Losing My Tiny Mind over Genealogy

I’m taking a small break from genealogy, mainly because I’m losing my mind.

First, I was focused on my maternal grandmother’s father’s family, the Sholleys.

Patriarch Carl Schallin disembarked in America on 3 September 1739 from the ship Robert and Alice in Philadelphia. The ship departed Europe through Rotterdam, stopping in Deal, England on the way.

This much is generally accepted. He was one of many “Palantines” who immigrated to the U.S., frequently settling in Pennsylvania. A simplified version of their history reveals that many of the early settlers were Amish and Mennonites escaping religious persecution, while others arrived later in a bid to escape the devastation of wars in their homeland. According to Wikipedia, “between 1727 and 1775; some 65,000 Germans landed in Philadelphia.”

Carl was one of them, and I have several variations of a family tree — carefully typed out by my great grandfather’s niece’s husband — linking him to my great grandfather.

My research backs up much of that information, but it’s possible the husband missed a generation or I’m misinterpreting the way he laid out the information.

I’ve been chipping away at this mystery bit by bit, but found myself getting frustrated by the variety of names my family chose to take. The surname Schallin has become Schally, Shally, Sholly, Sholley (my branch’s preference), occasionally mis-indexed as Shelley, Shelly, Shol, and any number of variations.

Also, all the women seem to be named Susannah, and the men are mostly Peter, William, or Simon, and, of course, they are often listed by other names probably because there were too many Peters, Williams, Simons, and Susannahs to keep them all straight otherwise.

I got fed up and turned to the Kreighbaums (my maternal grandmother’s mother’s side) for some more fun. Her father was named John Kreighbaum.
As was his father.
As was his father’s father, and possibly his father’s father’s father.

Fortunately, only three of them lived most of their lives in Stark/Summit County, Ohio (or so I thought). My 3x great grandfather moved here from Pennsylvania, and I’ve not yet reached his father in my research.

I was doing well with the John Kreighbaums (or so I thought) until I came to a list of their tax assessments from Stark County in the early 1800s. There was a more than a page of them listed on Family Search, ranging from 1817 to 1834. The problem is, there are two listed for 1819, four for 1830, two for 1831, and two for 1834.

To figure out this mystery, I reviewed all the censuses possibly connected to any John Kreighbaum in Stark County during that time period — carefully listing the information I found, including not just the township names, but also the number of household members of different ages listed (in 1830 and 1840 censuses), names and ages of the members in later censuses, and, crucially, who were their neighbors.

It turns out John’s wife, Nancy, sometimes went by Anna. Knowing this helped me realize my JKs stuck around the Green Township area, which means some of the other records I’d attributed to them were incorrect.

I deleted those documents from my tree.

However, sorting out the tax records proved more difficult because several don’t say what township they’re for.

My John Kreighbaums were born at or around the following years: 1786, 1811, and 1846. So, the records from 1817 and 1818 are definitely the 1786 John, and in reviewing the second record for 1819, I’ve just discovered it’s another county.


Looking with fresh eyes at the 1830 records I find them not as difficult as I thought. One is a duplicate, bringing the total down to three, and all three of those have townships listed, but only one is Green.

Down to one record for 1830!KreighbaumJohnTax1830

In 1831, I had two records, but again only one for Green. That John is listed with a middle initial of “W,” which may add to my knowledge of him.

The question is, which of my  two older Johns is it?

I’m going with the 1786-born John, as John #2 was still unmarried and probably still working with his father.

This seems likely as there’s no other John Kreighbaum household listed in the 1830 census in Green.

At any rate, that’s one less record to confuse me.

Last up was a record of a John W. Kreighbaum in Lake Township I’d marked as 1834, but couldn’t replicate where I found it.

Solution: Delete it! Because my John Kreighbaums didn’t live in Lake Township.

At least, I think none of them did.d

Clearly, I really needed that break from the tax records.

Equally clearly, I need to explore the documents again.

And lest you think I’m exaggerating about name variations, here’s a list of known variations of the Kreighbaum surname from the Kreighbaum family heritage site. It’s even worse than the Sholleys!Screen Shot 2020-04-18 at 1.26.32 PM

Addendum: I was able to take the time to write this post today because someone from the grocery store where I work was diagnosed with Coronavirus, and the store is being deep cleaned. I’m not sure who is ill, but hope you will send prayers, good wishes, positive thoughts that they will be fine.

Also, there have been several deaths in area nursing homes, which is worrisome since my mom is in long-term care.

So far, they are healthy at her facility, with no cases, but I know it would be so easy for it to sneak in despite the many precautions they are taking.

I remind myself there is medical care at hand to keep an eye out for any symptoms, and she would be equally, if not more, at risk of exposure had she stayed where she was. Since she’s had a few falls, it’s possible she might not have even made it this far.

Still, it’s scary to not be able to do anything.

On the bee front, our third hive didn’t make through the early spring, which means we lost all three. We had the county apiary inspector come and have a look at the deadout, and he agreed it was probably a combination of factors. We reviewed our plan to make sure it doesn’t happen again, and he seemed to think we’re on the right track.

Though we’d already ordered a package from California through our local beekeeping supply shop, The Engineer and I decided to order a locally raised nuc (nucleus hive) from the inspector. It will be interesting to see how they compare through the upcoming seasons.

Meanwhile, keep your distance, wear your mask, and wash your hands.




3 thoughts on “Losing My Tiny Mind over Genealogy

  1. My head is spinning…. I’m so glad this is your odyssey and not mine, I think I’d have been screaming very, very soon. Fingers crossed for your work colleague, that your mother stays safe. You too: stay home, stay safe, stay well.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s