Sunday, March 30, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks #12 ~ Mary Ann Zaugg **UPDATED**

Written for Amy Johnson Crow's Challenge 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. (click on the icon in the sidebar for details at Amy's blog)

First just the facts:
Name: Mary Ann Zaugg
Born: Sept-1858, Wayne County, Ohio
Married: Philip Arnold, possibly 04-Aug-1898
Died: 12-Sept-1920 [Find-A-Grave memorial]
Relationship: 2nd great-grand-aunt, sister to my 2nd great-grandmother, Emma Zaugg

I am descended from Emma through:
 - her daughter, Ella Rosa (Graber) Saurer (1883 - 1963)
 - her daughter, Lela Mabel (Saurer) Ritchie (1913 - 1991)
 - her son, my father, Donald John Ritchie (living)

As I've been working on collecting information on my Zauggs, I recently asked for a photo of Mary Ann's grave through Find-A-Grave.  The person taking the picture mentioned that there was another wife of Philip Arnold listed on the other side of the stone.  Because Mary Ann is not a direct ancestor, I hadn't done much research on her, but this led me to some late-night searching and I found some oh-so-interesting things!

First, it was relatively easy to find Philip's marriage to his first wife as well as the birth of their numerous children on Family Search.  I could see that his first wife, Laura, died in 1892 so I decided to see if I could find a marriage after that for Mary Ann and Philip.  I quickly find a marriage for Philip Arnold and Mary Anne Zeuagg.  Normally I'm willing to accept all sorts of spellings for ZAUGG.  Obviously this one is very close so I was good with it.

THEN I moved on to looking at census records.  The 1900 census for this family is very interesting:

The two children listed at the bottom are clearly born well before the marriage I found, Sarah is born well before wife #1's death, and both children are listed as Zaugg, not Arnold.  Scrambling back to Ohio births I immediately find Sarah Zaugg being born to Mary Ann Zaugg and Albert Parker!  As this birth is the only one listed with the child being given the mother's maiden name I feel that Sarah is now accounted for as an illegitimate birth.

Just out of curiosity, I also look for Albert Parker in Wayne County, Ohio and find the only Albert Parker is in Salt Creek Twp, (also where Mary Ann is living) He is a  married man in the 1880 census with 5 children - the youngest ALSO Sarah born about a year and a half before this Sarah.  He is 12 years older than Mary Ann.

Huldah, however remains a puzzle as does the exact marriage date of Mary Ann and Philip.  Based on this census information I would be willing to entertain the idea that Mary Ann had two illegitimate children before marrying a widower with 8 children of his own.

My problem is that I can't seem to find a birth record for Hulda(h).  In the 1910 & 1920 census she is enumerated as Hulda(h) Arnold and on her son's marriage record her maiden name is given as Hulda Arnold.  Of course being so young when her mother married - if, indeed, the 1898 record IS her mother - I can see that she might have taken her step-father's name even if there was no legal adoption.

For the youngest child on this census, William G (who later went by Glen William), I find a birth record clearly stating his father as Philip with a birth after the 1898 marriage record.

One of the last thing I found in this search was Mary Ann's obituary [above].  It is clear about which children are her's and which are step-children but I knew that.  Her husband Philip died after her and I was hoping that maybe his obituary would be more forthcoming.  I couldn't find it on-line, but the nice people at the Wayne County library sent it to me.  Extremely brief and no further clarity on his children.

So, I am left with the mystery of Hulda(h) Zaugg/Arnold, later Zerrer.  I'd really love to dive into it, but I have so many other things to work on that are more directly related to my line.  I'll have to let this one be for awhile.


I found Huldah!  I started looking at her husband and children and found Anton and HILDA Zerrer buried in Wayne County.  So I did a search for Hilda Zaugg with a 2-year range for her birth and believe I've found her here:

That name surely looks like Huldah to me, but in further looking at census records, I believe she morphed it into Hilda later in life. 

The memorial I found for her son, William, states in part, "He was born March 16, 1931, in Smithville to Anton Sr. and Hilda (Arnold) Zerrer and had been a Smithville resident all of his life."

So that's a little more evidence on the side of my speculation that Mary Ann had two children out of wedlock prior to marrying Philip Arnold in 1898.


  1. that's a lot of digging... Huldah...
    did you ever get to go to:

    Wayne County Historical Society
    546 E. Bowman St.
    Wooster, OH 44691

    they looked "fun"

  2. Ok I impressed you have found some juicy family stories but keep looking for those witches! I think you can do it or I'm sure there are a few of us who could make up some good stories!

  3. I have been doing some digging into the Zaugg's myself. Sarah Zaugg is my great grandmother. And this has cleared some confusion for me as well!!! Sometimes a family's search can be so exhausting. But it was good to see some cleared up today!!! Thank you for all your hard work. Lisa Fox from Alliance, Ohio

    1. Hi Lisa ~ If you see this comment, please e-mail me at Since you posted the comment as 'anonymous' I don't have any contact information for you. I have quite a bit of information on the Zauggs.



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