Aug 232011
This is the third in a series of posts about my research into Aaron B. Knepper.  See also:

Recently I published a post sharing two weeks worth of data gathering about my maternal 2g-grandfather Aaron B. Knepper of Fairfield County, Ohio.  (See:  “Who Do I Think You Are, Aaron Knepper?“)  Since that time I have discovered some additional data that helps shed some light on questions that I raised.

I stumbled across a picture of Aaron’s tombstone (Find A Grave).  He was buried at the Old Basil Cemetery in Baltimore, Fairfield County, Ohio.  Buried with Aaron and Sarah are son, Levi H., and daughter, Emmaretta.  As soon as I saw this tombstone, I had an immediate “Aha!”  Emmaretta must be the child whose name was so difficult to read in one of the census records.  That year’s census record had a listing of “Annaretta” or “Alvaretta.”

I looked closely at the image and for the life of me couldn’t see how anyone could get Emmaretta from that record.  Then, I looked more closely at the tombstone.  Emmaretta was born in 1873 and died in 1874.  Her short life happened between censuses.  She could not have been listed on the 1880 record of the Aaron B. Knepper family.  Emmaretta is a child that did not seem to appear in any of the online family trees.  I did searches on and, but had no success.  I also searched the Lancaster (Ohio) Daily Gazette and the Lancaster Daily Eagle for Emmaretta, with no success.  My conclusion:  My suppositions about “Annaretta / Alvaretta” in “Who Do I Think You Are, Aaron Knepper?” were likely correct.  Alvaretta was later known as Alva (Mrs. Thomas Sherman Flloyd).

I also took another look at the death certificate for Sarah (Aaron’s wife).  Aaron was the informant for the “Personal and Statistical Particulars.”  He lists Sarah’s father’s name as Cornelius Vanarsdalen.  The final “n” in the surname actually begins in the double line down the middle of the page.  It would be very easy to mistake “Van Arsdale” for “Vanarsdalen.”  Apparently, I had previously done that.  My records, prior to August 2011, all record her birth name as Sarah A. Van Arsdale.

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