Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Girls -- Etta

The youngest daughter of William and Barbara Metzner was Henrietta, often referred to in records as “Etta.” Etta was born in St. Louisville, Ohio in April 1868. She first appears in public records (the 1870 Federal Census) at the age of two (see below).  She’s living in her parents' busy household with six other children, including a baby brother William.  Our ancestral grandfather, Louis, eventually the youngest of the children, would not be born for another two years.

1870 Federal Census, St. Louisville, Licking Co., Ohio

Like many of Etta’s siblings, she left home at an early age, but for Etta it seems a little too early.  In 1880, at the very young age of 12, she is living with a farmer and his wife and working as their “hired girl.”  By 1883, at the ripe old age of 15, she is living and working in Fort Wayne as a domestic. 
1880 Federal Census, Newton Twp., Licking Co., Ohio.   John and Eliza Marple have two boarders and Henrietta as their "hired girl."
One can only wonder why she left home so early.  While many 19th century adolescents left home to work and ease the burden on their families, you might not expect her to have to leave since she was one of the last ones at home -- and yet she did -- perhaps for reasons that we will never understand.

Moving to Fort Wayne was the right thing for her to do. There she met Wilbert A. Ross, son of a local grocer.  They married in there on May 1, 1888 – he was 25; she was 20. 

They seemed to have lived a rather ordinary life.  It doesn't appear there were any great shake-ups -- at least none that might have been reported in a newspaper or other public records.  They had seven children, and all seven appear to have grown up into responsible adults. And that’s about the long and short of it as far as Henrietta is concerned.

Wilbert died in 1937. Henrietta died in 1950 at a hospital in Fort Wayne. She was 81 years old.  At the time, all seven of her children were alive and well and living throughout the U.S., from Minneapolis to Port Huron, Michigan to Bethesda, Maryland. 

With Henrietta we've come to the end of the genealogies for the children of William and Barbara Metzner. Now it's time to move on to how and when the Metzners arrived in America and from where.  More on that next time.