Thursday, June 13, 2024

The Quest for Clinton's Roots


Finding an unexpected member of one's family can be unsettling, especially for those of us who have spent years trying to get the details right about our ancestors. Discovering that that newfound relative has descendants who now are on our DNA match list calls for a much closer examination. That's what I'm into now, with the discovery that some descendants of a man named Clinton Metzger claim to be cousins—albeit distant ones—of my husband. Let's see what's already known about this Clinton Metzger so we can delve deeper into his roots. At some point, hopefully the nexus will appear. But first, you know the rules of genealogy: start with what you know.

Here's what I "know" about Clinton Metzger, based on some easy-to-find documentation. Buried in the same county where he made his home—Delaware County in Ohio—Clinton Metzger's headstone made it clear that the man, who died in 1933, was born in 1860. A family man, he sometimes went by the nickname "Clint"—as in the 1900 census—or simply by his initials, C. N. Metzger. Married in 1881 to the former Ida Mae Bell, he was father of six children—three sons and three daughters.

But where he came from or who his parents were, that is the questions. Some helpful researchers years ago had posted burial information for all Delaware County cemeteries on the sorely-missed old website, RootsWeb, on which list Clinton Metzger did make an appearance. But for the column labeled "father," the slot next to Clinton's name was frustratingly blank.

How, then, no less than 104 other subscribers were able to assert that Clinton's father's name was our Joseph Metzger is beyond me. I can find no substantiation for that claim. 

Perhaps, though, that simply means we'll need to dig further to find an explanation.

Image above from the search function at, the result of selecting "Family Trees" for the search term, "Clinton Metzger."

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