When did Theodosia die?

Theodosia (aka Theodocia) is believed to be the name of Clayton Webb’s mother. Her being named as one of the administrators of John Webb’s estate seems to give credence to this theory.

At a special court of the Common Pleas, June 8, 1805 —  John WEBB deceased. Administrators Theodosia WEBB & William WELLS.

Theodosia and John Webb are believed to be the parents of Clayton, John, jr., and William Webb, and possibly others. (Her last name is given as Clevenger, because it is said to be Clayton’s middle name, I have no evidence of any such thing; doesn’t mean it isn’t true, I just have no evidence of it.)

Using the ages of their children, we can assume they were born in about the mid-1700s. We know when John, sr. died because of his probate record from 1805. The only death date I could ever find for Theodosia was after 1811, because in a will for their son William, who died in 1811, Theodosia was again named an administrator.

So, over all the years that people have been researching the Webb family, the only death date they could come up with for Theodosia was ‘after Oct something 1811.’

While I was researching Clayton Webb’s land records in Hamilton County, Ohio something in one of the documents caught my eye.

deed_webbclay_vW1p294OH copy
Clayton Webb land deed, vW1p294, Hamilton County, Ohio. FHL Digital Film #8142621 online digital image 165 of 705.

The above deed was dated 1821, and it clearly shows ‘Theodocia Webb‘ as one of the witnesses to this deed. In fact I saw her signature as a witness on three of Clayton’s deeds in this time period.

The main take-away from this document is that, obviously, Theodosia Webb was alive in 1821 when she witnessed these documents. Which means she died 1821 or later. Once again land records show their worth.

So my question is how come no one else has seen this? Why am I the first to make note of it, in all the years folks have been researching the Webb family? Because if they have, I have seen no evidence of it in online family trees.

I have always wondered to myself if I was wasting my time when I would research what appeared to be already thoroughly researched surnames. But this just proves to me that even though others have researched, and even written books about certain surnames, they haven’t necessarily done their due diligence. There is always something new to learn.

 

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Great Aunt Ruth…

3260817401_9df2959b53_bI don’t remember seeing much of my great Aunt and Uncle Ruth and Herman Shepard when I was growing up. But I do remember some of the stories my mother would tell about Herman and his barn storming days, and how Grandma Dick use to like telling Ruth all about Herman’s old girlfriends. (Dick was kind of mean that way.)

Herman and Ruth never had any children of their own, and since I know lots about where Herman came from and his growing up years, but little about Ruth, other than she didn’t want Herman flying anymore when they were married, I thought I would improve that lack. (I have to say, she must have been a saint to put up with her mother-in-law Dick.)

Ruth Mae Kring was born the 1st of March in 1908, the daughter of Lowell Athelston Kring and Tressa Belle Hults, in Ohio. She grew up with two brothers and one sister: Ralph M., Vaughn A., and Esther. The family lived in Mifflin, Franklin County, Ohio where in 1930 her father was working as a welder for the Oxiste Company, and her mother raised the kids, as was typical of the times. Ruth, by 1930, was working as a sales clerk in a local department store.

Ruth and Herman were married in 1934 in Franklin, Ohio.

Ruth’s father Lowell’s parents, Andrew Kring and Mary Alma Kramer, were of German descent.

The Krings
Andrew’s parents were Conrad Kring and Catherine Siedner (nothing is known about Catherine’s family).

Conrad was an Evangelical Church minister, and apparently made up his mind, at 12 years of age, that a life of ministry was calling to him. This ministry led the family to move around from Pennsylvania to Ohio to Kansas, and finally back to Ohio where they made their final stop. Andrew grew up with 11 siblings.

Conrad’s parents were George and Magdalena Fry Kring, of Bedford County, Pennsylvania.

George Kring was the FIRST generation Kring born in the United States. He made a living as a shoemaker, a farmer and a minister (George would use his barn on the Sabbath to minister to the people living close to their farm). When he was young George spent much of his time making boots, harnesses, and shoes for George Washington’s army, and helping his father work on the farm. George hated working indoors, he wanted to be outside enjoying nature’s bounty.

George had a great urge to join the fight during the revolution as a drummer, his father discouraged his dreams, no doubt preferring his son home safe with the family. So home George stayed. George’s second wife was Magdalena Fye, of whom their son Conrad was born.

Magdalena Fye was born in Saxony, Germany. Her parents (whose names we do not know) came to American when she was a young child. The political strife going on in their homeland at the time was great incentive to move somewhere else and make a better life for themselves and their children.

The original Kring emigrant was Johan Jost Kring. He came to America with his brother. They were from Haigler, which is now in Western Germany.  As teenagers, they left Germany to avoid service in the Thirty Years War and went to the Netherlands for several years before immigrating to Philadelphia on the ship Two Brothers. They arrived in America on July 21, 1751. They settled in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. John was also a cobbler.

The Hults
I can not find much on Ruth’s mother’s side of the family, the Hults they are more elusive. It looks like Ruth’s great grandfather Henry Wells was born in England and came to America in 1850, when he was 15. He traveled on the ship Amazon with his mother, Sarah, and 6 siblings. Sarah was not with her husband (dead?), and never married after emigrating. She supported the family as a seamstress.

The Hults themselves appear to come from Illinois before moving to Ohio, where James W. Hults, Ruth’s grandfather was born. I do know that her maternal grandparents were James W. Hults and Cora Belle Wells. And a death record for James indicates that his parents were Milton Hults and Margaret Dempsey. (Dempsey is probably Irish.) One online tree indicates that the Hults line descends from the immigrant Benjamin Holsaert of the Netherlands born about 1675. There are no sources with this statement.

So, an admittedly cursory search into Ruth’s ancestral background. But it was a fun frolic up a different family tree.

We have lots of letters from Ruth and Herman that will be showing up in future posts, and I am looking forward to them giving more insight into Ruth and Herman’s lives.

3161334323_54debc4b61_z
Ruth and Herman Shepard

 

April 25 [1943] Lois Shepard to in-laws

letter_shepardl_to_shepardwr_1943_04_25_p01

April 25 [1943]

Dear Dick

Well-Bill will be gone to Washington State tomorrow – & Evelyn leaves tomorrow nite so I shall be all alone. And Bill had to check the beds & bedding back in today so we have one daybed for all of us tonite. Nice life —

Bill wants me to stay here as he can get back to see me at times & there is a chance that he will be sent back to Pendleton Field in a month or two. Here is a proposition — Would you like to come out the last of May & stay until things are decided. Then if I decide to come back to Ohio you can help me with the children which would be one h– of a job alone. Bill is still trying for flight training –

letter_shepardl_to_shepardwr_1943_04_25_p02and3

it will be either that or overseas — and you will want to see him before he goes.

I am going to try to get a second hand bed next week to do me. The kids are having a good time with their Easter basket this A.M. And bill hasn’t had a day at home yet. We went to a formal dance at the Officer’s Club last nite & had a very good time. I initiated the skirt & it held its own with all the other formals & I had one Tom Collins a& after one fast rhumba it started its effects but I managed to conrol myself. I only wish Bill could stay for it would be so much fun to go all the places with him. We have got to go a little in spite of this dam army– One day Bill will come home & pack to go somewhere

& then come back & unpack.–It keeps you guessing till you don’t care whether it happens or not.

Well Sue must have her bath so please write & let me know if you will come or not. Bill wants you to & he wants me to stay for a couple of months at least. I might have gotten ready & come back with Evelyn but we now know what might happen.

Love
Lois.

Another Goble murder…

Stephen P. Goble
Stephen Porter Goble, Stephen, senior’s son with his first wife, Elizabeth Brown. (1832-1866).

Stephen Goble and his first wife Elizabeth had, according to online trees, seven children. Sadly only one, a son, lived to adulthood and had a family of his own, Stephen Porter Goble, who was born in 1832. When Stephen senior died in 1889 his will left all his property to his 5 daughters (whom he had with his second wife Alice), clearly indicating that none of his son Stephen’s heirs were to receive a farthing:

Item 2nd — It is now considered by me that my deceased son Stephen P. Goble, having in his lifetime received his full share and proportion of my estate and assets, It is my wish and will that his heirs viz; the heirs of the said Stephen Goble, deceased, shall not inherit or have any part or portion whatever of my said estate, or of any estate or assets of which I may die seized.1

As one can see in the reading of the will, there was actually nothing nefarious going on, Stephen had already given Stephen Porter his share of the estate, probably when he had married. The fact that Stephen Porter’s heirs are mentioned instead of Stephen Porter himself also clearly indicates that his son had died previous to 1889, so of course I was curious as to why he had died before his father. The possibility of it having happened during the civil war was pretty high as he was of an age to have enlisted.

I found one online tree that had this to say regarding his passing: ‘met his death in 1866, by a shot fired from the gun of a trespasser.’…and that was it. All I could think was – ‘Seriously, that’s all you wrote? Weren’t you curious about the details?’ But this did give me a clue that he probably wasn’t killed in the war. The Goble family website has the following entry for Stephen Porter:

“Stephen Porter Goble died May 30, 1866. He and a farm hand were going through his farm on the lane when they saw a stranger walking through the wheat field. This would cause the wheat to be mashed down so that it could not be harvested. They called to the stranger who turned and shot Stephen P. Goble. The farm hand took Stephen on the farm sled to the house and a doctor was sent for. Stephen P. Goble died, leaving a wife, Frances S. (Ashburn) Goble, and three young children and a farm.”

The above story being shared by a descendant of Stephen Porter had been passed down for several generations through the family. However, thanks to the good old internet, and those great folks who are digitizing newspapers as fast as they can, here is the story as found in a Minnesota newspaper just days after the event3:

newspaper_goblestephenjr_murder

At this time, I can find no record of the perpetrator of the crime having ever been caught.

This event is an interesting and excellent example of how family stories change over the years, where the basics of the story turn out to be mostly true, but the details get all muddied up at each telling.

The murder of his son and the loss of 6 children with his first wife, were not the only devastating things to happen to the family. I caught this horrible bit of news in an 1885 paper:

The house of Stephen Goble, near New Richmond, O., was destroyed by fire.4

Who knows what precious heirlooms were lost to the family. Thankfully no lives were. So, we can be relieved that this wasn’t a Goble doing the murdering, but a Goble getting murdered. Although I am sure Stephen Porter would have preferred to have not been the subject of this gruesome post.


  1. Will probated April 10, 1889, Wills of Clermont County, Ohio, 1800-1915, Book P, p. 512-517 [image on FHL digital images of these wills is 303-305 of 669].
  2. Told to Jean E. (Coddington) Bogart by her mother Marguerite (Frey) Coddington and her Aunt Dorothy E. (Frey) Lanter.  Goble family website
  3. A Horrible murder…, Taylors Falls Reporter, June 2, 1866, page 23, col. 4; Stillwater, Minnesota weekly.
  4. Newark Daily Advocate, Saturday, September 5, 1885, Newark, Ohio, page 1, column 7.

Steam boating on the Ohio…

Replica of the New Orleans, (built in 1911), the first steamboat that traveled on the Ohio in 1811.
Replica of the New Orleans, (built in 1911), the first steamboat that traveled on the Ohio in 1811.

The introduction of steamboats on the Ohio River in 1811 revolutionized river travel during the first half of the nineteenth century in America, and by the 1820s the Ohio was bustling with more boats than you could shake a stick at. Early travelers using the river for transportation spent much more time and energy getting from place to place because they had to power the boats themselves. This technology made travel on the water faster and more efficient. The only drawback was the steamboat’s tendency to explode, but this drawback was more than made up for with the speed they could achieve to meet tighter schedules, traveling against the current, and by being able to take more passengers and higher value cargo upstream.

Although most of the earlier steamboats came from Pittsburgh or Wheeling, it wasn’t long before Cincinnati also emerged as a significant player in the industry. “Cincinnati shipyards launched twenty-five steamboats between 1811 and 1825, and the number only increased after that period. The industry and the transportation system that it developed helped Cincinnati to become one of the most important cities in the West prior to the Civil War.”

Stephen Goble, Senior, sometime in the late 1870s to early 1880s, as he died 1884.
Stephen Goble, Senior, probably taken sometime in the 1880s.

One of those early pioneers of this revolution in river travel was my 3x great Grandfather Stephen Goble, Sr.. Stephen was born in 1804 in Clermont County, Ohio the son of William Goble and Ruth Beck. He was named after his paternal grandfather. The lure of the Ohio River called to him, and one can easily imagine the appeal to a young man of the early 1800s, watching the hustle and bustle of the steamboats traveling up and down the Ohio at all hours of the night and day, with many heading to St. Louis and New Orleans. It must have been quite a sight to see.

The thrill of adventure was so alluring to Stephen, that at the age of 15 he had left his family in Bethany and eventually ended up working on the steamboats running the river. By 1826, at about the age of 22, he had become an engineer on the first two lever engine boat that started in Cincinnati, the Wm. Tell.I found the following wonderful news articles in the Ohio papers. They give us a hint of his early adventures.

River News, Daily Port Register. Arrivals. Personal.
Several weeks ago we noticed the death of Capt. Embree,…Capt. Embree was one of the earlierst steamboat captains in the west…In the year 1828 he built a boat at New Richmond, Ohio, on which such venerable steamboatmen as Captain John Conner, Robert Davis, and engineers James Temper and Stephen Goble, Sr. each served terms as youthful engineers.4

Shipping News: Miscellaneous —
Stephen Goble probably the oldest river engineer living, was here Thursday. He was on the Wm. Penn[Tell], the first two lever engine boat that started from Cincinnati, and also on the Marion the second of the same class. He is now 84[78] years old, hale, hearty and in possession of every faculty. He lives up the river near New Richmond, and made the trip on the Bonanza as the guest of his old frine Mac Ketchum. He was greatly interested in the changes that have occurred since his day.3

River Intelligence: Personal.
Stephen Goble, an old time engineer, was on the Wm. Penn, the first two lever engine boat, that started out from Cincinnati and also on the Marion, the second of the same class. He is now eighty-four years old, hale and hearty and in possession of every faculty. He lives up the river near New  Richmond.5

River Intelligence: Personal.
A correspondent at New Richmond writes us that the item in the Gazette a few days ago in regard to Stephen Goble was not altogether correct, he being in his seventy-eighth year. The Wm. Tell was the first steamboat he went out on as engineer from Cincinnati, in the year 1826.6

We don’t know exactly how long Stephen worked on the river as an engineer although one paper reporting his death indicated that he was involved with the river for over 40 years and other sources say until he retired, which could be at any time.7 newspaper_goblestephen_deathIn the 1840 census he is listed as being engaged in agriculture, so he was probably involved with both occupations during his lifetime. He was now an adult and had settled down with his first wife with whom he had married in 1824, Elizabeth Brown. His second wife was Alice Brown (sister of Elizabeth), our ancestress, whom he married in 1841. She was about 14 years younger than him. Together they had five daughters of whom Sallie is my gg grandmother, and one son.

DIED.
Goble—March 24[1889], Stephen Goble, at New Richmond, O, aged 85 years.8

It is a pity that we can’t go back in time and relive Stephen’s river adventures with him. It must have been a thrilling time.

Sources:

  1. http://www.ohiohistorycentral.org/w/Steamboats?rec=1524
  2. http://www.cincinnativiews.net/steam_boats.htm
  3. Cincinnati Commercial Tribune, Cincinnati, Ohio 04-02-1881, page 7, col. 1
  4. Cincinnati Daily Gazette, Cincinnati, Ohio 12-03-1870, page 4, col. 2
  5. Cincinnati Daily Gazette, Cincinnati, Ohio 04-02-1881, page 3, col. 2
  6. Cincinnati Daily Gazette, Cincinnati, Ohio 04-15-1881, page 3, col. 2
  7. Wednesday, March 27, 1889; Evansville Courier and Press (Evansville, Indiana), page 3, col. 6. The article indicates that he was involved with the river for over 40 years, but I do not know how accurate the information is because they also state he left a widow. Alice had died a few years earlier. It is possible that he both farmed and still was involved with the river over the years.
  8. Cincinnati Commercial Tribune, Cincinnati, Ohio 03-25-1889, page 4
  9. History of Clermont and Brown Counties, Ohio: Biographical…, by Byron Williams; p342-343