Yesterday, my family and I loaded up in the car for one last ‘hooray’ before the school year officially begins. This is the second mini road trip, in as many weeks. Both were mapped out so we (I) could visit some of our ancestral communities while having some good old fashion family fun! I just have to send a HUGE thank you to my husband and my kids for being such good sports and allowing me to indulge in this little hobby of mine.
AUGUST 26, 2017 – The Banwarths
This was the second time we visited Norwalk, Ohio, but the difference between this time and the last — was that I was prepared! This time I was armed with a list of places and extra batteries for my camera. So with Google maps guiding our way I set out to photograph whatever I could of the area where my Banwarth ancestors lived and worked.
The Banwarths had chosen the small community of Reed Township, about twenty miles southwest of Norwalk, Ohio, to settle after their arrival from Germany. The first record I was able to locate is a map from 1896 that lists F. Banwarth living next to a Jacob Kanney in the Northeast corner of Reed Township, while an earlier map in 1860 list Jacob Kanney living in the same location. This is important information because Jacob’s daughter Francis married Frank Banwarth. It’s evident that Frank purchased the property next to his father-in-law, Jacob Kanney, and would farm and raise his family.
Frank, my great great paternal grandfather arrived from Germany with his parents and siblings in around 1865. He would marry Ms. Francis Kanney in Reed Township, Ohio. Together they would have six children – Martha, Celia, Anne, Tillie, Marie and their only son Frank (my great grandfather). All but two of Frank and Francis’ children would stay in the Norwalk, Ohio area, the exceptions being Frank who married and started his family in Jamestown, North Dakota and ultimately ended up in Detroit and Marie who would move to Detroit for a short period of time before going back to Ohio.
The Banwarths made their home at what is now the corner of N Township Rd. 83 and E County Rd 24 in Reed Township. The original home and barn are still standing and both are in original condition, although, the house is in need of some repair work.
We were also able to locate and visit the former homes of Martha (Banwarth) Capen and Anna (Banwarth) Vogus, daughters of Frank and Franis (Kanny) Banwarth. *Another worthy note to add…if you have a copy of the 35 mm “Old timers” Chapman video that was copied several years back, this blue tin roof house and a few of Frank and Francis’ children make a quick appearance.
AUGUST 20, 2017 – The Chapmans
While up visiting our son at band camp, we decided to take a longer way home so we could stop in Grand Rapids, MI. I was on the hunt for two pieces of property that were related to Claude Chapman (my paternal great grandfather).
The first was the home that Claude lived in as a young boy, before moving back to Ottawa, Ontario, Canada after the death of his mother, Margurite.
The second stop was St. James Catholic Church, where Claude and one of his brother were baptized as infants.