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Charles H Ettinger
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Birth: Apr. 15, 1839
Death: Feb. 6, 1884

This gent is my great great grandpa on my mom's dad's side, and I hope to discover more about his life through research.

Until the opportunity is found to go through church records, Charles' parentage will remain unclear. There are hints galore, but nothing firm.

I first found Charles and a probable brother on a census was in 1860 when Charles was 21 and his probable brother Hiram was 10 (as shown on the census, but possibly truly age 12), and they were not in their parents' household. The two are in a household of mixed surnames (headed by John Schmoyer, age 77), with no indication who their parents were (if indeed they shared the same parents). I have found descendants of this probable brother and they too are clueless who the parents were, and if the boys were brothers as their same last name suggests.

Right next door is an Ettinger family headed by Reuben (age 44) and Sarah (age 36). If these are their parents, the boys would seem to be the two eldest males, or close to being so- with the uncertanty of Hiram's birth date, he would be second oldest (to Charles) and tied with Benjamin who is listed as age 10. If Hiram is actually age 12 (as later censuses suggest) then he'd still be second eldest, with Benjamin behind him. Perhaps the two eldest boys have been "farmed out". Neither is shown as actually farming, Charles is working in the mines while Hiram has gone to school within the year.

So I went back further in time to 1850, and finally got to see them there. They are not in the same household but are next door to one another. Charles is with John Schmoyer (as he would still be 10 years later), but potential brother Hiram, only 1 year old, is in the next house, that of Reuben and Maria (different wife or different name?) "Eddinger".

Reuben Ettinger's household (besides his wife) is comprised of kids Emeline age 9, Eliza age 4, and Hiram, age 1.

John Schmoyer's household, (besides his wife) is comprised of Levi "Eddinger" age 14, Charles Eddinger age 11, and Amelia, whose age is had to read but could be 13 or 23. Ancestry.com claims Amelia was Reuben's daughter (and that she married Henry Geiger). A stretch perhaps, but if Reuben's daughter Amelia lived with the Schmoyers, why not his sons (guessing here) Levi and Charles, and later, Hiram?

The next census, 1870, and he was not to be found under any spelling I could guess at.., until he showed up as Charles (and wife Rebecca) "Edinger", he age 31 and she age 24, along with the beginnings of their family, daughter Alice (age 6) and his son Charles (age 4, next in my line).

But no parents are with Charles Sr., of course. There are very few census listings for Ettingers in Lehigh County. As we Pennsylvania Dutch folk would say, "For crying out loud!" Who the heck are his parents? Am I safe guessing at Reuben for his father?

Moving on to the 1880 census, Charles is age 41 in Lower Macungie, working as (what appears to be) a mine contractor. His wife Rebecca is age 35, and they have children Allis 15, Charles 13 (a mine laborer), and Eddie 1. This meshes with family knowledge, as my mom knew her grandpa, this younger Charles, and remembers her great Uncle Ed well since her dad was Ed's favorite nephew, and dimly recalled a great Aunt Alice who married and moved, Mom thought, to New Jersey. "Allis" here seems to have been born about 1855.

Now this part is a mess, so don't try to make sense of it until I untangle it... I seem to be struggling with three Alice Ettingers, born 1855, 1845, and 1864.

I did find a 1903 marriage license application for an Alice Ettinger born in Macungie, but the age for her seems off by 10 years, saying she was born January 15, 1845. It seems unlikely there would be another Alice Ettinger from Macungie, but there was. I have figured out that this elder Alice is one of our clan, just one generation back; she is my Charles' sister most likely, daughter of Reuben and Sarah Ettinger, apearing on the 1870 census with them, age 6, born about 1864. Unfortunately, her parents' names are not recorded on this application. It is her second marriage, and her husband's second as well; the document states that both their first marriages were dissolved by death. She and her new husband, Henry F. Gombert, are residents of Lehighton. They appear together on the 1920 census in Lehighton, though the ages are off from the marriage certificate - yet it must be them, even Henry's middle initial is correct. Alice is 63 and Henry 73. This Alice would have been born about 1857 which is closer to her age on the 1880 census, that of 15, so born about 1855. Still, going back to the 1910 census, this Alice is looking unlikely to be mine; Alice and Henry have a child in their household age 23, Warren Ettinger. Is Ettinger the last name of her first spouse, and thus not her maiden name? Or had she had a child out of wedlock? And who is the Alice Ettinger Clemmer who is on the MC Obit Index as having an obit published February 10, 1899? Work for another day.

Whatever the case... Charles' wife would eventually be widowed when he died, and she married again 10 years later to John J. Diehl. You can see her memorial for more info, but her second husband died before her, and in his obituary, Alice is named as a surviving step-daughter, and her name is given as Mrs. Alice Romig, interesting in light of Romig being her mother's maiden name. Also interesting is that her town of record in that obit is given as Riverton, NJ, so my mom's memory of Alice moving to NJ seems right.

In any case, 1880 is our last glimpse of Charles, as he had passed before the next available census was taken in 1900.

Many thanks to Star Kline for making this online memorial, for her photography, and for the generous transfer of it without being asked, when she discovered I was Charles' descendant.

 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  Maria Bittner Ettinger (1810 - 1859)
 
 Spouse:
  Rebecca J Romig Ettinger (1845 - 1927)
 
 Children:
  Charles H Ettinger (1866 - 1934)*
  Edwin Nathan Ettinger (1879 - 1944)*
 
 Sibling:
  Charles H Ettinger (1839 - 1884)
  Hiram M Ettinger (1848 - 1915)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Salem United Methodist Church Cemetery
East Texas
Lehigh County
Pennsylvania, USA
 
Maintained by: sr/ks
Originally Created by: Star Kline
Record added: Jan 04, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 23737452
Charles H Ettinger
Added by: sr/ks
 
Charles H Ettinger
Added by: sr/ks
 
Charles H Ettinger
Added by: Star Kline
 
 
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- Star Kline
 Added: Jun. 10, 2014
Remembering Mr. Ettinger...
- Diane Miller
 Added: Feb. 6, 2014

- Maja
 Added: Feb. 6, 2014
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