Johan Michael









Philip David (1801-1856) > 10 Children

Susannah (1803-?)

Samuel David (1806-1874) > 1 Child

John Christian (1808-1889)

William Christian (1810-1851) > 3 Children

George Henry (1813-1894) > 5 Children

Frederica Rosina Roxanna (1815-?) > 3 Children

Marvel (1818-1834)

Sarah Ann (1820-1895)

Eliza Jane (1823-1826)




Elisabeth Knappenberger, daughter of Conrad Knappenberger and Eva Barbara Blose, was born 9 August 1779 in Macungie Township, Northampton County (later Lehigh County), PA.  She died 4 June 1834 in Portsmouth, Scioto County, Ohio from cholera and was buried in Carey's Run Cemetery, Washington Township, Scioto County, Ohio.  Elisabeth married Samuel David GHARKY on 1 April 1800 in Westmoreland County, PA.  David, as he was known, was born 13 February 1775 in Stargaard, Pomerenia (Germany) to Johann Gehrcke and Elizabeth Warburg.  He died 9 August 1850 in Portsmouth, Scioto County, Ohio and is buried in Carey's Run Cemetery.  Elizabeth and David had ten children.


Elizabeth's father, Conrad, never seemed to accept David Gharky.  Conrad gave land to his daughter, Elisabeth, in Scioto County, Ohio but would not put it in her husband's name which was the norm in those days.  After Conrad's death in 1818, Barbara Knappenberger, Conrad's widow, moved to Portsmouth and lived with her daughter Elizabeth Gharky.


David Gharky had an interesting life and wrote an autobiography.  The Biography of David Gharky is at the Ball State University Library in Muncie, Indiana.  He arrived in Philadelphia, PA in October 1796 and from his autobiography we learn that, "He traveled through Pennsylvania and stopped at different places to work.  At one place, an old Dutch farmer invited him to his house, and treated him very kindly.  He was known by the name of Knappenberger, a real Dutch name, and had a daughter who was not bad looking.  He soon fell in love with Elizabeth Knappenberger and she with him and they soon agreed to get married.  But when the time came to lay the case before her father, he objected.  The old man said that he wanted his daughter to marry a farmer, and not a traveling mechanic.  So the match was broken off, and he continued his journey to the West.  When he got to Pittsburgh, he took passage on a flat boat and went down the river.  In the fall of 1799, he landed at Alexandria, situated at the mouth of the Scioto River, in the North Western Territory. .... Alexandria had just been laid out and was improving rapidly.  He worked here until the next spring, when having a good opportunity to ride, he took the overland route to Pittsburgh, and from thence to Westmoreland County, where he married Elizabeth Knappenberger, whether her father was willing or not.  He then returned to Alexandria with his wife, and such goods as her father gave her.  This was in the year 1800."


Letters written to David from his father in Germany gives additional insight into this man and his life in America.   One letter reads in part, "You state that you have married a healthy, strong and sensible woman; I congratulate you both.  In your letter of June 14, last year, also in your second, of September 19, 1806, you mention your misfortunes:  your cows had died; your sheep were torn by the wolves; and the Ohio River had taken your fences away; besides other trouble which befell you, as your father-in-law and brothers-in-law treat you like a Hessian.  I know not what that means....You are not a Hessian...Your little children are certainly not treated as Hessians.  You mention your three children:  Philip was born February 2, 1801; measures 3 feet 9½ inches and weighs 56 lbs.  How sorry I feel for this little grandson because he lost his forefinger.  Susannah was born September 13, 1803; measures 3 feet 1/2 inch and weights 34 pounds...."






Philip David was born 2 February 1801 in Alexandria, Scioto County, Ohio and died 21 January 1856 in Strasburg, Tuscarawas County, Ohio.  He moved to Tuscarawas County, Ohio by 1825 near his two uncles, Philip Knappenberger and William Knappenberger.  Here he purchased a total of 195 acres over the years.  Philip married Margaret WALLICK on 23 June 1825 in Tuscarawas County, Ohio.  She was born 16 September 1807 in Cumberland County, PA and died 11 October 1871 in Strasburg, Ohio.  This couple was buried in Grandview Cemetery of Strasburg, Ohio.  They had ten children.   For more information on this family, click on the name above.




Susannah was born 13 September 1803 in Alexandria, Scioto County, Ohio.  It seems she never married and eventually moved to Missouri most likely to live with her sister Rosannah Gharky Wildbahn.  In 1870, Susannah Gharky was living in St. Joseph, Buchanan County, Missouri as a single individual.  Since we have not found her in the 1880 census, we believe that she died prior to that date.




Samuel "David" was born 9 January 1806 in Alexandria, Scioto County, Ohio and died in Santa Cruz, California on 16 August 1877.  Known as "David", he first moved to Jefferson County, Missouri with his wife and son where he was listed in the 1850 census.  Then he moved to Santa Cruz County, California in the 1850s where he was involved with constructing wharves. He is listed in the 1860 census for Santa Cruz, California with his wife and son.  He constructed the second wharf in Santa Cruz, California in 1856 which was lengthened in 1863.  This wharf was purchased by the South Pacific Coast Railroad in 1875.   During the Civil War, David constructed a wharf extending out from Second and Main Streets to serve the powder works, the only gunpowder factory in the West.   By 1870, David had become a vine grower and the family was considered prominent in the Santa Cruz area.  Samuel "David" married Nancy Ann [maiden name unknown at this time] who was born 20 April 1818 in Ohio and died 23 January 1868 in Santa Cruz, California.  This couple is buried in Evergreen Cemetery, Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz County, California.  They had one son.


1. David J. Gharky was born about 1837 in Ohio and died 27 April 1889 in San Jose, Santa Clara County, California.  David served as a Union soldier during the Civil War with the 2nd Regiment, Colorado Calvary.    David was a vine grower in Santa Cruz County and Contra Costa County, California.  He is buried in Oak Hill Cemetery, San Jose, California.  He married Mary E. HELLER, daughter of Jacob and Betsey Heller who was born in Connecticut.  Mary was born 2 December 1838 in New York and died 9 December 1875 in Santa Cruz County, California.  She is buried in Santa Cruz Memorial Park Cemetery in Santa Cruz, California.  David Gharky is listed in the 1870 census for Santa Cruz, California as being married to Mary E., age 31, and having a daughter Myrta, 3 months old.  He is listed as a vine grower.  By 1880 census, David is a widower running a vineyard at the age of 43 in Alamo, Contra Costa County, California.  David and Mary had two children.


a. Myrta Heller Gharky was born 3 March 1870 in Santa Cruz, California and died 25 January 1895 in Santa Cruz County, California under the name of Myrta HELLER.  In the 1880 census she is living in Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, California in the household of her uncle, Alonzo Heller, and his wife, Elizabeth.  She may have been adopted by them.  Myrta Heller is buried in Santa Cruz Memorial Park along with her mother.


b. Marvin S. Gharky (Heller) was born 7 June 1872 in California and died 28 January 1902 in Santa Cruz County, California.  In 1880 Marvin was living with his grandmother, Betsy Heller, who was 78 years of age and born in Connecticut.   He changed his last name to HELLER as well.  Marvin is buried in Santa Cruz Memorial Park.  Marvin S. Heller married Lizzie R. SMITH about 1896.  Lizzie was born October 1872 in California.  They had two children.


Rosalie Myrta Heller was born 10 June 1897 in Santa Cruz County, California and died 13 June 1989 in Sacramento, California.  She married Harold E. KORB, son of Fred E. Korb and Minnie Calder.  Harold was born 2 June 1899 in Nuckolls County, Nebraska and died 10 December 1994 in Sacramento County, California.


Raymond E. Heller was born June 6, 1899 and died 2 February 1901.  He is buried with his father in Santa Cruz Memorial Cemetery.




John Christian was born 27 May 1808 in Alexandria, Scioto County, Ohio and died 26 April 1889 in Portsmouth, Scioto County, Ohio.  John Christian first married Susan FRANCIS on 19 March 1838 in Portsmouth, Ohio.  She died 24 February 1845 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  He later married Eliza McDOWELL on 13 October 1846 in Portsmouth, Ohio.  Eliza was born about 1824 in Pennsylvania.  Early in the 1850s, John and his second wife, Eliza, moved to Iowa where on 21 October 1853 he issued the first number of a weekly newspaper called the "Fayette County Pioneer" in Fayette County, Iowa.  He is listed in the 1860 census for Fayette County, Iowa as a newspaper man and printer.  In the 1880 census, John Gharky, age 72, was living in Memphis, Scotland County, Missouri with his wife, Eliza, age 56, born in PA.  We have no information concerning children and assume that no children were born to either marriage.




William Christian was born 1 September 1810 in Alexandria, Scioto County, Ohio and died 24 January 1851 in Carrolton, Louisiana.  He married Eliza MITCHELL on 21 November 1843 in Wilkinson County, Mississippi.   She was born about 1823 in Ohio and died 3 April 1852 in Pocahontas, Randolph County, Arkansas.  William Christian and Eliza are listed in the 1850 census for Randolph County, Arkansas with their two sons.  This couple had three children.


1. William Henry Harrison was born about 1844 in Tennessee.  Nothing further is known about William Henry who was left as an orphan at a young age.  He may have been adopted and his last name changed.   We have not located him in the 1860 census as we did his younger brother.


2.  Henry Clay was born about 1847 in Arkansas.  Henry Clay "Gerkey" was located in the 1860 census for Columbia, Randolph County, Arkansas as 14 years of age and born in Arkansas.  He was living in the household of Hugh and Mary Sparkman, farmers.  Nothing further is known about Henry Clay at this time.


3.  Eliza A. was born November 1849 and died February 1850 in Randolph County, Arkansas.




George Henry was born 17 May 1813 in Alexandria, Scioto County, Ohio and died 30 January 1894 in Portsmouth, Ohio.  He married Martha Eliza OLDFIELD, daughter of Judge William Oldfield and Maria Hempstead, on 20 September 1852 in Portsmouth, Ohio.  She was born 11 June 1834 in Portsmouth, Scioto County, Ohio and died 15 November 1911 in Portsmouth, Ohio.  George Henry and Martha Eliza had five children.


1. George H. Gharky, Jr. born 9 July 1853 in Portsmouth, Ohio and died 11 November 1875 in Portsmouth, Scioto County, Ohio.


2. Jane L. Gharky known as "Jennie" was born in 1858 in Portsmouth, Scioto County, Ohio and died 25 September 1897 in Portsmouth, Ohio.


3. Sarah Elizabeth Gharky born 25 August 1861 in Portsmouth, Ohio and died 4 March 1865 in Portsmouth, Ohio.


4. Marinette Iams Gharky born January 1866 in Portsmouth, Ohio and died sometime after 1920 in Ohio.  She married Samuel Leonard RICE who was born June 1862 in Ohio.  They had a daughter named Helen M. Rice (born June 1892 in Minnesota).  In the 1900, 1910 and 1920 censuses, this family was living in Portsmouth, Ohio.  Samuel was a civil engineer.


5. William David Gharky born about 1868 in Portsmouth, Ohio and died sometime after 1894.  It is believed that he lived in Columbus, Ohio in the late 1880s and early 1890s.  In the 1887-1892 City Directory for Columbus, Ohio, he is listed as a telegraph operator.   However, another William David Gharky has been located in a directory for Detroit, Michigan for 1890-91.




Frederica "Rosina" Roxanna was born 27 September 1815 in Portsmouth, Scioto County, Ohio and died between 1884 and 1894 in Missouri.  She married Thomas W. WILDBAHN on 8 October 1835 in Portsmouth, Ohio.  He was born 8 April 1808 in Piqua, Ohio and died sometime after 1888.  This couple moved from Portsmouth, Ohio to St. Joseph, Missouri in 1845 where they purchased the grist mill and ran it until 1854.  They then moved to Wathena, Kansas and built a saw mill which he operated for six years.  After selling the mill, the family returned to St. Joseph, Missouri.  This couple had three children.


1. Sarah Wildbahn who died in infancy.


2. Susanna Elizabeth Wildbahn also known as "Susan" or "Susie" was born August 1838 in Ohio and died 2 December 1920 in Spokane, Washington.  She married John Wesley BAILEY, Esquire on 8 May 1856 in St. Joseph, Buchanan County, Missouri.  He was born 17 September 1830 in Dover, Stewart County, Tennessee and died between 1900 and 1910 either in Montana or Washington.  In 1900 they were living in Helena, Montana.  In 1910 Susan Bailey was a widow and living in Spokane, Washington.  This couple had six children of which 5 lived to adulthood.


a. William A. Bailey was born February 1857 in St. Joseph, Buchanan County, Missouri.  He married Marcie A. [maiden name unknown] who was born February 1860 in Missouri and died after 1920.  They had four children all born in St. Joseph, Buchanan County, Missouri.


Charles Albert Bailey was born January 1800 and married Marguerite B. about 1925.  Marguerite was born about 1887 in Missouri.

She had been married previously to a Mr. Boyd and had 3 children.


Betty A. Bailey was born September 1882 and seemingly died between 1900 and 1910 in St. Joseph, Missouri.


John B. Bailey was born March 1893.


Jefferson T. Bailey was born 11 September 1895 in St. Joseph, Missouri.


b. Ettie Bailey was born January 1863 in St. Joseph, Buchanan County, Missouri and died 11 August 1942 in Spokane, Washington.  She married Add Clement GUTHRIE about 1885 in Missouri.  Clement was born June 1856 in Maryland.  They had one son:  John C. Guthrie born August 1886 in Buchanan County, Missouri.


c. John Wesley Bailey, Jr. was born August 1874 in St. Joseph, Missouri and died 2 May 1940 in Spokane, Washington.  He was single in the 1910 census.  He married Constance M. [maiden name unknown] about 1914.  Constance was born about 1892 in Minnesota.  This marriage ended in divorce.  They had a son:  Lyle W. Bailey born about 1915 in Minnesota.


d.  Thomas W. Bailey was born January 1882 in Buchanan County, Missouri and died 4 July 1944 in Spokane, Washington.  He first married in 1902 to Unknown who died prior to 1910.  He remarried in the 1920s to Nina GREVE who was born about 1881 in Iowa.   Nina was married previously to Paul Greve.  There seems to be no children.


e.  Susie Kay Bailey was born April 1885 in Buchanan County, Missouri and died 28 April 1912 in Spokane, Washington.  She was 27 years of age and unmarried.


3. Charles Thomas Wildbahn was born October 1856 in Missouri.  He worked as a clerk for the house of JW Bailey & Company and later as a salesman.   Charles married Mary A. LEWIS who was born February 1862 in England.  The 1900 census indicates that her parents were born in Wales.  They had three sons.


a.  Ralph Brainerd Wildbahn was born 20 July 1889 in Detroit, Michigan.  He married Clara M. [maiden name unknown] who was born about 1891 in Missouri.  They had a daughter, Dorothy B. Wildbahn born about 1914 in St. Joseph. Missouri.  By the 1930 census, this family was living in Oakland, California.


b.  Millan Wildbahn was born 27 December 1895 in St. Joseph, Buchanan County, Missouri and died 19 May 1942 in Alameda County, California.  He is buried in Golden Gate National Cemetery.


c. Charles Earl Wildbahn was born 26 September 1901 in St. Joseph, Missouri and died 21 October 1971 in Alameda County, California.  Charles married Helen [maiden name unknown] about 1927.  Helen was born 17 January 1900 in Missouri and died June 1980 in St. Joseph, Missouri.



MARVEL GHARKY (1818-1834)

Marvel was born 28 February 1818 in Portsmouth, Scioto County, Ohio and died 5 June 1834 in Portsmouth, Ohio



SARAH ANN GHARKY (1820-1895)

Sarah Ann was born 20 September 1820 in Portsmouth, Scioto County Ohio and died 13 January 1895 in Portsmouth, Ohio.  She married Allden Washington WILLIAMSON on 22 December 1841 in Portsmouth, Ohio.  He was born 7 February 1819 in Virginia and died 7 February 1903 in Scioto County, Ohio.  He was a canal boatman.   They had one daughter.


1. Rose E. Williamson was born November 1842 in Scioto County, Ohio.  She married a Mr. GOODRICH about 1888 and had no children.  She was living with her widowed father in the 1900 census and is listed as a dressmaker.




Eliza Jane was born 10 March 1823 and died 25 July 1826 in Portsmouth, Ohio.



If you would like to learn more or have family information to share, please contact us at jsappleton@windstream.net.





• Laura Hines of Parma, Ohio who compiled the David Gharky Family History and shared it with our family.

• W. V. "Skip" Jones for his interest and sharing of family history and photos.