Jesse Woltz was born in Hagerstown Maryland December 15, 1792.  His parents were Dr. Peter Woltz and Maria Breitengross.   Peter and Maria were my Paternal 5x Great-Grandparents. Before leaving Hagerstown, it is likely he apprenticed with his uncle; George Woltz. George Woltz was a well-known cabinet maker in Hagerstown, Maryland. I have seen a picture on the internet of a clock he made and signed.

Jesse served as a private and sergeant in the War of 1812, Stonebrakers Company of Maryland Militia.

Jesse Woltz traveled to Lancaster, Ohio in 1816 with Samuel Herr who was also a cabinet maker. He began a business for himself that same year at Number 9 Wheeling Street in Lancaster, Ohio. He made all types of fine wood furniture and was successful. On September 30, 1816, Jesse Woltz married Elizabeth Canode. She was also from Maryland. The Woltz’s family would include ten children.

It was rumored that he made the cases for Timothy and Thomas Sturgeon clocks.

Later in his career, Jesse expanded his line to include making pianos and organs, including the organ in the Lutheran Church.

It appears that after 1837, Jesse was not doing as well. He advertised to sell the Lutheran Church organ and was taking in borders. He was selling ice cream where he had once sold furniture. In 1839, he moved to Chillicothe to live with his son and died that same year.

In 1842, Elizabeth (Jesse’s widow) married Isaac Hollenback. The Hollenback’s moved to Indiana and Ellizabeth died there in 1880.



According to census records, Susan McCarty said she was born in Pennsylvania. She also said her parents were born there as well. Susan was born in February 1838. Susan McCarty was my maternal 2x Great Grandmother.

I found Susan in the 1850 census as a twelve-year-old in Scioto County, Ohio. She was living with her brother, James McCarty. I do not know her parents or their fate, fortune nor their names.

Susan McCarty was first married to Harrison Imes. They married in 1853.

In the 1860 census for Lawrence County, Ohio, Susan and Harrison have two boys, George and Frank. They were expecting a third child when Harrison left for the Civil War in 1861. Within three months Harrison was dead. Just two weeks after his death, Susan gave birth to their third child. This time a girl was born, Mary Alice Imes. It was November 1861. Here she was, 23 years old with three little children and she was a widow.

In August of 1862 Susan McCarty married Joseph Buffington in Vinton County, Ohio. Together they would have three more children, all boys.  The first of these boys to be born was my Great Grandfather, William Sherman Buffington. I will write more about him at a later time.

In the 1870 census Susan is with the Imes and Buffington children in Jackson County, Ohio. Joseph is not counted with this family.

Joseph Buffington was born in March 1835. Like Susan, I do not know who his parents were.  Joseph Buffington was born in Virginia.  I have found two Joseph Buffington’s enlisted in the Civil War records that could be a possible match, but with limited information on him, I can’t identify a record as his.

Joseph Buffington married Susan McCarty Imes on the 27th of August, 1862. Joseph was on the marriage record as well as the birth and death records of his children; Stephen Edward Buffington, Hiram Buffington and William Sherman Buffington; but I was unable to find him  on a census record.

Joseph was dead by 1880, when Susan was listed as a widow in the 1880 census for Elizabeth, Lawrence County, Ohio. William (my Great-Grandfather) was fifteen years old and working as a laborer. The oldest boy (George Imes) was no longer living with this family. There were five children listed plus a baby named Myrtie. Myrtie was the child of Mary Imes (daughter of Susan McCarty and Harrison Imes).

In 1900 census Susan (McCarty) Buffington was in Scioto County, Ohio with Frank Imes. Frank was one of the sons she had before she married Joseph Buffington. I have not been able to find a death certificate or cemetery record for Susan, but obviously she died sometime after 1900.

I will end this story, just as I titled it, A Genealogist’s work is never done.





Orella Ortega Whetsel was my  maternal Grandmother

Orella was born April 14, 1898. She was the youngest of eight children in her family. Two of the children had died before she was born. Her family was in Lick Township, Jackson County, Ohio. Her father was Daniel Henry Whetsel and her mother was Samantha Angeline Neal.

When our mother died,  she left a few stories she had written about her family members. One was about her mother. I am going to incert it here :

The following was written by Thora Buffinton-Gatwood:

“The time was September 1915. The new schoolteacher was quite an attraction at the dance held in the tiny one-room schoolhouse. Everyone wanted to see her and find out about her family. New-comers were not too plentiful in this mining community of Wellston, Ohio. The shy coal-miner thought the teacher was very pretty and so tiny it was hard to tell her from her older students. In those days all eight grades were taught in one room. Some of the older boys would bring in the coal and tend the fire in the pot-bellied stove. A fresh bucket of coal had just been set near the door. Coming out of a swing, the teacher’s partner released her and she landed in the coal bucket. The shy youg coal-miner rescued her before any other could get there. Since her dress was soiled, he offered to take her home to change. That shy youg coal-miner was my father, Frank Phillip Buffington, born January 13, 1894. The pretty school teacher was my moter, Orella Ortega Whetsel, born April 29, 1898.”

Since my Grandmother died many years prior to my birth I did not know her personally. In fact, I never knew any Whetsel’s. My mother was only nine when her mother died and her father remarried. This was the grandma I knew.

Orella graduated from high school and attended a music conservatory. I have been told that she was an accomplished pianist.

In 1915 Orella married Franklin Phillip Buffington.

In the 1920 census for Carlisle, Sullivan County, Indiana Orella is a housewife and mother of two small children (one of them was my Mother). The family had left Ohio 1919 or 1920.

My mother could tell many stories about her mother and all the things she had been taught by her. She said that her mother could study a dress in a store window and she would duplicate it on her sewing machine. This same story could be told about my mother.

My mother always insisted that her sewing, crocheting and embroidery work was all taught to her by her mother. My mother taught my sister and I these same things, but we had her long after we were nine years old. She also told us she would sit on the bench in the silent movie house while her mother played the piano to match the action on the screen.

Her mother sang folk songs to her and she sang them to us and we sang them to our children. I don’t know where the songs came from, but I know they must have been quit old.

There were three boys born while the Buffington family lived in Indiana, but only one survived. Frank and Orella returned to Ohio by 1927. Orella Whetsel Buffington died in June 1927. She left a husband with three young children.  Her death certificate states that she had a hysterectomy on June 7, 1927. She died of peritonitis on June 9, 1927. Penicillin was not used until the 1940’s. Orella Whetsel Buffington was thirty years old at the time of her death. She was buried in the Fairmount Cemetery, Wellston, Ohio.