It's time to meet another one of our Wonderful WikiTreers. This week's member is Dave Ebaugh.
Dave became a Wiki Genealogist in December of 2019. He is active in our US Black Heritage, Accessibility Angels and Quakers projects.
What are some of the surnames you are researching?
Ebaugh, naturally, but not all Ebaughs. The biggest Ebaugh family descends from Johan Jacob Ebaugh. Another larger family descends from the brothers Roman and Reinholdt Ebaugh. That family does not appear to be on WikiTree. I am not interested in either of those families. My Ebaughs are descended from my fourth great grandfather, Joseph Ebaugh and his wife Theresa Fridman. I also am studying Joseph’s descendants with his second wife, Lucinda Johnson. Also on my paternal side I’m researching Theresa’s family, Fridman.
On my maternal side I’m honing in on the Borks. I’m trying to puzzle out a historical event. In the late Nineteenth century a number of Borks and allied families migrated from Worth and Mitchell counties in north central Iowa to South Dakota; twenty years or so later they came back. I want to understand that story.
Unrelated to me, I’m studying Grant and Walker families. On the 1870 census the Grants were a family of four Black servants in my fourth great grandfather Benjamin Crow’s household. The evidence from Crow’s 1850 and 1860 slave schedules suggests that the Grants were formerly enslaved by him. I saw an opportunity for an interesting study and also felt a sense of responsibility to pursue it. It has been very rewarding. I recently was following a Polley line that came out of this study and was surprised to discover some of the family already on WikiTree!
What are some of the locations you are researching?
Indiana wants me, apparently. Joseph Ebaugh settled in Jackson Township, Jackson County. He is surrounded by Quakers, so I’m studying the Quakers of the Sandcreek meeting. The Grant family migrated to Indiana and were early residents in the Haughville neighborhood of Indianapolis.
Grafton is a small town (250 people or so) in Worth County, Iowa. My mother was raised there. I would do a place study for Grafton and Worth county if I had the time (and if any other WikiTreers had heard of them!) The town was built by Prussian immigrants, so I dabble in Prussia.
I’m studying Boyle County, Kentucky during slavery and the Reconstruction, and Clermont County, Ohio during the back half of the Nineteenth Century.
When and how did you get interested in genealogy and family history?
Family history was a part of my life in a very experiential sense from childhood. Every year for the first 17 years of my life I spent Memorial Day morning in the Grafton Cemetery, honoring my grandfather Clarence Macken (Macken-106) (a WWI vet). I’d wander through the grave stones and was fascinated by them, especially the oldest ones, with German language inscriptions. In the afternoon we’d travel around Cerro Gordo and Worth Counties, visiting the graves of my paternal ancestors. I began to formally study my tree about a decade ago.
Who's your favorite ancestor and why?
One of the better stories is my great grandfather Conrad Macken. He was a rider on an Orphan Train, born in New York and adopted in Grant County, Wisconsin. I pieced the story together using primary sources and had quite a bit of fun doing it. The end of Conrad’s story isn’t as fun. He suffered bouts of depression, and left unattended on a Tuesday afternoon he consumed strychnine to end his life.
[Interview continues below.]