Elizabeth Harter Bair b. 1836

Elizabeth Bair 3rd great grandma on RootsMagic

Elizabeth was born in July, 1836 in Plain Township, Stark, Ohio. She was the oldest child of George and Margaret Bowman Harter. Elizabeth’s middle name ‘Harter’ was her maternal grandmother’s maiden name. Both the Harter and Bair families were pioneers in Plain, Elizabeth’s great grandparents some of the first settlers.

Bair, Elizabeth and family 1850 census

1850 Plain Township, Ohio census, Elizabeth Bair and family

On the 1850 census Elizabeth is 13. The Bair family is on page 45 of 53. The 53 pages with 20 or fewer person on each page contain Elizabeth’s future husband’s Druckenbrod family, the Henry Miller family, future in laws of granddaughter Fianna and lots of ancestors: Miller, Bair, Harter, Druckenbrod, Malone, Kryder and Shuler families. Also in laws by marriage: Grubb, Essig, Troxel, Christ, and Bishop families. And no relation: Kissinger, Trump and Pence families too, all in this tiny township with population at 896 people in 1820 then 2277 people in 1850.

Population in Plain Township, Ohio from 1855 map

Population from 1820-1850

Elizabeth married Samuel Druckenbrod around 1854. They lived on a farm, and had 12 children. Elizabeth was 24 when the Civil War started. 320,000 Ohio men were drafted in to the war which was covered in the local newspapers: Stark County Democrat and Stark County Republican.  Elizabeth could have read Mrs. Samuel Stover’s eyewitness account of ‘the march of Lee’s rebel army into Pennsylvania; also of the retreat of the remnant of said army to the Potomac’ in the Republican and details of the battle in the Democrat.


Henrich Henrichs b. 1836

Henrich Henrichs 3rd great grandfather on RootsMagic tree

Map German homesHenrich Gerds Henrichs was born May 1, 1836 in Germany, probably in Aurich a town of Lower Saxony, Germany which is actually the northern eastern edge of Germany. The Google map photo shows the original homes of the Roos, Henrichs and Frerichs families within 100 miles of each other.

Henrich married Maria Rodenbeck in 1860, they lived on a farm and had 9 children, 4 boys and 5 girls. The whole family of 11 sailed to America, with 2 suitcases and landed in Baltimore on March 18, 1885 the children ranged from 3 to 23 years old. From Baltimore the family probably moved straight to Iowa and in 1900 they were in Butler County and played a big part in founding the Ebenezer Lutheran Church of Butler Center, long gone but vital in the lives of German emigrants in the area.

Hinrich Hinrichs Greene Recorder

1918 Aug 28, page 8 of 8 column 1 top Iowa recorder, Digital Archives at Greene (Iowa) Public Library

Henrich was known as Henry and from his obituary ‘was one of the old residents in this part of Butler county’. Henry came to America at age 48 and when died on August 21, 1918 he was 83 years old. His widow Maria donated a big church bell to Ebenezer Church in her husband’s memory. When Ebenezer Church dismantled in 1955 the bell was sent to Salem Church in Parkersburg, Iowa, then Salem Church ended in 1985 and the bell was moved to Bethel Lutheran Church in Parkersburg- and it’s still there! Mission in a mile page 69.


Heinrich Henrichs 1836 – 1918
Annie Antje Henrichs 1869 – 1956
Mary Frerichs 1892 – 1992
Stanley Roose 1915 – 2004

Sarah Swain b. 1838

Sarah Swain 3rd great grandmother on RootsMagic tree.

Sarah was born March 19, 1838 in Waukegan, Illinois to Benjamin and Polly Howard Swain, some of the first settlers in the area. Polly was from Kentucky, Benjamin from New England. Benjamin died when Sarah was about 10 and her mom Polly remarried Jacob Montgomery, also a widow then the family moved to Chickasaw, Iowa, where Sarah married William N. Gaines in 1854 at age 16. Sarah and William had children, 5 lived to adulthood. Sarah kept house and helped her husband with farming, running a hotel and being a postmaster. She was active in her church and was known for her generosity and ‘ministering to the sick and the afflicted’. Sarah Ann Swain Gaines is buried at Oakland Cemetery near Janesville. The headstone from 1889 is fading fast. Inscribed: Sarah A. (wife of) Wm N Gaines born Mar 19 1839 died Sep 21 1889. There were probably carvings along the top edge, flowers or swirls and maybe something at the bottom.

Swain, Sarah 1889 obituaryJanesville
Mrs Gaines whose serious illness I have mentioned several times died last Saturday night. Was buried from the house on Tuesday Rev. Hoekyn officiating. In the death of Mrs. Gaines the community has lost one of its most valuable members. Naturally generous and kind her greatest pleasure was in doing good. In ministering to the sick and the afflicted she had but few equals. She leaves a husband and four children to mourn her loss, all of whom were with her at her time of death. Her brother Mr. Montgomery of Wadena Minnesota and her uncles, John and James Howard, from Charles City and Nashua were down to attend the funeral services.

Swain, Sarah 1889 funeral card

Sarah Gaines d. September 21, 1889

RootsMagic page

Swain, Sarah obituary. 1889 Sep 26 page 4 of 8 column 3 top Waverly Republican Newspaper at Digital Archives of the Waverly Public Library.

Page 36. Lucas, W. V. Pioneer Days of Bremer County, Iowa. Waverly, Ia.: Waverly Democrat, 1918.

Page 1075. History of Butler And Bremer Counties, Iowa, Springfield, Ill.: Union publishing company, 1883.

Peter Miller b. 1827

Peter Miller, 3rd great grandfather on RootsMagic tree

Update on Peter Miller: June 1898 Peter and daughter in law Fiana went to Stark County Ohio for family reunions. Fiana attended the Bair reunion, Peter attended the Miller reunion, the Miller reunion was in the newspaper and gives details on Peter’s father and siblings. Peter’s family is from Pennsylvania, originally Germany and his mom’s, possibly his dad’s family have a lot of history.

Miller family reunion 1898

Peter Miller was born Feb 2, 1827 in Stark county, Ohio and lived in Canton, the county seat much of his life. At about age 40 he, his wife and 9 children moved to Bremer County, Iowa. They lived in a farm in La Fayette township. Peter died on August 25 of 1912 at age 85 in Amery, Wisconsin, he was living with his son William and family. Peter is buried in Andrews Cemetery outside Waverly, Iowa. Some of Peter’s life is documented in the Waverly newspapers of the time.

1892 Aug 25 page 5 of the Waverly Republican –https://is.gd/TofPAp.
Peter Miller is painting his house and barn on his farm in La Fayette and fixing up generally

1887 Mar 11 page 5 of the Waverly Democrat –https://is.gd/Y5sXr4.
Peter Miller living in LaFayette has a cow that is worth bragging about, It is twenty one years old and during her lifetime has given birth tp 19 splendid calves the last two being a pair of twins. And what is more she is still a good milker and promises yet to live many years.

1898 September 15 page 4 of Bremer County Independent –https://is.gd/phWT6v.
Peter Miller was appointed as judge for the upcoming General Election in Lafayette township.

Peter visited Canton, Ohio often, so did his wife Esther and their daughter in law Fiana. Peter happened to be in Canton for the funeral of President William McKinley 

1901 August 22 page 5 of the Waverly Democrat –https://is.gd/JodKen
Peter Miller will leave Monday for a visit to his old home at Canton, Ohio. He will be gone about 6 weeks.

1901 October 3 page 5 of the Waverly Democrat –https://is.gd/ADVOwn.
Peter Miller returned Thursday morning from his visit at Canton, Ohio, the home of the late President. Mr Miller was present at his burial services, which he describes as being “grand beyond description”.

Canton, Ohio public square

Public Square in Canton, Ohio c. 1907-1915, US historical postcard snapshot

Garbrand Roos b. 1820

Garbrand Roos 3rd great grandfather.

Garbrand Roos b. 1820 in Germany, the Aurich district, also East Frisia, Osteel, names changed several times but always right on the Wadden Sea– a one of a kind habitat that changes twice a day when the tides go in and out and involves mudflats and hiking https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mudflat_hiking.

Garbrand was 26 when he married Catharina Renistra in Harlingen, Netherlands in 1846. The family sailed to America in 1862. From NY they went to Freeport, Illinois where Garbrand registers for the Civil War in the summer of 1863. In 1880 the Roos family was in Pleasant Valley Township, Grundy County, Iowa they owned and farmed at least 80 acres of land. On the 1885 Iowa census the family along with a housekeeper live on their farm and on this single census page the majority of residents are from Germany, a few from Denmark, and a few from America’s eastern states. Garbrand was one founder of the German Baptist Church in Aplington, Iowa, along with the Dreyer and Lubberts families whose daughters married into the Roos family. Garbrand also went by George and lived to see his children married with families and starting farms of their own. Garbrand died in September of 1888 at the age of 68 and is buried in Pleasant View Cemetery in Aplington Iowa.
Screen Shot 2018-09-28 at 6.19.03 PM

Garbrand Roos and New German Baptist Church. Volume 1 page 353, Chapter 26 Monroe Township and Town of Aplington.

At Ancestry . com Illinois 3rd Vol 5 of 7 image 285 of 632. Freeport Garbrand is 46, a farmer assigned. U.S., Civil War Draft Registrations Records, 1863-1865

William Knapp b. 1809

William Knapp b. 1809. 3rd great grandfather

William is the father of Charlotte Knapp who is probably the mother of William Cable. William Knapp was born in New York and married Rhoda Bower at age 20. William and Rhoda lived in Orange County, New York until about 1849, when they left for Dane County, Wisconsin where Rhoda’s brothers and sisters had settled. Rhoda died soon after arriving in Dane, Wisconsin in 1850. The Knapp children were in their teens and 20s when their mom died. William may have drifted or may have stayed in Wisconsin with the Bowers.

In 1864 William enlisted as a private in the 129th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company K. The 129th was right there in Atlanta September of 1864 when the city was burned then occupied by the troops. William was a Union soldier until June, 1865 and fought battles in Kentucky, Tennessee, Atlanta and Raleigh, North Carolina.

William’s next residence record is the 1880 US census, he’s in Charles City, Iowa a gardener living on his own. Five years later the Iowa 1885 census shows him living with his daughter Charlotte Knapp Cable and family including grandson William Cable. William’s final home was in Marshalltown, Iowa in what was then the Iowa Soldiers Home. He may have lived in one of the small cottages. William died at age 79 on January 1, 1889 and is buried at the Iowa Veterans Home Cemetery.
Headstones Provided for Deceased Union Civil War Veterans, 1879-1903 at Ancestry . com.
William d. 1 Jan 1889 in Marshalltown, Iowa, USA, Pvt. regiment 129, company K, unit Illinois Infantry

Civil War soldiers and sailors system (CWSS) at National Parks Service

Catharina Renistra b. 1820

Catharina Renistra 3rd great grandmother on RootsMagic tree
Catharina was born the 20th of September 1820 in Harlingen, Friesland, Netherlands.
Only her father’s name is known: Christian Renistra, no info on mother or siblings.

In 1846 Garbrand Roos crossed the Wadden Sea and married Catharina in Harlingen where their oldest son Jan was born in 1847. The family sailed to New York arriving on August 18, 1862 then went on to Freeport, Illinois where youngest son Johann was born: Johann, father of George Roose, father of Stanley Roose. By 1870 the family was in Iowa, first Grundy then Butler County. They owned land and farmed. Catharina was a widow in 1888 and on the 1900 census she is 78, head of household, living in Butler County. Her occupation was a capitalist: Persons living on income from land, stocks, etc., were to be reported as “Capitalist.” Her income was from farm land.  Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS).

This summer my son Dylan and I searched for Catharina’s headstone at the Pleasant View Cemetery in Aplington, Iowa. Catharina’s husband, sons, a daughter, grandchildren all were buried in the cemetery but there was no record or photo of Catharina’s headstone. It turned out Catharina shared a headstone with her husband, her hame, birth and death dates on the alternate side, just not photographed or documented.