Who is John W. Smull of Centre County who moved to Stephenson County in 1870?
Records are sadly lacking with any specificity for the era 1800-1850. No names on census reports except the household head, no great newspaper items for rural areas, blah, blah.
Here's what I know:
The various census from 1820-1840 indicate that Peter and Mary had a dozen children. I was able to identify 11 and believe the missing child was a boy born between 1826-1830.
John W. Smull's middle initial stands for "Wagner." If he is Peter & Mary's child, he would be the first son of the union and Waggoner is Peter's wife's maiden name. Mary's father's name was John. Germans often named their children after someone specific - in this case, it would be his maternal grandfather John Waggoner.
Now, we know that John W. "Johney" Smull was born 30 Apr 1826 in Pennsylvania and as of the 1850 census, resided in Rebersburg. It is reported that in 1850, he married his wife, Amelia Kahl. They lived in Pennsylvania until 1867, when they are found in Illinois. They were the last of the Peter & Mary children to head west. In 1880, they are in Waddams, Stephenson County.
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Johney's first son is named Myron Peter Smull. Peter would be Johney's father if my surmise is correct.
The only fly in the ointment is that Peter and Mary also had a son named Johnathan Smull, born in 1834 (my 2nd great grandfather). Would they have two such similarly named sons? German children often had three names at baptism and could have been called any of those names at any point in their lives. Hmm. Very curious. Johnathan (1834) is never referenced with a middle name nor middle initial. He was also referred to as Johnathan, not usually John or Johnny. Based on all of the German naming traditions and varied uses of their 3-name system, I would say it would be possible to have both a John and a Johnathan in the same family - especially if children were named after specific other people.
Johney died in McConnell, Stephenson County 04 Feb 1903. Amelia died 05 Oct 1907.
I'm calling it - this is indeed the last of the Peter Smull, Mary Waggoner children.