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The Delaware County, Indiana Kigers Descending from John Christopher Kiger

The progenitor of the Delaware County (Muncie), Indiana Kiger family, John Christopher Kiger, is somewhat of an enigma in that there appears to be some difference of opinion as to his origin. The Kiger reunion files in the Allen County Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana would suggest that he is the immigrant ancestor. I have seen no evidence of this. There was a Christopher "Keeger" listed in Strassburger and Hinke's "Pennsylvania German Pioneers" on the Brigantine Dolphin. The passengers on this ship qualified at the Courthouse in Philadelphia on 31 May 1773. Christopher Keeger signed his name by mark XXX. This would, however, have been a bit early to have been this John Christopher Kiger since Christopher Keeger would have to have been at least 16 years old to appear on the list in May 1773 which would have meant that he had to have been born no later than 1757. I have seen no records showing when Christopher Kiger was born, but his wife, Rachel Mansfield, was born 5 February 1799, which would not seem to be a very likely match given the age of Christopher Keeger on the ship list.

The book "Early Ohio Settlers-Purchasers of Land in Southwestern Ohio, 1800-1840" compiled by Ellen T. Berry and David A. Berry, published by Genealogical Publishing Company, Inc., Baltimore, 1986, shows a Christopher Kiger purchasing land on 23 October 1813 in the area of Southeastern Indiana known as "the Gore." On the very same day a Jacob Kiger also purchased land in the exact same area. In fact Jacob and Christopher Kiger appear to be co-owners of the land which is located in present day Union County, Indiana. It would seem likely to me that this Jacob Kiger might be a brother to Christopher Kiger, or quite possibly his father. It is also quite likely that this is the same Christopher Kiger who later settled in Delaware County, Indiana. It would seem likely that Christopher would have to have been at least 21 years of age to have purchased this land which would indicate a birth year of 1792 or earlier.

Based on many clues available to us it would appear highly probable that John Christopher Kiger was born in America. He married Rachel Mansfield, who was of Irish descent, indicating he was fairly well assimilated into American culture and language. He used the surname Kiger from as early as he can be traced without ever being listed as Geiger. If he did emigrate to America it would have been at a time of little Germanic emigration (post-Revolution through early 1800s), he had the resources to buy land at what must have been a rather young age. In addition, William Henry Kiger said his father was born in Virginia according to the files of Rose Marie Kiger. While it could be possible that William Henry was mistaken in his belief, that would appear to be rather unlikely.

Christopher Kiger died prior to 15 July 1823 as Rachel Mansfield Kiger married Samuel Andrews in Butler County, Ohio, on that date. Rose Marie Kiger notes in her files that "they seemed to use Butler County, Ohio, and Union County, Indiana, as the same place. This may be because of the border dispute." So the differences listed in county and state probably do not involve an actual physical move.

William Henry and John Kiger (see below) came to Delaware County, Indiana about 1825 with their mother and step-father, Rachel Mansfield Kiger and Samuel Andrews. William Henry Kiger appears on the 1850 census in Centre Township. A Rachel Kiger also appears in Centre Township. John Kiger appears on that census record in Perry Township, and there is an unidentified Paul Kiger in Washington Township. These are all of the Kigers appearing on the 1850 census in Delaware County.

The children of John Christopher Kiger and Rachel Mansfield are:

1. William Henry Kiger, born 1815, and died 16 December 1887, married first on 18 May 1837, to Sarah Gibson, born 24 December 1817, and died 30 June 1870. She is the daughter of Valentine Gibson and his wife Catherine Harrold. William Henry Kiger married second, Mary Hornbaker Mansfield, widow of Charles Mansfield, on 8 October 1871. There were no children from the second marriage.

2. John Kiger, born about 1818, married Mary Jane Branson on 19 March 1843 (source IGI).

3. James Kiger (no further information).

After the death of John Christopher Kiger, Rachel Mansfield Kiger, as noted above, remarried to Samuel Andrews and had six additional children with her second husband.

Generation 2:

William and Sarah Kiger are listed on the 1860 Indiana census in Delaware County, in Centre Township. William was a farmer and was born in Indiana according to this record. The children of William Henry Kiger and his wife Sarah Gibson are:

1. John Kiger, born 5 March 1838, and died 5 March 1912, married Matilda Jane Heaton, born 9 October 1839, and died 10 February 1917. They married on 2 February 1860.

2. Valentine Kiger, born 1840, and died 5 February 1908, married Margaret Driscoll, on 19 December 1861. She was born 1844, and died 25 November 1905.

3. Charles Mansfield Kiger, born 14 February 1841, died 26 August 1928, married Charlotte Gibson on 4 October 1866. She was born 1839, and died 25 February 1914.

4. Rachel Kiger, born 13 April 1842, died 25 September 1900, married William Driscoll, born 2 February 1840, and died 25 September1900 (they were killed when a train hit their buggy).

5. Rebecca Kiger, born 10 January 1845, married Robert Harter on 13 August 1863 (source IGI).

6. Hannah Jane Kiger, born 10 September 1846, died 7 July 1895, married John Poland, born 15 October 1843, died 21 September 1914.

7. Catherine "Kitty" Kiger, born 1848, died 1928, married George Parsons.

8. Mary M. Kiger, born 30 March 1849, died 5 October 1908, married first John Franklin Losh on 1 April 1869. He was born 30 September 1849, and died 21 June 1885. Mary M. Kiger married second James Reynolds

9. Anda G. Kiger, born 8 May 1851, died 19 February 1939, married first 1 March 1872, Emily Gibson, born 1856, died 18 October 1910, and second Mary Alice "Allie" Gephart Dale.

10. Christopher Kiger, born about 1853, died about 1871 at 18 years of age.

11. Maria (Mariah) Mae Kiger, born 1855, died 1920, married Alford (Alfred) Heath, born 1854, died 17 October 1891.

12. Elizabeth Kiger, born 1855, died 2 April 1918, married William Felton, born 30 April 1854, died 10 December 1929.

13. Emma Kiger, born about 1859, probably died in infancy. She does not appear with the family on the 1860 census.

14. Julia Martha Kiger, born about 1860 (four months of age on the 1860 census--name shown as Martha J.), married James B. Olmstead/Armstead on 5 January 1889. Julia is shown as Julia L. Kiger on her marriage record.

John Kiger and Mary Jane Branson had the following children:

1. Rachel Kiger, born about 1844, married first 8 May 1859 to George Wood, second 24 March 1875 to Zachariah Frier, and third on 31 May 1887 to George Smith.

2. Mary Kiger, born about 1846, married Benjamin Day.

3. David Kiger, born about 1850.

4. Nathan Kiger, born about 1852.

5. Mathew Kiger, born about 1855, married Mary N. Thornburg on 22 February 1884.

6. Samantha Kiger, born about 1864, married 18 April 1885 to John Mitchell (information from supplemental marriage records).

All of the children were born in Indiana as was John Kiger based upon the entry in the 1860 census. Mary Jane was born in Ohio. The family was living in Perry Township, Delaware County in 1860, and John was a farmer.

Generation 3:

Children of John Kiger and Matilda Jane Heaton are:

1. Ursula Kiger, born 12 December 1860, and died 9 February 1934, married first Marion Madden, and second John Reed. Children are: Charlie, Will, Mary, Jenny, and Ruth.

2. Orville Kiger, born 21 April 1862, and died 6 December 1928, married Ruth Hersey.

3. William Kiger, born 19 October 1867, died 11 September 1945, married Elizabeth Gibson, born 9 March 1867, and died 22 February 1947. Their children are: Ray, Clarence, Maggie, and Gladys.

4. Kelsie Kiger, born 12 October 1869, died 25 September 1948, unmarried.

5. Elzie Kiger, born 10 April 1872, died 5 December 1941, married first an unknown Brown, second an unknown Young, and third Ethel Sands.

5. Nora Kiger, born 26 December 1874, and died 6 November 1957, married Clinton Replogle 31 August 1892. Their children are: Lela and Raymond.

6. Anna Belle Kiger, born 8 April 1876, and died 6 July 1962, married Adam F. Williams 15 September 1895. Their children are: Harry, Lyle, Elizabeth, Fred, and Helen.

7. Ira Kiger, born 3 December 1878, and died 3 April 1951, married Celia Detweiler.

8. Oren P. Kiger, born 23 July 1881, and died 4 February 1939, married Elizabeth Conlin/Conley.

Children of Valentine Kiger and Margaret Driscoll are:

1. Charles R. Kiger, born 1862, and died 28 February 1880.

2. Minnie M. Kiger, born 1868, and died 4 March 1948, married John Jones (from newspaper obituary).

3. Lula Kiger, born 1871, married B.B. Marley.

4. Lucas Kiger, born 1871, and died 7 December 1929, married Lizzie Hamilton. They had the following children: Lucas Kiger, Jr.; Lula May Kiger, who married Thomas Goodman; and Katherine Margaret Kiger, who married Amos Nelson.

5. Warren D. Kiger, born 1875, and died 2 May 1951, married Izora McLane, born 1883 and died 1960. They had the following children: Earl D. Kiger, born 1901, and died 5 October 1965, married Neta Beavers; Mabel L. Kiger; Charles Marion; Everett Warren Kiger; William Valentine Kiger; and Beulah Mae Kiger. Since some of these "children" may still be living I have not included birth or marriage information to protect the privacy of the individuals.

The children of Charles Mansfield Kiger and Charlotte Gibson are:

1. Emma Kiger, born 1868, and died 1943, unmarried.

2. Harriet Kiger, born 1870, and died 4 February 1961, married Stafford Perdieu. They had a daughter, Charlotte Perdieu, born 7 August 1894, and died 6 March 1981, who married first to Chester McVicker, second to Edward Walker, and third to Haymond (Raymond?) Bruce McVicker.

3. Borter Gibson Kiger, born 3 December 1871, and died 8 March 1935, married Mary Ellen Quirk, born 1876, and died 5 January 1965. They had children: Edward Ernest Kiger, born 21 June 1895, and died 22 January 1981, married Rena Jones, born 20 June 1898, and died 16 July 1978; Charles Earl Kiger, born 25 August 1896, and died 15 December 1896 in infancy; Lela Kiger, born 29 December 1898, and died 2 September 1972, married first Claude Mullen, and second possibly Jesse Quirk, and third an unknown McQuithy; Borter Kiger; and Margaret Kiger. The last two "children" could still be living so I have not included any specific information about them.

4. Euphamia Evelyn "Effie" Kiger, born 1878, and died 1963, married first Orville Harrold, born 1 October 1877, and died 23 October 1933, and second Mont Neighbors. Children from the first marriage are: Addaline "Patty" Harrold, born 1899; Marjorie Harrold, born 1901, and died 29 August 1924, married Floyd Foster; and Paul Harrold, born about 1902.

Children of Rebecca Kiger and her husband Robert H. Harter are:

1. Rollie M. Harter, born 29 July 1865, and married Minnie Guernsey.

2. Willie E. Harter, born 4 August 1866.

3. Estella Harter, born 18 June 1868, and married Frank Spencer.

4. Nannie May Harter, born 12 February 1869

5. Jessa G. Harter, born 12 May 1874

6. Carrie L. Harter, born 20 May 1876.

7. Robert G. Harter, born 3 March 1882.

8. Linnie G. Harter, born 28 May 1885.

9. Bertha Harter, born 20 January 1889, and died in 1908 in Denver, Colorado.

Children of Hannah Jane Kiger and her husband John Poland:

1. Minnie Poland, born 8 September 1869, and died 22 March 1870.

2. Sarah Elizabeth Poland, born 4 July 1873, and died 2 February 1874.

3. Agnes May Poland, born 7 May 1880, and died 23 May 1967, married Odell Miner.

4. William Kiger Poland, born 18 September 1882, and died 4 February 1972, married Olive Reynolds.

5. Emerson Elroy "Roy" Poland, born 25 May 1884, and died 18 July 1969, married Amelia Rosbottom.

6. George Oscar Poland, born 3 September 1886, and died 10 October 1964, married Florence Edno Vorhees.

Children of Mary Kiger and John Franklin Losh are:

1. Sarah Losh, born 1 April 1871, and died 16 January 1873.

2. infant daughter, born 7 December 1873.

3. Lloyd Losh, born 13 January 1877, and died 28 December 1930.

4. Franklin Ira Losh, born 1879, and died 31 December 1929, married Susie McCormick. They had a son, John Franklin Losh, born 10 October 1905, and died 12 August 1987, married first unknown, and second Mary Cronk.

5. Edna G. Losh, born 4 June 1882, and died 29 February 1960, married Thomas O. Brown. Their children are: Thomas Oscar, Jr.; Theodore; Lloyd; and LuLa (Irene).

Children of Anda G. Kiger and Emily Gibson are:

1. Robert Gibson Kiger, born 1874, married Delia Day Hersey. They had the following children: Emily Kiger, born about 1899, unmarried; Wilbert Kiger, born about 1902; Mabel Kiger; Robert Franklin Kiger; Percy Kiger; and Anda Kiger.

2. John Sanford Kiger, born 1875, and died 1950, married Lola Wells, born 1878, and died 1981. They had a son, Francis Wells Kiger who married Nellie Greenwalt.

3. Elva Pearl Kiger, born 19 November 1876, and died 21 February 1878.

4. Oscar Newton Kiger, born 1878, and died 1924, married Alma Wright. They had the following children: Oscar "Buss" Kiger; and Edward Kiger.

5. Harvey W. Kiger, born 1880, and died 30 August 1881.

6. Jesse Milton Kiger, born 5 April 1882, and died 1944, married Edith Constance Shafer, born 1884, and died 1965.

7. Orpha R. Kiger, born 9 January 1883, and died 18 March 1884.

8. Mary E. Kiger, born 13 January 1885, and died 1968, married Orville Belmont Roberts, born 22 June 1880, and died 1926.

9. Sarah Agnes Kiger, born 5 August 1889, and died 1927, married Rudie N. Jordon.

10. William Driscoll Kiger, born 26 May 1891, and died 29 June 1937, married Rhuia Edith Waldo, born 3 June 1889, and died 1972.

Children of Maria "Mariah" Mae Kiger and Alford (Alfred) Heath are:

1. Vernard Heath, born 1879, and died 1958, married Anna E. Lewis.

2. Wardin Heath, born 1882, married Bessie D. Spears.

3. Ora Belle Heath, born 1883, and died 1940, and married Benjamin Corkwell.

4. Heber Armitage Heath, born 1886, married Bessie May Dickey.

5. Lena Heath, born 1888, married first Sumner Wiltse, and second probably a Morse.

6. Maude Heath, born 1890, and died 14 January 1940, married George O. McKinley.

7. Alpha Omega Heath, born 1891, married Clifford Babb.

Children of Elizabeth Kiger and William Felton are:

1. Carlton Felton, born 12 May 1876, married first unknown Neinstiel, and second Anna Coon.

2. Adam Felton, born 4 September 1878, married Bertha Caster.

3. Fitzgerald "Jerald" Felton, born 24 August 1880, married Mable Bird.

4. Blanche Felton, born 1884, married Bernie Thomas Demint.

5. Julia Adah Felton, born 11 March 1889, married in 1921 to Lloyd Samuel Gardner.

6. Charlotte Felton, born 1894, and died 1909.

7. William Robert Felton, born 1897, and died about 1911.

We now continue to search for the origin of John Christopher Kiger, the progenitor of the Muncie, Indiana Kiger family.

Information for this article was compiled from records submitted to me by Rose Marie Kiger, with additional information supplied by Norma Runyon, Walter John Kiger, Nancy B. Fratt, and Shirley Floden.