One of the reasons I blog is to see where my reasoning and proof is lacking. I'm so glad I look like a fool now and then, because then I get the chance to correct my mistakes, and to do my happy happy dance.
After I posted about John Harter on Tuesday, I started looking at the information available about him on line, and I looked at my original sources (none, but I think I know where the wrong information came from), and I studied the censuses that are on line. I still need to go to Columbia City to do some research, but I am 95% convinced that John's parents were not John Harter and Mary Bower, but instead were George Harter and Elizabeth Geiger. Everything I am finding points to that direction, including census reports, on line trees, and FindaGrave. As mentioned in my last post, I need to look at George's will, at John's obituary, and at the land records for George and John, so this is not yet a done deal.
However, I've put it on my Ancestry tree as if it is proven, so that I will know where I need to research, if George and Elizabeth are indeed John's parents. I'm going to have a lot of fun, because it looks like this line is well researched, and I'll have a fairly easy time of it. (Of course, the brick walls in this line will surely be difficult to break down, since it's been tried before and better family historians than I have been stumped.)
The really interesting thing is that if you follow one of the lines back far enough, one of the ancestors is Anna Margarete Luther. Her father was the famous Martin Luther, theologian and founder of the Lutheran church. There is quite a bit of dispute about this, but the claim is that Anna Margarete was married twice, and that this line descends from the only child of her first marriage.
I think that would be so cool to find that I gave birth to descendants of Martin Luther! But even if that proves to not be true, I'm sure there are many interesting people in this line, and they want to have their stories told. If you'll excuse me now, I'm off to do some more research!