I have just concluded a two-week visit with my mother – a belated celebration of her 95th birthday. Mom has provided me with a lot of data, pictures, and stories for my genealogical endeavors. Unfortunately, her birth family is the shortest line in the family tree. I decided to remedy that this trip. I got Mom to tell me what she could about the Deeters. I have all the information about her brothers, but not a lot of information about her father. I do have the beginnings of data about her mother’s family (Smith), but the Deeters are my brick wall.
As an aside, I need to tell you that my Mom is in good physical health and mentally sharp. A couple of years ago, at a first visit with a doctor, the physician came into the examining room and immediately excused himself. A minute later he returned full of apologies. He had been expecting to find a woman who looked 90+, but Mom looks 10 or 15 year younger than that. As we were discussing the information she was providing about her family, Mom and I joked that we found her at a lucid moment. The truth is, all her moments are lucid ones. I say this in order to indicate that I trust her memory and accept the data she provides as reasonable accurate. Of course, as a rank amateur genealogist I trust it only in so far as it points me toward primary sources that can provide verification.
In this post I will simply identify the information I gathered from my mother (most of it about the Deeters). In subsequent posts I will begin to analyze the data and identify directions for further research. Later, as I follow the leads and gather more data, I’ll report my progress. Mom’s father was Harley Hartman Deeter. His parents were John Henry Deeter and Elmira Knepper. They were the starting place. So, here is the data Mom provided:
John Henry Deeter and Elmira Knepper had 13 children.
1. The oldest was Will Deeter. He was a farmer in Lancaster County, Ohio. Mom wasn’t sure of his wife’s given name, but she was called Aunt Teenie. Aunt Teenie committed suicide. Uncle Will never remarried. They had two children. Pauline married Richard Reef of Lancaster County. Robert was a farmer, like his dad.
2. Harley Hartman Deeter (Mom’s dad) was born in Tennessee. (Earlier attempts to ascertain the specific location were not successful.) Harley had three wives. i) Do not know the name of his first wife; probably married in Dayton, Ohio. They were probably married less than three years before she died. ii) Mabel Smith (Mom’s mother was his second wife. They were also married in Dayton, Ohio in October (not sure of the year). Oldest son Bart was born in April, 1909. Kenny & Hartman were also born in Dayton. After the Flood of 1913, the Deeters moved to Youngstown, Ohio, before Mom was born in May, 1915. Mabel died in December, 1937. iii) Charlotte Crocker was Harley’s third wife, married in 1938 or 39, probably in Youngstown, Ohio. Harley & Charlotte gave grandsons Robert Deeter & Bart Brenner (me) their first highchairs.
3. Hattie Deeter married but Mom did not remember the name of her spouse. They had 6 children including Carl and at least one daughter.
4. Mary Deeter’s married name was Milligan. (Don’t know husband’s first name.) They had 2 daughters (Elizabeth and Maribelle) and 1 son.
5. Elizabeth Deeter married Tom Bales (who was from Columbus, Ohio). Their son Billy was a professional basketball player.
6. Henry Deeter
7. Ora Deeter
8. Aaron Deeter
9. Cyrus Deeter married Tillie (birth surname not known). They had two daughters, Vera and Velma.
10. Vesta Deeter married Tom Thrush (he lived around Lancaster,Ohio). They had a son, Howard, and a daughter, Marguarite. Marguarite was a Teacher and a Nurse at Children’s Hospital, Columbus, Ohio. She also served in the military.
11. Pearl (male) fell out of wagon and broke his back and was a hunchback. He never married and died between 1927-30.
12. & 13. Mom could not remember the other two siblings of her father.
Dayton W. Smith and Emma Lavina Barthel were Mom’s maternal grandparents. Their children (not in birth order) were:
1. Stella Smith (never married)
2. Martha Smith (died as a young woman)
3. Bessie Smith married William Otey (he had been a professional baseball player, known as “Steamboat Bill”). He was originally from Elyria, Ohio. They lived in Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania. He worked for the U.S. government at a shipyard. Their daughter, Shirley Otey married Charlie Machino. They lived in Kettering, Ohio, and had one daughter.
4. Mabel Smith (Mom’s mother)
5. Robert Smith
6. Elwood Smith
Emma Lavina Barthel’s sister, Stella Barthel, was married to a man with the surname Kale. She was a college professor at Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Mom’s only surviving brother is Gilbert (known as Pete). He married Helen Luth. Their children are:
1. Robert Deeter was married twice. He had two daughters by his first marriage. He then married Pat (maiden name not known). She was from Indiana. This was her second marriage. She also had two daughters from her first marriage.
2. Beverly Deeter’s second marriage was to Tom Lutz. Her daughter from the first marriage is Marcia., who works in a nursing home.
3. Marion Deeter married Tom Doerr. They have two sons. Mark lives in Chicago, is married, has two children, and sells pharmaceticals. Tommy is the other son.
4. Carole Deeter married (first name not known) Donzella and is now divorced. She has two children – Adrien and Michael, who is adopted.
5. Wayne Deeter married Denise(maiden name not known). Their daughter is Airon, a nurse, and thier son is David, who is studying to become a pediatrician.
6. Ronnie is in his 2nd or 3rd marriage (spouses names not known). He lives in Austintown, at the New Road home that belonged to Pete and Helen. (Pete had originally given the house to Bob and Pat. After Bob’s death, Pat gave the house to Ronnie.)
7. Jerry (died as child)
Julia Huffman (nee Brenner) was the daughter of my 2g-grandfather, John Brenner. The Huffmans had two children, Howard and Grace. Grace lived in Youngstown, Ohio, on E. Ravenwood avenue, in the same block as my Mom and Dad. Her husband did not want children. When Grace would come home from work she would often stop in at our house. I was a baby at the time. She would sit and hold me in her lap and the tears would stream down her cheeks. She and her husband later divorced.
Well… that’s a lot of good data. Some of the data I already had; a lot of it is new. I’m sure that some of it is accurate, while other parts of it may not be so accurate. I do know, however, that this information has a lot of directional pointers in it. Some quick online searches (census data, SSDI, general searches in Ancestry and FamilySearch) should begin to sort out the data and provide me with clues for next steps.
In subsequent posts, I will look at the individual data and put together a plan for moving ahead. Thanks, Mom!