52 Ancestors,
in 52 Weeks
Week 12:
Family Finds Charter Oak

Samuel Gilbert: Loss

I have previously written about my 3rd great grandmother, Sarah Smith Gilbert 1820-1846, in the post Sarah Smith: Challenge. [1] While writing that post I wondered about the impact of her death on her family. What was the impact of her loss on her husband? My 3rd great grandfather, Samuel Gilbert 1812-1895 was left to care for their 2 year old daughter Hannah when Sarah died in 1846. At the age of 34, Samuel was a farmer and laborer. He probably had little time or experience to care for a small child. [2]

Life and Loss

The Gilbert’s lived in Cranberry Township, Crawford County, Ohio. Samuel bought this land as ‘tenants in common‘ with a man named Philip Immel. [3] Presumably Mrs. Immel was helpful during this period after the death of Sarah. The Immel’s had 5 children at this time, including an infant. [4] Whatever the case, Samuel soon remarried to Sarah Anne Moore in July 1847. [5] She was 23 years old and must have been a welcome helper to Samuel. The couple soon had a son, Samuel born October 1848. Sadly, Sarah Anne died less than a year later. Samuel is once again a widower, this time with two small children.

Death records were not kept during this period, so I do not know the cause of death for either Sarah.

Dangerous Work

Caring for 80 acres and two children may have been too much, Samuel sold his share of the farm to Phillip Immel. Samuel re-married in 1850 to Julianne Mitchell. [6] The family was living near the small community of Osceola in Crawford County. Samuel reports his occupation as “lime burner” in the 1850 census. [7] Lime burner is a fairly dangerous and labor-intensive job. Samuel, age 38, must have been desperate to provide for his family.

Lime Burners

Quarried lime was burned in kilns to produce a by-product used extensively in farming, but also used in the building trades, hide tanning, glass making and iron smelting. The limestone blocks were burned in the kiln, to a very high temperature. The process takes many hours and produces dangerous gases. Lime kilns were plentiful during the 19th century. They typically were found near quarries, but also close to a fuel source and transportation.

More Resources about Lime Burning

Delphi, IN: Lime Kilns on the Erie Canal
National Parks Service: Lime Kilns in AZ 
Photos of Lime Kilns
History of Crawford County, OH: Lime Kilns [8]

Lime Kiln PA
Lime Kiln Cross Section

Above: Poole Forge – Pennsylvania
By Doug Kerr from Albany, NY, United States
Uploaded by GrapedApe, CC BY-SA 2.0

Left: Drawing of a cross-section of a lime kiln
Drawing by Amos Long Jr.
Archives of the Monroe County Historical Assoc.

Immel Cranberry Twp 1850

Immel/Gilbert farm in Cranberry Twp, Crawford Co, OH

Todd & Holmes Twp in 1850 Todd & Holmes Twp in 2020

Todd and Holmes townships, Crawford County, OH in 1850 and 2020

My 2nd great grandmother, Hannah Gilbert, was the daughter of Samuel and his first wife Sarah Smith. She married William Rumple whose family had a farm very near the lime quarry in Crawford County. Use the vertical scroll handle to see a modern aerial view. The lime quarry is the large white area on the right side of the map. [9]


The loss of two wives in a short period of time must have been very difficult for my 3rd great grandfather. He had no family close by, and it appears his wives’ families were not available either. After his third marriage he was able to acquire land in Van Wert County and returned to farming. Samuel and Julianne went on to have four children, 3 survived to adulthood along with Samuel’s two children from his earlier marriages.

Samuel Gilbert


My 3rd great grandfather Samuel Gilbert is a brick wall. Census records and his death record [11] indicate he was born in Pennsylvania in 1812. The Immel’s lived in Catawissa Twp, Columbia County in 1830. [12] So, it is possible Samuel Gilbert is from Columbia County, or the immediate adjoining county, Northumberland. There is a household headed by David Gilbert in the borough of Northumberland in 1830 with a male age 10-19. [13] This would fit for Samuel. Also, both Catawissa and Northumberland are directly on the Susquehanna River. This could be the connection for Phillip Immel and Samuel Gilbert.


  1. Blog post, Family Finds: Sarah Smith: Challenge; https://barblafara.com/sarah-smith-challenge/
  2.  Profile of Samuel Gilbert, ‘Osborn‘ tree, Ancestry.com; https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/13493206/person/12164041102/facts
  3. Entry for Samuel Gilbert, 15 Dec 1835, U.S. General Land Office Records, 1796-1907, doc# 3062, Orig. URL: http://glorecords.blm.gov/details/patent/default.aspx?accession=OH0580__.091&docClass=STA&sid=uvtpmymt.ydf
  4. Entry for Philip Immel, U.S, Federal Census: Year: 1850; Census Place: Cranberry, Crawford, Ohio; Roll: M432_671; Page: 452B;
  5. Entry for Samuel Gilbert and Sarah Ann Moore, 22 Jul 1847, Ohio, County Marriage Records, 1774-1993 [database on-line], Crawford County, Year Range: 1847 – 1854. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com, 2016. Vol3, p31, Film# 000388676
  6. Entry for Samuel Gilbert and Julia Ann Mitchell, 10 Oct 1850, Ohio, County Marriage Records, 1774-1993 [database on-line], Crawford County, Year Range: 1847 – 1854. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com, 2016. Vol4, p263, Film# 000388676
  7. Entry for Sam’l Gilbert, U.S. Federal Census: Year: 1850; Census Place: Todd, Crawford, Ohio; Roll: M432_671; Page: 48B
  8. History of Crawford County and Ohio Containing a History of the State of Ohio, from Its Earliest Settlement to the Present Time“, Publisher: Baskin and Battey, 1881; Accessed online: https://archive.org/details/bub_gb_a-MyAQAAMAAJ/page/n594/mode/1up?q=lime+kiln; p608
  9. Library of Congress, Map of Crawford County, 1850; M.H. And J.V.B Watson, 185-? Cincinnati, O.: Lithog. by Middleton, Strobridge & Co, 1850] Map. https://www.loc.gov/item/2012592209/
  10. Online memorial for Samuel Gilbert, Find a Grave; https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/124644916/samuel-m-gilbert
  11. Certificate of Death, entry for Samuel Gilbert, 27 Oct 1895, Ohio, County Death Records, 1840-2001, database with images, FamilySearch, Henry County Death records, 1882-1921, vol 3-5; image 135 of 331; line 63.
  12. Entry for Christian Emil (Immel), U.S. Federal Census; Year: 1830; Census Place: Catawissa, Columbia, Pennsylvania; Series: M19; Roll: 165; Page: 150; Family History Library Film: 0020639
  13. Entry for David Gilbert, U.S. Federal Census; Year: 1830; Census Place: Northumberland, Northumberland, Pennsylvania; Series: M19; Roll: 147; Page: 163; Family History Library Film: 0020621


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