In Search of Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Strickland of Vermillion Township, Ashland County, Ohio

Parents of Eliza Anna Strickland Krebill

Elizabeth Osborn

28 June 2000

VT = Ashland County Ohio Vermillion Township Book, Ashland County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society, 1999
AK = Altleiningen Krebills, Olga Krebill Hirschler, 1967

Ever since I can remember, I have had a fascination for my Krebill ancestors. I even studied German in 7th and 8th grades, wanting to feel some special connection to my German ancestry. I loved to read the Krebill Book (AK), with its curious BGBDA numbering, and the impressive number of kin it represented.

And I have always felt a special feeling for Eliza Anna Strickland, who married Jacob Krebill. She was one of the three English daughters-in-law Anna Risser Krebill mentioned in a letter to her brother back in Germany. Anna described Eliza as a hard worker, and good in every way. The Krebill Book gave her birth date and place, but only the least hint as to her family; she was the daughter of Joseph Strickland. As if that said enough.

I have often wondered about the Strickland family. Was Eliza orphaned? Was Joseph widowed? Did she have any brothers and sisters? What was it about the way Eliza was raised that made it easy for her to transition to what was essentially a new culture: language, religion, way of life?

Thanks to the internet, and to the wonderful people at the Ashland County Chapter of the OGS, I think these mysteries can now be solved. I believe Eliza’s parents were Joseph Strickland (son of Joseph Strickland and Mrs. Rachel Quick) and Mary Harper (daughter of William Harper and Elizabeth -?-).


The search begins with the Krebill Book. Here we find Eliza Anna Strickland was born 21 January 1827, near Ashland, Ohio. Her father, we are told, was Joseph Strickland.

The city of Ashland, Ohio was, in 1827, located in Richland County. Almost due south of the city, about 8 miles, is Vermillion Township. Located in Vermillion Township at this time we find three Strickland families.

According to Ashland Eternity Acres, a Guide to Ashland County Memorials, 1942 p. 91, "Joseph Strickland… was a veteran of the American Revolution who came to Vermilion Township from New Jersey in 1815." In 1822, Joseph Strickland purchased the SE ¼ of Section 12 in Vermillion Township from William and Sarah Black, for $100. Joseph and his wife Rachel would retain this farm for the next 21 years, before selling it in 1843.

Nearby were two other Strickland families: Joseph and Mary Strickland, and Mahlon and Martha Strickland. The Richland County marriage records report that Joseph Strickland married Mary Harper on 6 May 1824 at Ashland.

In May of 1826, Joseph and Mahlon bought from Garret and Mary Albertson the NE ¼ of Section 8 in Vermillion Township for a $800. Joseph took title to the West half of the quarter section, and Mahlon took the East half.

The tax records for the years 1826 through 1838 continue to show the three families in the area, distinguishing the Joseph located on Section 12 as Joseph Strickland, Sr. In 1830, the Mahlon and Josiah (sic) Strickland families were enumerated in consecutive households. By this time, Mahlon and his wife had 4 children, a girl age 10-15, 2 boys between 5 and 10 years of age, and a girl under 5. Joseph (Jr.) and his wife had been likewise blessed with three children: a son between 5 and 10, and a daughter and son both under 5 years of age. Joseph Sr.’s household consisted of 1 male, 60-70 years old, 1 female 50-60 years old, and one male and one female, each between 10 and 15 years old.

In 1834 a Mennonite family from the German Palatinate moved in diagonally across the road from the Joseph Strickland (Jr.) family. Friedrich and Anna Risser Krebill had heard of the opportunities available in America from Anna’s brother, Johannes. Johannes Risser was the pastor of the Mennonite congregation in Vermillion Township; the meeting house stood at the southeast corner of the NW quarter-section of Section 8. The Krebill family first is found in the tax records under the name Frederick Graybell; he paid tax for 1834 on 2 horses (mules or asses) and 2 head of cattle. Friedrich and Anna’s fourth son, Jacob, who was 11 at the time the family arrived in Ohio, would eventually marry Eliza Anna Strickland.

The 1840 Federal Census continues to find Mahlon, Joseph Jr., and Joseph Sr. in Vermillion Township. However, in 1845, Mahlon and Martha Strickland sell their half of the NE ¼ of Section 8 to Jacob S. Risser, cousin of Jacob Krebill. The Mahlon Strickland family moves from the area, and can be found in the 1850 and 1860 censuses in LaGrange Co., Indiana.

The land formerly owned by Mahlon is again sold in 1851 to Jacob Krebill’s sister and brother-in-law, Christian and Nancy Eymann, who kept it until 1856 when they moved to Iowa.

With the Mahlon Strickland family removal to Indiana, the only Strickland daughter of the right age to be Eliza Anna is the daughter of Joseph and Mary Strickland, who is indicated in the 1830 census as <5 years of age, and in the 1840 census as 10-15 years of age. It is also convenient that the Joseph Strickland family lives literally ‘right next door’ to the Friedrich Krebill family. Therefore, although no document directly links Eliza to Joseph and Mary, I believe by the principle of "Occam’s Razor" that the Eliza Anna Strickland who married Jacob Krebill on 6 Apr 1846 was indeed "the girl next door."

There are some further corroborating evidences. Jacob and Eliza lost two young children during the time they lived in Vermillion Township. The Krebill book lists them as Joseph and Mary (not coincidentally, I think, the names of Eliza’s parents). In the Strickland Twin Cemetery (so named because it is a ‘twin’ to the Risser Cemetery located diagonally across the roads), nestled between other Stricklands, are the graves of two babies: Mary and Joseph Grebill.

The land on which this Strickland Twin Cemetery was located was sold by Joseph Strickland and his wife Mary to Jacob Grabill, William Strickland, and James Campbell, Trustees, for $10. William Strickland is one of Joseph's sons. I believe Jacob is his son-in-law, husband of Eliza.

Joseph died 8 Oct 1876, and was followed by his wife Mary on 5 Nov 1885. They are both buried in the Strickland Twin Cemetery.

GEDCOM file for the above mentioned families.


20 May 2001 - Received the following e-mail from a 4th cousin once removed on this line; notice the key corroborating evidence mentioned (highlighted in bold):

I just read the information you had on rootsweb in reference to the Stricklands and I believe we are related.

I am a descendant of Joseph Strickland and his wife Rachel Quick (4-great grandparents)
Joseph Strickland Jr. & wife Mary Harper (3 great grandparents)
William H. Strickland and Elizabeth Hough (2-great grandparents)
Emma Strickland & David Hostetter (My great Grandparents)

To answer your question, Yes Eliza's parents were Joseph Strickland (Jr.) and Mary Harper. Eliza A. Grabill received $500.00 as heir of Joseph Strickland estate.

Have you been to Ashland County, OH to do research? I recently found that Joseph Strickland Sr. may have been married twice. Do you know anything about this. I haven't had time to research this yet.

- Ruth Hostetter

I welcome your comments, corrections, and corroborating evidence. Please contact me! Thank You

Liz Osborn

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