The Faulkner Lineage – from Ellen to Edmond

In my last post, I included the photo below of Ellen standing beside the gravestone of her 7X great grandfather Edmond Faulkner, the earliest of Ellen’s ancestors to leave Europe and settle in the New World.



Edmond left England around 1639 and settled in Massachusetts. He co-founded Andover, Massachusetts and was a founding member of the first church in Andover. Edmond died in Andover in 1687.

The following is Ellen’s ancestral line back to Edmond:

1. Ellen Louise Wagner m. Ian Hadden

2. Carl Francis Wagner (1917-1994) m. Olive Theresa Evelyn Latimer (1920-1997)
3. Charlotte Marion ‘Lottie’ Faulkner (1890-1977) m. Louis Jacob Gordon Wagner (1886-1968)
4. Gilbert Wellington Faulkner (1856-1932) m. Sarah Blair (1864-1898)
5. Francis Dwight Faulkner (1811-1872) m. Eleanor Ann Kimmerly (1821-1896)
6. Sylvester Faulkner (1780-1863) m. Mary ‘Polly’ Cram (1781-1858)
7. Peter Faulkner (1743-1829) m. Chloe Cram (1750-1840)
8. Timothy Faulkner (1704- abt. 1746) m. Deborah Farnum (1702-?)
9. John Faulkner (1654-1706) m. Sarah Abbott (1660-1723)
10. Edmond Faulkner (1624-1687) m. Dorothy Raymond (abt. 1624-1668)

The Marriage of Rev. Louis Henry Wagner and Miss Mary Staebler

Rev. Louis Henry Wagner maintained a diary as have many young men and women. Louis wrote in his diary faithfully as a teenager but large gaps in time occur in Louis’ diary writing during his adult years. Nonetheless, his diaries, as I have previously posted, can add rich detail to the Wagner family’s history.

When Louis (pictured to the right) married Mary Staebler in May of 1884, he apparently was not in a writing mood. There is a gap between March 3, 1878 and January 1, 1887. Fortunately, the local newspaper filled in a part of this gap by providing a brief article about the wedding. Below is my transcription of the article that appeared in the Berlin (Ontario) Daily News, the predecessor of the current Waterloo Region Record newspaper. 

MATRIMONIAL


Another of our excellent young ladies has become united in the holy bonds of matrimony to the man of her choice. Miss Mary Staebler, daughter of Mr. Jacob Staebler, Sen., was married last, Tuesday, evening at the family residence, Weber Street, to the Rev. L. H. Wagner, of Hespeler, who, by the way, is also a Berlin boy. 

The Rev. S. L. Umbach, Presiding Elder of this District, performed the ceremony. Amongst the guests were, besides the Minister, Rev. Ch. [Christian] and Mrs. Staebler, South Cayuga; Rev. D. H. Brandt, Mr. J. M. Staebler and Son, Mr. L. J. Breithaupt, Mr. J. C. Breithaupt, Mrs. Breithaupt, Misses C. and M. Breithaupt, Mr. and Mrs. J. C. Hailer, rs. Hailer, Mrs. D. Bean, Mr. and Mrs. M. Wegenast, Mr. and Mrs. L. Greybill, Miss Wegenast, Miss Sarah Anthes, Miss Mary Anthes, Misses Emma and Carrie Goetze, Mr. and Mrs. I. K. Devitt, Mr. Geo. Wegenast, Mr. D. M. Staebler, Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Staebler, London; Mr. and Mrs. Geo. Staebler, Cassel, and others. 

The young couple, being very highly esteemed by large circles of friends, were the recipients of numerous and valuable presents. After the ceremony a sumptuous repast was partaken of by the guests, and at 8:40 Mr. and Mrs. Wagner took the train for the East, followed by all possible good wishes for their future happiness – in which the Daily News heartily joins.”

It can be fun trying to identify the relationship of each guest to the bride and groom and, certainly Louis and Mary Wagner’s wedding guest list reads a bit like a ‘Who’s Who’ of 19th century Berlin (now Kitchener), Ontario history. Most of the identified guests were cousins or friends but a few notables were present that might escape notice. “Mrs. Hailer” was the groom’s grandmother, Margaret (Riehl) Hailer, the wife of Berlin pioneer (and Waterloo (Ontario) Region Hall of Fame member) Johann Jacob Hailer. Mrs. Hailer is listed next to her daughter, “Mrs. D. Bean” who was the mother of the groom, Margaret (Hailer) Wagner Bean.

Fortunately, this newspaper clipping is safely preserved in the archives at the University of Waterloo, part of the Wagner Hailer family fonds.

Sometimes My Genealogy Stars Are Aligned

As luck would have it, I stumbled into a gold mine of family records while I have continued to pursue my wife Ellen’s ancestors. As I have recorded through many blog posts, Ellen’s ancestry is rich and compelling, with roots that include United Empire Loyalists and American Revolutionaries  I can trace her ancestors back to the 1620’s in New England, their arrival occurring just a few years after the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock. Ellen appears to be one of the few people who can claim U.E.L. (United Empire Loyalist) and D.A.R. (Daughters of the American Revolution) status (although neither has been applied for to date).

With such a lengthy and deep ancestry in North America, spread over hundreds of years, family members in subsequent generations have been found in all corners of the United States and Canada.

In the past couple of weeks, I have devoted time to tracking down the family members directly connected to Ellen’s second great aunt, Elizabeth Nusbickel (nee Wagner). Elizabeth was the sister of Ellen’s second great grandfather Jacob Wagner. Both Jacob and Elizabeth had immigrated to the United States along with their parents Heinrich ‘Henry’ and Anna Marie ‘Mary’ (nee Eckhard) Wagner around 1833, settling in Wayne County, New York. Henry provided for his family by both farming his land and by plying his trade as a cooper. The photo, above right, was taken by Ellen’s uncle Gordon Wagner in 1976 and was provided to us by Gordon as part of his genealogy work charts and papers on the Wagner family. The photo, which I scanned, depicts Stewart Smart (a cousin) with a barrel made by Henry Wagner over one hundred years prior to the photo.

Elizabeth Wagner married Frederick Nusbickel around 1843. Elizabeth and Frederick had five known children, the youngest, Catherine or ‘Kate’ was born in 1855 in Rose, Wayne County, New York. Around 1880, Kate married a Lyons, Wayne County, New York school teacher named Josiah F. Kletzing. Subsequently, Josiah and Kate left New York state and moved to the Chicago, Cook County, Illinois area where they settled down and raised their family.

While I have used the Ancestry website to view and save many records connected to the families, when the Ancestry ‘well ran dry’, I turned to FamilySearch.org to explore the Cook County databases that are available. This is where I got lucky. Through FamilySearch, I was able to locate and save vital records for the births, marriages, and deaths for the five known children of Kate and Josiah. In the case of their daughter Kathryn Kletzing, I was able to go one generation further by finding an image of her 1912 marriage license to Ralph Clayton Moulding as well as the birth records for three of their four children.

Fortunately, I was possibly one of the last people to access the record images online. Yesterday, FamilySearch ‘announced’ through it’s wiki that these images would no longer be available directly through FamilySearch. The wiki now explains, under the “Image Visibility” section, that, “Due to the provisions and guidelines of a newly revised contract with Cook County, FamilySearch has removed all images for Illinois, Cook County vital records from its historical records collection online; free indexes to the collections will remain.”

This affects the following databases:

  • Illinois, Cook County Birth Certificates, 1878 – 1922
  • Illinois, Cook County Birth Registers. 1871 – 1915
  • Illinois, Cook County Deaths, 1878 – 1922
  • Illinois, Cook County Marriages, 1871 – 1920


Although the images are no longer available online, they can still be acquired through microfilm viewed at a local Family History Centre, through the Cook County website for a fee, or through a Family History Library “photoduplication” request. I feel lucky that timing was on my side in the past few days as none of the now current acquisition methods is nearly as convenient as my experience.


British Columbia, Canada Showing The Way With Free Online Records

Searching for many of my Canadian ancestors has been facilitated by them having lived for many generations in the province of Ontario. Records in Ontario for births, marriages, and deaths have been available through the Ancestry site. The Ontario records are indexed and there are digital images available of the records that can be saved on a personal computer. But, it is not free. Access to these records requires a subscription to the Ancestry site.

There are some means that can be used to obtain the same records for free but none of those opportunities mean staying at home. You could visit the Archives of Ontario or a Family History Centre to search through microfilm reels and print copies of the records you want, or perhaps your local public library has an institutional subscription to Ancestry, allowing you to find the records and save them to a USB key. Those research trips can be fun but still are not free with the cost of transportation and most importantly, time.

The province of British Columbia (B.C.) however, is leading the way by becoming the first Canadian jurisdiction I am aware of to post their vital records online and for FREE! As was reported by Dick Eastman on December 2nd, B.C. has posted more than 700,000 digital images attached to their fully indexed vital records.

My research has been halted, or at least slowed at times by what seems to be the inevitable migration of families to the west. So for example, a family living in Ontario during the latter half of the 19th century is attracted to and leaves Ontario for the chance at greater prosperity, often with free land awaiting, in the Canadian prairies. Eventually, family members venture a little further west into Alberta and B.C. That is certainly the migration pattern that I have seen with my wife Ellen’s family.

I’ll use Ellen’s paternal grandfather, Louis Jacob Gordon Wagner (pictured to the right) to illustrate this point. Louis was born in Ontario in 1886 but by the early part of the 20th century, Louis had moved to Saskatchewan where he married Ellen’s grandmother, Charlotte (‘Lottie’) Faulkner in 1912. By the end of his life, Louis was in B.C., living near his son Gordon in Comox on Vancouver Island, where he died in 1968.

BC has made available their records for births (1854 – 1903), marriages (1872 – 1936), deaths (1872 – 1991), colonial marriages (1859 – 1872), and baptisms (1836 – 1888). The records, as stated, are indexed and can be searched using a basic search or advanced search screen.

Here is what the search result looked like when I searched for Louis Wagner’s death record.

In addition to basic data being provided in the listing such as gender, age, date and location of event, the listing includes a link to the digital image of Louis’ death certificate. Louis’ death certificate is typed so it is easy to read with the exception of the attending doctor’s certification as to cause of death which is hand written and may be difficult to decipher.

With this record (and several others for other family members in both my family and Ellen’s), I was able to enter additional facts with source citations included in my RootsMagic database and attach the record digital images to the events that each supported.

I’m hoping more Canadian provinces follow the lead of BC in making these records available and easy to access. As a Canadian researcher, life would be so much better.

The Wagner – Faulkner 50th Wedding Anniversary

When my wife Ellen’s grandparents celebrated the significant milestone of their 50th wedding anniversary in 1962, as is often the case for these events, a party was held.

Unfortunately, Ellen’s parents were unable to attend due to business commitments but Louis Jacob Gordon and Charlotte ‘Lottie’ (nee Faulkner) Wagner’s three other children and their spouses were present to celebrate the occasion.
Pictured below are the Wagner children with their parents: seated are Charlotte ‘Lottie’ (Faulkner) Wagner, Louis Jacob Gordon Wagner; and, standing left to right, Ralph and Phyllis (nee Wagner) Moore, Ivy (nee Harvey) and Gordon Wagner, and Bernice (nee Wagner) and Albert Sexsmith.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have the opportunity to meet any of these family members but that is changing. Taking advantage of recently being in the western part of Canada, I’ve now had the opportunity to meet with Ellen’s only surviving aunt and uncle, Ralph and Phyllis Moore. This year, Ralph and Phyllis celebrated their 69th wedding anniversary, a milestone that I have a tough time ‘wrapping’ my head around as it is an achievement of longevity and commitment so seldom enjoyed by couples.
Congratulations to both of them!

Louis Henry Wagner’s Second Family

Just over a year ago, I wrote about the diaries kept by my wife’s great grandfather, Rev. Louis Henry Wagner.

Louis was born in 1857 in Grove, Alleghany, New York state to Rev. Jacob Wagner and his wife Margaret (nee Hailer). By the time, Louis was a year old, his father had decided to end his career as a minister and he entered into a business partnership with his brother-in-law, Louis Breithaupt. Sadly the partnership in a tanning business located in Berlin (now Kitchener), Ontario ended abruptly when Jacob died in 1858. The tannery that he and Louis Breithaupt established went on to prosper as one of Berlin’s major companies with the Eagle Tannery building still a part of Kitchener’s downtown core.

While Louis Henry Wagner worked in the family tannery, he eventually became a minister in the Evangelical Association and married Mary Staebler. In a series of diary entries, Louis described his wife’s death of typhoid fever in 1887, on the first birthday of their son, Louis Jacob Gordon Wagner, my wife’s grandfather. Just over two years following the death of his wife Mary, Louis married for a second time. His second wife was Sarah Lodema Moyer (whose family is the subject of voluminous ‘genealogical record’ compiled by Rev. A. J. Fretz in 1895).
Louis and Sarah appear to have lived a good and stable family life until their deaths in 1945 and 1941, respectively. Below is a family photo, taken around 1908 – 1910 of Sarah (far left) and Louis (far right) with their children, from left to right: Ida (born in 1893), Margaret Florence (born 1898), Louis Jacob Gordon (from Louis’ first marriage, born 1886), and Carl Henry (born 1897).


Louis and Sarah Wagner are buried together in the Mount Hope Cemetery located in Kitchener, Ontario.

Avoiding the 1940 U.S. Census – Almost


You could feel the excitement and anticipation building to an end of March crescendo as genealogists with American ancestral connections awaited the release of the 1940 U.S. Census images. Social media was abuzz as the April 2nd release date approached for what some described as a genealogy ‘Christmas Day’.


With both my paternal and maternal families firmly established in Canada, I thought it easy to ignore all of the build-up. The closest I was coming to the 1940 U.S. Census was my mother’s family who lived in Detroit, Michigan in 1930 but they moved to Toronto, Ontario around 1937 or 1938. This lack of ancestral connection to the United States in 1940 meant that I didn’t participate in any of the pre-release abundant number of webinars, forums, and learning opportunities made available. Why would I with no one to find?

I was able to relax and jealously hear from predominantly American genealogy community friends as they happily found their parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles in the census. In Canada, the most recent census records to be made available on a national basis are from 1911 (although the 1916 census records of the western provinces is also available). I likely have to wait until the latter part of 2013 to view the 1921 Canadian census.
I eventually realized, of course, that I had neglected to give enough thought to my wife’s family which I also research. Although her Wagner ancestors had immigrated from Germany to western New York state and her second great grandfather, Jacob Wagner, had eventually settled in Berlin, (now Kitchener), Waterloo County, Canada West (now Ontario), I knew that there were numerous collateral branches of her ancestors who remained in the United States.
As an example, I started looking at Floyd John Wagner, my wife’s second cousin twice removed. Both Floyd and my wife are descended from Heinrich ‘Henry’ Wagner and his wife Anna Marie ‘Mary’ Eckhard. Floyd was born 12 April 1900 in New York state, probably in the city of Buffalo. By the time Floyd was 18 years old he was working as a clerk at a local company and by the time he was 20 years old, he was a chauffeur and mechanic for the U.S. Motor Vehicle Service. In 1930, Floyd can be found in the census records for that year listed as a mechanic for the U.S. Post Office. Floyd served as my ‘guinea pig’ for delving into the 1940 U.S. census records.
The 1940 U.S. census is not yet indexed but that process is well underway and I expect the indexing to be completed in about six months. However, using the enumeration district from the 1930 U.S. Census along with Stephen Morse’s “One-Step” finder tool to obtain the corresponding 1940 enumeration district, I was rather quickly able to locate Floyd in the 1940 U.S. census.
Hmmm, I thought, if there was one person in my genealogy database living in the United States in 1940 maybe there are others to find. Using the new “Who Was There” report in my RootsMagic database and I generated a report of all individuals who were or possibly were living in the United States in 1940. The report is 99 pages long! Oh, my. I didn’t see that coming!
I guess I have more work to do with the census records that I didn’t need to learn about because there was no one in my family tree to find.

A Surprising Connection to Laura Ingalls Wilder


My wife’s uncle, Gordon Wagner, spent several years in the 1970’s and 1980’s travelling and researching his family history. I have recounted in past posts how Gordon donated the original source documents that he gathered to the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada.


Following his family history research, Gordon, a retired land surveyor, took up writing, a pursuit that resulted in a couple of books being published. In 1986, Gordon attended classes through “Elderhostel” and wrote an article about his experience that was to be published in the newspapers of Comox, British Columbia (where Gordon lived) and Andover, Massachusetts (where Gordon attended his Elderhostel classes). While I don’t know if the article was ever published, I am in possession of a copy that Gordon provided in the summer of 1986.

In his article, Gordon explains that a part of his family history quest involved collecting a stone, essentially a piece of the land, from each significant ancestral farm. He had found the farm in Lyons, New York where the Wagner family had settled after their immigration from Germany around 1830. He had also found the farm of Sylvester Faulkner, settled around 1790, north of present day Belleville, Ontario and the land settled by Johann Jacob Hailer in 1832, located in present day Kitchener, Ontario. The missing piece for his collection was something from the farm of the Edmond Faulkner, the first of the various family lines to come to North America, settling in Andover, Massachusetts around 1635.

Elderhostel, a program that offered week long college courses to seniors, provided Gordon with an opportunity to attend courses and spend some time at Salem State and Merrimack College in Massachusetts with the hope of finding that original Faulkner land. Through serendipity, Gordon met with Forbes Rockwell, an engineer and local amateur historian who had meticulously mapped the original Andover settlement and traced each successive ownership of the lands. Forbes escorted Gordon to the Faulkner land, now the site of the Kittredge Elementary School in North Andover, Massachusetts.

Aside from reviewing and analyzing Gordon’s research, I recognized that I did not know enough about colonial Massachusetts so I began exploring. Edmond Faulkner is one of my wife’s 7th great grandfathers. Edmond’s son John married Sarah Abbott, the daughter of my wife’s 7th great grandparents George Abbott and Sarah Farnum (spelling variants include Farnham, Farnam, Farnaum, Farnem, and Farnom) in 1681. This George Abbott, a tailor, died intestate on 22 March 1689. Records show that his estate was later probated with his widow Sarah receiving the sum of 25 pounds. The records also show that Sarah remarried just a few months after George’s death. Her new husband was Henry Ingalls, the 6th great grandfather of Laura Ingalls Wilder. So while Laura and my wife are not related by blood, there is a connection through marriage.

The new pet name for my wife – “Half-pint.”


Finding Philip Wagner

Whatever the motivation, Heinrich and Anna Maria (nee Eckhard) Wagner left their native Germany around 1832 bound for the United States. Heinrich in his new country would come to be known as Henry, and Anna Maria would come to be known as Mary.


Like many German immigrants at the time, they would find their way inland, using the Erie Canal to travel to Wayne County in New York state and settle in the town of Rose. According to the research of Wagner family historians conducted 30 to 40 years ago, it was here in Rose, Wayne County that Philip Wagner, the youngest of Henry and Mary’s five children was born about 1834.

Henry Wagner was a cooper but there is no evidence that either of his sons took up his trade. His oldest son, Jacob learned the trade from his father but became a Evangelical Association minister. Henry’s youngest son Philip married Maria ‘Mary’ Holzinger in 1856 at the age of 22. Philip and Maria seem to have immediately headed west to Mazomanie in Dane County, Wisconsin where Philip tried his hand at farming. Whatever the motivation, the farming experiment didn’t last too long and by 1863, Philip and Maria had returned to New York state with the first three of their eight children.

Rather than returning to Wayne County, Philip and Maria (Mary) settled in Buffalo where Philip was able to work as a carpenter. Philip also answered the call for volunteers to fight in the Union army during the Civil War where he served as a Captain in the New York state 65th Infantry and later as the Captain of Company ‘E’ in the 187th Infantry Regiment. Philip was named in the dispatch of Colonel William Berens of the 65th Infantry Regiment, New York National Guard, dated January 30, 1864, that described the regiment’s war effort during 1863 and in particular mentions Philip’s involvement in the New York City Draft Riot on July 15, 1863: “Upon reporting to General Wool, I was ordered to take quarters at Centre Market, and to report to General Harvey Brown, which I did. Pursuant to orders from General Brown, the same evening I sent two companies to guard the treasury buildings, on Wall street, viz, Company E, Captain [Philip H.] Wagner, and Company H, Captain [Christian] Schaeffer, and two other companies, along with some United States troops, to restore order in the vicinity of Union Square, viz, Company A, Captain Seeber, and Company D, Captain [Charles] Geyer.” Philip served for various periods in the army until about the end of April 1865.

Following the war, Philip seems to have settled into life in Buffalo, Erie County, New York, living in the Seventh Ward, working as a carpenter, and raising his children with Mary. In March 1889, Philip applied for a Civil War pension however, according to research conducted by Gordon Wagner in 1984, Philip met an early death by drowning on July 29, 1889. Although I have no evidence to substantiate this event, there is evidence that his wife, using her name ‘Maria’ applied for a Civil War pension as a widow in October 1889.

Clearly more digging is needed to confirm not just the death of Philip but the stories of his eight children and their families. And so the saga continues …

The Stamp Club As A Genealogy Source

I have found some things pertaining to my genealogy research in unexpected but I never imagined that a stamp club, more properly, a philatelic society newsletter, would be a source for genealogy information.


While working through one of my assignments for a National Institute for Genealogical Studies course, I found a newsletter for the British North America Philatelic Society’s Postal Stationery Study Group. Specifically in the group’s September 2002 newsletter (Volume 18, No. 2), there was an article about the postal stationery cards, more commonly post cards, used by The Breithaupt Leather Company of Berlin, Ontario. This is the tannery and leather goods company formed through a partnership between my wife, Ellen’s second great grandfather Jacob Wagner and his friend and brother-in-law Louis Breithaupt.

Following Jacob’s unexpected and early death in 1858, Breithaupt continued the company under his name. The tannery, known in Kitchener, Ontario as the Eagle Tannery, once one of the largest tanneries in Canada, perhaps North America, closed in 1950. Below is an image of the used post cards from the Breithaupt Leather Company that the philatelic society posted in it’s newsletter.
The newsletter contained more importantly an excellent article written by Chris Ellis that details the history of the leather company, including Jacob Wagner’s involvement. The article also as a bonus cites the source of much of its information including a PhD dissertation.

Lesson learned – expect the unexpected! Findings additional sources of family history information may turn up in the most unusual places.