Saturday, August 29, 2009


I believe I have found the Gartner [Gaertner] family in Germany, thanks to My search returned only 2 Theresa Gaertners born in the same time frame - both found in Batch #C949951, Film #0890644: Katholisch, Kirchhausen, Neckarkreis, Wuettemberg, Parish Register of Baptisms, Marriages, Deaths and Family Registers for Kirchhausen, Wurtembeerg, Germany, including Hipfelhof, 1693-1815. The Theresa I believe is correct has a later date of birth than I thought based on census records, but matches her death certificate. The earlier Theresa's parents were Sebastian and Elisabeth; their children's names were Barbara, Margaretha Theresa, Elisabeth, Maria Anna, and Ignatius. These are not as good a match for the names of Theresa and John Spence's children.

The family I believe contains our Theresa
[Gaertner] Spence is as follows:

Georgii Joseph Gaertner, christened Oct 1773.
Married 21 October 1800
Maria Eva Muth, christened 10 Oct 1772.

  1. Maria Josepha born & christened 25 Jul 1801
  2. Theresia b/chr 10 Oct 1802, prob married 1823 in Baltimore, John Spence
  3. Joannes b/chr 24 Feb 1804
  4. Wallburga b/chr 24 Apr 1805
  5. Joannes Jorg b/chr 9 Jan 1807
  6. Frantz Joseph b/chr 3 Dec 1808
  7. Aemilianus chr. 6 Oct 1811

Per her death certificate, Theresa had lived in Baltimore 63 years when she died in 1875, or since 1812. Thus she was 10 years of age when she arrived in Baltimore, making it likely she emigrated with her family. [Currently have a friend checking Ancestry for immigration records.]

Her father's family:

Jorg [Georgii] Gartner, married 03 Jun 1763, Clarae Schraudolff

  1. Maria Eva, b/chr 29 Feb 1764, died young
  2. Georgius Valentinus, chr 14 Feb 1765 [maybe d. young?]
  3. Joannes Georgus, b. 15 Dec 1765, chr 16 Dec 1765, d. 1812
  4. Eva Walburgis b/chr 01 May 1771
  5. Jorg Joseph chr Oct 1773 married Maria Eva Muth
  6. Jacob b/chr 23 May 1776
  7. Mathaeus b/chr 31 Dec 1781
The only slightly strange thing is the 2 children born 1765 - but they were born 10 months apart, so it is obviously possible. With both child #2 and #5 containing the name Georgius, perhaps the older child died young.

Could not locate any info on mother Clara's family.

Theresa's mother's family:

Joannes Muth married Johannae Heckler.

  1. Helen Thecla chr 24 Sept 1771
  2. Maria Eva chr 10 Oct 1772 m. Georgii Joseph Gaertner
  3. Anna Catharina chr 27 Sept 1774
  4. Laurentius chr 03 Feb 1776
  5. Eva Theresia chr 18 Mar 1778
  6. Wallburga chr 19 Aug 1779 [maybe d. young?]
  7. Joannes chr 28 Dec 1781
  8. Maria Wallburga chr 25 Mar 1783
I could not find the marriage info for this set of parents; nor could I go back another generation on the Gartners. Perhaps they moved into the area in the mid-1700s from elsewhere.

Known children of Theresa [Gartner] and John Spence , all born Maryland, probably Baltimore:
  1. George William b. 1823/24
  2. Elizabeth Jane b. 1825/26, chr 9 May 1830*, married Wm Anderson
  3. Mary Catherine [same chr date* as Elizabeth - twins?]
  4. Francis b. 1835/36 [daughter]
  5. Thomas B. b. 1837/38
  6. John b. 1842/43
* - Batch #C535621 1768 - 1878 Source Call #0013699 IT 5 - Church Records - First Presbyterian Church (Baltimore Maryland)

The name of their first child was another factor in eliminating the "other" Theresa's parents. It would be very common for the first child to be named after Theresa's father Georgii Gartner. Additionally, daughter Mary could be named for Theresa's mother; dau. Francis for brother Frantz; and son John for either his father John Spence or any of the Joannes Gaertners.

Note: Theresa's family belonged to the Catholic Church in Germany, yet she married [1823] into the Spence family who was [or would be] heavily involved in the 1st Presbyterian Church in Baltimore. Daughter Elizabeth married Wm Anderson, and they also attended the 1st Presbyterian Church. However, their son Wm [Jr.] married the Irish Catholic Mary McKenney in the Basilica of the Assumption cathedral, and it is said religious differences were a source of friction during their marriage.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


I've been researching online books through heritagequest [remote access through my local library], and Google Books, city directories [most extracted from Ancestry years ago] burial records found for the Spence's of the 1st Presbyterian Church [via Maryland GenWeb], and obituaries via I've found a few things, although still no answer to who John Spence's parents were.

I've found the following:

  • John Spence and Teresa [or "Tracy"] Gartner were married in 1823, in Baltimore.
  • John Spence was Sexton of the 1st Presbyterian Church in Baltimore for the period 1826 to 1844, followed by his son George W. Spence, Oct. 1844 through 1873, then George's son John B. Spence June 1873 through at least 1913 [publish date of the book]: "...a rare instance of the same position being filled in succession by father, son and grandson, for over eighty years."(1)

The Rev. John C. Backus of the 1st Presbyterian Church was evidently considered an important and respected figure by the Spence family. He was elected Pastor of the Church in 1836 and served in that capacity until his death 48 years later [approximately 1884].
  • When John's daughter Elizabeth Jane Spence married William Anderson in 1851, Rev. Backus officiated at the marriage. [marriage record]
  • When John's grandson John Spence [son of George] was born in 1853, he was given the middle name Backus. [1st Presbyterian Church Sexton records/online book]
  • The youngest child of William and Elizabeth [Spence] Anderson was named John Backus Anderson [death certificate].
John Spence also had a son named John, b. about 1842. So far I've found no mention of his middle initial. However, son Thomas [b. 1837/38] did have the middle initial "B".

The obituary of Elizabeth [Spence] Anderson dated 1900 [found via] stated that she had been a lifelong member of the church. I imagine the examination of parish records for 1st Presbyterian Church would solve a number of questions about these families.

Burial records of the 1st Presbyterian Church for the Spence family, that I was able to find, include the following:

  • 1833 July 2 A child of Mr. John Spence, age 3 mos.
  • 1844 Oct. 27 John Spence, Sexton 1st Ch.
  • 1855 Dec. 13 Geo. Spence's child
  • 1860 Sept. Mr. G. Spences child
  • 1860 Nov. 3 Mrs. W.W. Spence (very suddenly)
  • 1863 March 24 Mrs. Mary S. Winkley (Elder Spence's mother in law)
  • 1864 Aug. 4 Miss Agnes Spence

I am fairly certain that only the dates through Sept 1860 pertain to my Spence family. Mrs. W.W. Spence was the wife of William Wallace Spence, who emigrated to the U.S. about 1834. His mother-in-law was Mary Winkley; and he did have a daughter named Agnes. William Wallace was also an Elder in the 1st Presbyterian Church from 1846.

The "child of Mr. John
Spence" who d. in 1833 would easily fit within the range of John's children, most of whom are not known!

The 1844 burial record of John
Spence, Sexton, was the first time I'd found a date of death for him, beside the estimate of 1842-1850 [his wife is widowed at the 1850 census]. [I've since applied to Green Mount Cemetery in Baltimore for an interment list of his wife, Theresa Spence, who died 1875 and is, hopefully, buried with him - if Green Mount was in existence in 1844!]

The above dates of burial for 2 of George's children, 1855 and 1860, match the range of dates his children were born [1853-1872], and I've found an obituary for at least one online at - George W. Spence, who died at the age of 16 months Sept. 1860. be continued

(1) A Brief History of the First Presbyterian Church of Baltimore, William M. Reynolds, Williams & Wilkins Co., Baltimore, 1913, pg. 64.


Andrew McKenney first appeared in the 1870 census living with his mother and 2 sisters:
1870 Federal Census - Maryland - Baltimore Ward 18, pg. 130:
McKenny, Mary 36 keeps house born Ireland
Anna 10 b. MD, at school
Mary 8 b. MD, at school
Andew 7 b. Maryland, at school

I've been unable to find the family in the 1860 census, and had no idea who Mary's husband was until I found daughter Mary "Minnie" McKenney Anderson's death certificate, which stated her father's name as William McKenna, born Ireland, and mother as Mary McKinney, also born Ireland.

Although I found daughters Anna "Annie McKenny", age 19 and Mary "Minnie" McKinny" age 17 in the 1880 census, working in separate Baltimore households as domestic servants, I was unable to find either their mother Mary or their brother Andrew at 1880.

Since father William McKenna was not part of the household in 1870, I assumed he died sometime between fathering youngest child Andrew [about 1862] and 1870. This being in the middle of the Civil War period, I checked CW indexes in case William died while serving in the luck on that so far; nor in locating a death certificate in online indexes.

Since mother Mary was not found in 1880 and the 2 daughters were both out on their own, I assumed she also died, between 1870 - 1880. I've been unable to locate her death record either. Of course, an alternative to an early death would be that Mary McKenney remarried after the death of husband William, and son Andrew lived with them using the 2nd husband's surname at 1880.

In the 1890 Baltimore Directory, Andrew McKenny was living at 750 N. Eutaw St., the same address as his then-married sister, Minnie Anderson. His occupation, printer, was the same as Minnie's husband William Anderson and his brother John [who lived next door with their parents at 717 N. Eutaw St.] Andrew and Minnie's sister Anna had, by then, married Patrick Mullin [in approximately 1885].  [Note:  both Andrew & his bro-in-law William were printers.]

By 1900, Minnie and William Anderson had moved to Washington D.C., probably an easier commute for William who worked for the International Typographers Union in Washington. Within about 5 years the family moved to Bronx, New York.

Anna and Patrick Mullin remained in Baltimore. But where was Andrew?

I finally found Andrew living in Ohio at the 1900 census. This is the only entry in the census indexes that comes close to matching the missing Andrew:

1900 Federal Census - Ohio, Hamilton County, 4th Ward Cincinnati, sheet 9A:
#1133-104-161 Belvedere St.McKenney, Andrew, head. b. May 1864, age 36. Married 5 yrs. b West Virginia
[crossed out, Maryland substituted]. Parents b Ireland. Printer. Rents.
Anna, wife. b. Oct 1865, age 34. Married 5 yrs. 2 children, 1 living. b WV, fb England, mb Virginia
Margaret. dau. b. Jun 1899, age 11/12. b Kentucky, fb Maryland, mb West Virginia
I could not find Andrew and his family in any later censuses. However, I did find a Margaret McKenney, "Niece", living in Lewis County, Freemans Creek, West Virginia at the 1910 and 1920 censuses, residing with the family of Thomas and Jeanette Wright. In 1910 Margaret's census entry shows her pob as WV, father's pob as MD, mother's pob as WV. She was 9 years old. In 1920, age 20, Margaret's pob was shown as Ohio, father's pob as "U.S." and mother's pob as WV. [It doesn't appear that much effort was spent in remembering her father, nor even her correct place of birth.]

Both the Wrights were b. in WV. It occurred to me that Margaret's mother's maiden name might be Anna Wright, sister of Thomas, whose parents were born England or Scotland [father] and WV [mother]. A quick check of census records shows that to be a good possibility. [census extracts to follow]

In an online search of WV marriage records, I also found the following:

West Virginia Marriage Records, 1863-1900:
W.A. McKeny married Ona White, 12 Jun 1895, Cabell County WV

This was very close to being possible...especially if Andrew McKenny was actually William Andrew McKenny, named after his father and called Andrew to differentiate between the two. [Note that the Coburns resided Cabell County through the 1930 census.]

In 1923, Margaret McKenney married Newton Wesley Coburn, in Lewis County, WV. An image of the certificate can be found at: 

She was 23 years old, and apparently did not know the names of her parents; only a "dash" was shown in place of their names.

I found the Coburns still in WV at the 1930 census, no children shown. Both also appear in the SSDI, last residence being shown as Cabell County, WV. I do not know at this point if Margaret McKenney Coburn ever had children, or if she was Andrew McKenney's sole descendant.

Further Questions/ Research:

* birth/baptism of Andrew - was he actually a William Andrew?
* Did Andrew meet Anna Wright in Baltimore, then travel to WV to marry near her parents?
* Was dau. Margaret b. KY as indicated in the 1900 census, or WV?
* What took Andrew to Ohio? Work? Note, Wm. Anderson, Andrew's bro-in-law, left Baltimore at roughly the same time.
* birth record of Margaret McKenney, WV [or KY], 1899
* death certificates of Andrew & Anna Wright, probably Cincinnati Ohio, betwn 1900-1910