Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Why Einsel Indeed....

What an interesting weekend! Thanks to mother nature we did not spend any time at the Einsel House, but that doesn't mean I'm without fodder for a blog post.

Late last week I got an email from one of my uncles. It was a message he had forwarded from his nephew. This nephew had checked the Ohio Historic Inventory for the Einsel House and he struck gold. A copy of the inventory sheet (dated 1981) was attached to the email. I'll save almost all of the little tidbits contained on the inventory sheet for another post, and focus on just one here. Namely - according to the Ohio Historic Inventory, our house is the Noah Rinehart House. The name Einsel isn't on the form at all.

My first thought was that it was the wrong house, but after a quick review of the rest of the information it was clear that it was indeed our house. My second thought was that it was a mistake, it was probably supposed to be Noah Einsel. Regardless, I decided to see what I could find out about Noah Rinehart. I had several handicaps, though. I was housebound due to a snowstorm, so the library was out of the question. My own collection of genealogy books are packed in a storage unit about 5 miles away. And I canceled all of my on-line genealogy subscriptions to save money to spend on the Einsel (Rinehart?) House. Undaunted, I clicked my way to the website of another genealogist who has every cemetery in the county indexed on her site. There is no Noah Rinehart buried in this county. Next I went to the county history book from the 1880s that is available at Google Books, and checked the index to see if Noah Rinehart was included (or even just mentioned) in the biographical sketches for each township. Again, I came up empty. Finally, I did a simple Google search combining Noah Rinehart with the name of our county. Nada.

To reassure myself I went back to the 1874 county atlas (which also is available online) and checked our property again. I was reassured to see that it did indeed say N. Einsel. Shortly after the sheriff sale last fall I had gone to the county recorder's office. I had looked at the original deed showing that Noah Einsel inherited land in this township from the estate of his sister, Lydia Einsel, and that she in turn had inherited that land from the estate of her father, John Einsel. Reassured, I turned my attention to the other information on the inventory.

But then my uncle emailed again and admitted that he was getting pulled into the mystery. Attached to his email was a copy of the 1850 census showing a Noah Rinehart family living in our township and county. Hmm........ With this bit of information I went back to digging. Eventually on another (free) genealogy website I found several trees including a Noah Rinehart whose wife Rebecca was a daughter of one of John Einsel's first cousins. Hmmmmmmm.........

At this point I went back to the 1874 atlas. This time instead of zeroing in on our house, I began scouring the rest of the township, trying to figure out where Noah Rinehart lived. I never found him. But I did find something else. And suddenly it all made sense. Barely a mile east of the farm labeled N. Einsel was another farm, this one labeled MisL.Einsel.


Miss Lydia Einsel.

I had looked at the original deed showing that Noah Einsel had inherited land in this township from the estate of his sister, Lydia Einsel, and that she in turn had inherited that land from the estate of her father, John Einsel.

Oh my. John and Elizabeth Einsel didn't build our house. Apparently Noah Rinehart did. John and Elizabeth Einsel never even lived in our house. Oh my.

It (obviously) never even occurred to me that when Noah Einsel inherited the family farm he might have already owned other property in the same township. Had I delved into the legal descriptions on the deeds I pulled in the county recorder's office I probably would have noticed something was off, but legal descriptions are horrid things and I glossed over them. I shouldn't have. They are horrid things, but important things.

So now I have another family to research - the Rineharts. As for the blog, I'm going to leave the name Einsel House on it. I'm used to it. And an Einsel family did live here - not the exact Einsel family I first thought, and not for as long as I first thought, but they were Einsels nonetheless.

And one final note to this post - the mystery of why the value of John Einsel's real estate rose so drastically between 1850 and 1860 now makes perfect sense. The true John Einsel house is still standing, and in my opinion it has a slight Gothic Revival feel to it. (I'll have to snap a picture of it sometime, it's a place I've always sort of liked.) I can easily believe that it was built in the 1850's.

So it's another on the list of unexpecteds here, but at least this time it doesn't involve any additional work to the house! : )

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