Sunday, April 14, 2013

April Showers bring May flowers -- and ancestors!

Happy April!!

This will be a quick post. Some birthdays for this month:

April 5: Michael Zirkle Jr. was the son of Michael Zirkle, our family's Revolutionary War veteran. He was born 241 years ago. That makes him my generation's 4th great grand uncle. His family and descendants settled in Meigs County, Ohio.

April 6: Shirley A. Shaffer, had she lived, would have been 75 today. She was the first born child of  my generation's Uncle Earl (Earl Richard Shaffer) and his first wife, Betty Katherine Shepherd. Shirley died April 10, 1941 from the measles. Medicine has come so far since then, hasn't it!

April 7: Happy birthday to our 4th great grandfather, Solomon Shaffer! He would be 222 years old today. :) Solomon was born in 1791 in Shenandoah, Virginia to Jacob Shaffer and his second wife Otilla Schmid. That makes Solomon a first generation American, because Jacob and Otilla were born in Germany! Solomon was a pioneer and in the mid 1830s, packed up his wife Sarah (Zirkle) Shaffer and their children into a conestoga wagon and moved to Mad River township, Champaign County, Ohio, along with his brothers and many of his Zirkle in-laws. (Sarah's parents and siblings and uncles included!) He is buried in the Shaffer cemetery in Terre Haute, Champaign county, Ohio, near Coffin Station road. This cemetery today is located on what was once his 100+ acre farm.  It's still a very rural area, and the cemetery is either owned or near private property so likely we can't visit, but if you ever do try, let me know! :)   Check out the Google map.

April 18: Our great aunt Ilo (Shaffer) Stone would have been 117 today!

April 20: Michael Zirkle (yep, another one!) our 3rd great grand uncle would be 211 today! His brother  Noah was our 3rd great grandfather. Their parents were Abraham and Margaret (Maurer) Zirkle. I don't know much about him at this time.

April 20: Sarah Ann Shaffer (yep another one of those too - our people weren't terribly creative with names - all good, Lutheran German names) our great grand aunt would be 162 today! Her brother, Aaron Shaffer, was my great grandfather. He married Rosa Zirkle, and that's the reason all these Zirkles are related to us! Their son was grandpa Shaffer.  Anyway, Sarah never married. She died on Valentine's day, 1929, at the ripe old age of 77 - cause of death? Gastroentitis. Thank goodness for Tums!

And, most notably, on April 28, 1962 - my parents got married!!! Happy anniversary Mom and Dad! I miss you!!

Mom at Niagara Falls in 1962 - honeymoon

Dad at Niagara Falls 1962 - honeymoon