By Jeanne Zellner Luhr
In 2002 I visited Crawford County and found an 1855 atlas of Crawford County in the Bucyrus Library. There in the eastern 80 acres of the south-east quarter section of Section 18, Lykins Township, was “P. Zellner,” my great-great-grandfather. (1) Immediately southeast of Philip in the western 80 acres of the north-west quarter section of Section 20, Lykins Township was “S. Zelner.” None of Philip’s children were old enough to have property on their own. So, who was this Samuel Zelner? Even that early in my genealogy career I was aware that families often migrated together and that, despite the spelling differences, these two men were probably related. The next plat map I saw was the 1873 map of Lykens T’P in the “History of Lykens Township.” (2) John Ohl now owned the 80 acres that previously had been labeled “S. Zelner” and Samuel was no longer on a Lykens Township map. Nor could I find a Samuel Zellner/Zelner in Crawford County in the 1860 Census. Samuel’s name went into my “Zellners not yet connected” file.
Fast forward to March, 2012. The Family History Center librarian in Louisville has been coming to our Louisville Genealogical Society meetings and giving us tips on using familysearch.com. On March 27th she talked about all the books FamilySearch has digitized and how to search that resource for surnames. On April 2nd I searched for “Zellner” and came up with a biography of Tilghman Zellner. (3) Tilghman’s parents are listed as “Samuel and Sarah (Gruver) Zellner, natives of Pennsylvania…in 1852 moved to Crawford County, Ohio, where they purchased land and resided eight years. They then moved to (Sycamore Township, Wyandot County).” Their two children, Amanda E. and Tilghman were named. So now I knew where Samuel had gone.
A month or two later I saw a message on the Crawford County, Ohio, list-serve at rootsweb.com that Crawford County obituaries were available on familysearch.org. On July 4th I scoured that source for all the Zellners, Kagys, Faubers, and other relatives I could find. There in the tiny obituary of Benjamin Zellner I found my connection to Samuel. Benjamin Zellner was the second son of my great-great-grandfather, Philip. The obituary listed “a number of relatives in Bucyrus. Tighlman Zellner, of South Poplar street, being a cousin.” (4) If Tilghman and Benjamin were cousins their fathers must be brothers!
I know that isn’t proof their fathers were brothers but now I am searching Hanover Township, Lehigh and Northampton Counties, Pennsylvania, where Philip and Samuel were in 1850, and where 4 other men I suspect are also brothers were in 1850, to see if I can prove relationships to other Zellners in Crawford and Seneca County. That will be a story for another day.
SOURCES & CITATIONS
(1) Atlas of Crawford County, Ohio, 1855, published by the Crawford County Chapter of Ohio Genealogical Society.
(2) Lykens Township – 1873 plat map, History of Lykens Township: A Bicentennial History 1776-1976, Ward Stuckey, Editor. Accessed at Bucyrus Library, Crawford County, Ohio, June, 2002.
(3) The History of Wyandot County Ohio, Containing a History of the County; Its Townships, Towns, Churches, Schools, etc.; General and Local Statistics; Military Record; Portraits of Early Settlers and Prominent Men; History of the Northwest Territory; History of Ohio; Miscellaneous Matters, etc., etc., Leggett, Conaway & Co., Chicago, 1884, “Tilghman Zellner,” p. 1028, digitized by Genealogical Society of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and accessed on http://www.familysearch.org, 2 Apr 2012.
(4) Ohio, Crawford County Obituaries, 1860-2001, Image 370; accessed at http://www.familysearch.org, 4 Jul 2012, “Zellner, Benjamin, d. May 23, 1920; obituary published in Evening Telegraph, May 25, 1920.”
Jeanne Zellner Luhr is a member of the Crawford County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society. Please contact us if you would like to get in touch with her about the Zellners of Crawford County Ohio.