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My 4th great-grandfather Isaac's FALLIS Pioneer Cemetery near Bellbrook, Greene County, Ohio FOLLIS Families
in the United States of America
by descendant Stanley J. Follis

Family Tragedies

Each family has it's share of family tragedies. Most are premature deaths of parents or children from disease and accidents. Some have been identified, most will probably remain unknown. Even in 2005 fears of bird flu and studies showing otherwise healthy children are known to become sick and die of flu in less five days after first showing signs of illness. 36,000 people die from flu in the United States each year so we should not relax too much because we live in the 21st Century.

The immigrant FALLIS is said by Daniel James FALLIS in his biography to have been executed for treason in Ireland before his son came to America. It is assumed my Thomas FALLIS is that son, but no documentation has or probably can be found.

My 10th great-grandfather Hans LANDIS was the last martyr beheaded in 1614 Zurich Switzerland for his Anabaptist beliefs. This probably lead the LANDIS family immigration to America in the 1700's.

Like three of his brothers, my father lost a battle to cancer in 1991 passing away at only 62 years of age making him the youngest to die of natural causes of the 8 siblings not counting his first brother who died under questionable conditions.

My dad's oldest brother Carl FOLLIS, a truck driver, thought to be sleep walking fell out a window in a hotel dying in 1936 in Tiffin, Ohio on my father's 7th birthday. What a family tragedy that must have been.

Their mother Elizabeth SCHNEIDER died in 1932 only 42 years old a few months after the birth of their 8th child due to child birth complications although cause of death was listed as heart trouble. The older children stayed with their father while the younger ones spent time in an orphanage.

Father Milo FOLLIS died at only 56 years old as a tobacco smoker from emphysema and asthma complications. This left the siblings orphan's and led to difficulties for the younger ones. My father orphaned at 14 years of age always said there was nothing about his childhood worth remembering!

Milo's grandmother Catherine EIKENBERRY died in 1864 only 41 years of age 6 days after her 16 year old son John died. A 12 year old daughter Mary died 18 months later in 1865 when it was reported a series of epidemics were sweeping across the country so perhaps Wabash County, Indiana also suffered this epidemic.

Hannah KINGERY died in 1858 Wabash County, Indiana only 56 years of age at a time when one web site says there was a national flu epidemic in 1857-59. Her 16 year old grandson Samuel FOLLIS died a month later and is buried behind her in the Mississinewa Memorial Cemetery. Her 79 year old father-in-law Isaac FALLIS died 2 months earlier in Greene County, Ohio which makes one wonder if family had visited Ohio and brought the flu epidemic back with them? Mary LANDIS wife of Henry EIKENBERRY in nearby Preble County, Ohio also died in 1858 although she was 86 years old.

Hannah KINGERY's mother Mary WEBB died in 1818 at around 38 years of age of unknown causes. Husband Martin KINGERY lived to over 91 years of age so Mary must have had child birth complications or suffered an unknown tragedy?

Hannah KINGERY married Jacob FALLIS in 1818 the same year her mother Mary WEBB died. They had three sons, the last in 1823. It is assumed Jacob died in 1824 and is buried in the FALLIS Pioneer Cemetery. The tombstone gives an age of 17 which must be 27 years of age if he is the correct Jacob. Hannah remarried in 1832. Jacob's father Isaac had a tannery so it can be assumed Jacob died in an accident there or possibly in a stone quarry which is now a large pond with a fountain in a newer housing subdivision on the Isaac FALLIS family pioneer farm.

My fourth great-grandmother Nancy "Polly" PARKE may have been the victim of an Indian attack also from family tradition in either Virginia or Kentucky. I have found nothing to confirm or contradict this information. Her brother-in-law William FORMAN was killed in a 1777 massacre at Fort Forman in Virginia, now West Virginia. The William FORMAN family has a sorry recollection by Maggie that mother Catherine FORMAN accidentally smothered her baby against her bosom trying to keep it quiet while Indian's passed by.

My great-grandparents of Whitley County, Indiana Mariah ROYER died in 1898 age 42 years of Psoas magnus abscess - Tunnale? trouble. This web site of archaic medical terms says it refers to tuberculosis which today is easily treated with antibiotics. An aunt recalled hearing she died of appendicitus after the doctor operated on the kitchen table. Her husband Jonas ZEIGLER died at 43 years of age in 1902 of typhoid fever also easily treated with antibiotics today. They left seven children ranging from 10 to 20 years of age. The children moved in with friends and relatives where they remained until marriage including a couple siblings who as a result remained in Wabash and Huntington counties.

My great-grandfather Franklin PROUGH died in 1891 only 26 years old. His parents were supposed to live the remainder of their life with him so some tragedy must have happened as he died 3 months to the day after his only child my grandmother was born. Apparently family never talked about his cause of death so we can only hope it was not self inflicted.

My great-great-grandparents Barbara THURSTON and Peter PROUGH moved after 1894 as a result of all their children moving from LaGrange County, Indiana. After son Franklin died they left with another son and have not been found in records after that. Different traditions have Peter dying in 1894 along the railroad track in Missouri they were following and Barbara in 1905 Oklahoma where a daughter lived. No census or tombstones records have been found.

My third great-grandfather George PROUGH died in 1808 at 27 years of age. Father of Peter, family tradition says from an infected thumb most likely Tetanus. Another story said he died during a barn raising.

My sixth great-grandparents Wendel ESSIG and Anna MATTE are thought to have been victims of an Indian massacre with their son Simon the only survivor. Some family researchers dispute the story. I have found no research so far that verifies or disputes the family tradition.

Garth TUCKER, a third cousin once removed, a WWII veteran related through the KINSEY families was shot and killed in Fort Wayne, Indiana November 5, 1972. When leaving his brother's house he tried to stop an armed robber from stealing his girl friend's purse.

David Leonard MILLER a first cousin three times removed, only 16 years old bled to death as a result of sawing wood with a buzz saw that broke loose and lacerating his leg below the knee in the afternoon. He died in the evening.

February 3, 1935 fourth cousin once removed 13 year old Roger J. Egolf died of septicemia infection in a blister on the heal of his foot. Today we would take some antibiotics and be fine in a few days.

May 19, 1940 Velma GROWCOCK HARTER and two of her teenage children Joann A. and Richard L HARTER were killed in a two car collision during a thunderstorm on a rain slick highway on their way to church. Another son Burton Max died 2 years 7 days later of complications probably related to the collision.

December 29, 1944 Abner BOWER was hit and killed by a train near Pierceton, Kosciusko County, Indiana, husband of third cousin twice removed Emma EGOLF.

March 20, 1945 third cousin twice removed Allan EGOLF was killed in World War II France, Victory in Europe was declared May 8, 1945.

June 21, 1958 fifth cousin Robert E. EGOLF was the first traffic fatality of the year in Elkhart, Elkhart County, Indiana

November 4, 1959 Nicholas J. MILLER died, wife second cousin twice removed Ethel KELKER, obituary says he was one of the organizers of Franke Park in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

May 26, 1961 third cousin once removed Ronald Johnson killed in a head on car wreck

October 2, 1970 fifth cousin Robert Lawrence EGOLF killed when tractor overturns.

September 9, 1996 86 year old Julia CONNER was murdered in her home, wife of fifth cousin twice removed of Curtis GAERTE.

February 4, 2006 4th cousin ROYER brothers David ROYER and Marc ROYER died in an alcohol related fiery automobile crash. Makes one wonder what their Church of the Brethren ancestors would think of their headline grabbing behavior?