Tombstone Tuesday–Christian Hartzog

Christian Hartzog, Hileman/Smith/Hartzog/Alspaugh Cemetery, Van Wert County, Ohio. (Karen's Chatt)

Christian Hartzog, Hileman/Smith/Hartzog/Alspaugh Cemetery, Van Wert County, Ohio. (Karen’s Chatt)

This is the tombstone of Christian Hartzog, located in row 2 of Hileman/Smith/Hartzog/Alspaugh Cemetery, Willshire Township, Van Wert County, Ohio.  The marker is inscribed:

Christian Hartzog
Oct. 8, 1874
75 y, 10 m, 10 d

Christian’s date of birth was 28 November 1798, as calculated from his tombstone. According to census enumerations he was born in Pennsylvania.

Christian was most likely the husband of Katherine and father of Caroline Hardzog, whose tombstones were recently featured here on Karen’s Chatt. Katherine and Caroline are both buried at Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm.

This biography of Christian’s son was in the Black Creek Township section of an old Mercer County history: Benj. F. Hartzog, a son of Christian and Catharine Lintemoot Hartzog, was born in Fairfield County, Ohio, in 1836. He was brought by his parents to this county in 1840[1]

Christian “Hardsock” and his family were living in Black Creek, Mercer County, Ohio in 1840. Eleven were enumerated in the household. [2]   

Christian’s first wife Katherine (Lintemoot) died in 1843, according to her tombstone. Christian married Elizabeth King on 29 October 1847 in Mercer County, Ohio. [3]

Christian Hartzog

Christian Hartzog

In 1850 Christian and Elizabeth “Hartsoy” were living in Dublin Township, Mercer County: Christian (49, born in Penn), Eliz (37, Oh), Amasa (18, Oh), Noah (15, Oh), Andrew (14, Oh), Elmira (12, Oh), Martha (7, Oh), Wm (3, Oh). [4] They were living just a few houses from my great-great-grandfather, Friedrich Schinnerer.

By 1860 the Hartzog family was living in Black Creek Township with their post office as Shanesville [aka Rockford]. The family consisted of Christian, Elizabeth, William, Zacharia and Harriett. [5] 

In 1870 Christian, Elizabeth and Harriet were still living in Black Creek Township.  [6]

Hileman/Smith/Hartzog/Alspaugh Cemetery, Van Wert County, Ohio.

Hileman/Smith/Hartzog/Alspaugh Cemetery, Van Wert County, Ohio.

I broke my first rule of tombstone photography when we stopped at this cemetery on the way home from Decatur last Friday afternoon. It was a little past 5:00 and the sun was very low in the sky. I got a decent photo of the Christian’s tombstone but it would have been better if I had been there a few hours earlier when the sun was shining directly on the face of the stone. There is also a reddish hue on photographs taken that time of day.

This cemetery is a couple miles east of Willshire on route 81 and about a mile straight south of Zion Schumm’s cemetery, at the end of a t-road. I have been by this rundown cemetery many times but had never stopped. We were having our January thaw  in Ohio that day and the ground was soft and muddy. There was no driveway or place to park so Joe parked at the stop sign while I ran across the highway to the cemetery. Luckily there wasn’t much traffic there that day.

Hartsock Road is a little to the East of this cemetery.

 Photos taken January 2013.


[1] R. Sutton & Co., History of Van Wert and Mercer Counties, Ohio (1882; reprint, Mt. Vernon, Indiana: Windmill Publication, Inc., 1991), 422.

[2] 1840 U.S. census, Mercer County, Ohio, Black Creek Township, p. 84, line 10, Christian Hartsock; digital image by subscription, ( : accessed 13 January 2013); Family History Library Film No. 0020172, from National Archives Microfilm M704, roll 413.

[3] Transcribed Mercer County Marriage Records Book ABC: 276, Probate Records Department, Courthouse, Celina, Ohio.

[4] 1850 U.S. census, Mercer County, Ohio, Dublin Township, p. 276A, line 1, family #7, Christian Hartsoy; digital image by subscription, ( : accessed 6 January 2013); from National Archives Microfilm M432, roll 710.

[5]  1860 U.S. census, Mercer County, Ohio, Black Creek Township, p. 322, line 10, dwelling 468, family 473, Christian Hartzog; digital image by subscription, ( : accessed 6 January 2013); Family History Library Film No. 805009, from National Archives Microfilm M653, roll 1009.

[6] 1870 U.S. census, Mercer County, Ohio, Black Creek Township, p. 20B, line 31, dwelling 30, family 30, Christian Hardzog; digital image by subscription, ( : accessed 13 January 2013); Family History Library Film No. 552742, from National Archives Microfilm M593, roll 1243.



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  1. Are there records or maps of the various small, forgotten cemeteries in the area? Do the names on the headstones show up in the online grave locator databases? Your history of local churches helps confirm some of the changes and lost connections to the past family activities as well as community events. Perhaps connections to these little known burial grounds could enhance this picture.

    1. Both the Mercer County Chapter OGS and the Van Wert County Chapter OGS have read all the cemeteries in both counties and the grave transcriptions are in published books. I refer to their books often and they give a brief history of the cemeteries, if known. has many tombstone photos and inscriptions, but they rely on volunteers to post the photos and information. So, not all of the tombstone photos are on their website.

    • Brenda Johnson on February 1, 2013 at 12:12 am
    • Reply

    Hi Karen, I am glad you featured the Hileman {Smith} cemetery…….My great great grandparents, James and Rebecca Crawshaw are buried their. I haven’t been able to find out much about them…..there are also several small stones beside the large one which are also family members…… do you know where i should go from here? Thanks Karen!

    1. Hi Brenda! I always like to start by looking at census enumerations, looking at the family through the years. You might also want to look at church and cemetery records, old county histories, probate records, birth and death records, land deeds and research done by other descendants. Don’t forget to look at and follow collateral family members and neighbors. I am not familiar with that family but I’ll look a little and see if there is any mention of that family in the books I have here at home. Good luck with your research! Karen

    • Nancy Garrison Wininger on February 9, 2013 at 5:10 pm
    • Reply

    Hi Karen –

    Thank you so much for posting this information! Christian is my 3rd great-grandfather through his son Joshua (gg-grandfather), Mary Ellen Hartzog (g-grandmother, wife of George William Henry Garrison), Ira Armatha Garrison (grandfather), and Lloyd Otterbein Garrison (my father).

    I’ve been researching my family since I joined the LDS Church a lot of years ago. No one else in my (close) family has ever joined the Church and some of them still think I’m nuts to try and track down our ancestors but it’s so important and I am so appreciative that you included my family in your blog!

    How fun that Christian and your gg-grandfather Schinnerer were neighbors, and now you and I are cyber neighbors. I love knowing we’re all connected in ways we can’t even begin to imagine!

    Thank you again for your efforts in my family’s behalf!


    1. Hi Nancy! Thank you for writing and I’m glad you liked the blog. Family history research is so interesting, important and fun and once you get started you don’t want to stop. I understand exactly how you feel. I often get rather involved researching the locals in my Tombstone Tuesdays, even if they aren’t in my family tree. It is just so interesting. Karen

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