Thursday, November 15, 2012

Starting a Family of Their Own

in the public domain in those countries with a term of life of the artist plus seventy years
Despite this most recent bump in the genealogical road back to First Families of Ohio status, I need to keep working on documentation. I’ve found that, where one document fails to correctly identify the matter it was tasked with reporting, others will surface if the event did, indeed, occur.

In the meantime, on to documenting the next generation!

For the line of Simon and Nancy Ann Snider, that means advancing to one specific daughter in the next generation: Emily Catherine Snider. She it was who, yesterday, caused me some distress upon the discovery that her marriage record was—mostly—incomplete. (While I know that, as in The Princess Bride where one cannot be “mostly dead”—or, come to think of it, even “mostly” pregnant—one cannot be “mostly” married, I’m going to proceed as if the enigmatic “vouched for” addendum indicates that Adam Gordon and Emily Catherine Snider were more than just “mostly” married.)

Following the wedding date of—ahem—some time around May 24,1864, Adam and Emily Gordon proceeded to raise a family of their own. It is fairly easy to locate the birth records for most of their children, especially after passing that magic documentation date of 1867 in the state of Ohio. Indeed, the five births occurring 1870 and afterward are listed in the Index to Births—Perry County, Ohio, as can be seen online here, by scrolling through the alphabetical entries until page twelve of the “G” section.

As for those births pre-dating that 1870 entry in the Index, we need to rely on the 1870 census. With that in hand, we see the Gordons’ first two children, Simon Gilbert (born 1866) and Bertha (born 1868).

There are several entries for other births following these 1870 records. After all, according to Emily’s own report on the 1910 census, she was the mother of at least eight—possibly nine, though the handwriting is hard to decipher. Yet, of that total, only four made it to adulthood. The Index to Births bears that out, with three of the five entries there for unnamed baby girls. The entries in that Index registered by given name were for those children who, along with the youngest two listed in the 1870 census, were the survivors of the family.

So, added to Simon and Bertha were another daughter and another son. As to determining what their names were, exactly, introduces another minor glitch. For the daughter, while I have some entries showing her name as Mary Jennie—or even Jennie M.—there are other records showing her name spelled out as Mary Jeneveve. As for the son, the Index to Births types his name out as Mack—while the 1880 census records the infant as Mark. Who’s to say, though? The 1900 census records him as Mark, while the 1910 census seems to revert to Mack—or is it Mark?…the handwriting is so hard to read.

Because these records are on the far side of the century which eventually instituted the keeping of governmental records, it is not much of a chore to follow the data and see who ultimately marries whom. The Gordons’ oldest child, Simon Gilbert, claims the hand of one Sarah Catherine Shreider in a wedding ceremony celebrated on Christmas day, 1898. His younger sister, Mary Jennie, becomes the bride of Phillip Noll in 1904. The youngest son, Mack Henry—or, perhaps, Mark—claims for his own one Catherine Rose McCabe Ratliff, a widow, marrying nearly sixteen years after his next-oldest sister.

And then there is Bertha. You realize, of course, that I saved Bertha for last for a particular reason. She is the one representing the next step in our pursuit of the lineage from the First Families of Ohio pioneer, Nicholas Schneider. Still in Perry County, Ohio, Bertha joins Joseph Raymond Metzger on the start of their own partnership with a wedding date of April 17,1888, becoming the first of her siblings to marry.

And thus we begin a new chapter in the pursuit of the descent of our First Families of Ohio candidate.

Above right: Anton Dieffenbach, "Rest in the Forest," oil on canvas; courtesy Wikipedia; in the public domain in the EU, Australia, United States and other countries with a copyright term of life of the artist plus seventy years.


  1. Findagrave has a memorial for a Mark H Gordon born 1879 that appears to be your guy.

    1. Thanks, Iggy. It does look like both Mark and Catherine. Added bonus: unless the company who made the headstone also made a mistake, it looks like his name is indeed Mark and not Mack.

  2. Just catching up with you..we were gone a few days. I see you are still searching..bravo..Dec 31 is not far off! :)

    1. Oh, I know it! Tempus fugit, as they say. The documentation collecting is going much more smoothly now, thankfully. There is something to be said about "modern" times.

      Loved your travel pics on your blog today, by the way.

  3. Very pleasing to read! I am hoping the road to First Families of Ohio status is smooth. You are so fortunate to have births recorded as early as 1867! (I know it doesn't feel fortunate . . . if our ancestors only knew how hard we would look for them, they would have recorded their vital records much earlier!) In South Carolina, the date is 1915. This fact made my DAR application just a teeny bit harder . . . looking forward to your further adventures in documentation. Like the reference to Princess Bride!

    My book blog is at, and on Twitter I'm @MariannSRegan, just in case you'd like to know ...

    1. Yes, Mariann, I did want to know! Thanks for leaving those links. I've seen you on Twitter for quite a while but never connected your comments here with your identity there!

      I'm surprised one of the original colonies would have such a late date for their vital records. I'm only just now beginning to delve into my family history in South Carolina, so I'm not yet familiar with the ins and outs of researching that state. From that perspective, yes, I would consider myself fortunate to be researching ancestors in a state with such early documentation.

      Ah, yes...the Princess can thank my husband and my daughter for that: both consummate lovers of fiction. I, on the other hand, turn out to be the boring, fuddy-duddy of a practical soul, preferring non-fiction. I get my Cliff's Notes versions of colorful life from them.


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