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Diana, Goddess of the Hunt for Ancestors!
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WARNING:  A KERSTETTER researcher strongly objects to my casting doubt on the list of our subject's children.  I leave it to you to decide how much confidence you should place in the list, given the equivocal census records.  I recommend that the KERSTETTERs get together to map out a Y-DNA testing strategy to prove the connections here.
Husband:  Johann Heinrich KERSTETTER / John Henry CASTETTER
Birth:  21 Aug 1819
Death:  7 Mar 1897
Occupation:  farmer
Father:  Adam KERSTETTER / CASTETTER  (1791-1853)
Mother:  Lydia __?__ (1797-1875)
Wife:  Leah DRESSLER
Birth:  1820/1 or 1825/6 or 1829/30 or 1832/3 or 1837 most likely, 1820/1 in PA
Death:  1883
Occupation:  homemaker
Father:  Jacob G. DRESSLER
Mother:  Esther GELNETT

Leah appears to have lied about her age all her life.  It has never been unusual for women to lie about their age, and some women often insisted their husbands, even their older children, do the same, so as to support their younger age (my own grandmother did so).  Leah just seems to be a most spectacular case.  There also seems to be some census-taker error thrown in.  Generally, the age in the records that makes the woman the oldest is the correct one.

Children born in Juniata Co., PA:
The census records of the children are so inconsistent from year to year that I have no confidence in the list below.  It wouldn't surprise me, at all, to find out that John Henry & Leah were childless, so took in orphans.  The fact that they are labeled "sons" and "daughters" in the 1880 census gives me no confidence, as I've often seen known step-children not so designated.  And I can only count myself lucky that this is not my line, so I don't have to solve the mystery!

.  Moses KERSTETTER, b. 1841/2 or Mar 1847
.  Hanna KERSTETTER, b. 1843/4
.  Zeone KERSTETTER, b. 1845/6
.  Aaron D. KERSTETTER, b. 18 Jun 1848
.  Henry D. KERSTETTER, b. 18 Jun 1850; d. 25 Aug 1872; bur. Dressler Cem., Juniata Co., PA
.  Jacob Dressler KERSTETTER, b. Feb 1855
.  William H. KERSTETTER, b. 1854/5
.  Amanda KERSTETTER, b. 1855/6 or 1858/9
.  Peter Dressler KERSTETTER, b. 19 Jun 1861
.  Samuel KERSTETTER, b. 1859/60

I presume the "infant" in the 1850 census is Aaron.  Henry may be William H.

Keywords for search engines:  genealogy; USA, US, United States, Pennsylvania


1.  Marriage Record:

2.  1850 Census Index/Images (online at Ancestry.com; Image #22 of 44):  Greenwood Twp., Juniata Co., PA, p. 312B, 2046/2076, enumerated 4 Nov 1850, official enumeration date 1 Jun 1850 (extracted by Diana Gale Matthiesen):¤
Henry Castetter 26 M   Farmer 800 Penna
Leah Castetter 24 F       "
Moses Castetter  8 M       "
Hanah Castetter  6 F       "
Zeone Castetter  4 F       "
Infant  1 M       "
Leah is very young to have a child eight, or even six, years old for that matter, so is Henry, if only 26.  Iwonder if the older children are "family orphans" whom they've taken in.  Listed next door to Adam (æ 60) & Lydia (æ 55) CASTETTER, who are almost certainly John Henry's parents.

3.  1860 Census Images (online at Ancestry.com; Image #13 of 21):   Mahontongo P.O., Susquehanna Twp., Juniata Co., PA, p. 795, PN 235, 1621/_, enumerated 2 Aug 1860, official enumeration date 1 Jun 1860 (extracted by Diana Gale Matthiesen):¤
John Carstetter 30 M   Farmer 2000 900 Penna
Louisa Carstetter 27 F         "
Wm H  5 M         "
Franklin Boner 11 M         "
At first, I didn't believe this household could possibly be our subjects, though I could find them nowhere else.  Then I saw they were listed next to Widow Lydia KARSTETTER (æ 60), John Henry's probable mother, just as they were in 1850.  So, despite my misgivings, I guess these are our subjects.  There are a number of possibilities here, the most probable one being that the enumerator botched the record (there are known cases of enumerators fabricating records out of sheer laziness).  There is also the possibility that the three older children with them in the 1850 census weren't theirs.  In fact, the lack of correspondence between ages and children from year to year suggest John & Leah may have had few or no children, themselves, but like many childless couples, took in all the extended family's orphans.

4.  1870 Census Images (online at Ancestry.com; Image #7 of 24):  Mohontongo P.O., Susquehanna Twp., Juniata Co., PA, p. 465A, PN 7, 48/48, enumerated 13 Aug 1870, official enumeration date 1 Jun 1870 (extracted by Diana Gale Matthiesen):¤
Castetter John 47 M W Farmer 4000 675 Pa
_________ Leaah 40 F W       Pa
_________ Moses 22 M W at home     Pa
_________ Aaron 20 M W F $     Pa
_________ Henry 18 M W F $     Pa
_________ Jacob 16 M W Laborer     Pa
_________ Amanda 14 F W       Pa
_________ Peter 11 M W       Pa
_________ Sanuel 10 M W       Pa
This enumerator frequently used "$" in the Occupation field; I haven't a clue what it was intended to represent.  Listed next to Henry CASTETTER, who is next to Jas/Jos CASTETTER, on one side; and, on the other side, next door to John CUPP, who is next to Michael STROUP

5.  1880 United States Census and National Index (LDS Family History Resource File: CD-ROM Library):¤
Census Place: Susquehanna, Juniata, Pennsylvania
Source: FHL Film 1255137; NARA Film T9-1137; Pg 364B
  Relation Sex Marr Race Age Birthplace Occupation Fa Mo
Henry KERSTETTER Self M M W 60 PA Farmer PA PA
Leah KERSTETTER Wife F M W 59 PA Keeping House PA PA
Jacob KERSTETTER Son M S W 26 PA Cabinet Maker PA PA
Amanda KERSTETTER Dau F S W 21 PA At Home PA PA
Peter KERSTETTER Son M S W 19 PA Works On Farm PA PA

6.  1890 Census:  the 1890 Census Population Schedules were destroyed.

7.  Perry Historians, Newport, PA, compilers.  Dressler Evangelical Churchyard (United Methodist), Susquehanna Twp., Juniata Co., PA (online at the Juniata County PAGenWeb site; contributed by Pauline Shunk):
KERSTETTER, Henry D. s/o Henry & Leah June 18, 1850 Aug 25, 1872

8.  LDS.  Family Search: Internet Genealogy Service: Pedigree Resource File (index to CDs, online at FamilySearch.org).

9.  Messages in the Dressler Family Genealogy Forum (online at GenForum.com).

10.  WorldConnect / Ancestry World Trees (online at RootsWeb.com/Ancestry.com).

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