A Final Message from Dick Folkerth

This is Eric Folkerth, Dick’s son.

My Father,  who created and managed this blog,  passed away about 1 pm today of pulmonary fibrosis. One of the great loves of his life in the past several decades has been genealogy. I know he was very pleased to share this site with the world, and relieved to have done it before his death, so that others can access the information well into the future.

My intent is to continue to monitor the site from time to time and, if it would be helpful, to continue to post as needed.

If you are finding this site for the first time, WELCOME!

It has much information about the Folkerth family, and various branches of it that I am sure you will find helpful.

Dad actually wrote a message to all of you, a message to be sent to his genealogy friends around the world upon his death. Here is it:

This old genealogist is trying to avoid just fading away!


This message is intended from all my cousins in Internetland as well as for my genealogy collaborators and genealogy buddies wherever you may be. I’ve been doing genealogy since 1998 in fits & starts and more than one of my collaborators has simply faded away, without firing a parting shot. Well, this message is my parting shot! As the saying goes, “So long and thanks for all the fish”.

I was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis in November 2011, at which time the Doc observed that this likely meant five years at the outside and it appears he was correct. Since I have this medical stuff going on now, I have not done genealogy in some time (last posting to my website was in September) and I thought I should go public with this news so that I did not fade away like the Cheshire cat, leaving my genealogy contacts to wonder what happened.

My genealogy regret is that I did not stop digging and get busy publishing until so late. Please do not do this in your own work! You have uncovered plenty of facts. Now organize them into family stories and document what you have done. Do it now …

Also, stop by my website www.frfgenealogy.com for the documentation I have done. There you will find my outrageous claim that everyone named Folkerth or Fulkerth descends from Christofel Volckerth who arrived in Philadelphia in 1754. Also I show that plenty of people named Fulker also are our cousins. In fact, I attempt to show family history for all branches of my family. With sources. Check it out.


F. Richard Folkerth


ps A prayer for my wife & family would be nice. This is much harder on them than on me.

Ed Jefferis and the Palestine Base Ball Club, Darke County, Ohio; 1915 & 1916. Blog Post #26

In 1915, my grandfather, Edward Forest Jefferis (1876-1957), lived just North of Palestine, on the Palestine-Union City Road in German Twp (Liberty Twp since the anti-German frenzy of WW I). His home was the first house on the east side of Palestine-UC Road, just north of Stingley Road. This is the house where his wife, Laura Harris Jefferis, bore the first four of their children; Leah in 1903, Milton in 1906, my Mother, Marguerite, in 1908 and Ed Junior in 1916. I am pretty sure the twins, Gerry and Jo, born 1918, came after the family moved to Greenville.

During this time Ed was in business with his older brother Charles, operating the Jefferis Brothers general merchandise store in Palestine. Stephen J. Miller’s wonderful work, The Palestine Book, History of Liberty (German) Township; 1833 – 1983, available from the Darke County Genealogical Society, has a history of the general store in Palestine, naming the operators both before and after the Jefferis brothers and including several photographs taken during the time the store was run by the Jefferis brothers. See pages 61 & 62. This reference also has a photograph of the Palestine Base Ball Club on page 271, along with a short history.

I found the ledger from my grandfather’s service as treasurer of the Palestine Base Ball Club among some artifacts from his home. He was treasurer during 1915 and 1916.

The Palestine Base Ball Club evidently formed in 1915, because they bought uniforms ( called suits ), a catcher’s glove, lumber and wire during that year and there is a 1915 entry for labor on the grandstand. The Club paid rent to the landowners where the diamond was located and paid various men for labor at the field. The Club bought supplies ( balls, gloves, etc ) from the Jefferis Bros. store. A baseball sold for $1 in those days. Three other teams were mentioned; Williamsburg (Indiana, I suppose), Greenville and Elks.

The Palestine Base Ball Club was financed by donations, sale of tickets and sale of refreshments at the games. Receipts from games varied from $2.00 to a high of $20.00 for games with Williamsburg and Greenville. They must have been serious about winning in May, 1916, because they hired a pitcher for $2.00 … but the ledger didn’t say how many games this covered.

I think they played about 15 games in 1915 but the 1916 records are harder to decipher; it could have been as many as 22 games. The first games were in May and the last in October. Regrettably, the results of the games were not recorded in Ed’s financial ledger, so we are left to speculate about the success of the team.

There was a social aspect to the Palestine Base Ball Club because in early 1916 they hired a hall and had an oyster supper.

The entries from the ledger are shown in the accompanying table, including the names of all the persons doing business with the Base Ball Club.


Ledger of the Palestine Base Ball Club


5/19/15; Rec’d of H. C. Creager, receipts of 1st game; $1.05

6/7; paid to D. H. Baker; rent of ground per order; $3.00

5/21/15; H. C. Creager; donations for suits; $7.75

6/15; Ben T. Miller; per order, wire, etc.; $4.44

6/6/15; H. C. Creager; % of game; $11.55

6/15; _______ per order; $0.75

6/6/15; H. C. Creager; donations for suits; $5.25

6/15; Jefferis Bros., per order, balls, etc.; $4.38

6/7/15; H. C. Creager, W Clapp; ?? ; $1.00

6/24/15; A. H. Dill; labor on diamond; $2.40

6/15/15; H. C. Creager; donations for suits; $2.00

6/25/15; Orville Baker, labor on diamond; $0.75

6/15/15; H. C. Creager; receipt from game of 6/13; $4.15

6/28/15; Orville Baker; labor on diamond; $0.60

6/15/15; Ben Mills; donations for suits; $4.44

7/12/15; D. H. Baker per order ground rent; $3.00

6/19/15; H. C. Creager; receipt from game; $8.65

7/15/15; D. H. Baker, working of ground; $0.45

6/28/15; H. C. Creager; receipt from game; $6.45

7/19/15; Jefferis Bros. per order; $2.50

7/7/15; H. C. Creager; receipt from game at Williamsburg ( ? ) ; $20.00

7/19/15; Jefferis Bros., per order for suits and two balls; $49.50

7/12/15; H. C. Creager; receipt from game; $2.00

and donation $1.00

7/19/15; Orville Baker; per order, labor on diamond; $0.45

7/18/15; H. C. Creager; receipt from game & G. S. ; $6.70

7/19/15; D. H. Baker, rent on diamond; $1.00

7/19/15; H. C. Creager; donations; $5.00

7/19/15; Jefferis Bros., catchers gloves, balls, etc; $12.41

7/19/15; H. C. Creager, Jefferis Bros., refreshments ( ? ); $1.00

7/28/15; T. J. Wilson; labor on grand stand; $0.75

7/26/15; H. C. Creager; receipt from game & G. S. ; $2.90

8/2/15; D. H. Baker; rent of grounds; $2.00

8/2/15; H. C. Creager; receipt from game & G. S. ; $3.70

8/2/15; Orville Baker, labor on grounds; &0.45

8/2/15; H. C. Creager; refreshments ___ ; $2.00

8/16/15; Jefferis Bros., per order for balls, ___; $4.72

8/16/15; H. C. Creager; receipt from game & grandstand & refreshments; $15.06

8/16/15; E. Stapleton for lumber; $8.00

9/14/15; H. C. Creager; receipt from Williamsburg game; $14.45

8/21/15; D. H. Baker for grounds; $1.00

9/21/15; H. C. Creager; receipt from game, ____, etc; $10.55

9/14/15; Jefferis Bros., for ____ printing and 1 ball; $11.00

9/17/15; H. C. Creager; receipt from game; $10.65

9/15/15; Orville Baker per order for labor on grounds; $0.60

10/3/15; H. C. Creager; _____; $ ??

9/21/15; Jefferis Bros., per order for printing, balls, phone bills, etc $6.00

10/12/15; H. C. Creager; receipt from game of 10/10; $7.00

9/21/15; Robt. Ma____ work on grounds; $0.90

10/12/15; H. C. Creager; donation on suits; $1.25

10/3/15; Orville Baker per order ground rent; $2.00

11/2/15; Ed Loudenslager donation on suits; $2.00

10/3/15; Orville Baker ground work; $0.75

10/3/15; E. Sellman; mask & telephone; $3.30

10/6/15; D. H. Baker, per order for rent; $1.00

10/6/15; D. H. Baker for labor on grounds; $0.60

10/14/15; Orville Baker labor on grounds; $0.60

10/14/15; D. H. Baker rent on grounds; $1.00

10/26/15; Jefferis Bros., per order; $5.29

1/3/16; T. Haskin ( or Harkin ) rent hall for reception; $3.75

1/3/16; Jefferis Bros., Eats for reception; $12.00


May 3; Receipts from Elk game; $7.05

May 8; H. Ross per order, work on diamond; $3.00

May 16; Receipts from 2nd game; $8.20

May 9; A. B. Dill work on diamond; $1.00

June 12; W. Clapp; $2.00

May 21; Albert Shields; labor on diamond; $1.00

June 18; W. Clapp; $16.00

May 21; Phil Saylor; rent of diamond; $10.00

Sept 25; W. Clapp; balance receipts from 8 games; $10.75

June 12; Barry Dill; working diamond; $2.00

Oct 5; Ben T. Miller; receipts from Greenville game; $20.05

June 13/16; Ben T. Miller per order $1.00

Oct 11; Ben T. Miller; receipts from ____; $15.90

June 13/16; Ben T. Miller per order $3.53

10/10/16; B. T. Miller; receipts from 8 games at Greenville; $24.07

June 13/16; Ben T. Miller per order $2.00 *

June 14/16; J. A. Shields $2.00

6/20/16; Jefferis Bros., per order; $6.03

July 11; Allen Koons per order; $1.00

Sept 25; D. H. Baker per order; $10.00

Sept 25; Jefferis Bros., per order; 3 balls $3.00

Oct 21 Ben T. Miller per order; $18.27

Oct 24; D. H. Baker; per order; $5.00 **

Jan 27/17; Jefferis Bros., Eats for Elks; $6.64 ***

Notes; The money orders for 1916 are included in the ledger;

* The money order, dated May 8, shows that this was “For expense fund paid to hire pitcher”.

** The money order shows this was for “Rent of Base Ball Field”.

*** The money order shows that this was “Bill for oyster supper”.

Folkerth / Fulkerth / Fulker Ancestral Trails in Switzerland; Blog Post #25

Rudolph Volkert (1640-1706) was the great-grandfather of my immigrant ancestor, Christopher Folkerth. Rudolph was born in (probably) Glatt, Canton Zurich, Switzerland. He first married in about 1660 but the name of this wife is a mystery. However, she bore at least two children, Henrich, b March 1661 in Glatt, Canton Zurich, Switzerland, (Christopher’s grandfather) and Felix, born 1670, location unknown.

By 1696 Rudolph has moved to Germany and lost his first wife, since he marries again, on 7 August 1696, to Anna Margaretha Bickel at the Leimen Reformed Church, in modern Baden-Württemberg, Germany. There are no known records documenting when Rudolph moved from Switzerland to Germany, but I have an opinion. I believe it is likely that Rudolph moved his family earlier, rather than later; probably in the early to mid-1660s. Karl Ludwig, the Palatine Elector from 1648 until 1680 was encouraging immigration to the Palatinate and young Rudolph, a farmer, would have had reason to accept the offer before all the good land was taken.

This information about the German family (and earlier in Switzerland) were provided by two German cousins, Manfred Fuchs and Egbert Risch, in a series of communications. It was from them that we learned of the Swiss connection; specifically births in Glatt, Canton Zurich. I searched for a place called Glatt, without success. I found Glatt_this and Glatt_that but not a place simply called Glatt. Then I found a Wikipedia piece on the Glatt Valley that said “The Glatt Valley (German: Glattal or Glatttal) is a region and a river valley in the canton of Zürich in Switzerland.”

I believe this means Rudolph Volkert lived somewhere in the Glatt Valley before he relocated to Bruchhausen, near Heidelberg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany … the region known as the Palatinate. The Glatt River has its origin at Greifensee (Lake Griffin), located 7 miles east of the city of Zurich and flows in a north-northwesterly direction 24 miles to discharge into the Rhine River near 464px-Karte_GreifenseeGlattfelden. The Glatt Valley was (and is) a fertile agricultural area, exactly where a farmer like Rudolph might have lived. The map from Wikipedia Commons was created by Tschubby. This shows the area around Lake Griffin, including the village of Fällenden, that I’ll say more about later in this piece.

Pat & I visited Zurich during our 2012 trip to Europe, just so I could visit the Glatt Valley. We arrived via train from Florence, finding Switzerland to be calm and peaceful after the hustle and bustle of Florence (and before that, Rome). Auto traffic was very different than in Italy, we hardly ever heard a horn and the cars were parked within the parking space lines, NEVER on the sidewalk. Our hotel was located in an area of shops and restaurants, with strolling pedestrians window-shopping. We spent a day or so being tourists, taking a cruise on lovely Lake Zurich that included a stop at the Lindt chocolate factory (no free samples, however). I wandered a bit photographing the older buildings and admiring the clean streets.

I found the statue of Ulrich Zwingli on the grounds of a small church near the Limmat River that runs thru town. Zwingli was a leader of the Reformation, preaching his first sermon in Zurich in 1519. He apparently was a man in the right place at the right time since P5310256aCanton Zurich became a focal point in the Swiss Reformation. Zwingli died in 1531 in battle when the Catholic Swiss Cantons      declared war against Canton Zurich and its allied Reformed Cantons. This bit of history and the subsequent move of Rudolph Volkert from Switzerland to near Heidelberg (another hotbed of Reformation) led me to conclude that the Volkert family was Reformed … along with most of Canton Zurich.

But we were here to see the Glatt valley. The plan was to rent a car and drive into the valley, first traveling to the source of the river and then following the river as far as made sense. Heck, the river is only 24 miles long; maybe we could find roads paralleling the river and drive all the way to the Rhine. A mere 24 miles sounded like an easy afternoon drive. The Swiss have the good sense to drive on the same side of the road as we do in the United States, so I hoped Pat would be more comfortable than she was when we motored thru the English countryside.

Remember, I did not know where the Volkert family lived (and still don’t) so we did not have an actual destination. The objective was simply to visit the valley and stop at a church along the way. So we set off into suburban Zurich seeking the path of the Glatt River as it flowed toward the Zurich International Airport just north of town, where the river dives into a tunnel under an edge of the airport property. We traveled thru crowded streets in heavy traffic, more or less moving toward the headwaters of the river. At one point we swung off the main road toward a group of shops (with parking spaces) where I could get out of the car and take a photo of the city part of the river. No doubt the Glatt had wild stretches in the 1600s, but not today. P5310216a

Then it was back in the car, driving thru the suburbs toward Greifensee. This was not the trip thru the idyllic Glatt River valley that I imagined while I was planning this outing. It was stoplight to stoplight. Heavy traffic. And, of course, the roadsigns were in German … Finally, we reached farms and agriculture. The course of the river was about a half-mile to our right, marked by the rows of P5310220a P5310222atrees on either side of the river. But it was good; we had found farms in the Glatt Valley! I took some pictures and we held a planning conference. I had not enjoyed the drive because of the heavy traffic and German-language signage nor had Pat, so we decided to visit a church then call it a day and return the rent car.

I took a different route for the return since we were no longer tracking the river and we could see some new places along the way. In fact, I had located nearby churches and the village of Fällenden was near the return route AND was the location of a church. The Fällenden church is located right on the main street in the center of P5310238a P5310224atown. We found parking spaces at the rear of the church and a gateway leading to the churchyard and a small cemetery, all very well maintained. There was a commemorative area to the side of the church that displayed two large church bells, one dated 1625 and the other 1933. Adjacent to the bells was an enclosed bulletin board with a dated history of the Fällenden Reformed Church. The first entry was 810 (!). I used Google translate to get a sense of the events and 810 is the oldest mention that a small chapel stood on this site. The next entry, for 1271, is the first mention of the chapel that is the central part of the present church. Wow. This church history shows that the Reformation came to Fällenden during the years 1525 to 1528. Evidently Zwingli’s work in Zurich spread quickly into the countryside.

Remember, this almost certainly is NOT the church of the Volkert family; there are many churches in the Glatt Valley today and there probably were many more 300 years ago. But I believe what we found at Fällenden Reformed Church probably is typical of the church histories in the area. I may not have walked the trails of my ancestors that day, but I was plenty close.


ps Cousin Egbert Risch once suggested checking the Swiss Archives in Zurich for further information about the family in Switzerland. I did not try to do this because these records are in German. Worse then that, OLD German script … which can be lovely to look at but incomprehensible! This is a job for a pro; someone who reads the old script and is familiar with the archives. This person could be in Switzerland or in Salt Lake City, where films are held in the Mormon archives. Maybe someday.

Folkerth / Fulkerth / Fulker Ancestral Trails in Germany; Blog Post #24

Christofel Volckerth, later known as Christopher Folkerth, arrived in Philadelphia in 1754 as I explained in Blog Post #6. He left his family back in Bruchhausen, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany, as discussed in Blog Post #9. The details of the German family (and earlier in Switzerland) were provided by two German cousins, Manfred Fuchs and Egbert Risch, in a series of communications and later confirmed by collaborator Sharon Kolebar who found ‘familienbuchs’, during a visit to Salt Lake City.

The records provided by our German cousins showed the following locations;


Christopher Folkerth, born as Christofel Volckert(h)

Hieronymus Volckert, his father, also born here

Henrich Volckert and Anna Maria, Christopher’s paternal grandparents, died here

Rudolph Volkert, Christopher’s GGF died here

St Ilgen

Anna Maria Löscher, Christopher’s mother, born here

Maria Katharina Hassler, Christopher’s grandmother, born here


Rudolph Volkert m Anna Margaretha Bickel 7 Aug 1696 at Leimen Reformed Church. She was his second wife.

These places are all just a few miles to the south/southwest of Heidelberg. Bruchhausen survives in modern times as little more than a crossroads as it has been administratively absorbed by the much larger Sandhausen.


Pat and I traveled thru Europe in 2012, spending about 30 days. We planned the trip to include Heidelberg so I could walk in the footsteps of my ancestors … figuratively, at least. Our hotel was in the ‘old town’; immediately facing the beautiful old bridge across the Neckar River. The Heidelberg Castle was just up the hill behind old town, overlooking the University, churches, picturesque lanes with shops, a large number of taverns and at least one Starbucks.

We could not have been in a better location, nor could we have been there at a better time; during the European Soccer (aka Football) championships. There seemed to be soccer games on TV in all the bars and the streets were filled with young people in the jerseys of their teams. The energy in the place was astonishing. The whooping and hollering went on late into the night after these old people had retired. It was wonderful!

We did all the tourist stuff; wandering the lanes and browsing in the shops. I took pictures of everything in sight as it was all so amazing to my 21st Century Texas eyes. That old bridge is lovely and the views of the bridge with the castle in the background stick in my mind.

The castle was not as formidable as it appeared. It was conquered more than once during the wars that ravaged this area; not just the 30 Years’ War but both before and after. Heidelberg was a center of the movement to reform the (Catholic) church and paid the price by being conquered alternately by Reform and by Catholic armies. I think the guide at the castle told me that the major damage to the west end of the castle had been done by the French (Catholic) army, of Louis XIV, I believe. Seems the French threatened to burn the city unless the castle surrendered. Then, after occupying the castle, the French detonated the ammunition storage room, heavily damaging the castle. The part that remains is worth seeing.


We set aside one afternoon for a visit to the presumed Folkerth homelands in suburban Heidelberg. I did not try to locate the actual places my ancestors lived, but instead visited the modern locations of the churches in each village. I did some map work on the iPhone and discovered that the Leimen Church was about a block from a transit line. So we hopped a streetcar in old town and rode into the center of modern Heidelberg. There we transferred to another streetcar to Leimen, about 5 or 6 miles due south. I watched our progress by following the little dot on the iPhone map until it was clear we should get off at the next stop … and there was a steeple, over in the next block; Leimen Evangelical (known in the US as Reformed) Church.

We wandered toward the steeple, following a lane that seemed to be named for a previous Pastor. The city of Leimen is crowding in on the

church to my Texas eyes. But we found this to be true at all the churches we visited; they were not exactly central city locations but there was not the (wide open?) space I’m accustomed to seeing around a suburban church. The Leimen church was lovely, with carefully tended grounds. The bulletin board seems to show a flurry of activity. However, we were there in the middle of the day and the middle of the week and nobody was around. Toward the rear of the grounds was an older church building; we searched for a plaque that would explain how old it was but did not find anything. The building had a new roof but the exterior stone was plenty old … could this old building be the church where my ancestor married his 2nd wife more than 300 years ago? I will always wonder.

After exploring the Leimen church grounds we went back to the shopping area along the transit line and found a taxicab stand with a young man in an idle cab, smoking and listening to the radio. We explained that we wanted to hire him for a while to visit two churches. In English, of course, with an occasional German word thrown in. His English was better than our German but even at that he did not fully understand what we had in mind. Nevertheless, he was willing to give it a try.

So we were off; first to the St Ilgen church. The map shows the center of St Ilgen to be one or two miles from where we were in Leimen but there did not seem to be a direct route; we went left and then right and left again, weaving thru the Heidelberg suburbs. This cab ride was not the same as our amusement park thrill-ride experience in Rome, here the other drivers were disciplined and our guy did not race at breakneck speed down the narrow streets … but I’m still glad he was driving and not me.

The Evangelical Church of the Trinity in St Ilgen was even more lovely than the Leimen church and appeared to be larger. A man was updating

From Heidelberg we took a local trolley south toward the ÔvillagesÕ of my ancestors, now suburbs of Heidelberg.  We got off the trolley in Leiman and visited the current site of the Protestant Church; (aka Evangelical Church) and took some pictures.  Then we hailed a taxi and visited the church in St Ilgen, an adjacent village.  Then back into the taxi to Sandhausen É the surviving village of the Sandhausen  / Bruchausen pair of ancient villages.  See the genealogy database to learn who lived where.

the crowded bulletin board as we arrived and we talked briefly with him, explaining our quest and inquiring about the location of the Bruchhausen / Sandhausen church. He seemed to know about that church and talked animatedly with the driver … so after a picture or two we were off to the third church.

In Sandhausen we found a church that was the largest of the three, set immediately adjacent to the street with a parking lot at one side. This

looked like a downtown church in the United States, big and imposing. The village has come a long way in 300 years. I was running out of steam by this time, so we took some pictures, declared victory and jumped back in the taxi for the return to Leimen and our streetcar rides back to the hotel.  

We both needed coffee when we returned to Leimen so we ventured into a shop near the streetcar stop to inquire if there was any place nearby for coffee. No nearby coffeeshop. But the simple act of inquiring led to a conversation about who we were and why we were there with the lady running the store. She was excited about our quest and was trying to think of anyone with a name similar to Volckert when the streetcar arrived. We hurried off to catch the trolley, only to find her rushing a few steps behind us, waving a phone book! She INSISTED we take the telephone directory and look thru it to see if we had living relatives. How very thoughtful of her! This made the day a success even though the book had no Volckerts listed …

This was fun. I hope the churches we found actually have a heritage that stretches back to the 1700s and 1600s and I hope my ancestors are included. But in any case it was good to wander in the Heidelberg suburbs where I could imagine I was trailing my ancestors.


ps  The Sandhausen church plaque seems to say the musical bells were cast in Canada and presented to the church in 2000 by Theodor J Frei, a former resident of Sandhausen.  We did not hear the bells during the short time we were there.  Pity.

Linking to the California Fulkerth Families; FRF Blog Post 23

Folkerth researchers have been trying for years to connect the West Coast Fulkerths with the rest of the family. The West Coast Fulkerths descend from the pioneers who traveled in 1863 via wagon train from Iowa to California. This party included three Fulkerth brothers with wives and families, one widowed sister with her family and the widowed mother of the four adult siblings. Specifically, the travelers were;

– Sarah Casner Fulkerth, (1796-1890), widow of Henry Fulkerth (1799 – ca 1860)

– Matilda Fulkerth Powell, (b1822)

– Thomas Henry Fulkerth, (1824-1900)

– William Fulkerth, (1831-1914), and

– Asa Shinn Fulkerth, (1834-1898)

Loren W. Fulkerth, son of Asa and later a judge of the California Superior Court, came on this journey as a small child. This trip was documented by a wonderful diary of Abby Etta Willey Fulkerth, wife of William Fulkerth (Abby E. Fulkerth, Manuscript Diary, April-August, 1863, Iowa to California. The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley), which may be found HERE in synopsis. These California Fulkerths moved into the central valley of California and prospered, with descendants today living up and down the West Coast, in Canada and elsewhere. The connection of this group to the broader Folkerth / Fulkerth / Fulker families has not been proven with explicit information.

However, I believe that research conducted by the Folkerth collaborators over the last 40 years more than constitutes a “reasonably exhaustive search” in the sense of the Genealogical Proof Standards set by the Board for Certification of Genealogists. These standards say that a Reasonably Exhaustive Search should include examination of all known sources, emphasizing independent, original, records. We have searched high and low for source material. Further, the standards call for analysis and correlation of all evidence derived from the sources, including resolution of any conflicting information, before finally reaching a conclusion … and I believe we have accomplished this analysis, correlation and conflict resolution, as well.

Accordingly, it is time to assemble the information that has been collected, follow where the data leads us and see if we have answered the question; Are the California Fulkerths part of the broader Folkerth / Fulkerth / Fulker family? Spoiler Alert: I believe the answer is YES. For details of this study, follow the link HERE.


Is Margaret Rafesnider Fictional?

In some (many ?) internet genealogies you will find claims that Christopher’s wife was Margaret Rafesnider with a death date of 21 Dec 1837. I believe this is wrong.  And I believe no person named Margaret Rafesnider ever was associated with Christopher Folkerth.  I think this Margaret Rafesnider is entirely fictional.

This person appears to be the result of mixing the records of three different women. One woman provided the surname, another the given name and the third provided the death date.

The first being Pamelia Rafesnider, Christopher’s wife at the time son John was born in 1774 … who quite likely was the mother of Henry (1764), Catherine (ca 1766), Hieronymus (ca 1770), William (1777) and Samuel (1778).  We know Pamelia Rafesnider was Christopher’s wife at one time because of the pages from John Folkerth’s family bible that Steve Koons located at the Dayton library … even though the entry was annotated to change her given name to Camelia.  My feeling is that John probably knew his Mother’s name!

The second woman is Margaret unknown, the 2nd wife of Christopher … who was mentioned in Christopher’s 1815 will and previously left a record for us when Christopher and his wife Margaret in 1790 sold ‘Fulkersburg’, their land in Chester County, Pennsylvania.  This is based on land records found by Liz Stratton and summarized HERE.

The third woman in this composite is Margaret Schmid(t), who married Henry Fulkerth 25 October 1788 in Vincent Twp, Chester County, Pennsylvania.  Their marriage record is found in Pennsylvania German Marriages, IRISH, Donna R, Genealogical Publishing Co, 1982, p525.  The family later moved to Frederick County, Maryland, where Margaret died. Her grave marker in the Pipe Creek Church of Brethren cemetery is found in Carroll County Cemeteries, Vol 6, Carroll County Genealogical Society, Westminster, 2000.  The marker, with death date 21 Dec 1837, specifically identifies Margaret  as the wife of Henry Fulkerth.  NOT the wife of Christopher!

Strange things can happen in genealogies when dealing with people of the same name and this appears to be one of those instances. Showing, again, that you must be careful with internet genealogies. (This one, too, of course.)


More About Margaret, the 2nd Wife of Christopher Folkerth; FRF Blog 21

Good, solid sources are sparse for Margaret. We don’t know her surname, we don’t have solid evidence on when she was born or when she married Christopher. But we can get good estimates for the events based on reasoning about the data we have.

Its certain that Christopher Folkerth was married to Margaret in 1790 when he sold his Pennsylvania land, Fulkersburg, because she signed off on the deal. He also was married to Margaret in 1815 when he wrote his will. There are census records in 1820 and 1830 strongly suggesting that she was still alive and living near the Carlisle family … long-time neighbors of the Folkerths. Difficulty comes in earlier years but we can do some reasoning based on census records.

Fundamental to this analysis is the idea that Christopher’s first wife, Pamelia Rafesnider, died after bearing two children in less than a year. This occurred in 1777 and 1778 so her death is likely in 1778. No direct evidence substantiates this idea. But the circumstances indicate this as a likely scenario.

So, what about Margaret, presumed to be wife #2? The 1790 census is no help at all; it simply records two females in the household of Christopher Fulker. Later census records are some help as they include a female in the following age brackets;

1800 45 & over thus born 1755 or before

1810 45 & over thus born 1765 or before

1820 45 & over thus born 1775 or before

1830 60 to 70 thus born 1761 to 1770

Hmmmm. Appears to be an inconsistency in the data; if the 1800 census is correct then the 1830 census is in error … or the reverse. We are left to wonder if the lady fudged a bit when reporting to the enumerator of the 1830 census. Just saying.

The birth year of her son, Michael, may help with this puzzle, even though there is some uncertainty about his birth, too. A similar census analysis for Michael shows the following;

1800 not found; not even in Christofer Fulher’s household

1810 his household is found, but he is absent. No help at all.

1820 26 thru 44 born 1776 – 1794

1830 50 thru 59 born 1771 – 1780

1840 60 thru 69 born 1771 – 1780

This would seem to bracket his birth year as being 1776 – 1780.

One more thing; his half-brother, Samuel, was born 6 Feb 1778, nine months after William was born. As noted, Pamelia is presumed to be the Mother of these two boys and is presumed to have died in 1778. If Christopher married Margaret a few months later, the earliest birth year for Michael appears to be 1779, with 1780 more likely. This is earlier than the ca 1782 that I have in the database for Michael but I can’t find a source for the 1782 value. Guess I’d better change to ca 1780.

Michael’s birth year seems to indicate that his Mother’s birth year probably was earlier, rather than later. The interval 1761 to 1770, as indicated by the 1830 census looks wrong for her birth since she would have married Christopher in 1779 when no older than 18, at which time Christopher’s six children ranged in age between 1 and 15, placing her in a very difficult parental management situation. A birth year of 1755 or before, as indicated by the 1800 census would have made her age 24 or older and looks much more likely to me, but nevertheless appears to be a difficult situation.

Conclusions of the analysis;

– Margaret Unknown, 2nd wife of Christopher Folkerth, born before 1755

– Margaret marries Christopher ca 1779

– Michael Folkerth born ca 1780.

Am I positive that this is true? No. But these numbers are reasonable estimates of the truth based on all the available evidence and reflect the way my database is constructed. I know that genealogy is provisional and I’m prepared to revise these conclusions if additional evidence is found.


Connecting Sevila to the Greater Engle Family while sorting out some Engle, Renner & Wine relationships; FRF Blog 20

My previous posting, #19, dealing with the move of the Engle family to the Miami Valley of Ohio, led by my great-grandmother, Sevila Engle Yingling Folkerth, featured a 1901 tribute to her brother, William Henry Engle and his wife Elizabeth Dutrow, on the occasion of their 50th wedding anniversary. This tribute was read by W. Johnson Engle, son of the couple, at the celebration. The tribute included the following words concerning his ancestors:

… There is no one living today to my knowledge that knows any more of my great-grandfathers and grandmothers than we know of Melchisadeck, king of Salem.

My father does not know the name of his grandfather or grandmother Engle. This is known, however, that his paternal grandmother was married twice–first to a man by the name of Renner. They had born to them two boys, Jacob and George. Next she was married to an Engle, and they had one son and one daughter, Sophia and Peter Engle. Peter Engle married Susan Krice, who had two sisters and one brother–Peggy Krice who married a Hann; Katy who married a Huffman; and Samuel Krice.”

The Peter Engle referred to in this paragraph was the father of William Henry Engle and so the grandfather of the speaker, W. J. Engle. The last hundred-plus years have been kind to genealogy researchers since today we DO know the names of W. J. Engle‘s great-grandparents! And I suppose we could learn something about Melchisadeck, King of Salem, if we were so inclined. Maybe later.

During the period 2004 until about 2006 and perhaps extending into 2008, I was working via email with Ken Engle and his wife, Carol. Ken was the webmaster of the Engle-family.org website and the correspondent, writing all the emails. His wife was doing the heavy-lifting of genealogy research at the library and the courthouse, tracking census records, land records, birth, marriage & death records, etc.

The Engles were working forward in time to find the descendants of immigrant Engels while I was working backwards in time trying to trace the ancestors of my G-GM, Sevila Engle. The two research lines converged in Frederick County, Maryland with events in the early 1800s. I had good evidence that Sevila’s parents were Peter Engle and Susanna Crise, sometimes spelled Krice. Further, I came to believe that her Engle grandfather also was named Peter with a wife named Mary … but there were other Engles in the neighborhood, some also named Peter. It was hard to sort them out until Ken & Carol brought their data to bear; they had birthdates and marriages that clarified matters.

Ken and Carol had a Johann Peter Engels, Jr, for whom they were trying to trace descendants; they had a first marriage to a wife who died in 1797 leaving young children. So it seemed highly likely that this was the Peter Engle who married Mary (Wine) Renner in 1799, making him the father of ‘my’ Peter Engle and the grandfather of Sevila and her brother, William Henry Engle. Some of the documents that unraveled the mess were the following;

– The Engle narrative from 1901 that said Peter’s mother first married a man named Renner,

MYERS “Marriage Licenses of Frederick County, Maryland’ that records the 1782 marriage of John Renner and Mary Wine,

– The 1803 estate settlement of one John Renner who died without a will in about 1797. This document named his widow as Mary, w/o Peter Engle, named Peter Engle as guardian of eight minor children and named one of the Renner daughters as Betsy, w/o John Sonnafrank,

– The 1797 will of George Wine that named Mary Renner as his daughter and also bequeathed money to Elizabeth Renner, d/o John Renner, deceased. This Elizabeth Renner likely is Betsy, w/o John Sonnafrank,

– The 1799 record from the Lutheran Church of Frederick, Maryland, for the marriage of Peter Engle and Maria Renner.

Based on this combination of documents, some found by Ken’s wife and some that I found, we declared that the connection had been successfully made by a preponderance of evidence … after a thorough search. I sent Ken material on the descendants of Johann Peter Engels, Jr, to be added to the website and I adopted the work Ken and his wife had done as a valid representation of my Engle ancestors. I did not check their sources for these earlier generations since I had developed confidence in their work while struggling to understand the link of my data with theirs. That may not be good scholarship but I’m not sorry I did this. I do have confidence in the work on the Engle-family website.

There is uncertainty about John Renner’s early life and his first wife. It seems likely that John married first ‘in the old country’ before immigrating, per the bio of his grandson, who was the s/o Daniel. But documentation is sketchy. However, it is clear he married Mary Wine in 1782.

The documentation shows that the following children were born to John Renner;

l-John Renner b. unk d. Cir 1797

+lst Wife Unknown

2-Elizabeth (Betsy) Renner

+John Sonnafrank

2-Catherine Renner b. Cir 1777

+Michael Kesselring b. Cir 1774

2-Mary Renner b. 5 Sep 1780

+George Young

2-Daniel Renner b. Cir 1781

+Lydia FRY

+Mary Wine

2-John Renner

+Lettitia Flanagan

2-Solomon Renner

2-Jacob Renner b. 15 Apr 1789

+Susan Fox

2-Samuel Renner

2-George Renner b. 3 Jul 1792

+Eliza Bostian

2-Sally Renner

+Henry Hummer

2-Susanna Renner

+Andrew Hummer

These folks are not my ancestors but having the info about them was vital to establishing the connection of Sevila and her parents to the earlier Engle generations.


Sevila Goes from Maryland to Ohio; Twice. FRF Blog 19.

This is a story of the call of the West. This blog is just a synopsis of the story, which can be found in more detail HERE.

Peter Engle (1801 – 1880) and Susanna Crise (1805 – 1885) married in 1826 and had six children –four sons and two daughters.

Margaret Sevila (1827 – 1894) was the eldest. She married Alfred Yingling in Frederick County, Maryland abt 1848 and went to Ohio soon after with her new husband and his sister, Hannah Yingling. Sevila had one daughter, Keturah, born in Ohio in 1849. Alfred Yingling died shortly after. Sevila’s brother, William Henry Engle traveled to Ohio to help Sevila return to Maryland with her newborn daughter.

William Henry Engle was the second child of Peter and Susanna. He married Charlotte Elizabeth Dutrow, d/o Andrew Dutrow and Lydia Yingling Dutrow on 7 August 1851 in Frederick County. Andrew was the s/o John Dutrow and Lydia was the d/o David Yingling. Lydia Yingling and Alfred Yingling were siblings.

The other Engle children were younger and married after the family moved to Ohio.

Andrew Dutrow died sometime bef 1851, prob in Frederick County, leaving his wife Lydia with four children, Charlotte Elizabeth (who married William Henry Engle) being the oldest.

The West was calling to Sevila so she convinced her extended family to move to Ohio, departing Frederick County in October, 1851. The 14 migrants included;

  • Peter Engle and his wife, Susanna

  • oldest daughter Sevila Engle Yingling

  • infant granddaughter Keturah Yingling

  • oldest son William H. Engle with his new wife, Elizabeth Dutrow Engle

  • Engle children

    • Samuel

    • David

    • John

    • Isabelle

  • widow Lydia Yingling Dutrow

  • Dutrow children

    • Obadiah

    • Emanuel &

    • Margaret

Sevila for blog

Sevila is my great-grandmother. She married Ebenezer Folkerth in 1854 as his second wife and bore him one son, Frank Jordan Folkerth. Sevila is buried in the cemetery of what is now the Aley United Methodist Church, Beavercreek, Greene County, Ohio. Jordan’s 1934 will contained the following specific provision; “… my said Executor shall pay to the Trustees of Allie ( sic ) Grave Yard in Beaver Creek Township, Greene County, Ohio, the sum of Twenty-Five Dollars ( $25.00 ), the same to be invested by them and from the proceeds of said $25.00, to be used by Trustees of said cemetery to maintain and keep in order the grave of my mother.”

I’m pleased to report that the Aley UMC cemetery was “in order” when I visited there in 2002.


The Many Moves and Marriages of Job Jefferis; FRF Blog #18

Job Jefferis is a fascinating ancestor because he had such a turbulent 20-year period in his life before he finally settled in place. Job was a member of the Society of Friends and some details of his turbulent life were documented by the minutes of the Quaker Monthly Meetings … the business meetings of the Society. For example, a Quaker needed to show evidence of membership when first affiliating with a new Monthly Meeting. This evidence was in the form of a certificate that was granted by the previous Monthly Meeting. The request to provide the certificate was entered in the minutes of the ‘old’ Monthly Meeting … as was the presentation of the certificate to the ‘new’ Monthly Meeting. Marriages, deaths and disciplinary actions also were recorded, with births sometimes appearing.

About 80 years ago William Wade Hinshaw produced an extensive set of books that captured the contents of many Monthly Meeting minutes plus indexes that serve as finding aids. I used Hinshaw’s work in tracking Job’s moves and marriages. The following is a summary of his moves and marriages while a more detailed presentation is to be found HERE.

Job was the ninth of 12 children … and third son of William Jefferis, Jr, and Hannah Darlington. He left home in East Bradford Twp, Chester County, Pennsylvania, in late 1791 or early 1792, when he was about age 25 and unmarried. His next 20 years were turbulent, with moves every six years or so and with three marriages. He had five children by his three wives and gained two step-children with each of his later marriages. A skeletal look at Jobs moves and marriages appears as follows;

– 1791 moves from Chester County, Pennsylvania to Berkeley County, Virginia ( now West Virginia)

– 1794 marries Rebekah Long

– 1796 son Darlington (my ancestor) born

– 1797 moves from Berkeley County, Virginia to Fayette County, Pennsylvania

– 1799 (about) wife Rebekah dies

– 1800 marries widow Rebecca Vail Burnett, who has daughters Rachel & Mary

– 1801 daughter Catherine born

– 1804 moves from Fayette County, Pennsylvania, to (probably) Butler County, Ohio

– 1806 (about) wife Rebecca dies

– 1808 (about) marries widow Elizabeth Nicholson Reynolds, who has children Jeremiah N. & Isabella

– 1809 daughter Hannah born

– 1810 moves from Butler County, Ohio to Clinton County, Ohio

– 1811 twin sons Joab N. and Job E. born.

Job finally settled in Clinton County, Ohio, near Wilmington and lived there for the rest of his life, dying in 1846. Elizabeth Nicholson, his third wife, lived for another 10 years.


Job on the move JobMovesInOhio-1 @80