I was reminded of this wonderful family photograph this week after learning of the passing of Reta (Philp) Carrigan, a descendant of Benjamin Climenhaga, who was kind enough to share it with me. It is a family reunion of the descendants of Benjamin Climenhaga that occurred in 1932 at the home of his son Emerson Climenhaga.
In Henry Climenhagen’s will the name of his wife is given as “Barbary,” a common Germanic form of Barbara. But, if you look at any given genealogy source pertaining to the Climenhaga and Climenhage family trees, chances are you will find Catherine Damude named as the wife of Henry Climenhagen. This is a reasonable assertion given that some Damude family members did settle in Bertie and Thorold Townships. Yet, as argued below, there does not appear to be any evidence to support the assertion that Catherine was the wife of the Climenhag* patriarch. Even more striking, there is no clear evidence to indicate that she ever existed. In what follows I ask a series of questions and attempt to offer evidence to support my conclusion that Catherine Damude was not the wife of Henry Climenhagen.
What is claimed about Catherine Damude?
According to various genealogical sources, Catherine Damude is assumed to be a sister, or half-sister, of Henry, David, and Samuel Damude (also spelled Deamud, Deamude, Demuth, Damewood, etc.) who hailed from Bucks County, Pennsylvania. These brothers may have been born in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, near to Rapho or Lampeter Townships. It is said that Catherine was born in Rapho Township, and that she and Henry Climenhagen were married in Baltimore, Maryland sometime before 1793. It is known that the couple later moved to Upper Canada with their two children.
What is known about the Damude brothers?
There are a number of written accounts of the Damude brother’s arrival in Upper Canada. Much of what we know about this Damude family comes from a detailed account by Anna Elizabeth Damude, granddaughter of Henry Damude, in her description of the arrival of the Damude family in Upper Canada as found in “a History of the Brethren in Christ Church” by Asa W. Climenhaga (Anna was Asa’s cousin twice removed):
“Henry Damude and his two half brothers, Samuel and David, came from Pennsylvania the same year, and went back and then came in again the next year, bringing with them another span of horses. Some of their horses died with Yellow Malaria from lack of hay. Anna Winger came the same year that Henry Damude came to stay. In her party there were her sister, Mrs. Sider and husband, and her brother, Hounsley Winger, and a large number of neighbors. They were United Empire Loyalists. Although they were Tunkards, they were loyal in spirit to their Sovereign, and though they could not fight, they would not live under the United States flag. Henry Damude came from Bucks County, Pennsylvania; Anna
Winger came from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania…The sister, Mrs. Sider, was married, as was also Hans Winger, before going to Canada.”
The Damudes came to Upper Canada about the same time as the arrival of the Winger/Wenger party which included the Tunker minister Hans (John) Wenger, his wife Mary Eishelmann, and his children, his sister Anna Wenger, Jacob and Mary (Wenger) Seider and family, and the John Groh/Crow family, amongst others.
“With them, the family brought two cows, a yoke of oxen, seeds and the materials necessary for a garden.”
“They arrived at their new home the year before the great famine, and there was no time to store up a food supply. As well, winter’s cold snows overtook them before they could finish their log cabin. [The Damude brothers] made a dugout in the side of the hill and with logs felled over the entrance, there were warm quarters for themselves, as well as quarters for the horses and cattle.” 
“After the hurricane about two years, when burning off the pine brush on the fallow, the fire got beyond control and burned up everything. This discouraged them so that they concluded to go back to Pennsylvania, but they took another notion when they got to Black Creek, as they liked the soil there. They decided to settle on a farm by the Black Creek a few miles from the river.” 
More information about Henry Damude can be gleaned from other sources regarding the Damude brothers:
“…Henry Damude settled on Lots 153 and 154 in Thorold Township, while his brother David settled in Lowbanks on Lake Erie, where many of his descendants still live today.” 
“…[Henry Damude] was a weaver by trade, but after coming to Canada he only worked at weaving during the winter season, his time being fully occupied the remaining months of the year. The first grist mill…was situated at Niagara Falls, a distance of twelve miles from his home. [Henry] used to take a bag of wheat on his back and carry it to this mill…” 
We also know that David Deamud lived in Bertie Township for a time, perhaps in the vicinity of Henry Climenhagen and family, at least until 1807—the year his son John was born.
Is Catherine Damude a sister to the Damude brothers?
Based on the written descriptions of the arrival of the Damude brothers, and in Anna Elizabeth Damude’s account in particular, there is no mention of a sister. Anna Elizabeth names the three Damude brothers and describes their journey to America. She also gives their family history originating in Switzerland and an account of the religious persecution that prompted her family to leave the old world. However, although no records have been found to link Catherine with the Damude brothers, this does not mean that she was not their sister.
Is there a Damude-Climenhag* family connection?
The Damude family is related to one branch of the Climenhag* family through marriage—that being through Henry Climenhagen’s eldest son Martin. Reverend Martin Climenhaga (1794–1876) was married about 1815 to Elizabeth Damude, the daughter of Henry Damude and Anna Winger (1790–1853), and had four children by this union: Moses, Anna, David, and Martin, Jr. After the death of Henry Climenhagen in 1805, David Deamud may have been influential in helping to raise Henry’s son Martin Climenhaga. It is speculated that David Climenhaga, second son of Martin and Elizabeth (Damude) Climenhaga, may have been the namesake of David Deamud.
Were Henry and Catherine married in Baltimore?
The short answer is probably not. No documents have been found that name the exact year, or place of marriage for Henry Climenhagen and wife. So, why do some sources claim that the couple were married in Maryland? This is where things get a bit tricky. It all comes down to competing theories as to who exactly Henry Climenhagen was. It is commonly agreed that the Climenhag* patriarch was named Johann Henrich Kleimenhagen, and that he hailed from a small village in Waldeck Germany named Ober-Waroldern. Several decades ago a classified ad was discovered dated April of 1789 in which a William Kleimenhagen, who had just arrived in Baltimore Maryland, was searching for his brother John Henry Kleimenhagen who was believed to be living in Baltimore. William soon left the area to live with a farmer in Martic Township, Pennsylvania.
As the Climenhag* patriarch’s name was already known, based on several Upper Canada documents, as Henrich Kleimenhagen, John Henry Kleimenhagen was assumed to be the same Henrich Kleimenhagen who had removed to Upper Canada. Since, from the advertisement, John Henry was assumed to be living in Baltimore, it was an easy assertion that he was also married there. At the time it was not yet known that William Kleimenhagen’s full name was Johann Henrich Wilhelm Kleimenhagen.
It is now believed, by some, that Johann Henrich Wilhelm Kleimenhagen is the real Climenhag* patriarch. As this Henrich Kleimenhagen arrived in 1789 and indentured with a farmer in Martic Township, Lancaster County, PA for three years (An assumption based on family folklore and typical Pennsylvania contracts of indenture at that time), he would more likely have been married in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, rather than in Maryland.
If you subscribe to the first theory then the story has some merit. John Henry met Catherine Damude before her brothers relocated to Upper Canada in 1788. It makes sense therefore that Henry and wife chose to live, at least for a time, in Maryland, and later Pennsylvania (as eldest child Anna was born there), before immigrating to Upper Canada in 1797. But, if you instead subscribe to the second theory, the dates and places do no align. First, if the couple were married it is most likely that they were wed in Pennsylvania, having never lived in Maryland. More importantly, as the Damude brothers were settled in Upper Canada in 1788, and Henry Climenhagen arrived in the new world in 1789, it seems more probable that Catherine would have gone with her family and neighbours to Upper Canada the year before Henry’s arrival.
Was Catherine Damude the wife of Henry Climenhagen?
First, as already stated, Henry’s wife is named in his will as “Barbary.” Some have suggested that “Barbary” may have been the middle name of Catherine Damude. As Henry’s will is the only source to name his wife this suggestion can neither be confirmed or denied.
However, other connections, or rather, a lack thereof, call any relationship between Catherine and Henry Climenhagen into question. For instance, an old hand written genealogy by David Climenhaga (1826–1913), a grandson of Henry Climenhagen, and son of Martin Climenhaga and Elizabeth Damude, names his grandparents on his mother’s side as Henry and Anna Damude. Yet, he makes no mention of his grandparents on his father’s side. This suggests that he knew very little about the identity of his Climenhag* grandparents. Putting aside the fact that Catherine Damude is said to be the sister to Henry Damude (which would make Martin Climenhaga and his wife Elizabeth first cousins), if David Climenhaga’s grandmother was a Damude it seems probable that this information would be common knowledge within David’s family. This is especially true since David personally knew his grandfather Henry Damude, and surely would have known that his Damude grandfather and Climenhagen grandmother were siblings. In a letter he wrote to his grandchildren David writes:
“Now I will try to tell the way we went to go to grandpaps. We would try to get ready the day before, then all get in the poor wagon, put in some straw or hay, the hay was always scarce, for there was not much clear land. The cows would run in the bush. We had to go to the Black Creek to Niagara River, then along the river to Chipawa, then down to Niagara Falls, then down to the Lundy’s Lane, then west to Allanburgh, then across the canal on a poor bridge, then up on the Canbory road tilr we could perty nere see grandpaps’ place. Then we would feel glad that we were perty soon there. They had an old house down the big hill that was some 80 feet down. There was grandma and aunts. Their first children were all most girls. The four oldest were girls. The house was small and poor, but we were satisfied just as we that she would include information ell as now. But poor grandma was an invalid. She had to work hard to make things go. She had a sore on the side that she could not get around, but there the girls could get to the work.” 
Another clue is that although Asa Climenhaga and Anna Elizabeth Damude were first cousins twice removed (i.e., Elizabeth (Damude) Climenhaga, David Climenhaga’s mother, and Anna Elizabeth’s father David Damude were both children of Henry and Anna (Wenger) Damude), Anna Elizabeth never mentioned a great aunt named Catherine. Being aware of Asa’s relationship to the Damude family it seem likely that Anna Elizabeth would include this information to him in her family history. As Anna Elizabeth was able to provide a very rich and detailed account of the Damude’s arrival in the new world, as well as the goings-on in the old world and accounts of religious persecutions her ancestors endured, it seems even more likely she would add her great aunt’s information to the story. It may be however that the information was not pertinent to the point Asa was making in his book about Anabaptist history. However, even if Asa chose not to include that information in his book he had a genuine interest in family history and would have surely passed down this vital information to his nieces and nephews. Yet, in all his writings about the family history the Christian name of the Climenhag* family matriarch is never mentioned.
What can we conclude about Catherine Damude?
Based on extensive record searches over an approximate 30 year span (my own and other researchers), no evidence has been discovered of a Catherine Damude living in Bertie Township, Upper Canada, or in Lancaster or Buck’s counties in Pennsylvania, during this time period. In fact, another family researcher, David C. Climenhage, looked extensively for late 18th and early 19th century records for Catherine Damude. Although he personally visited the Lancaster and Bucks counties archives he found no evidence pertaining to Catherine Damude.
However, we must err on the side of caution. Simply because no records have been found for Catherine Damude does not mean that she did not exist. Still, the lack of evidence is puzzling. Furthermore, the story of Catherine Damude appears to have been built up over time with one piece added here and another piece added there. As Sherlock Holmes was fond of saying, “‘It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.” To me, it appears that some mistakes were made early on as to the identification of the Climenhag* matriarch. And, rather than reinterpret the data in light of the facts, or lack thereof, facts were twisted to suit the theory.
At present, I am inclined to believe that this particular Catherine Damude, as named above, never existed. But, if new evidence does present itself that clearly implicates a Damude (sister or otherwise) as the Climenhag* matriarch I will readily incorporate that information into the Climenhag* family narrative. As yet, I have seen none.
Updated 3 Apr 2015
Footnotes ((↵) returns to text)
Estate file for Henry Climenhagen, probated June 7, 1805, Lincoln County Surrogate Court estate files, RG 22-A35, Microfilm MS 8408, Archives of Ontario. [In his will Henry states, “…I give and bequeath unto Barbery my beloved wife all my lands that I now possess and all my movables goods and chattels as long as she remains my wife…”](↵)
On 27 Feb 1815 Henry Damewood affirmed before Amos Chapman J. P. that his brother Samuel Damewood left this Province four and twenty years ago and to the best of his knowledge is residing in Maryland in the United States of America and that he has not left any children in this country. Signed Henry Damwood. (Thorold Township Papers 0396)(↵)
Climenhaga, Asa Winger. History of the Brethren in Christ Church. Nappanee, IN. E.V. Publishing House, pp. 93–94.(↵)
Nigh, Harold. The lost tribes of the Niagara plain folk. Mennonite Historical Society of Ontario, Vol. 4, 1986. (↵)
Betti, M. Township of Thorold, 1793–1967 : Centennial project of the Township of Thorold. Toronto, ON: Armath Associates, 1967, p. 160–164.(↵)
Climenhaga, Asa. History of the Brethren in Christ Church.(↵)
On 2 Jan 1795 Henry Damwood aged 32, born in Pennsylvania, weaver appeared before John Small and took the prescribed oaths and was recommended for a grant of two hundred acres of land. On the same date Acting Surveyor General D. W. Smith assigned to him two hundred acres in Lots 153 and 154 Thorold Twp. (Thorold Township Papers 0359)(↵)
Biographical Sketches section of the History of Welland County Ontario. Welland, ON: Welland Tribune Printing House, 1887.(↵)
Archives of Ontario; Series: MS935; Reel: 27. Ancestry.com. Ontario, Canada, Deaths, 1869–1938 and Deaths Overseas, 1939–1947 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2010. [John Deamud, son of David, died 13 June 1881 at the age of 77 years. On his death notice his place of birth is named as “Bertie township Ont.” As his age indicates he was born abt 1804].(↵)
Archives of Ontario; Series: MS935; Reel: 21. Ancestry.com. Ontario, Canada, Deaths, 1869–1938 and Deaths Overseas, 1939–1947 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2010. [David Junior, son of David Deamud, died in Sherbrook 12 July 1879 at the age of 72. His place of birth is named as Bertie, Ontario. He would have been born abt 1807.(↵)
William Kleimenhagen Ad/Classified, Maryland Journal, 10 Apr 1789, , News; digital images, GenealogyBank.com (http://www.genealogybank.com: 30 March 2012), citing original.(↵)
Sider, Harold & Sider, Ron. Two hundred years with the Siders. Erin, ON. Boston Mills Press, 1986, pp. 29–30.(↵)
Conon Doyle, Arthur. A scandal in Bohemia. The Strand Magazine, 1891.(↵)
Henrich Kleimenhagen had five children. His fourth child and third son, Abraham, was born 13 August 1800 at Bertie Township, Lincoln County, Ontario. He was probably the namesake of Abraham Beam, a friend of his father’s, who had died the previous year. In March of 1825, Abraham (Climenhegg) inherited part of his father’s estate being Lot 13, Concession 9 in Bertie Township, just east of his brother Martin Climenhaga’s farm. That same year he married Mary Ann Zimmerman, 22 November 1825, at Stamford Township. The couple had four children, namely Nathaniel, Susannah, Abraham, and Mary before Abraham Sr. died 16 December 1835. Because Abraham died so young we know very little about him.
Thanks to the Niagara branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society we now know a little more about this man. The OGS of Niagara has made available a ledger from a general store that did business in Chippewa, Ontario with records from 1815, 1835, and 1850. An account for Abraham is found in this ledger and lists items he purchased beginning in January of 1835 until his death. The items are transcribed below.
To 2˶14˶ 8¼ & By 2˶17˶6
To Weight of his Butter Keg
By cash in full
To 3¾ yards Bombazette
“ a Ball Cotton thread
“ ¼ lb Young Hyson Tea
“ a Grass Scythe
“ ½ pound Indigo
“ 1 Yard Brown Cotton
“ a paper Pins
“ a hair Combe
“ ½ Pound Young Hyson Tea
“ ¾ Yard Apron Cloth (?)
“ a Cotton Handkf
“ ½ Pound Indigo
By a Keg Butter Grass
To Cash in Full
Widow Mary Climenhaga do
A number of items stand out in the list and may suggest that Abraham was a weaver. For example, Abraham purchased a number of yards of “bombazette,” which is a thin woollen type of cloth, plain or twilled, that came in various colours.  He also purchased another type of cloth, as well as balls of cotton thread. Accompanying these purchases were pins, believed to hold material in place, and indigo, a naturally occurring blue dye made from plants. I am not very familiar with weaving practices at the turn of the 19th century. Perhaps the amount of material purchased wasn’t sufficient for a weaving trade? More research is needed to answer this question.
Some simple household items are also found in the ledger such as a hair comb, and a handkerchief. Other items give us some insight into his family’s simple diet, such as butter and green tea. Young Hyson tea was grown in China and was considered a high quality green tea. It was apparently golden in color, and had a full-bodied, pungent taste.
The purchase of a grass scythe suggests that he was able bodied at the time of purchase in July of 1835. Abraham’s final purchase was in August of that year. It is difficult to know if this was a typical slow down of work during the Fall season, or if it signified a growing illness, and perhaps an inability to work. Like his father, and his grandfather before, Abraham died a relatively young man. In December of 1835 he was buried near to his father in Winger cemetery (present Black Creek Pioneer cemetery). Although the “Climenhegg” spelling no longer survives, his many descendants endure to this day.
Footnotes ((↵) returns to text)
Denise d’Etremont & William Stevens. A genealogical reference for the monument inscription of Black Creek Pioneer Cemetery OGS #4622. Ontario Genealogical Society, 1989 [Calculated from grave marker: 35 y’s 4 mo 3d](↵)
On 12 March 1825 (Reg 24 May 1825) Martin Climenhagen, Moses Climenhagen, Henry Climenhagen, Anna Sider wife of John Cider sons & daughter of Henry Climenhagen deceased sold to Abraham Climenhagen 100 acres in Lot No 13 Concession 9 from the Niagara River, Bertie Twp. for 5 shillings (A295 #6629).(↵)
Ontario History (Vol. 5–8). Krause Reprint Co., 1904, p. 206.(↵)
d’Etremont, A genealogical reference, 1989. (↵)
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary. C. & G. Merriam Co., 1913.(↵)
I don’t recall exactly when my father passed down my great-great-grandfather’s pocket watch to me. It must’ve been in my early twenties. At the time I didn’t really understand the watch’s true value or importance. It was just a neat old watch. Although passing down a timepiece within a family may seem cliché, the symbolism is rather fitting. For each of us our time here is limited. With each successive generation time begins and ends. Yet, the watch itself stretches time—across generations—and, in so doing, creates a palpable sense of connection to the past.
The pocket watch, pictured above, was purchased by Christian Climenhage in 1902. It’s not worth a lot, at least not in terms of monetary value. It’s a middle of the road, well used, Waltham pocket watch—a workman’s watch. But there’s a lot more than that to this timepiece. I am reminded of a quote from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Dr. Watson who, in restating the opinion of his friend Holmes, says that “it is difficult for a man to have any object in daily use without leaving the impress of his individuality upon it.” This watch is no exception. What can it tell us about the man who owned it? Well, perhaps that kind of inference is best left to Sherlock Holmes. What this watch really does is to help tell the story of my great-great grandfather simply through it’s accompaniment with him during the last 25 years of his life.
Up to and Including 1902: The end of an era
Christian, or Chris as he was known, was 49 years old when he purchased his new watch. He was born October 3rd, 1853 at Bertie Township, just east of Stevensville, Ontario. Being the 3rd son and 4th child of Moses Climenhage and Fannie Sider, Chris grew up in a log house situated on farmland handed down from his great-grandfather Henry, through his grandfather Martin, to his father. This land, located on the east side of Lot 13, Concession 10, is bordered by Black Creek, Eagle street, Sider road, and College road. Today this land is part of the International Country Club of Niagara.
The beginning of the twentieth century marked the dawn of a new age. Thus far Chris had spent the entirety of his life living in the Victorian era. Chris had witnessed the invention of the telephone, the incandescent light bulb, the modern-day bicycle, and the automobile, to name a few, as well as the birth of Canada in 1867. By 1901, with the death of the Queen, it was a new world.
Up to now, Chris had been married 28 years and most of his children were grown. He was wed at the age of 21 on July 6, 1874 at Drummondville, Stamford Township, Welland County, Ontario (a part of Niagara Falls today), to Margaret “Maggie” Beam who was thedaughter of Solomon Beam and Mary Ann Taylor. The wedding was a double ceremony that included Maggie’s younger sister Georgiana Beam and James Frank Dunn. Chris and Maggie had six children—Ivora Eben (1875), Levi Solomon (1877), Charles Edwin (1881), Albert Roy (1885), Robert Arthur (1886), and Ettie May (1888).
It was in 1902 that the first of Chris’ children—son Levi, my great grandfather—was married. “Lee” and wife Jennie (Huffman) later moved to Port Colborne, Ontario where Lee worked as a carpenter and a house builder.
Brass bands had become increasingly popular in the 19th century, and Chris reportedly played the cornet—a brass instrument similar to a trumpet—in a local military band. Interestingly, Chris’ brother-in-law J.F. Dunn, who was a bandmaster with the military band, and several brass and silver bands in the area, probably had a significant influence on Chris first taking up the instrument. Since then, each successive generation in my family has played a musical instrument.
Chris was a carpenter by trade beginning at least as far back as 1874. It’s not clear how Chris first took up his craft but his uncle David Climenhaga was also an avid carpenter and enjoyed making furniture, toys, stirring ladles, and the like.
From about 1875 until the late 1890s Chris and his family lived and worked on Lot 11, Concession 11 in downtown Stevensville, in the vicinity of East Main and Stevensville Road. This location lay just south of the first United Brethren Church of which Chris and his family were members. This location is where Chris first began his “furniture and undertaking” business.
It was there that Chris’ son Robbie died on Christmas Eve in 1887 and was buried in the United Brethren cemetery (aka Beams Mill) located on the original UB Church property.
By 1902, Chris was residing with his family at 3801 West Main Street in Stevensville located on the corner of West Main and Coral Avenue (see photo below). Chris was a well-known funeral director in Stevensville, and from this location he carried on his prosperous undertaking business.
Although carpentry and undertaking do not, on the surface, seem compatible, the marriage of these two trades was common throughout the 19th century. While preparing a body for burial was ordinarily left to the family of the deceased, as the 19th century progressed family members often sought out someone else to “undertake” the funeral arrangements. Carpenters, particularly cabinet or furniture makers, were often called upon to build a sturdy casket for the deceased. Undertaking became a natural extension of the carpentry business. Until the twentieth century, undertaking was often a secondary rather than a primary profession. This change is reflected for the first time in the 1901 census records wherein Chris characterizes his occupation as “undertaker” rather than as “carpenter” as in the previous census records.
It isn’t clear exactly when Chris began his funerary business. Although the official Climenhage funeral home records begin in 1887 we know that Chris was providing funeral services as early as 1885 with his purchase of a new horse-drawn hearse that same year from a carriage maker in Rochester, New York. However, Chris was presumably providing these services much earlier than that. Since the end of the American Civil war arterial embalming became a popular method for preserving a body for open-casket viewing. Early on Chris received training in embalming, and was said to own a portable embalming table that he would take to the house of the deceased.
1904 to 1912: Troubling Times
In his early 50s, Chris was active in community affairs, serving as Reeve of Bertie Township in 1904. That same year saw the construction of the second United Brethren Church in Stevensville, which was located on West Main street across from the Climenhage funeral home. Chris filled a number of official positions as a member of the quarterly conference of the Niagara Circuit.
Chris’ parents, Moses and Fannie, were some of the early converts to Episcopal Methodism in Bertie Township, and they followed this faith until Chris was grown. Although his parents returned to the Tunker Church of their youth, Chris carried on in the Methodist tradition and joined the United Brethren Church some time before 1874. In 1889, a church schism occurred breaking the UB Church into two rival factions—the Liberals, which were made up of younger men, and the Conservatives (also called Radicals) which were made up of older, more respected ministers. Following the split, the main body now encompassing the Liberal faction expelled the “Radical” ministers, assigned their own men to all the fields, and locked the doors on many churches. In Stevensville, the Conservatives made up the entire congregation, and so they refused to turn over the church property to the Liberals. 
Chris became involved in a legal battle over the use of the original UB Church building in Stevensville, as he’d been appointed as co-trustee of the church property. The legal case of Brewster v. Hendershot (1900), which ruled in favour of the Liberals, laid the matter to rest. The Conservatives turned over the church building. Suddenly an entire town congregation found itself without a church, or a meeting place.
In 1904, a new UB Church was built. According to Chris’ obituary he was “converted in 1904 and was baptized and united with the United Brethren Church in the following year.” The church schism created a seemingly strange and unusual situation for Chris and his Conservative faction. Although Chris had been a member of the UB Church for at least 30 years, this “new” church, which contained the same articles of faith as the “old” UB Church was now legally a new entity. As a result, Chris, and presumably the entire Conservative congregation, was re-baptized.
The years that followed would test Chris’ faith. In 1905 his 16-year-old daughter Ettie was struck down by tuberculosis. The following year his eldest son Ivora was also taken by the disease. Chris was overcome with grief. Even for an undertaker who is continually surrounded by death the loss must have been devastating. It’s difficult to even imagine what he must’ve gone through.
But brighter times lay ahead with the weddings of his sons Charlie in 1910 to Ethel Stoner, and Bert in 1912 to Edna Dean. But again tragedy struck October 3, 1912, when wife Maggie died from an acute attack of goitre. Although the 20th century ushered in a new world, for Chris, this new era had brought with it many sorrows.
1913 to 1927: To the close
Following Maggie’s death, Chris remarried on May 3, 1916 at Berlin (Kitchener), Waterloo, Ontario, a widow named Pamillia Isabella “Millie” Baer. The two met through the UB Church. Millie, the daughter of Aaron Baer and Barbara Martin, was born January 23, 1861 at New Dundee, Wilmot Township, Waterloo County, Ontario. She was previously married to Joel Wanner who died from apoplexy one year after they were married.
That same year, Chris’ older brother Jacob became quite ill. A number of years prior Chris had purchased what remained of his father’s land from his older brother and his younger sister Annie for $1000, and then granted the land to them in 1915 for the rest of their natural lives. When Jacob got sick, both he and sister Annie were shipped off to the Welland Industrial Home. Jacob and Annie gave a quit claim on the land allowing Chris to grant it to Aaron Morningstar. The reason the land was granted to Aaron isn’t quite clear. In November of 1917 Chris’ older brother George died suddenly, and the following month Jacob’s illness finally took him.
Despite these personal losses, the funeral home was flourishing and in 1919 Chris bought a new REO Speedwagon chassis and hired Jesse Finch, a local carriage maker (Finch Carriage Co.), to construct the hearse coachwork (see photo above). The 1885 horse-drawn hearse was put into storage in son Bert Climenhage’s barn, and remained there for 70 years. In 1988 the hearse was sold to Larry Williams of William’s Funeral Home in Ridgeway, Ontario, and restored in 1991. Since then, it has been used for funerals around Ontario and in New York State. Larry Williams also found and restored the REO Speedwagon hearse.
By 1926 Chris’ health began to fail, and he turned the operation of the funeral home over to his son Bert. In 1927, on October 3rd—the same day that wife Maggie passed away—Chris died from uraemia (renal failure) and pneumonia. The funeral service was conducted by the Dell Funeral Home in Ridgeway, and Chris was laid to rest in St. John’s Anglican Church cemetery with his wife Maggie and his children who had predeceased him. Millie died November 27, 1949 at Stevensville, some 20 years after Chris’ passing.
Sitting here now, holding my great-great grandfather’s pocket watch and reflecting on his life, I can’t help but think of all the death he was exposed to. He was immersed in it. And yet, his experience as an undertaker couldn’t have prepared him for the loss of Maggie and his three children. Still, it must have been an amazing time to be alive. It was an age of immense progress. Everything was new and exciting. It was an era that saw rapid changes and Chris appears to have adapted well.
Over one-hundred years have passed since the purchase of this family heirloom, and I feel very privileged to possess this small piece of my family’s history. True. It’s just a middle of the road, well used, Waltham pocket watch—but it tells the story, in its own way, of my great-great grandfather’s life. It connects me to the past. I cherish this artifact, but I also look forward to the day when I will pass this timepiece down to my own son. And, at that moment, time will stretch a little further.
Conan Doyle, Arthur. The Sign of Four. London, Spencer Blackett, 1890.(↵)
The Christian Conservator, 26 October 1927, p. 15.(↵)
Library and Archives Canada; Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; Census Returns For 1861; Roll: C-1080. Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1861 Census of Canada [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2009.(↵)
Estate file for Henry Climenhagen, probated June 7, 1805, Lincoln County Surrogate Court estate files, RG 22-A35, Microfilm MS 8408, Archives of Ontario; On 4 Nov 1864 (Reg 3 Nov 1876) a last will and testament was filed for Martin Climenhage bequeathing to Moses Climenhage the east part of Lot 13 Concession 10 from the Niagara River, Bertie Twp. (A4 #2842).(↵)
Archives of Ontario; Series: MS932_16; Reel: 16. Ancestry.com and Genealogical Research Library (Brampton, Ontario, Canada). Ontario, Canada, Marriages, 1801–1928 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010.(↵)
Archives of Ontario; Series: MS932_109; Reel: 109. Ancestry.com and Genealogical Research Library (Brampton, Ontario, Canada). Ontario, Canada, Marriages, 1801–1928 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010.(↵)
Herbert, Trevor. The British brass band: A musical and social history. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2000.(↵)
David Climenhage, Orono, Ontario, Email message to author, 17 August 2013 [This message states that Christian played the cornet and that David owns the last cornet Chris played. He also states that his uncle Cliff Climenhage told him Chris played with the local militia band.](↵)
Gleanings in Bee Culture, Vol. LXVII Medina, Ohio, A. I. Root Co., 1939. [“He joined the 44th Lincoln and Welland Regiment, as bandsman about 1880, and was bandmaster about 1885. Later he organized and taught the Ridgeway Silver Cornet Band, and found time to teach two other bands in another town.”](↵)
Archives of Ontario; Series: MS932_16; Reel: 16. (↵)
Climenhaga, Asa Winger. Later family links. Address given on the occasion of his father’s 90th birthday, 1940.(↵)
Year: 1881; Census Place: Bertie, Welland, Ontario; Roll: C_13253; Page: 53; Family No: 264. Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1881 Census of Canada [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2009.; Year: 1891; Census Place: Bertie, Welland, Ontario; Roll: T-6375; Family No: 155. Ancestry.com. 1891 Census of Canada [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2008.(↵)
On 29 Jan 1910 (Reg 7 Feb 1910) Jacob and Annie Climenhage sold to Christian Climenhage 25 acres in the south 1/2 of Lot 13 Concession 10 from the Niagara River, Bertie Twp. for $1000. (A18 #14045); On 30 Mar 1915 (Reg 28 May 1915) Christian Climenhage granted to Jacob and Annie Climenhage for their natural lives 25 acres in the south 1/2 of Lot 13 Concession 10 from the Niagara River, Bertie Twp. for $1. (A21 #17077).(↵)
Archives of Ontario; Series: MS935; Reel: 236.; Archives of Ontario; Series: MS935; Reel: 354. (↵)
On 1 Nov 1916 (Reg 30 Nov 1916) Christian Climenhage & wife granted to Aaron Morningstar 25 acres in the south 1/2 of Lot 13 Concession 10 from the Niagara River, Bertie Twp. for $2 + more (A22 # 17744).(↵)
A number of years ago while looking through records held by the Ridgeway Museum I came upon a photocopy of an address given by Asa W. Climenhaga on the occasion of his father’s ninetieth birthday celebration. In it he describes, in brief, the characteristics of his brothers and sisters, and his many nieces and nephews. As the majority of these folks have passed on, this is now an important family document. As Asa had a great interest in the Climenhaga family history I believe he would very much approve of it being reproduced and shared here. –James Climenhage
Ridgeway, March 9, 1940 – Peter M. Climenhaga, Stevensville, retired farmer, celebrated his 90th anniversary on March 7. He was born on the farm where he is now living, half a mile east of Stevensville, of pioneer stock retiring from active work about ten years ago. He is widely known, having been Foreign Missionary Treasurer for the Brethren in Christ denomination for many years, of which he has been a prominent member. He also served on the public school board.
In 1872 he married miss Anna Winger, who resided west of Stevensville, and who passed on some years ago. He now resides with his daughter, Mrs. Sarah Neff. Mr. Climenhaga was the father of six boys and three girls. Four of his sons are ministers, one a deacon and one a school teacher deceased. Asa, John, Abigail reside in Pennsylvania; Reuben, Laban, and Naaman live in the Canadian northwest, and Sarah resides near Stevensville. There are 39 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren. A son Solomon and a daughter Ella are deceased. Mr. Climenhaga enjoys good physical health and has never suffered any serious illness.
Solomon is the oldest son. He was born April 16, 1874. He graduated from Norman School and taught in the public school system. [He married Elizabeth Sherk, who was born] at Fisherville, Ontario December 21, 1872. She is five feet two inches high and her average weight is one hundred and fifteen pounds. She is noted for being early to bed and early to rise. They had one son and one daughter. Naomi was born August 6, 1904 at Stevensville, Ontario. She is five feet one inch with an average weight of one hundred and sixty pounds. Her motto is things done by half are never done right. Oscar is a little older than his sister Naomi. He is also slightly taller and slightly heavier. He is known for the statement “you know what I mean.” Naomi has remained single. Oscar is married and lives at Fort Erie. He is a customs officer on the Canadian side.
Reuben Sinclair is the second eldest of Peter Martin Climenhaga’s family. He is five feet eight inches tall with an average weight of one hundred and seventy pounds. He is a minister and is noted for saying “Look here.” He married Elizabeth Bert of Kansas. Elizabeth was born October 13, 1880 near Detroit, Kansas. She is about five feet five inches in height and an average weight of 160 lbs. Her characteristic is others first. To this union were born ten children. The following is a record of them made in 1938.
October 23, 1906
Anxious to get things done
February 10, 1908
June 29, 1909
September 26, 1910
Kind to others
April 6, 1912
November 27, 1913
Quiet and steady
November 7, 1916
Believes he can if he tries and tries
June 16, 1918
Quiet and fond of reading
January 16, 1920
July 24, 1921
Enjoys stories and poetry
Abbie was born December 22, 1879. She is five feet and three inches tall, with an average weight of 138 lbs. She is noted for her success as a home maker. She married Jesse E. Brechbill of Detroit, Kansas. He was born in Franklin County, Pennsylvania August 12, 1878. He is 5′ 6″ in height and his average weight is 138. He is noted for his ability as a business manager. To them were born six children, the youngest being twins with one dying in infancy.
May 24, 1908
February 9, 1910
May 19, 1917
A true heart
July 20, 1919
Ella Ann was born September 30, 1882. She was a little taller than Abbie. She so much appreciated her parental home that she hesitated a long time before she consented to leave it. She married Carl Baker of Ontario and moved with him to a prairie farm in Northwest Canada. The transition from her childhood home to a home in the west was more than her tender life could stand. After a short period of married life she suddenly departed to be at rest with Him whom she loved and sincerely served from childhood.
John Arthur was born April 16, 1884. He is 5′ 7″ with an average weight of 170 lbs. He is a minister, missionary, and teacher. His chief characteristic is “Made clear by the words I know.” He married Emma Smith of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. She was born February 24, 1892. She is 5′ 5″ and weighs 175. One word, loyalty, best explains her characteristic. To them were born five children.
February 21, 1916
June 14, 1919
April 9, 1922
February 14, 1931
June 28, 1933
Laban was born March 7, 1886. He is 5′ 10″ tall with an average height of 150 lbs. His life work consists of tilling the soil, rearing a family, and serving his church as deacon. He is noted for his desire to be punctual. He married Priscilla Bert of Detroit, Kansas. She was born July 24, 1887. She is five feet five inches tall with an average weight of one hundred and twenty six pounds. A faithful wife and mother describes her well. To this union were born eleven children.
March 17, 1912
December 6, 1913
That’s all right
January 20, 1915
May 15, 1916
On the square
September 2, 1917
September 1, 1918
February 20, 1921
January 11, 1923
December 12, 1924
April 14, 1927
January 22, 1931
Asa W. was born July 1, 1889. Height 5′ 10″ with an average weight of 170. Educator, minister, and author. He greatly appreciates the beautiful and is noted for being systematic. He married Anna Elizabeth Kipe. She was born July 13, 1896 at Waynesboro, Pennsylvania. She is 5′ 7″ with an average weight of one hundred and thirty. She is a scholar, teacher, homemaker. She is noted for being thorough in her work.
Sarah was born November 22, 1890. She is 5′ 5″ with an average weight of 130. She is an ideal Christian and a friend of youth. She married Edmund Neff of Stevensville, Ontario who was born June 2, 1869. He is 5′ 10″ with an average weight of 145. He is reserved but helpful.
Naaman was born March 14, 1893. He is about five feet ten inches tall with an average weight of about 170. He is a minister and tiller of the soil. He married Sallie Wenger of Lebanon County, Pennsylvania. She was born December 21, 1897 and is about 5′ 4″ with an average weight of about one hundred and forty. She is a homemaker. To them were born six children.
Full of life
Compiled by Asa W. Climenhaga, Messiah College, Grantham Pennsylvania, 17025
In doing genealogical research, I sometimes come across a finding that gives me pause. This happened for me this week with Luetta Acker.
Luetta was a daughter of Susannah Climenhaga/e and Andrew Acker. On September 26th 1894—her twelfth birthday—she was wed to George Hiles who was 41 years old. Up until 1890 age of consent in Canada was 12 years old. After 1890 age of consent was raised to 14 although 12 year olds could still legally give consent if married.
Luetta Acker was born September 26th 1882 in Wainfleet, Welland County, Ontario. She was the 9th of 11 children born into a poor family. Her parents were of the Tunker faith and Ettie’s father Andrew worked as a day labourer to make ends meet. Tragically, Andrew died on June 13th 1889 at Wainfleet of dyspepsia (stomach troubles) leaving Susannah with many small children to feed.
Shortly thereafter Luetta went to live with her older sister Anna and husband George Hiles. George and Anna had a newborn baby named Stella May who was born July 7th 1889. Again tragedy struck when on August 31st 1893 Anna was hit and killed by an automobile. Stella, only 4-years-old, was now in need of a mother and her 11-year-old aunt Ettie fit the bill.
Although Luetta and George were married a year later in 1894, their first child Percy did not come along until late in 1901, which suggests that intimacy between the couple may have been non-existent until Ettie was in her late teens.
Although not unheard of, marriage at such a young age in the 1800s was uncommon as most women tended to marry in their mid to late teens. This situation seems to have been a marriage of necessity—a necessity for Ettie’s mother due to poverty and too many mouths to feed, and a necessity for George Hiles who needed a mother for his infant daughter.
Footnotes ((↵) returns to text)
Some members of the family also went by Ecker.(↵)
Ancestry.com, Ontario, Canada Births, 1869–1909 (Online publication — Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007.Original data — Archives of Ontario. Registrations of Births and Stillbirths – 1869–1909. MS 929, 206 reels. Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Archives of Ontario.Archives of Ontario. Delayed R), Ancestry.com, http:/www.Ancestry.com, MS932_82.(↵)
Ibid. [On her marriage registration she lied about her age saying she was 16](↵)
Ancestry.com, Ontario, Canada Deaths, 1869–1934 (Online publication — Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007.Original data — Archives of Ontario. Registrations of Deaths, 1869–1934. MS 935, 496 reels. Archives of Ontario, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.Archives of Ontario. Registrations of Ontario O), Ancestry.com, http:/www.Ancestry.com, Roll: MS935_295. [Although George’s age on the marriage registration is 30 years old (1864), his death registration indicates he was born abt 1853.](↵)
MacKay Robin. “Bill C-22: An Act to Amend the Criminal Code (age of Protection) and to Make Consequential Amendments to the Criminal Records Act*.” Bill C-22: An Act to Amend the Criminal Code (age of Protection) and to Make Consequential Amendments to the Criminal Records Act (LS-550E). Accessed May 03, 2014. http://www.parl.gc.ca, 2007 (↵)
Ancestry.com, Ontario, Canada Births, 1869–1909 (Online publication — Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007.Original data — Archives of Ontario. Registrations of Births and Stillbirths – 1869–1909. MS 929, 206 reels. Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Archives of Ontario.Archives of Ontario. Delayed R), Ancestry.com, http:/www.Ancestry.com, MS929_57.(↵)
Ecker, Levi. My life’s story: From drunken lime-kiln burner to gospel pulpit (n.p.), n.d.(↵)
Ancestry.com, Ontario, Canada Deaths, 1869–1934 (Online publication — Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007.Original data — Archives of Ontario. Registrations of Deaths, 1869–1934. MS 935, 496 reels. Archives of Ontario, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.Archives of Ontario. Registrations of Ontario O), Ancestry.com, http:/www.Ancestry.com, MS935_56.(↵)
Ancestry.com, 1891 Census of Canada (Online publication — Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2008. .Original data — Library and Archives Canada. Census of Canada, 1891. Ottawa, Ontario, Canada: Library and Archives Canada, 2009. http:/www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/databases/census-18), Ancestry.com, http:/www.Ancestry.com, T-6376_147.(↵)
Ancestry.com, Ontario, Canada Births, 1869–1909 (Online publication — Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007.Original data — Archives of Ontario. Registrations of Births and Stillbirths – 1869–1909. MS 929, 206 reels. Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Archives of Ontario.Archives of Ontario. Delayed R), Ancestry.com, http:/www.Ancestry.com, MS 929_96.(↵)
Ancestry.com, Ontario, Canada Deaths, 1869–1934 (Online publication — Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007.Original data — Archives of Ontario. Registrations of Deaths, 1869–1934. MS 935, 496 reels. Archives of Ontario, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.Archives of Ontario. Registrations of Ontario O), Ancestry.com, http:/www.Ancestry.com, MS935_69.(↵)
Ancestry.com, Ontario, Canada Births, 1869–1909 (Online publication — Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007.Original data — Archives of Ontario. Registrations of Births and Stillbirths – 1869–1909. MS 929, 206 reels. Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Archives of Ontario.Archives of Ontario. Delayed R), Ancestry.com, http:/www.Ancestry.com, MS929_156(↵)
I do not have a copy of this letter in my possession. This transcription was found in the book, “Two Hundred Years with the Siders,” (pp. 29–30). If anyone has a copy of this letter, or knows someone who does, would you please pass the information along to me.
“My dear grandchild, I now thought to let the young know how we started in this world when all was new and not as it is now. When l was a little boy I can well remember when all this country was new and the people were poor. When they had to do the best that they could. When not the improvement was as is now. You young ought being very thankful to the good Lord of Heaven that he let your foreparents have the insight to bring it as it is now at this present time. I can well remember how it was when I was a little boy, there were no buggies to be seen I do think in this country, or any other. I well know the first light rig that was around was old Samuel Streed. That was a pretty good rig for all to ride in, the roads were poor around stumps and stones and creek and mud holes, that it was almost impossible to get through. No wagonmakers, no blacksmiths, hardly any iron to put on the rigs. The people were poor and there was not any person that had a lumber wagon.”
[After describing construction of some of the primitive vehicles used, he tells of the trip to visit his Damude grandparents in the Pelham area.]
“Now I will try to tell the way we went to go to grandpaps. We would try to get ready the day before, then all get in the poor wagon, put in some straw or hay, the hay was always scarce, for there was not much clear land. The cows would run in the bush. We had to go to the Black Creek to Niagara River, then along the river to Chipawa, then down to Niagara Falls, then down to the Lundy’s Lane, then west to Allanburgh, then across the canal on a poor bridge, then up on the Canbory road tilr we could perty nere see grandpaps’ place. Then we would feel glad that we were perty soon there. They had an old house down the big hill that was some 80 feet down. There was grandma and aunts. Their first children were all most girls. The four oldest were girls. The house was small and poor, but we were satisfied just as well as now. But poor grandma was an invalid. She had to work hard to make things go. She had a sore on the side that she could not get around, but there the girls could get to the work.
But that is in the past, but we ought to be very thankful and not get up too high. Keep down very low at the feet of Jesus. If we read the great sin that the people did was to neglect the poor and take the advantage of them that can’t see how they should do to get along. It seems to me that it is a great blessing that we can see and try to be industry. I call it a gift of God, so try to help the poor and be honest in all that we do.”
MOSESGLIMANHAGA was the youngest child of Henry and Barbary Climenhagen. He was born in Bertie Twp., Welland Co., Ontario on 17 July 1802. When Moses was only three years old his father died—the will proven 7 June 1805. Moses was made an executor of his father’s will along with his mother Barbary, Christian Shoup, and Dr. Peter Hershe(y). It wasn’t until 1825 that Moses and his siblings received their share of their father’s lands which is speculated to mean that Henry’s wife Barbary either died or remarried at that time.
On 13 June 1828, Moses sold his share of his father’s estate—a 100 acre parcel in Willoughby Twp.—to Elizabeth Shoup for ₤32  Four months prior, on 2 February 1828, Moses had purchased 100 acres being the southern half of Lot 7, Con 3 in Whitchurch Twp., York Co. from David Stegman for $250. That same year Moses married CATHERINESHANK on 29 April 1828 at Markham Twp., York Co., Ontario. Catherine, born 21 August 1809 at Markham Twp., was the eldest of thirteen children born to Michael Shank and Barbara Weideman/Wideman.
To Moses and Catherine were born eleven children: Barbara (1829), Abraham (1830), Adam (1832), Elizabeth (1833), Fanny (1835), Michael (1837), Anna (1839), Lydia (1842), Moses (1844), Henry (1849), and Catherine (1850). The same year that daughter Elizabeth was born, Moses purchased an additional 100 acres, 10 December 1833, being the northern half of Lot 7, Con 3 in Whitchurch Twp. from Alexander McDonell for $200.
On 24 March 1840 Moses sold his 200 acres of land in Whitechurch Twp. to George Thomas for $2000, but accepted a mortgage for $1600. That year Moses, along with his wife, children, Catherine’s parents, and some of her siblings, relocated to Greensburg Twp., Putnam County, Ohio. Here Moses purchased land north of the Blanchard River on 22 July 1840 from Isaac Fowler. This land—95 acres being the west half of section 68—was purchased for $1100, $300 of which Moses mortgaged. On 30 January 1844 11-year old Elizabeth died and was presumably buried in Greensburg Twp., in the Myers cemetery where her grandmother Barbara (Wideman) Shank is buried.
On 6 November 1848 Moses and Catherine deeded ¼ acre of this land to “Jonas Shank, Henry Shank, and John Eyer preachers and elders of the Mennonist Church” for three dollars for use by the Blanchard congregation. According to Umble (1931):
“The first building of hewn logs, was erected one-fourth mile east of the Perry township line in Greensburg township on an elevated, well-drained plot on the north side of the [Ottawa-Franconia] state road that winds along the north bank of the Blanchard River… After Moses Glimanhaga sold his land to Solomon Myers…the church came to be called Moyer’s (Myers) church. When the church was abandoned some years later, Solomon Myers wrecked the building and cleared the site.”
That same year Moses and his family moved to the more prosperous Elkhart Co., Indiana with the Shank family. On 2 October he purchased 80 acres in Harrison Twp., section 20, from John Hoover for $160. Moses later purchased an additional 53 acres in section 20 and 160 acres being in the sw ¼ of section 7 in Harrison Twp.. On 16 June 1851 Moses sold his Ohio farm to his brother-in-law, Solomon Myers, for one hundred dollars less than he paid for it.
Moses and Catherine would sadly live to see the deaths of three more of their children—sons Moses and Henry, who died 15 October 1851 (7 years old) and 5 November 1853 (5 years old) respectively, and son Michael who died in 1863 at age 25 during the American Civil War.
Moses Glimanhaga died 14 July 1875 at Harrison Twp., Elkhart Co., Indiana from dropsy. Catherine (Shank) Glimanhaga died eight years later on 6 October 1883 at Harrison Twp. Both are laid to rest at Yellow Creek Mennonite Cemetery, Wakarusa in Harrison Twp., Elkhart Co., Indiana 
Sometime after their deaths a court battle began over the ownership of the Glimanhaga farm that dragged out in the Indiana court system for three years—but that’s another story.
Footnotes ((↵) returns to text)
Herald of Truth, Vol. XII, August 1875, p. 875(↵)
Last will and testament of Henry Climenhagen, 7 June 1805, registered 15 December 1804, Lincoln County, Ontario. Lincoln County Surrogate Court estate files RG 22–235(↵)
On 12 Mar 1825 (Reg 30 May 1825) Martin Climenhagen, Henry Climenhagen, Abraham Climenhagen, Anna wife of John Sider children of Henry Climenhagen Sr gave a quitclaim to Moses Climenhagen on 100 acres in Lot 7 Cross Concession, Willoughby Twp. for 5 shillings (A122 #6641)(↵)
In the will of Henry Climenhagen, dated 14 December 1804, he states, “I give and bequeath unto Barbery my beloved wife all my lands that I now possess and all my movables goods and chattels as long as she remains my wife.” See endnote No. 3(↵)
On 13 Jun 1828 (Reg 9 May 1829) Moses Climanhaga sold to Elizabeth Shoup 100 acres in Lot 7 Cross Concession, Willoughby Twp. for ₤32 (A156 #7614)(↵)
On 2 Feb 1828 (Reg 7 Mar 1828) David Stegman sold to Moses Climanhawk 100 acres in Lot 7 Concession 3 (S ½), Whitechurch Twp. For $200 (B.&S. #6239). Also see Stamp, R.M. (nd). Early days in Richmond Hill: A history of the community until 1930(↵)
Herald of Truth, Vol. XX (20), October 15, 1883, p. 317(↵)
On 10 Dec 1833 (Reg 14 Jun 1834) Alexander McDonell sold to Moses Clayminhawk 100 acres in Lot 7 Concession 3 (N ½), Whitechurch Twp. For $200 (B.&S. #10825).(↵)
On 24 Mar 1840 (Reg 25 Feb 1841) Moses Climinghawk et ux. sold to George Thomas 200 acres in Lot 7 Concession 3, Whitechurch Twp. for $2000 (B.&S. #18162).(↵)
On 24 Mar 1840 (Reg 12 Jun 1840) George Thomas mortgaged to Moses Climinghawk 100 acres in Lot 7 Concession 3 (N ½), Whitechurch Twp. for $1600 (Mort. #17391).(↵)
On 22 Jul 1840 Isaac Fowler sold to Moses Gleimenhagen 95 acres in ne fr w ½ in Greensburg Twp., Putnam Co., OH for $1100 (Vol 11 p. 383). Also see Umble, J. Early Mennonite Sunday schools of Notherwestern Ohio. The Mennonite Quartlerly Review, 100–111, 1931(↵)
Rellinger, Orlo. Glimanhaga family record (births and deaths), 1874/2012. Found online at Ancestry.ca(↵)
On 6 Nov 1848 Moses Gleimenhagen sold to Trustees of the Mennonist Church ¼ acre in ne fr w ½ in Greensburg Twp., Putnam Co., OH for $3 (Vol 2 p. 465).(↵)
Umble, J. Early Mennonite Sunday schools of Notherwestern Ohio. The Mennonite Quartlerly Review, 1931, p. 107–108(↵)
On 6 Oct 1848 John Hoover sold to Moses Glimanhaga 80 acres in w ½ ne ¼ sec 20 in Harrison Twp., Elkhart Co., IN for $160 (Transfer BR1 p. 39).(↵)
Geil, Samuel. Map of Elkhart Co., Indiana, 1861(↵)
On 16 Jun 1851 Moses Gleimenhagen sold to Solomon Myres 94 ¾ acres in ne fr w ½ in Greensburg Twp., Putnam Co., OH for $1000 (Vol 4 p. 570). Also see Umble, J. Early Mennonite Sunday schools of Notherwestern Ohio. The Mennonite Quartlerly Review, 100–111, 1931(↵)
Rellinger, Orlo. Glimanhaga family record (births and deaths), 1874/2012. Found online at Ancestry.ca(↵)
Ancestry.com. U.S., Registers of Deaths of Volunteers, 1861–1865 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012. Original data: Registers of Deaths of Volunteers, compiled 1861–1865. ARCID: 656639. Records of the Adjutant General’s Office, 1780’s–1917. Record Group 94. National Archives at Washington, D.C.(↵)
The Wakarusa Sun, 15 July 1875, p. 3; Herald of Truth, Vol. XII, August 1875, p. 875(↵)
Herald of Truth, Vol. XX (20), October 15, 1883, p. 317(↵)
This memory book may be of some interest to a number of people, but it will chiefly concern the children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren of Peter Martin Climenhaga and Anna (Winger) Climenhaga. To create an interest beyond this would require a complete history of the Climenhaga clan. Such an undertaking should be sponsored by the clan as a group. This work being an individual undertaking is necessarily limited. My readers outside of this family circle mentioned are asked to keep the above in mind. If the above is forgotten this work may appear rather selfish and unfair to the clan as a whole. This family circle is, however, interested in the clan relationship beyond that recorded here and hopes someday a more complete history will be written.
David Climenhaga, the father of Peter Martin Climenhaga, had two brothers and one sister. This family of four children were born to Martin Climenhaga and Elizabeth (Damude) Climenhaga. The firstborn was Moses. The year of his birth was 1820. Anna was born in 1823, David in 1826, and Martin Jr. in 1829.
The father of this family, Martin Climenhaga, Sr., was a minister in the Brethren in Christ church. In those days simplicity was necessary and desired. Clothes and footwear were not plentiful. Martin often preached barefooted which was no disgrace considering the time and simplicity of the situations. Everything else was in keeping. The preaching was not done in churches but in small gatherings in simple home surroundings. When Martin went to Fonthill where he obtained his wife, he drove oxen. He had to go by way of Lundy’s Lane, a distance of almost thirty miles. The Damudes of Fonthill treated him with dried cherries instead of candy.
Aunt Lydia (Climenhaga) Saylor, a sister of Peter M. Climenhaga, wrote what Jacob Engle of Pennsylvania told her about Martin Climenhaga when she visited Pennsylvania at the age of eighteen. He said that years ago when he attended a love-feast at Markham, Ontario, an old man came in. He wondered who he was. He walked right up and sat behind the desk with the ministers. He was asked to speak, and Jacob Engle said he was a deeply spiritual man filled with the Holy Spirit. His apparel was very plain, homemade of homespun cloth. Jacob Engle said you never know a man by his clothers or his looks, for they do not tell what is in his heart.
The family of David Climenhaga and Abigail (Barnhart) were ten in number. The mother was born August 5, 1830. Her firstborn was Peter Martin born March 7, 1850. Benjamin was born August 19, 1851. The remainder of the family and dates of birth are Esther Elizabeth, October 6, 1853; Susannah, August 7, 1855; Daniel, April 28, 1857; Elishe, June 7, 1859; Mary Ann, March 26, 1862; Sarah, November 6, 1864; Caroline, November 6, 1864.; and Lydia, September 6, 1868.
Many memories linger concerning this family circle. Only those concerning David and Peter will be recorded. David’s mother, never being physically strong found it necessary to have a neighbor girl come into the home to help with the work. Abigail Barnhart was there one day doing the washing. David’s mother said to her if you stay and iron David’s Sunday shirt he will take you home. She stayed and David took her home. She only lived one-half mile away so David took a round-about road to take Abigail home. On another occasion Abigail was sleigh riding with a group of young people when David came driving behind the sleigh in a new one-horse sleigh, which he built for himself. Some of the group dared Abigail to leave the big sleigh and ask David for a ride. Being young and jolly she accepted the dare and David was glad to grant her request. Out of these events grew a courtship which ended in Abigail being married when eighteen years of age. In the language of the older days David became Abigail’s laddie and Abigail became David’s lassie. In the language of l940, “The same old story, a boy and a girl in love.” David said she could not have been any better than she was so he saw no reason why he should have waited until she was older to get married. They lived together happily and their affections one for the other lasted until the end. David always wanted to live the longer so that he could see his wife through life. His desire was granted.
When David and Abigail were old in years and their children all had homes of their own they would help one another with the work. David spent some of his time in a cider mill. He had one of the old long beam-type cider presses. The community folks came for miles to have cider made. After the cider making season was over, David’s time was spent helping Abigail with her house work, working with the vinegar he cured and sold, and making useful articles for women and children. He made such things as little benches, stools, spool wagons, stirring ladles, and crutches. He gave these articles to people in the community and visitors passing through. Some of these home-made articles reached far sections even across the ocean. Another task which he took much interest in was braiding the best husk from the corn and after it was thoroughly dry he unbraided it and divided it into narrow strips. This he put in bedticks. He made these for his own use and for his children.
Toward the end of Abigail’s days she was not so well. David would get the meals and put away the things after the meal. He knew where the dishes belonged. For them everything had a place and everything was in the place planned for it. Articles in cupboards not often used were carefully marked. Letters and papers preserved were wrapped and marked so that anyone could tell the content of the package. Each key had a tag with information written on it concerning the drawer or door it unlocked.
Peter Martin Climenhaga grew up strong and ambitious to succeed in life. He and his brother Benjamin when but lads climbed to the peak of the barn to see if they could see the Fenians who crossed the Niagara River from .the United States to take Canada and the soldiers marching to meet them. These outlaws were a group who rallied under a leader with the idea they could conquer Canada and rule it as a country for themselves. One huckster drove rapidly through the countryside crying the Fenians are coming, thousands are over and hundreds are coming every minute. These young lads could not see the raiders from the barn peak but they were not afraid as those were who left their homes driving across the country to get away from the enemy. The raiders were driven back by the citizens and soldiers and were held for some time in the river on flatbottom boats until the United States readmitted them again.
Peter started to walk when one year old exactly on the day. Soon afterwards he was lost and could not be found. His mother was in bed at the time so could not join in the hunt. She from her bed looked out of the window into a nearby oats field. She saw the grain moving and informed the rest. They went and looked and found little Peter crawling through the oats field. To keep Peter from getting away his mother would lay him on his back. He was so fat that he could not get up alone from this position. A chair peddler came to the home and was showing his wares. Peter climbed on one of the chairs end claimed it so his parents decided to buy it for him. He started school at the age of seven. The schoolhouse stood across the road from the present Post Office at Stevensville. He knew his letters before starting to school so the teacher had him teaching the letters to other children. His father thought this not advisable so he kept him out of school awhile. He continued in school a short time each winter until he was twenty years old. He was only twelve years of age when he started to plough. He was married when twenty-three years old. He started housekeeping on the farm near Stevensville where he still lives past ninety years of age in 1940.
Peter cried on the day of his wedding. He had made arrangements with a minister to marry them and right at the last the minister could not come. Another minister was found and the wedding day kept. The farm on which they started housekeeping was over sixty acres. Enough land was purchased later to make it about one hundred acres. The town of Stevensville was growing at this time. When Peter was a boy the town did not have more than twenty homes.
The house on which most of his family were born and reared was built in 1880. Not counting his own work the house was built for about $1200. He bought the logs from Christian Bitner for $4.50 a thousand in the log. He had the logs sawed for $3.00 a thousand at Dean’s sawmill. Christian Bitner was to help measure the logs after Peter had cut and hauled them from the marsh owned by Bitner. Bitner would not come to see them measured. He said Peter can measure them alone. The men who helped build the house were paid according to their skill. The boss received one dollar and fifty cents a day, the others received one dollar and twenty five cents and one dollar a day.
Peter was a careful financer and he with his faithful companion as he called his wife reared their family of nine children and were always in a position to help others. One experience will throw light on his ability to run a home successfully. When a young man he surveyed land for his uncle Benjamin Baker. When Benjamin Baker was asked if the land was surveyed right he replied: “I think so for I had David Climenhaga’s lawyer to do it.” What he did he did well and this was especially true of his farming.
A general picture of the normal home life can hardly be put in a few words. The rising hour was about five A.M. in the summer and about six A.M. in the winter. “Time to get up, boys” came the call each morning from the foot of the stairs. Father’s word was law and the boys did the chores and milked the cows. The parents said “come” instead of “go.” Thus the chores were soon over and the large stable of cows soon milked.
Before breakfast as regular as the days rolled round the family met in a circle for Bible reading, in which they all took part verse by verse, and kneeling prayer. Each meal was opened with grace and closed with thanks. Threshing morning or market morning did not hinder the worship period. Tramps coming early in the morning for a bit to eat from sleeping in some neighbor’s barn were made to join in the family worship else not be fed. In case the phone would ring during family worship some member of the family circle would answer and softly whisper “We are having worship, please call later.”
The family generally retired between eight and nine P.M. with the children in bed first. Father and Mother before retiring would kneel by their bedside and pray audibly for each one of the children.
Father and Mother Climenhaga were converted in 1881 and became members of the Brethren in Christ Church. When Father mentioned his concern in relation to being a Christian, Mother said she was also concerned and was just waiting for Father to mention it. It was not unusual for Mother Climenhaga to go about her work singing Gospel songs. While pumping water she was heard singing, “Someone will enter the pearly gates, Shall you, shall I? Someone will knock and will not be heard, Shall you, shall I?”
Turning to Mother Climenhaga’s relationship we find a family of ten children. Those are the children of Mr. and Mrs. Abraham Winger. John was born June 16, 1848; Henry January 13, 1850; Anna, April 17, 1851; Elizabeth, September 21, 1853; Rebecca, May 24, 1854; Jonas, August 24, 1857; Sarah, September 11, 1859; Abraham, August 5, 1861; Jacob, September 21, 1866. Moses was born between Abraham and Jacob, out did not grow to manhood, dying when nineteen months old.
The grandparents of this family on the fathers side were John Sider and Anna (Climenhaga} Sider. The daughter Magdalene Sider married Abraham Winger. This Abraham Winger was the son of Henry Winger and his wife Elizabeth (Neff) Winger. From this it is clear that Peter Martin Climenhaga and his wife Anna (Winger) Climenhaga were cousins.
Abraham Winger, Sr., the father of the (ten) children mentioned, was Overseer of the Bertie district of the Brethren in Christ Church in Welland County. He was a sincere Christian man and faithfully served the church. At his death his son Jonas became Overseer. Abraham’s wife died when about fifty years of age. Later in years he remarried somewhat against the wishes of his children. It worked out in the end to be considered a satisfactory union by all concerned.
This family became quite scattered. Henry lived for a time in Northwest Canada; Rebecca lived in Kansas; Abraham lived in Northwest Canada and Jacob spent most of his adult days in Colorado and the state of Washington. In Colorado he was for a time a miner and later an engineer. The two in Northwest Canada were tillers of the soil.
A cane used by Peter Martin Climenhaga’s father David and a cane and powder horn used by Abraham Winger, the Overseer or Bishop as now called, is in my possession. They are part of a museum of articles used by members of the Brethren in Christ Church.
In July of 1797 Henry Climenhagen petitioned for lands in Upper Canada and was granted two hundred acres of land in Willoughby Township (Lots 6 & 7, cross-concession). This land is on Baker rd. to the West of Sodom rd. According to an 1811 land deed map of Willoughby Township these lands were bordered to the West by Martin Beam, to the North by the Shoup brothers Martin and Christian, to the East by Joshua Fairbanks, and to the south by the lands of John Sherk. In 1825, these lands were subsequently willed to Henry’s oldest and youngest children, with Anna (Climenhaga) Sider being given Lot 6 and Moses Glimanhaga lot 7, respectively. In 1828 Moses sold his 100-acres to Elizabeth Shoup, daughter of Christian Shoup, for ₤32 and relocated to Whitechurch Township near Markham, Ontario. Anna and husband John Sider sold Lot 7 in 1849 to Gabriel Morningstar for ₤125.
In 1799, Henry Climenhagen purchased 300 acres of land in Bertie Township from Parshall Terry, an ex-Butler’s Ranger. In 1825 these lands were willed to Henry’s middle children with Martin Climenhage/a receiving land on Lot 13, Concession 10, and Abraham Climenhegg receiving land on Lot 13 Concession 9. These lands are located on Eagle Street in Stevensville. Upon Martin’s death in 1876, his land, bordered by Winger road and Sider road, was given to his surviving sons David Climenhaga and Moses Climenhage, whereupon David received from the west half of Black Creek, and Moses the east half. David’s land was subsequently passed down through three generations of his family. Abraham’s land lay to the East of Sider road. Abraham died quite young (age 35) and his land passed to his eldest son Nathaniel who sold the land off in pieces until he relocated with his family to Middlesex County, Ontario in the early 1850s.
Henry’s middle son, Henry Climenhage/a junior, was given land on Lot 14, Concession 11 in Stevensville—land which borders Stevensville road and College Road. This land was later sold in 1836 and 1838 to John Pickhart.
Footnotes ((↵) returns to text)
On 5 Feb 1805 the Crown granted to Henry Klimenhaga a patent for all Lots 6 & 7 Cross Concession, Willoughby Twp.(↵)
On 12 Mar 1825 (Reg 30 May 1825) Martin Climenhagen, Moses Climenhagen, Abraham Climenhagen, Henry Climenhagen Sons of Henry Climenhagen Senior gave a quitclaim to Anna Sider daughter of Henry Climenhagen Senior on 100 acres in Lot 6 Concession, Willoughby Twp. for 5 shillings (A122 #6641)(↵)
On 12 Mar 1825 (Reg 30 May 1825) Martin Climenhagen, Henry Climenhagen, Abraham Climenhagen, Anna wife of John Sider children of Henry Climenhagen Sr gave a quitclaim to Moses Climenhagen on 100 acres in Lot 7 Cross Concession, Willoughby Twp. for 5 shillings (A122 #6641)(↵)
On 13 Jun 1828 (Reg 9 May 1829) Moses Glimanhaga sold to Elizabeth Shoup 100 acres in Lot 7 Cross Concession, Willoughby Twp. for ₤32 (A156 #7614)(↵)
On 18 Sep 1849 (Reg 12 Jan 1850) Anna Sider and John Sider her husband sold to Gabriel Morningstar 100 acres in Lot 6 Concession, Willoughby Twp. for ₤125 (A77 #1885)(↵)
On 6 Dec 1799 (Reg 18 Dec 1799) Parshall Terry et ux sold to Henry Clymanhaggen 300 acres in Lot 13 Concessions 9 & 10 & Lot 14 Concession 11 from the Niagara River, Bertie Twp. (A19 #157)(↵)
On 12 March 1825 (Reg 24 May 1825) Henry Climenhagen, Abraham Climenhagen, Moses Climenhagen, Anna Sider wife of John Cider sons & daughter of Henry Climenhagen deceased sold to Martin Climenhagen 100 acres in Lot No 13 Concession 10 from the Niagara River, Bertie Twp. for 5 shillings (A295 #6631)(↵)
On 12 March 1825 (Reg 24 May 1825) Martin Climenhagen, Moses Climenhagen, Henry Climenhagen, Anna Sider wife of John Cider sons & daughter of Henry Climenhagen deceased sold to Abraham Climenhagen 100 acres in Lot No 13 Concession 9 from the Niagara River, Bertie Twp. for 5 shillings (A295 #6629)(↵)
On 12 March 1825 (Reg 24 May 1825) Martin Climenhagen, Moses Climenhagen, Abraham Climenhagen, Anna Sider wife of John Sider sons and daughter of Henry Climenhagen gave a quitclaim to Henry Climenhagen on 100 acres in Lot 14 Concession 11 from the Niagara River, Bertie Twp. for 5 shillings (A296 #6630)(↵)
On 16 February 1836 (Reg 31 March 1836) Henry Climenhagen sold to Peter Pickhart 50 acres in the west part of Lot 14 Concession 11 from the Niagara River, Bertie Twp. for ₤37.60 (B100 #10781)(↵)
On 16 April 1838 (Reg 25 July 1839) Henry Glymenhaga sold to John Pickhart 50 acres in Lot 14 Concession 11 from the Niagara River, Bertie Twp. beginning at a post in front of Concession 11 for ₤100 (B255 #12597)(↵)