When Philip Delph was taken in by his aunt and uncle, Philip and Catherine Lautenslager Heckler around 1853 or before, after the death of both of his parents, the Hecklers already had a son named Philip. (They had also named a previous son Philip, but he died in infancy.) They called this second son "Peter" although really he was Philip Heckler,Jr. The history says that Philip Delph also took on the Heckler name for awhile, probably until the real Philip Heckler needed to go by his legal name or it became too confusing for all concerned! The Philip Heckler Sr. family already had nine children, so what was one more little boy?
It always helps me to create a timeline for my ancestor to make sure things are logical and to get a sense of the history of that person. Luckily, quite a bit of documentation exists for the events in Philip Delph's life.
1832 - The Delphs, Hecklers and Lautenslagers emigrated from Germany to America. (More on that later.)
June 17, 1845/1846 - Philip Delph was born to Johann Georg Delp and Christiana Lautenslager. I have never found an actual birth record. The censuses indicated he was born in Ohio.
May 4, 1849 - Elizabeth Witzgall was born. (Future wife of Philip)
1850 - The census for that year indicated that Philip at age 4 was living with his parents and four siblings (Elizabeth, Margaret, Caroline, George) in Jackson Township, Crawford County, Ohio. The census taker visited the family on August 8, 1850,
August 29, 1850 -Philip's mother, Christiana, died at 42 years, 2 months.
October 20, 1851 - Philip's father, Johann Georg died at 45 years, 10 months, 8 days.
September 1853 - Guardianship papers were filed for the children. No doubt they were already placed in the homes of the family, but this move appointed Peter Ludwig as guardian to watch over their affairs. Philip was 8 years old.
1860 - Philip, at 15, was living with his aunt and uncle, Philip and Catherine Heckler Sr. in Crawford County.
1861 - Philip Heckler Sr. purchased land and moved to Henry County, bringing Philip Delph to Monroe Township. The Civil War was beginning.
1869 - 1870 - Philip Delph bought land to clear and farm in Monroe Township, Henry County, OH. I was unable to locate Philip in the 1870 census, even though it only seemed logical that he would be working on his land in Monroe Township.
January 30, 1871 - Philip Delph married Elizabeth Witzgall, daughter of William and Henrietta (Smith) Witzgall.
November 17, 1871 - Their first child, a daughter was born. They named her Cora, but she was known as "Corrie."
September 11, 1873 - It's a second daughter who was named Julia or Juliana, but known as "Julie."
March 21, 1876 - It's a son! Otis William, known as "Pat"
November 18, 1878 - My great-grandmother was born - Elizabeth Margaret Caroline, named after her three aunts, Philip's sisters.
June 4, 1880 - The census taker visited the Delph farm and made his notes: Philip Delp, a farmer, 34 years old and living with wife Elizibeth, 31, who was keeping house with children: Cora, 8; Julia, 6; Ottas, 4 and Elizibeth, 1 and George, 30, Philip's brother.
February 1881 - Another daughter, Henrietta was born, known as "Sue."
April 2, 1883 - Son George Roland was born.
September 6, 1885 - Son Clarence Philip was born.
1888 - Orville D. Delph was born. Sadly, Orville died in 1900 at the age of 11 or 12. He is buried with his parents in Hoy Cemetery.
July 12, 1894 - Cecil Benjamin Delph was born, the final child for Elizabeth and Philip. Elizabeth was 45 years old.
April 22, 1919 - Philip Delph died at the age of 73 years, 10 months and 5 days. His death certificate indicated he died of organic heart disease. The math shows his birthdate to be June 17, 1845, but 1846 was put on the tombstone. Elizabeth, his wife, also did not know the names of Philip's parents to report.
Did they never discuss his history? Maybe not. He was very young when he lost his parents.
September 3, 1947 - Elizabeth C. Witzgall Delph died, having lived to the age of 98 years, 3 months and 29 days and having given birth to at least 9 children. Her birthplace on the death certificate was listed as Manchester, Ohio. Cause of death? Cerebral apoplexy (stroke).
Philip Delph was a farmer all his life. His love for his family is evident in the photos that have survived. My mother once told me that he insisted on speaking German in the family and was pretty stubborn about it. How precious his family must have been to him after growing up without his biological parents and away from his brother and sisters.
|Hoy Cemetery near Malinta, Ohio|