By Jeanne Zellner Luhr

In my last article I described how I finally found the relationship connection between my g-g-grandfather, Philip Zellner, and the S. Zelner I had spotted on the 1855 Lykins Township, Crawford County, plat map.  Once I had evidence that they probably were brothers I decided to search Hanover Townships in Lehigh and Northampton Counties in Pennsylvania to see if I could flesh out the family there and find Philip’s parents.

          Because my great-grandfather’s middle name was “Martin” and I had discovered a “Martin Zelner/Zöllner” in Hanover, Northampton, Pennsylvania, census and tax records, I wondered if the father of Philip could be this Martin.  Over the years other Zellner researchers have sent to me information on various Zellners.  A Martin Zellner, b. 1770, d. 1815, was buried in Schoenersville Cemetery per Cemetery Records of Christ Union Lutheran and German Reformed Church in Schoenersville, and was reported to have had 2 daughters and 6 sons.  This was the church where Philip’s oldest son, Edwin, was baptized.

          Back in 2000 I had had to clear up the discrepancy between the handwritten Zellner genealogy kept by my grandmother, Grace Kagy Zellner and the information given in a biography of my great-grandfather, George M. Zellner.  The family genealogy stated that George was born in Northampton County, Pennsylvania.  The biography stated he was born in Lehigh County.[1]  The 1850 Census also had George in Hanover Township, Lehigh County.[2]  I sent a query to the PANORTHA list-serve and received the information that Lehigh County was formed from Northampton County in 1812 and that Hanover Township was cut in half by the county line.  Both counties retained Hanover Township.  One respondent even mentioned that Shoenersville Road was so close to the county line that census takers missed the area because each thought it was in the other county.

          So in late July, 2012, I decided to check 1850 Census records for all Zellners in Hanover Township, either Lehigh or Northampton County, Pennsylvania.  I came up with exactly 6 men:  Charles, born about 1803,[3]  William, born about 1805,[4] Daniel, born 1807,[5] Philip, born 1809,[6] M (Michael per Schoenersville Cemetery), born 1813,[7] Samuel, born 1812[8] or 1815.[9] The birth dates sure looked like a usual spacing of children in one family.  I decided to enter the two daughters, Anna, born Feb. 1799, and Elizabeth, born Dec. 1800, plus the five possible brothers of g-g-grandfather Philip into my Family Tree Maker software along with Martin Zöllner and Anna Marie Colver as the parents.

          For the next several days I tracked Martin, Anna Marie, their eight children and their grandchildren backwards and forwards through the censuses, familysearch.org,  and anything the “little green leaves” would connect me to on ancestry.com that seemed to belong to these people.

          I found Martin in the 1800 and 1810 Census with household members that fit approximately with the above ages.  I found Maria/Anna Marie in the 1820 Census with the 4 males that fit the four youngest sons and a female of the age to be Elizabeth. (Anna was probably married by then.)  Michael’s 1850 Census household had a female, “Mar,” age 73 which could be Anna Marie as she didn’t die until 1857.  Charles had a son, Oliver, of the right age to be the Oliver Zellner who, according to an 1874 Plat map of Bloom Township,[10] Seneca County, Ohio, owned the 30 acres in Section 28 that my great-grandfather, George Martin Zellner, owned by the 1896 Plat map.[11] Oliver died in Lykens Township, Crawford County, in 1914, and his death certificate lists his father as Charles Zellner.[12] 

          William and Philip were on the same page in the 1840 Lehigh County, Pennsylvania Census.[13] Daniel had a son named “Martin.”  Michael had a son “D. R.,” in the 1850 Census and D. R. kept those initials as his name for the 1885 and 1925 Kansas Censuses.  In 1925 he was married to a “Susie” and a “David R. Zellner” appears in the 1910 Kansas Census married to a “Susie.”[14]  There was a David Zellner, farm laborer, of the right age, in the household of Philip Zellner in Lykens Township, Crawford County, in the 1860 Census[15].  Michael had died in 1854 so his son, D. (David) R., may have worked for his uncle in Ohio before moving on to Kansas.  Samuel probably migrated to Lykens Township, Crawford County, Ohio, at the same time Philip did.

The real kicker was when I found my great-grandfather’s sister, Isabella Zellner, in the 1880[16] household of Daniel’s widow. (right age, born in Ohio, listed as “niece,” and the only one of Daniel’s siblings to have a child named Isabella was my g-g-grandfather, Philip.)  I am not sure why she went to Hanover, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, but it may have been to marry William Buss.  Isabella, who died in 1884, her daughter, Elsie, who was named in Philip’s 1889 will, and William Buss, are all buried in the Schoenersville Cemetery, Allentown, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania where Martin, Anna Marie, Daniel and his widow, Maria,  and son, Martin, and Michael and his child Erwine are all buried.  Schoenersville Cemetery is available on Find A Grave.

          This certainly looked good to me but I figured what I really needed was Martin’s will or guardianship records as all the children were minors when Martin died.  On August 10, 2012 I found Pennsylvania Probate records on familysearch.org.  Martin’s will was there and he named all 8 children in the order I had them.  Genealogy happy dance!!!

Note:  My tree is on ancestry.com

Sources & Citations


[1] Baughman, A. J., History of Seneca County, Ohio; The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago-New York, 1911, p. 733

[2] 1850 Census, Hanover Township, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, Dwelling 245, Family 282, p. 181, copied from microfilm in the Denver Archives.

[3] Ancestry.com, 1850 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009), www.ancestry.com, Database online, Year: 1850; Census Place: Hanover, Lehigh, Pennsylvania; Roll:  M432_792; Page: 189A; Image: 378.

[4] Ancestry.com, 1850 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009), http://www.ancestry.com, Database online, Year: 1850; Census Place: Bethlehem, Northampton, Pennsylvania; Roll: M432_802; Page: 248B; Image: 501.

[5] Ancestry.com, 1850 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009), http://www.ancestry.com, Database online, Year: 1850; Census Place: Hanover, Lehigh, Pennsylvania; Roll: M432_792; Page 180B; Image: 361.

[6]1850 Census, Hanover Township, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, Dwelling 245, Family 282, p. 181, copied from microfilm in the Denver Archives.

[7] Ancestry.com, 1850 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009), http://www.ancestry.com, Database online, Year: 1850; Census Place: Hanover, Northampton, Pennsylvania; Roll: M432_803; Page 281A; Image:16.

[8] Ancestry.com, 1850 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009), http://www.ancestry.com, Database online, Year: 1850; Census Place: Hanover, Northampton, Pennsylvania; Roll: M432_803; Page 280B; Image:17.

[9] Ancestry.com, Web: Pennsylvania, Find A Grave Index, 1681-2011 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012), www.ancestry.com, Database online.

[10] Map of Bloom Township, Town 1, Range 16E, 1874; copied at Tiffin-Seneca County Public Library, 2002

[11] Bloom Township 1 North, Range 16 East, 1896, copied at Tiffin-Seneca County Public Library, 2002.

[12] Zellner, Oliver, Death Certificate #37796, State of Ohio, Bureau of Vital Statistics, accessed on familysearch.org,

[13] 1840 Census; Hanover, Lehigh, Pennsylvania, Roll: 469; Page: 177; Page: 363; Family History Library Film: 0020438; accessed at ancestry.com, 27 July 2012.

[14] Ancestry.com, 1910 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2006) www.ancestry.com, Database online, Year: 1910; Census Place: Atchison Ward 4, Atchison, Kansas.

[15] Ancestry.com, 1860 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009) http://www.ancestry.com, Database online, Year: 1860; Census Place: Lykens, Crawford, Ohio; Roll: ; Page: 497; Image: 501

[16] Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census. (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010) www.ancestry.com, Database online, Year: 1880; Census Place: Hanover, Lehigh, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1147; Family History Film: 1255147; Page: 660A; Enumeration District: 209


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.

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