WEBER/WEAVER siblings in the 1800s in Ohio

I am tracing the ancestors of MW, who is descended from Henry G WEBER, born 1825 in Germany and died 1901 in Ohio. In this post, I describe my evidence for the hypothesis that Henry WEBER had at least three brothers and one sister who also moved from Germany and who also settled in Ohio. I first describe the evidence from DNA and then describe other evidence that links these five people.

I have access on Ancestry to the DNA matches of MW and his half-cousin AS, whose relationship is shown in the figure below.

The five people I believe to be siblings are:

  • Peter WEAVER, b about 1812 in Germany
  • William WEAVER b 19 Oct 1813
  • Magdalena WEAVER, b about 1822
  • George WEAVER, born Nov 1823
  • Henry WEBER, b 24 Jun 1825 – ancestor of MW and AS

While Henry used the surname WEAVER in the 1840s and 1850s for civil records and WEBER for church records, he and his descendants then stuck with the German WEBER. The other four similarly used WEAVER for civil records and WEBER for church records in their early days in the US, but their descendants used and still use the surname WEAVER. Most search engines do not return records with surname WEAVER when the surname WEBER is searched, so I believe these siblings were hiding in plain sight.

For the first WEAVER, Peter, I have no DNA evidence of a connection to Henry. I present evidence later for why I include him in this list. For the next three, I have DNA evidence of a connection to Henry, using the DNA of MW and AS on

The DNA evidence for the second, William, is shown in this figure, showing a match (in cM, or centiMorgans) of MW or AS with descendants of three of William’s offspring. Surnames of William’s offspring include LEMMEL, MUTCHLER, SNYDER, STRANG, SMITHHISLER, WANDER, and HUNTER, primarily in Holmes County.

The DNA links with the third WEAVER, Magdalena are shown below. MW or AS has links with three descendants.  Surnames include HEATER, RICKETTS, DEAN, SHEPARD, and BROOKS, primarily in Logan County, Ohio.

The links with the final WEAVER, George, are shown below. MW and AS have links with three of George’s descendants; MW and AS both link to one of the descendants, BR. Surnames include HENRY, KESTER, PITTS, and SULLIVAN, in Logan and Champaign Counties, Ohio.

All these matches are in the expected range of cM for the relationship, according to the table from the International Society of Genetic Genealogy (ISOGG). For example, AS and LN are fourth cousins, which has a range of 0 to 127 cM, a range that contains their actual match of 13 cM. As shown in this table, again from the ISOGG, there is approximately a 40 to 50% chance that fourth cousins have no shared DNA.

Because Ancestry does not have a chromosome browser it is impossible for me to determine if these matching segments are on the same portions of the same chromosomes. For example, I don’t know if the 11 cM that MW and AS share with BR, the descendant of George WEAVER, are the same 11 cM. Most importantly, some other explanation could exist for all these matches, but the sheer number of matches makes it likely that these five people are related to each other. If not siblings, they could be cousins. 

In addition to DNA evidence, I also have evidence of some interactions among these people. In this list I use WEBER or WEAVER as used in the original document.

  • In 1846, a Magdalena WEBER was the witness on the baptism of Magdalena, the daughter of Peter WEBER and wife Dorothea. This baptism took place in St John’s Lutheran Church in Holmes County, Ohio. (This church is listed in records as located in Greer, which is just into Knox County from Holmes County, but I believe the church was actually located in Holmes County, at the location of what is now called Kaylor Ridge Cemetery; see map below.)
  • In 1847, Peter WEBER was a witness on the baptism at St John’s of Caroline WEBER, daughter of William WEBER and his wife Salomea SPRANG.
  • In 1849, Wilhelm WEBER was the witness on the baptism at St John’s of Wilhelm WEBER, son of Peter WEBER and his wife Dorothea.
  • In the 1850 census, Peter WEAVER is in Richland Township, and William WEAVER is in Knox Township, Holmes County. These are adjoining townships.
  • In 1851 the second child of Henry WEBER and his wife Magdalena SCHMIDT, Magdalena WEBER, was baptized at St John’s. A witness on that baptism was Salomea WEBER, nee SPRANG, wife of William WEAVER. Magdalena was the only child of Henry baptized in that church.
  • Peter WEAVER and his wife Dorothea SPRANG and William WEAVER and his wife Salomea SPRANG attended St John’s church for decades. All four are buried in the church’s cemetery, now known as Kaylor Ridge Cemetery, in Holmes County.
  • In 1875, Caldwell’s Atlas of Holmes County shows adjacent lands owned by W WEAVER and P WEAVER in Knox County, south of St John’s Church. Other similar maps exist for other years, showing Peter and William living nearby each other. Note the church in the top left corner of this map, now the site of Kaylor Ridge Cemetery.
  • In 1882, the third child of Henry WEBER and Magdalena SCHMIDT, Jacob Frederick WEBER (1853-1920) married Caroline SCHNEIDER, a member of St John’s. Henry WEBER and family had moved from Holmes County by the time of Jacob’s birth, but must have kept in touch for decades.

These facts indicate a close connection, I believe, among Peter WEAVER, William WEAVER, and Henry WEBER. Thus, despite the lack of DNA match to descendants of Peter WEAVER, I include him in the list of relatives, probably siblings.

The following county map shows that the five people all settled in areas around Franklin County, Ohio. Henry WEBER settled in western part of Franklin County. Peter and William WEAVER lived in Holmes County, northeast of Franklin County. Magdalena and George WEAVER lived in Logan and Champaign counties, northwest of Franklin County.

Source. Licensed under a GNU Free Documentation License.

I am now working on tracing forward more descendants of the four WEAVER families. I am also tracing backward in time from all five to try to determine the WEBER roots in Germany. I welcome feedback from people related to any of these families. In this blog, I have obscured the names of recent descendants, but I will share that information with people who can help me with this research.

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I shall take the heart

What’s new?

In a new type of 3D printing researchers at NIST (the US National Institute of Standards and Technology) have developed a method to use beams of electrons or X-rays to grow gels in a liquid.

What does it mean?

3D printing is better described as additive manufacturing, as contrasted with subtractive manufacturing. In subtractive manufacturing a large piece of material is whittled away and reduced to the desired shape, inevitably resulting in wasted material. In additive manufacturing the desired object is built up by adding material exactly where it is needed; some waste may still result due to, for example, the need for scaffolding to support the object as it is created, but usually additive manufacturing enables the creation of objects we can’t make with subtractive manufacturing.

Two major processes for additive manufacturing are extrusion or jetting, where a substance, usually heated to make it flow, is deposited into the desired share, and solidification, where radiation is used to selectively solidify a liquid or powder material.

This new solidification method uses a liquid of polymers and results in a gel, which is a soft solid. Such methods for creating gels have been used before, but this new method uses X-rays, rather than ultraviolet or visible laser light and does not require the addition of special molecules in the liquid to initiate the formation of gels.

Types of engineering can be roughly distinguished by the branch of physics they rely on: for example, mechanical engineering on mechanics, civil engineering on statics, and electrical engineering on electricity. Chemical engineering is unique in relying on chemistry. Increasingly, however, all engineering areas, not just biological engineering, are realizing that biology is an important science, whether as a source of ideas through biomimicry or as an important area of application.

This new method of solidification relies on physics, especially the physics of electromagnetic radiation. Such radiation varies from the longest wavelength radiation used for radio transmission to the shortest wavelength radiation called gamma rays. Visible light is about in the middle of that spectrum, with ultraviolet and X-ray moving toward shorter wavelength. The important fact from physics for this new NIST method is that the shorter wavelength of X-ray radiation means that it can be focused more accurately and thus can create finer structures than those created using visible or ultraviolet radiation.

However, the use of such short wavelength radiation requires a vacuum, and the liquid of polymers would evaporate. The researchers applied their knowledge of chemistry to add an ultrathin barrier of silicon nitride, a compound of silicon and nitrogen with a very high melting point, making it useful in this application. The NIST article states: “The method enabled the team to use the 3D-printing approach to create gels with structures as small as 100 nanometers (nm) — about 1,000 times thinner than a human hair. By refining their method, the researchers expect to imprint structures on the gels as small as 50 nm, the size of a small virus.”

Finally, biology is the expected application area for this new technique. The NIST article concludes: “Some future structures made with this approach could include flexible injectable electrodes to monitor brain activity, biosensors for virus detection, soft micro-robots, and structures that can emulate and interact with living cells and provide a medium for their growth.”

Our human fascination for robots began with envisioning creations using mechanical and electronic components, based on physics. Think of real applications in prosthetic limbs and pacemakers and think of science fiction creations such as cyborgs in movies. This brief look at cyborgs in film argues that the Tin Man in the movie The Wizard of Oz was the first film cyborg.

But that article points out that the Tin Man wanted that softer piece of human anatomy, a heart. That desire points to the new frontier in human-machine creations. Beyond the notions of wetware (the human body is like computer software) or liveware (you need a human to run any software) lie the frontiers of transhumanism (we should consciously use technology to evolve new humans) and extreme forms of biohacking (you can change your body now to extend its capabilities).

What does it mean for you?

Physics plus chemistry plus biology equals exciting new developments that will eventually create new forms of robots and cyborgs. The new process NIST creates a gel, a soft solid, and such gels have many applications. New structures (for example sol-gel derived products, made from a solution and a gel) are being developed that combine hardness and porosity, stiffness and flexibility, and inertness and reactivity. Sensor and battery technology will benefit but so will the detection and cure of human ailments and frailties.

Another lesson for us all is that progress often occurs at the interfaces between fields. If I were starting over my career as an engineer, I would learn more chemistry and biology. In your career and in the people you hire, look for those who can span fields.

Where can you learn more?

I often recommend the magazine New Scientist if you want to follow developments in science, but NIST newsletters are also exciting ways to learn about these new frontiers. Unfortunately NIST doesn’t seem to have one place listing all its blogs and newsletters, but almost every topic area seems to have some subscription service, from forensic science to weights and measures.

The idea that people with multiple areas of expertise are helpful is obvious, but the idea takes many forms, from cross training to boundary spanners, and is certainly worth repeating.

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Do gooders

An image from the book Principles of mining – valuation, organization and administration; copper, gold, lead, silver, tin and zinc (1909), by Herbert Hoover. Source:,_organization_and_administration;_copper,_gold,_lead,_silver,_tin_and_zinc_(1909)_(14589950418).jpg

What’s new?

CNN reported that Puerto Rican architect Gautier Castro has designed a home that can be built within a shipping container.

What does it mean?

In September 2017, category 5 hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico, bringing high winds, storm surge, and enormous amounts of rain, causing destruction of buildings, gaps in utility services (transportation, electricity, cell phones, and water), and human death and injuries, as reported by NOAA. In addition, earthquakes in January 2020, the largest of magnitude 6.4, added to the destruction.

The AP reported in July of this year (2020) that “tens of thousands of homes in Puerto Rico remain uninhabitable by modern standards, with damage ranging from total destruction to missing roofs. In the central mountain town of Villalba alone, 43 families still live under blue tarps as roofs. Mayor Luis Javier Hernández said one family used theirs for so long that it wore out and he had to give them a new tarp.”

Working as a FEMA inspector after Hurricane Maria, Ms. Castro saw the devastation and heard the anguish of unhoused Puerto Ricans, but also learned that many of the houses that were destroyed had not been built to withstand such storms, because many were built informally and not to required standards. She created a company called KONTi to provide affordable, safe, and comfortable homes from shipping containers, which meet the International Building Code. Add-on systems include solar electricity and water recollection and treatment.

Affordable housing is worldwide problem. Headquartered in Caldwell, Idaho, and cofounded by an engineer, the certified B corporation IndieDwell recently opened a manufacturing facility in my home town, Pueblo, Colorado. Using similar methods as Ms. Castro, IndieDwell manufactures modular homes. A former student of mine created Sadie Shelter to manufacture homes from cardboard, with an emphasis on housing refugees and unsheltered people.

What does it mean for you?

President Herbert Hoover was a mining engineer and businessman before becoming head of an international food relief organization, US Secretary of Commerce for Presidents Harding and Coolidge, and then President. President Hoover said about profession of engineering: “It elevates the standards of living and adds to the comforts of life. That is the engineer’s high privilege. … To the engineer falls the job of clothing the bare bones of science with life, comfort and hope.”

My first point is that being an engineer gives one the opportunity to work on exciting challenges and to make a difference in people’s lives. Hoover’s statement continues: “He comes from the job at the end of the day resolved to calculate it again. He wakes in the night in a cold sweat and puts something on paper that looks silly in the morning. All day he shivers at the thought of the bugs which will inevitably appear to jolt his smooth consummation.” The challenges and the responsibilities of the engineering profession provide amazing mental stimulation forever – and the rewards of success are great: “But the engineer himself looks back at the unending stream of goodness that flows from his successes with satisfactions that few professions may know.”

My second point is that doing good can be part of a business model. The indieDwell Model states: “indieDwell manufactures healthy, durable, energy efficient, sustainable modular housing with a mission of solving the affordable housing crisis.  However, the way we implement our model is far different from most companies.  We don’t go it alone, we partner with like-minded organizations and people to accomplish our mission in local markets.”

Certified B Corporations “balance purpose and profit” and include Ben & Jerry’s, Eileen Fisher, and New Belgium Brewing; B Lab is the organization that provides the certification. Somewhat similarly, but as a legal structure, not a certification, “[a] benefit corporation is a traditional corporation with modified obligations committing it to higher standards of purpose, accountability and transparency.” My home state of Colorado passed legislation creating benefit corporations as a legal structure in 2014. Colorado benefit corporations include Mid-America Pool Renovation, Fire Arrest Systems Technology, Soil Health Services, Acme Hemp Co., and Goal International, an online high school in my home town of Pueblo.

Where can you learn more?

Thank you to my colleague Elliott Ring of EJB-Partners for pointing out the CNN report on Ms. Castro.

The engineering profession prides itself on its honesty, integrity, and contribution to the public well-being.  “Engineers shall hold paramount the safety, health, and welfare of the public.” The desire to make a difference drives many engineers, especially younger ones.

Certified B corporations and benefit corporations provide two ways to bake social responsibility into a company.

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If it ain’t broke, it can still be improved.

“Lillian Moller Gilbreth, of Montclair, New Jersey was a pioneer in engineering and scientific management. She and her husband were the parents of twelve children and the subject of a book, about their application of scientific management principles to the home. Cheaper by the Dozen. This picture was taken in 1921.” Source:,_1921.jpg

What’s new?

In July 2020, Production Machining magazine announced their 2020 class of 10 Emerging Leaders, including Morgan Miller, continuous improvement coordinator at C&A Tool, in Churubusco, Indiana. Her nominator, Ryan Miller, an engineer at the company, is quoted in the article as saying “In her short amount of time with the company, she has made the largest positive impact that I have seen in 12 years here.”

What does it mean?

According to her LinkedIn profile, Ms Miller graduated from Purdue University in 2016 with a BS in industrial engineering, a program in which I was a professor many years ago. How can such a new graduate make such an impact in such a short time?

The answer is industrial engineering, an often overlooked, and sometimes disrespected type of engineering.

According to the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers (IISE): “Industrial and systems engineering is concerned with the design, improvement and installation of integrated systems of people, materials, information, equipment and energy. It draws upon specialized knowledge and skill in the mathematical, physical, and social sciences together with the principles and methods of engineering analysis and design, to specify, predict, and evaluate the results to be obtained from such systems.”

I told my students that, because industrial engineering is not well known, they needed to have and practice their elevator pitch: what is industrial engineering and how can it help an organization.

Industrial engineering is about efficiency, quality, and safety. Industrial engineers help an organization produce a product or service with the least use of resources, to a high level of quality, while keeping people safe. Industrial engineers are the engineers who care the most about the people in the system.

The bumper sticker version is: Industrial engineers make things better.

I think a key word is “systems.” If you could see me, I start waving my hands when I use that word. Industrial engineers may focus on what they have determined is the root cause of a problem (that weld just isn’t being done right), but they achieve that focus by looking at the larger system and they generate, evaluate, and implement a change only after considering its effects on the system, including always and crucially the human beings in the system. Workers work in the system; industrial engineers work on the system.

In 2005 and 2015, I wrote two articles reviewing the content of industrial engineering programs in the US (about 100 such programs), and the Purdue program is typical, with foundational courses in the sciences (especially physics), and math (through differential equations, linear algebra, and probability and statistics), and other branches of engineering (electrical engineering, mechanics,  thermodynamics, and computing). Most industrial engineering programs include a core of courses on work methods, operations research, simulation, manufacturing processes, production systems, and engineering economy. As with all engineering students, they also complete courses in English, humanities, the arts, and social sciences. All engineering programs require students to work in a team to complete a senior design project. The Purdue catalog states about the senior projects: “Teams have taken on full-scale projects like designing floor layouts for factories and hospitals, designing operations to improve system efficiency, reducing time and waste in processing, allocating resources to optimize system performance, and developing a safety plan for preventing work-related injuries.”

In all industrial engineering programs, such courses will help students learn about lean manufacturing, six sigma, root cause analysis, optimization, simulation, ergonomics, safety, project management, facilities layout, supply chains, and information systems.

I love being an industrial engineer. One of the founding fathers of industrial engineering was a founding mother, Lillian Moller Gilbreth, and I was the first female industrial engineering professor at Purdue University after Dr Gilbreth.

What does it mean for you?

Industrial (yes, that is a clunky word) engineers work for large, industrial manufacturers, but also for hospitals, insurance companies, financial institutions, logistics companies, retail companies, and non profits. The Disney parks,  McKinsey & Company, Allstate, and Victoria’s Secret  hire industrial engineers.

More and more organizations are realizing the value that industrial engineers bring and the job outlook is excellent: “Employment of industrial engineers is projected to grow 10 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations,” according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The goal of industrial engineering is continuous improvement. I like to say “If it ain’t broke, it can still be improved.”  I also tell students: being an industrial engineer means you are always unhappy because something always needs to be improved. When I saw the article in Production Machining about Ms Morgan, especially her colleague’s statement about the difference she had made in a short time, I bet myself that she had an industrial engineering degree – and I was right.

The message is: whatever product or service your organization produces, an industrial engineer can help you do it better.

Where can you learn more?

The Institute of Industrial & Systems Engineering (IISE) is the lead professional organization in the field. The Body of Knowledge for industrial engineers is outlined on their page here. Their page on What Industrial & Systems Engineers Do is also helpful. I’ve written an introduction to industrial engineering for undergraduate students. Hire a graduate of one of the ABET accredited programs in industrial engineering.

How am I doing?

“A bull, whose owner hopes he’ll be a prize winner, gets his moment in the spotlight at the [2015] Colorado State Fair in Pueblo.” 
Source:, Gates Frontiers Fund Colorado Collection within the Carol M. Highsmith Archive, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.

What’s new?

On 1 September 2020, Modern Machine Shop (MMS) announced the winners of its annual Top Shops competition.

What does it mean?

MMS magazine focuses on machining businesses, in particular, businesses that offer machining services using CNC (Computer Numerical Controlled) machines. This year, 298 CNC machining businesses filled out a detailed questionnaire including items such as “spindle utilization, labor turnover rate, order lead time and so forth.” Selected measurements are weighted to create overall scores in four categories: machining technology; shopfloor practices and performance; business strategy and performance; and human resources. The best shop in each category receives a Top Shop award.

Rimeco Products won for the business strategy category through a combination of focus on a new line of customers and development of new tools to improve efficiency. They are now selling those new devices to other shops. Senior editor Matt Danford commented that the winner in each category is also strong in each of the other three categories. “The honors program is reserved for top shops, and becoming a top shop requires excelling in all four categories.”

Each participating company also receives a customized report showing where they stand on specific metrics as well as attributes of shops that scored well on that metric and that might drive performance. For example, companies that performed well on gross sales per machine tended to have quality certifications and to use 5S.

Usually the results are presented at the International Manufacturing Technology Show in September, but, like many conventions, the IMTS is online this year. The Top Shops presentations will be online each Tuesday in October including findings from the survey and a panel discussion of people from the top shops.

Certainly there are many industry awards. I like the Short Line of the year, awarded by Railway Age in 2019 to the 106-mile Louisville & Indiana Railroad Company. My favorite short line is the 13-mile long San Luis Central Railroad, which carries agricultural products in the San Luis Valley of Colorado, the largest alpine valley anywhere. I rode the train at the 2016 San Luis Valley Potato Festival.

What makes the MMS Top Shop competition different from other awards and so valuable is that it isn’t just a competition, it’s an educational event. I am not fond of competitions (see Alfie Kohn’s great book No Contest: The Case Against Competition), but I spent 40 years as an educator, and I like to think I am still doing that. The MMS Top Shops program reminds me of state fairs. Yes, you can eat funnel cakes, turkey legs, and corn dogs, but the state fair was created in the mid 1800s to exhibit agricultural products and, from the start of 4-H in the late 1800s, competition was linked with youth education at the state fairs. At the Archuleta County Fair in Pagosa Springs in 2019, I heard the sheep judge award prizes, but also give an amazing explanation of what he looks for in a top sheep, as well as how to raise sheep to that standard. The MMS awards are in that great tradition, a combination of benchmarking and education.

The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, run by the National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST), presents another model in which the journey is the point – applying for this award can lead your organization on a journey of quality improvement.  The American Health Care Association’s National Quality Award Program for providers of long term and post-acute care services is built on the Baldrige model. It’s the application process that is the benefit.

What does it mean for you?

The first lesson is obvious. Competitions and benchmarking are useful to find out how well your product and processes compare to others. Find an association like MMS in your field. Find a way to benchmark in your industry. Find a way to combine that benchmarking with learning and improvement.

The second lesson is that you can learn from organizations with totally different missions and technology than yours. MMS cites the Top Shop in machining technology for how it has adapted to change, the Top Shop in manufacturing processes for its use of lean methods, the Top Shop in business strategy for its focus and new products, and the Top Shop in human resources for how its culture helps it attract top talent. I challenge you to read those four articles and NOT come away with some ideas for improvement in your organization.

Where can you learn more?

I found several lists of trade associations, from the Planning Shop, from Wikipedia, and from ANSI. The Rutgers Library has a list of lists of trade associations. The Directory of Associations has various ways to search their list.

Many state fairs are cancelled or scaled back this year. The Colorado State Fair has its eye on the important stuff with the Drive Through Fair Food event.