1878-1884? – Margaret moves in with son John and his family in Washington County, Kansas. She has left another couple of sons in York, Iowa.
1884- 1904 – Margaret is no longer living with John. She is found again in 1904 in the Cemetery in Ringwood, Oklahoma. One of her sons, Charles, is also buried there with his family. It is possible that she lived her last years in Oklahoma with him. An interesting note is that another son, John, died in Enid, Oklahoma. Enid and Ringwood are only 21 miles apart. For this family, that is a small distance.
When my ancestors moved in the mid and late 1800’s, they were definitely part of America’s great Western Expansion. I took a look at the BLM website to search for any land patents. I was amazed to see that most of Matthias and Margaret’s sons applied for patents in Iowa, Nebraska, and Oklahoma. I will have to spend some time learning more about the Homestead Act of 1862 and my ancestors roll in populating the west.
One of the great moments on this season of Who Do You Think You Are was in the Martin Sheen episode. Martin Sheen found information that one of his great grandfathers tried to put one of his great grandmothers in jail. In a twist of irony, the two sides of the family came together in marriage several generations later.
Today I found out that I might have my own “Martin Sheen” moment. It is not as dramatic but still exciting for me.
I have documented my mother’s paternal line (Lawbaugh) from Kansas back to Illinois then to Tuscarawas County, Ohio. The family moved to Ohio in the early 1820’s and stayed there until 1853 when my line moved to Illinois. The Lawbaugh’s lived in the Bucks and Sugarcreek areas of the county.
Today I received an email from a volunteer angel who did a look up for me in Tuscarawas County. He confirmed that on my mother’s maternal line (Flock) Mathias Flock married Margaret Fankboner in Tuscarawas County in 1835. The 1840 Federal Census places the family in Oxford, Tuscarawas, Ohio.
The Lawbaugh family lived approximately 20-25 miles away from the Flock family in the same county. Although I know this was a far distance for travel in the early 1800’s, I have to wonder if there was ever a chance that these two families ever met?! Did they know each other or of each other?
It would be wild if they knew each other because 4 generations later my grandmother would marry my grandfather in Kansas.
I need to do more research about the area and what records are available. I also need to add this county to my “visit places my ancestors lived” genealogy goal for sure!