It’s like playing “Where’s Waldo?”

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My latest favorite haunt had turned up new evidence on members of my Zuver clan. With a name like Alvina Zuver, how could you hide? The personal memoir below gave me lots of clues as to what happened to him and where the family was located at after 1882.

“Alvi Zuver is a son of Jacob and Elizabeth Patterson Zuver, natives of Pennsylvania and Maryland, repectivley. They settled in that part of Mercer County, Penn., which is now Lawrence County, and in 1830 came to Wayne County, where they purchased the farm in Canaan Township now occupied by George Mathes and were recognized as among the prominent farmers of their day. Jacob Zuver voted first with the Whig party, and afterward with the republican, and both he and his wife were members of Canaan Methodist Episcopal Church. He died in 1874, and his widow in 1882. They reared five children, three of whom are living; Alvi, John, who lives with Alvi and Robert in Sidney, Shelby Co., Ohio.

Alvi Zuver, the subject of this memoir, was born in Mercer County, Penn., October 15, 1824, and was five years of age when he came to Wayne County. He attended the township schools and Canaan Academy, also schools of LeRoy and Norwalk. He learned the carpenter’s trade, which he followed for several years, and has since lived on the homestead in Canaan Township. In 1851 Mr. Zuver married Miss Jane E., daughter of Uri Smith, of Litchfield, Medina Co., Ohio, and four children have been born to them, three of whom died in infancy. Mr Zuver has always voted with the Republican party. In 1858 he was elected justice of the peace of Canaan Township and served fifteen consecutive years. He is a member of Canaan Methodist Episcopal Church and has been recording steward for many years.”

Seems simple enough, from the facts the family moved to Canaan township, Ohio in 1830. Finding them in 1850 was simple, from the memoir Alvi still lived in the family home past 1882, the death of his mother. It gives me his wife’s name and his father-in-law’s name as Uri.

I headed for the Census, I had previously found them in Ohio the 1850 Census Canaan, Wayne, Ohio. By 1860 Census in Canaan, Wayne, Ohio Alvi wasn’t being listed as living with his parents and the transcriber mangled the last name a bit as Zaver. Alvi’s brother John is still living at home with their parents. No sign of Alvi anywhere. By 1870 not only can’t I find Alvi, I can’t find his parents either. His brother Robert appears in Ashland, Ohio in 1870 and 1880.

So I searched again. This time I inserted into the search fields, Ohio, Canaan Township, 1801 for year born, male, and white. This gave me 21 results on one page I could quickly scan. There is a Jacob Gear and then I saw Jacob Garver. This one is worth checking out. There he is, living next door to his father, Alvi (miss transcribed as Olie) Garver (Zuver), his wife Jane, 2 sons, R J, 18 and John, 10. So far this is all matches with the memoir. His father, mother and brother, John Garver (Zuver) all live next door. The only question still remaining is who is Ely Zuver the 24 year old house servant?

I tried the same search for 1880. There he is, last name really badly mangled again, transcribed as Yuvern. This time it is spelled correctly in the Census and just mangled when transcribed into ancestry’s data base. He is living with his wife, mother and brother, as described in the memoir. His mother would live to 1882.

My tricks aren’t working on the 1900 Census. By this time Alvi is 76 and possibly not alive. A quick search of the 1910 Census doesn’t display them either.

The corrections I submitted to ancestry should help the next searcher find Alvi a little bit easier!


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